We never made it to our third visit, and came home without a child.
The day after we left Adoption Services Dale's hands started to swell, the next day his fingers were like sausages and started to ooze bloody puss all over his hands. We went to the American Hospital in Kiev where they admitted him pumping him full of antibotics through IV. The doctor believed it was a form of detemtisis, but couldn't be certain. The antibotics worked and within hours the swelling subsided though he was in a lot of pain still.
Our third appointment was to have been the next day but with Dale in the hospital our adoption cordinator called to inform us that we would have to wait another week. It was a hard decision but with Dale's hands in such bad shape, we decided to put our third visit on hold for a while, and come back to Canada.
It was a hard decision, and I know it isn't fair, but that is how the world works at times. Dale & I had decided that it was either going to be an adoption or a second honeymoon for us. It does bother me that the time we spent in the Ukraine we only got to see one child, and we waited 2 weeks for our second visit. We were told there was a girl who fit into our tiny window of 5-8 years (Thanks Ontario Best Practice for Adoption Guidelines ~ would 1 year apart from my youngest really be so devestating?), but an Italian couple before us claimed her.
Should anyone be considering adoption from the Ukraine my advice is:
Don't limit yourself, if you are open to a broader age group then do it. Our limitations were put on us because my youngest is 10 and the Ontario governement like children to be 18 months apart in age.
Hosting a child in your home for a few weeks maybe in your favour. We will be looking into this.
If you are willing to adopt siblings please consider it ~ more children will be made available to you.
Read up on Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Older Child(ren) adoption issues. It isn't an easy thing to deal with.
Be prepared as best you can, learning the process, and speaking to other parents (we did go into this knowing there was a strong chance we would be one of several coming home without a child).
Understand the Cyrillic Alphabet, this will be of more use to you than you might imagine.
Grasp some understanding of Russian/Ukrainian. This will come in handy, and even though your language skills maybe weak, (surprisingly it was hot water or just the word "Hot" came into use early on).
Learn how to cook!!! This is a huge money saver. I love cooking but honestly you can save $$$ just by not eating out. If you can't/or don't want to cook an Ukrainian Cafateria is extremely reasonable. We only went out for dinner once or twice a week and indulged in an internet cafe in the evening.
On a side note learing the words of food you need will help lesson your frustration as the packaging can be very different. For example milk came in a tetra carton not in the refridgerated section in one store.
Bring thick soled shoes, I purchased a pair of comfortable walking shoes but they didn't offer enough protection from the jagged cobblestone streets and sidewalks. The sidewalks are a hazard in themselves and looking into shop stores while walking can give you a sprained ankle or wrenched knee if not worst. They don't walk and text in the Ukrainian.
I hope that some of the above will be of use to someone out there. As for where we stand now we aren't sure. I have no regrets, we did our best, and it was a wonderful experience. Dale's hands are still a mess, they now look like they have second degree burns. We are happy to be home and with our boys, but it remains uncertain if we can return to the Ukraine for our third visit. We hope so, but life isn't always fair.