Friday, December 7, 2007

Day 3 UOO Dec '07 Hosting Trip -

Day Three

Today we will split the whole group in two. The boys will enjoy a dairy farm tour and bowling while the girls will go to the Carmen's house for "Salon day". The girls will get a make-over with each adult doing different parts (perhaps Heidi can fill in here once she feels better). The end result will be a glamor shot with Angie, who is a professional photographer and has a studio in her home. Wow, I can't wait to see those pictures! This morning's breakfast will be provided by a volunteer family, so Hi and I don't need to do a thing except help the kids get ready for the day. After breakfast, the volunteer family stays to visit with the children, however Zina and Rimma disappear upstairs. Heidi goes up to ask them to come down and spend time with our guests. She gets a bit of pushback from the girls. We could tell last night that these two were getting done with the whole visitation thing. They refuse to come down and instead pout on their bed with their back's to the door. Although I have a feeling of what is going on, I will ask Lilya to speak with them later in the day to find out more. I have to take off to get Lilya again. She will be accompanying me with the boys to translate for our "Farm and Bowling" boy day. Ruslan comes with me and before we leave I grab two of my cowboy hats. The smaller of the two fits him and we dash off to do some cow-pokin'. When I pick up Lilya, I ask him about himself and what interests him. He tells me that when he grows up he wants to work (do labor) for his job. It is interesting to note that most of these boys just want to be able to provide for themselves and their a country where only 27% of them will find work. Ruslan is the cutie of the boys and he is quite the pleaser. He wants to help do everything and has a kind soul. At the dairy farm tour, he is everywhere and the name that keeps ringing out from everyone's voice is, "RUSLAN!". I'm tired after the tour of constantly watching after him. Tomorrow, it's someone else's turn. Later I find out from Lilya that he thought that he was brought there to work for the day! How cute. After the tour, we load up for a couple of games of bowling. I put Ruslan, Igor, Sergie, and Clark Stoesz on my team. I put the auto-bumber feature on for Ruslan and he succeeds in beating the pants off everyone on my team - TWICE! Ruslan, my man, I think we found your game! We have to pack up and leave quick after two games because we are rapidly approaching our next activity at 3pm . The kids will be reunited at a local Presbyterian church for arts & crafts. The arts & crafts they are making are actually the Christmas ornaments that they will hang on the tree they cut down the preceding day. This tree will be displayed at our church's youth building, called 5 Stones. The ornaments were donated and there are 100-200 of them for all of us to build together. Once we are there, the boys get to work and I get to see Heidi and the girls from their day of glamor. Everyone seems busy working, talking, and enjoying the time together as dinner arrives. Dinner tonight is courtesy of Subway, and everyone digs in. Once again, Zina & Rimma want to go home. Tonight and all day Saturday, our caretaker will be gone. Marianna has family here in CO that want her to spend time with them. She gets picked up by them, Heidi rounds up the kids, and I stay behind to clean and lock up the church. Sometime during the day, Lilya tells me and Heidi that Zina and Rimma said that they were "tired of being paraded around like monkeys" and that if no one was going to adopt them, they were ready to go back to the orphanage. It is hard to explain to the children that this is not an adoption trip, but rather a hosting program. We can't allow the word adoption to come up and we have to send them home afterwards. Of course, some of these kids will be adopted in the future as a result of visiting VA and CO, but that will be a future endeavor. We find out that Zina and Rimma went to Italy last year on a similar trip and now they are on this US trip. They are getting older and are concerned that they will never be adopted. Heidi and I question why these two Angels are still in the orphanage and not adopted, too. We will make a point of speaking to the head-caretaker tomorrow.When I get home, the girls are as happy and bubbly as I have ever seen them. I'm sure it has to do with the absence of Marrianna. She is sweet and quite good with the children, but she is a caretaker, which translates to rule enforcer. The girls let their guard down and for the first time are spontaneously laughing and running through the house. Zina, Rimma and Svetlana ask me to put on some music and I turn the radio station to a continuous Christmas music channel. For the next hour or so, we are treated to some very good dancing from three little girls. They are elegant, precise and graceful. Encouraged by our praise, they continue and soon the realization hits me. This is the most wonderful night of my life. No more questioning, no more praying to God for guidance, no more need for two or three toddlers. God has sent us dancing princesses to look after. The feeling is overwhelming and later we will find out that they felt it too. It is all I pray for each night now, other than the continued safety and well-being of them. We love these little girls!

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About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.