Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Last Post

We have now been home for two weeks. The difference in Sophia is incredible. It took her 5 full days to get over her jet-lag and then another two to really start settling in. But now she is exploring the house, loves going outside and even started walking last night.

We took her to the doctor last week and she was put on some antibiotics for her nose, ears and throat infection. Now that the infection is gone, we can't believe her energy. She is sleeping about 12 hours per night (8:00-8:00) and even has a two hour nap every afternoon. So we are even getting the sleep we want. Let's hope it lasts.

Looking back at this experience, we realised just how lucky we were to find Sophia. The journey was long, nerve racking, streessful and Lisa and I have never been so close. Lisa and I absolutley love our new family and life!

Thank you to everyone for your comments and emails of love and support. We could not have done it without you.

Sophia, Lisa and Andrew Hrycajkiw

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 55 - Life at home

We spent the weekend trying to get Sophia used to her new life. Unfortunately, she is way too tired, so all we can do is give her as much as she will take. This is not very much, because she is not sleeping or eating very well. Everything is new, so we are trying to be as patient as possible.

Day 53 - Welcome to Canada Sophia

Yesterday and today was absolutely crazy. We picked up Sophia and spent all morning and afternoon at the passport office in Uzghorod. We rushed back to Svaliava to catch the overnight train and just made it (with just 6 minutes to spare). Then we took the 14 hour overnight train to Kiev. If one thing works as it should, it is the trains. We arrived exactly on schedule. Our facilitator was there to meet us and we went straight to the Canadian Embassy. There, they quickly processed us and within an hour we were off to the airport. From here all went smoothly (except for the fact that Sophia had now gone a day and a half without a good sleep or meal). Once we entered Canada, Lisa and I were ready to jump for joy. We are so happy to be home!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 51 - Well, bad news, sort of

If you read yesterday's blog, we let everyone know that if things went well today, there will not be a new post today. Obviously, things did not go well again. We are still waiting. But, we did get some good news, we were informed we will be recieving a red passport for Sophia. This will occur tomorrow afternoon. The passport director is actually going with us to Uzgorod to ensure all goes well. I told him that if we have the passport in hand by 4:00pm, we can get back to Svaliava, get Sophia and make it to our train to Kiev by 6:30pm.
We have already purchased our train tickets and the Canadian Embassy in Kiev has been made aware that we will be arriving at around 10:00am and they must complete the visa within one hour. Luckily, the embassy is closed to visitors on Fridays, so we will have no interuptions while there. From there, we head straight to the airport.
Thursday night and all day Friday are now going to be very painful, we do not expect to sleep much, eat much and have a very cranky child with us, but at least we are on our way home and can't be happier about that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 50 - Hotel California

"Welcome to the Hotel can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!"

Well today was pretty much a right off. We found out early this morning the passport office needed a couple more documents, so we ran around gathering them and delivered the full passport package to the office around 10:00am. We were told they would approve this after lunch. 2:00, 3:00 then 4:00 pm came and still no word. We decided to go back to the office and wait. Finally at 5:30 the Chief called us into his office and told us we has not been able to get the people he needs to aprove our request. We need this approval because we had asked for a slightly different passport then the norm. We require Sophia to get a red passport (the old style as of this year) as opposed to the new blue passport. This is important because a red passport can be created within a couple of hours whereas the blue is totally digital and takes 10 days.
We were asked to go back at 10:00am tomorrow to get the documents and deliver then to Uzgorod and hopefully within an hour leave with Sophia's new passport. This is still totally up in the air, so watch and shoot.
On a positive note, tomorrow we will be picking up our daughter and saying our goodbyes to the orphanage. If all goes well we will not have time to post anything tomorrow as we will be on a train to Kiev. So hopefully we get the RED PASSPORT!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 49 – It’s Official…

After a full day of running around, we are now the proud parents of Sophia Halina Hrycajkiw!

Today started with a little bit of a panic. We picked up our facilitator at the train station at 9:00, after a quick coffee, we were off to the court to pick up the Court Decree. We were told it was to be ready around 9:00am, but we found out the presiding judge was out of the city all morning and would return after lunch (really means 2:00pm). We told the clerks this was not acceptable because we need to obtain the new birth certificate today. To add fire, we found out the records department (which issues birth certificates) is closed on Tuesdays, so this delay might cost us 2 full days. Well after a couple of phone calls and a box of chocolates and bottle of sparkling wine, the clerk was now able to sign and stamp on behalf of the judge. Halina was now officially ours. We were on our way to Uzhorod by 10:30. We got to the records department right before lunch and snuck in just in time. Then off to get the new birth certificate legalized at the city hall. Our daughter’s new official name is Sophia Halina Hrycajkiw. Then back to Svaliava to sign the release form from the orphanage, meet with the notary for all the certified copies we will need and an application for a new passport. Once all this was done, it was off to the Svaliava passport office (the chief of which was waiting for us), to compile all the paperwork we will need to get the new passport.

We will not know yet how long the passport will take, but for now everything we wanted to accomplish today was done. Hopefully tomorrow goes like today, and we will be on a train Wednesday night back to Kiev to finish this long process.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 48 – Started to pack

Lisa and I took some time this morning to buy most of the last minute stuff we will need for the long journey home and actually started to pack all of the our stuff up. It does not look so bad; 2 huge suitcases and a sports bag for check-in and 3 small bags and a stroller to carry-on. I think we even managed to shed some weight from the trip here (mostly because we eat all the food we brought).

At 9:00 am tomorrow, we pick-up our facilitator and then don’t expect to stop running around until late. If tomorrow and Tuesday go well, then things will be awesome. Wish us luck!