After three weeks of trying, Luba finally learned to ride a bicycle. We have a couple of bikes and Luba has seen Tanya, Heidi, Sasha and me all have fun riding around the neighborhood. It is something she had been aching to do. Heidi and Jordan set the foundation by balancing and running alongside her for the past two weeks. We received a smaller bike from the Christophersons this week and it made all the difference. I tuned up the brakes and lowered the seat. I had her riding by herself in 15 minutes. A smile and the biggest grin I have ever seen was permanently fixed on her as she rode until sundown. It was priceless! I even teared up a bit as I saw my little girl learn a new task and "leave the nest", pedaling along and enjoying her childhood dream. I'm glad that I was there to help her and see the moment.
It's not hard to realize, if you think about it, that she never had the opportunity to learn such a rudimentary skill. Kids here in the US are riding bikes several years earlier than her age. This is just another example of the things we take for granted and the childhood these and other kids are missing out on in the orphanages. Tanya could already ride, perhaps as a result of her placement in the "system" at a later age. Both girls have only been in the orphanage for a few years.
Heidi has been searching for Tanya & Luba's brother in Arizona. He was split up from the girls when he was one year old, lived in an orphanage for about two years, and was adopted 8 months ago. Recently, both girls have been talking about him and they miss him and feel the loss. It is a topic of recurrence many evenings. They have had contact with the grandparents and have received pictures of him. So, it should not be a problem to find him and arrange some kind of little reunion for them. So far, all of Heidi's calls have yielded no results. I pray that God helps them reunite or to bring closure to them.
Both girls are having the time of their lives. Our recent activities have been swimming, bicycling, yard work, household chores, English lessons daily, ESL lessons with a teacher once a week, drawing, picnics, spending time with friends, AVP tournament attendance, hiking, bedtime stories, children's church, and bonding with their new family. They just want a Mom & Dad and they soak up the Love. We give it freely and unconditionally.
I say a prayer every night and every morning for Rimma and Zina. They are ever-present in my mind. I understand Tanya and Luba's sense of loss for their brother. I experience the same loss for R & Z on a daily basis. Where are my other girls and what are they doing? It's hard being a parent. I miss them terribly. I had a dream about Zina a couple of nights ago...something was bothering her. I think it's God's way of letting me know about them. We have put in a call to Sasha of AGAPE and Karen Springs may see her during the CBN summer ministry camp.
Say a prayer for Heidi's mom, Betty, who is in the hospital in suburban Chicago. May she be home and get well soon.
~ Felix ~