Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We're HERE!

We arrived safe and sound in Kiev a few hours ago. We are settling into our apartment downtown on the 15th floor and we have a nice view of the city. We are eating a little local cheese and bread, having a little amaretto coffee and trying to stay awake until night so that we can immediately adjust our body clock to Ukraine time.




Nikolai met us at the airport about 1/2 hour late and we were just about to get worried when a really nice man (a taxi driver I assume) offered us his cell phone. We called and confirmed we were here and a few minutes later Nikolai greeted us, he is 100% fluent in Spanish, he lived in Cuba for 5 years so even though his English is excellent his Spanish is even better and he can communicate with Hector perfectly. He took us to to get some of our money exchanged, did a quick grocery store run for us and helped us get into our apartment.

We will venture out in a few hours to find a restaurant for dinner. We'll meet Nikolai again so we can get our phone and then we'll head to bed so that we are fresh and rested for our early 9am appointment with the SDA.


TGI Friday on a Wednesday night, we have no idea what to expect as far as language so we played it safe tonight.



The language is such a barrier right now, I'm sure it will get better soon.



We think that says something about Mexico, so Hector thought it deserved a picture.



I still cannot believe we are here. I truly believe God had a hand in this one. I called United Airlines around 11:30pm Monday night (after calling every hour on the hour) looking for an opening on any flight going through to Kiev the next day (our last possible chance of making our SDA appt). I kept getting nothing, no seats available, no flights available. On my last effort, after seeing some encouraging words from friends on Facebook to not give up, I called United again and decided to ask the agent if there were any first class seats available. It was then (and only then) that the agent said let me do some looking around here. She said she saw an Austrian Air flight through Vienna and then to Kiev. She wasn't able to get through to them but put in the request and said to check back again early the next morning (Tuesday) to see if we got the seats. Hector and I went to bed figuring it just wasn't going to happen and that we had to prepare for being delayed until June if we missed our appointment on 4/22. I set my alarm for 3 am and checked the computer immediately and wasn't able to see anything. I called United and there it was...two confirmed seats going through Vienna to Kiev and we had to be at the airport in Sacramento in two hours!!! It was a miracle getting the seats but we still had to worry about whether or not the flights were going to operate due to the volcano. Every single leg of the flight we PRAYED that we would get through and every single leg of the flight did. It was Austrian Air's FIRST flight back to Vienna in 4 long days...we were on their first flight since the eruption. We got to Vienna and found that Kiev airport was open to all Austrian Air flights as well...we were GOLDEN!

(By the way, the international airport in D.C. and the airport in Vienna were eerily quiet and calm. Not many people and no chaos like I expected there to be...interesting!)


A picture fromm the plane going through the volcano ash cloud, you can see the black sky under us. Scary!



I still have to pinch myself. We made it! We're here! We are going to meet Sofia at the earliest this Friday and at the latest on Monday. Again, we'll hope and pray for another miracle and that would be to get an early referral to Sofia's orphanage after our SDA appointment so that we can hop on a train in time to see her on Friday 4/23. Otherwise, we will get our referral Friday afternoon and will have to wait until Monday to see her since the orphanage needs to open our case on a weekday. We'll take it either way we can get it but you can bet I'm praying we are on an overnight train Thursday night!!! Sofia's orphanage is in Dnep which is about 8 hours away from Kiev.

I can't tell you how comforting it is to know how many people are supporting us, praying for us and cheering for us right now. We feel incredibly blessed and we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of you. You are all on this journey with us. We feel it!

35 comments:

  1. Wow - GOD MOVED THAT MOUNTAIN!! When I hear stories like that I am so encouraged... Praise God!! We are so excited to follow your journey! Praying...

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a story!

    I can't believe you are actually there!!!!

    But I am SO glad :) Man, you really didn't give up!

    What a lucky and blessed little girl Sophia is to have such parents coming for her :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so completely choked up right now.....and so absolutely thrilled you are there!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. YEAH! We will continue to pray that the Lord blesses your trip and that time passes quickly as you await meeting your daughter for the first time! Love and Prayers from Texas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. We serve a MIGHTY GOD! No volcano is going to keep you from your daughter! Can't wait to see pictures of the little sweetie pie. :) Did you run into Lisa and Chris???

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, I am so excited!!! I was so happy to see this post and we have been praying for you guys!!! I'm going to let the boys know :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. YAY! So glad you guys made it there safely! We will keep praying that things go smoothly...that you get to see Sofia as soon as possible and that you are able to bring her home at the earliest possible point in time. We love you guys and are thinking about you constantly!
    Cori, Tony and Joey

    ReplyDelete
  8. We am soo happy. Prayers will continue.....the lucky pink scarf is working! We cant wait to hear that you are on a train to Baby Sofia! We love you!
    The Lairds

    ReplyDelete
  9. Woo Hoo!! God is AWESOME!!! So glad you guys made it there safely. Looking forward to every word you will post from here on out :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. thank GOD you guys are there, safe and sound! This is amazing ;)

    I'll continue to pray for you guys throughout your journey.

    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. So awesome Jen. Glad you guys made it!! ~Meg

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing!!!! So glad you made it. Try to get some sleep :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow! so awesome! i am thrilled for you and your family. welcome to our time zone (i'm in saudi). ;) u could seriously write a book or make a movie about this...it's so amazing. praying for you....:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad that you made it safely. Praying that you can bring your little girl home soon!

    ReplyDelete
  15. DETERMINATION!! That describes you and Hector. Not even a volcano can keep you from your little one. Keep it going and get her home so we can all meet her. Love, Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  16. Been following for a while, so thrilled for you to be finally there. Sophia is one lovely and lucky little princess.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so so so glad to hear you made it:) !!! YAY! I can't wait to hear more details, especially when you meet Sophia! We'll be praying for your whole trip and your appointment!

    I am amazed at how the Lord has worked this all out!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Woo Hoo! I CANNOT wait to see pics of you guys holding Sofia!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Jennifer,
    I know this is the last thing on your mind right now but I wanted to let you know that Sofia's mobile is ready and waiting for her at Koukla Kids. I dropped it off last week.
    My prayers are with you and your family.
    Sincerely,
    Lara

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hooray!!! (Literally jumping up and down!) What an awesome story, and an amazing testament to the power of prayer and love!
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us, I am glued to my computer!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I got Sofia's little bracelet today in the mail and said a quick prayer for you all. I had no idea that you were already there! A-MAZ-ING!!!! You're about to meet your daughter!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. So glad to hear you made it to Kiev. I am so proud of the both of you and your Grandma Esther(Mom) would be so proud as well. In keeping your faith in God's blessings, rest assured you will bring Sofia home on angel's wings soon. Love you both,
    Aunt Elice

    ReplyDelete
  23. I was so excited to see you made it!!! Thank you Lord!! Can't wait to see pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. At 11pm our time Wed. night, I'll be sending you love, and some serious mojo, to envelope you at your SD appointment :) So amazing - THIS IS HAPPENING!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. God is so awesome! You guys are awesome and He's using Sofia to bring you two even closer to Him and each other. It's amazing to watch your journey. THank you for sharing every step of the way. I can't wait to see photos of you with her. I'm going to need a whole box of tissues just for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  26. YAY! Watching and reading with anticipation, amazing job on the perseverence.

    ReplyDelete
  27. so happy you made it!!!! good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hurray!! Thinking and praying about the next steps. . . wake up already and give us another update! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thinking of you, praying for you, so excited and happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Our Story: ContinuedApril 21, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Wonderful! Praying for you guys and for a smooth journey from here on out! Shoot me an email if you need anything!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. So glad you guys made it safely, I can't wait to hear about Sophia!!! You are so, so close! Sending love your way from far away (for now) CA...

    ReplyDelete
  32. Such wonderful news Jen. Wishing both of you safe travels and all the best.

    -Caitlin

    ReplyDelete
  33. So exciting- I have goosebumps just reading this. Great news and fingers crossed you get to her before the weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hey you kids, glad you made it. Be safe, and try and post photos of your adventures when you can! - Dave & Tina Wong

    ReplyDelete