Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I won't make any grand claims of poverty here. Although, growing up - there were many hardships. However, it wasn't until my trip here that my eyes became open to - when even at my "poorest" I was quite wealthy.
However you want to apply that word, we each have different views of what that may mean. Prior to my trip, I would think grand thoughts when I thought of the word luxury. Perhaps a pedicure, massage or something else that could be defined as sheer unnecessary consumption upon self. Then I came here. I see a people who dry their clothing upon racks after they have washed them with their hands. Perhaps they don't even have the rack, but use the lines outside their balcony to air dry their items. I see the babushka digging through the trash, for any remnant of food. I notice the simpleness, the common aspect of just wearing the same clothing day upon day. Hey, if it's not dirty - why put something else on? I think of how that young mom hanging her wet clothes in the air would love to be able to throw them in the dryer, or how the babushka would rather rest her sore feet upon the ottoman rather than looking for her meal.
But even at that thought - I know, that this is apart of the culture. This is how things are done here. It is good for me to see. It is good to be reminded of the "luxuries" I have awaiting for me at home. I hope I don't forget just how blessed beyond words that I truly am.
Anyhow, just rambling - I know. I will leave you with pictures of why I am sure you came here to begin with: Matthew and Ivanna. My sweet babies. We have court on Thursday, and appreciate the prayer as we continue on this journey that God has called us to.

Daddy telling silly tales to Ivanna.

A hat that I purchased for her prior to leaving. It is way too big, but it is girly and I slip it onto her any chance I get. She really is obsessed with putting strings in her mouth, and I am constantly on guard for this.

Ohhhhh, Matthew. Beautiful boy.
I think this is a good photo to depict how small Ivanna is. Justus, my seventeen month old is sitting across from her.

Yes, she is taller - but I can tell you that Justus is heavier. Again, Ivanna turns five on the 26th of this month.

My sweet little Ivanna

I think this photo is from yesterday, because he is wearing a scarf - but cute as a button - as always.

Ummmm ... I miss my extra soft Charmin! This is our crepe ... ahem ... I mean toilet paper!

Our kitchen, dining area. We actually have a small clothes washer right behind the refridgerator. That has been very nice.

Our couch.
Hold down your excitement folks - this is our DRYER! ;)
While I think of luxuries, and how it means different things to different people - I can't help but think of how simply having a family seems luxurious to those children we see everyday. We see other groupas playing near us, and we see how the children look over at us playing with Matthew and Ivanna. I wonder what they must be thinking. My prayer is that one day, the thought of having a family won't seem like a "luxury" to those orphans, but as something that is normal. As more and more people fulfill the scripture - James 1:27 - more and more children can experience the love and care of a family.


Voice Of Truth said...

We have been following you every day! I want to thank you for all of the wonderful details about your days there! My husband and I hope to be traveling soon to adopt from the very same orphanage!!! Everything you post has been invaluable to us!!! So you have seen other groupas playing near you?! Any chance you have spied our sweet Charlene and Ryan?! I know it's a long shot, but I keep hoping! :)

Voice Of Truth said...

Your Children are Absolutely Beautiful!!! I cannot wait to see them come home with you!!!

Mel said...

Charrissa, your kiddos are just so cute!! It looks like little Ivanna is "waking up" a bit more too!! Praying for you as you have court. It's easy, don't be nervous. :)

Kaitlyn said...

Oh Brownings! I am so excited that you will have your court date on MY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope to hear the BEST NEWS on my birthday!
Love~Kaitlyn :D

Lacey said...

Ohh, almost court! I know what you mean, those garbage cans right by the orphanage we always saw babushka's in them. Did you find any good places to eat close to you?

Faith for Hope said...

Like I said before, your posts remind me so much of Spain and Sicily. It's different... but different CAN be good for us ... as you have noticed. Praying for you constantly, my friend. i know you're very busy... but can't wait to hear from you. Miss you and love you lots.

Tom and April said...

Love the picture of Ivanna with her lips pursed! ADORABLE. Made my night!

Sarah said...

Hi Brownings!
Hope things are going well for you guys! It's amazing how seeing different things changes your perseptive isn't it? That dryer looks all to familiar, and you guys are lucky you don't all the cloths of seven ladies to dry on there. :) I hope you figured out how to open your table and make it bigger with out thinking you broke it like we did... heehee

Can't wait to see gotcha day pictures!!!
Soon to be big sista to Elijah (9) and proud advocate for Anastasiya (9)

Mcarthur Mile said...

Hey Browning's, I was just on some other RR sites and you have to go check out malloryandpeach.blogspot and check out Mashas potty opera. It is way to cute. Hope all is well. Praying for Thursday to go well. Love to see kids with ds laugh, you can't help but to smile. Love ya
The Mcarthurs

April said...

Oh these pictures of Matthew and Ivanna are so precious! They just show so much personality. I knew Ivanna was tiny (she looked so little in your arms with the bottle) but next to Justus really drives home how little she truly is.

We will be praying that court goes well for you!


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