Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, Post II

We have been busy trying to find our way around Kiev and taking in some of the sights of this amazing city. It is huge! I have lots of photos to share later today (and some information for families traveling here), but the big news for now is that our SDA appointment is finished! Here is a picture of the SDA building:

And a picture of the side-door entrance we were taken through:

Our meeting was very quick. We sat down at a small round table with our facilitator and the representative from the SDA. Our dossier and Alina's file were on the table. We were asked to show our passports, then asked about our family (if we have children of our own already) and why we would want to adopt a child with special needs. We showed a few pictures of the kids, our house, and a few of just Bridget. The woman with the SDA smiled and said (through our translator), "It looks like children with special needs are well cared for where you live." It seems like she understood right away that Bridget is a valued member of our family. We also told her that Bridget and Alina are less than 9 months apart, and that we think having each other will be very special and important for them. She smiled again when she heard that.

We were then read some information from Alina's file: Her parents abandoned her at the hospital when they realized she had Down syndrome. She has no siblings and has a very small Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), which incidentally, is exactly what Bridget had. (Bridget's ASD was tiny and had closed by her first birthday. We do not know if Alina's is closed yet.) That was it. The whole meeting took about 5 minutes. We go back tomorrow afternoon to pick up her official referral paperwork.

It does not look like we will be able to meet Alina until Monday. Many things are closed on Saturdays, and social workers are not working, so we cannot have our first visit at the orphanage until the beginning of next week. We will leave on Sunday for her town. We still do not know if we will travel by train or car...all of our arrangements are made for us. We just wait for the call :).

Although we're disappointed that we won't get to see Alina this weekend, the extra few days means that we will have a little bit more time here in Kiev to explore (and there is way too much to see in the short amount of time we were originally scheduled to be here!). We need to do any sight-seeing now--next time we are here, we will have a toddler :)! Kiev is a unique combination of historic and modern structures. It is an international city and is very vibrant and interesting.

Today on the way to the SDA, we passed the Parliament buildings and Saint Sophia's cathedral (which is over 1,000 years old). The SDA is next door to another beautiful, old church. Our facilitator took this picture of Chris and I in front of it:

I've saved the best for last. It is a BABY PICTURE OF ALINA!! For other families coming here, bring a wallet-sized photo of your child and they will trade you for the picture in your child's file (most often a baby picture). This is a picture of a picture--so the quality is not great, but we are thrilled to have it! Here is our little sweetie when she was tiny:


  1. Ohhh, she has hair :-) Thanks for these updates... it is very exciting to follow you guys on your trip to meet Alina. Now I can't wait for the post after Monday!

  2. S--she looks a bit like Arina in this pic, don't you think?

  3. I love the details Lys! ...and I love the fact that they can tell how great of a home this will be for Alina. That's awesome that you're able to get out and see the city. I'm envious! We are so excited for you guys to get to be together! :-]


  4. Hurray for a baby picture!!! What a gift! You're doing a good job of "going with the flow" especially with waiting an extra few days to see Alina. Enjoy your time with Chris in Kiev and keep the info and pictures coming--it's all good!


  5. ...a baby picture, what a treasure for you and for her later on! I am sure it would be easy for them to see how well cared for and loved and valued Alina will be with you just by looking at a few pictures. Ohhhh if only children with special needs were well taken every country!

    Have a fabulous time on your weekend of sight seeing!!

  6. Thank you, thank you for your details. I'm trying to picture every bit of it! I can't wait to here even more...especially Monday's details!

    Blessings and enjoy your time together..

  7. Im so glad the SDA appt went well. Ellen Stumbo said we are on the same street. If you guys want to get together for coffee, we know a great coffee place close by. You can email us at
    Talk soon!!!

  8. Glad your appt went well! It is good info to have a wallet photo with you at your appt. We didn't know that up front and had to get an extra of the passport photo so our team could get the photo for us later. We did get the baby photos though... priceless! :)

  9. Love following along on your journey. Such a SWEET picture! Have to share that Adam worries a lot about kids who don't have parents and what will happen to them (really because he worries what would happen to HIM if we aren't around:) We tell him that there will always be an adult who will take care of kids if their parents can't. We told him about Alina and that you and Chris are going to pick her up and bring her home because she doesn't have parents to care for her. He was confused then because he said, "but she had to be born somehow so she had to have parents." We told him that Alina has special needs that her parents couldn't care for but that you and Chris can. He is VERY relieved that you are going to get her and has stated that Alina is joining a VERY fun household. So true. Can't wait to continue along on the journey! Our best to Chris.

  10. Oh, what a darling! Can't wait till Monday!

  11. I can't wait to see current photos! Love all of your postings!

  12. Lisa and Chris: the blog brings tears to our eyes. We're in awe. The Kompa girls think you guys are rock stars and love looking at the site and learning about your journey! Can't wait to hear more.

  13. What a precious picture yu have! Good idea about taking a picture beforehand.


We'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below...