Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What We Did Today

Like I mentioned in my previous post, the kids thought the glow sticks that could be connected into a necklace or bracelet were so cool. They had never seen anything like them--- even the 17 year old boy that Pasha gave one of his sticks to had not seen them before.

I brought flashcards and John played all kinds of games with them. Not only did they have to shout out the right answer but then John would hold up two cards and ask them which answer was bigger. Most of the time they got the answers right-- and even the 17 year old boy enjoyed playing.

The kids love the camera. Ever since I promised to mail them pictures, they have been asking to take photographs with us, with each other, and individual ones.

It has been fun.

Nastya wanted to make sure she introduced her friend Anya to us. Here she is with the glasses. I thought she was around six years old and I could have believed eight, but when she told us she was ten I was shocked because of how tiny she is. Isn't she adorable?
The kids wanted to show us their tiny, baby kitten. It looks way too young to be away from its Mama but I think with the kids caring for it, it will be okay anyway. I hope.

The girls loved painting their nails. They were thrilled when I had our facilitator tell them that they could keep the polish as long as they promised to share.

Here is Carina, Luda, and Sveta. They are close friends-- the girls who took me out for the photo shoot.
Aren't they just beautiful?

After saying our goodbyes, we headed home. After lunch we went for a walk down to an area that has a bunch of little stores in a park like area with benches to sit on and people watch. The store owners loved us when we went inside and asked to buy all of their Seputchkas-- around 2 kilograms for eight dollars.

Caleb and Rachel enjoyed divvying up the candy they bought for friends and family.

Tonight I made french toast for dinner. I added milk to the egg and Caleb ate it no problem. Still, he won't drink it in cereal, but at least it is a start. This kitchen is interesting. Every time I want to turn on the stove, I must first turn on the gas and then light the burner with a match. I also need to plug in the exhaust fan and close our bedroom door so the smell of the food doesn't permeate the bed sheets. Got that? Oh, and then I need to turn off the gas, unplug the fan, and make sure that I don't grab the hot handle on accident when I move the pan. But, I am getting used to this kitchen and it really isn't that big of a deal.

Since they don't have syrup here, we used powdered sugar and Caleb topped his last piece of french toast with ice-cream-- so we are not missing syrup yet. Eventually though, I think it would be something we would like to have again.
There are still so many things I have not told you about like the train ride here. How could I have forgotten? Did you know that the train had to make an unplanned stop because some kids threw a washing machine on the railroad tracks and we ran over it. It is a wonder our train did not derail-- but John watched the train men detangle the scrap metal and throw it aside. Also, we could not get tickets for one cabin-- rather we had two beds in one and two in another. Thankfully one woman was willing to trade her bed with one of ours, but the other guy would not budge. In the end we ended up all staying in the same cabin anyway because Rachel and I shared a bed.


Charissa said...

Enjoying your blog....I feel like I am right there with you. Oh, wait... I AM right there with you!

cara said...

Try using strawberry yogurt instead of syrup. We started doing this in Ukraine because -no syrup. Now that's all we use at home!

Agi from Hungary said...

I feel sorry for Anya, she seems a bit sad in the picture...
She's such a precious girlie!

I wish all the best to you!

Rachel E. said...

I know people must tell you this all the time, but thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us all along on this amazing journey with you! It must be SO hard not to take them all home.

HomeSchool Mommy said...

I love seeing all these pictures and hearing your stories!

Winnie said...

I don't know if there is such thing as Maple extract there (kinda like vanilla) if such a thing exist you could boil up some sugar syrup and flavor it maple. Other alternatives are some sweetened berries or apple sauce but I remember not being able to find apple sauce except in a baby food jar and was told it didn't exist. Jam works pretty good too.

I don't blame Caleb on the milk, it taste weird compared to American milk. I do believe the difference is that American dairy cattle are fed a very controlled diet where Ukrainian cattle are pasture fed so the milk varies with whatever they eat. I don't think either us drank milk the entire time we were there but didn't have problems with it cooked in things. Lots of ice cream which is SO good there.

Wonder why the guy wouldn't trade cabins with you? I had the same happen on our flight home and they guy wouldn't trade with my MIL so I plunked Igor down between us and didn't even flinch when Igor would act like a toot and kick him, figured he deserved it.

Hope things are moving smoothly for you. Hang in there!

Jamey & Catherine said...

Hi Christine,
Thanks for all the posts that you leave I find myself checking often to follow along with you. Also Oksana has now caught the "travel bug" and loves all the pictures of the kids in the internat, she says she remembers times like that and really likes the picture of Anya because it reminds her of someone in the Detski Dom in Kazakhstan. Only that girls name was Nadia and she was 9. :) Thanks again for all the posts and glad you are having a wonderful time. The house you are in sure does look way more comfortable and homey than staying at a hotel.


P.s Oksana wanted me to add that the ORBIT gum there is the best gum ever, she thinks Rachel and Caleb would like it too. (WE have a couple packs left to give her here over time and she loves it.)

Tina in CT said...

I am wondering why your guide/agency did not book an apt. for you.

You have thought of so many things to do with all the children and to make them feel special.

How dangerous on the train ride considering what could have happened.

Martha said...

It is so easy to get spoiled living in the United States. Whatever we don't have, we just go out and buy. (Food wise, I mean.) What a great lesson you are teaching your kids by having them along for the trip. I bet they will never be quite the same.

Rachael said...

I am loving hearing about all your adventures in Ukraine. I would love to be doing what you are doing right now!

Marilyn said...

Love reading your blog and following along with your adventure. Just thought I would mention how I love my french toast with some kind of berry jam - a bit of butter is good too. Your new children are just lovely and will thrive in your care.

Amy said...

Hey Christine and John!
You are doing such an amazing thing by visiting with all the kids at the internat... it is something positive that they will never forget!
Keep on advocating for these kiddos left behind.... hopefully, there are some families out there just waiting for one of these lovely kids!

Hopefully, you can get your court date soon!


Sara W. said...

What an amazing trip!! It must be so hard for you to leave the children everyday (all of them). They all look so happy to have you there with them...even if for 4 hours. I bet they will be so sad when you leave. Do other families visit the internat like you games, bring crafts, candies, beads, LOVE??? The children all seem so sweet...esp the 3 girls with you in the picture. They look like they just love you!!

Are all the children's clothes donated? If they are not adopted, at what age are they "on their own", do they get to attend further schooling or anything? Foster families at all?? Makes me so sad.

Thank you for all the updates and pictures. So Neat!

Chris said...

First, thank you for sharing all of the details of your journey with us. It has been a wonderful window into the lives of the children and it makes my heart sad thinking about all the children growing up without families. Do you have an idea of how many children live at this particular Internat?

kharms80 said...

Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful experiences with us. All of the children are so beautiful. Its so true when you say you can already start to see their personalities coming through - the pictures show that. What a blessing for both you and the children to share in this experience.

Annie said...

Now, my husband would do well in Ukraine - I don't allow syrup in the house....horrible, sticky stuff.

Those dear children....wish I could add one. (How many times have I said that, now?)

Mama said...

You must be explaining your time there so well! I dreamed last night that I was there with you...I remember playing with the kids and I can't get their faces out of my head. I am so ready to go!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mom and Dad,
Your blog was so touching and i loved every part of it. I liked how you talked about the girls and it is so moving to hear and see them all painting each others nails. I miss you all and please tell dad that I am sorry i forgot to tell him happy birthday!!
Annalyn Reed

Shona New Zealand said...

I am so enjoying following your amazing time in the Ukaraine. You and John really are amazing the love you have for these kids. We adopted our son from Russia and would love to go back to adopt again but here in New Zealand we can't at the moment, it is so frustrating but just have to trust God and His timing!! It breaks my heart to see all these children in need of a family and LOVE!! And why we should have so much and these kids have so little!! Enjoy the rest of your time in Ukraine and hope you get your Court Date soon and home to your family. For Maple syrup I use 1 cup of Brown Sugar and 1/2 cup of water boiled together for a couple of minutes then add 1 tsp Vanilla Essence.(but I think I remember that you couldn't find brown sugar in Ukraine). God Bless.

Difference2This1 said...

I feel like your posts are placing me right there in front of those children along side you. It's hard to read what must be so much harder for you to bare having met these children in person. I'm so thankful there are so many parents who step forward and bring children home...wishing more would join in, but glad there will be 2 less orphans in Ukraine very soon...and 2 less in Bulgaria in the next few months as well. Praying all continues to go well, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that your family blessed these children and in turn you were blessed. I am in process (1 1/2 years now) adoption a girl with CP from horrible foster care situation in CA. It is not as bad as the internat but close. I really whis every child could have a home and a family to love them. You have brought light into their lives. They will remember.
thanks for sharing your experiences. WI

Those Aussie Kids said...

Please give all of them hugs from australia =)
(and please don't forget to hug the kitten too, just for me)
<3 to all!

Hevel said...

To be honest, this European here *waves* still doesn't drink the milk in the US (with the exception of BYU creamery chocolate milk) after a combined almost 7 years I spent there. It just doesn't taste like milk. So I can totally understand Caleb's reaction. :)

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Praise God the train didn't derail! Still praying for God's protection as you travel.

Much Love,

Anonymous said...

hey mom how is it going mom I love you. I need to ask you a question is Anya going to be adopted. I couldent belive she was 10 when read it Anasasha is 11 and she is very tall.


Connie said...

When we can't find syrup, we make crepes instead of pancakes, and roll them up with peanut butter, fruit, jam, nutella, or even just butter. Crepes don't need syrup to moisten them like pancakes do.

Shannon Hazleton said...

I know it's been a few years, Christine, but do you have any way of knowing what's become of tiny Anya?