We travelled hours over terrible roads and arrived at a tiny town.  Unexpectedly, the baby home was amazing.  It had wide, well lit hallways and I saw children preparing for Christmas shows in one room.  The building appeared to be completely renovated.  The physical conditions were fantastic compared to the baby home in Kremenchuk where Karen is from.

But I felt our agency was playing games with us.  We requested a girl.  Karen has been talking about her little sister and has already given her a name.  She told her entire class that her sister was born in Ukraine, and that we are going to pick her up.  

At the baby home they introduced us to a girl, but it quickly became apparent that she wasn’t available for adoption.  There were a number of legal issues blocking an adoption.  She also did not appear healthy and since our doctor had not yet seen her, we had no independent verification regarding health.  With Karen, our doctor travelled with us to see her, and examined her in our presence.  In addition, the baby home director appeared to be holding out for a much larger “donation”. 

Why did they even bring us here?  I think they knew it wasn’t a realistic option, but they wanted us to see that they were bringing us all the options (all one of them) for a girl.   Now they tell us there is a boy, 1.5 years old, available for adoption and healthy.  We will need to fly to Luhansk (Lugansk), a city in the south, along the border with Russia. There is a lot of pressure what with holidays, the ~100 EUR a day that apartment in Kiev is costing us and just being practically housebound with Karen due to the extreme cold (-19 C yesterday in Priluky).  Plus, we’re all homesick already.  We are sun country people….

What should we do?  We’ll have to decide, but I guess you can already tell where we are leaning.