Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giggles and a Big Mac!

Today we went to visit and decided to take the kids outside. This way Isaac and Justus could also be with us during the visit. (they will allow Justus around during visits only if we are outside) It was a very pretty day out. If I would not have gotten odd looks - I would have taken off my coat and enjoyed the cool air.
Things are going well. We continue to visit with Matthew and Ivanna while venturing out in the area in between visits. Today I was CRAVING some good ole' fat food American style. There is a McDonald's about two miles away, so ... we walked. Let me tell ya, my Big Mac never tasted so good.
Things are different here. It is sort of surreal. You walk down a half torn up sidewalk, with cement broken up and bare roots of trees exposed. Makes walking with a stroller ... interesting. It's a bit ... dirty here. There is a lot of garbage laying around. Many stray dogs and cats - and unfortunately a good many people who are poverty stricken. We witnessed an elderly woman digging through the garbage picking out food scraps and a man walked beside us with no shoes on, his feet black and swollen looking as he gingerly stepped. Ambulances here look as if they came out of the 1950 era. Buildings are the same - and are in bad shape. We would take pictures, but that would bring about much attention. In the bigger city - that was not a big deal. However, in this smaller region - where foreigners are not as many, we need to keep a lower profile. Whipping out my camera and taking pictures of the passing retro looking ambulance, may be a red flag that we are not from these parts. ;)
I do feel some sort of oppression here, be it spiritual or economical, or both. We try to smile as people pass us on the sidewalk - and typically get strange looks for doing so. However, Phillip is determined to keep his smile on. Love that man.
Here are some pictures from today's visit:


Matthew with his ball.

Me holding Ivanna's hand. Look at how tiny it is. I keep rubbing cream on them, and they are getting much better. The sore on her thumb is from her continually biting it.

Ivanna was super tired this morning when I got her. She strained to even keep her head up. I sat her on the bench to try and take a picture and this is what happened. She is like a little floppy rag doll. I know she can sit up, but this morning she was too tired to try.


Look at that dazed look. I put her hat on her that I brought from home so that she could look a bit like a girl in her pictures and not have to contend with the tight hat the groupa ladies put on her. I did look into any meds she is receiving. I was told that she is being given antihistamine. This could account for the tiredness, glazed look, dehydration, etc. Not sure.

Isaac is very good with Ivanna. He holds her and cuddles her.

Justus - cutie pie. He is all bundled up and along for the visit.


Matthew loves his Daddy.
This evenings visit was great. When they brought Matthew to us, he let out a sound of excitement at seeing us. This thrilled my heart. It was as if he was understanding that we were here for him. Ivanna, in turn - did the same - in her Ivanna sort of way. She smiled brightly when I took her from the elderly woman's arms and snuggled her close and kissed her cheek. She snuggled into my neck even more. Loved it!
























I got Ivanna to smile and giggle tonight!




I also got her to put weight on her feet, then I rocked her hips back and forth with my knees to help her realize that she has hips to stabilize with.






















Tonight's visit was fun. Evening visits are shorter - an hour in length. This is because we start at 4:00pm and it gets dark around 4:30pm. We hand the children back at 5pm to walk home in the dark. The orphanage is also dark at that time. I walk through the hallways and can hear only my footsteps and some far away Russian being spoken. Then we descend the orphanage stairs and walk the trail back to the apartment - about a ten minute walk. The smell that usually radiates at night is of smoke from brush being burnt. The sounds are of bustling people walking home from work. Most people do not own a car. We see the most people at night. Isaac and I typically try to not speak to each other when others are near and Phillip is not with us. We, again, do not want to bring undue attention to ourselves - especially when it's just he and I.
I am missing my sweet Baby Lu and Chlobug. I want to kiss on ET's cheeks and snuggle my Gabester! I miss you all so much, but am thankful to Donna for taking such great care of my babies at home. I love you all!!!!!!

14 comments:

Alice said...

Again....the word "beautiful" comes to my mind. You and Phillip, the lovely babies God has blessed you with, your family...absolutely beautiful.

Julia said...

Loving the pictures!! The people for some reason consider it rude for you to smile at them. We eventually dropped the smile and just said hello in the language. Rob did better at this than me. I stopped altogether saying hello and just watched the sidewalk so I wouldn't fall and break my neck!! LOL! Survival!

Jenny B. said...

Love the pics! They are such beautiful children! I can only imagine how much healthier and happy they will look in about a month after being home with you for a while. LOVE Matthew with his ball! Too cute.

Grandma~rella said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. My heart is with you and all the many families, who have opened your hearts for all these little children. If I were younger and in better health, I would truly love to adopt some of these precious little ones.
Many prayers and lotsa love to you!

April said...

Again, great pictures. Matthew and Ivanna truly seem to glow being with your family. It is a true witness as to the power of love and family.

Kate said...

We were told by our facilitator that if you smile at people in public, it is assumed you are mentally ill. That is most likely why you're getting the strange looks. We were in Odessa and were told that Ukrainians have a public face (stony, no showing a lot of emotion) and a private face (where they act like "themselves"). Because of Communism, people did not smile or otherwise invite drawing attention to themselves in public and even though Ukraine's been an independent nation for 19 years, old habits die hard.

Looking Up said...

You paint such a vivid picture with your words. I'm so thankful that soon you will be bringing your children home, to a world where you don't have to "be mentally ill" to flash someone a smile. Will pray for your continued saftey.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the detailed imagery you are sharing with us. It's gives us way more of a felling of the "real" place.

I know it just melted your hearts that they are getting so excited to see you. Seeing the joy and excitement in their eyes towards you is one of the top 2 most emotional times a mom or dad can experience when their children are little...the other being the first time you get to hold them in your arms.
I can't imagine what a hard time you both are having not feeling free to smile at everyone!!!! You guys are ALWAYS smiling! Guess you must be REALLY crazy! Wouldn't it be a great world if everyone was!
Holly H

The Broxton's said...

love seeing all the photos and the Big Smiles on everyone's face!! Sooo Precious!!! Love anad Miss you guys! ~Broxtons

Anonymous said...

This reminds me a lot of when we lived in Spain and Sicily! : ) Believe it or not, I actually miss it sometimes. I know you always thought I was unique. LOL We went to McDonald's once in Sicily.... it was a FIVE HOUR drive to the ONLY McD's on the island! I was 8 months pregnant with Caleb too.... talk about being desperate for American burgers! Totally understand. Miss you much!
Grace

Anne & James said...

Hi, I have a question. Do they not let you bring your baby inside with you? You said only if your outside can he come? The reason I ask is because we too are adopting from UA through RR and we will be bringing our 2 year old. Thanks and safe journey

Vi Abing said...

The pictures really tell the whole story - the children look so beautiful. Thanks for all the updates. My prayers are being sent up for your familiy. God bless you and keep you safe.

The Browning Family said...

Anne, Yes it is true that they will not allow young ones to go into the orphanage here. It may be different at the orphanage you go to, however. The thinking is that they do not want to expose the orphanage or your child to germs. This is one of the blessings of us being able to bring our 12 year old son. We all take turns watching our 18 month old while others visit the children. Hope that answers your question. If you have any others, please feel free to ask.

Anonymous said...

Love the picture of your hands, and in no time after Ivanna is home her hands will be smooth and pink, i have no doubt! I wrote to you on Yahoo group with some recipes and my 2 cents about bottles. God is with you. With love, the Bowdens.

 




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