I am here and made it but not without delays. My first flight was late leaving me to miss my second and third flights. Many hours later I successfully made it my destination. I really can't complain, God really did give me peace even when those long flights typically feel like torture. I consider myself blessed.
My time in Kyiv was enjoyable. I spent time out an about with new friends (American families here adopting as well) and old (friends that live here in Ukraine).
My appointment at the SDA was very different than I ever remember. This is the second time I have adopted "blind" (not requesting a child I knew ahead of time) but the first time I had to blow through 7 binders of children to find a few prospective children to have the social worker call about (she checks to make sure the child is still available, no bio family coming around or Ukrainian family adopted). I'm not going to lie, it was hard. It was stressful and the hour (you only get one hour) almost seemed too short.
First of all, it is absolutely horrible to have basically just one lousy picture and a diagnosis to go by. The binders are sorted by birth year, and there is a separate binder for children who are HIV+. So looking for a sibling group for 2 boys could not be the main objective. I needed to find a boy who had a diagnosis we were approved for, in a region not currently under attack (actually I didn't rule out whole regions but did a specific town), that did not have multiple siblings available for adoption. I would not consider splitting a sibling group.
I was quickly disappointed to not be finding 2 brothers. Even the brothers I hoped to find were not in those binders. Not sure of the situation with that but trust God allowed that to be so because they were not meant for us. In order to have options I had to pull and set aside profiles of children I would consider even though I felt no initial connection to (I know, how does anyone have a connection in a situation like that? ...and that's what I was telling myself so I would remain open). Several of the files put to the side were babies. I'm not opposed to adopting a baby, as a matter of fact I would like to adopt a baby BUT not if we are only adopting one child this time. I just feel like a baby would be a disconnect from our current family setup. Although, it is funny that N did ask me on the phone last night, "What about my baby brother?" We'll see, maybe there is another child at the same orphanage that God is calling us to adopt as well.
Time began to run out and my facilitator said we needed to have the social worker start calling on some of the kids; I think she was getting impatient. There was ONE profile that I immediately said, "oh!" in an "Oh my goodness, he is so precious!" kind of way. Again, I felt guilty because it shouldn't be about a picture but his diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy and that was at the top of my list...and he wasn't a baby but still young.
My facilitator had the social worker call on him first. The news came back that all was good and his CP was pretty mild (not that it would have mattered to us). He asked me to prioritize the other profiles. I asked if there was any reason to call on any others if I wanted him...he said, "no."
Short of crying at the sight of his picture, I felt very much the way I did when I first saw A's picture. There just felt like a connection. A tug. Something different from the others. I believe because he is our son.
I traveled to the region and as I had been warned might happen ahead of time, the administration told me they would not approve me to begin my visits to the orphanage until Monday. Thursday and friday are holidays here, and on Wednesday they decided to make it a half day and only serve Ukrainian families, not those adopting internationally. So I have not yet met out son.
I was incredibly disappointed at first. Of course I am dying to meet him but I see God's hand throughout everyday. God is stretching me in so many ways and providing for me in each of those ways as well.
I have 3 more days of alone time. Time to spend caring only for myself (when does this ever happen?) and time pressing in to Jesus without distractions. I really don't like to think of having 3 more days alone even after just 1.5, it truly is taking me out of my comfort zone and causes me anxiety even to type it, but I am focusing on one moment at a time and trusting God to give me peace with every minute that passes.
On Monday I should get a better idea of what kind of timeline we will be looking at. At this point I believe I will remain here for an additional week. Time will tell.