Thursday, March 7, 2013

Women's Day

Today we had a fun visit at the orphanage celebrating Women's Day, a Ukrainian national holiday that actually occurs tomorrow, but was celebrated by the orphanage today.  Our morning started with an impressive performance of the children signing, dancing, and reciting poetry.  Talented, funny, beautiful--these kids are stars!  In addition to singing a group number, R was in a hairstyling competition and had her hair done by her best friend, A.  Her 'do looked great and she walked away with a Barbie.

We appreciate opportunities like this to observe R in orphanage activities.  Watching her perform, it occurred to Mark and I how differently she acts when she spends time alone with us during our visits.  When we get glimpses of her with with the other kids or with the caretakers, she is always polite and kind, but more reserved.  When she sees us and spends exclusive time with us, a whole new girl appears.  She literally beams with joy, eager to hold our hands, tell us she loves us, and experience the affection we give to her.  I'd image this is simply the result of R realizing her most wild, yet seemingly improbable, dream--to have a mom and dad and be an integral part of a real family.  What a special feeling to know that R trusts us and loves us.  We are so thankful that God has richly blessed us with such an amazing daughter.

After the recital, the orphanage lawyer took us on a walk through a large local park. We hadn't been able to take R out of the orphanage yet, so we were really excited to have a change of scenery.  All three of us walked hand-in-hand, and she loved having us count to three and swing her up in the air.  I think we all had smiles plastered to our faces the entire hour and a half we were outside!

Photo taken by R
The park runs along the Neiper River, which is frozen right now. We got a good look at the (crazy) people ice fishing. Yes, it could break and someone could fall in!

Those dots are people!
We walked over a huge arching bridge lined with personalized locks containing the names of the people who had left them.  We also passed an entire tree made of locks.  I think the locks symbolize people's unbreakable love for each other.


After our walk in the park the orphanage director asked us to join her for lunch. We had a typical orphanage meal consisting of boiled meat, a beet salad, and a side of pickles.  Those of you who know me well know this is my worst nightmare--literally the only food I don't like are pickles so it was ironic that this was one of my sides. Not wanting to disappoint the director, I mustered up my courage and took a bite. No, pregnancy hasn't changed my mind on pickles.  Imagine my relief when I looked over at the director's plate and the only thing she had left were the pickles!  Phewf, I was home free.  It was such a kind gesture for her to invite us to lunch, especially considering that we had no translator and couldn't communicate while we ate. 

To commemorate the holiday, we presented the director with a plant and a box of chocolates.  We also gave each of the caretakers a box of chocolates with a note thanking them for taking such good care of R. They all seemed to enjoy and appreciate their gift.

Women's Day was a fun holiday to celebrate (even though it delayed our court date).  I say the U.S. should incorporate a similar holiday! 

8 comments:

  1. Anna said, Wow you guys seem like you guys are having fun and hey Mrs.Jackson pickles are my favorite foods. Well have fun and cant wait to see you guys

    Love Anna:)

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    1. Hi Anna,
      We have a blast when we're with R but I don't know if I'd use the word "fun" to describe the rest of the time! Ha! Looking forward to being home with our girl!

      I knew you should've come with us...you could've eaten all our pickles!

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    2. Anna said,I would have eaten all your pickles. I hope you guys come home safe and cant wait to see you. I hope you guys get out soon so it isnt much longer. cant wait to see your next post (so exited im always going on your blog to see new posts cant wait):)

      Love Anna:)

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  2. im reading your story from Argentina. here we celebrate womens days too and is common that your husband gives you flowers celebrating YOUR day! its sweet!! im so amazed tjat you are 20 weeks pregnant. im a ob here in argentina. did you know you were pregnant before you travel?

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    1. Hi Candela,

      Argentina? Wow! How cool. I hope you got a big bouquet of flowers to celebrate your special day!

      Yes, we knew about the pregnancy prior to travel. We actually found out in the beginning of the entire adoption process. We've just been waiting for the right time to share the news publicly.

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    2. its so beautiful!!! congratulations! i will continue reading your story. huhs from argentina!!

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  3. That's cool that you guys got to take R out for a walk, that sounds so much fun! Ha ha some people will do weird things to get to what they love, in this case, it's fishing over a frozen lake. The lock tree sounds so cool! Well we all still miss you and can't wait for you guys to come back!

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    1. Very true, Annalyn!

      Miss you guys too, can't wait to see everyone and introduce R to the clan!

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