After a good nights rest we found ourselves wide awake and ready to go at 4:30am local time...I dont remember ever experiencing jet lag, but this must be it. So we got up and read some, listened to music and I ventured out to the McDonalds for some coffee and breakfast around 6:30. Turns out they don't open until 8am around here...so back to the apartment where I found myself enjoying a quick nap (thanks Benadryl!). Amy, Dahlia, and I all have a bit of sinus congestion and (I at least) have a dry, scratchy throat. We think it must be allergies due to all the flowering trees and things we see floating in the air around us. Hopefully that will subside soon. Went back for breakfast at 8:30 and the city was alive with people and I was a bit intimidated about getting in that McD's line...turns out the cashier didnt speak english. I managed to get 2 McMuffins (here they come with lettuce, tomato, and mayo - like a burger), and 2 large coffees without too much embarrassment. We are trying hard to remember how to say all the things we thought we learned, but everyone is gracious with us as we rely on a translator or stumble through whatever we are trying to say.
We completed our SDA appointment today without any complications. We were asked why we wanted to adopt these two girls in particular, to which we replied with a brief story of how we came to know of them through NHFC. Turns out that their mother and father are both known, they were born in Kherson - which is good for later document chasing, and have been in the orphanage for at least 4.5 years, maybe longer. We will find out more of those details when we get to Kherson on Wednesday. We saw pictures of them from when they were 6 maybe, along with a current photo. We found out that Katya is active and playful, while Karina is also active and playful, but can be sensitive (meaning take things personally). We also discovered that both children are possibly HIV+, although one is on medications and one is likely not. The report for Katya indicated some symptoms, while Karina's report didnt specify symptoms but left room for a possible diagnosis. All of these details will become more clear during our visit with the orphanage director and staff. All information from the SDA originated with them, so they will be able to tell much more of the story once we are there.
So now we wait for the referral permission process to run its course and pick up documents tomorrow around 4pm. Then we will wait for the night train to depart and take us to Kherson where we will be greeted by our regional facilitator the following morning. Its a 9 hour train ride, but should be bearable if we upgrade to a compartment that possibly has A/C. It will be a little more expensive, but nearly not as pricey as trying to fly. Flights are seemingly not going to work anyway, since we could only get to somewhere that would then put us out by 5 hours via car...so whats the point. Might take us longer and cost us more. So we will take the upgrade train option and endure.
In the meantime its off to lunch, and a nap, and then video with the family at 7pm local time.