Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The little ones

I wrote before about my typical Saturdays. Right after that I was able to start into more regular time with the bed-bound little ones and some others who don't participate in the Bible lessons, as I said that I was wanting to. Now that's part of the routine.

A few months ago the older girls we work with were temporarily moved into a "baby" group (they're really not babies, but they are little and they live in cribs), so I'm easily getting lots more contact with these little ones. After I finish the Bible lesson and take the boys back to their group, it's lunch time. I go in to the babies, and start feeding someone. I usually start with K., because she loves me and won't be calm until I give her some attention. I'm slower than the nannies with feeding, and I make sure we're talking and interacting the whole time. I haven't gotten used to feeding the ones who are flat on their backs all the time, although I do that sometimes. I'm always afraid that they'll choke! They all eat some variation of puree or mush fed to them with spoons. There are eight children in that group, and often about the time I have finished feeding two, the nanny is already done with the rest and cleaning up.

I've been bringing them cookies and juice, too, since I do that for the older kids. For these little ones, I crumble and mash the cookies and mix them with juice and then feed that to them after their regular lunch. I've noticed that some have definitely come to expect a sweet treat when they see me; I must be the cookie lady in their minds.

There's one absolutely precious little girl who is blind. I hadn't spent much time with her, because she's very fearful, and I didn't want to upset her. However, this week, the nanny told me that this little one always thinks she's hungry. No matter how much they spoon into her, she has a fit when they're done. (And she really is getting enough; there is no danger of actual hunger here.) So, this time before she even started to protest that her lunch was over, I took her a bowl of cookies. She did fuss when that was gone, but she also let me take her out of her crib and comfort her some in my arms. She could only stand a few minutes of that, but she was calm when I put her back. I'm going to try to hold her each week now, and see if she can get more comfortable with that and with me.

Oh, and about little K.... The time before last, the nannies seemed really tired and one had a toothache or something. So, they asked me to take K. with me when I took the older ones out for the Bible lesson. I wasn't too sure how that would work; teaching and interacting with the older ones, with her clinging to me? But I tried it, and it was fine. She sat in her stroller and listened and even "sang" with us. This week, she obviously wanted to go again and kept trying to pull me toward the classroom. But, there were other guests visiting at the same time, so I just walked her back and forth the whole time. She can only walk with support, and she loves when someone helps her practice. Then, when the guests left, I put her back in her stroller to do a short lesson with the older kids. She screamed for a minute, but as soon as we started singing she was sound asleep after all the exercise and excitement that she'd had.

Thank you for praying for me and for these little ones. Maybe you can pray specifically for a family to come for K.? She's the only one in that group who I know for sure is available for adoption. Thanks!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More randomness

I was just taking photos off the camera. Here are a few:

School on the first sunny morning!

Asya's drawing for the library
Leftover orphanage crafts
I keep wanting to write about the fun and busyness of January, but I'm just not getting around to it. So, if you want to read my friend's words about it, most of what I was doing was helping her. And here's a video that includes the sweet girl who was just adopted here (she's Chesnie now), plus other kids and families, a few of whom I know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Raia's second concert

Very soon after Raia's first concert, she was invited to play at another concert. She jumped at the chance. I thought it was pretty funny, because before she started at music school, she was looking forward to everything except concerts. She thought that concerts would be scary. Apparently experience changed her mind right away. I missed the concert, but Will recorded her part for us:

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


It's February already? Nice. We've been doing well with school and regular life, but I haven't had time to think or write. All of our busyness went really well, with all kinds of complications thrown in to parts of it... does that make any sense?

Today I'll post some random photos and quotes from the past month, and then I'll try to do a more factual report on some of the busyness that happened last month later.

Bogdan has been hilarious lately. He's talking so much! It's still his own brand of language, but we easily understand him. Here are translations of just a few things he said to me one evening recently:
  • "Can I kill a cat with my fingernails? No? Then I'll have to use a sword."
  • "How do ants go to sleep?* What hats do ants wear? But they have to wear hats in the winter!"
  • "When it's dark my eyes are scared." Your eyes? "Yes, they tell me that there are monsters there and there and there and there." A few minutes later.... "May I go outside in the dark?" Won't it be scary? "No, I won't let my eyes tell me about the monsters."
*A favorite theme here lately: "How does [whoever/whatever] go to sleep?"

Now, photos....

Being silly with new slippers
Beautiful, blue sky! It's been very rare lately.
A friend's photos of the fog, down by the river
It's been almost all fog and clouds for at least the second half of the month. An American engineer was supposed to come and start on plans for the homes for kids who grow out of the Tsyurupinsk orphanage. My friend went to Odessa to meet his flight, and had to stay there waiting for him for three days, while he was stuck in Turkey because of the fog on this end. I tried to help from here, and spent a few crazy days tracking flights, facilitating communication, and seeing about different plans. At the last minute, because my friend was still in Odessa, I also got to be the one to make the trip out to pick up Oksana and another boy who was coming to Kherson to visit for a holiday week. That ended up being an interesting trip. That's a different story, though. The engineer finally made it on a flight straight to Kherson, and had a packed 36-hour visit to do what he could.

I said to get ready for school...
He told Bogdan that he has four eyes.
We also had Oksana over for one FUN evening, after all the busyness here, and before she left for America:

Like I said, sunshine has been rare.
He just wanted to eat outside.
So, that's some of what has been happening around our home. I can write about other events later.

Oh, right now there's a mama adopting a little girl I know. She's also working on two other adoptions in two other regions. Please pray for her and her family! I am so excited to see this little one get a family. She's like a toddler, but she's actually 16 years old, and has waited a very long time for this. The pictures of her with her new mama are just precious. I'll see if there are any that I can share, after the adoption is final.