When we first decided on adopting from Ukraine, my parents mentioned that they had a missionary friend, Ken Sears, who has been serving in Ukraine for the past 15years. I reminded my parents that Ukraine is about the size of Texas but they could send me his information and see if it would be reasonable to travel to meet him. Turns out, Ken teaches at a bible college in the town of...you guessed it...Zaporozhye!!! We began e -mailing each other and I had a package of donations for the orphanage sent to him so we could deliver it when we got here.
So, this morning, we got to meet Ken and his good friend, Vova, who also works at the Zaporozhye Bible College. Vova was kind enough to drive us over to the orphanage to deliver the clothes, blankets, socks, and shoes we had gathered and sent ahead. We will meet up with Ken again tonight for dinner at "Sir Lancelot" restaurant which was recommended by some other adoptive families. Ken has never been there so hopefully this will be a treat for him too. :)
This is the lady who "checked in" the donations. Ken explained to her that we were adopting Nadia from this orphanage and then we showed her our family book. She remarked at what a "large" family we had. I had to chuckle at that because amongst some of our homeschooling friends, our family is considered to be on the smaller size. She seemed very appreciative of the donated items. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of Amy Winstead who donated these items from her consignment sale and a friend of my parents, Carol Terscha, who paid to have the box shipped to Ukraine!!!
When we got back to our hotel after our morning visit with Nadia, we finally got to meet the infamous Alexander. If you don't know Alexander then you haven't read Jodi Lewandowski's blog. ("Finding Hunter" on my sidebar). She went on some amazing adventures with Alexander and has come to think of him as a treasured friend. She sent gifts for him and I kidded with her that I was going to claim that they were from me so he would forget all about Yula (Jodi) and make me his new best friend. ha ha I gave him a few gifts from us first, but then when I handed him Jodi's gifts and told him who they were from, I knew by the way his eyes lit up that he would NEVER dump Jodi for me. (I know you're smiling from ear to ear now Jodi.) He is as sweet as she described and even brought us a bag of fresh strawberries. What a guy!
Another gal I consider a new friend is Nadia's favorite groupa worker. I am going to find out her name tonight because I want to put her picture in Nadia's memory book. I know we have this young lady to thank for teaching Nadia how to love and be loved and we are forever grateful to her!!! I also hope I can somehow send her updates on Nadia so she can see how she's doing.
I just had to post this picture because it made me smile. We gave the workers a bunch of bubbles and today they finally used them. The kids were squealing and running around trying to pop them. It is extremely hot here so all of the children are outside in just their underwear. :)
And of course, I know better than to post without adding pictures of Miss Sweetness! She too was minding the heat today but she hung in there very well during our visit. This girl is going to be in heaven when we bring her back to our air-conditioned hotel in a few more days. (Still not sure on our court date but you'll all know as soon as we know!)
Some of her adorable expressions as Michael read a book to her.
Those beautiful blue eyes that drew us in from the beginning.
Resting on Daddy's shoulder....ahhhh....what could be better?
Time to head back to the building for lunch and naptime.
Bye-bye sweet girl. We'll see you in a few hours!!!