Gotcha- Day Two- Kiev

March 2, 2012 in blog, Europe, Travelogue, Ukraine


Today has been a day of dichotomies: English & Ukrainian, hot and cold, healthy & sick, American & Foreign, happy and sad.

The good news of the day:

The visa applications have been accepted and the boys passed their mandatory medical examinations. Tomorrow we pick up the paperwork and they’re free to go home.

Life for Jeremiah, Max, Benjamin and their Mama is a roller coaster right now; of experiences, emotions and change. Every meal, every trip in the car, every walk outside, every hour of this second day was filled with delight and fraught with uncertainty.

  • Entering a shop we nearly squished a boy in the revolving door. Jen and I didn’t even think about the fact that they had no clue.
  • The feral cat in the stairwell scrambling to get out scared them to death on the way up to the apartment.
  • The youngest vomits non-stop in the car, even on the shortest of trips, the middle boy joins in the chorus of puke from time to time.
  • Every hour they add English words to their vocabulary, in voice and sign while Jen and I pick up the Ukrainian at less than half the pace.
  • Playing with toys in the American embassy they made friends with other children, newly adopted.
  • Waiting in the medical clinic they were joined by a little boy, five years old, his belly distended with some unknown malady. He has Down’s Syndrome and is about the same size as a 15 month old baby.
  • Walking through Kiev in search of internet pointing out stop lights, bar lights and lights bouncing off of the cloud ceiling, Jeremiah, with eyes bright signing his newest word: “Lights!”
  • Crying at nap time. Jen lay with Benjamin who fought hard, trying to get away. I lay with Max who finally broke down and cried, big heavy, sad sobs until he fell asleep on my chest. I can’t say for sure what he was thinking, but he seemed sad that his brother was upset and perhaps missing the familiar.
  • Giggling in the bath. Lining up naked and competing to be first. Benjamin won, he’d thrown up the most today. Giggling some more trying to stuff wet boys into dry footed jammies.
  • Freezing outside, wrapping up in scarves and hats. Boiling inside, where the heat is regulated by the government, turned on in the fall, off in the spring and completely without possibility of adjustment. Living inside is like one long hot flash.
  • Delighting in meals: oatmeal for breakfast, meat filled ravioli style pasta in the health center cafeteria for lunch (Benjamin dropped his bowl and broke it) Chicken soup with salad and bread for dinner. (Jeremiah licked every speck of orange juice dressing from his salad plate and signed for “more.”) These boys LOVE to eat.
  • McDonalds. For the record, Deml children do not eat at McDonalds. However, the Deml Mama needed to arrange plane tickets, and McDonalds has reliable internet, worldwide. We sat for the better part of an hour while the boys ate chocolate sundaes (Benjamin doesn’t like them) and made faces at the other patrons. Plane tickets were procured. Websites were updated. Loved ones were contacted. Mayhem did not ensue in their first restaurant experience.

Day two as Demls was a complete success. They’re learning so fast and they’re blossoming already.

If I haven’t mentioned it already, I count it an immeasurable privilege to be here to help my friend ferry her little men across continents and find “home.”

Jen & her boys, Cooper and his Mom... Cooper is five. This makes our boys (who are small) look huge!

Kiev street view

Opera House, Kiev

Max and Jeremiah like to go through all of the new food and sign "Later" then organize and reorganize it.