The back story...the part where I try to remember and piece together the story of how I arrived in America with one little fast moving, food loving, louder than I thought possible for a mostly non-verbal little Ukrainian boy.
Part 1: The Great "Paper-job"
Monday Feb 20th: Paper-job Day
One of the drivers in Kiev who works for many of the adopting families always says paper-job instead of paperwork, so we have all affectionately began to use this term. My paper-job day began at 8:30am and was not over until almost 7pm. It was long and exhausting which I found strange since most of the day I just hung out in the back seat of the car trying to keep my feet warm and reading a book on my iPod.
Sasha, our facilitator ran her butt off today and I was so proud of her. She went above and beyond the call of duty to get everything done for us in a day. It started with the court making a mistake in our court decree (they put Jan 7th instead of Feb 7th as our court date.) I knew something was up when Sasha ran in and didn’t come out for what seemed like hours. Thankfully they corrected it on the spot and got us new documents. From there we seemed to drive all over the place...to the village to get documents at the institution, to the passport office to the place where they give birth certificates...everywhere! Every once in awhile, Sasha would dash and out yell, “Sarah come here!” and I would jump out, slosh through the snow, usually run up several flights of stairs and plop myself obediently in a chair outside of an office. My job this day was to do what I was told...sit where I should sit, stay where I should stay and sign whatever document they put in front of me. It was fast paced and crazy, but it brought me one step closer to getting Jacob, so I was willing to do just about anything.
It was really nice that I got along so well with Sasha and her husband Victor who was our driver. We stopped at a small cafeteria and had a Ukrainian lunch. I told Sasha to just order me whatever she was having and I would try it. It was a breaded cutlet with cheese and mushrooms on top and a side of mashed potatoes. REALLY good. We gulped it down and headed back out to the car for more running around.
Sasha had an agreement with the passport official that he would come in on his day off and issue me a one day passport for an additional fee. I was more than happy to pay it. Everywhere I went people wanted to know the same thing...why did I want to adopt this boy. No one could understand at all why I would want a child with special needs. I wanted to say that it was because his life is no less worthy than anyone else's; because I would be honored to play one small part in redeeming a child’s life; because he is so stinkin’ cute that I can’t stop kissing him even when it annoys him! I usually just said that it was because I could give him a better life in America where there are more services for special needs kids.
By the end of the day non of us could see straight. We stopped one last time to pick up some parting gifts for the director, nannies and the kids at the institution. I was so tired that I could not even count money. I finally just handed it to Sasha to count for me.
Once I was back at my apartment I just crashed. I couldn’t even eat dinner. I ate a few bites of yogurt and made a cup of tea. I just couldn’t believe that I was going to get Jacob the very next day. I had waited and planned and dreamed about it for so long. It was overwhelming. I didn’t even know how to pack. I finally forced myself to throw everything in my suitcase and then went to bed.