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.