So today was the busiest day yet. We left the hotel at 6:30 am, picked up Vova from the orphanage and headed to Simperofol. With court papers in hand (hurray), we were going to get the birth certificate made and "Legalized"; obtain a new Ukrainian social security number, and then apply for a passport. If you think about what that would take to do all this at home you'd think we were crazy to say we could do it all in one day...but hey, here we did. Our coordinator and driver knew exactly where to go, who to talk to and what had to be done for everything to be completed. Vova and I only had to really be there for maybe 10 minutes of the whole day, but because it was in a different town, we had to stay with them the whole time. That said, most of the day was spent sitting in the car waiting for our coordinator.
Some of the time we played on the Nintendo DS, some of the time we played on the droid phone. We finally got through level 33 of the frozen bubble game which is where Twila got stuck during our flight home in November (Vova has been trying to get through that level since I let him have the phone on Saturday). Anyway, the rest of the time we just sat there watching people walking by. I was reminded of a time when I was about 12, in the days before DS's and smart phones. There were many a day that I would have to sit in the car waiting for a parent to get out of work or school, and the only thing to do was watch the people walking by. For some reason, that never gets old.
Fortunately, there was some time in the morning where we had a 5 hour gap. We started by eating breakfast. We left so early that nobody ate breakfast (and I hadn't had my morning coffee yet :)). We were in the center of the city (the kind of place where you can walk down the middle of the street) and we had a tough time finding a restaurant that was open that early. We finally found this cafe/bar that also served breakfast. Vova selected pancakes (they really looked more like crepes), and the adults had normal adult food. The tea was the type where the leaves and hot water were mixed in separate pot so Olig had to show Vova how to pour it into his cup through the strainer; it was really cute. Also, he wanted to eat the pancakes with his hands but our coordinator made him use his knife and fork. He pretty much ate everything on the plate. He even drank the remaining honey that was available to pour on the pancakes. I guess he liked it.
After walking around for a while and enjoying the city center, we finally drove over to the city park where they had a zoo. We walked around the park for a little bit and rode one ride--the bumper cars. Vova really enjoyed that even though it wasn't quite clear to him that the intent was to run into the other guy :) Next, we went into the zoo. Now it wasn't like the North Carolina Zoo or the DC Zoo, but they did have all sorts of different animals. One thing that was cool was that we could buy a cup of food, and each of the animals that weren't dangerous were positioned to be fed by the patrons. We fed a mountain goat (or something like it), a deer, a lama and a bunch of goats. Also, the pigeons really liked Vova because he tried to feed all of them (until the food ran out). While this wasn't much it was very enjoyable and I think Vova really liked it.
Once all the waiting was complete and the paperwork was processed and moved around, the day ended in a short little stop at the passport office. There, they had to take Vova's picture to complete the application. We had a very nice lady taking the pictures who seemed to like Vova very much, so it was very cute watching her work with him. The camera was in a fixed position so she had to grab a bundled stack of files for him to sit on while she snapped the photo. He gave her a cute smile and the picture came out very nice.
Now all of you are still asking that question...Is Vova with you now? Well, for several different reasons which I will not really go into, it seems that everyone here believes it is best for Vova to stay in the orphanage until we leave for Kiev. While I would probably prefer it differently, I have decided to not raise this as an issue for several reasons. First, we haven't really raised anything as an issue throughout this process and I believe that this type of attitude is necessary -- go with the flow and don't worry about little things that don't matter in the long run. Second, with Vova in the orphanage, I don't have to worry about any trouble with going back once he's out (I really like spending time with everyone there). Finally, since the decision was kind of made by committee (where the orphanage personnel were involved), I believe it is politically astute to follow their lead. We should go to Kiev on the same day we get the passport. So next Tuesday we will pick up Vova, go back to Simperofol to get the passport, and then we are off to Kiev.
Thanks again for keeping up with the saga and keep us in your prayers