Friday, March 14, 2014

Hotapiycs and happy girls

We were picked up at 10:00am this morning by our driver, Ivan.  We love him.  So, here's a funny story.  Last time I was here the entire time I thought my driver's name was Nicolai.  I'm not entirely sure how I had come to that conclusion, but in my mind that's who he was.  Thankfully I never tried to address him that way.  I surely would have either insulted him or confused him, probably both.  Anyway, some friends of ours were recently here and had a driver named Ivan.  I saw pictures of them with their driver and thought to myself, "He sure looks an awful lot like my driver", but never thought any more of it until we arrived yesterday and this Ivan pulled up in a car identical the car my "Nicolai" drove. Long story short, our driver is Ivan (pronounced like Yvonne, but I won't tell him he has a female sounding name in English).  Ivan is wonderful.  He was last time under the alia "Nicolai" and this time he is even more wonderful.  He loves, as our friends also discovered, when we try to speak Ukrainian with him.  He speaks virtually no English.  "Apartment" and "supermarket" are the only two English words I've heard him speak yet.  We'll work on changing that while we are here.  I will also have to get a picture of us with him, but we've got lots of time for that.  Oh and we've only been reprimanded twice so far for shutting Ivan's car doors too "strongly."  Gotta work on that, too.

From the apartment we went to pick up Alla and then headed to the notary's office.  We have a bit of running joke with some other friends here regarding said notaries.  Because Cryillic is so foreign to us, I think our minds want so badly to make it into something we can read and maybe even speak.  So, the closest thing to "hotapiyc" is "Hot Topic" know, the horrendous clothing store back in the States.  So we jokingly talk about how there is a Hot Topic every 10 feet as you walk down the streets. You've never seen so many notary offices in your life!  I don't have any idea why they are so necessary around here, but they are everywhere.

Our "Hot Topic"

What we do while waiting.
This is considered a good park job in Ukraine.
After our purpose at the notary (not entirely sure what it was) was fulfilled, we went back to the apartment for a few hours until Ivan would return to pick us up for our time with the kids at the orphanage.

Our apartment is conveniently located above the "T" in Renault.
Our time today at the orphanage consisted of crafting paper airplanes and having contests to see whose flew the farthest, a little hide and seek, some Candy Crush-ing and finally some Uno playing.  Oh, and a little photo shooting here and there amongst our other activities.

Our resident photographer

Family portrait

Our boy...

...and our girl

This girl LOVES her music.

A little Oceans...Hillsong Ukraine style.

Helicopter with Dad.

Our visit today was great.  I'm not going to lie, though, it's hard to come up with things to do when you're locked in a small space together for 3 hours.  All we want to do is get them out of there, explore the world, be a real family.  But for now this is as good as it gets and we are incredibly grateful for every moment we get to spend with these kids.  There are times when we feel like we should be "entertaining" them more, but then we have those moments when we remember that they've never had this...the encouragement, the praise for being just who they are, the eyes that notice, the touch, the play.  In those moments we are reminded that the time spend "locked up" together is precious, it is meaningful, it does bond us.  They have parents all to themselves and that is enough for them.


Meanwhile back home, Grandma (Grandpa is out of town right now) has managed to capture the faces of some happy girls.  Happy because they love their Grandma and Grandpa and their Grandma and Grandpa are doing an amazing job of watching over them while we are away.  There is probably no one we are more grateful for right now than these two amazing people who have essentially enabled us to be here all the while knowing Charlee and Andee could not be in more capable hands.  Thank you, Mom and Dad for loving our girls that much.

Bike riding, ...

...water gun shooting, ...

...slide climbing, ...

...craft making, ...
...happy girls.


  1. I've gotten teary do reading your posts, it has been such a blessing to follow your journey! Thank you for sharing! Vicki Diemert

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I've gotten teary eyed reading it! It is such a blessing to follow and we have been praying for you! Vicki Diemert


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