Saturday, April 2, 2011
What a great day we had today! Well, it was another lazy day at the apartment. I exercised, yeah! That is only the third or fourth time in three weeks…Yikes! We did some reading and talking and straightening up. We were picked up to go to the orphanage around two and I was hoping we would have enough to do while we were there. There is always plenty to do with the younger kids but I wanted to make sure I included Vitaliy in what we do and a teenage boy doesn’t always want to hang out with twenty eight year olds, you know. When we got there I saw Vitaliy sitting on the bench outside with someone and I then realized that it was his brother. Oh my goodness, I wasn’t prepared to meet his brother. I was so wishing that Andy could have been there with me. I was not sure what to expect. I had only said about two words to his brother on the phone prior to this when I was still back in the states.
I was pleasantly surprised as we started talking. I asked what they wanted to do, maybe they would like to take a walk. I was really hoping to do something different today. It was so beautiful outside. His brother, Sasha, told me that the Director would not allow him to take Vitaliy off the premises but she might allow me. I went inside and the Director was happy to let me take Vitaliy and (little) Sasha along with our interpreter and Sasha on a walk to the town center. We found Sasha and headed out. His brother’s first question was, “what God do I believe in?” I told him I believed in a Christian God. I asked him the same question and he said he did not believe in God. I knew that Vitaliy had told me that he believed in God so I asked Vitaliy what he believed in and was glad to hear him say that he did still believe in God. Sasha asked me many more questions about what school Vitaliy would go to and what types of things he would study. We talked about sports and what is available in our area for the kids. He asked if I liked their country and their city. I told him that there were many things I did like about the country and the city. I focused on all the positives I could and decided to leave all the negatives out. He is a very nice young man. He is twenty three years old and seemed like such a great guy. He spoke directly to me and looked at me even though the translator had to intervene each time. It was so refreshing even if I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
We walked about two meters total trip. We walked down to the town center which consists of a war monument and a few buildings. There is also a small play ground area. Just down the road there are two stores. One is a small market with food and household items. It didn’t have very many things. The other was more of a mini-mart style market. We got some drinks and sat down by the monument to talk. We talked about how Utah does not have garbage everywhere like Ukraine does. I mean everywhere. We talked about drivers’ licenses and both our interpreter and Sasha showed me theirs. They also have to carry a formal looking card in their wallet. If they are pulled over by the police, he will write down on the card the information about that event. We talked about how and when teenagers can get their driver’s license in America. We talked about a lot of things. I was so glad to have finally met him and it made such a huge difference. I can’t explain it. It is like we have completed joining the families together and have made a great bond. I think he is wonderful and I can see how much he cares about his brother. I asked him what he thinks about Vitaliy going to America and he said that he was glad Vitaliy has an opportunity for a great future. I asked to take a picture of Sasha and Vitaliy together and Sasha wanted me to be in the picture. I just loved that. Sasha had to leave when we got back to the orphanage and he held out his hand to shake it. I asked for a hug and he gave me a great big one. I could just feel the sincerity in it. I am so grateful for today…it was a good day!
Both the kids were sad that I had to leave and I had told them that I wouldn’t be back tomorrow but I would come on Monday. They were both disappointed and Sasha kept asking why I wasn’t going to be there tomorrow. I really, really, look forward to the day I can pick them up and get on the train. I am ready for the next stage of this process. When we got back to the apartment we took a quick run to the store and fixed fajitas for dinner. They were great. They sell this package of homemade tortillas that come in a three pack. These tortillas are the size of a sledding saucer…no joke. We had rice, bell peppers, onions and zucchini. Nothing like Mexican food in the heart of Ukraine. Another day down! Love you all. Andy should be landing in Utah in about two hours…lucky guy! Can’t wait to come home. Hope you all come to the airport to see us! (well, I’m jumping the gun here…still have a while) Love to you all!