Thursday, June 30, 2016

Photos from The Visit

Dad posted at least a few photos on Facebook almost every day that they were here. Before I lose track of those, here are links:
We didn't have our camera out much at all, but here are a few of our photos from Raia's birthday and then from the day we did some sightseeing:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Yesterday was a sad day. My parents left.  But that was after a whole wonderful two weeks together.

This week is set aside for recovering after the whole month and a half of serious busyness that we're just finishing up. As a start to catching up, I'm just storing some photos here from June 4, when Raia and Asya went with their church children's choir to the zoo in Nikolaev. It was their end of the year treat for lots of hard work. Asya's little group was with a friend of mine, so I got photos from her. I don't know that anyone in Raia's group took photos.

Monday, June 06, 2016

The power of families

I have been really enjoying photos and videos of one little girl who I knew in the orphanage here and who was adopted by an American family. She's been home with her family for less than a year, and the changes in her are dramatic. I love seeing how she's running barefoot in lovely green grass. (She only got to the point of taking a few steps here; she couldn't walk.) After five years in a crib here, now she's out going to school, ice skating, riding at an amusement park, swimming in her family's new pool, and so much more. She is loved!

There's another girl who had her six month anniversary of coming home a little while ago. I got permission from her mom to repost some photos and stats here. Please read and enjoy that beautiful smiling face:

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Some photo links

And the photographer at graduation took these photos for us, with our camera:

Friday, June 03, 2016

English camp

I sat down to write a blog post, and the electricity went out. But! I have an iPad now. So, I can write anyway.

This past week we've been helping with an English day camp at a local orphanage. Will and Jaan are in a 5th-6th grade group, with a wonderful visiting English teacher, who happens to be here to adopt. Raia is helping in a group of little ones, and Asya, Bogdan, and I are in a different class, also with younger children.

It's been really good to do this with our whole family. Monday through Wednesday we were there at the orphanage, and I could see that it was hard for our younger two to share me with a whole class and to put up with all the busyness. However, they try hard, and they've made some good friends. Thursday was different, because these camp kids and many, many others were bussed to our church for a Children's Day program. So, I stayed home with our two younger children, to let them rest a bit. They really needed that. They were all keyed up at the beginning, but I watched them relax and settle back into their usual selves as our day at home went on. Today, when we were getting ready to go, Bogdan told me that he didn't want to, but then he agreed that he wanted to see his friends. He did really well and had fun, even though he did get shoved around, more than he has been on the other days.

Our older two are a different story. They are loving every minute of it. The camp continues next week, and they're planning to go help even when we can't. (We have special guests coming, so we aren't planning to be there every day. ) Today they made sure that they know the bus route, so that they can get there and back by themselves. On Thursday the special program included another showing of the Easter play that Jaan was in, and kids from "our" orphanage in Tsyurupinsk also came to see it. He and Raia were especially thrilled to see their friends from there, plus new friends from this week; I think Raia was almost flying afterwards, even though she's been exhausted from all the excitement.

I'll try to add a few photos here, photos that I have stolen from other people. There should be professional photos later on the Agape Facebook pages and maybe here, too.