Last night we boarded the overnight train to Donetsk We arrived this morning at 7:00 am and were met by a driver to take us to a town called Torez. Once we arrived in Torez, we went to meet the Inspector of the region to get permission to go to the orphanage where the children are located. We have accepted a referral for sisters, 10 and 8. After a very interesting 30 minutes in the car (the roads are terrible and you have to drive all over the road to avoid holes), we arrived at the orphanage. After the drive we just had and the conditions of the road and village, I was a bit skeptical of what this place would be like. We were greeted by the Director, a very nice man and his wife. He began asking all kinds of questions of me – quite frankly, it made me a bit nervous. He was especially concerned about my husband not being with me. I took out the photo album and my facilitator began explaining the pictures. After that, things only got better. The girls were brought into the room and we visited for a few minutes. Then whole room began crying including the Inspector when the Director told the kids what a great opportunity they just got for a real chance at the life they so desperately deserve. Of course, I had no idea what was going on and I began crying when I saw everyone else crying. The girls seemed very nervous as first and I asked Nina to translate that I too was a little nervous and especially by the fact that I was the only one in the room that did not know what was going on as a result of not speaking any Russian. After about a 20 minute conversation, they let us take the girls to another area in the orphanage and get to know each other. I got out my camera and that was all it took. I offered for them to take photos of whatever they wanted. It was the ice breaker and we became fast friends.
After about an hour and a half of questions, comments and just general conversation, we definitely bonded. Ironically, the oldest girl asked me if would ever get to go shopping. Right there was a sign that she was meant to be my daughter (for all that know me well J). The younger one asked if she could have a doll – another great sign. We had to then get ready to leave and they immediately wanted to know when we were coming back and the answer “tomorrow” wasn’t good enough. They wanted to know the exact time.
I think we’ve finally reached the end of this crazy ride. I’ve been wanting to get off of this rollercoaster for a long time (this process has been overwhelming) and I believe we’ve finally found what we have been so desperately searching and waiting for. I was beginning to worry that we weren’t met to do this. Jim and I have decided to proceed and we will hopefully begin the paperwork on Monday.