Friday, January 30, 2009
One year ago...
I have decided to follow my mother's sage advice to start thanking God for all of this. While I don't know if I'm quite ready to thank Him for not delivering on the passport, there are several things for which I should be incredibly thankful. I'm hoping it will help my attitude to share them with you. So here they are...David Letterman style.
Tami's Top Ten Things to be Thankful For...
10. It's been warmer in Odessa than at home. I came to Ukraine expecting to be living in the deep freeze. Truth be told, I'm wearing my coat most days, but no scarf, gloves or long underwear. And we haven't had an inch of snow since I've been here. Not so much as a dusting. Something to truly be thankful for.
9. Pringles and Snickers are sold here. Yes, I've turned to my friends, Mr. Pringles and Mr. Snickers. I am SO glad these old friends have found their way to Odessa. They've kept me company more than a few nights while I've been here. Of course they're not doing my 'Ukraine diet' much good, but I gave up on hoping to lose 15 pounds a long time ago. I'll wish for 5. It's a start!
8. My cushy apartment. Yep, I'm pretty thankful for Odessa Executive Suites and the American who started it. I have high-speed internet, a jacuzzi tub, satellite TV, a king sized bed, a DVD player and a washing machine...all with western decor. What more could a girl ask for? Before you go getting all 'enjoy the culture' on me, just know during Punky and JacJac's adoption, we definitely lived with the locals. I've been there, done that. Since Meshack had to leave, I felt like I needed to be as comfortable as possible. And this place is great!
7. The Haug's are on their way to Kiev. We thought for awhile that their daughter's passport was with Maddie's, but evidentally it was just hung up somewhere. Today it was found and the family left at 5:30 p.m. local time for Kiev. They should be pulling into the capital city in a little over three hours. I'm so happy for them...really I am. I have to admit I was excited when I found out theirs was here, because I was absolutely convinced Maddie's would be too, and then experienced profound disappointment once again. But once I got over the intial shock I realized they really NEEDED that passport to be here today. They've been here FOREVER and have been through so much. They are more than ready to come home. If anyone had to beat me home, I'm glad it's them. BUT NO ONE ELSE!!!! I'M NEXT!
6. Bogdan. The man that I keep saying I'll introduce you to, but haven't gotten around to yet. Bogdan is an amazing human being. He works in an orphanage in Kiev with 'graduates' - children who have aged out of the system. He does an amazing job and I promise to introduce you to him someday. In the meantime, if you are coming to Kiev in the near future and would like a great apartment to stay in with all the western amenities...for a song, let me know. The money goes toward the graduate program, so you'd be doing the kids and yourself a favor. The apartment is a little out of the way (pretty close to the airport) but it's an easy subway ride to Independence Square, Kreshadik and the SDA. And for an added bonus...Bogdan speaks English not only fluently, but without an accent. It's weird. It's like you're talking to an American. And even after only a few days in Ukraine, you'll be craving that, I promise! :)
5. Tomorrow is Thursday...the day the passport is expected to arrive. I'm trying incredibly hard not to place all of my hope on this one day, but I have to admit I'm inching closer and closer. The passport will come when the Lord decides it needs to get here - and not a moment sooner. Several people have mentioned to me that there maybe SOMEONE who needs my help here. They encouraged me to look around. I'm looking...but not seeing.
5. Sandra. My friend is gone, but her impact on my experience remains. Meshack and I truly have made a lifelong friend in Sandra. She met us during one of the most trying times in her adoption experience, but exhibited true Southern hospitality in graciously showing us the sights and introducing us to the Kiev bus and subway system. We would have been lost without her. She is on her way home (as you read this) with her daughter, Annalee. Head on over to her blog and welcome her home, and then read her full story. You'll be amazed. I promise!
4. It's not August. While I would love to see Odessa in the spring or fall, there's no way you would catch me here in the dead of summer. UGH! You remember how much I HATE summer, right? I can't imagine being here, on the Black Sea (heat and humidity) without air conditioning. The thought makes my hair get all frizzy!
3. All my bloggy friends. You all have kept me company, cheered me up and cheered me on in the last year. I'm so happy to have your support. I don't know what I would have done without it in the last 48 hours. Thank you!
2. Meshack. I couldn't have done this without him. While I won't lie to you, this experience has stretched us, it certainly hasn't broken us (except maybe financially! :) He's my rock.
1. Maddie. How could I make a list of things I'm thankful for in Ukraine without mentioning this precious little girl. She has already changed my world - for that I am eternally grateful. She is a precious gift on loan from God. One which we get to help mold into a strong Christian woman. I can't wait to see what great things God has in store for her! ;)
So there you are, my top 10. I have to admit, it has helped a little. It took my mind off my situation, at least for a time. I'm still anxious about tomorrow. Part of me is hopeful and the other part is dreading it - afraid it won't arrive.
My facilitator is sending a translator (Kiril) down tonight to help me with this last little bit. It gives me some hope that they truly believe the passport will be here tomorrow.
As always, I'll keep you updated, although if we do leave tomorrow I won't have a lot of time to post something in depth.
It will probably be pretty short.
Pray for short.