Today, we start our week-long celebration of "last days." Today is the last Monday at the orphanage, tomorrow is the last Tuesday at the orphanage, and so on. Our time with Katrina is great, but we're all ready to go home and start a new chapter in our collective lives. Of course, we still have a handfull of days in Kiev after we leave here, but it won't be groundhog day anymore. (Perhaps it will be ground squirrel day, then.)
We are making plans for a tour of some of Artemovsk. We're very excited about getting to sightsee a champagne factory and a salt mine. Both should be fun and educational.
We're also determining how best to return to Kiev with a child in tow. Bt train, it's 12 hours overnight, so at least Katrina will sleep most of the way. By car, it's 10 hours or so which has the advantage of a personal driver who will stop at any time for any reason. By plane, it's an hour and 20 minute flight, which has the huge advantage of time savnigs even when you factor in time at both airports. Of course, they all have their disadavantages as well. However, we do realize how fortunate we are to have so many options.
Alexis, our little peanut and daughter, we miss you so dearly. It was about 18 months ago that we were here in Ukranie going through a similar process to adopt you. It was summer then, and we got spend all our time with you outdoors. It broke our hearts sometimes to see you sweat and wilt underneath the 100-degree sun. You persevered better than we did, and our memories of those times always make us smile. We love you, Alexis, and we'll be home soon.