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
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!!!!