Sigh of relief in Kiev

Yesterday was by all means the most stressful day of all so far. Actually until just a few minutes ago.

When I went to the US Embassy to finalize the Visas, I was told that it wouldn’t be possible because I’m not a US citizen. Lori started the I-600 filing on June 11th herself and before leaving, she asked to make sure there would not be any problem for myself to finish the process. She filled the forms correctly, indicated me as a US permanent resident and they never said anything. Yesterday they told me she’d have to fly back. You can only imagine the expense that would incur: last minute bookings and 3 further ticket changes for the kids and myself.

Finally this morning at 8:50am, I got a call from the Embassy with great news. They approved our visas and we’ll be picking them up at 2pm! Can’t tell you what a sigh of relief it was for everyone.

Amidst all this “fun”, I didn’t feel like writing much about our trip to Kiev yesterday, so I’ll catch up now that I’m in a MUCH better mood. The taxi ride took about 8 hours in all. We made a side-of-the-road pit stop to change Isaac’s diaper (“baptism by fire” as Carol affectionately calls is!). The kids slept a bit here and there, but Isabella was by far the most fidgety. Isaac spent a lot of time laying on the seat and napping. Overall they did great considering this was their longest trip so far. We snacked a little towards the end as I didn’t want them to be too full.

Our apartment is right up on Independence Square, on the left side of McDonalds, 3rd floor. That night I made the trip down with the kids to buy some water and “sok” (juice) and went back up soon after. They got on probably their first elevator ride in fascination. Mind you, a very noisy old elevator! I then gave them a bath and we went to sleep.

Yesterday I woke at 7am and started getting ready while the kids continued sleeping, as that’s the only time I have to steal a shower. We then went to get the physical exams done at the hospital. Isaac was restless and was flirting around with others. He did calm down eventually, but then Isabella’s misbehaving began. The doctor was amazed at how agitated they were. Yep Dr., I know we have a long road ahead! They also had to draw blood for the Syphilis test (I believe) and the results were picked up in the afternoon by Olga and Sasha.

The US Embassy adventure wasn’t pleasant. Isabella was on her worst behavior while I was dealing with trying to fill forms and the issues with my status. I put Isaac on my shoulders so I could deal with her. Finally I had to go back out with them to get Olga. We then spent some time in the play area as Olga sorted some stuff out. I could tell they were still tired but was totally blown away by Isabella’s total disregard to what I was asking of her. Back in the apartment I sent them straight to bed (some tough love!) and they woke up in a much better mood.

At around 6pm, I decided to venture out with them for some dinner and walking around. I had them solidly by their harnesses this time and they held my hand at all times. We circled the square a couple of times, crossed through the subway to the other side, passed through the tall monument and into the glazed shopping mall. I could tell they were amazed at the sights and it was quite funny to ride the escalator with them. Isabella looked in disbelief at the “moving staircase”! We then went to the other side of the underground mall and managed a sandwich dinner at Double Coffee. And yes, I took 2 double coffees lol! We sat overlooking the mall and I put the food and drinks on a ledge, away from their reach. They drank their juices, ate their sandwich (didn’t spoil a thing!) and loved fries. While I ate my sandwich, I fed them my fries, which kept them occupied.

We then walked along Kreschatyk, crossed over to the other side and walked some more. I have to say we got plenty of looks as this one guy walked with a kid on either side on a leash! It was quite funny but they did really well. Isabella was climbing planters and jumping as Isaac started getting tired. After buying some water, we headed back up, gave them a bath, talked to family and mama on Skype and then put them in bed around 11:00pm.

I slept separately from them this time so I wouldn’t wake them in the morning and they were up at 9:30am. It’s now 10:45 and we’ll get ready for the US Embassy appointment as we’ll be picked up at 1:30pm.

3 clicked here to comment!:

Kevin and Tammy said...

Great news. Good luck on the trip home. Great idea on the harnesses.

The McEacherns said...

What a relief that Lori doesn't have to fly back! And you are a brave soul to manage both kids on your own. I'm sure they're overstimulated with all of the new things around them. You're doing a good job, and you'll make it home in one piece! Blessings!

Dave Baldacchino said...

Couldn't do it without the harnesses! Yes, I had such a sinking feeling at the Embassy when they told us that. Anyway, it's just a bad dream now. It wasn't easy but somehow I managed lol!