Friday, June 8, 2012
Safely in Kiev
We are safely here and settled into the apartment in Kiev (spelled Kyiv and prounounced "Kee'-iv" by the locals). Here, we have a great internet connection through wifi in the apartment, but in our orphanage region, that might be a different story. Our trip began with some real excitement. After boarding the plane, we filed back to find our seats and came upon a woman who seeemd a bit confused and tired or disoriented. She seemed cheerful enough, but not really normal. As I passed her, she was pouring (literally pouring) ibuprofen in her hand. The pills were so plentiful that they were falling onto her bag and the floor. She was talking with a woman next to her and I figured the two were together and that she was looking for a certain pill in the bottle, not planning on taking the whole handful. Our seats were just two rows behind this woman and the "friend" I thought was with her, was seated directly in front of us. It was a few minutes later that Marsh (who had also seen the whole thing) started discussing the situation with the woman in front of us and her friend, who was seated across the isle. The disoriented woman then realized she was in the wrong seat and moved across the plane, leaving her bag in the overhead compartment. Marsh then contacted a flight attendant and explained the situation. The woman in front of us had actually seen her take the pills and could testify to that. Suddenly, several flight attendants were coming to us, asking questions and discussing with each other. One of them came over, thanked us for telling them what we had seen. She said she had gone to wake the woman up and ask her if she was okay when the woman opened her eyes and shouted at her. She then said to us, "We don't need an OD situation in the air." We had already pulled away from the gate when the pilot came on and told us we had an issue with a passenger and would need to return to the gate to take care of it. Once there, police officers came on the plane and removed the woman. She was swearing at the flight attendants and officers as she went. Apparently, she fought enough with the police once she was out in the terminal that she was handcuffed and taken away in a patrol car. One officer came back on the plane twice to check out the area around both of the seats she had been in and to ask questions of the man sitting next to her..who was very grateful to answer that he was NOT traveling with her! Another security officer came on and took her bag, thanking us again for saying something about the situation. The flight attendants had the four of us (the woman in front of us and her friend, along with the two of us) write our accounts of the situation and our personal information. We were all given 2,000 flight miles for having helped. She said if the situation had escalated while in the air, we would have had to land in another city to take care of the problem. As it was, it only took taxi-ing to and from the gate. The whole situation cost us 45 minutes, but that was easily made up for on a 10 hour flight and we arrived in Paris on time. I found that this time traveling was easier in some ways and harder in others. I missed the kids so much, but with less anxiety than last time. They handled staying with my parents so well last time and I knew they would be just fine. Because of that, my heart was more sad than worried where last time I think it was the other way around. Last trip, I felt like I needed to be busy the whole time. I couldn't sleep on the overnight flight, but couldn't watch the movies, either (who would want to anyway?). This time, I read and watched a movie (edited "We Bought a Zoo" which made me cry at the end...for a long time) and slept most of the night. I couldn't believe it when I awoke for good and we only had an hour of the flight left. This time, we knew exactly where we were going on our way to the apartment (I probably could have driven some of it, it was so familiar) and knew the store we would stop at and already knew what food we would buy. Nothing was new or unfamiliar. There is a real lack of heightened emotional experience this time because of that. I'm grateful for it because it helps me focus a little better. By focus I mean that we have a real need to be focused on our faith while we are here. I will make another post about that later. But, we are in need of some miracles this time. As of two days ago, Nastia's paperwork wasn't in the SDA office. We need that paperwork to arrive...now. The SDA is making concessions for us because they know we are waiting for it and that it was mailed on May 23rd from the regional office. It is literally expected any day, but our appointment is Monday. Today is Friday. It needs to be there today. If not, we will have to wait until Thursday for our appointment. We really don't have time for that because Marsh goes into production on some projects soon enough that we need to be done with this process fairly quickly. Waiting for Thursday would not only feel like a waste of time and keep us from seeing Ruslan and Nastia for that much longer, but it would shorten the window of time we need to work in. This specific situation, and the adoption experience as a whole, has moved me to study the principle of faith with an understanding I haven't had before. I want to write about that, but in a separate post. The bottom line is that we could really use the faith and prayers of all of you wonderful people moving this process along. I have come to find out for myself that faith is not just believing that the Lord can do all things, not just believing in Him and His atonement, but is awakening power within ourselves, as children of God, to make things happen that otherwise wouldn't occur without that power. I know those papers can and will arrive on time if we can learn to exercise the power of faith. We don't need to move mountains...just papers! So, it shouldn't be too hard, right? :) Thank you for all the messages about your prayers, your hope and our names on the temple prayer rolls. If you are in the temple or feel the desire to call to the prayer roll, please add the judge and all those who are part of this process to it. I have put "the people in the SDA" and "the people who have Nastia's papers" on the roll before! :) I know the Lord knows who they are and what we need. Thank you all. We love you. And to our wonderful, children...we are so proud of you and all the work you are doing while all the really big people are away. Daddy told me how confident and strong you were about all the big chores you are doing for these few days Chris is still gone. You are AMAZING people and we know you can handle it! Look at all you can do! You should feel very good about yourselves. You are growing up to be such hard workers and very capable people. Mom and Dad, you are angels. Thank you for taking all the time and effort to care for our children and our farm. Thank you for putting your lives on hold for this time. Thank you for making a second home for our children to feel happy, comfortable and loved while we are away. And thank you to all those who have taken over Mom and Dad's responsibilities in church and temple callings to facilitate them caring for our children. Lastly, we are so grateful to our angels who have made our travel here and this adoption as a whole possible. We love and appreciate that you see your resources as a tool for accomplishing this work. Ruslan and Nastia will not need to go one day in their lives without feeling loved! And neither do we. God bless you all! You are all in our prayers, too.