Thursday, April 23, 2009

9 Days and Counting...

     Wednesday was a full day.  We packed up our things and hit the road to visit our children at 8:30 AM.  It takes a solid half hour to travel from Zapporizhia to the orphanage outside the city so we arrived a little after 9 AM.  Our first classroom stop was for James Arthur.  James has two teachers - one is very sweet and sings continual praises of him to us, while the other one never wants to let him visit with us.  In fact, on one previous visit, Angela Grace saw us coming and ran to James' classroom to inform him we were there.  That particular teacher yelled at her bringing her to tears and then refused to let him visit with us that day (we learned those particular details later aside from him not being able to visit us).  
     Well, the uncooperative one was in charge yesterday morning...  Sasha, who was with us thankfully, went to track down the orphanage director to intervene.  Interesting.  All the while, I confess, my mind was reeling down a list of things I'd like to say (ha ha)... "Listen lady..."  or "You will let us see him and you will like it"... I could feel the stirrings of protective parent and child advocacy roles begin to rise up in me for one of the first real times... About 10 minutes later the orphanage director came and took care of us.  :)
     We spent the next hour or so with the children upstairs.  From our first visits, James has been asking for a watch.  Unfortunately, there are no Walmart stores here (or their equivalent) for this sort of thing but we did happen to find a few watches to surprise them with...   
It was fun to have one child over at a time to give them their watch and love on them individually for a moment.  James Arthur was very excited to receive this gift.   
A bit of sibling jealousy rumblings poured forth as Angela Grace liked the watch Jana Sophia had more than hers.  Then James Arthur switched with Angela Grace... Jana Sophia gave hers to Angela Grace and took James' watch.  Tony and I watched and had to laugh at little in amusement.  
Jana Sophia was a giddy thing yesterday morning playing a nap time game.  The girls would snuggle up on the sofas and start to pretend snore.  Following the snoring were giggles upon giggles and then they'd switch sofas.  Meanwhile, Victoria Joy really needed a nap!... (ha ha)
Big brother, James, loved on his baby sister... helped her adjust her new watch to a comfortable position... sweet...
     We did not have a translator for our visit.  Sasha had run to pick up parental history document to be translated for us from the Inspector.  Needless to say, our visit was a little challenging... but good.  We continue to learn and fall in love more and more with these precious ones.  
     When Sasha returned, we had him translate to the older two that we would be out of town for a couple days but will be back on Monday.  Angela Grace asked, "What does 'couple' days mean?"  So we attempted to explain that we had to go to Kiev so we could buy some clothes and shoes for them and that we were leading at a church there on Sunday.  They seemed to understand, gave us big hugs and kisses and we were on our way...

     We had the pleasure of visiting another orphanage in the area that we hope to partner with in some way down the road.  Tony will explain more (see www.tony.tbclife.net).  I will just share some pictures.  First, however, we ran into an American couple from New York City adopting a 14 year old boy from this orphanage - the Sullivans.  It was a blessing to connect with them.  So precious to see their joy and hear them share, "We are the blessed ones."  They are also adopting another child in another region.  Please pray for them as they continue their adoption journey...  Thanks. :)
An older class the orphanage director introduced us to in order to share the need for new desks.  These are falling apart.  Ideally, they would like individual desks for the students which would make things easier. 
This is difficult to see from this picture, but the bottom half of the desk is falling apart... it is nearly all worn out...
The doors are deteriorating...
The bathrooms are in need of some love...

This particular orphanage currently has 165 children in it.  140 of them are boys and this is their current gym!  As you can see, it is unusable.  Due to the economic crisis, the government has cut back financial support to the bare essentials...
Please continue to pray for the orphans of Ukraine.  This particular orphanage director is excellent and very competent.  Much has improved since she began there 3 years ago.  Pray for more orphanage directors like her.... with a heart for orphans and vision to lead.  Thanks!

     We left the region a little after 2 PM, made a couple stops along the way.  In fact, we met another American family - mother of 7, named Holly.  Precious.  What another encouragement along with the way.  Her husband, along with 2 of their children, already had to return to Alabama.  Holly and her other children are waiting on passports.  Please pray that these will be done as soon as possible!  They were just told it could be another week and a half!  I know they are eager to get home and settle in... We made it back to Kiev and into our flat around 10:30 PM... exhausted.  Although, we both enjoyed not only fellowship with Sasha but listening to a few sermons from Begg and Driscoll on Psalm 22:6.  "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  That is our prayer.  Lord, grant us wisdom and grace we pray...

2 comments:

momma B said...

Kim your children will learn more from your action that words. Words are sometimes easy, but your action takes more, you by your actions show the Love of God and for people, and you will be a blessing to these children, I know it will be hard to be away from them for a couple of days, especially with James and that mean old teacher. Momma B

MamaPoRuski said...

I agree with MommaB, our bonding process went much better when we didn't have the interpreter to rely on. They learned not only from our actions but mainly it made us practice what little Russian we knew, this make a HUGE difference if you try to speak, even poorly, their language. Make a game of having them teach you words. This will give them the confidence to learn English later.I can email you a Child Talk Russian PDF file if you would like.