Doug and Karen are headed to Ukraine. Right about now they are over the Atlantic Ocean on their way to Munich, then on to Kiev. It's Karen's first in Ukraine. First time out of the country. First time to fly! Nothing like a 10+ hour, three leg flight to be your first! (Doug's first time flying was in 2006 when we went to Ukraine for a mission trip.) While Doug and Karen are in Ukraine, Doug promised to blog, if I would help with the layout of pictures. So together, the blog of the journey to bring the boys home will continue!
The *plan* is to head to the boy's region on the express train Tuesday morning. They would arrive in the region around noon on Tuesday. This will allow Doug and Karen some time to get settled in the apartment before a long day of paperwork, applying for passports, and working on changing the boys birth certificates to their new names on Wednesday and Thursday. There is a possible trip to another region to take Max to his new orphanage until he can come home over the weekend. By next Monday, Elijah's passport *should* arrive. They would head back to the capital city overnight Monday, and be able to complete medicals, and embassy appointments #1 and #2 and fly home on Thursday the 22. At least as of right now, that is the *plan*.
Our team has been talking to some big time officials in the country, pleading Max's case. There is a small chance that Max might be able to come home with Doug and Karen. We should know within 10 days if a higher-up official (as in one that works in the President's office) will allow Max to come home now, rather than later. We're saying our prayers that these officials will agree that the best place for Max to be is at home, with a family that loves him and will guide him to make good decisions and instill good moral values.
Knowing that Max coming home now was an option, great friends have rallied around us to help. Amy is donating her proceeds from a Lia Sophia party towards our adoption costs. Megan and Erin had a 31 party today, and the 31 consultant; Sonia, asked if she could donate her proceeds towards our adoption. Other friends and family members have donated to our Reece's Rainbow account again. A dear friend offered to help us financially. We wouldn't be able to have the option financially to bring Max home now without these great friends. We are truly grateful and humbled by the generosity of others to make our family a reality.