Saturday, June 28, 2014

And then there was 4

It is 11:03 as I start to write this blog. I look up from the kitchen table to my now quiet house. A half finished horse puzzle lay scattered across the family room carpet. Princess high heels by the kitchen sink. The living room table has 4 empty new shoe boxes, a beach bag full of damp towels and pool toys on top of it. The laundry hampers piled high next to it (which is not unusual in this house) but tonight, it seems unbearably larger among all the other mess. 

"Why is this house such a disaster?" It was spotless two days ago...

Adam and I were talking about it this evening after everyone went to sleep, and we both came to the conclusion that we both are doing the same thing. While I teach summer school from 7:45-12:15 everyday, Adam has used that time to bond with the kids. And when he goes and works in the afternoon, I am doing the same thing.  We have unconsciously made the same choice; the time usually spent on doing the breakfast dishes has become time spent investing in these kids. These really, really awesome kids.

The last 2 and half days have been an incredible roller coaster. The kind that you don't want to end.

Yana, is this sweet smiley little girl. We knew this immediately, when they first arrived we took "family" pictures. Yana instead of going to the edge of the picture squeezed herself in between Adam and I cuddling up to me, someone she met only a few minutes prior. 

And she is the best helper, like a little mommy. Lily and her have really connected. "I love Yana." Lily said to me while I was reading stories before her nap today. Maybe it's because she has done every puzzle we own with her, or because she played tick tack toe on our patio 20 times this afternoon with her (the evidence is in pink and orange chalk) or maybe it is because they like to swim in the pool together. Yana showing Lily how to swim like a dolphin and how to do back flips and hand-stands in the water.  Not to mention, Yana has some awesome hiding places when playing hide and go seek. This little girl is a gem and only wants to fit in and be loved.

Alex, (AKA Sanya) Mr. Cool Guy. I ask him "Alex, you like pool?" (This is how I talk now) He replies "Small," Really?!? Small?!? Our pool is not small.  "Alex, you like store?" "Small" Seriously kid? Aren't you from a small orphanage in a small town? I guess America is not that impressive to him so far. Now that being said, he was really excited to get a hand-me-down shirt that says San Diego on it. Da, (Ukrainian for yes) that shirt ended up in the “Da, I want to keep” pile. Alex has shown some seriously amazing qualities. He is such a pleaser. He does whatever you ask, and he is just a good kid. Alex will not let me carry a single thing. He is always taking items out of my hands; laundry baskets, groceries, plates...this kid even opens doors for me. Also, he can do some killer tricks with a soccer ball. 

Tonight, he is not feeling well, and this is the most I have seen him put his guard down. He is asking me to get him water and allowing me to bring him medicine. He is very gracious and kind about it, as though he appreciates that someone actually cares that his stomach hurts.

Communicating has been better than expected, they both know a lot of words in English. Alex is much more confident and willing to ask questions or say he doesn't understand. Yana does not want to pronounce anything wrong. She will try to say a word, but, if I don't understand it immediately she will put her hands in her face and put her head down as if saying "please don't make me try again." I have purposely (and not purposely) made a fool out of myself trying to say new words in Ukrainian, in hopes to show Yana it is OK to make mistakes, that's how we learn. However for those complex issues like, "What’s wrong, show me what hurts?"...thank you God for google translate. 

We have been busy...We have gone to the park to feed the ducks, we have been to the pool every day. We have also run a few errands.  For instances, I took them shopping for groceries yesterday to see some items they would eat. Alex picked carrots and Yana picked bananas and when we walked by the meat department, they both looked at each other and said in English "STEAK!" I ended up buying a family steak, you know the kind you put in the crock-pot, it might as well been prime rib or a new york t-bone the way they went on and on about steak. Even after we got home, they took it out of the bag and showed Adam, "STEAK.

We have also made it a point to cook and sit down as a family for every meal. This may not seem like much, however, Yana and Alex now know how to use a can opener, peel carrots, mash bananas, cut veggies safely and crack an egg!

I am hopeful that before this hosting experience is up in August, I will be able to find 10 minutes prior to 10:15pm to do dishes from this morning, but for now, we are having fun just bonding with these kids!

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:8-11


  1. I don't know how I stumbled across your blog, but it's wonderful reading about your amazing journey! Please keep blogging. =)

    1. Thank you Diana. This is all very new to me, so I appreciate the positive feedback vey much. Have a great day. -Kimmy

  2. I think he means "a little" when he says small, as in I like the pool a little. ( English is my second language, I was born in Belarus and immigrated over here when I was 8.)