Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 4 (December 21, 2011)

Dear AJ,
We got a little bit of sleep (still not quite right) and are ready for the day ahead of us. Today we have plans to meet with Eugene and he will take us on a bit of an excursion through the city. To be honest, neither Daddy or I ever really had any interest in world history or Ukrainian and Russian history- that is, until now. The 1000 year old city of Kiev alone has such a rich, albeit rather painful, background. Here is a taste of what we were able to see today.

St. Andrew's Church, Kiev Ukraine. Located on the right bank of the Dnieper River, it is considered a sacred and Holy place. It was designed by architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli on the order of Empress Catherine in honor of Jesus' apostle, Andrew. It was built between 1747-1754. Andrew erected a cross at this place and we were told that he stood in this place and not only taught the gospel of Jesus but prophesied that this city would be a great one.

 Unfortunately, it was under heavy construction and was not open for touring or visitation.

 Apartment buildings in the city.

 Our tour guide, Eugene. He is standing infront of a stone monument on the grounds of the Ukrainian National Museum of History.

 One view of the Ukrainian National Museum of History.

 Entrance of the Museum. We had hoped to tour the museum, but it was closed. We'll try again another day.

Place of worship located on museum grounds. It was a seemingly busy place- many people in and out. Men remove their hats, women wore a head covering of some sort. (even if it was just the hood on your coat.) I wish I could remember the name of this place. It is really quite beautiful.

The front entrance of the SDA- as we once knew the name to be. It's changed again- Dept of Adoption or something close to that. All we really know is that this is the place where our "appointment" is and what we've been anxiously awaiting to start our incountry process begins here.

Signage at the front entance to the SDA.

Metro Bridge crossing the Dnieper River.

Entrance into St. Michael's Monastery. Beautiful and stunning does not even begin to describe this place that was named for the Archangel Michael- who is held to be the patron Saint and protector of the city of Kiev. It was orginally built between 1108-1113, renovated and enlarged between the 17th to 18th centuries, and completely demolished in the 1930s by Soviet authorities during the Stalinest antireligious campaign. Before demolition, some of the frescoes and mosaics were removed and taken to Moscow or stored at the St. Sophia Cathedral (down the street from our first apartment). During WWII, the items stored in the Cathedral were seized by Nazis and taken to Germany.  The reconstruction of the Saint Michael’s began in 1997 following Ukrainian independence from Soviet rule. It was officially opened in 1999, but the interior decorations, frescoes and mosaics were not completed until 2000. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed to be taken while inside. Take my word for it, it was simply fantastic.

Looking up toward the ceiling of the above photo.

Beneath the dome in the forefront of the photo shows where some of the original ruins of the monastery and cathedral remain.

The entrance into the Cathedral. Men remove their hats, women have a head covering. Many people came in for quiet time of prayer and worship while we were there.

We really saw quite a bit during our 4 hours with Eugene. What an awesome tourguide! Any other adoptive parents heading to Kiev need to set up a tour with him. Don't pass up the opportunity! You won't be disappointed. He charges only 10USD per hour for his tour. We plan on getting together with him again in the next day or so to do more touring and perhaps visit the museum. (This guy is pretty great, he even took us to the grocery store before taking us home- at no extra charge and even though he was running late.)

Well, my sweet love- this pretty much concludes Day 4. Tonight, Daddy and I will be packing up our things and getting ready to move into our new apartment tomorrow. Hopefully it will come equiped with a washing machine that I can understand as well as reliable internet access. I'll let you know and post more pictures. Tomorrow is Day 5 and we have our long awaited appointment with the adoption authority to begin our process to make you, on paper, our son. You've been our son in our hearts and minds since the day we first saw you- don't forget that. The papers are just a formality.

To the moon and back,
Mommy and Daddy

1 comment:

  1. I miss Eugene. He was awesome. Niko is too, but he drives like a wild man!