That‘s me. We’ve just been so busy and enjoying the days that I stopped writing for a while so I’ll try catch up now. For those of you that know what an F1 GP buff I am, this weekend was the Turkish race in Istanbul and I was busy downloading all the sessions off the internet and had a lot to watch, which strayed me from my writing duties (sorry O!). So here’s one looooong post summarizing 5 days.

Thursday 4th June

We went with Carol to the town of Zaporizhzhya by taxi, about 1 1/2hrs from Nikopol. She takes a shopping trip there every week and we went along with her to get groceries and some donations for the orphanage. We bought more clothes and supplies for Isabella and Isaac too, together with some really delicious strawberries and cherries. We couldn’t resist the pumpkin seeds either, which we then marinated overnight in salt and water and later roasted them. By the way, to fully appreciate the significance of this music, you have to ride a taxi in Ukraine!

Friday 5th June

Isaac had the first seizure since we met him. When we visited in the afternoon, Isabella came to greet us but we didn’t see him. Then we heard crying and we saw a caregiver holding him. He was crying very hard, shrieking almost, and we sort of realized what could have transcended. We assume it happened in the playground just a few minutes before we arrived.

They took him into the orphanage and about 30-45 minutes later, we went in to see if we could find anything about his condition and we heard him in the hallway. They gave him back to us and we walked outside. He was visibly shaken and weak, probably from the medicine and the shot in the rear (ouch!). He must have had a terrible headache as he was constantly holding his head, whining and crying, amidst his efforts to laugh and smile at every chance. We felt really sorry for him as we couldn’t really help him much.

Saturday 6th June

After our morning visit, we went to the Central Market to continue shopping for supplies. We bought some greasy snacks…basically like fried dough in the shape of half a circle, filled with something. On another occasion we had one with potatoes and one with cabbage, but this time we bought potato-filled ones. I also tried another thin one, which turned out to be filled with onions and some kind of meat. Lori didn’t want it so I enjoyed it on my own. They were actually really good and cost only 2 Hrivna a piece (30c) and 3.50 Hrivna for the meat one. Alas, we got our grease-fix for a while.

We bought more clothes and shoes for the twins. In fact now we have a drawer per child and they have more stuff on top of the dresser. We then went to a kid’s store and got a stroller, which turned out to be quite a hit with them. Since it was late, we ended up going back straight to the orphanage after meeting Carol for a coffee. We did a lot of walking and think we might have burned quite a few calories. At least we hoped it would offset some of that grease!

IMG_3011 When we got to the orphanage, Isabella’s eyes almost popped out when she saw all those bags! Isaac was interested in the stroller (anything that has wheels gets his undivided attention). We tried on some of their clothes to verify we’re getting them the correct sizes and Isabella ran away to show off to her group. Isaac loved his Cars shirt and matching pants, which are a little big for him. We need to feed him well so he can catch up with little Miss Piggy! Anyway, we then decided to put their orphanage clothes back on and started with Isaac. I sat him on the table to take off his pants and put this shorts back on and he started crying HARD. We had no clue what was going on. We finally managed to get him dressed up and thought perhaps we were going to give him a shot, since he received one the day before after his seizure? Well, we were wrong…he didn’t want us to take his new clothes off! He started stretching his arms, trying to grab his new shirt. So we quickly deviated his attention with the stroller, took him around for a couple laps and he almost started dozing off. He’s gonna be just fine when we start taking them out of the orphanage after court.

Sunday 7th June

The temperature started climbing, so for our afternoon visit, we decided to buy a couple of ice-creams. What kid doesn’t like ice-cream, right? Well, perhaps kids that never had one maybe? We laughed so hard as both bit into the ice-cream cone and made such a weird face as they felt the unexpected cold stuff! This classifies as one of the funniest moments of the trip so far.

I started making licking motions and Isabella got the gist right away. It did take her a while to understand that if the ice-cream is dripping, you just lick it off, and that the same applies to your fingers. On the other hand, Isaac wasn’t so sure about the whole thing. He kept biting into it, opening his mouth, grabbing whatever ice-cream he had and throw it away. Attempts at making him stick his tongue out and pushing the cone against it didn’t have the desired results, but it was quite funny, especially since he had ice-cream up tIMG_3015o his eyeballs! I finally started giving him pieces of the cone and he liked it better. As usual, he took a piece into his mouth, took it out again in his hands to examine once again, and finally put it back in to finish it up.

In the end we snapped some photos of the twins and their friends. Here she is with Marsha, hugging one of her IMG_3026buddies.

The poor swings never stop. Here’s Isaac with Marsha one more time. I think they’re really going to miss each other, as they’ve been together since they were babies and are just like siblings. Too bad Marsha’s not available for adoption.

Monday 8th June

IMG_3032In our visit, we took several pictures of the twin’s group playing together. This will make for nice memories of their friends, as it’s probably going to be impossible to know their whereabouts in the future. Did I mention the kids like swings and that they love Marsha?

Since court was going to be the next day and Lori was leaving to return to the US right after, Carol and John invited us for a lovely dinner (or supper??) at their apartment. We chatted about our experience so far and about past adoptions that they witnessed. We finished off the evening with a nice walk on the main street as the air finally started cooling off a bit after the heat of the day.

7 clicked here to comment!:

The McEacherns said...

Isabella looks so cute in that bottom picture!

When I was about 10, my family "mentored" a family a Ukrainian immigrants. Their first week in the USA, we took them for McD's ice cream, and they all disliked it, even the kids! Too sweet, they said. Hmmm. Ice cream (ma-ROE-zhen-a)may be the only Russian word that I can recall even in my sleep!

Can I ask what you ended up paying for the stroller? It's a single one, right? Did you see any doubles? Just trying to determine a budget for one in case we need to purchase one there. Thanks!

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks, she's quite adorable at times, and others she can be very tom-boyish lol! They're both dare-devils when it comes to climbing and swinging.

Once they're in the US, they'll surely get accustomed to ice cream. We even make it at home and Isabella is already on board lol!

We spent $59. We found even cheaper ($45) but it didn't have shoulder straps and Isaac would be able to get out of that. We wanted something cheap as we're not planning to use it much (just for travel through the airport). Ukranians buy more expensive ones with big wheels and suspensions. Why? One word: potholes lol!

We did see some with 2 compartments but then they get into $300 and upwards.

The McEacherns said...

Thanks for the info!

Milena said...


A while ago, I was looking at childrens' photos on Reeece's Rainbow, praying for orphans to find families....and a certain girl (with a brother...) caught my eye since she ressembled my husband's niece so much. A while later, their profiles and photos were gone and I wondered what had happened to them. And now, several weeks later, I stumble upon your blog and there they are! Amazing!

I'm happy that you have found each other and I wish you the best of luck!

/a stranger in Sweden

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hi Milena, you're the second person that mentioned they saw them on Reece's Rainbow! Go figure :) Things happen this way for a reason I guess. One more week and they'll be out of the orphanage!

Christine said...

I love the video of the kids doing a little dance and song. :) Your blog is making me anxious to get back!

Dave Baldacchino said...

The full version of that video has saved me so many times, every day! It gives me some moments of peace to eat, get organized, wash dishes, etc.