Wednesday, June 30, 2010

we waited

and waited and waited. we went out only to get water and groceries. we were back in half an hour. the rest of the day was sitting in this tiny apartment that is no bigger than my kitchen/dining room. we were waiting for word that our documents had arrived and they would be picking us up for sda apppt. except the sda doesnt have any appointments left for the day. which means we spent the ENTIRE day here doing NOTHING for NOTHING! we had planned tomorrow to go to Cherobyl museum. but now tomorrow we will go to sda and wait around for papers that MUST BE FILED on friday in order to get court next Thursday. WHY does this have to be so complicated??? it is bordering on the fidiculous how much paper work and how this crazy process goes. each thing is successive and you can do NOTHING in sync. each thing must wait for the last. we are ready to be home. we have been here since June 9. pushing a month! this was supposed to take two weeks. we are so tired and frustrated. but we are still hanging on hope that Jaeger and Andre will be part of our family.

Things I forgot to mention

first thing is HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM! Love you Mom!

one of the things we noticed is that the longer we are here the more we find ourselves missing a certain word in our vocabulary. so we will try to say something to one another and find we cant think of the word we want. I imagine this is what its like for the kids as they are learning English, they dont know enough English to tell what they want, but the word in their native language escapes them, thus making them unable to communicate their needs. Imagine how frustrating that would be!

anotehr this is that grammar rules are different here. and people who speak broken English(the people we deal with the most) mix up tenses or word order. I find myself asking things like "why you not do this?"

Buildings here are much different than home. there is not a smoke detector in our entire apartment. none in the hall that I am aware of. there are open wires and fuse boxes in hallways, hanging light fixtures are common. things that would just never pass muster at home are very commonplace here. The place we live right now is on the 5th floor. there is no light on the stairs between floors 2 and 3 and the lights on the other floors are very dim and do not carry down the stairwell. even in the daytime it is very dark to take the stairs. the elevator does not always go to floor 5. sometimes it only goes to 4 and you have to walk the rest. sometimes at floor 5 you call the elevator and it only comes to 4 and you have to walk down to it. sometimes you get in and it goes straight up to 5 no problem but you have to be prepared in case it doesnt because you never know when it will or wont. the apartment itself is small but very nice. the hallways are dark dingy dirty and in some cases downright scary!

the center line is routinely used to make another lane when driving. we walk everywhere we go unless its official business then there is usually a car that picks us up. we would not make it far if we had to drive here! One of our drivers told us that women have only begun to drive here after many years of only men drivers. they refer to them as a monkey with a hand grenade, not sure if I mentioned this before. this same driver has told us many interesting facts about this country. including how to make borcht! he speaks great English(not perfect but we can easily communicate about most topics) and he tells us of his little girl. she is 1. he also told us basswood tree flowers and leaves are used to make tea. never heard of that before.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the news from Lake Wobegone

up at the very crack of dawn to jump in a car and shake and bake our way to Ptown for the day. saw the kids. They were a little standoffish but not overly so. Vasa still cried when we left. The girls want to know WHEN are we going to America! and when can we get our ears pierced? and do you have lots of earrings in America? little do they know that we have LOTs OF EARRINGS just at our HOUSE! they are so cute. so we got the paperwork all done for Diana, it will be signed tomorrow as they cant sign it the day they recieve it for some reason. the social worker who needs to sign it has been the nicest lady to us in this adoption and the last. she is always very kind and speaks softly and smiles and us and tells us its all going to be ok. it will turn out good. I have no worries at all that she will sign. She is the one pushing so hard for us to seperate the siblings. We also filed for appt with sda. which SHOULD happen tomorrow. we will have to pay a cab(again) to bring the documents from Ptown to SunnyK and then go to SDA and have appt where we asked specifically for TWO kids with special needs. If they only give us one someone is going to be heartbroken. a lot of someones.

the plan is to get Sda tomorrow, get official papers thurs. go back to Ptown Friday and stay until court the next week and return home that weekend.

We taught the kids their names today. Natasha tried very hard to say it correctly. Diana loved it but then for a moment thought no she wants to stay Diana. I explained to them that they now had TWO names and she could still be Diana, but now she would be Diana Claire. Natasha Jordan liked her name too. Vasiliy we had planned to call Jacob but since it is also Eric's nephews name, same last name, and Eric really didnt like that name as much as some others we chose to opt for something similar. Jaeger Vasiliy loved yelling his name as he went high on the swing. Andrey we plan to call A.J. (Andre Jonathon). he is the perfect A.J. so cute and little and you just want to grab him up when he smiles at you.

Some friends of our dear friends the Urbans have invited us to come along tonight for dessert at their house. sounds like fun! and We could never pass up ice cream! But first at some point dinner.

and here is a photo to keep it fun. this is the girls when they were younger. Our friend Dima took this photo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pirogovo




you have to go there. its gorgous! we had a great time there. We took a cab out there and walked for hours looking at windmills and ancient churches and old thatched huts that were once the way of life. We wanted to buy a table runner and asked a vendor (a very old lady) how much hers was. she of course told us in Russian. when I told her Ya ne ponymayu she asked something and then at the same time as I said it she said Engliski? we had a good laugh. and she wrote down how much it was. so we paid her for it and I said Spaceba and she laughed and said nyet! Danka Shoen! and then we laughed and laughed and then she finangled us into buying a wooden spoon for our cafe (coffee)so we wont hurt our teeth when we drink our cafe. she wanted us to buy two but we only bought one. then we had some Kvas. it was strange but not bad. it smelled like bread, tastes kind of like beer. After we hiked all the way up the carpathian mountains(ok not really, just the huge hill that the Carpathia exhibit was on) we headed for the exit. When we got there Eric used his STELLAR language skills to find us a bus that took us nearly home(insert eye roll). but the bus ride was interesting and only cost 2 grivna each. thats about 50 cents total. much cheaper than the 8 dollar cab ride we paid for to get there. All our friends are busy tonight and we are exhausted so we just stopped and had some Ukrainian food and came home to veg in air conditioning and rest our blistered feet. It was about 90 degrees out there today and HUMID! so I have blisters on my arches of my feet. Eric fared better in his flip flops. The roads we walked on were cobblestone and sand. some parts were cobbled and others were sand and some parts were cobbles surrounded by sand. so it was rather rough terrain much of the way. but the high heels were out in full force! hope you enjoy some pictures of our day.

photos of yesterdays adventure




and today we are off to Pirogovo

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dasha

Dasha is the sweetest little girl about 4 or 5. she is in our kids groupoo. I dont know if she has any diagnosis but she is the sweetest little girl. if we didnt already have a fight on our hands for the other 4 I would be fighting for little Dasha. Every day she gives me the sweetest hugs around the neck. she is not in your face like some of the others. she likes attention but doesnt DEMAND it. she likes to play but doesnt enjoy brutalising others during her play. because she is one of the smaller ones she gets brutalised sometimes. she is so gentle and sweet. she smiles and comes running with a hug when we come. (I think we hug everyone in the orphanage when we arrive!) she has dark hair and BLUE eyes. she is very petite. but she has captured my heart. doesnt anyone want a Dasha of their own? she is so precious. I dont think that she thinks we are HER mama and papa but she sure does love hugs and kisses if we are handing them out. someone come get pretty little Dasha. she is such a love. If I thought I could convince my husband I would come back for her myself! but after this experience I am pretty sure he wont be on board with that!

WHEW!

left our apartment about 1230-1 and returned home about 10. whew! what a day! its saturday so of course nothing adoption related was happening. so we set out to see some more city. we went to the Great Gates of Kiev. it was really exciting! we got kicked out of a university because apparently we looked like we didnt belong. We also got shooed away from a shopping center we JUST EXITED because we stopped and leaned on teh wall and I looked at a blister on my foot. We had to ask ourselves if I was a tall leggy blonde in a short skirt and high heels if they would have shooed us. We walked through a really nice park/botanical garden behind the university. they let us in there lol. I will post photos of great gates tomorrow.

We met up with Urbans, Lorrains, and Whites for dinner. we had a great visit during dinner. then we walked down to Kreschatik street and some got ice cream. we sat around on a bench chatting and laughing and have such a great time. soon it was almost 10 and no one wanted to go home but it was starting to get dusk and no one wanted to be walking home in the dark so we reluctantly said goodbye.

Friday, June 25, 2010

alas there is hope!

in charge lady who comes stomping in yelling every time we go to the office has promised to give us the two boys referral after we get Diana's local approval. the local approval shoudlnt take more than a day(we hope) because the orphanage is really on the ball to help us, they want us to take these kids home and love them. If you EVER get the chance to adopt from there, you will find the kindest most loving people in charge. they dont hesitate to scold a child if need be(but really every kid needs a scolding now and then) but they TRULY TRULY LOVE these children. they know them all personally and individually. but like we said before nothing will happen on monday as it is a holiday and a big one at that. similar to our July4th.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

photos from my friend Dima




BLARGH!

A taxi drove our all important documents from Ptown to SunnyK for the mere sum of about 62.50 usd. then we rushed to sda for appointment. where we got.....exactly 1 referral. I am not sure what the deal is, we have been explained to by different people but I still dont get it. they gave us ONLY the sisters. saying sibs come first, we can get the others later. then we had to wait for seperation of sisters. which still remains unresolved but the region is in our favor and will support us to the court. so we finally got that second appt, and we got the other girls referral. but they refused to let us have the boys referrals. they say we have to come back again, and that this is because the boys werent on the petition(because THEY lost one child's file and we couldnt find out his name). we were told also that because we are seperating the sisters, that they dont like that and we are picking and choosing. oooook. so we arent sure at all what will happen now. we may have to tell two very disappointed boys that we cant take them home. the orphanage is counting on us adopting them and have gotten paper work in order for all of them. we are their last chance. people arent standing in line to adopt special needs older kids. so where do we go from here? someone else got 3 unrelated referrals just the other day. last year we had 2 unrelated and it went smoothly. but apparently 4 unrelated is difficult. why its difficult I dont know. but they are being difficult at that office. and since out representative/translator/facilitator was NOT THERE TO REPRESENT US/facilitate for us/translate for us we really had to just take the one girl and go. Monday is a holiday here. so nothing will happen on any front on that day.

oh fudge

tings are not well in camp sunnyk
my guess is that since it is 215 they arent going to call today. so we shall go out and see some more city. urbans! call us for dinner!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

well that was fun!

dinner with the Lorraines and the Urbans and then a visit at the Urbans place where they let us use their fancy high falutin telephone to call our kids. THANKS JOHN AND CHARISSA! Maia was so funny, she said well 2 weeks already and 2 more weeks is 4 weeks. isnt 4 weeks a month? yes maia. but why is 4 weeks a month? I dont know Maia look at the calandar and see lol. sophie wanted us to come home in 5 minutes. Ben wanted us to know that he had a booboo on his face. not sure what thats all about. Ethan was busy watching a movie and didnt have a lot to say. but after we hung up from them we had a fun visit with the urbans, as usual. Missed them when we were in Ptown. Took us about 45 minutes to walk home from there, got home juuuuuuust in time. it was pretty dusky when we got here. we dont go out too much at night/dark time. good thing it stays light so long! good thing there is no crime in SunnyK!hahaahah

no news on tomorrow. Guess we will call and check in when we wake in the morning. hoping for appointment!!! BEGGING PLEADING for appointment!

GAH!

GAH! why does this have to be so difficult? its bordering on the ridiculous at this point! we came back for sda. but we DONT HAVE THE CONCLUSION FROM LOCAL PRINCIPALITY! so no sda. wth? so now we sit here with another day on our hands where nothing is accomplished. running out of strength to keep this up. kids at home missing us. us missing them. kids here missing us. us missing them. and yet nothing is moving. we are trapped between a rock and a very hard place much resembling a rock. We are going to go find some lunch since we never did eat breakfast this morning. that is if I can pull it together long enough to go out in public.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the whole groupa and some of their caregivers



first child I dont know his name, then Artiom in the yellow. Nastya, Vasa,Natasha, Zaphirra, Diana being held by a caregiver, then Dasha(who is so sweet!)
front row is Andrey, Vika, caregiver, and Sasha

more photos of the kids, the little guy is Andrey




you should go over and see the blog of our new friend Dima. there are lots of photos there of our girls as well as many other kids who wait there. Dima has taken this orphanage as his own and visits and brings treats etc to the children. they all go bonkers when he arrives. Our kids thought they were the best thing since sliced bread! http://det-dom.blogspot.com/

a bit of the kids program. our girls are in the front (pink and green, green and yellow)and vasy is in the back in the bowtie

videothis is only one of several songs they did. plus the reciting. I didnt video all the kids with their speaking parts, I wouldnt have understood it anyways! and I knew the mem stick wouldnt hold it all. so I just got their singing and dancing. they loved watching their performance later via our camera.

finally in kiev so ....photos!




vasy is obviously the boy and natasha is in pink sweater, brown hair. Diana stripey sweater blonde hair. go ahead and tell me how cute they are! the girls want their ears pierced. of all things they could ask for thats what they want lol. typical girls!

monday

WHAT???

We should be in SunnyK now but we have to spend one more night in Ptown because the “committee” on the seperation decided to reconsider and have another meeting. So they were to meet at 230. Then Yulia was to come to Ptown and pick us up along with some papers and go back to SunnyK. So we went to morning visit with the kids. They are usually a riot and very loving. We take them away from the other kids in the groupa otherwise its chaos and we cant really give them the attention because everyone else is jumping on you. We play Uno, draw pictures, write letters and numbers, play tic tac toe, and the dot game. We play chase and Frisbee and nokacheli(swing). This day started off poorly because Natasha got yelled at over something I don’t know what but she hid in a tree crying. Then Diana was crying over something else I have no idea what. Andrey was throwing sand and being defiant. Vasy wasn’t too bad. Finally we sent them back for lunch thinking we would go back and find lunch and then find a park to wait in until we could visit again because we already checked out of the hotel. They were kind enough to let us keep our luggage at the desk while we went about our business. Yulia was supposed to come around 5. And yet……and yet….here we are, in ptown. The committee meeting? Yeah the big cheese never showed! So now they want a letter from a doctor saying Vika is whatever she is. So tomorrow 9am we have to take Vika to a doctor to get a letter that says …something. I don’t know exactly what. Just that she is not normal. She is not developing as a normal child would. Even for a child in the orphanage. THEN we can go to Kiev. I hope.

The kids were very different this afternoon than this morning. They were funny and loving and huggy and kissy and played together and shared mama and the toys and the pen. Took turns playing Uno. No tears, many laughs. We did bring candies to lighten the mood and they were well received.

When we were walking back to town to find lunch this afternoon we saw this area where there was a backhoe. And a big hole in the ground. And pipes in the hole. And a pile of dirt. And what do you think was next to the dirt? The two workmen, napping in the shade. Sounds like this adoption so far, someone is always snoozing in the shade when they need to be working! So we are back in room 207 here at hotel Ptown. It’s the same room we always stay in. and besides we just left it they didn’t have time to fill it again!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

here's the scoop;I nowyouve been waiting

The meeting we have been waiting for was not supposed to happen until Monday. Even so, our helper has been calling them every day saying when is the meeting? Is it today? When can we schedule the meeting? So while she is calling and we are under the impression that nothing will happen until Monday they went ahead and met anyways. Without us. Without letting us know. And they decided that no they cant separate the girls because they have the same diagnosis. !!!! While they do have the same diagnosis, one functions on the level of an 18-24 month old(and is age 5 and half) and one functions on the level of an 8 year old(and IS 8 years old). Everyone is appalled as the people who KNOW these children put in their 2 cents to begin with that they SHOULD be separated. So I guess we move on now with local approval, go back to sda for the other official referrals and move forward and take it to the judge. At least things are moving. Finally. The local social worker and orphanage director as well as the children themselves may have to go to court to show the judge how very different they are and that the social worker and director both believe it is not in the best interest of the children to keep them together. This means we do not know who is coming home and who isn’t until after court. The judge is apparently a sensible man and hopefully the strong women we have been dealing with will have the right words to convince him that the girls should be separated. The people who had the meeting don’t even KNOW the girls! Haven’t seen them. Know nothing about them. Why they chose to separate the other sister and not these two I have no idea. So anyways today is Sunday, and apparently bath day so we had to bring the kids back to groupoo early so we have an extra hour to kill before our next visit with the kids. Tomorrow local approval will happen and is being pushed through. Then SDA hopefully Tuesday for the others. Andrey is very bright and has a terrible speech problem likely due to lack of teeth! But he is learning English faster than the others and he is 6.

Yesterday there were some visitors there to play with all the kids so we were kind of chopped liver most of the day. We just played with the other kids while our kids were enamored with these visitors. But Natasha kept running back to me to hug me and tell me Natasha looblu with a big smile. Diana we barely saw. She was very busy visiting with the visiting woman. I suppose its more fun to talk girl talk when you can speak the same language. Maybe a bit of mom shopping as well. But today she was herself. Sat in my lap several times in the swing for a cuddle and a tickle. She loves for us to chase her and catch her and give hugs and kisses. Vasy likes that game too. As you can imagine we tire of it LOOOONG before they do!!

The other kids were absolute monsters yesterday! Naughty! I was happy to leave!! But little Artiom who was such a naughty little buggar yesterday was very sweet today. Maybe he got the message I wouldn’t play with him if he wasn’t nice. Or maybe he just so badly wanted to be held he decided it was worth it to be nice for a few minutes.

I spent some time playing with Vika yesterday and while she functions on a pretty low level she does laugh and have fun. The other kids are terribly mean to her. Poor thing. She gets it from all sides. So I froze our Zaphira and wouldn’t let her play with us because she pushed Vika down. Another NICE boy was playing and had no problems including Vika so I only let him play with us then after awhile I let Zaphira play
And what do you think? She was nice. The kids just mostly run wild. One little girl cries ALL THE TIME over EVERY LITTLE THING! Just stands there and wails.

Tomorrow we are headed back to sunnyK for a few days(watch for us John and Charissa!!)

So anyways that’s the news from lake woebegone. Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Friday, June 18, 2010

PS this is for CIndy

I have that photo of you and my dad from Jens wedding. The kids were looking at the photos and I said that was my papa. and they said ahhh da, e babushka! which means yes and the gramma! they thought you were the gramma! lol

Just another afternoon in ptown aka I think its Thursday but who knows how long we have been here.

Just another afternoon in ptown aka I think its Thursday but who knows how long we have been here.

This evening when we got there(4pm) the kids were finishing snack and were dressed and ready for us. We helped them get their tights and shoes on(yes vasiliy wears tights.) and then took Natasha Diana and Vasiliy off by ourselves away from the groupa. What a difference. We played Uno. We hugged and kissed. We ran we chased we climbed. We sat on the swing, we colored, drew, and watched their afternoon performance on the camera. Vasy has been mothered to death so he was all about getting some Papoo time. They wrestled and chased and hid and climbed and hugged and kissed. They were wonderful. They were free with hugs and kisses and would come running, arms out to us and we would run and hug them. There were lots of hugs and kisses when we had to say Paka(bye bye) after such a fun time together. Vasy wouldn’t let go of Papoo. He was just about in tears and I am pretty sure big boys of 8 do not cry(if you live in an orphanage) he didn’t want us to go. I kept telling him Utro(morning), we would come back Utro. At 10. He started ticking off on his fingers the numbers telling us he wants us to come back utro and the next utro and 25 utros. We hugged and kissed him some more. He seems to be a very tender loving sweet boy who loves to run and climb and play ball. Then we kissed the girls and said Paka. Their evening meal was already being served so we didn’t want them to miss out on anything. After our hour’s walk home we had an adventure trying to find dish soap. Try to explain what you want when they don’t understand you and you don’t understand them and you do not know enough words in Russian to tell them what you want. It was rather funny. But we did end up with what appears to be dish soap. Those kids are just the highlight of our day. I bet Maia will love the girls. And Ethan and Vasy can climb the trees together and run and play wild boy stuff. Vasy loves to get wild. But he settles easily and can go from wild boy to snuggles with mama in no time at all. Now if we could just get things MOOOOVING!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

cute cute cute!!

we were invited to watch the kids end of the year performance. oh gosh the kids were darling, ours along with the rest of them! they danced, they sang, they recited. Vasy was so excited to see us. our taxi was late so we were late and I think they held the show for us because as soon as Diana saw us she disappeared behind the curtain and then things got started. the director saved us chairs behind hers. oh gosh they were precious. then they had a sort of off to school ceremony. each child who is going on to boarding school got a backpack(and a darn nice one at that!) school supplies, more school supplies, and a bag of treats. at the end the director showered everyone with rose petals. then there was much dancing and merrymaking. then it was over. we said paka to the kids and went to lunch. Vasy sure does love hugs and kisses and affection. Diana and Natasha not as much. they were a little more standoffish. but oh they were so beautiful with their hair all done up and in fancy dresses for their dances. I got video and photos but cant upload until I am in SunnyK again as it uses up too my entire amount of internet minutes. So sadly no photos for you all until we either find wifi or are back in SunnyK and can mooch off the Urbans.(whom we miss terribly! dinner isnt the same without you guys!!) still waiting on the meeting. they say it probably wont happen until Monday but we feel at peace that they will agree. keep your fingers crossed though just in case!!!

welcome to the boom town

Ptown

We left Sunny K at 10 (yesterday) and got here to Ptown by about noon. The driver helped us get our luggage to our room(same one we stayed in last time!) and pay the bill. Then we were on our own.
We went to visit with the kids today. We went into the groupa and Andre saw us first and came running and hugging. Then Vasy. We hugged the girls and pretty soon every kid in the place was hugging us jumping on us calling us mama and papa. I gave Vika lots of loves, she enjoys that. Natasha showed me her fancy outfit for their upcoming program and the fancy shoes she will wear. I clucked about how lovely they were. Diana showed me her fancy shoes too. They had all just gotten up from naptime and had snack so they were all in underpants. It was bedlam. I do not think the nanny appreciated it. But finally she shooed them all to get dressed. I helped Vika get dressed. The girls were telling me all the English they knew. They are amazing. We all went outside and I got out the Uno cards and we played that with Vasy, Andrey, Natasha, and Diana. There were lots of other little scamps that wanted to play(younger) but I wouldn’t share because I didn’t want them to run off with my cards! Natasha and Diana and I played long after the boys tired of it. Natasha will make quite a gymnast! She is VERY flexible. She showed me her splits and her back bends and she and Diana both showed me their poses. I took lots of photos of lots of little kids. Vasy is SO in need of a loving family. He just hugged and hugged us. couldn’t get enough loving. He was not at all shy about it. Eric played soccer with him a little while, roughhoused with him a little while. He just couldn’t get enough attention. His love tank is OBVIOUSLY not full. The same nanny was there as last year so she let us play. didn’t question anything. Taxi fare has increased a bit. And since we can never actually get a taxi to return for us, and it was a gorgeous cool breezy evening we just walked home to the hotel Ptown. I believe tomorrow is their program and they invited us to come. I hope we are right that its tomorrow!

We went to lunch this afternoon over at the market. Chrysta remember that place? They have just about anything you could ever need at the market. We also went to get some crackers bread cheese meat etc at the big grocery. We always went to the smaller one last time thinking it was SO FAR to the big one. Well we decided to go to the big one and THANK GOODNESS! They have EVERYTHING there! We got a lot for about 12 dollars. They have everything there from pool toys, clothes for kids, shoes, liquor, food, water, juice, produce, deli. Everything. Absolutely everything. And it isn’t far at all! Probably closer than the other one. The little grocery store was on the walk home so it was convenient but this one is very close we can walk there whenever.

I got my little MTC modem to work. But for a 90 grivna card I sure didn’t get much! I read a few emails, sent one(no pictures just words) and tried to upload a picture to my blog(which didn’t finish) and wham its gone. I think I need to find some free wifi nearby. There is a coffee shop next door maybe they have wifi and I could go there and have a latte or something.

Well I am tired. I havent been sleeping well. Tonight, having hugged the children, perhaps I can sleep.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the latest in the saga

we are going back to Ptown tomorrow 10am. if we have to sit around and wait we will sit around and wait while playing with the children. all of the children. any child they will let us play with. might as well have fun here right? and build a relationship with the kids. the kids we hope to bring home, and maybe a bright spot for the ones left behind.

We had our last dinner with the Urbans tonight. We went to the local country specific food place. it was good. gosh we will miss them. we have had this nearly parallel adoption journey with them. We have had a great time with them and hope to see them again at some point.

We stopped off at TGIFridays for the RRR of the week. Met some people I had been hoping to see but really in a group that big you cant talk to everyone. We did enjoy talking to Gretchen from our home state and enjoyed her little guy Ricky. I got to meet Christine, whom I wish I had more time to talk with as I know she is filled with wisdom. but we had dinner plans with the Urbans so we just had a coke while waiting for them to arrive.

so now I think we will go to bed emotionally and physically exhausted as we have been up and down the hill several times today and its about a mile and half each way. Thats Eric's estimate I think its closer to two miles, and at some points it feels like its about ten! But we have thoroughly scoured SunnyK in our time here. we have seen TONS of stuff. had lots of good walks. met some great people. but we are ready to be moving on with this and getting on home to our family and kids.
cancelled while we were IN THE CAB ON TEH WAY! and now we are told it could be a week before anyone can sign the seperation issue. shit. NOW what are we supposed to do? we cant get sda until we get that for natasha. should we go home and regroup? stay and wait? so far we have been here a week and half and all we have accomplished is sda, visit, and file for local permission to adopt natasha. we have dont NOTHING for the others. nothing. we dont even have their referral. we cant officially see them. this has become a snaggled tangled mess.
surprise sda meeting in an hour!
the meeting was cancelled as no one is available to sign the outcome. so we have to sit and wait. it isnt even rescheduled. we cant do ANYTHING ELSE regarding ANY Of the kids. we just sit in SunnyK and wait.

Monday, June 14, 2010

whirlwinds

we got up very early and went to Ptown. we were allowed to meet Natasha and Molly. Natasha is as beautiful as ever. and smart too! can already count to ten in english! She very much wants to be adopted. the problem comes in that Molly is ...well.... she is Molly/Vika. she is all over the place. I didnt get a single picture. I was completely occupied keeping her out of trouble. she is EVERYWHERE all at once. she is worse than an octopus she is like TWO octopi. She is also very mentally challenged. She is very cute and I liked to make her laugh. She could run circles around Ethan she is so active. Poor Natasha didnt get nearly the attention I wanted to give her. Natasha does not want her sister to come along. she is worried she will have to be the caretaker, which leads me to believe perhaps there was some family dysfunction before coming into care. We are asking that they consider splitting up the sisters as we can not handle Molly/Vika's severe needs. She doesnt communicate, we are told she doesnt respond well to redirection(I found that myself as well when she nearly broke my glasses after I caught her and redirected her no less than THREE times), she also has emotional outbursts like crying screaming and laughing all at once. The social worker as well as the orphanage director support our decision. But all is in the hands of this committee tomorrow who we have to convince to let them be seperated. This child needs one on one care every minute. If I were to leave a pot on the stove(she is 5 mind you) she would think nothing to grab it. she grabs everything. She is much like an infant in a 5 year old body.

We do hope still to adopt Diana and Vasiliy.
We did get a chance to see them in passing. We also saw Andrey. they are SO LITTLE!! Andrey told us he is 6 and Vasiliy told us he is 8. Vasiliy is probably Maia's size or slightly larger. NOT the American 8 year old I pictured in my head! And little Andrey is tiny like Ben only Ben has some squish to him and Andrey is all bones like Ethan. It was fun to see them all again. We are sad that Vika/Molly is so mentally challlenged, we had hoped she would have a better prognosis.

So we are back in Kiev for the night and will go to this meeting tomorrow morning in some far off city and then go to Pryluky and hope to spend some time with Natasha until we get local clearance then its back to Kiev to ask for Diana and Vasiliy referral permission. so we have to go find some food for the night.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

just another day in paradise

apparently everyone at home is having a great time because I have not heard from anyone in a couple of days. We had a great day here today. weather was windy which cooled it a bit. walked for hours and wandered upon this GORGEOUS park with a view of the river and a beach across the other side of it. we wandered into the back side of St Michael's from the park and listened to the monks singing mass. it was beautiful. we had dinner with the reeces rainbow reunuion. We walked up the hill one last time with our friends Charissa and John. Hope to run into them later when we have to come back here. now we are going to sleep as we have to get up early AM shower and pack and meet Vanya at 640am to head to Pryluky. Not sure when I will have internet again. I bought a 3g modem but it needs a sim card and the guy didnt sell me one of THOSE! so after THAT I should have internet. I hope.

good night Maia. I love you. Good night Ethan. I love you. Good night Sophie. I love you. Good night Benjamin. I love you. Good night Chrysta and Cody. I love you. and soon goodnight natasha diana molly and jacob.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

we had such fun with the urbans. they came over and we played scrabble and uno and chatted. we laughed so much! it was so good to have friends and laugh. McDonalds werent interested in joining us. I guess they had enough togetherness this afternoon. we had a great time though.

I am up at 2am though because there are always noises around this time and they sound like they are here in THIS apt and it scares me awake. ghosts? neighbors? roaches? then I went to the bathroom and there was a roach in there and went back to bed and a spider crawled on me. we already sleep with the lights on. not sure what else to do other than MOVE! monday cant come quick enough for me. so I figured since its the middle of night here its day back at home.

waiting

it feels like we are spinning our wheels here. we are doing nothing to get our kids, and yet still have to be away from our other kids. it is hard to just sit around waiting for monday. Nothing happens on the weekend, much like the US. So while we have the papers we need, we can do nothing with them until Monday. I guess its been about long enough because I am missing the kids something awful tonight. We had a good day out with the MCDonald family and the Urbans but then we came home and I am starting to lose it. I wanna hold my babies. I wanna hold Maia's hand. I wanna grab a scrappy Ethan by the arm and put him in a bear hug to calm him like I do. I want Ben to hug Mama's leg and say I Lub you mama. I want to feel Sophie snuggle into my shoulder like a baby so I can squeese the stuffins out of her. its very hard to just sit here and wait.

we went to the Ukrainian restraunt today. some of the food I liked and some I did not. Eric loved everything he had. Then we went to Kreshatik street and sat in the shade on benches and visited with the Urbans and McDonalds. Urbans are coming over to hijack our internet for a bit then we are going to play a rousing game of Uno. I dont know if McDonalds are going to come over or not, John was going to call them on the way over. I finished my book already so I am going to swap with Charissa. Chrysta did you finish your book? so anyways I guess thats all the news on the SunnyK front. anotehr beautiful sunny day here. about 90 degrees. hope you all are well.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another day in Sunny K

so another day has ended. We slept in this morning. then lazed around awhile reading. We got dressed and had a little lunch and thought to go out but then Nicholai called and said he was picking us up at 230 to go get our official referral papers. We got those after waiting around for about an hour. We had to give it to Nicholai though to give to Yulia so she can do wahtever needs doing with it to go to Ptown on Monday. but before I handed it over I learned that Natasha was born the same year as Ethan only 2 months before. she was born 04/04 of that year. Molly was born the same year as Ben and Maia. but I cant remember if I remembered to switch the numbers in my head as they write the day first then the month then the year when writing a date. so 03.04.05 would mean the third day of the fourth month of the year 05. I know the year is right and makes sense, but I cant remember if I switched the month and day. so I THINK she was born in September that year. but I could be mistken. and alas I wont even KNOW I am mistaken until at least monday. We really know very little about Molly so we are anxious to go and see her and Natasha.

after that we laid down on the bed and were relaxing and reading as the workmen left a huge mess covering the entire room we could do little else. so they came back now knowing we were here. you cant see the bed when you come in the door. so I waited until they unlocked the door came in and were halfway across the room and I said Zdrastvuchia in a light voice. he startled and laughed we all laughed. then we put on our shoes and left them to work. We walked and walked all over up the hill from here. We are pretty familiar with down the hill so we went up instead. We landed back at TGIFridays for dinner. and dessert. We called the Urbans to join us but they were busy. then we walked all the way back up the hill to our NICE COOL AIR CONDITIONED APARTMENT! wow that was nice after a hot walk up the hill! Only two more days here at Hotel Saint La Cucaracha. then we are off to Ptown to see the girls. then after a day or two we will be back here to get the other referrals for Diana and Jacob.

This brings us to realize WE NEED ANOTHER SET OF BUNKS! and two more mattresses! so when Eric goes home he needs to finish putting up the girls bunks and go buy bunks for Jacob and Ben and put them together. Ben has about grown out of his little toddler bed. and his mattress is shot. so he can go on the bottom, Jacob on the top, and Ethan in his cute little wooden bed that I love so much. We didnt buy them before because we just didnt know if Jacob would be coming home. we are more hopeful now that they have at least found his file. and Serge seems very positive we will have all 4 of them. so Ethan you and Ben are pretty likely getting a new brother!

In other sad news Miss Madeline of Reeces Rainbow, who has my heart, is likely to go to the institution soon. she is scheduled for that to happen this year. Wont someone PLEASE go get her? She has arthrogryposis but that is NOT the end of the world. I have two kids with it! they are a delight and a joy to me. they are smart and think outside the box. I know of lots of other kids with it as well, and they are bright and beautiful too. She is such a little beauty. dont you want a sweet little brown eyed girl of your own?

another night at Hotel La Cucaracha

I made Eric sleep with the lights on last night. still he found a roach in bed with him. thankfully it was on HIS side and not MINE! I thought if we had the light on in here they would go to darker quarters in the apartment. apparently the urge to cuddle up was too much and they came out of the cover of darkness to climb in bed with Eric. but no cuddling ensued as Eric shooed the roach away. he SHOOED IT! why didnt he KILL IT!? no he is too soft hearted for that.

they were supposed to put in AC yesterday. but that got pushed back to today....approximately two hours ago they were supposed to be here. still no AC. trying not to hold my breath as it is likely that it wont happen at all while we are here. chilled quaarters might help with the critters. Its a bit cooler today and there is a decent breeze coming in. Threw some clothes in the wash machine and will have to get those hung to dry in a bit. Miss the kids and the dogs and my morning snuggle with Mocha. I bet she misses it too. every single morning Eric would let the dogs out and Mocha would come back in and go tearing down the hall and jump in bed with me. there is no ignoring her either. she will just nuzzle your face until you give her some attention. if you roll over she rolls over the top of you and is back in your face demanding WHERE IS MY MORNING LOVE PAT???? I think I would rather snuggle with a soaking wet smelly dog than the roaches. Not much else is new around here. just another beautiful day in Sunny K. they tell us it snows here and rains and gets very cold but we just havent seen it. thus the name sunnyK. every time we have been here the sun is shining and its another beautiful day on the Dnieper river. every single day. seriously how can one handle that much sunshine?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

crazy naked lady part 2

so they decided to go away and not install the air conditioner. then they returned with someone else and said in two hours(8 pm) someone would come to put it in. now we are told that tomorrow at 1030am they will come. so no air for us. definitely on island time here. thankfully John and Charissa were over to use our internet and showed us how to open the second window differently so it opened wide all the way instead of just a little at the top. so hopefully a nice cool breeze will come up. I have to laugh at some of the crazy stories that have come across these adoption blogs as families travel to this area.

well its official

no paperwork today. so we hang out here in Hotel La Cucaracha. at least we have internet.

Yulia forgot to let us know that the apartment people were coming by to put up an air conditioner. that will be nice. we will freeze this place and hopefully freeze out any little buggers that arent welcome. except they had a key and we were blasted hot and naked. you can see where this is going.....
they rang the bell and I grabbed my shirt and before I could put it on they were opening the door but thankfully it hit on an interior door and I hollered to wait a minute and we tossed on some clothes. now they are in the hall discussing how to proceed I suppose, given the crazy naked lady within. lol.

appointment

so we had our appointment. and while Serge huffed and puffed and sweet talked and begged and pleaded and smiled sweetly at everyone he could they would only give us the referral for the two sisters, which is natasha and molly. so we are petitioning for another appointment for the others. at first they said Jacobs file was lost and they had to find it. then said we should ask at the orphanage for his whole name. then Serge got a bright idea and asked if I had picture of him. I DID! so they found his file. but like I said they wont let us have referral for them all right now. we also found out that Diana has a sister named Kristiana who is 4 and is already adopted. but later he said they wont seperate siblings. so go figure on that one. We still know basically nothing about any of the children at this point. so we are here in hotel La Cucaracha for a few more days. It is not likely that our papers would be ready today so tomorrow late afternoon. Which means we can not go to Ptown until Monday because the officials of the region need to be there when we meet the kids. after we meet them and get local approval(should be only a day or so) then we can go back to SunnyK and ask for more referrals We spent the day with Charissa and John, they were having to file the same papers as we so we were at the notary together. We also met Toby and Suzanne on the ride to sda. John and Charissa are just across the street from us. might get togehter with them later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWW

ew ew ew eric decided to read and turned on the light and picked up the pillows to move them and what was under mine? A ROACH! ew ew ew. I do not like bugs. he always has this yoda saying and we use it for many things, unfortunately it must apply here. where there's one, there's more. UGH! tell me any bug that may find its way into my bag will be killed in the depressurised plane cargo area. I may never sleep again. thank goodness I slept till 4 yesterday because I dont know when I will be able to sleep again knowing what I now know! ick ick ick ick ick ick.
no sleep. slept too much yesterday. neighbor decided to flush and let the toilet run for twenty minutes then take a shower for another twenty and after that I have been awake. blah. the time change has been hard this time.

germany


mooch? maybe!

I know just enough about computers to be dangerous. After two unsuccesful attempts to use wifi at locations about town I came home to find an ethernet cable and a modem of some sort under the coffee table and thought, hey why not try it? and here I am! posting! on the internet! All I did was plug it into the wall and plug the ethernet cord to my laptop!

The view from our 15th floor apartment is great. we walked waaaaay down to krechatik street this afternoon, after we slept till 4. we went to the mcdonalds we went to a hundred times when we were here with sophie and ben and cody. we had a coke to use the interent except it didnt work. and my battery was running out so we left. We stopped at Leonardo for pizza(which was yummy) and the waiter spoke English a little. told us to come again. I was unable to figure out their internet either.
Well at least we will have internet here at the apartment for now. Not sure what will happen when we get to Ptown. We asked Nicholai about the star modem and he said doesnt work in Ptown, but it DID work just fine when we were there last fall. Will ask Yulia about getting something like that as she speaks better english. On the way under the street(street crossings are underground) we stopped at a kiosk and Eric bought me a white watch with rhinestones and the face of a gal with a ponytail on it. it says new day and the background is mother of pearl(esque). but it wasnt that expensive(around 200 grivnas) and I do love it and best of all I CAN TELL TIME AGAIN!

Tomorrow is our SDA appointment. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! we will go and hear all about the children and their social/medical/ health history and possibly seeing photos of them as youngsters. Very excited to finally hear about them. will know more about the Jacob situation then.

will post some photos.

welcome to SUNNY K!

Today is Wednesday

Welcome to sunny K!

As usual this day dawned bright and sunny. I am not yet convinced that they have anything other than gorgeous sunny days here. We arrived last night about 130am. Nicholai, who is very much the father type, picked us up. He didn’t remember us at first but he sees so many families and as we talked on the way to our apartment the light went on and he did remember. We stopped at the grocery store that doubles as an exchange station and got some money changed and some cheese and meat and jelly and bread. We also got minutes for our phone. This is how we stay in contact with the people who are here to help us. We can call them day or night. I have heard of some people even calling for help ordering in a restraunt. They are that available to us. Although we are not at all concerned as we are very happy to be back in this fair city. We are staying at an apartment on the 15th floor and the view is out of this world! You can see for miles and miles out our window. It is a pretty small apartment, pretty much just one room. The bed is right in the living room area. But it works our for us since there is only the two of us. There is internet next door at the library we are told. But we slept most of the day today(man that felt good) and don’t know if its still open or not. So you may not see this post until tomorrow(Thursday). We have a bathtub here so I took a nice bath when we got up. The tub is pretty narrow though! And I didn’t use nearly as much water as I would normally because it would have taken a year to fill that high since the water pressure is not great. Its kind of like a thick trickle, maybe a little more than that, but not a lot of force or flow. I enjoyed the bath though anyway since I so rarely get them.

We had a great time in Germany and in the airport met a missionary couple who lives in SunnyK with their two adorable little girls Skyla and Vika. They had been visiting back in the states and were on their way home to Sunny K. The airport in Frankfurt was SMELLY! Everywhere we went it smelled like toilet or outhouse or diarrhea. It was bad. Thank goodness we went out for the day and didn’t have to sit there and smell that for 10 hours! One restroom had no towels or towel dispenser of any kind. Another woman was in there at the same time as me and we looked and looked. No drying of the hands in any way. We finally shrugged and left. With wet hands. We got back to the airport around 6 or 7 for our 10pm flight out. We went to the gate listed on our ticket. There was a thai airplane sitting there. And lots of asian people waiting to get on. We checked the boards multiple times and our flight wasn’t even up there! So I got the bright idea to go do a desk person where another flight was waiting and explain and ask if he knew anything. After some digging we found it was not B 46 it was B 58 and was down the long hall and downstairs. So here we were waiting at the wrong gate for an hour. Then when we got on we found that we were both scheduled for a window seat. Which means there are 4 seats between us. Thankfully it was not a very full flight and the fellow sitting next to Eric didn’t mind giving up his seat and taking my window seat so we could sit together. They served us dinner around 1030 or 11. Good thing cus I was STARVED by then. Since we refused to pay 27 dollars for 2 sandwiches and a coke and a water. Or 7 euros for a bottle of water. (about 10 usd) its highway robbery! Price gouging for sure! You cant bring any in with you so you HAVE to buy it from them if you want anything. And there is no such thing as a water fountain either. So we were very happy to see dinner.

Tomorrow(Thursday) we have 9am appt to ask for official referrals of the kids. Then we wait. If they get it all done by that evening then we go to Ptown on Friday and get the ball rolling. HOPE HOPE HOPING that’s what happens because if they don’t get to it until Friday/Friday eve then we wont be able to go start things in Ptown until Monday. We were also told that Yulia was flying out to Simferopol today so I don’t know if she will be back for our appointment or if someone else will be there with us. Ok well Eric is out of the shower so I will close this for now and go see if the library is open. Or maybe find mcDs where they have inernet. At any rate we love and miss everyone and think of the kids so much. We send hugs and kisses to them. And the grammas and papas too.

day 2 travel

After not sleeping much last night we got into Frankfurt about noon local time. We found the luggage storage place and hopped a train to town. We walked and walked all day. We saw churches that were a thousand years old! We had german potatoe salad and frankfurter in the old Frankfurt square. We had icce cream cones too. Yummy. We saw the river Main. We got rained on a little and then caught a train back to Frankfort airport for our flight to Kiev that leaves at 10pm. I have been battling allergies to something since we started our descent to Frankfort. I have been sniffling sneezing blowing my nose a lot. It came on very suddenly. All was fine then I started sneezing and have spent the better part of the day sneezing. A full day in Frankfort on little to no sleep, and feeling miserable, you can bet I am worn out now. We thought we would grab something in the airport to eat. That didn’t go so well. We ran out of Euros and the sandwhich stand wont take a credit card. But they said I could pay in USD. 2 sandwhiches, a coke and a water. 27 dollars. We ate trail mix from my bag instead. I am still starving! I hope they give us SOMETHING on the flight to Kiev. But it’s a bit late for dinner since we arent leaving until 10pm. We should get into Kiev around 230am. Exhausted no doubt and probably fairly useless tomorrow as we recover. It was our 8th wedding anniversary today, on June 8th. So spending the day touring Frankfurt was extra special and fun. Even if my feet hurt now!

Last year when we brought sophie and ben home I remember having to remove my lap top from the bag every time I went through a security check point. This year I packed the cord in my carry on bag and NOTHING ELSE in my laptop bag with my laptop. I havent had to take it out once. There is no so much as a pencil in there. So if you are bringing your laptop when you travel, put your cord in a different bag and save yourself the trouble of having to drag your laptop out and put it back 20 times. I thought I found a freebie wireless here at Frankfurt. Turns out it isn’t free. 8 euros for 1 hour. No thanks. I will just post and save in Microsoft works and post when I see internet. Missing every one. Love you all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

!SCORE!!! FREE WIFI AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL!

since our bank gave us about a million twenties to make up the money we needed for the adoption our good friend Bob drove us to a big bank in the city before driving us to the airport. Thankfully WellsFargo was more than willing to go through their money and give us some really good looking hundreds so our money packs were significantly lighter after that! We stayed with Bob and Jeannie last night, they made us a fabulous meal and we had a great time visting with them. Thanks again Bob and Jeannie. Our flight left Minneapolis about 15 minutes late but still arrived in Denver on time. thus leaving us about 5 hours to kill. So we ate some good food. What else is there to do when you are waiting? Eric had a Bison Burger. I had Prime Rib and cheddar sandwhich with rosemary au jus. fabulous. We took a long walk to another terminal to see the historic giant teepee part of the Denver airport. we also saw some really great hitorical kiosks about Jeppeson. Look up some info about him. he was integral to the development of commercial air travel as well as arial maps.

we called the kids and now we are just sitting here waiting for our 559pm flight to Frankfurt. We are looking out over the front range in the far distance. In the nearer distance we are overlooking a very large dumpster. LOL thats my husbands input for this post. Missing everyone! probably you wont hear from us until weds or thurs. dont panic if we dont write. intenet is spotty and we never know when we will be able to get back on again.

We are so excited to see our girls and spend some time with them. Hope to run into some of you in Kiev!

Friday, June 4, 2010

!Exhausted! Already!

kids all showered, mostly packed for everyone. just need blankies and stuffies but we are spending tonight at home so cant pack those till tomorrow. Been to the bank, mostly packed the car. Fed the kids a couple times. pizza in now so we dont have leftovers. I cleaned out the garage and found that our girls WILL NOT LACK for clothes! when your big sister is a fashion plate and mom never got around to getting rid of stuff that means you get lots of VERY nice handmedowns! I found some clothes for Jacob in it all. smells musty though so have to run it through the wash. I didnt buy any clothes for him because I didnt know if he would be joining us. he is in my heart though and I cant go there and bring stuff to the girls and not remember him. So he has some clothes to wear if he comes home. If he doesnt, I will give him the clothes I brought and he can keep them. I would RATHER see him wear them home but at least he will know we care if he can't. mqaybe I ought to pick up some cars too, I hadnt thought of that, I was so focused on the girls.

things I need to get at Target tomorrow when we go to Grammas

watch for me
cars for Jacob
pull ups for Ethan
and something else I cant recall! what if its something really important?

PAPERS! OHMYGOSH! I need to pack papers! I cant go without that! I could wear the same clothes or buy new ones but I NEED THOSE PAPERS! signing off to go pack them before I forget!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the verdict is in

jacob vasiliy
natasha jordan
diana claire
molly victoria
ben packed
ethan packed
sophie packed
eric packed
me-mostly packed
the girls packed
laundry almost finished
cleared the counter in kitchen


now to finish my packing and find some clothes for Jacob. I have decided to bring clothes in the hopes that he will come home. if he doesnt, we will give him the clothes or donate them to the orphanage.

and of course to find a name for the girls. we have driven down the name road and back again a hundred times or more. but I just keep on driving....havent found it yet.

ahem, mother of ten

yes. I will be mother of ten. mother of TEN!!! I will leave here mother of 6. I will return as mother of 10. I can hardley wait to tell people when they ask if we have kids that I have 10! technically we will have 12 if you count Josh and Danielle. they are Erics kids from previous marriage. but they are grown and dont live with us. just.....wow. shocking. exciting. life altering. but do you knwo what? if I had two kids and worked in an office at a desk all day I could never be this happy. My kids are my life. Raising kids is what I do. It's what I do and I love it. It is the best job in the world. there isnt any monetary gain in this job but the rewards are far and above any money I could earn at a desk job. Maia is my sensetive girl and wants me to be sure and sing her lullaby every night while we are apart. I sing it to her now for the girls. she always asks me to sing tonya's song for the girls. We used to sing it for Sophie and Ben too before they came home. now if I had a job who would miss me like that? who would wake up and go to sleep wanting only me? its good to be in demand. The others aren't as clingy as she is but I treasure all their hugs and kisses too. my entire life is a collection of memories that include children. I cant imagine it any other way. I can hardley wait to bring home the newest additions to our family and start building memories with them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

packing

very fun to pack up the clothes I bought for the girls. not sure what to do about jacob. maybe bring one outfit and donate it if he cant come home with us. making progress on packing. it was fun looking at all the stuff I bought in threes. everything is pink turquoise and purple. molly will be purple. then it will be easy to know what belongs to whom. lots of hair ponys and headbands.some toys. baseball hats for them to wear. I know they like their kids to have a hat on. should be able to finish it up soon. got one kid packed for grandmas. soon as laundry is finished I will finish their packingt too.
 


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