Today is Ruslan's birthday. Nastia's birthday was on the 5th. Three of our other children have birthdays this month so May is a biggie for us! Five of our eight children will celebrate in May. What a Mother's Day month! :)
I sent Ruslan's present a week ago, hoping it would make it in time for the big day, but I doubt it did. I had planned to make sure and tell him it was on it's way when we called him to wish him a happy birthday. That way, he wouldn't feel like we had forgotten.
A couple of weeks ago, we had sent a package to Nastia for her birthday. It was all sparkly inside with stickers stuck on the flaps she would open first and gifts and chocolate nestled in tissue paper. While I was there with her, I had started a little cross-stitch hoping to teach her how to do it. It was a cute little spray of pink flowers (her favorite color). She loved the fabric bows so much that we never got to the cross-stitch. So, I finished it on the train back to Kiev, stitched her name under the little bouquet (thanks to Marsh writing it in Russian), put it in a little frame and included it in her birthday present. We called her on her birthday, too. She was at breakfast when we called so we were told to try again 15 minutes later. When we did, she answered the phone herself and had obviously been anticipating our call. She was quite and reserved, as usual, but we were able to sing "Happy Birthday To You" in Russian (imagine us sitting on the couch in our pajamas at midnight quietly singing the song...with me trying to pronounce the Russian words Marsh had just helped me cram into my head and not embarrass the poor girl!) and talk for a few minutes. They were closing the office so we couldn't talk to Ruslan, but were anticipating calling him on his own birthday anyway.
Today was an important milestone because we were hoping to be able to tell Ruslan when we would be coming AND wish him a happy birthday. Two weeks from today was the first possible SDA appointment we could get so we figured we would have heard by now. The tickets are skyrocketing in price as we speak thanks to summer vacations and the big Euro Soccer Championships that are happening in Ukraine at the beginning of June. We are now looking at tickets costing us three times what they were in April. We are not only counting the minutes, we are counting pennies.
So, with much anticipation we called the orphanage several times between 11pm and midnight. While the phone was ringing over and over and over I was quietly practicing my Russian birthday song. We knew it was a school day and weren't sure when anyone would be in the office. When someone finally answered, Ruslan was already in school. We decided to try in their afternoon, our morning, hoping not to miss his birthday entirely. We called over and over this morning, the kids gathered around in their pajamas, never getting an answer. It was too late over there, apparently, and his birthday was over. I felt so badly that we had managed to go the whole day without having any contact with him. If his present made it, the angels would have had to carry it themselves. I'm not sure what he knew about what we did for Nastia's birthday, but our total lack of apparent effort to make his day special would have paled in comparison, to put it lightly. I'm not sure he cares or that he would even feel badly about it...but then again, he might. Someday, hopefully tonight when we call again, we will be able to explain. Our friend Kevin is over there right now (ukrainetoutah.blogspot.com) waiting out the 10 day period after court so he can bring their boys home. He has kindly agreed to hunt Ruslan down tomorrow and make sure he knows we love him.
I was just working out the disappointment of the whole situation when we got word from our facilitator that we would not be able to have an SDA appointment on June 4th like we had hoped. Now we are looking at the 8th and hoping the SDA will just agree to give us an appointment that day since we have a pretty special circumstance. They have been meeting with our coordinator in Kiev and even working with him on when to submit our documents for Nastia and giving him an idea of when we might be able to actually get her referral. Everyone knows there is nothing hindering her paperwork from going through and it would sure be nice if we could get a little common sense going and just let us book some flights! Sorry...can you feel my blood pressure rising?
The other possibility is that our appointment will not be until the 11th which would, if we went ahead and booked flights as if we were meeting on the 8th, require that we sit around for the whole weekend in Kiev prior to the appointment. However, we are hoping to also be able to submit our paperwork for our court date before actually leaving for Mariupol, so I know the Lord will work this all out for the best. Maybe the 11th would be better for that. Only He knows.
I hope Rulsan's birthday was happy. It was a bit of a disappointment for me. It'll all be okay, though, and someday we will all be home together.