Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 4: ...continued

This morning we got to spend time together, just the 3 of us.  While I love spending time with the other children here, too, I just covet my time alone with Max and Kate.  And I appreciate so much that Maria makes this time possible...and quite a bit of it.  She has kept them out of school since I've been here so that I do get to see them, to bond with them.  And I'm sure they're not missing being in school.  Although Max has told me that he really likes school.  And I have a feeling I know why.  He's a very smart boy.  Today I gave him a card from Adam and I as well as one from Grandma and Grandpa.  He read them both to me...in English.  He doesn't comprehend everything he is reading, but the fact that he can already read English astounds me.  And he is very eager to learn asking me, "English?" while pointing to things so that I will tell him the English word.

After some time together in the morning, it was time for the children to eat lunch.  They are instructed each and every time before eating to wash their hands...and I'm reminded that I fall way short as a mother in the number of times I ask Charlee and Andee to wash their hands before meals.  Just building immune systems, I suppose.

And my children at home are never so happy while washing their hands...unless they are splashing bubbles on my freshly cleaned mirrors.

Always so eager to smile for the camera...even over a bowl of soup.
Once the children were situated and began eating I was led to my own lunch table where, again, way too much food was served me.  Thankfully, after a big lunch I typically get to enjoy a nap.

Naptime?  Yes!  For both me and the children.  Among the many instructions I've been given while here, one has been to take a nap almost daily.  So, for a couple hours in the afternoon I have the teachers' room all to myself and I'm told to sleep.  The sleeping part doesn't always happen, but it's a nice thought.  Now if I only I could figure out a way for someone to instruct me to sit and do nothing for 2 hours each day at home!

My naptime setup...and coincidentally also where I will sleep this evening.

At 3:00 pm, Maria comes to get me from my nap and we meet up with the children who are dressed to play.  I'm surprised I wasn't instructed to bring my own gym clothes.

My little athletes.

And we are off to the gymnasium where there is no shortage of fun activities to play.

Plenty of riding toys for children of every size.

"Hi Mom!"

So far I haven't found anything this boy doesn't do well.


Beating Mom at bowling.

It's important for athletes to refuel after all that activity.

I'm pretty sure the other kids weren't too happy that they had to schoolwork while Kate and Max got to play.

Mom the teacher (still in that sweater).  Ukrainian children need Rainbow Loom bracelets too.

Making a masterpiece together.  Thank you, Kate, for being the resident photographer.
When our time together for the day had run out, the kids headed off to eat dinner and I shared another meal with Maria.  And might I just add, it's an interesting thing eating with someone with whom you cannot speak.  We do communicate on some level, but mostly it's just smiles exchanged and me at times offering a "dobre" or "spasiba".  Meals have been very quiet, but it's funny how that seems less and less strange as time goes on.  It doesn't even bother me now.  I just appreciate the company and the fact that she would sit to eat with me at all.  This woman does not have to offer me this kind of hospitality and I would still come back for these kids.

Once I've finished eating, Maria shows me to my room and explains that I am to lock myself in for the evening and she will return and knock on the door at 9:00 am the following morning.  So, I let her out, turn the key and lock myself in to my room for the evening.  What an odd thing to be spending the night at the orphanage where your children have lived most of their lives.  But stranger still is that I feel safer here than I have in the apartment the entire time I've been here.  There's something about knowing that at the orphanage I am known, not well, but still at least my face has become familiar to not only the children, but also many of those who work there.  At the apartment I'm a stranger and an American stranger at that.

So, with that said, it's time to hopefully get some sleep.  One thing's for sure...if I cannot sleep, at least I'll have something to do...eat.  Because there isn't enough of that happening during the day...ha!

Carrots and salad...perfect midnight snack.

And when I awake in the morning, I get to sport these amazing shoes.  Per Maria's instructions.

добраніч.  Good night.

1 comment:

  1. I loved all these updates and pictures of the orphanage. It was nice to actually see the place and rooms where Andriy and the others "grew up." So happy that you got to go and love on those kids. I loved the stories about Maria. She is so sweet. Can't wait until you go back! -Carrie


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