Saturday, April 4, 2015

"find me family"

Before heading to the orphanage on Friday we went to ECO Market, the closest grocery store to town. We walk in. The sweet smell of baked bread fills the store and the air is warm from the ovens in the bakery. 

We walk down the back aisle and live fish are swimming in a large tank while dead fish lay on ice.

Many food items lay spread out without packaging, including the fish, people come by and pick up, touch, and feel the items with their bare hands.
The store is crowded for a Friday morning. Ally and I are given many "looks" as they all know we are foreigners to  this small town.

Using money people donated for all the kiddos we were able to buy a bunch of stuff they needed, like 24 bottles of shampoo, 24 bottles of  body wash (boy and girl versions of course), and feminine products to last for months and months...

However, before we left I was stopped by a Ukrainian man in uniform, he was about 5 inches shorter than me and was level with the camera hanging around my neck. He yelled at me, or maybe gave me a stern talking to, only thing is I have no idea what he said... but he was pointing to the camera and I don't think he was asking me if I got any good shots.

I apologized in Ukrainian for taking pictures and walked out before the little man with a big voice made me erase them.
Scary getting in trouble in Ukraine, people already talk like they are mad, so when it is direct at you, you kinda wanna pee yourself, or at least I did!!!

I text Adam this morning,
"Want to let you know that we are adopting at least three more kids, but I would like to take all of them." (There are only 22.)
He replies with a "haha" but I know, he knows I am serious. Thank God he is level headed because if I could, they would all be coming home with me.
Yesterday was like a live version of one of those commercials with Sara McLachlan but instead of dogs it was children.

"I will remember you, will you remember me..."
Community showers, where most leave their under garments on (which is how those are cleaned)
Community Sinks
Seriously though, I am so sad for them.
These children long for touch so badly, that they followed me in a pack around the orphanage as I took pictures.
These children all try to squeeze on to the small love seat where I am sitting, just to be near an adult. Children that want a mother's attention so badly that they will take any mother walking through the orphanage door. Children that will walk outside in below 0 degree Celsius temperature without a jacket and slippers just to be with me for as long as they can. 
Me and my pack of children hung out for 3 hours yesterday. It was awesome.

One kiddo asked Ally and me for more gum as soon as we walked through the door. He had ate it all already, not even 24 hours later! Yana understanding his English runs to her bedroom and brings him a piece but Ally finds him an extra pack in her purse. It was like he won the lottery. So excited he slips it into his sweatshirt, continuing to check on it by pulling it out every so often during a game of Farkle.

Roman gets the supplies from the market cleared through the director and we start passing them out. They were so excited, especially the little ones carrying around their very own body soap. opening it, laughing, smelling it. They were literally running up and down the hallway with it. 

After that, we just got to love on all of the kiddos in the common areas. We decided to divide and conquer. Ally hung out with the older kiddos and I was with the younger ones. I was blessed to just watch them interact with each other and try to fight over my attention. They gave each other bunny ears, would say something super loud, then a roar of young laughter would explode into the hallway... I have come to the conclusion that these children are awesome. 

Roman says we have to go because he has to drive to a town 40 minutes away to pick up medical documents, so we say our good byes and they are all so eager to hug me, some even hugged me twice. 

A look at the orphanage from the car
I am the last to walk out the door toward the car and I feel cold fingers against my wrist. A boy has grabbed me. Terrified that he just made eye contact, he quickly let's go and looks down at the floor. A brief hold to get my attention. 
In broken English, he stutters "find me family." 
It was more of a statement than a question, but the lump in my throat arrives so fast and I turn toward him. Breathing slowly and making sure I heard him correctly, I say "shaw?" (what?).  He says it again but this time looks up at my face but not in my eyes. "Find me family."

Break. My. Heart.
No kid should ever have to ask for someone to love them.  

I smile and hug him and I stop myself from saying, I will, (but God knows I wanted to. )

This boy asked a stranger to find him a mom and dad. He is so desperate for anyone to notice him, but yet so unsure of himself when someone does. 

I pray that he finds his family, I pray that he gets hosted this summer. I pray that once again he is not left in Ukraine, but instead he receives a gift he has never been given, the gift of Love from a family.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8

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  1. I'm coming Igor!! I really hope we can find someone to host V. That boy is breaking my heart.

  2. Find me family? I'm heartbroken! Praying now for these sweet souls…. and you and Ally too. XO

    1. God is so good. An amazing grandma of two of the kiddos from this region is going to Sponsor the kiddo. In other words, the hosting is paid for, now we just need a family wanting to take him for the summer....super cool huh?