Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's the point?

Today was my first official day off since Yana and Alex went home. I had a day to remember, to think about Yana and Alex and what my life was like a little over a week ago. Something that I haven't wanted to do and had been putting off.
When people ask me about them, the experience, I brush them off and act as though it is ok. It is OK... it is what it is. 

Today was going to be my new typical. As a part time teacher and my first Tuesday off to spend with my 2 little girls.  I went for a run, took my 3 year old to the park, set up paints in the back yard for her, folded 4 laundry baskets full of clean clothes...

I folded my families clothes today. My entire family. Adam and my pile on our bed, Lily and Elliot's pile on their bunk bed and Yana and Alex on...Oh geez, where do I put these? These are his favorite swim trunks, and she wore this shirt all the time. 
Even after being washed, the clothes still smelled like them, and memory after memory came rushing into my brain, replaying scenes from the summer.  The happy ones, the sad ones, the really frustrating ones.
When I told Adam about my day this evening, he looked at me like I am loosing it. "You're smelling their clothes?"
So many people have asked "what was the point?" Why did you guys bring them here to America knowing that you would have to send them back? Actually, there are many anti-hosting websites and chats about this very topic.

There are the obvious answers... the ways in which their physical needs were met here in America.  Experiences that will have a lasting impact for years...

Yes, they have a much better chance of being adopted now.

Yes, they were given clothes, and toiletries.

Yes, they were given dental care; including 13 fillings and one root canal between the 2 of them.

Yes, they were given vision screenings and glasses.

But above that, they were given a family. Something they never experienced. 

I came from a loving family that cares about the decisions I make in my life. That will call me and check in on me. I have a mom that makes me a yellow box cake with chocolate frosting on my birthday because she knows thats my favorite and will drive 2 hours just to bring it to me. I have a dad that will sing his version of Biggie Smalls, "Kimmy, Kimmy, Kimmy can't you see some times your words just hypnotize me..." every time I get on the phone with him, every time. 

As ridiculous and quirky as those things are, they made me the person I am. I know that someone loves me. I know that someone cares about me. 
Growing up, even though I was not a perfect kid (far from it actually) when in certain situations I never wanted to disappoint the ones that loved me, the people I depended on. I can still hear my dad before I went out for the night "Smart kid, smart choices."

Alex and Yana never had that. No one cared if they did good in school. No one cared if Alex wasn't nice to his sister. No one cared to get to know them or to love them. No one ever cared about them.

There world was so small. As small as the walls of their orphanage.
picture taken by Alex and sent to me

Alex and Yana came here on vacation, to get away from their life, even if it was just for a short time. Isn't that what vacation is?

But they left with the best souvenir. 

They left knowing that Adam and I are checking in on them. They left knowing that we care how they do in school. We care if Alex is not nice to Yana. They know that we care about them.

We love them.  They met so many others while they were here and they love them as well. They know we are praying for them every night.

We have had the opportunity to talk to them almost every day since they went home.

I can not even begin to tell you what a blessing it is to see Yana and Alex on Facetime in the same room smiling, laughing and just being together.  It is God's amazing work. We have friends that have visited their orphanage prior to this summer, and they have told me they did not know the two were siblings. Alex would be in the same room and would not even acknowledge Yana. Now they are talking to one another and laughing? Super cool and such a blessing.

As for their clothes, the ones they could not jam into their suitcase. I folded them neatly in their rooms. Just in case.

As for me, I find comfort in God, in the many people that are praying for all of us, and the many reminders they left all over my small world, like the tree is my classroom that Alex made. The coloring pages Yana taped on my kitchen cabinets. And the many other things that trigger great memories of orphan children that I know and love.


  1. The point was for you to break those kids hearts -- it's pretty awful to show them all the awesomeness in the world and then throw them back to the wolves. Now fully aware of how much better their lives could, should have been.

    Both kids know SOME hosted kids get adopted. So they know that NOT getting adopted means they're unworthy.

    1. I am so sorry you have so much anger, Carla. If we could of kept them we would have, but they were not our kids to keep. Not yet anyways. Please know that the intentions of these programs are not to ever hurt the kids, but for them to experience things they never have. Have you ever been on vacation? You should erase all memory of your trip because it just made you realize how much were you live really sucks. Sounds silly doesn't it. Everyone is worthy of having an opportunity to be loved, you are, Alex is and Yana is and everyone else on this earth. Yes, they are orphans, but does that mean they have to stay that way? I pray for you Carla, that one day you learn that love is so much better than judging and being angry at people you do not even know. I would love to call you and talk to you, as my comment area is not the best forum to talk to you person to person. May God always bless you so you never endure the pain that Alex and Yana have suffered in their lives, may you always have someone that loves you and wants to be with you. Alex and Yana have that now, you can make a difference too, that is if your up for the challenge. if you want to email me your number, I am serious. :)