Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SDA appointment

Day 3:

Cheers Bree! Here's to a good day and a smooth SDA appointment.
Our driver Eugene picked us up with another RR (Reece's Rainbow) family and we headed to our SDA appointments. Eugene gave us an AMAZING history tour on the way! It was so interesting! I wish I could remember all the details and that he could have stayed with us all day! We learned about Leo Tolstoy and saw his monument and Chakowvski, and learned about the history of the St. Andrew's church and other fun things. This city has incredible history that goes back centurys

This is one of the KGB offices
Here we are in front of the SDA building. It is weird to see this sign and entrance to the SDA because we have seen it for so many months on others blogs and now we are really here!
We waited in this little room while the other family had their appointment and then Yulia (our facilitator/translator) came and got us. She took us up to this little room where the SDA official was waiting with Kareen's file. We were asked to tell her about our family and why we wanted to adopt. We showed her our family photo book and she seemed to really enjoy seeing what a big family we had. She laughed at the picture of my 2 youngest brothers! She was also very curious about how we also have a neice (biologically) with DS. She commented that it is just so foreign to the people in their country to want to adopt a child "like this". I told her how much we love Bree and we know we can take care of Karen the same way. She then read us Kareen's file...which wasn't very extensive. She told us her real given name and her parents names. Her parents are our ages. I had a hard time holding back the tears as she read these words "She(Kareen) was abandoned at the orphanage at birth and her parents gave up all rights immediately. The parents have another daughter now that is typical and lives with them" It broke my heart to know what this mom gave up. Then she read her medical history which was updated in 2008 so she would have only been a year old at that time. It said that she had DS, a small hole or murmur in her heart, and anemia. We were told we would learn more details from the orphanage doctor. We got a little worried when we heard that they thought she may have a heart murmur or hole, but at the same time we know that this is not concrete information nor is it up to date and we have been told to wait and see what a doctor back home says, because they can be totally wrong.They showed us a baby picture of her which was adorable! She had this crazy black stand up hair! She reminded us of Kyra's baby pictures! We were told we could take the baby picture out of the file when the process was finalized. So that was it and then we signed that we accepted the referral for this child and they told us we have to come back tomorrow at 4 or 5 to pick up our referral.
St. Andrews cathedral was right outside of the SDA
Apparntley there is some story behind this statue and if you rub the beetle on the man's behind it will bring you good luck so we rubbed it before our SDA appointment.
We spent alot of time at the shops today.
Do you like the House t-shirts? Apparantly he is HUGE here!

This is Yulia our facilitator. She was very sweet!

We made lots of friends today at the shops. I just loved this cute little lady! She didn't speak english but was very kind and helpful how she could
The street is called St. Andrews descent and it is lined with vendors.

St. Andrews descent with St. Andrews behind me

There are SO many different types of Matroyshka dolls! We really enjoyed seeing all the different types! I could really get into collecting these!

I enjoyed seeing the things of the culture here and thinking that my daughter is part of this culture! It was fun to find some things that we could take home with us to keep her culture in our family.

Some of our friends the Haddicks told us to find Andrew and we did...he was very good to us
We also made friends with Bagdan, he helped us with lots of souvenirs as well as directions, and he even kept all of our bags for us while we went to see some other sites. Very nice man and spoke very good english so that was nice! Fellow RR families coming, check him and Andrew out. He is one of Eugen's friends
Totally should have bought this for Kris! We had lunch with the other RR couple and then spent more time walking and site seeing. We felt alot better about things as far as not feeling so lost as we did yesterday. We even managed to find our way back to our apartment on foot and askind directions.We are learning quickly that you have to go with the flow here or you will not make it!

We visited the another beautiful cathedral, St. Michael's. This one was open to the public and we were able to walk inside. It was beautiful but no photos are allowed.

The are cute little ladies all over selling these flower bunches I didn't know Kris was taking the picture...hence the cute expression on my face!

Babooshka's sitting outside the bell tower
Bell tower
Some self portraits while we were resting and people watching

I am really obsessed with these strollers! They convert from the cute buggy style into this! Totally need one of these! And the babies we have seen are look so cute in their little hats. It is about 70 degrees today but they still keep them very well covered.

I could take pictures of the buildings around here all day! The character, history and architecture are amazing!

More stray dogs out today
I really enjoyed checking out the fun fashions around...unfortunatley didn't get too many good pictures incognito.
Kris REALLY wanted to take home these cats and dogs for sale from this little lady! Yes they are real and she is selling them out of a basket in the underground market area. They are all dolled up with bows even!
This is their version of the handicap ramp we think.
There is a whole underground city here....this is in a mall that is all underground, with elevator and everything, just right under the main streets in the city! It is crazy!

The college campus is surrounded by beautiful parks
This is the main university building. It made me want to go there just to be in that cute building.

You can't really see very well because we were far away but this area of the park is full of all the old men playing chess.

We managed to find our way to the TGIFriday's here for dinner. It is always nice to get a waitress who speaks english!

-EVERYONE here smokes! They even have these little ladies sitting along the streets selling single cigarettes in case you don't need a whole package I guess.
-We have found MANY kind and helpful people but if you pass people on the street they don't make eye contact or really acknowledge you if you are a stranger. But most of those that we have talked to have been very kind.
-VERY MUCH enjoying the comments! We look forward to reading them the minute we get up each morning!

So tomorrow we will go to the SDA at 4 or 5 and pick up our "official referral" and then we will take the overnight 11 hour train ride to her region. We leave at 7 pm and get there at 7 am thursday morning. I believe we then have to go pick up another local referral and then we will be able to meet her. Please continue praying for us and this process to move smoothly and quickly. We really do feel of your love and support! From some of the timelines we have heard from other families here, we are getting a little nervous!

We only have 2 days until we meet Kareen! I can hardly wait! I just realized that since we will be on a train tomorrow night we will not be able to post anything until thursday night so maybe the next post will be pictures of Kareen!!!!


  1. So fun!! Thanks for keeping us posted.

  2. So much fun! You take way more pictures than my parent's did! I heard about a lot of these things, but couldn't see them. It sounds like things are going smoothly so far. We will continue praying for you! Have a nice train ride. Can't wait to hear/see more!

  3. I feel like time is standing still and these next two days won't pass quickly enough...if this is how I'm feeling, I can't imagine what you are going through. I lost it when I read about seeing a baby picture of her and how her parents left her. I can hardly see the keys for my tears now, so I'll stop now. Love you guys!

  4. I am crying.

    What an amazing adventure! Your good picture taking and documenting skills are paying off for all of us now! I loved your message - I will let you know when we will arrive! :) And, you look fabulous and so skinny! Kris looks good too, but he already knows that . . .

    Can't wait for the next post!

  5. AHHHHH this feels like the last few days of a pregnancy....or waiting for Christmas....can't wait for more updates. So exciting!

  6. What an amazing journey! We are praying for you! I love that you update as you go- it's so fun to see! Can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful girl!!!!

  7. Yay!! I can't believe that the next time you post you may have already met Kareen!! Soo fun!! Good Luck, Enjoy the Train! Brandon is Jealous.

  8. I look forward to this time every afternoon, because I know my Utah friend will have an update!
    Your SDA appointment made me cry AND smile at the love that WE know Heavenly Father has given to " these children" They may have been abandoned at birth, but they are also PICKED and CHOSEN from families all the way around the world. They are sooo loved before they are even seen! I can't wait for orphanage pics!!! Ya'll look so happy.

  9. Your pictures are fantastic! Hoping to see photos of your sweet girl soon! Good luck we're praying for you.

  10. Yay, I am so happy you get to see her. It's soon. I am sure each moment feels too long right now. Just excited for you!

  11. i love reading about your trip!! it's so fun for me! i hope everything goes well for you guys! can't wait until your next post!! :)

  12. I'm so excited for you!! We're praying for you and can't wait to see pictures of Kareen! Yay!!

  13. I'll be turning on the computer Monday morning hoping for a post!

  14. OK, I am LOLing because MANY moons ago, before I joined the Church, I used to smoke, and I always wished that you could just buy one or two smokes instead of a whole pack... if only I'd known that all I had to do was head to EE! ;D Glad things are going well!! :)

  15. Tears, tears, and more tears. I pretty much just know that I'm going to loose it when I see a new post from you Kecia! My heart is just so full for you and your family. Can't wait for you to see your precious girl, Kareen! YAY!

  16. Ok, I am so curious! Love your yellow skirt! But I have to ask if people were staring at you all day?
    Did you have to take pictures secretly so as to not offend anyone? Would love to hear how you did it!
    Praying for an easy trip and process

  17. I'm so glad they are going to give you her baby picture. What a treasure that will be!! I'm so emotional these days and cry at the drop of a hat. Just thinking about you meeting Kareen is so exciting. Praying for the next two days to go quick! Enjoy your train ride. Tell Kris that if he buys one of those cats or dogs he better get one for me too! Glad we got to chat for a minute. Miss you! Loves!

  18. I'm so thrilled for you guys. Travel safely and keep updating. It has been so fun to read about your adventures. You guys are truely amazing!!

  19. This message is from Kyra!
    I liked the post, i can't wait for the next post! I love you and i can't wait for you to get back!
    I miss you!

  20. Yes, you are there! Can't wait to follow your adventure along with you. So EXCITING! You look beautiful in the pictures. Love your necklace and skirt. Praying for your family and that all with be safe and go well.

  21. This is becoming an obsession! I can't wait for my next dose! Good luck, we're praying for you!

  22. Can't wait to see current pictutes, I am sure your excitment is more then you can contain. No matter what happens, the Lord is guiding you through this process and will make sure that it goes as it should. He Loves you and Knows you! Loving the posts and how you are capturing the experience.

  23. We can't wait to meet Kareen.She will be so happy in your cute little family! We are praying for you!
    Love Lorna

  24. What a sweet confirmation from God that Kareen's baby picture reminded you of one of you other little girls. Blessings ~ Can't wait 'til the next update!!!

  25. SO excited for you! We're praying everything goes smoothly there and back home. I can't wait to hear about your first visit and all that is to come!

  26. So excited for you. This post just gave me goosebumps. What an amazing country to be in, too!

  27. what great photos and buildings! love them! Glad everything seems to be going smoothly....remaining in our prayers

  28. I want the New York Yankee Matroyshka Dolls, they look cool. Hope you guys and having as much fun as you can, we all miss you and love you and are praying non-stop for you.


  29. Hooray! One major step accomplished and now you are so much closer to being with your little girl. I can't imagine what you are feeling right now. I am excited for the next major step in your adventure. GOOD Luck! I hope you can sleep on the train so you are ready give Kareen some of the love she has in store for her. I can't wait for your next post either just like everyone else.

  30. we will continue praying for you all. Good luck! Anna H.

  31. We haven't met before. You guys are such an inspiration. I love reading your updates and all that you have done to make this happen for such a special little girl and an amazing family. I pray you will have a quick trip and be able to return home with all your children soon. God Bless you.

  32. Just catching up today on all your posts....you guys are the cutest couple ever!!! I absolutely LOVE your sense of adventure and fun. Try and remember that although it seems like a lifetime when away from your kids at home it really is a blink of an eye so enjoy every single moment of your experience. It was the hardest time of our life but also the most meaningful time of our life and I really miss our time in Ukraine now!!!!