Zoya is still sick. We visited with her for about 40 minutes this morning (I was greeted by our favorite care giver with a hug and kiss because she heard we are taking Zoya tomorrow) Zoya seemed happy, but started getting cranky toward the end. The caregivers talked to our facilitator and wanted us to go to the pharmacy to get some medicine for Zoya. Through a game of charades and our facilitator, we figured out she needs some nasal spray and something for her cough. They scribbled down something on a piece of paper and handed it to us. So we were off to find the pharmacy. We had already walked to the orphanage and back to the apartment to drop our thing off (can’t take them into the store) and then we walked to the pharmacy and then the supermarket and then back to the orphanage to drop off the medicine and then back to our apartment. We went into the pharmacy and gave them the note. She opened up a drawer and pulled out 5! Yes 5 boxes of nasal spray and 2 boxes of something for her cough. Either we bought medicine for the whole orphanage or she needs A LOT of medicine! Either way, all of that only cost about $7 US dollars. Here apparently you don’t need a prescription for medicines. We are hoping they wanted us to get it knowing that we are leaving with her tomorrow and hopefully they will give us what is left. All we need is for her to get even sicker while we face being stuck here indefinitely. They were very thankful when we brought it back and even said in English, "Thank You Very Much!"
During this journey it has seemed that every time we have something to be excited for (any big step in the adoption process) the joy is short lived and as soon as we get our heads above water we are pushed under again and have to fight our way back to the top. The volcano situation here is CHAOS. It is scary. It is unprecedented. It is making it hard to remain joyful and happy and positive. Here they are saying that it is very possible for airports to still be closed into Wednesday and Thursday. We are supposed to leave Thursday. We are thankful we are not stuck in an airport, which I can imagine to be the only worse scenario than what we will face here with our newly adopted sick child who needs immediate medical care. It is hard to continue being optimistic. They are predicting it to get worse before it gets better. People are stuck here. Trains and busses are all booked. People have no place to stay. Nobody has any answers about when the skies will open up again. We have no idea when we’d even be able to rebook our ticket for. Each time we see the light at the end of the tunnel it has only been a quick glimpse and then it disappears. This is very discouraging. Without complaining, I want to try to explain how we feel right now. We have been working on this process for over 6 months. We have poured our hearts and souls into every detail for 6 months straight, without pausing, without stopping to relax, without stopping to breathe…the paperwork, preparing for our first child, preparing for a child with special needs, the ups and downs and emotional roller coaster before we even ever set foot in Ukraine. We thought that part was emotionally exhausting…we had NO idea how that part was NOTHING compared to what we would face here. Now we have been in a foreign country with barely anyone that speaks English, with people who think we are nut cases for wanting to adopt this child, without the comforts of home, without friends, without control over one ounce of what is happening, with just enough to eat to live on, with odd smells, with a strict and dwindling budget….for over a MONTH! Thank God we were able to come home for a week and get recharged. I don’t know how to describe any better how we feel. It seems easy for people at home to say what is a few more days, you’ll be fine. We are just about running on empty here and so a few more days feels like an eternity. This is compounded by the fact that we have no idea when we will even be able to get home or if it will only be a “few more days” past our original date.
The only way we have even been able to get this far is solely with God as our guide. We know we will make it through, we know we will eventually get home. We know that in our minds, but our hearts are aching to be home with family and friends and finally celebrate just what God has done with our lives. Today we feel like that day will never come.
Would we do this all over again knowing we’d face all these obstacles? Absolutely…because we now know the joy that Zoya has brought to our lives. We can’t imagine not saving this child from life and death in a mental institution. We can’t imagine her not being our daughter. We can’t imagine her not being given the chance to know and feel love. We can’t imagine life without her. We need her and she needs us. This big picture is hard to keep in mind. We know that one day, hopefully soon, this will all be behind us and will be a story to tell, but being in our current circumstances, it makes it feel like that big picture is broken into a million pieces.
Being stripped of all comforts of home, people to talk and reason with, and limited ability to contact anyone at home has forced us to cling to God like we never have before. It has forced the two of us to become closer than we ever imagined possible….because not one other person knows how we feel. We are alone here. Of course we have the support of friends and family at home, but hearing it and living it just aren’t the same. In fact, I’m pretty sure everything I just wrote probably sounds like a lot of complaining instead of just trying to paint a picture of what we are feeling. Don’t get me wrong. We are grateful. We are thankful for this experience. We WILL look back on it with fond memories (some day long from now I’m thinking). But right now, right this moment, this is what we’re feeling.
Looking at these pictures reminds us that we have to keep marching on, and that soon we will get more than a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. After all, tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY and it is truly a miracle that we’ve made it this far!
And then when I look at the photos from our first meeting, I realize just how far we have already come!