Monday, March 25, 2013

Last Day in Region

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
As the kids ate their food, we asked them questions--what's their favorite hobby, school subject, color, animal, what they want to be when they grow up, where they would travel if given the opportunity, etc.  They had a lot of fun sharing their interests and dreams with us.  We discovered Ruslana's new favorite color is red (it was yellow last time we asked) and her favorite subject in school is now Physical Education (I guess she's tired of Math, her old favorite subject, after all the practice problems and reciting of numbers and symbols in English!).  When asked where she'd like to travel to she said "America" (phewf!).  Ruslana seemed very happy and proud during the party.  We hope these positive feelings continue as she enters what will no doubt be a difficult transitional time of leaving the orphanage and coming home with us.

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!
Maternity House
Baby House
Baby House
And here is the public school she currently attends.  The school teaches grades 1-11: 

Tomorrow morning we will leave our region and head to Kiev.  Hopefully the roads will be cleared of snow by then and not cause any delays.  We're thankful to be leaving because I don't know how much longer it'll be before our hotel room crumbles. I sat on the bed (which is a box spring) today and it snapped in half. Woops! And check out our wall:
I refuse to open the cubby hole out of fear of what's in it
And the elevator. 15 floors?  Nope!  Only 5.  I'm curious to know what happens if you press 15.  A Willy Wonka elevator ride perhaps?  I don't want to risk finding out and getting stuck in a 3x3 coffin.

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.   


  1. I have been following your adoption story and keeping your family in my prayers. I am so happy Ruslana is going to her forever home and family with you. What a blessing she is bringing to and receiving from you. God Bless and safe journey home.

  2. Truly exited for you all. May God Bless You and protect you on your journey back to the States. I have been following all your posts and have loved every bit of it. Our paperwork is currently at the SDA and we are just waiting on an appointment date. We are also very excited. God Bless!!!!

  3. The boy in the dark green sweater. What a cutie!!

  4. Okay, so I am FINALLY commenting :) I have been following your blog and read every have done an amazing job of sharing your experience! I have laughed and cried so much as you have shared the journey that God has taken you on. I am sooo happy for you guys and will continue to pray for you as you make your way home with your beautiful daughter- hopefully without delays!