Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Awesome Day

We had a great day meeting with our new children.  Or rather, we didn't spend much time with the children.  We spent a lot of time with the entourage.

When we adopted Elena and Juliana - they had no supporters.  There was no fanfare or excitement.  They had nobody who was interested in their lives.   We adopted naked children.  They were not even allowed to take a diaper with them.  We had to provide everything.

This time is different.  Katerina has many surrogate mother/sister figures at the orphanage.  Andrew has a network of people in many countries who have been fighting for him.  He also has godparents who have been helping supply him with food and supplies.

We first went to Katerina's orphanage.  Many of the older girls had gone shopping at the bazaar.  They bought many clothes and outfits for her.  They gave us a bag of clothes she had at the orphanage.  Her favorite teacher bought her a dress also.  Katerina's grandmother also came and gave us a lace doily she had made, as well as more clothes for Katerina.  The girls had even bought an outfit for Andrew, and hair accessories for Juliana and Elena. 

Mmmmmmm........   apple!
Katerina, Kelly, and Katerina's grandmother

At Andrew's orphanage, his godmothers (and one of their sisters) came to visit Andrew.  They brought an outfit for Andrew, including a traditional Ukrainian shirt to match his eyes.  They brought a book of traditional folk stories in Ukrainian and English.  They brought some bubbles and a toy and told us to take his walker when we left.  

The climate is so completely different.  These children have had people loving them and caring for them.  It makes such a tremendous difference in the lives of these little ones to have had the care and sponsorship that these children have had. We are blown away by the generosity that all these people have shown to our children (and to us).

Nurse feeding Andrew
Helena (one of his godmothers) holding Andrew
Andrew looking cute

Oksana (sister of godmother) playing with Andrew and bubbles

 Stuffed animals are everywhere in Ukraine.  The buses and taxis each have one as a talisman / good luck charm.  Given the state of some of the vehicles, the plushie talisman is the only thing keeping the thing together.  The orphanages have many plushies in the play room.  Some even have the neon plushies the size of a grown man that usually inhabit carnivals.    Anyway - the plushies range from "Ohh.... so adorable"

to slightly creepy....

to more creepy knockoffs of trademarked characters.....

to the run-away-fast creepy thing below.  Would you let this thing babysit your child?   Thought not.   The flash actually makes it a LOT cuter/less creepy.  Seriously - this thing weirds us out every time we visit the playroom.  

The icing on the cake is some of the pavilions at the orphanage. They get the toys down occasionally so that the children can play with them.  When not being used - the toys are hung from the roof in a macabre display.  We like to imagine the town drunk staggering into the pavilion at night only to wake up and see all the beady eyes staring down at him. 

We will  end with cute.  Andrew fell asleep in the swing today with a hedgehog plushie.  


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