Today we had our last orphanage visit with Ruslana. We played cards, worked on some English words and math problems, and played a couple of games on the iPad. We were excited knowing that after today we will no longer be limited to timed visits in a single room. She'll be with us wherever we go all the time!
After our visit we went to the grocery store to get goodies for a going away party with her groupa. We weren't allowed to bring cake or ice cream, but we could bring cookies and candy (hmm?) as well as fruit and juice. As always, the grocery store was an interesting experience. I think I got pushed at least five times while shopping, and as we were unloading our groceries to check out a lady (Ms. Cutter) shoved us out of the way and started giving the checker her items. Real nice lady. Sadly we've come to expect this kind of behavior.
In the evening we headed back to the orphanage for the party. There are seven other kids in Ruslana's groupa--all of which are wonderful. It's been really tough knowing that these children don't have a loving family. They each lit up when we gave them individual attention. As we watched them interact with us and Ruslana during the party, it was so obvious that they each yearn for their own mama and papa to love them completely and unconditionally. I pray they get adopted soon. They are available for hosting this summer if anyone is interested!
|Papa says "watch yourself" to the boy next to Ruslana|
|Miss Cool with her juice box pose|
|Having fun with the English-Ukrainian translator|
After the party we walked around the orphanage to get photos of her in various rooms. I think she will enjoy looking at these photos as she gets older.
|Sitting at her desk|
|Sitting on her bed--last night of sleeping on a piece of plywood!|
|In front of the orphanage swimming pool--totally sweet|
|Outside of the activity center|
|In front of a sea mural|
|Ruslana with the Orphanage Director|
Yesterday we were able to get some photos of where Ruslana spent the early years of her life--the maternity hospital where she was born, and the baby house where she lived during the first three years of her life. It makes me sad knowing that I wasn't able to be there for her during the first 10 years of her life. I pray that God will continue to restore any loss she suffered on account of not having the love and care of a family. We are already so thankful because we can see that the Lord has preserved her and protected her in so many amazing and miraculous ways! Praise God!
And here is the public school she currently attends. The school teaches grades 1-11:
|I refuse to open the cubby hole out of fear of what's in it|
Tomorrow morning we will take Ruslana out of the orphanage forever. What a monumental day in her life. I can't even imagine all of the emotions she must be feeling right now. Please pray for her to stay focused on what she knows--that her mama and papa love her, will protect her, have her best interests in mind, and that the benefits of the predictability of her old life will be so vastly outweighed by the love of the family she is now a part of.