I arrived on Monday in Novograd Valenski after a 16hr train ride from Kielce Poland. Our facilitator Sergi and I went to Silas’ home village in order to get a new birth certificate issued with his new name. We have to drive to the birthplace of each boy (for the 2nd time) and get the local governments to issue new birth certificates and request new social security numbers with their new names. Then we have to take those documents and get each one notarized in Novograd where the orphanage is, and then take all of that to Zhytomir (the state capital) to make the application for the boy’s Ukrainian passports. The passports are issued from the national capitol, Kiev. We’re having to interact with about 6-8 different local, state, or national offices and get them to cooperate with one another and say the same thing.
To help you get the picture, imagine the worst experience you have ever had with a department of motor vehicles in the USA (Kansas City people – please don’t go into spazms). Imagine spending day after day after day for two weeks trying to make sense of 8 different DMV’s who keep changing the requirements or tell you that some other office needs to give you some obscure document that they hadn’t mentioned before even though you had been there 3 times. This is pretty much like trying to play chess with an ADD monkey on crack. It’s a moving target and procedural logic got trampled at the door. By the time we get this completed and Renee, my mom, and Amy get here to help me transport the boys back, I’ll probably be wearing pink and green tights from the orphanage and sitting in a corner sucking my thumb trying to think of a happy place. Renee, when you get to the orphanage, I’ll be the big one with my eyes rolled back in my head singing “I am 16 going on 17” while sitting in the corner drooling animal crackers down my chin. Please take me home too. Please.
When I saw the boys it was awesome. They are doing well and I had a great time playing with them. Sasha is really excited about coming home to America on an airplane. I called Renee when I was with Sasha and his eyes lit up and he got so happy when he heard her voice. It was precious. I think he’s gonna be a mommy’s boy. I played with Ethan for a while. He still grunts when you do something he doesn’t like (pretty much anything that requires energy :-) I said to him, “Listen son, you have to come up with some other sounds because it sounds like you were raised by lions in the bush”. For this reason, Sergi and I have affectionately given Ethan the nickname “Mowgli”. I tickled him a lot and he was smiling real big and laughing out loud. I also got him to move his arms and legs around and get some exercise. Silas was the little smiley hunk he always is. As soon as I put some music on he started his classic dance moves – watch out IHOP dance team, you’re not gonna know what hit you when Silas gets to KC.
Yesterday Sergi and I spent 12 hrs obtaining new birth certificates for Ethan and Sasha. We unexpectedly ran into Ethan’s birth parents which was a bit awkward. I still don’t know how to process all those emotions, I’m just so thankful they didn’t abort Ethan. Today is a “sit and wait for results” day so I am studying Psalm 57, drinking coffee, and trying to get some work done. Oh by the way, tonight we have hot water for showers! Heehaw! That only happens two nights a week here. In a couple minutes I’ll start my shopping hunt to find a rubber ducky to celebrate.