Sasha bought, with his own money, a birthday card. I had to wait until Natasha and Svetlana returned to Melitopol (they went home after our court hearing and returned after the 10 day waiting period) to have it translated. Natasha said it was a poem, so she would have to translate it literally, but it would lose it's poem feel. Anyway, this is what it said,
"My beloved only dear Mom, with you the whole home is light and warm. May all your days be happy and nice. May the years of your life be multiplied!!"
I thought it was very sweet and I will treasure it forever.
Sasha has spontaneously said "I love you" to both Bucky and I this past week. I have not seen any of the attachment problems I had anticipated from Sasha. He obviously LOVES his "papa" and wants to be with him all the time, but Bucky says that anytime he takes Sasha out, he insists that they buy me things in all the stores. I have received several ice cream cones, flowers, pastries, etc.
On Sunday, Natasha and Svetlana arrived back to Melitopol. Monday, Natasha and Svetlana went back to the court house and picked up the "Final Adoption Decree". Then we all went to one of the local super markets and purchased lots of cake, drinks, candy, and chocolates for Sasha's farewell party at the orphanage. Bucky and I were REALLY bummed that we had to "party" with the Director of the orphanage, the inspector of Melitopol, Natasha, and Svetlana while Sasha's classmates partied in another room. We wanted to be a part of Sasha's party, but the Director wanted to share a meal with us. We were served a really yummy beef stew, bread, and vegetables. The food was delicious, but we were dying to be with Sasha. After we were finished eating, we all went outside where Sasha and his friends had gathered. We spent a few minutes taking pictures then Sasha said his final goodbyes and we loaded in the van to go back to the apartment. Sasha's cousin (who is also a resident of the orphanage) got in the van with us. Bucky and I did not know, and are still unsure, why. But he got in and rode to the end of the road with Sasha. The driver stopped the van, Sasha's cousin shook all of our hands (Sasha, Bucky, and me) and got out, the van door closed and we began driving away. Sasha immediately laid his little head on the back of the seat in front of him and began to cry. Natasha had the van driver stop the van and asked Sasha if he would like to go back for a few more minutes, but he said "no". We drove on, but Sasha was crying (not sobbing, but tears rolling down his face) the entire 30 minute trip back to our apartment. We comforted him as best we could, but knew that this was a natural response and who could blame the poor kid. He is leaving everyone and everything he that is familiar and safe and moving to America. After we returned to our apartment, Bucky took him to one of our bedrooms so that he could be alone for awhile. He remained in his room for about 30 minutes then came out and has been normal Sasha ever since.
Monday night was spent packing up everything because we had to leave for Zaporozhya, Ukraine at 5:00 am on Tuesday morning. While in Zaporozhya, we obtained Sasha's new birth certificate that has his new name and has Bucky and I listed as his parents. From the birth certificate office we went and applied for his new passport. We were really praying we would be able to obtain the passport the same day and God heard our prayers and Bucky and Svetlana picked up his new passport at 3:30 pm yesterday (Tuesday). The thing with the passport is that Ukraine has gone to a completely electronic passport processing system. All information is typed into a computer, sent to Kiev for processing, then the passport is mailed to the office that requested it. It can take up to 7 business days to complete the new process. However, some passports offices still have the old style passport booklets and have been permitted to use the old system to complete passports for those being adopted so that their time in country is not extended another week or more. But, you are not guaranteed that the region in which you must apply for the passport have any of the old passport booklets. But, Zaporozhya did and we got the passport within hours of requesting it.
We arrived at the train station in Zaporozhya at 1:30 pm and our train was not leaving until 7:00 pm. The reason we got to the train station so early was because we were done with all of our paperwork and wanted to allow our taxi drive to return to Melitopol so that we did not have to pay him for any unnecessary travel around town. We found a lounge that you had to pay to enter, but it was well worth it. It was a large room with a tv and leather couches and chairs. We stretched Xan and Brennan out on two of the couches and they slept, and slept, and slept. In all they slept over three hours. By the time they woke up, we only had to entertain them for about an hour and a half. It all worked out very well and we boarded our train to Kiev at 7:00 pm.
Our train arrived in Kiev about 6:00 am this morning. We took a taxi to Svetlana's apartment and ate some breakfast. Then we split up to start our paper chase for the day. Bucky and Svetlana went to the Ministry of Justice office to get the birth certificate and the adoption decree apostilled while Natasha, Xan, Brennan, and Sasha and I went to an Embassy approved doctor for Sasha's medical examination. After the medical examination, we all met back up at the US Embassy so that Bucky and I could submit our Embassy documents. After our dropping off our paperwork, we went to MCDONALD'S. We have never been so glad to eat American food. After that Svetlana and her daughter took us to look at an apartment. We love our apartment and Xan and Brennan took a really long nap and are now chasing their balloons around trying to patiently wait while I finish typing this update.
Tomorrow at 2pm is our Embassy appointment. After that is done, we can catch a flight back to America. We are trying to get a flight for Saturday, but our travel agent is having a hard time finding enough seats for all of us on this short of notice. So, please pray for that, we want to get home as soon as possible.
See you soon!