We arrived in country on Wednesday after flying for nearly 20 hours. The city where our journey begins is rich in history. We were blessed with a driver who is as big of a history buff as I am and he was able to take us around the city and tell us about the area. Our apartment was a studio type apartment. While the outside of the apartment was a bit dark and scary the inside was lovely. We have felt very safe here. One just has to remember these are OLD buildings. We met up with another Reese's Rainbow family for dinner and walked around a bit before crashing for the night.
We had our first (of two) appointments today! This is where we get to hear about Sydney and Lucien. Because our two are in the same area and region we were told about both of them at the same time but we were told we would have to choose who we would see first. We will have to go back for a second appointment later on in the month. While this seems a bit redundant it is all for the safety of the children. Until we have had court and a ten day wait is over, we have no legal rights to either of these children. It was very hard to choose, we want to see them both so badly, but we tried to think reasonably and decided that since Sydney is older, she has been waiting longer. We will see her first. Then we will see Lucien starting later in the month. We found out that Sydney has some issues with her tear ducts, but we will find out more when we get to her orphanage and listen to the doctor there. Once we get her home we can take her to our doctor and we will take whatever steps are necessary to get her any help that she needs. We learned that Lucien has a heart murmur. We will get as much info from his orphanage doctor as we can and will be sending all that information back to our doctor so he can start to set up appointments for when they get home. We also got to hear their real names. We had planned on calling them Olivia Anne and Antonio James, but have decided to keep their names as part of what they will be called. We will reveal that later after court. After our appointment, our driver too us and another family to see the area. It is so alive and rich with history. I have been taking so many pictures and I will be putting a book together for Sydney and Lucien so they can see where they came from. The team has been amazing and we are in awe of the beauty of the city. Yes we do notice that there is some graffiti on some of the buildings, yes we do notice that some of the buildings are very run down. BUT it is so alive with people and history. I mean, the USA is a very young country, we have nothing like this! The detailing on the buildings, the meaning behind things, very well done. We have really been loving the atmosphere here. We ate with a few Reece's Rainbow couples at the TGI Fridays here. While it isn't nearly as good as the borsch it was nice to get together with others.
Today we went walking around the town for a while and then we met a family who has finished up their adoption and is about to head back home. We ended up having a nice visit and then we headed back to our apartment. Our driver was waiting for us and we collected all of our things from the apartment and loaded into the car. We went back to where we had our appointment so we could pick up a paper that let the orphanage know we have permission to visit the child. After we finished, we headed to the train station. We had a bit of extra time so we stopped off at an amazingly beautiful church. I took pictures of the outside but was not allowed to take pictures inside. I was blow away at how beautiful it was. The murals all over the wall told so many different stories about God and Jesus. It certainly made me feel closer to God in that moment. It made me think of a question we had been asked a while back in church. Does the decoration in a church really matter. At the time, I said no. I reasoned that it would be distracting to have a lot of decorations. But, with these murals, it made you remember all the different stories that you learned growing up, all those wonderful bible stories. While I am not sure I would be as engrossed in a sermon with a church like that, I would certain feel closer to God.
When we left, we went over to the train station and waited a while. We ended up getting on an express train that took only 4 hours. It was able to get us to Sydney and Lucien's region where we were met with our facilitator here. I will say this for the Reece's Rainbow team both stateside and internationally. We have been very well taken care of and have never had any problems! Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. Our apartment is beautiful!! Love it!!
We woke up around 7am. We have been blessed with not having jet lag since we have been here. I washed two loads of laundry, how do I have that much already? Well the washer is very small and Mark is very sensitive to heat and sweats REALLY bad, he needed his shirts washed or they would start to stink up the place. There is no dryer, but there is a drying rack on the back porch area and the sun is shining today and its a lovely day, they are drying quickly.
We plan to walk around this beautiful area and see as much of it as we can. We are so excited for Monday when we get to meet Sydney!!!
We did have one surprise, the cost of the place we are staying at is $20 more per day than we expected. Other families stayed here for $20 less, in this same apartment even, but there are a lot of big events going on in the area and it is hard to find any place to rent, which drives up supply and demand. It is every where, even in the USA, so while it was not something we had budgeted for or planned for, we are here, and that is all that matters.
Hopefully, we will be able to cut expenses somewhere else, otherwise we will run short. Will keep everyone posted on that.
Talk to you soon!!!
(view from our window)