Safe arrival and settling in

We had a great trip, all in all.  It was not remiss of a few stressful moments, but we are here safely and getting settled into our apartment.  It will house us for 2 days before we are off to Kherson.  We are not sure yet whether this will be by night train, or by flight...Nastya is still working out the details for us.  We will go to our SDA appointment at 11am (4am EST), and then get our referral paperwork on Tuesday afternoon before departing for Kherson.  Each day will require about 30-45 minutes of our time, and then we will be released to explore the city and its people, culture, and food.  I have already had a couple of experiences just picking up water and snacks that cause me great joy and gratitude for our translators when we are in situations to really need them!  So far trying to buy things and communicate with people over basic grocery items or elevator functions has been comical.  I stood outside the main apartment building door for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get in.  Then a couple came up and pressed this little tab (looked like a watch battery glued to a plastic stick) to the doorbell lookin thingy and we went right in.  Turns out I had one of those, just hadn't a clue what it was for.  Then I pressed a floor button too soon and shut the elevator doors on the poor guy that just let me in!  I felt like forest gump, so I figured I should start talking like that...I mean its not like they could understand me anyway!!

So the flight highlights:
1.  I had to remove my money belt at RDU and put it through the scanner...that was uncomfortable and nerve racking to see that much dough become noticed.  It was not a problem, and I got it back very quickly.
2. The RDU flight was a little behind, but the Newark flight was not.  We had 45 minutes to change planes.  We quickly rushed through the terminals and more security checkpoints to be the last people in the boarding line for our flight to Frankfurt...made it by the skin of our teeth...and we praised God for getting it all done.
3. We got a couple of hours sleep as we crossed the pond, but daylight quickly made its way into the cabin and it was 7am again, we lost 6 hours before we could blink an eye it seemed and so it was time to move onto the next flight.
4.  We met another couple in Frankfurt at the boarding area for our flight to Kiev, they were returning for  their court date, so we connected and encouraged each other before an uneventful flight to Kiev where we moved through customs and processes without a single word from anyone due to our airport facilitator (it was ransom money well spent...the lines were long!).
5.  Dahlia did beautifully, a little fussy here and there - but normal stuff that was quickly alleviated by moms tools (if you know what I mean).  She slept well and the altitude changes didnt seem to bother her at all.  Couldnt have asked for a better trip as far as infant travel goes.  I feel sorry for the poor children and their parents on our flights that didnt fare so well (another reason for our lack of sleep).

Here are some pictures of our current surroundings if interested:

1.  Our Apartment door

2. The apartment house stairwell, colorful!

3.  Apartment Building

4.  A city bus.

5 - 9.  The main city square - independence square I think it is.  I have no idea what all there is here, but I hear there is an underground mall and some good places to grab a bite...we might venture out later for some dinner I think.

10. The street from the main square back toward our apartment building

11 - 14.  Our little kitchen, living room, and views from the 8th floor.  Amy's sleeping in the bedroom, but imagine it like the living room, but with a bed instead of a couch.  All very tiny, but quaint sort of, or maybe thats the exhaustion talking.

We have skyped home to the parents and kiddos with a voice call and are now looking forward to our 1:30pm (EST) video call.  Hope the video quality was as good as the audio call quality!  So now onto a bit of rest and down time, then prep for tomorrows errands.


  1. Was looking forward to this first update since you left! So excited for you guys! Glad you get time to explore the country, shopping, food and culture! Can't wait to heat of the first time you meet thosqe precious girls! Praying for you.

  2. So happy for your family! At last, at last!

  3. We've been told by our facilitator that they've been asking when Mom and Dad were coming for them. Soon, very soon :)

  4. All good news. =) Everything fine here; Teena arrives today bringing extra "hands."

  5. I'm so SOO SOO SOO happy you're there safe and sound. I'll be praying you guys home!
    In Him,

  6. Mimi, great! I know the kids will love having her there.

    Thanks so much! You're next :)

  7. Soooo happy you guys are doing well and that the baybay is comfortable! Can't wait to read more! ps..bro i think you need to give someone 'the face' that you give me when i'm telling my stories :) then they'll really think you're weird what with the forrest gump voice and all :) love you tons!



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