Kiev opera house. We watched The Marriage of Figaro in Ukrainian until we couldn't stay awake anymore and went back to the apartment.
The temples and monastaries here are surrounded by walls with a bell tower as the entrance. People cross themselves and bow before passing through the entrance of the bell tower as they are entering a sacred place.
I am having a lot of trouble with Blogger right now. I can't type above my pictures and I can't get some of my other pictures to orient correctly. So, this is what I have for today! We are leaving at 5am to catch a train to Kharkov so I have decided not to continue fighting with technology. :)
Today, we slept off and on and took care of some packing until being picked up at 1:30 for our second appointment at the SDA at 3pm. There were several families from different countries and parts of the US there all at the same time to pick up their paperwork. The SDA ladies were a little late opening the office, so quite a crowd had gathered by the time they arrived...then they were movie stars! All the families stopped talking and coordinators and translators were getting in line to help their families get their referrals. It's really great, not to mention a relief, to have someone advocating for you in so many forgein and challenging situations. Our driver has not just been our driver, but our friend, our tour guide (and not because we asked him to be, but because he wanted to share information!) and the one to get in line to get our referral today and then beckon us when it was our turn. Then, he insisted on picking us up from the opera instead of us riding the metro home and, upon getting in the car, handed us our water bottles, paperwork (which had to be left with him) and things we bought. I feel like a celebrity...well, as much as I can when I wear clothes no one in Ukraine has seen before and they all stare at my like I'm from Mars. I've decided to imagine myself a trendsetter rather than an outcast! :)
So, the picking up of the paperwork was effortless and only took moments. They checked our passports and handed us our dossier (it was cool to see all those papers we worked so long and hard on in the US over a period of several months sitting here in Ukraine) and referral letter for Ruslan.
We've met some other families at the SDA the last two days. One is from New York. They are adopting from a different region but also have six kids at home, 3 of each just like we do, have a big maroon van just like us and are looking to adopt a boy and a girl! This is their fourth international adoption, however, so they are seasoned. We had a great time with them today as we included them in our events.
We also met another couple who are adopting children they've never met before. They are adopting from the same city we are. They were approved for adoption and came looking for children. They fell in love with a sibling group that were split up and adopted out into different countries before they could get their paperwork ready. There are many stories of heartache and reward in adoption, we've found. But one thing is universal. We all love these children and feel drawn and impressed to adopt.
Aftere the SDA, we went with our New York friends to a traditional Ukrainian restaurant and tried out the different common foods. Marsh makes all of it better than they do, by the way!
We then went to the Kiev Opera House and for $20 got fabulous seats to Le Nozze di Figaro...in Ukrainian. I kept thinking, this is an Italian opera why don't I recognize these words?? The soprano was absolutely incredible but she was the only one who didn't put me to sleep. It was literally painful to sit there any longer when I needed a bed so badly. We all left at intermission and talked some more while we waited for our driver to pick us up.
Must close now so I can get some sleep tonight. I was so cocky and thought I wouldn't have jet lag. What are we in this...four days?...and I'm useless!