Saturday, June 19, 2010

Loving Our Time Here

Our time in Ukraine has been amazing so far. However, Internet is incredibly slow and John just tonight found a way for me to upload a few pictures though I have a hundred more. So, I will share lots with you, but most of it will be left up to your imagination.

In the early afternoon, we went to the Internat. With school being over, there is no set time to visit the kids so instead of doing two visits we had one nice long visit.

This is the front of the orphanage more accurately called the Internat that houses children ages 6-17 and sometimes older if they entered the orphanage older and with no previous schooling-- so that they could finish school.

Here is a group of kids in the yard-- just hanging out.

Today we brought our 2009 Smiles and Trials book to show A and P. We felt that yesterday it would be a little overwhelming, but after processing the fact that we want to be their family we felt today was a good day to show them. Afterwards, the kids were asked once again if they wanted to be adopted by us. They answered yes and were taken into the director's office to write up their permission. Later our facilitator shared what each of the kids wrote. Pasha's note was short and sweet--- one sentence with beautiful penmanship. Nastya wrote three of four sentences saying that she gave her permission to be adopted, she wanted us to be her Mama and Papa, and she liked her new family very much. We were asked if we wanted copies of the letters. You better believe we do!

Today we brought a bunch of trinkets for A and P. It was touching to watch them examine each and every little thing we gave them down to the little kaleidoscopes. I think it was an eye opening moment for Rachel and Caleb to see how much they appreciated even the smallest of gifts. Rachel later told me how she did the same exact thing when she was adopted.

We went outside today and ran around. We played ball, threw a Frisbee and played Sabatchka in the middle after Pasha suggested it. It was during this time that we really got to see the kids' personalities shine through. Pasha has a very playful side of him-- teasing his sister in a little brother kind of way-- and Nastya patiently played along just like a loving big sister should. They shared with each other and offered us the candy we had given to them. It was a blessing to watch them-- no other words sum it up better.

At one point, I offered to fix Nastya's hair-- which she let me do.

Then I took this picture to show her-- and she smiled--- a real smile.

Pasha is playful and imaginative-- and he reminds me so much of Jonny.

The shoes that he has been wearing are way too small for him... his feet dirty from playing outside... and the Mom in me can't wait to soap up his little feet and tickle them between the toesies! I wonder if he'll let me--- after all he is nine. Somehow, I think he will let me anyway. :)

Today we had to move out of our hotel. And you'll never guess where we moved to--- a house! An older couple added onto their house and rent it out to people like us. And if you know me at all-- this has been a dream of mine-- to stay in a house in Ukraine just like this with the owners still there kind of like we're boarders. And I am living that dream!

So let me show you around.
Here is where we all hang out. Tonight we played Racko, ate ice-cream, drank Coca-Cola, and talked.

This is where we can take a nap and soak up the sun next to the beautiful garden.

This is our bedroom. All of the beds are on spring metal with thin mattresses laid on top. I happened to get the nicest one--- Caleb is just laying on it in this picture. A big rug is hanging on the wall.

The owners grew these sunflower seeds and cooked and salted them--- and boy are they delicious! We even had newspaper cones to spit out the shells.

Our facilitator was happy to oblige when we asked about eating authentic Shaslik. Here he is cutting up the meat and marinating it. Tomorrow we will barbecue. To reciprocate the nice gesture, tonight I bought ingredients to make cinnamon rolls-- but I couldn't find brown sugar. Wish me luck!

I forgot to mention that this is our toilet. Not every night-- just tonight because the other communal toilet is being used by other overnight guests (just this one night).
Normally, I would not be too happy-- but this time I am just smiling-- really big. Nothing like walking in the dark to use this wonderful toilet!
This trip has been full of wonderful surprises thus far yet I must say it will probably be our most memorable. Hmmmm, what will tomorrow have in store.
We'll just have to wait and see.


standfortruth said...

OH what beautiful children and a cute house (minus the toilet) I am so happy that everything is going so well. May the blessings continue to pour on you!

AndreaB said...

Pasha and Nastya are beautiful! They look like they will fit in with your family just perfectly! I'm so happy for you guys, and these beautiful children who are being taken into a loving home.

Congratulations to your whole family!

newmom2 said...

I am laughing at the toilet photo. When we traveled my husband was so amazed by the ground toliets and public toliets in Ukraine he would take a picture. It was his obsession, I think your toliet is the best though.

I favorite your page but I apparently put it on a date... I am finally catching up. Your journey is amazing and the kids are so blessed as you are. I am glad Rachel is enjoying this and having some fond memories of her experiences.

Best of Luck
Newmom2 - not so new anymore

Rachel E. said...

WOW! What an amazing experience, and I am so glad that we all get to "go" there along with you! You take such beautiful pictures & I can't wait to see the rest of them too!

Anonymous said...

dear mom can you please tell dad to answer his phone i want to talk to you guys. Im at grandmas house right now please respond back. i love you guys and i miss you

Anonymous said...

dear mom i cant wait till you bring the two kids back.
I told you she is my age.


Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Love sharing in your adventures. Praying daily for you all and for your family back home- waiting to see their siblings! May God Bless you ALL!!!

luvin' life said...

Congratulations Christine! They look wonderful!!! So happy for you!

Chris said...

What a wonderful trip! Smiling a big smile for you and sending big hugs your way.

The McEacherns said...

Oh, shashlik! Yum, yum, yum! On our missions trips, we stayed with families in their homes which was such a great experience. I know you'll enjoy yourselves. The kids are cuties. Congrats!

Kevin and Pam said...

Oh what memories! Amazing on how little you can get by on when need be. Be careful around that toliet tonight! LOL! I saw much worse when I was in Ukraine. Your kids are just darling. Makes me kind of wish I was doing the same thing again. :)

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Im so glad everything is going well! You are far more adventurous than I am, one look at that toilet and I'd be crying :)

Difference2This1 said...

Loving reading so many details you all are experiencing right now. So wonderful to read the kids are positive about wanting to join your family. Praying all continues to go well! Blessings, Jennifer

Rachael said...

Congrats on your new additions!!

That toilet picture got an "oh my!!" from me! You are really getting the authentic experience!

Sally-Girl! said...

Rachel looks so grown up and attentive in these photos!! The new kids look like they will fit in perfectly and it sounds like this is one of your best trips ever!!! Wow! You are one blessed lady, but then again you already knew that!!!

We leave in 72 hours!!!! Can't wait!!

Rachel said...

It is so exciting to read about your newest family members and of your adventures. Boy, this probably brings back lots of memories for Rachel.

Amy said...

Nastya looks a lot like Rachel in profile!

Amy...who wanted 4. said...

The kids are precious! LOVE reading your posts, I feel like I am there with you! Can't wait to hear more and see close up pictures of the newest Reed's!

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your journey to A and P. Isn't it amazing how God weaves hearts together before ever meeting. They are precious.

May God continue to bless you in the days ahead so you can all come home soon.

Much Love,

FaerieMama said...

Loved this post!You're living MY dream, too! I've always wanted to stay in a home in my daughter's birthplace. I dream of renting a room there someday for an extended period! So happy for your Nastya & Pasha. Will be praying for them tonight before bed:)

MamaPoRuski said...

Lovin' every minute of your adventure! Thanks for sharing all that you can! Hugs and God bless your continued journey!

Annie said...

I'm so glad that someone is having these opportunities who appreciates them! How lucky you are! I'm very envious.... And how sad that there are children there who want homes and homes here who want children.

Something is so wrong.

Laura said...

What a wonderful post! I have to agree -- I think there are definite similarities between Rachel and Nastya.

BTW: Can you give a good lead on the website (?) you used to make your 2009 Smiles and Trials book?

Continue to treasure every moment of your trip. :)