Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday-- A Great Day

It has been raining here off and on-- but it has not been very humid thankfully. The weather could not be better-- there is no air conditioner here but we all sleep comfortably.

We headed out to the Internat around 10 am this morning. We didn't leave until after 2 pm.-- yet the four hours flew by and we were sad to say goodbye.

As usual, we started our visit with just A and P in the waiting room. The other kids are not allowed to be in there so we have privacy.

We brought a nice craft to do with Nastya while John built Legos with Pasha. Adam pre-built a ship for them to try and copy.

I brought pens, crayons, color pencils, stencils, and tons of paper.

A and P enjoyed drawing with us. They are very creative.

We stayed inside for an hour before heading out to be with all the kids.

John drew their names in 3-D the way they write them in Russian. They thought it was so cool that Pasha tried to copy his Papa.

Once we were outside all the other kids ran over to us-- friendlier than the day before. Within minutes I brought out the pencils, stencils, and paper for them. They asked where they could draw and I showed them the window sill-- but it was wet and dirty. I impressed them by pulling out some American toilet paper and wiping them all down.
The kids were very easy to entertain. I wrote their names in English. I told them their equivalent American names like Pasha is Paul. I wrote the names of what they drew, the alphabet, and anything else they asked. Many of them knew the alphabet and were eager to learn whatever English I was willing to teach them. At one point I wondered if Pasha and Nastya would think I liked the other kids more so I had our facilitator explain to them that I love them very much and will always love them and that in a few days they would go to their new home in America with us where they would have lots and lots of toys and things and yet all the other kids would still be here in the Internat. I wanted them to know that I just wanted to spend some time with the other kids so that they could have some special memories for themselves. Pasha seemed pleased to hear this and actually felt relaxed to go off and play with his friends a little more knowing that no one was taking his place-- but still every once in a while he would run up to me and give me a hug and I would rub his head and kiss his forehead.
Even the 17 year olds liked hanging around us and doing whatever we had for them. I did some paper folding stuff and one girl named Luba made me a very pretty paper tulip. Many of the kids drew pictures of me too.

While I did this, John played volleyball with many of the kids.

Caleb shared his IPod with the kids and was impressed when they brought out speakers and plugged them into it so everyone could hear the music. All of the kids were very respectful of our cameras, phone, and IPod-- and a few of them had phones of their own.

At one point, all of the kids wanted their pictures taken. Here is Denis with Rachel. He is great--- but he is also already 15 so his time is running out that he could be adopted.

Here is a group photo.

This boy (I forgot his name) wanted to shake John's hand for the photo.

These two sisters have really impressed me. If I had to say I had "favorites" beside Nastya and Pasha, it would be these two girls hands down. Their names are Luba and Luda and their parents are Gypsy. Aren't they gorgeous? And they are so helpful, so respectful, and have the neatest personalities. At first, Luda, age 15, on the right refused to have her picture taken. Overnight she seems to have come of of her shell when I told her how beautiful she is and that I would send her the photos once I got back to the U.S. That is when the whole pen pal thing came up and before you know it we were exchanging addresses.
If you want to adopt two girls that are not only beautiful on the outside but in the inside too-- just like my girls are--- I would beg you to consider these two sisters. You will not be sorry you did.

Here is Alexander. He is such a good boy. Sweet and polite. And I think he has a little crush on Rachel just like a few other boys do.
It was sad to say goodbye, but it was the kids' naptime. Later this evening, we went out for pizza for John's birthday. This is the second time we have went to this place for pizza and I must say it is pretty darn good. So are the salads. We have had the Cleopatra salad and tonight we had the Caesar salad. Even Caleb thinks the pizza is yummy.
Before we went home, we stopped by the store and I bought some ice-cream thinking we would have sundaes for John's birthday but our facilitators surprised us with an ice-cream cake for John. They even bought these candles and had to cut off part of the seven because there was not a number 1 candle.

Happy birthday John-- and happy belated Father's Day!


Donna said...

We are so excited for you all. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!!!

Julie Tocher said...

You inspire me with every post, Christine.

Sally-Girl! said...

Happy Birthday John!!! My last comment on this side of the world!!!

Annie said...

I'm in love with the boy in the LA hat. What a darling.

How I wish we could convince Bill Gates to support international adoption!

Doorless said...

Beautifulchildren. Wish I could have all of them. Happy Birthday John. I can't wait until your new ones are home with you. I am so glad you all have shown the other children a good time also. I am sure they will remember it.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Sounds like things are going really well!! YEAH!!! Continuing prayers for your family!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful,I just LOVE reading what you post. The pics, all of the kids, how you treat everyone nicely.
I can't wait to see the faces of your two children completely. :D
How come you can take Nastya and Pasha home so quickly?
I'm asking because I know they usually require 2 trips or one longer stay in the country to take kids home? Is it because they are "older" or??
Lots of luck to you all. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday John - looks like you had a fun day and an unforgettable birthday! We've loved reading the blog and can't wait to see you guys when you get home. With love from Melissa & Paul xxx

Tiger & Kar said...

I have been following your family since you started your process to adopt Dennis. It's been awhile since I've commented but just wanted to let you know how much you & your entire family inspire me.

I recently returned from a mission trip to Africa. I went knowing I would be working with orphans, but prior to arriving in Zimbabwe, I thought the orphans would primarily be infants & toddlers. God had a much better plan, however, and blessed my time there with absolutely beautiful and wonderful tweens & teenagers.

Although you are in Ukraine, your posts are bringing me back to Zimbabwe. I can't look at the photos of the Internat kids without thinking of those I met in Africa. These teenagers are so special and just as deserving of their own family as the infants & toddlers are that I thought I'd be working with.

Anyway, you've inspired me today. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face (again!), so thankful for all you & John are doing. Thank you for having such a heart for these children. I don't know if they would understand the gesture but tomorrow, if you can give each of the children you see a hug from me and tell them there ARE people who care and love them, I would truly appreciate it.

Hugs to you!

Beth said...

Happy Belated Birthday John! Sarah and I have been trying to keep up on all of your posts. Thank you so much for taking the time to blog. I love all of your entries and pictures. I enjoyed reading what Rachel and Caleb had to share. What great memories you are creating for so many people. We will continue to pray for your family both home and away. Love you guys!

MoonDog said...

sounds like things are going swimmingly! great! happy birthday john! we are back in Kiev to hopefully get the rest of our referrals and MOVE ON. we are still fighting for seperation of the girls, and it is crazy. the people who decide dont even know them, they are the people from the place the girls were born! and the people who see them every day and agree that it wouldnt be the best thing for all if we took the little one too they dont get to decide! we may have to take it to the judge. so we are still here. hoping to go home in another week or so. DYING to go home in another week or so. but meanwhile we are enjoying the country and the city and learning some things. and our girls and Vasy are so fabulous! We are over the moon for them.

June Berger said...

The kids are great! I'm so glad things are going well. I look forward to each post an your pics.

Happy Birthday John!

Connie said...

Happy Birthday John, and belated Father's day too! So glad to read that you all are having a good experience, and we can't wait to visit this summer. We miss you, and send lots of hugs and love to all.

Carey and Norman said...

What a wonderful time you are having in the Ukraine. I'm so glad that you are able to visit with your children and also the children who continue to wait for families. While in Russia, we were only able to meet and play with our child (which made me sad). I think this is an absolutely fabulous experience.

When you return home, I'd love to talk to you more about older child adoption in the Ukraine and how it works. I've told Norman that I'd love to adopt an older girl in the future. We were considering China, but I have enjoyed reading about your interaction with the children in Ukraine. No hurry...just sometime when you return home.

Thinking of you!

Julie said...

Love seeing all of the precious children that you get to spend time with. They all look so sweet and caring.

Renata said...

Happy Birthday to John! What a wonderful place to celebrate - he will never forget this birthday.
I am enjoying following your journey & will share the pictures of the children with my kids - we often pray for orphans & I think seeing pictures of some makes it more real.
God bless you Christine - I'll catch up on reading the other posts I've missed now