Saturday, April 16, 2011

In Kiev...Without Internet

This is Ken.  Sarah doesn't have any Internet connection in the apartment where they are staying in Kiev for the remainder of their time in Ukraine, and she hasn't been able to get out to an internet cafe.  So I'm here to fill you in on what's been going on.  Let's see, the last post says Tuesday the 12th...

Last Wednesday Sarah got Luke out of the orphanage for the first time and the whole crew (Sarah, Marcia, Luke, our translator, and taxi driver) rode about two and a half hours up to the region's capital in order to get him a passport.  I talked to Sarah shortly after they left the orphanage and she said Luke seemed kind of scared riding in the car (if she were writing this, she'd probably say "There's plenty to be scared of on those roads, let me tell you what!")  Then she said that he was doing fine distracted by watching the farms go by.  So they got to the capital city and found out that there are two options for getting a passport: 1) regular processing is now a 10-day deal or 2) pay more than double and you can get it the same day.  Sarah had already told the translator that we'll pay whatever we have to, but she ran it by me and I said the same.  Well option #2 is only available on Monday, so they road the 2.5 hours back to the city where his orphanage is.  In the mean time, they ate lunch at McDonald's.... Well, Sarah got a wonderful welcome to full-time motherhood when Luke gave all his McDonald's back to her while they were on the road.  "I caught the first round with my bare hands," she told me.  Maybe carsick?  Maybe McDonald's wasn't a good idea for a kid that usually eats watery soup and bread?  Whatever the cause, it was a rough ride home that I'm sure all of you mothers can relate to.  And being his first night outside of the orphanage, at a new place, and full of excitement for being with Mama, he took something like two and a half hours to go to sleep that night.  That's right, Sarah's a real mom now.  "Let me tell you what."

First thing Thursday morning they went by the orphanage and signed the last piece or two of paperwork, officially marking our "gotcha day" and hit the road!  They'll be in Kiev for the rest of their time in Ukraine.  Sarah said the apartment they got in Kiev is really nice.  It has two separate bedrooms, with a hallway connecting them to the living room, etc.  They're on a fairly high floor with a nice view and two or three of the rooms have a balcony.  All for the same price as the other apartments we had previously in Kiev.  But there's no internet, and nobody near enough with open wifi that could be "borrowed" for a few days.  She was going to get down to McDonald's or find a coffee shop with free wifi, but hasn't had a chance to yet.  The apartment building also has a playground area outside, which they've been able to get out to once or twice.

Marcia had brought Luke a little backpack that has wheels and a handle for him to haul his stuff around in on the trip home, and he wheels it around the apartment at top speed.  Later on Thursday, he then he started slowing down and not looking so good, and Sarah found out another reason that may have caused Luke to so willingly give his lunch back to Mama on the ride home Wednesday: he started running a fever which was high, but not extreme.  They haven't been out to the playground much because he hasn't been feeling too good.  Sarah and I had packed some children's medicine, so she gave it too him and she said that exactly 10 minutes later he launched off the couch like a rocket and was back to playing like normal.  In the middle of the night he woke up with a fever again,  but Sarah gave him some medicine and he went back to sleep.  She said every time when the fever has gone back up she can count on exactly 10 minutes later he jumps up off the couch.  He seemed to be doing fine, and the meds were keeping the fever at bay, so they were expecting it to go away.  But the fever keeps hanging on, sometimes not too high, but sometimes getting back up there.  So Monday they're going to find a doctor to visit and see what's going on, since it has been a few days with it not going away.  Sarah has had the full range of motherly emotions: scared, worried, wishing she could somehow make him all better, compassion, tired, puked-on, etc.

Yesterday, Sarah told me that she and Luke were watching some cartoon on TV "that must have been made in the 40's"  and a character on the cartoon said something about Papa.  When Luke heard it, he jumped up and grabbed Sarah's phone.  He ran into another room and started talking and talking on the phone "Papa" this and "Papa" that.  Then Sarah called me so that he could really talk to Papa, which is always a lot of fun!

As far as I know, he's been pretty much either full speed or laid up with a fever.  He hasn't thrown up any since Wednesday.  But since the fever isn't going away, they're going to take him to a doctor Monday.  Sarah and the translator are going to leave early in Monday morning to get the passport at the region's capital where they went Wednesday, while Marcia stays home with Luke.  Then they'll take him to the doctor as soon as they get home.  Pray that all goes well with both of those things.  Supposing that there's no delay with the passport (which we don't expect there will be), they'll be able to hit the offices they need to go to in Kiev on Tuesday & Wednesday, including getting a visa at the US Embassy (so thankful that Washington figured out enough to keep the visa engine running).  Then Thursday they'll be heading home!  I'll be booking their flights as soon as I hear that they have a passport on Monday, but it looks to me like they all leave Kiev at around 6:00am land in Louisville at 4:45ish Thursday evening.  Several of you have mentioned that you'd like to come the airport and welcome Luke as he gets off the plane, so it looks most likely like 4:45pm on Thursday.  We'd love to have you there!  I'm going to take a quick flight Thursday to whatever city is before Louisville (most likely Detroit) and fly in with them for the last leg of the trip.  Not that I think he's forgotten who I am, but that way I won't just be one of the guys in the crowd when they get there :-)

I know some of you have been wondering if I'm still alive and whether I'm eating anything other than peanut butter.  Well, Sarah and I have the greatest friends here in Louisville, and several of them have had me over for dinner this week, with leftovers to take home for the between days!  It has been such a blessing to hang out, eat good food, and share stories.  Other than that, I've been going to work and class, trying to catch up on assignments, and doing some projects around the house to get ready for Luke.  I'd post a picture of myself, but it's Saturday, I didn't shave today, and I just finished changing the oil in one of the cars, so I'm looking kind of rough.  But hey, my wife is thousands of miles away, right?  MAN I can't wait till she's home!


  1. Haha good post, am excited about seeing yall as a new family!

  2. Thanks for the update Ken! It was absolutely WONDERFUL getting to talk to Sarah and LUKE today! The kids were thrilled. Well, Annabelle was, Greyson didn't really know what was going on but kept yelling, "Pa-PA, Pa-PA" or however you spell goodbye in Ukrainian. : ) Anyway... Praying Luke gets better VERY soon and everyone gets home safely!


  3. What a great post! Praying the passport and visa happen problem free so Luke can get home to PaPa! Praying the fever goes away on it's own and the doctor gives him an "all clear" report.
    Mz Jan

  4. That was such a great post Ken!! It was too funny!! Thank you so much for taking over for me!!
    I love you!!
    Sarah :)