I want to start this blog with, I have never felt unsafe or fearful in Ukraine until 2:30 am on Thursday night.
It was 4:30 pm in California and Adam's at work and completely helpless, he responds with a "What?"
|The hotel hallway, 3 rooms and we are the first door|
|The ceiling of the restaurant|
After our celebatory dinner we drop the kids off back at the orphanage and bring them the goodies we bought at Eco-Market, my mom and Roma both go to bed, exhausted from the emotional day at court.
In search of some wifi, I decided to trek across the parking lot to the then empty restaurant and upload the pictures I have taken and write everything I can remember from the day. Which is my last blog entrée.
She looks at me concerned. "Those guys are watching us," I tell her.
We walk outside, the cool air hits my face and bare arms. I didn't bring my jacket and feel the goosebumps pop up on my arms.
We enter into the hotel passing the man sitting at the outside table, and quickly walk up the stairs. We unlock the door and get in. I lock ourselves into the room and start to get ready for bed.
We start the water in the sink to begin to brush our teeth, that's when we hear a loud knock at the door.
It is 2:30 am, and the knock was loud enough for us to know they were there and they wanted in.
They saw me at the restaurant. They saw my camera and my laptop and my ipad and my iPhone. They saw me and they watched me put all that stuff away in my carry on bag.
My mom and I are silent. I run out of the bathroom to watch the door, knowing I locked it but fearful I didn't.
A tense feeling of terror rushes over me.
Do I bang on the concrete wall to wake up Roma in the room next to us? Do I yell for help? What do I do...
I grab my Ukraine phone, knowing I do not have money left on it, I scroll to Roma's number.
They knock again, they are not leaving and this time the knock was louder with a roar of laughter afterwards. I look up and see a land line attached to the concrete wall.
I watch as the men outside my door start to turn the door handle first quietly but then violently.
I dial 1-3, it is the only thing I understand on the phone. Everything else is written in Ukrainian.
The girls from the restaurant answer, I say in English "men are in hotel"
They don't understand me.
"two men from restaurant in hotel"
They say something in Ukrainian and hang up the phone.
I can not help myself. There is nothing I can do, I am completely powerless. I don't know the word help, I don't know the word men, I don't know the word come here, I do not now the word emergency. I am in a foreign country and only thing saving me right now is a fairytale looking door. I turn to God.
I pray, "Please God." (Basically all I have time for, but he knows my heart.)
The hallway is quiet now, the men must have heard me on the phone. This is when I text Adam.
There is a knock at our door, this time softer. My mom and I look at each other, we don't say anything again. Another soft knock.
I say "Da." A women's voice is on the other side of the door. I quickly unlock the door and open it. So happy to see the waitresses from the restaurant, They hand me a phone with a translation app.
I type what happen, they respond with "they are you neighbors."
There are 3 rooms in the mushroom, my mom and I are in one, Roma in another and the 2 drunk men in the third.
They tell me if they do it again they will call the guard (which is the police).
The rest of the night was fine and we were completely safe. I told Roma in the morning at happened and he insisted that I should leave with him to Kiev and not stay the extra night alone there, which was the original plan.
I agreed, we go to pack up everything and head to the orphanage to say goodbye to my kids. They thought I was spending the day with them, but I told them that plans changed. I did not worry them with the happenings of the night before.
I have an extra bag that contained prom dresses and clothing for the kids but it was now empty. I told the kids to pack everything they do not need in the next month and I will bring it home.
A quick 30 minute visit and we are back in the car. This time was different, Yana and Alex walked me to the car, we hugged, I kissed them, I told them I love them and we said goodbye.
They called me mom.
Yana and V walk toward the orphanage as the car began to pull away. But Alex stayed and watched.
|Our apartment for the night|
This was a quick but eventful 72 hour trip. I became a mother of 4.
I left my children for the last time.
I head back to Ukraine in 7 days (but not the mushroom hotel, never again).
I will pick my kids up, and they will be free. They will be no longer alone and no longer orphans in an orphanage. They will be a son and a daughter.