-5°C/23°F

Yeah, it’s COLD!  We live in the southern Mediterannean.  Neither our bodies nor our souls do well in this climate.  We arrived in Borispol aiport around noon and made it through passport control and customs quickly and gracefully.  Karen had to travel on her Ukrainian passport, which allowed us ‘rents to go through the short line too.

Our driver, Sergey, is a very, very large man, even for a Ukrainian.  His size is no reflection on his personality.   He was wonderful, and took us to a supermarket to buy water and some groceries before taking us to a decent apartment.  Our apartment was freezing when we arrived.  We set Karen up with her DVD player while we frantically called our agency contact for heating units. Within 3 hours we had two space heaters and Internet.  Now both Karen and DH (dear husband) are sleeping peacefully and I’m a happy camper.

Tomorrow is our  big day.  Our appointment at the “Department” is scheduled for late morning.  This is when they tell us if there is an available girl for adoption.  We originally thought to leave Karen with a babysitter, but our agency contact suggested that it would be better to bring her, “just in case”.  Apparently our facilitator is also worried that the recent articles about Israelis taking 25,000 Ukrainian children for their organs may have some detrimental affect.  As my friend Jono pointed out in one of the comments, it should count for something that we are bringing a healthy and happy one back to visit. 

I’m hope to have exciting news to share tomorrow……

Kiev-bound

A nice long post disappeared. Boarding soon so will need to update after arrival. -9 Celsius, brrrrrrrr.

Book recs sought

I’d love your input.  If you could only take three books with you, which would you choose?

Keep in mind the purpose of the books is relaxation and escapism, so great reads tho they be, no Shakespeare, Rumi or Trungpa please.  I’m looking for escapist fiction of the highest order, anything from Stephen King to Ken Follet.  Even a good biography, like “a million little pieces” has potential.  I’ve already read Shantaram.  If you haven’t, do.

Hmmm, in the tradition of some of my closest online friendships, maybe I’ll start a list of books to read.  But that comes later.  I only figured out how to add a blogroll a few hours ago.

<72 hours

With only two days left, I am completely immobilized.  What would I ever do without my wonderful husband.  He insisted that we pack our stuff last weekend.  True, we still have some last minute type stuff to shove into corners of our luggage, but the bulk of our things are ready.

I’m still deliberating on which of my quota of 3 books to bring.  Well, it won’t be 3, it will be 5.  The first two, our Russian – English dictionary/phrasebook and “Talking to Young Children about Adoption”, are mandatory and not part of my leisure reading.

From my experience last time, when we were in a fairly large city, it is not possible to obtain reading material in English unless you are in a major city like Kiev.  Last time, we had no tv in English, no videos and only the 3 novels and one adoption book (Attachment in Adoption) I brought.  I worked hard to read slowly.

I doubt I will be reading quite as much this time.  With Karen, I’m sure we will need to keep fairly busy.  I can’t imagine her cooped up in a tiny soviet-style apartment.  So many things we don’t know.  We don’t know what part of Ukraine we will be staying in because we do not yet know anything about the child we will adopt.  Living with uncertainty’s a bitch.

Sendoffs

My stress receded a bit after a warm send off from our group of fellow adoptive parents.  We have a wonderful social worker who leads small groups of adoptive parents in parenting workshops.  We discuss how best to communicate the adoption story to our children as they climb the stages of emotional development.

I’ve known most of the members for 3 years.  We all adopted children from Ukraine at approximately the same time.  Some of the families have already adopted a second child.  Last night, they were all full of encouragement and good wishes.  It is so heartwarming that we have so many wonderful people in our lives who have supported us throughout this process.

We are so grateful to have them in our lives.  It is a good thing for Karen to have close friends who share her background.  It goes a long way towards helping her feel that she isn’t “the only one”.

The photo is of Karen with Ido.   He is her oldest friend. They met on their first weekend home from Ukraine.

This is not helpful

Ukraine academic: Israel imported 25,000 kids for their organs – Haaretz – Israel News.

Why does this shit have to come up just as we’re off for Kiev?  Maybe I should wear a cross, “just in case”.

Tough love

Just in case the photos give the impression that K is the perfect little girl, allow me to shatter your illusions. Some days are more trying than others. Today pickup from pre-school meant hearing that she had hit two of her friends.   As a result, no TV today.  She is playing quietly in her room and singing.

She knows we are going to Ukraine to adopt a sister for her.  Although she claims to be excited, she’s been regressing into babyish behavior.   It’s not unexpected, and I’m trying to be patient with her, but it’s not always easy.

I doubt most of her behavior is very different from that of any other strong-willed child.  Her strong determination is an asset, it is what helped her survive her first two years without anyone to love her.

Finally, a photo. Make that 2

All this Ukrmom stuff and not even a photo of my dearest daughter. So here’s introducing Ms. K, my almost 5 year old whom we adopted almost exactly 3 years ago.  The second one is the first photo taken of Karen by our doctor on the first day we met her.  She was 2 years and 2 weeks and weighed less than 12 kg.

A fun site

I love finding fun new toys to play with online. I’m tired of FB toys that make you register and can send all kinds of inane shit to your friends’ news feeds. Why can’t you play in private on FB?

I digress. FB is GREAT! But try to find other places to play. One site I’ve had a lot of fun with is this: http://diy.despair.com/motivator.php.

Data Deluge

I know this is probably a stupid idea, and probably been resolved for years, but… How do y’all organize and maintain data collected over years????

I hadn’t planned to post much on tech topics, but it occurred to me that there is an issue that isn’t addressed successfully in most
organizations. In fact, I doubt most companies even consider how their employees organize their data.
Of course, there is an IT department, and there is structure to hierarchies and file types and names and how they should be saved. But employees create hundreds of documents a year each. Do many companies issue best practices for this sort of thing?

Each one of us has a “system”, but rarely is our employer aware of our system. But once we are hit by the proverbial bus, it becomes challenging for the person taking over our work to figure out the filing system and locate documents relating to certain topics.

Even in my personal accounts, I need a solution for all the files I receive on various personal and career related topics. I want to keep so much information, but how to do so and still be able to easily locate files related to specific issues?

In general, I don’t see enough material on how to organize the massive numbers of files we save over time. We are in an age of data overload. I would love to read suggestions on how most efficiently to maintain organization in my saved files. Currently, I have a variety of file names, with hierarchies within each file organized by date – yearly > monthly.

I would be very interested recommendations of any links to ideas that can help with ideas , whether on the personal use level, small business or enterprise.