View from the new apartment. We moved here into this one bedroom on the 8th floor with a tiny square elevator. Air conditioning works! Nicer neighborhood. Blessed we are for this place and it saves us $15 per night. The inside is much nicer and cleaner as well. This view is from the balcony where there is a drying rack for our laundry. Washing machine is new and in the kitchen. Best part of 8th floor for the boys? 140 steps down. Best part for us? Elevator up (and ac!)
Day and night views from the windows, beautiful!
Ours, not hers.
I have been taking photos for 2 posts that are in my brain for days when there is nothing more to report than taking buses and subways to visit and hold our little one for 30 minutes. Thought I might write one of them today until we had our hospital visit.
Our facilitator, who does not go to the hospital with us now, only when we need to go for official things or to help us move apartments, like yesterday, was going to the hospital to get a document signed. We got to drive along with her, as we had to pay for the driver anyway. He had driven her earlier in the day to the orphanage 45 minutes outside the city and to the inspector's office for other signatures. So we all got to go to the hospital together. We were very grateful for the turn of events.
When we first arrived, we found that our little girl was getting her steam hood treatment and that her chest x-ray is good, much improved. They let us go into the room where she was laying on a padded bench with the clear hard shell hood over her head with the steam and oxygen in it.
They gestured that I could go to her. The bench was low and I was in a perfect height on my knees beside her. Everyone of us greeted her and then they asked Gord to take the children out till they were finished. Our eldest stayed at first but then they wanted her to go too.
They had taken our little girl's IV out of her chest and it was now in her arm. I spoke with her and tried holding her hands but they were tightly clenched. Her arms were stiff and her breathing much faster than I had seen it. She wouldn't let me bend her arms in towards her at all which is the way she usually holds them. She didn't relax with me though I spoke to her, held her hands and kissed her hands. As her treatment progressed, she stayed much the same throughout. There was a nurse that had been sitting with her during the treatment. It was just the two of us in the room as our translator had taken B out to join the others. As I talked with K and kissed her hands, I heard the nurse sniffing. I looked back at her and she was crying. I asked her if she was okay and she shook her head and wiped her eyes. It's hard not to be able to communicate. I think these are a group off very compassionate nurses and staff and I think that they are happy that K has a family. But I'm not really sure what she was crying about.
As I knelt beside K, I felt that something wasn't right. She seemed to be trembling all over. Her chin was shaking and her arms and legs were trembling. Our translator returned to the room with another nurse and I asked if she was afraid or cold or what was wrong. The nurse came right over to look. One nurse went and got a thermometer and put it under her arm. Another came back with the head nurse and they spoke and went out. A nurse came back and gave her an IV drug and she seemed to relax. They took off the steam hood and since she was damp, face, neck and top of outfit and blanket, one nurse sat to change her. We put a clean and dry receiving blanket under her and the nurse stripped off her shirt. As she put the new shirt over her head before she had a chance to put it on her arms, rapid talking broke out and the nurse grabbed the two sides of the blanket together, picked her up and ran out the door with 2 other nurses.
I was stunned and the translator was stunned. Another nurse told our facilitator/translator that K had stopped breathing and they had picked her up and run up to ICU. I tried to find Gord and the children while controlling my feelings about everything. I was directed to them where they were waiting in an office. Once in the office and telling them, I cried. I was so torn again. This little tiny girl has already suffered so much that I didn't want her to suffer anymore but I didn't want to lose her either. I knew that to be with the Lord would be ultimate freedom, healing and joy for her and I didn't want to hold her back. I thought we had turned this corner and that she was improving and that the Lord wasn't going to take her just now. I thought she would come home to our family. Now I didn't know. My hands and heart need to be held open to the Lord each day and not just for K but for my other children, my husband, my situation in life, my home or possessions. None are really mine and none are permanent. They are entrusted to me. What I do with this trust is important. I need reminders.
We circled together and prayed for her not knowing how to pray and grateful that God's own Holy Spirit was praying according to God's will.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
After about 10 minutes our translator and 2 nurses gathered outside our door. They were talking with each other and not telling us anything at first. I was trying to brace for whatever the news might be. Then our facilitator told us in English that K was breathing on her own and doing okay. She had had a seizure which is not something that she had routinely before this hospitalization. However, since this pneumonia, she has had more than one. They were planning to watch her in the ICU for an hour or so and if she did well, move her back to her room. As of later tonight she was back in her room, but very sleepy.
We are all tired out tonight and so thankful for God's provision of our facilitator being at the hospital when we needed to know what was happening. And we are not the only ones going through uncertain times. We are praying today for a friend in California and his family as he had heart surgery today. We pray for the skills of surgeons and a flawless recovery but mostly for peace for them all and God's perfect plan.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Its Gord "guest" posting today. Heather thought I should post something just yesterday, and admittedly wasn't looking forward to it because I didn't really have anything. Heather does such a great job at communicating these events that I was happy to take the back seat and be the silent partner. Till today...
It was a run I was looking forward to. I had missed so many. The week prior to our leave I had to forgo the run in order to get as much done as possible. As it was I stayed up all night the day we left finishing up work. This week in the Ukraine has been so full with excitement, appointments and adjusting to jet lag that I never got a chance to hit the road till today. Now, I'm no runner (or else I would have been out despite all those obstacles), but I enjoy keeping fit and the time it affords me to pray & reflect, and I do enjoy that a lot. I knew after missing 2 weeks I should just take it slow & build up to my usual distance (plus Kiev has much steeper hills than I am used to).
I got up early and planned out my circuit, starting out slow and steady. About half way through the course, on my way back I noticed some dogs on the other side of the road. I had seen them before. Kiev seems to have spots that are more habitable for strays and we have been told to keep away from them. I actually recognized one that we had seen before when we were at the Ministry of Social Policy, waiting behind the building. She was a female who must have had some young ones recently by the size of her paps. Either way I paid them all little attention and continued on my merry way. Suddenly, this same dog found something amiss with me and started to charge at me full steam from across the street, barking and growling. Why this one out of the pack I don't know. Why me I also don't know.
Now I have always thought what I would do should I ever meet an aggressive animal on such a run. What would you do? Well, in Michigan I would grab the nearest stick (they are around everywhere I happen to run) or take out my pocket knife or maybe use the flashlight on my phone (don't laugh ... I really did think that could be an effective tool) to scare them away or fend them off with my bare hands as a last resort. Well all that planning did no good as I stopped dead in my tracks without my phone, knife or any sign of a stick in this urban landscape. My hands were useless to me and I was frozen. Not only was this dog bearing down on me, but I was catatonic. There was a Ukrainian man behind me that I had just passed that saw the whole thing and I heard a fearful noise come from him. I can only say fearful noise, for I don't know if it was in another language that he spoke or if it was just one of those instinctive sounds you make without thinking when you see something dire about to happen or get shocked by electricity.
The dog was barreling and growling and now only about 6 feet away when all of a sudden it turned on its heel 90 degrees and ran away behind me in silence. I could hardly believe what just happened. It was if she ricocheted off something like in a game of pool where the ball continued off in a direction at an angle equal to the incident attack. In looking back, I don't even remember how I cried out to God for help. I certainly didn't verbalized anything in those seconds, and it was just a flash of a prayer, but He did hear me at the moment I needed Him. In the relief I felt with disaster averted, as I finished up my run, two thoughts occupied me. One was a song of thanks that immediately came to my head written from the Psalms:
"Oh Lord you are a shield about me
You're my glory, the lifter of my head"
The second thought that came was what we were just reading together as a family yesterday about an angel who was sent to punish Israel after David fell into temptation to number his people(see 1Chronicles 21). This angel (only one angel) killed 70,000 with a pestilence and was about to destroy Jerusalem with his sword drawn and ready to strike (what would such an amazing sword even look like I imagine?!). I was wondering if there was an angel with a sword with me on my run today. Maybe it was like the scene that Baalam saw? I wish I could have seen it. On second thought, maybe it was grace that I didn't, for 'Mr Catatonic' probably would have passed out for the sight of the angel himself much less anything else supernatural.
What I do know is that I am grateful for my God the Shield, and for the many others who have been praying protection over us during our stay here.
O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah (Psalm 3:1-8 ESV)
Okay, well, she made sounds. Two of them!
But you don't know how remarkable that is for us. Its like hearing your baby's first word!
Our little girl has not been vocalizing at all (even crying) since we've met her but know that she has for others in the past. Whether her strength has not been there as she has been struggling to breath or whether the ventilator gave her a sore throat she wasn't making any sounds but rattly breathing.
But today...today, she spoke. Two times she made a sound and it wasn't sad. I don't know if there will be degrees of happy but I think she was content.
Today poppa or papa held her and her nurse (who is in medical school and speaks some English) made him wear a lab coat over his clothes. Of course I never thought to take a picture, sorry.
We learned that all of the children in this end of this wing of the hospital are orphans who are sick from our little girl's orphanage. When we arrived today, we were stopped in the hall and asked to wait. When they took us to her, there were 2 people bending over her. I think they had been quickly dressing her up again. She had on a pretty pink dress and matching tights again. We don't care what she is wearing and rushing to dress her can't feel good. I got to tube feed her today which I loved because I did it slowly for her tummy's sake.
While there, she needed suctioning again and I got to take her to the room again. Once inside closed doors, her nurse suctioned her and then turned to me and said "Okay, why K ? I said "We heard about her from another family that visited her orphanage and that she needs a family" (the short version). She said "Yes, but why her? There are so many more healthy children that need a family too?" "Yes," I replied, "but there are some other families who want them. No-one wants her" She nodded. I went on, "When we first heard about her, I thought it was too hard but God was talking to our hearts that He wants us to take her. This is the way He loves us! It is normal to like a cute little baby, its easy. But God's kind of love for us is different. We are like her. But He loves her and loves us so much that Jesus, His Son came to earth to die for us to pay for our sins so we could be His children. We can't love like that. Only He can and so it is His love not ours that wants her." (And He teaches us to love like Him when we've experienced His love.) She nodded again. I hope she tells all of the staff that may wonder as well. We can't love our little girl out of our own fleshly, selfish hearts. And we will need His strength to love her in the hard days ahead. But we have been loved! So undeservedly.
I John 4: 7-10
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Don't read anymore unless you want the truth. Now that I've shared the above with you, I can share something else. I love our little girl! Not as much today as the weeks and months and we pray years go by and we invest our lives in hers. But I do love her...much because I choose to. Because I am making her my daughter.
In the room next door, there is a sweet, wistful looking little girl. I think she has cerebral palsy too but not so severe and is not malformed that I can see. We see her in a little walker in her doorway and when she is tired of holding up her head, she lays it down on the tray. She awakens in me, a strong desire to mother her. She is an orphan too. I have found myself...get ready...wishing it was her that we were taking home. Are you shocked?
This is me. I am also drawn to the cute and pretty and everyday I am making a choice to love our little girl who is not pretty but infinitely precious and it brings home the message to me everyday of the love of God for me. He knows all of the ugly parts of me, the past and even the thoughts and attitudes that I entertain or embrace that are not beautiful, loving, like Him. But He loves me, has chosen to adopt me as His child, has forgiven me those uglies and is making me new and beautiful like His Son Jesus Christ. Read about Him! He is beautiful. He is pure. He is wise. He doesn't do what we expect but does the unexpected.
So, in case anyone thought I/we are so good, we aren't. We are doing this because God has asked us to. We have feet of clay but a God of amazing grace and we are being blessed beyond measure to be asked to demonstrate His love by loving her for Him.
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
1 John 3
3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
First subway ride, first bus ride, lots of firsts.
What makes it all worth it! Our little girl is much better today with no fever. Still has pneumonia and her lungs still sound bad, not as bad as yesterday. I didn't post yesterday after going to see her alone with the translator/helper. I was so ambivalent, praying for the Lord's will in her life. She seemed so much worse and was struggling so hard. I didn't want to wish her to stay on this earth struggling so much when she would have peace and health and restoration in heaven if God wanted her now. But if she was going to live, I wanted her to live with us. I just kept holding her and praying for her health and healing wherever and whenever that was to take place. I just kept kissing her face and talking to her. I sang the song "I love you Lord and I lift my voice, to worship You, o my soul, rejoice. Take joy my King, in what you hear, Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear." I know her every breath is a sweet sound to Him. Not because He delights in seeing her in this way...this is from our broken, fallen world in sin. But He delights in her. And our lives here on this earth are but a moment in time in the context of eternity, forever. This photo was from today however, where she has markedly turned a corner. She focused on my face if she sees it or at least looked at where she was hearing my voice though she doesn't make any sounds yet. She was cooler and breathing some easier.
In the morning our facilitator called us and let us know that she was better and that we could bring the children so we all went. It was 98 degrees fahrenheit. I realize that on those hot Michigan days before we came when it was even hotter, we stayed in or went out in the air-conditioned car or drove to an air-conditioned store or building. But here, we walk up and down hills, took the subway and then waited for a bus each way and then walked to the hospital from the bus stop. We were hot and tired and even grouchy when we got home. Lots of opportunities for grace and God's strength when we run out. We had picked up some groceries on the way home and walked the mile or so back from the store. Gord bore the burden of the groceries and his backpack with camera for us. On the way home we found a great way to cool off! There was a fountain on the street and there were local children playing in it. I don't know that this happens all the time but in the extreme heat, no-one was minding. Our children got up into it with some encouragement from us. After that, some young adults even climbed in for a quick cool off.
You don't even need to speak the same language to have fun together.
It was the day that we have ALL been waiting for. The day when we had enough paperwork to allow us to meet our little girl. The photos don't do it justice because of what we are NOT allowed to take pictures of.
We arrived at the hospital and met with our facilitator, the inspector, the representative of the orphanage and then we went to the head of the unit that our little girl is on. We were told to sit in the administrator's office while she described once again what we already know of her condition. She told us that she currently is fighting her second back to back case of pneumonia in both lungs. She came off of a ventilator yesterday and into a regular room but is still needing another 7-10 days of antibiotics. They are also giving an anti fungal drug to her. She has a congenital malformation of the chest we are told and with her cerebral palsy will always struggle with pneumonia's.
She asked if we had ever seen her or just pictures. We told her that we had seen pictures only. She told us that she didn't know how she could be transported since she never goes outside, only between the hospital and orphanage. As we discussed how we have prepared to transport her, she just shook her head. "Are you ready to see her? Are you committed to taking her?" We answered that we were and had planned for this for many months. She told the children to stay where they were in her office together and for just Gord and I to come. It was momentous with a line of officials being joined by nurses to watch this first introduction. I don't know what they or we expected from our first meeting but it was pure sweetness for me, hard to capture how sweet with mere words.
I saw this tiny little frame that looked like her photos but laboring to breathe and very gurggly sounding. She was dressed in a sunflower dress with tights and a matching hat for the occasion. Someone had taken good care of her. I had my back to the officials and didn't care what they were doing or thinking...I did care about what she thought. We went over to her crib and leaned over her, moving her hat and stroking her face and hair. It was hard to watch her struggle like she was. Her little mouth was open and so dry. She felt warm like with a fever though not hot and I know she didn't feel well. We started talking to her and telling her what was on our hearts for her and praying over her and stroking and telling her that we were her mamma and pappa come to bring her home, that she had to get well and that we would be back for her. A staff member from behind us told us that we could pick her up. We did and though she is straight and stiff from hips to feet, she molded in my arms in her upper body. I was able to whisper in her ears things and kiss her face and head. We stood swaying with her like a baby and talking to her like we did our newborns.
I know that she didn't understand our English words even if she understands them in Ukrainian or Russian. I hoped that she understood mamma and poppa. She focused her eyes on my face when it was lit by the window light. I think she sees some. Gord held her next and then we asked to bring the children. I held her again when they came and each quietly greeted her in their own way. Seeing her live was different for the children than her photo and sobering. We sang peace to her through the Aaronic blessing, Numbers 6:24-26
Our facilitator asked us if we wanted to proceed to file the adoption paperwork for court now that we had seen her. This is what we came here for. This little girl. Yes, we do.
The doctor had come in during this time, early on and was quizzing us about the equipment that we had and was telling us how much care she requires. She told us how hard it will be. Of course we only know in theory but we are signed on for the long haul. This is what God asked us to do. We told her, respectfully, that it is harder for our little girl.
She told us that the children may not come again to the hospital because they don't want her to get sick with the aggressive germs that children have. Then they told me that I might come every few days but not every day. We asked about Gord and they hesitated and said "maybe".
Some of the other staff spoke with us through our interpreter and the orphanage representative told us that she takes our little girl outside some every day. One of the nursing staff, a lady a bit older than the others gave us very direct and affirming/kind looks (not what you get from everyone here) and I believe that she understands and has been caring for our little girl. I am so grateful to these staff from the hospital and orphanage that give her gentle care. I've never seen anyone in her condition in the US and yet she begs gentleness.
Some medications needed to be purchased for our little girl and this came out of fees we had already paid. Our facilitator left us in the room to go and purchase these. While she was gone we took advantage of the time to continue touching and talking and praying for her. We had noticed that she seemed to be relaxing and her breathing slowing down. The nurses had noticed it too and the head nurse said to us, "You need to come back and talk to her everyday. She is better since you have talked to her and held her. Her breathing was hard since she came from ICU and now it is getting easier". We asked about going against the doctors earlier statement and she said "No, you need to come every day except not Saturday or Sunday." When we were across the room talking with the nurse, little girl turned towards our voices and looked like she was trying to see us.
We rubbed the pink blanket on our skin again and then left it in her hand, it being too hot to be covered with. Lord willing, we will see you tomorrow little one.
Once outside, our facilitator told us that the inspector was favorable to us. We had to leave and drive 45 minutes to our little girl's orphanage for some paperwork. We had been wanting to connect with an American that had contacted us on our blog after finding some photos of our little girl and recognizing that she had visited and loved on her in the orphanage the previous summer. She was in the town and at the orphanage this week. We didn't know exactly where to find her though and our facilitator needed us to go with her to a notary while she prepared more documents. While she was in the office, we had some water and ice cream as lunch had been missed during all of the running around. As we sat on this quiet street in this town in the country, some English speaking people came down the street returning from lunch. There she was! It was great fun meeting Jeanette and the other team members (thanks for the OT advice J) and once again the Lord's provision for us.
The day started with one child with a sick tummy and ended with another child with a sick tummy. And in between there was a husband with a sick stomach too. This was "a stone in the shoe" as we prayed for God's strength and help. Everytime someone needed facilities, we were right by them though we drove all over today for hours, and the final hurrah happened as we were pulling up to the apartment and not when we still had a 40 minute drive. Of course, as soon as we were home, all were well.
Next time we will have better photos. We will be holding her in them! Please keep praying for her healing.
Monday morning was a tough wake up. Though our bodies know that the light means that we should be up, they feel like they should be asleep! Our facilitator met us and we walked up hill and down (mostly up) to the back of a small unassuming building where many hopes are begun to be fulfilled. We joined several other people, couples and individuals waiting to be seen by someone at the ministry of social policy for some reason or other. It is mostly quiet as we stand there. The view from outside is amazing! We are high over parts of Kiev there and have a stunning view. Right beside us is a beautiful old cathedral, St. Andrew's. It has the domes I associate with Russia and is blue and white with green roofs like several other cathedrals we see as we look around. St. Sophia's and St. Michael's included. While we wait, we met another family adopting 3 sisters. We find other English speaking adopting families to be like long lost friends.
After a while we are shown into an office to meet with a serious faced director who is also kind. She wants to know why her? Why disabled? It is important that this is answered. They want to protect all children and want to hear our motive. We told her that all children deserve a family and to be loved. She nodded and said nothing. Gord spoke up telling her that it is because of Jesus loving us and that being a follower of Christ is why we do what we do. She responded that it is mostly only families from the US that take the disabled children. She proceeded. We got to read her file and more of her birth history. We signed in the book that confirms that this is the file, this is the child that we want to become part of our family, our daughter.
We went to celebrate at a Ukrainian restaurant for lunch. $ 15 feeds a family of 5 till we are full with delicious food.
This morning, Tuesday, we received word that our little girl was off a ventilator and breathing on her own and being moved to a regular room! Thank you for your prayers for her! That's more than we knew of her condition. Apparently they thought she would die 2 weeks ago.
This afternoon, we got to go back up the hill to receive our referral and sign once again, passports in hand. Tomorrow is the day!
A regional inspector and a representative from the orphanage must all meet us at the hospital and inspect our interaction with her. They need to sign approval of our interaction, we saw her, we interacted, we know what we are getting into. Then I think we drive outside Kiev 45 minutes to her orphanage to meet with her Dr. and discuss her care and needs.
Its a big day, tomorrow. We will meet our newest family member and try to communicate to her something of Jesus and His love which is ours for her too.
Fighting jet lag after waking at noon here, we walked down the hill to the main square we had seen the night before. We looked at shops and walked under the roads to cross them. Under these very wide roads are many, many stalls selling all things Ukrainian as well as convenience items. We saw people with cups for donations, mostly older women, probably widows. They made no noise and had no signs and one was doubled over with her face to the floor on a little mat.
We walked down the street, blocked off to traffic on Saturdays and Sundays to a grocery store to pick up a few things. It was raining briskly but was fun to be out in together. Tomorrow, the process really begins.
Our day of arrival was long, being jetlagged and losing luggage, waiting in a line for an hour to be able to report lost luggage after finding our patiently waiting facilitator/translator and the driver brought to pick us up. Then to the hospital in the heavy rain and getting to see the interesting driving practices of another country. Our facilitator brought candy with a toy inside for each child which won their hearts immediately. There are no seatbelt laws here and 5 of us sat in a row for 3. After our hospital visit attempt, we were driven to a grocery store where we had to try and make a quick purchase for who knows how many days to store in who knows how big a fridge in packages whose contents I could only guess without our Helen. Did you weigh that and get it marked? No? Take it back there and that man will mark it. Do you need oil? That is Russian cheese. The herring plain is better I think. This bread is good bread.
We were so tired and overly hungry, and emotionally taxed at our almost visit to see our little girl, but hurried as best as we could back to the car with the very patient driver who spoke no English. On the way to our apartment which is by the city square, we heard fireworks and then saw them, going off over the dome of a great building there.
Helen didn't know what they were for so contemplated that Kiev was saying "The Russells are here, The Russells are here" We all found this to be quite funny, we were so tired. It was beautiful and soothing and we pulled up to our apartment. After climbing 78 steps with our luggage (Gord took 2 trips), we quickly opened the deli food we had bought at the market and ate on auto pilot and dropped into beds. How grateful we are for our Ukrainian guide, translator, apartment finder, driver arranger and for the fireworks to welcome us to the Ukraine:)
Thanks to God for His strength and help on our flights and arrival here in Ukaine! 1 suitcase and our gatechecked precious stroller/transport for our little girl did not arrive with our flight. But they did arrive at our apartment the next day all safe and sound:)
Our facilitator is a gem! From the airport she offered to take us right to the hospital and so we eagerly went.
As we pulled up, it was a very unlikely looking hospital when we compare with what we are used to. Inside it looked more like a warehouse from the early 1900's. Big and old clanging metal doors on the manned elevators, stern faced women looking like they were from some old movies of Soviet days. Very old, very closed doors to wards. Helen talked her way through all but the Dr. who came to the door of the locked ward. Sorry, you may not see her without paperwork that proves we are in the process to adopt her. No information about her condition. Okay, he relented to say that she is no worse and is still alive and yes, we may leave something for her from us. We rushed back through the clanging doors to the car to get the small soft pink blanket that we had rubbed all on our necks to get our smell on to it so she could have it in her bed and we sent prayers that God would give her hope. By the time we left, the women were smiling at us all and I think they are happy that Katia will have someone. One of the women called up to the ward when we arrived and said "Katia's mamma and poppa are here!" In the words of someone famous..."We'll be back!"
Today is our appointment at the Ministry of Social Policy. Tomorrow we get our paperwork late in the day and Wednesday we can see our girl.