Thursday, July 16, 2009

Enjoying Kramatorsk

It feels like home for the time being. So many things are familiar---- so many things are new to me. I am soaking up everything--- I don't ever want to forget.

Like usual, we woke up (a little late admittedly) to walk over to the orphanage. Right near it, we saw people lined up with their big water bottles to fill them up with drinking water. Oh, what I take for granted back home. Speaking of water, the kitchen sink in our apartment was torn up the first day we got there because the one pipe that runs up and down every floor of all the apartments was backed up with fat--- and the plumber didn't know where so he tore up every floor until the problem was solved. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to deal with problems such as this---- again I am so spoiled back home.

Alosha's group was outside when we went to get him. The kids were kept cool by playing around in a little pool filled with water. Alosha's shirt was off and instinctively I looked him over putting the look of his body to memory.
We spent most of our morning visit with the other American family I told you about. All the kids played around---- Alosha especially enjoyed the little soccer ball canteen filled with water that we brought him.
When it got too hot, we moved into the play room. Today, Alosha was happier, more talkative, and blessed us with his ongoing laughter. It doesn't take much to make him laugh!

I brought this shark hat hoping he would like it------ thankfully he loves hats, and keeps them on too!

Around 11:30 am, we left so that Alosha could have lunch and take a nap.
Here we are leaving the orphanage to go have lunch ourselves.
Around 4 o'clock, we went back to visit Alosha. Julia and I were invited into his groupa's room. The kids were having "potty time." Alosha's care taker put oh the clothes that we brought for him.
Before we headed to the play room, we visited with the kids for a few minutes. They loved looking at the pictures I took of them.
Dennis and Alosha seemed to play more together today. Alosha seemed completely comfortable with the way Dennis looks, and he seems to understand that Dennis is still a baby and communicates by crying when he wants something. Alsoha was very patient with him--- their own way of communicating with each other is already being formed.
Alosha loved the fruit snacks we brought for him. We are able to feed Alosha anything-- a nice change from when we adopted Dennis.
It was Dennis and Alosha's idea to ride the toy car together so John pushed them around really fast!
When it was time to leave, we took Alosha outside to where his groupa was playing. We ended up staying another 20 minutes playing with the kids and talking with the caretakers.
All of the kids were so hungry for John's attention----- it was such a blessing getting to spend time with them too. Tomorrow they are putting on a kids' program-- which we were invited to watch. The caretakers told us that last summer John's dancing with the kids was on Kramatorsk television! Maybe he'll be on tv tomorrow too!
Once we said goodbye- we headed over to our favorite local grocery store "BOOM!" I say favorite because after yesterday it is my favorite. While I was shopping, I dropped a 200 grivna bill and didn't realize it until I was at the check out to pay for my groceries. I was very upset about losing it, but figured it was gone. Once I gave John the groceries, I quickly took one more look in the store and left empty-handed. Just as we were getting into the car, the security guard came out and asked how much money I had lost. When I told him, he handed over the bill. Apparently, he saw what had happened--- and I was just so thankful.... overjoyed..... relieved.... and thrilled to know that honest people still exist.
You wouldn't believe it, but later when we got home, I noticed that our camera was missing. I was absolutely sick to my stomach------ it had pictures of when we first met Alosha on it. I headed back out with our facilitator and we checked first at BOOM. I went to the same security guard and sure enough, he had our camera too! Apparently, it was left on one of the outside tables when we were loading our groceries into the car. I thanked him a thousand times--- I am certain he thinks I am an emotional crazy woman that loses everything!
This gentleman in the wheel chair was just sitting in front of the grocery store---- looking for someone to talk too. While I was in the grocery store, John learned that he lives across the street.
Here I am blogging in our apartment enjoying one of my favorite Ukrainian cookies--- a thick and crunchy vanilla wafer bar.
Julia and Dennis like to play with the Racko cards--- something they have been doing everyday to pass the time.
Look at how big this corn flake is! It is almost like a chip.
Dennis gets his baths like this----- the water looks much clearer compared to last year.
Last but not least---- Julia and I prepared a nice dinner at the apartment of fried Ukrainian potatoes and ham, hard boiled eggs, and cucumber and tomato salad. For dessert, we had soft and fluffy vanilla ice-cream!
Until tomorrow.......


mommajeane said...

Alosha looks like a complete joy... he is always smiling and happy. You must feel very blessed to have him now. We noticed Roma in your picture when you walked back to the apartment today.. tell him hello from all the Briggs family.

We leave Sat. for Bulgaria and can't believe that we are at this point in our adoption. We have been praying for you all and it sounds like prayers have been answered.

Chris and Celeste said...

What have been the reaction from staff members to see Dennis again? Thanks for the updates, i check in twice a day. Blessings

Amy L said...

Looks like you guys are having a good time! I bet Julia is really learning a lot! It is so cool you took a couple of your children, how fun!

Contact Mark and Theresa said...

Oh, Alosha is such a cutie. He looks much different than his close-up button photo. He could easily be your birth child with his pretty olive skin tone.

Do you have a wheelchair for him yet? I know you will have to get him fitted for one when you get home and it usually takes a bit of time. I have a free loaner resource if you need something sooner than later. If you want to e-mail me privately I will pass on the resource. Since he is small a burley or stroller will do, but he might need more support.

I did not comment when you wrote your post a few weeks ago on your concerns as I knew Christ would console you and your next post told of it. Children with Spina Bifida are some of the sweetest and smartest children. I worked with SB patients in Minnesota for three years and your family will be so blessed.

Terri said...

He looks so happy and content with you guys.
Question...I remember last year (when you adopted Denis) you were allowed to show his face on the blog, but have seen many of Aleksey. Why the change, or was it just because of Dennis' birth defects? Just wondering.

Praying for you guys often!

soontobemomof9 said...

You all look great! So happy!

How come the kids are not wearing clothes? Is it really hot?

The orphanage does not seems as dreary as I pictured it. Is it one of the nicer ones?

Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Shari said...

Thank you for sharing all of this. Oh, it just moves my heart to want to adopt and rescue those children. I am praying for all to go smoothly while you are there.

Lucie said...

I'm so happy for all of you! Alexsey looks so much like Andrew and your other sons.
He seems strong physically- does Alexsey know you are there to adopt him?
I hope the rest of the trip goes well!

Tina in CT said...

I also wondered if Alexsey knows you are there to adopt him and bring him home to the US.

Alexsey looks so happy and at ease with all of you. I bet he'll have an easy transition and feel so comfortable with his brothers and sisters.

What a wonderful experience for Julia and something you will always remember.

How are the kids doing at home? Are they farmed out to family and friends?

I look forward each day to your blog.

Michelle said...

I remember BOOM!! :) :)

Can I say I am totally IN SHOCK that they let the kids play outside without shirts/clothes on??? That goes against everything I'd ever heard and surely against what we experienced - I mean I know it was winter but the layers they had them in, even indoors in all that heat, was just smothering. I am blown away! Glad to see it, just blown away.. I was under the impression that the kids' skin never saw the sun at all. :) :)

so happy for you all!

Kelli said...

Am I brain dead or when you were adopting dennis, I thought you couldnt show any pics of his face until after the court date or something. Am I remembering that right? have things changed? I bet you all are having the time of your life. How is it only having two/three kids? weird I bet. you must be lost without all the others.

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing the story of how God is building your family! I have been following your blog since you were preparing to adopt Dennis. Praise God for adding Alexsey to your wonderful family!

RACHEL said...

That is really cool .When Dennis and Alex.I hope you all doing good love rachel

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Praise the LORD, for He puts the lonely in families.
Praise the LORD, for Alexsey has a family!
Praise the LORD for answering the prayers that I have prayed for him.
who remembers how it felt to hold Ellie for the first time, whose legs still don't quite fit around my hips, but whose soul is a perfect fit for this mama's heart.

Terri-Anne said...

Alexsey looks so tiny next to Dennis, but at least he looks very happy! It's great to see the two boys bonding and playing so well together....I can't wait to see Johnny in the mix ;o)
Thank you again for sharing these special moments of your life with all of us!

Renee said...

this is all so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your precious family with us.

Jenn said...

Beautiful photos!! I love seeing Alosha with you. He is so precious. Can't wait for the next update! Oh, and be sure to keep the photos coming! :)

Julie said...

LOVE all the photos! Thanks so much for sharing your life with us! Praying that things continue to go smoothly for you.

Joan (Nana) said...

Following along with praise and giving the glory to GOD. Tks for the great posting of your journey. Enjoy this time getting to know your son. Julia and Dennis look very happy with their new brother. John and you will make a child proud to call you Mama and Daddy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone!!!,
I am so exsited for every-one!!!!!!
I cannot wait for everyone to come home. But in the maen time, I am so exsited tha you are all having fun!!!
Your Daughter,

MamaPoRuski said...

Love it, love it, love it! I can almost "be there" with you! Does Julia keep a blog? Would she be willing to post her insights into Ukraine? Hug all the children at the orphanage for us too!

Milena said...

What a pleasure it is to see how you are enjoying your time! Alosha seems to be such a seet child, and I imagine it will be really good for him to have already bonded with two of his siblings before coming home!

I hope you will have court soon!

Jamey & Catherine said...

Great posts. We love reading everyday and love all the pics. Alexey sure does have a cute smile doesn't he. I was wondering, (Not meant to be rude or insensitive) I saw the video of Alexey with his walker some time ago. With certian stimulation & practice to make his leg muscles grow stronger will he eventually be able to just use a walker? Or even leg braces and/ or crutches? I don't know much about Spina Bifida but have read a little bit recently. :)A cool quote I read by Rene Kirby who is an actor in Hollywood also with Spina Bifida, "You don't have to stand up to stand out in a crowd."
I agree.

hadassahrose said...

I hope (and pray) that all continues to go well for you!

Charissa said...

I am loving following your blog Christine. Thanks for all the pictures. It's so great to see another little one joining his family!