Goodbyes have been the center of the last two days. I told my mom before we arrived at the orphanage that I wouldn’t be upset or disappointed if Lyuda was less than thrilled to be leaving. Us picking her up for her new life means leaving all of her friends behind.
On the five hour drive from her orphanage back to Kyiv, I asked her what she would miss… instead she just said thank you for coming. She has wanted to spend as much time as possible on my phone talking to her friends… but teenagers. 🙂
Tuesday was mostly about driving up to her region (5 hour drive) to pick up the court decree and then pick up Lyuda.
However, as we were driving back, Lyuda showed me a large, nasty looking burn on her arm. It was inflicted by a teacher at her school, intentionally. When we stopped, I showed it to our facilitator and asked what we could buy to help her. We picked up some ointment, which I’m guessing is like neosporin. However, after applying this ointment, it only seemed to get worse. Our facilitator suggested that we take her to a doctor, and I agreed. The doctor prescribed some antibiotic tablets that we dissolve in water and apply to her wound. It is looking a lot better already.
Wednesday we had two tasks to complete– going up to a town about an hour and a half from Kyiv and getting her new birth certificate, then going to another nearby town to get her tax ID (like a social security number) changed. Once we arrived in the first town, I asked her if she had lived her and if she remembered it. She did. I asked if she still had family here. Yes. “Would you like to ask Olya if we have time to see them?” Yes.
We had some extra time to walk around the town. I enjoyed this little town, lined with stores selling colorful (fake) flowers and churches always towering over us.
My mom is going to write a book called “Babushkas on Bicycles”, a compilation of the many photos we have taken here of just that. Many, many people in rural Ukraine ride their bikes everywhere, or any other form of transportation that they have available.
Club Tornado, which I read aloud because it made me think of Kansas. Lyuda turned to me and said “you can read Ukrainian?!” I don’t know how she had missed that while my vocabulary is limited, I can sound words out just fine… we later had a debate over whether a sign was in Russian or Ukrainian (let’s just say it ended in our facilitator and my mom informing her that “mom is always right”… and lots of laughing).
After we finished this up in this town, we went to say goodbye to her aunt and cousins. I loved the opportunity to meet some of her family.
Then we went to change her tax ID… here, we ran into issues. We are supposed to be able to pick up this new tax ID this afternoon. Will you pray it goes smoothly? We were supposed to be able to file for her new passport today, but that did not happen because of these tax ID issues. We were waiting in the car for awhile while Olya filed the papers.
A place we drove by that really could be Kansas.
One of Lyuda’s friends called and asked if she could come to her old orphanage to say goodbye and our facilitator agreed. From the minute we rolled up, it was clear that this place was really different from her second orphanage. All of the children were standing around, watching us, smiling and laughing. Lyuda ran ahead of us, and they kept asking everyone, “have you seen Lyuda?” She was clearly a big deal here.
One man who worked there rolled up on his motorcycle, little dog on the back, just to say goodbye. Lyuda went to shake his hand in goodbye, but instead her pulled her into a big embrace. This same sweet exchange happened with Alexander from her second orphanage.
I liked this place a lot, as far as orphanages go. The children and adults were friendly. And, the children were silly and wild, happy and laughing.
Saying goodbye… notice the little boys hanging on our driver’s window.
After we left the orphanage, we headed back to finish up the paperwork for the tax ID… so now we wait and hopefully it will be ready today.
On the way back to Kyiv, we found a house and car for Reed. His favorite color is orange.
Back in Kyiv, walking around for dinner, and looking for a shop.