Doug and Karen were up early this morning and out the door to pick Elijah up for his passport picture. Our facilitator asked for money before they went into the building as well as after being in the building. Maybe the dollars helped get the passport faster. The passport price was higher than what had been quoted to us two weeks ago. Amazing how the price inflates in two week's time. I guess it's one of those things you just grin and bear it, knowing that in the end, it's what gets your kiddos home.
When entering the building, there was a long line, but Doug and Karen went to the front, got Elijah's picture taken and got everything sent out to be processed. We've been told that the passport will arrive on Monday.
Then on to Max's birth town, which is about 90 minutes outside the city. Now we have new birth certificates for both boys, and a passport in process for Elijah.
There has been a lot of discussion about Max and his possible move to another orphanage. We had first been told that we had the choice as Max's legal parents to move him to any orphanage in the country. We had talked with our friend Anya, who lives in another region, and we decided it would be best to sen him to an orphanage close to her so that he could be in contact with her until we could come back to get him. Then, we were told that he would need to stay in the same region he is in now. So after Doug and I talked last night, we decided to move him to an orphanage in his region that our friends Nate and Diana volunteer at. Well, we were told it was a "bad" orphanage (like dirty/old kinda bad), then we were told that Max couldn't go to a state run orphanage, but would need to go to a privately run orphanage or stay at the orphanage he is at now.
All this information for Doug to digest. First, we feel horrible that as Max's legal parents, we can't even do what is best for him in this situation because of the "bureaucracy", then to have all this information told to you through broken English. On top of all that, you feel so helpless, because your wife is in another country, 7 hours behind you time wise, and the decision you want to make together--if there is really a decision for us to make.
I talked to Doug at lunch time today as well as after school. I think he was overwhelmed and it was good to talk. This afternoon we talked for a long time and at one point he started to cry. No a good situation since I was driving in the rain on our way to therapy for the girls, trying not to cry too. Doug told me that new, and dear friends of ours in Ukraine offered to take Max in. Can you believe that? People, who we just met in September, offered to care for our son for six months. Doug was blown away and greatly humbled by this gesture. Because Nate and Diana minister to orphans around the country of Ukraine in the winter, it would not be possible for Max to live with them. Nate told Doug they "would help Max in any way they could". Doug told Nate that he would just like someone to be there for Max, to be a voice of reason, to be a "father" figure when he couldn't. Nate and Diana have been gracious enough to be Max's lifeline during his "limbo" time int he country, committing to drive to his orphanage, pick him up and take him to church. They are willing to touch base with him weekly, pray with him and for him, and help guide him in our absence.
Tomorrow- Friday, Doug, Karen, and the facilitator are going to check out one other option for an orphanage placement in the city of Kharkov. It is a privately run orphanage, so there might be a hefty cost involved. Doug is hoping that tomorrow after visiting, he will know better what to do about Max's placement. Either tomorrow or Saturday, they will pick Max up and spend the weekend together. On Monday, Nate would like to go out and meet the director and introduce himself to him/her so that if and when he goes to spend time with Max, he will be a known face.
There has been paperwork submitted to a high official in the President's office. One of our team members submitted it and thought he would hear something immediately from this official. There was no news today. At the least, the team thought that they would hear something on the 27th (which is the day Doug flies home) when the Presidents council meets. The paperwork submitted was a request to allow Max to travel home before August, be fore April, but now. For now, we continue to wait.
It was a frustrating day for Doug. Not because things were not accomplished, but because of the run-around, the indecisiveness, and lack of information that was easily understood by the team.
Doug could use, and I'm sure would appreciate your prayers. He is making big decisions about our boys and I am fully confident that he will make the ones that are best for our boys.