Today was a great day but filled with mixed emotions. I am roommateless tonight because Kerry is on her way to Kiev with her new daughter. A couple more days for her and she will be headed home. I am so very, very happy for her but it was so hard to say goodbye to her today. I didn’t realize it until my ride was here and she was still waiting for hers. I went to give her a hug goodbye and started crying. It is going to be so hard not to have her here. She has been such a great comfort to me. I got down to the car and found that it was hard to keep myself composed. Then I realized that the last family will have court tomorrow and they leave tomorrow night. I had to say goodbye to them also today because I won’t see them tomorrow. What a day! I am so grateful that Lucy will be here tomorrow morning and Renee and Nan are coming back soon. Renee will be our new roommate when she comes back. Kerry’s paperwork went really fast. It really should have taken all week but our facilitator works miracles. She told me to get ready as our paperwork process starts next Monday. I asked if she could do ours that fast and she said she would try.
We spent the morning doing some running around errands and last minute things for Kerry. Shopping is always fun no matter what country you are in. I met up with that last family and we headed to the orphanage. I had brought with me a Ukrainian Monopoly game that Kerry left for me. I wasn’t sure if I would bring it in because Vitaliy usually doesn’t like games and that game is so long it would not hold Sasha’s interest but I brought it in anyway. Wow, what a hit it was. We played it for two hours. Okay, Monopoly is not one of my favorite games because my brother (sorry David, no offense) ruined me from that game. Not only could I never win, but also, I lost so very badly that it scared me for life. Well, Vitaliy loves to play that game and…it was in his language. We had a lot of attention from the other kids and even had other teenagers hanging around and watching. That is a first for my visits to the orphanage and it was really great.
While we played another family came in. They are from Florida and they are adopting two siblings, teenagers, from our orphanage. It was great to talk with someone in English other than the usual two or three people. They are a very nice family and their court date is next week. About this time Kerry came in for some final paperwork signing and her and her daughter headed out. It was easier to say goodbye this time.
We had a great time visiting with the boys and playing. I taught Natalie how to play the card game Speed. Wow, that girl loves to play games. I will miss her too! As I have had to say goodbye to several people now, I realize how hard it will be to leave the orphanage and not see those children again. It has become a comfortable place to be and I really love it when a lot of the children come and hang out and play with us.
It is quiet and a bit lonely tonight, I have to say. I am trying very hard to stay positive and enjoy the journey. It is not a bad journey, just challenging. As I have sat here in some of my loneliest moments, I have to say that “I feel my Savior’s love in all the world around me”. I know He is so mindful of this time that I am experiencing. I know He is mindful of Kerry and Victoria on the train. I know He is mindful of my friends as they prepare to go to court. I know He is mindful of those beautiful children going through the motions of life without the love of parents “kind and dear”. I just KNOW He is so aware of it all. It is unbelievably an “in your face” feeling and as hard as it is, it is just great to KNOW!
I love you all and miss you more than I could ever express. Thanks for your thoughts, comments and prayers and thanks for watching out for my family. Love you all!!!!!
This is taken as we walked from our apartment at to the main raod. All the apartments buildings look and are shaped like this.
This is - believe it or not - a wheel chair ramp. There are under the road walkways to cross the street. These steps lead down to shops and markets that they have in the walkways underground and these are the ramps built to accomodate a while chair....absolutely NUTS!
The kids were setting up the game of Monopoly. The money and property were all made out of thin cardboard and had to be cut apart. They really, really liked this game.
Vitaliy actually asked me to take this picture. Normally he is hiding from the camera. He looks happy doesn't he?!
This is a close up of the board. If you land on a spot, you pay the purchase price and pick up the property card. You place your colored token in its place and when others land on it they pay you. It is very similar to our Monopoly except the property are stores you purchase. There are chance cards just like ours.
Our game drew a lot of attention.
With our donation money the Director purchased several of these cases to display the chidren's awards and medals from many competitions they have. Sasha got the camera and took pictures of all of them. Apparently they are a hit with the children. They are proud of their accomplishments.
The best pictures I get are the ones taken when Sasha takes my camera. He took it today and over a hundred pictures later I have pictures of people and things that I would never have been able to take. This little girl is amazingly sweet and adorable.
This is Sasha and his good friend, Myke. He will be coming to Ameria around the same time as we will be coming home. It will be great for them to continue their friendship in the States.
This are Sasha's classmates.
See...how would I have ever gotten this picture. I think the teacher borrowed the camera and took all these shots.
Another great shot of his friends.
This was taken in his classroom, which, by the way, I have not seen yet.
Each time I leave Sasha walks me out to the van and starts to give me his verbal birthday list. His birthday is the end of May. Boy...Am I in trouble! He stays out by the van and keeps waving until we drive away. He keeps running back and jumping in the van to tell me something else he wants. When I have him talk to me in English, he does it but he totally giggles. It is great to hear him talk so much. (I know I won't be saying that for too long)