Wednesday, 23 May 2007
We are starting to fall into a bit of a routine, so I want to take the opportunity to provide a Cliff’s Notes version of our trip so far…..
We have been in Ukraine for a week and a half, and we are traveling with our friends Fred and Lisa, who are adopting a child from the same orphanage where Masha lives. We left Fort Wayne on Sunday afternoon, and arrived in Kiev mid-day on Monday. We met with the Ukrainian State Department of Adoption (SDA) on Wednesday to obtain official permission travel to Masha’s city to begin the adoption process.
We left Kiev on Thursday afternoon, and traveled via overnight train. Masha lives in a coastal city in southeast Ukraine, a 16-hour ride from Kiev. After our arrival on Friday, we settled in and then completed some documents before grabbing a late lunch and then to the orphanage to meet with the director and see the girls…it was a great reunion!
Monday, we resumed the paper chase, and learned that the Ukrainian adoption process involved a lot of hurryupandwait. It is challenging for a control freak like me to just let go and follow our facilitator’s lead, but that’s the only way to maintain one’s sanity!
Monday afternoon, we submitted a request to the court for Masha’s name to be changed to Maria Elizabeth Niles. She likes her new name, and even told us that Elizabeth is a better name than Maria!
We now are waiting for our court hearing, which we believe will be next Tuesday. After that, we wait through the mandatory 10-day waiting period, which will end on Friday, 12 June, when we can request Masha’s new birth certificate and passport, and then head back to Kiev before returning home.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and we’re watching a lot of Russian MTV, and overall have had a great trip so far. Thanks to all of you for your interest, your encouragement, and your love and prayers…keep ‘em coming!!!!