Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another one rides the bus

This trip has been a series of firsts. It has been my first ride on a jumbo jet. It has been my first actual ride on a train (riding the thirty minute ride at the train museum is not the same). It has included my first time of riding in a taxi. Today, I add to that list my first time of riding a bus. Yes, I have ridden a school bus. Yes, I have ridden a chartered bus. I will even admit to having ridden the free electric shuttle bus in Chattanooga (once, many years ago, as it took us from our parked car to the Chattanooga Aquarium and then back again.). However, this was my first time of being jammed together with 348+ strangers in a 15-passenger (aka "Church Van") bus.

We have been taking a taxi to and from the orphanage. However, we heard from many people that riding the bus is just as good and a lot cheaper. How much cheaper? It costs $0.22, which is less than 10% of a taxi ride, which is normally $2.50. The thing that has finally pushed us to ride the bus is the arrival of the Clark family in our region. They have prior bus-riding experience (i.e. "more than us, which is zero) and they will be using the bus system. We figure - safety in numbers is a good concept, and I certainly feel safer having five people blundering through the bus system (and through downtown NameOfCity) than to only have Kelly and myself.

We caught the bus at the end of the line next to the orphanage. We intended to get off near a cafeteria-style restaurant that we wanted to eat at for lunch. We had seen buses with that route number just outside the cafeteria, and made the assumption that the cafeteria was on the bus line. We stayed on the bus until the other end of the line, only to be nowhere near where we wanted to be. Apparently the bus we saw in the downtown area was out gathering day-lilies for a beau or something, because that line doesn't hit the downtown. We all paid our fares and marched across the street and got on the same line going back the other way (because none of us knew where in the heck we were, and we wouldn't even be able to call for help). We knew the stop (in front of a park with army tanks) that would be close to the cafeteria. We picked a different stop (closer to where they lived, and they knew it was the same street) with the assumption that it would be a relatively short walk to the restaurant.

An hour of walking later, we finally hit city we with which we were familiar. It misted rain a bit and the wind was cold, but the feared downpour didn't happen. We had a very nice lunch with them, went grocery shopping, and then went our separate ways. We shall certainly ride the bus tomorrow.


Many people have heard stories about dolphins rescuing people who fall overboard at sea. The dolphins helpfully push the people towards land and have been credited with saving many lives.

The unfortunate truth is that no one hears the stories about the people that the dolphins ignore or the stories about the people that the dolphins push farther into the ocean. "Dead men tell no tales" as pirates might say.

Here is one story of a boy, John Lahutsky, who was saved from the institution in Russia:

Boy From Baby House 10

We hope to spare our girls from a similar existence. We hope that this journey, our efforts, and the efforts of our family and friends will mean that these girls never have to experience such things. We hope that their story will be sweeter.

Many children are being adopted and will not have to endure the hell of the institutions. They will have lives and families. They will have birthdays. They will open presents at Christmas. They will attend school. They may go on vacations to the beach. They will matter, they will be be important. They will hear someone say "I love you" and feel a tender kiss. These children will have stories to tell.

Most children with disabilities go from the orphanage to the institution. The system is relentless, grinding children into nothing, turning hopes and dreams and futures into dust and ashes and despair.

Who will ever listen to the stories of these children? Their stories will not be heard because no one rescues them - they are pulled further and further out to sea and are lost.

Here is one boy, "Mason" (same orphanage as our girls) who is perilously close to aging out. He needs a family. He needs someone to listen to his story. He needs a family to make him their own.


Or what about this little girl: "Vika". She is in the same region as "Marlena" and "John Mark" - the first children we tried to adopt. She has a family that is wanting to adopt her and they have been a huge help to us in our adoption process. They are very close to traveling and they still need help with their financial goals. Please help them out so that "Vika" will have a loving family sooner!



We were in a much smaller room today with the girls. It is one of the "doctor's" (in the US it would probably be "therapist") offices that had a bunch of toys. It is actually where we first played with the girls twelve days ago. The main playroom was being cleaned.


  1. such beautiful children! and an amazing experience to bring your family closer to being together forever.. we can't wait to begin our journey of bring a child/children home to join our family, and really enjoy following your story! congrats its only getting closer!

  2. "Apparently the bus we saw in the downtown area was out gathering day-lilies for a beau or something"---This cracked me up!! And also discouraged any plans I had to give public transportation a try when we are traveling.

  3. LOL I LOVE your writings Ezra!! I look forward to your posts everyday!

  4. I love following your story and reading your blogs. I hope someday soon, I will be where you are now. Best wishes!

  5. Oh Sarah, now that we know the route numbers, the bus is the way to go. It is so much cheaper than a taxi. I am working on a tip sheet for those traveling to (31) which will have detailed information on the bus system.