Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 2.3--Saturday at the Orphanage

Marsh made quail eggs and potatoes for breakfast.  Quail eggs are sold markets, grocery stores, on the street.
Now that our ten day wait has begun, we will spend each day going to visit Ruslan and Nastia until the wait is over and we are able to take them out of the orphanage. Marsh got to spend one last day with us before heading home to work and our other sweet children.  It was good he was here because he was able to not only able to teach me many things I needed to know, he was able to help us figure out a route and a way to keep from having to pay for a driver each day.  If he had left last night as originally planned, I would have been up a creek! 

I am grateful to have spent so much time here because I now know where everything is and how to get what I need or want, for the most part.   I did cry this evening when my Right Arm left, but then I pulled myself together and took Chris and Patty shopping for last-minute-before-the-Sabbath items.  I managed to pay and get us back home all by myself!  Yay for me.

Like I told Marsh, I am in a very challenging situation...I can't communicate with anyone, I can't call anyone (except my facilitators that are in Kiev...just a mere 14 hour train ride away), I can't even read signs or menus or directions on boxes or kiosks, let alone the ingredients or labels on food.  Good thing the Lord is in charge of this little adventure!

Daddy with half his girls.  :)

We arrived at the orphanage at 10am for our visit.  Because it is Saturday, the orphanage staff wasn't there but the children were all out playing with adults supervising them.  When we arrived, Ruslan and Nastia had just come out with the other children and hugged us and welcomed us.  They invited us to come into the visiting room for a little while so we could say hello and put our things down.

When we are outside, I try really hard not to focus on the little ones that are there in the orphanage.  That is most often where I see their little playground.  Honestly, I try to talk to myself about how happy they are playing outside and with each other.  If one of them cries, I say in my head, "Oh, that's so typical for a little one to cry" and try really hard not to allow my mind to follow the natural course of considering that there are many times when their cries are not answered and they go about their little lives feeling unheard and longing to be held when they weep, just like we all do.

As we headed for the door to go inside this morning I was, unfortunately, unprepared for what I was going to see.  Two little girls, about the age of my Lucy, were being led by the hand outside.  One of them had a look on her face that will forever live in my memory.  She was so young and was so sad, but she was holding back tears and was walking along, seemingly resigned to the fact that no one was going to listen to what she needed or wanted, stoically plodding forward where she needed to go.  It was so uncommon for one so young to look that way, far beyond her years and with, what seemed to me to be, a great deal of pain on her face.  

Marsh and Chris had both seen her, too.  Chris said, "Oh, that is so sad!"  I was just trying to control myself and my thoughts, knowing I was supposed to be there to visit my kids, not cause them anxiety over my own distress, when Marsh looked at me over the heads of our kids and said, "Are you okay?"  All I could do was shake my head and walk back outside and sob.  I was worried what that would do to Ruslan and Nastia.  They had never seen me cry before.  I tried to be private and had left the area, but I heard Marsh say, "Mom needs a hug".  Nastia rushed right over to me and hugged me, looking up into my eyes with so much understanding and compassion.  She wasn't worried, but I could tell she wanted my hurt to go away.  Patty was there, too, on my other side trying to comfort me.  I pulled myself together, hugged both of my sweet girls, and walked back inside.  Marsh then explained to them that I didn't want any child to be without a mother and that those two little girls made me think of Lucy without someone to love her every day.

We spent most of the day playing, visiting in both the morning and the afternoon. 

Ruslan getting his first coaching on how to throw an American football.  Thanks for sending it, Mom!

Ruslan's spiral was looking really good after just a little practice.  He and Chris volleyed back and forth for at least an hour.
This soccer game in the humid heat of Ukraine made these boys look like they had taken a bath with their clothes on!  These are some serious soccer players!
The girls had to take their turn with the football.  Patty's spiral was amazing and Nastia threw like a champ, usually over her target's head!

For the afternoon visit, Marsh helped us practice our "driver-less route" and timed it so we'd know how long it took to get from the apartment to the orphanage.  This route requires a trip on the tram up and down the main street between us and the orphanage.  It just runs on tracks and electrical lines above the street.  It looks like something from the 1930s and I guarantee that the experience today changed the perspective of our kids.  This is how we will get ourselves to and from the orphanage every day.  Stores and places to change money and buy minutes for our internet and phone are all within walking distance.
Too hot to play outside on paper inside were a much better choice!

Patty finished the day giving Nastia a manicure...glitter nail polish included!
We will go to church tomorrow, the whole block of meetings, so we can make contact with the members and missionaries.  At first, I figured we'd just go to sacrament meeting since we won't understand anything that is being said, but then Marsh suggested that the experience of sitting through all the meetings will give our kids a better understanding of what it will be like for Ruslan and Nastia to come to an english-speaking ward when we get home.  Wise man.  Church is from 10 to 1 and we will visit the kids at 3pm.

One last update...I brought up the comment made in court yesterday that our application apparently said we wanted two boys.  I asked Nastia if she had heard it.  She had.  I explained (with Marsh translating, of course) that we had come for the two of them specifically.  Not for two boys.  I told her that was a mistake and reassured her that we had come for them and no one else!  She smiled some pretty big smiles.


  1. Thank you so much for letting us get a glimpse of your wonderful experience through your blog. Thank you also for sharing your feelings about being a mother- it really is what we are given time for. Good luck the next few days with the language and everything else! You are a brave lady!

  2. Good thing you have that green field at the back of your property for ball playing. You have a TEAM!
    Glad you are spending lots of time witht he kids. Also that you can tram and walk everywhere you needto go. Chris and Patty are really getting a great education!