Sunday, June 20, 2010

Getting To Know The Other Kids Too

When we got to the Internat, we had to get A and P from the yard where they were playing. It was nice to see them come running when they saw us. Since all the kids were outside and we wanted some private time with A and P first, we went inside for a while. A and P gave each of us big hugs and again were very pleased with the small trinkets we brought them. They are already learning English like please and thank you and of course.... gum.

We gave the kids little jumping frogs and they hopped them back and forth to John and Caleb. John noticed how Nastya would never sit on the concrete floor--- just like I was chastised once for sitting on a concrete step. According to Ukrainian beliefs a girl who sits on stone will have a hard time bearing children.

We gave Nastya some Hello Kitty Nail Polish and then I asked her if I could paint her nails. She sweetly said yes. After, she picked out nail decals that I applied. Then Papa asked for one and Nastya gave him a green heart. As I type this at 11pm, it is still on his hand as he sleeps. :)

We are all getting to know each other-- and the kids smile extra big when they see John and I being affectionate with each other. Since they have both been in the orphanage for a long time, John and I want to make sure they see how much we love each other because we think it will help them to feel more secure.

As we rolled cars back and forth, ate bananas, painted nails, passed around candy, and hit balloons back and forth, kids would come and stand in the hallway or sit on the couch. A and P shared their candy and Rachel and I passed out gum. We met three of the older girls who kept asking A about us. It warmed my heart to see how proud she was to talk about us.
It didn't take long before we were all ready to head outside for some fresh air. At that point, kids swarmed around us as we tried to learn their names and ages. A few of them wanted to impress us with the little bit of English that they knew-- and we gave out candy for a job well done. So one of the boys told his friend who had just come out----"If you say in English, my name is Yuri, they will give you candy." Little did they know we would give all the kids regardless of their knowledge of the English language-- candy.
But soon we ran out-- with the promise to bring treats for them tomorrow.

All of these little girls were so sweet-- especially this one with the crossed eye. She really impressed Rachel and I with her gentle, quiet spirit. If you are interested-- she does have a cute brother too.
The kids were fascinated with us-- as we were with them. So we tried to find things to do with them where the language barrier wouldn't be an issue. John ended up in the field playing Frisbee or ball with them.

I sat on this log with the kids and kept them busy with all kinds of questions. At one point, Pasha brought over a walnut and asked one of the bigger boys to crack it for him. So the boy held the nut to the building and slammed his other hand against it, cracking it open. Caleb walked over and showed them another way to crack a walnut by squeezing it against another one in your hands. The boys were not impressed-- they wanted to see Caleb crack one against the wall like they did. Caleb watched them and then copied--- and what do you know-- he even tried a little piece of one.

Around lunch time, the kids ran over to this building. I followed so that I could take a look.

Lunch consisted of Lapsha (noodles in broth), bread, and maybe some cucumber or something.

Nastya and Pasha ate so quickly-- well really they hardly ate anything at all just so that they could be with us, but one caretaker led Nastya back to her chair to eat a few more bites. Interesting, I thought.

When I came back from taking pictures of the cafeteria, I found John, Rachel, Caleb, and A and P in a circle with a few of the other kids. They played Frisbee until it was time for a nap.
As the kids were going inside, Rachel and I asked if we could go up and see Nastya's bed. It was on the third floor-- the very top. All the girls were happy to show us their room and immediately I thought of the movie Annie. Nastya is sitting on her bed.

As we made our way back down the stairs we watched the caretakers standing at the door checking out the kids as they came in. Rachel noticed one of them was holding Pasha's box of candy we gave him. :( An older boy had a water bottle with him and the caretakers were questioning him about it. As he pleaded with them, they sent him outside with it. Wish we would have stuck around to see the outcome of the situation but it was time for us to head back. The Inspector had worked during the weekend to get our paperwork in order to send on the train to Kiev tomorrow night and so our facilitator had to finish up things with her.

On the drive back to the house, John and Rachel played a game. Remember the tree lined road I told you about that we have to take to go to the Internat? Well John and Rachel would reach for the trees to grab handfuls of leaves.
Fun-- huh?
P.S. Today John and I had to tell our facilitator what names we wanted on the court decrees. We also made cinnamon rolls, ate shashlik, and explored the most amazing hidden wonderland of trees, fruits, and veggies behind the house we are staying in. Who could possibly know how beautiful and grand it is on this property just looking from the street? Not us---- it looks so small from the front. But once you enter the property and are invited behind the locked door at the back of the house it feels like you are walking into another world.
I could so live here.


Michelle said...

glad you're showing the other kids some love... i'm sure they'll treasure the attention & small gifts. :-)

maybe it's just cuz i can't see her whole face, but your new daughter looks like she could be Rachel's bio sister!

AndreaB said...

I love that the kids are getting to know you well enough, and hopefully begin to love you and they want to spend time with you guys! It's great to hear!

Also, I have a question about the orphanage, and if you have already answered these questions before, you can just point me in the right direction to the answers.
-Are their younger children (like infants) at this orphanage, or is it mostly older children?
-Are there special need children at this orphanage?
-Have A and P been in an orphanage their whole lives?

The orphanage looks like it takes good care of these children. The facilities look nice, they seemed to get some nutrition from the meal you told us they were eating, and they looked to have nice sleeping quarters, and possibly a bed per child. I've seen pictures of other orphanages in different countries, and this is by far the nicest I've seen.

But still, its great that you guys are taking them out of this situation and taking them into the best --- a family =]


Amy said...

Congrats Christine and John! Another couple of beautiful and blessed Reed kiddos!!!

Tina in CT said...

I also saw the resemblance between A and R.

Did A & P know ahead of time that an American family were coming over to adopt them?

It must really warm your hearts to see the warm welcome they give you when they see you.

Great that the house where you are staying is working out so well. Does the agency arrange where you will stay, the guides and facilitator?

Anonymous said...

How old are the kids? They are soo cute! Paul reminds me of Andrew and Jonny.. Handsome boy indeed ;) I think they'll fit right in with the rest of your kiddos!

Jeanette said...

I'm loving all the pictures! I can't imagine what their lives are like in the orphanage. All those teenage boys and girls!!!! When I saw the pic of the girls' room, I wondered if they all get along. Do they feel like sisters or friends. I can't imagine not being able to get some space from someone who drives you crazy :) I'm really enjoying following along with you on this amazing journey!

Martha said...

I am enjoying your adventure. So glad you invited us along!

Stephanie said...

I've been camping with my family for the weekend and am just catching up on your meeting A & P!! SO very excited for you!

Julie said...

what a truly beautiful experience you are having. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Qadoshyah said...

It must be so neat and interesting for Rachel to watch and be here with you guys adopting A & P. Having been on the "orphan side" at once, it's gotta be great & kind of weird to be on the opposite side now.

You all look like you're having a great time and A & P are adorable :).