Saturday, September 20, 2008

You guys are kind of tough on me

Grandma's Birthday today,
We had soccer games all day and met Dave and Nat, Kevin and Kim at the Training Table for Dinner The little monkeys are doing well and loving soccer and school. The English is coming along relay fast and we are all get used to each other. 

Some days we fight against each other .

Some days we are united in our fight.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Maybe This Will Keep them Quiet

Thursday, June 19
This morning we got cleaned up and repacked to get ready to travel to a small town called Kotovsk. Breakfast was bread and cheese and bottled water. At this point, everyone was very excited to meet the little girls we had seen pictures of at the SDA(State Department of Adoptions). The girls are 8 year old twins (fraternal) and from what they told us, they are very neat girls. We couldn’t leave town until we picked up the referral from the SDA and they only give referrals between 5 and 6 o’clock p.m.
Natasha and Visily took us to see the statue sometimes called Mother Russia. But it isn’t in Russia so the Ukrainians prefer to call her The Lady of the Motherland. This statue is the third tallest in the world and is taller than our Statue of Liberty. It was in a very interesting park dedicated to the millions of soldiers (and the women who were behind them on the front lines) who were killed in the fight against the Nazis in WW11. Then we went to the SDA and picked up the referral for the twins and started on our way toward Odessa in the south. Kotovsk is about 5-6 hours drive from Kiev and we finally stopped for the night just before midnight in a town called Balta. We found a private hotel room (meaning privately owned and not all that private) and stayed the night there. It was a dump and next to a pool room/bar that was busy into the night. Mosquitos buzzed our ears all night and we didn’t get much sleep but we were still excited that we would be meeting the girls within an hour of leaving Balta.

Friday, June 20
When we arrived in the town of Kotovsk, there were many people on the streets going to their different destinations for the day. We had to meet the Inspector of the orphanage before we could go there and his office was not where we were told that it was, but after asking people on the street and a lot of U-turns, we finally found the right place. The Inspector was a very nice person and after about a half hour or more of talking with Natasha and finding the right paperwork, he got into the minivan with us and we went to the orphanage.
The Inspector said it would be better to meet the girls without Davey and Meagan at first and to bring them in after a little while so they stayed in the minivan with Visily who speaks no English. We were taken into the orphanage and left in a room to wait until they could bring the girls in. We waited for about 45 min or more with much anxiety and tried to make small talk with the Inspector. He finally left to see what was going on and after a while, they called Natasha out of the room as well. We waited some more and kept getting more and more nervous about Davey and Meagan, and we couldn’t tell them what was happening. When Natasha came back, we learned that one of the orphanage workers, a teacher, took the girls to the sea in Odessa for the day. They knew we were coming, and yet the girls were not there to meet us! While Natasha was explaining all of this to us, Visily had left with the kids to take the Inspector back to his office. We didn’t like being away from them for so long. While they were gone, we were shown to an apartment that was just a short way from the orphanage by a woman who worked in the orphanage and was also the landlady. As we were to learn, nothing is short and sweet in Ukraine. It took a very long time to see the apartment, talk about the apartment, talk about the price and why it was such a good deal, etc ,etc, etc., and still we had not seen our kids. When we finally got back to the minivan, Davey and Meagan were very confused and Meagan was a little upset and they didn’t like hearing that after all of that they weren’t going to get to meet the twins. Supposedly, the girls would catch the first train back and be at the orphanage at 6:00 pm. and the teacher would be in trouble for taking the girls without permission from the Orphanage Director. It was now about noon and we had arrived in Kotovsk at 8:30 a.m. We decided to get some lunch and rest until then.
We found a restaurant, after checking many different places, that was O.K. but it was very smoky inside. It is unbelievable how many people smoke here! The restaurant wasn’t open until 1:00 but we decided it was our best bet to wait and eat there anyway. To fill the time, we went to a grocery store to get a few things for our apartment. The kids went in with us and everyone stared openly at the Americans. Natasha helped us find some things we thought we could eat for breakfast and a few other meals. It is very difficult to get any meat here because they are often out of chicken and beef and I am allergic to pork, but we did our best. We returned to the restaurant and ordered and waited for, literally, 1 _ hours for our food and we were so hungry. When it finally came, it was very mediocre and Natasha’s fish was very disgusting.
She tried to send it back but the waitress came out and argued with her and she had to pay for it anyway. We had, what else, chicken Kiev and it was O.K. but nothing to write home about (ha ha). We planned to return to the apartment and rest and get organized before meeting the girls at 6:00 but when we arrived there, Natasha got a phone call and said that the girls were at the orphanage. It was 3:00. She told us to go back and pick up the Inspector of the orphanage with Visily while she went to talk with the teacher and prepare the girls to meet us. We hurriedly stashed our luggage in the apartment, grabbed the things we thought we might need, and got back into the minivan. It took a while for the Inspector to come out to the minivan and we were starting to get butterflies in our stomachs again. By the time we got back to the orphanage, quite some time had passed and we again left the kids with Visily and went with the Inspector to find Natasha and the girls. We followed him through hallways and up stairs and back again because the room we were to meet in was locked. He asked teachers and everyone he could find but noone knew anything. He finally left us in one place to go and search and we stood in an empty hallway for a long time until someone came to get us and take us to another room upstairs. When we entered, we saw Natasha and another woman sitting with the girls at some desks in a classroom. We were all smiles, but we could tell that something was wrong so we were very careful. It looked like everyone had been crying and Natasha was giving us looks so we approached them calmly and said hello (in Russian of course) and knelt down and started to try to communicate. We gave the girls some little princess dolls with clothes to change and a sucker. Natasha said in English, “You have no idea what has been happening here”. She told us, a little at a time between talking and playing with the girls, that this other woman, Luda (short for Ludmilla) had come in, in hysterics and with the girls, and was yelling about how these were her girls and she had no one else in her life and we could not take her girls away from her. She had been taking them home with her every night and buying them their own clothes and pouring her love into them and who were we to come here and take them from her! The girls were terrified and crying and had been told all the way home that we were going to take them away kicking and screaming whether they liked us or not etc., etc.. Natasha had been calming them all down and reassuring them for the entire time that we were getting the Inspector and waiting. They were all barely stable when we walked in. The Inspector was watching us this whole time so that he could testify in court about how our first meeting went.
Meanwhile, we were blowing bubbles and playing a sort of volleyball with the girls and trying to get them to warm up to us, which they eventually did, and we were laughing and playing with these beautiful girls. We were also trying to talk to Luda, through Natasha, about the girls and their schooling and likes and dislikes , etc. We were, again, getting very nervous about Davey and Meagan and dared not bring them in yet, but after a while we kept asking Natasha about when we could bring in our kids. She said that we were going to take Luda and the girls back to Luda’s hostel and that Davey and Meagan could meet the girls in the minivan. Not our first choice, but we trusted Natasha to know what was best. When we got into the minivan, all the kids were a little bit shy but they started playing with some things that we had with us. They seemed to hit it off immediately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Perry Poll

Let's have a little poll to see who thinks Jeff and Janette should or should not create another post. Maybe they could tell us a few stories about their trip and give us an update on all of the kids.

Let the Poll begin.

Sincerely, A. Hacker

Friday, July 25, 2008

The necessities - Hot water and McDonalds

We just recently heard back from Janette, Jeff, Davey and Meagan. They are now in Keiv and are staying in a nicer apartment with running HOT water. Janette said that it is nice and you don't feel like you are camping out like in Kotosvk. They have even found a McDonald's... the children are thrilled!

Their interperter had to leave them for 2 or 3 days so they are alone as a family and having a good time. They have been sightseeing and taking a lot of pictures.

The twins are now Perry's and they are just trying to obtain their passports for the return to the United States. Katia and Maya only know a few words but are able to understand easier than they can speak the language. They seem very happy.

Janette says hi to all those who are following the blog and she will get information to you soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Katia and Maya

I talked to J'net today and she said Jeff tried to enter a blog but unfortunately it wouldn't go through.
They are doing good and have the girls with them at their small apartment everyday. There are a couple of parks there with swings but other than that there is not much to do. The twins are very active little girls. They are all anxious to come the their new home now. They won't be able to fly out until July 31st because of seating availability etc. The girls names will be Katia Ola Perry and Maya Yana Perry. The middle names were their first names over there and the first names now are the ones they have chosen to be called over here. Their birthdays are Jan, 30, 2000.

They will most likely be returning to the U.S. on the 31st of July.