It has been a long day. We picked up our SDA referral at 4pm yesterday afternoon and then headed to catch our overnight train to Simferopol. Note for anyone who might take that train in the future: It is HOT! Not just warm, but those sleeper cars were at least 80 degrees. That combined with the fact that I was not feeling well made for a tough night. Not much sleep (although Mark got even less than I did). I had planned to get pictures, but truly didn't even care.
We arrived on time and a driver was waiting to take us to Sevastopol. As soon as we got to town, we immediately picked up a social worker and went to the orphanage. I'm sure I looked a mess. About 3 hours of sleep in the previous 30 hours, no shower, feeling like crap... yeah, it was nice! Oh, well. We met with the medical director of the orphanage, a pediatrician, care giver, the social worker and Olga (our facilitator). All wonderful, caring people! We were given more information about our little one's history and medical issues. Not much surprising there, yes... some chronic issues and she will need to have ongoing care, but not much we didn't anticipate.
In the middle of conversation, the door behind me opened. I didn't pay too much attention because people had been coming in and out the entire time. All of a sudden, I realized it was a care giver with our little girl! She is beautiful! Our visit was very short (she wasn't too interested in us, besides it was lunchtime and she knew where she wanted to go), but oh what a special moment! No pictures (we had "lost" our camera only to be found later in the day), we won't be able to post anything until our court date anyway but know that she is a sweetie. The orphanage staff needed no convincing that she "belongs" with us - wait until you see her.
So, we said "YES" - we wish to proceed with the adoption of our little one. Meeting over - off to the notary to drop off paperwork. We then came to our apartment which is very nice (I'll post pics tomorrow), dropped off the luggage, went to get some lunch at Celentano's pizza (poor Mark was starving - we hadn't eaten since yesterday), tried the borsch (don't need to have that again). Afterwards, our driver took us to a store similar to Wal-Mart to get a few things and then we went back to the notary to pick up papers. Finally, we made it home to the apartment about 5:30pm. Mark crashed immediately. Now, it's my turn!
Thank you to everyone who has been praying - I know that it made a difference in my ability to tolerate the train trip. And our meeting with "little one" was proof that God is faithful! I'll share more about that tomorrow.
Right now, I think there are three things I would request prayer for:
#1 Rest - Mark and I are both wiped out. I'm feeling a little better, but still not terrific.
#2 Rapid Court Date - Olga is working hard to get us home by the end of the year. If we can get a court date on December 11, that would be ideal!!
#3 Bonding/Attachment - Please pray that with each visit we have with our little one, she will bond fully and completely with us. That there will be NO attachment issues and that she will KNOW that we are her forever mommy and daddy.
Again, thank you - love and blessings to all!