Monday, October 29, 2007

About More than One Child



Our apartment was filled with the citrus smell of home this morning. We deceided to take oranges to the children today. In order to have enough, we purchased three bags and then peeled and quarterd them for easy distribution. Michelle offered to go with us on the public transportation system again, so we headed out to the internot midmorning. The children are on autumn break this week and so there are no classes. Typically, they would be in school all day and we could only visit between 2-5, but they are free all day and we have the advantage of visiting at any time. Its always funny to see how our arrival will be announced. Inevitably, one of the children will spot us coming in the gate or up the main hall and they will race to wherever Kristina is shouting, "something, something, something, Mama and Papa!" In addition to the oranges, I picked up a Spiderman comic in Russian for the boys and a Barbie and Disney Princesses comic for the girls. They were so excited to have the reading material. The boys piled onto the rug in a semi-circle so they could all get a good view of the book. Leana, or as we have been calling her "Blue Eyes", squeezed onto the couch next to me and oohed and ahhed over Cinderella's dress. She punched out the paperdolls I brought and presented each doll in a new outfit for my inspection. Sasha challenged me to a rematch at Connect FOur and we played a few rounds again until Seroja offered to take me on. What a character he is! Missionary Lela Steele invited us to lunch, so we checked Kristina out and went to eat. What Kristina didn't finish, she brought back to share with her class.

We leave each day with the anticipation of going back the next day. Oddly, its not simply about seeing our daughter. We will be taking her home to America soon and will have all the time in the world with her. But our hearts have been captured by the children in her class. Exceptional children, beautiful children, children that no one knows about. But they are perfect and funny and deserving of their own family. No child deserves to be in an orphanage. And if you spent 10 minutes with any of these kids, you would fall head over heels in love too. Tonight, set aside your prayers for Roma, Sasha, Seroja, Aloyna, Karina, Leana, Adik, Kola, Sergi, and the others who need a bed of their own, a family of their own.

In the slideshow, I am including some pictures of the Odessa we walk through every day. This is a beautiful city filled with beautiful people. We have fallen in love with all of it.

14 comments:

Hale Family said...

Amen to this post Leslie. There's a reason why Americans keep going back to Ukraine to adopt these children. There are many more good stories than bad ones and I hope others will read this and think about adopting an older child.

Nataliya said...

These children are so precious, I hope all of them will find forever families!

I really enjoyed the Odessa pictures - can't wait to see it myself in 3 weeks!

Debbie said...

I am praying for the kids, Leslie. Maybe someday God will allow us to adopt one of the very ones you've mentioned! Or more than one! I truly hope so!

Melissa E. said...

They are beautiful kids, Leslie. I wish more Christians were willing to consider adopting a family-less child into their homes. What a fabulous opportunity as the adopted sons and daughters of God to mirror that same love and grace of adoption to these precious souls!

I enjoy these picture slideshows. One question: what is that stuff-on-a stick? I'm guessing some kind of meat? Have you tried it yet?

Vicki Taylor said...

Tonight I sat and watched the slideshow over and over again. My heart burned with compassion for these children. There was so much spirit in their eyes and smiles.

Keep their lives and faces before people Leslie. God's gifted you to do so.

I will continue to pray for you, Robert, Kristina, and your sweet family here at home. V

Steve & Gail said...

You are doing a good job of describing these kids. They are all so precious. We did art projects with Kristina's class when we visited our friend Michelle in May. When you meet these kids,you want to take all of them home. If we weren't already planning to adopt other kids from the orphanage, we would love to have any of these kids in our family. Keep spreading the word about these beautiful children.
God bless.

Chris and Virginia said...

Every child deserves a good family. Unfortunately, most of those kids are in a place better than they were in before. That's a sad statement.

Keep the posts and photos coming. We've enjoyed following your journey for some time now and pray that everything goes smoothly for you all.

Cheers

Ashley said...

We will be spreading the word the rest of our lives about these children and trying to get Christian families to adopt them before it's too late. It doesn't stop with adopting Grisha. We are on a mission to find the "fatherless" homes. We sing a song in church called, "There are no orphans of God." I cry everytime I hear it and think of Grisha and the children of Ukraine. "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." Proverbs 31:8,9

Mark & Kim said...

Leslie - yes, I hear you! Before we went we thought it was all about our adoption of one child, but we quickly fell in love with MANY kids and believe that God placed them on our hearts so we could be advocates for them! Keep us posted!

THE ISBELL'S said...

Thanks for all the GREAT details you post in your blog!! My heart breaks for the children you are with. We hope to travel soon. I added your video from u tube to our blog because I LOVED it!! I hope you don't mind and I pray the rest of your trip goes well!
God bless-
Melinda

The O'Haras said...

Leslie and Robert, My heart was tugged again to see the kids. It is truly the reason why we go on this journey that God has called of some. Being at home today, for the first time you go through culture shock as you do when you first get to Odessa and see the orphanages and kids. May God continue to work in your lives these next few weeks. Continue to share your stories and passions. I must admit, though I recognize all the places you are at, it seems forever ago now already. Prayers for you both and your kids at home that this time might go by swiftly. Rely upon our Lord and He will carry you through.

Pam said...

Thank you for this recent post. I was glad there were no students in my classroom when I looked at the pictures because my eyes immediately teard up and I said, out loud, "ROMA! MARAT!" I know almost every child in those pictures and I'm so homesick for them all! They are all loving and precious and have to much to offer. I get to see them every summer on my mission trips and I have such a hard time leaving them all behind. There are so many who I think about and pray for every single day. I send letters through Lela and Alyona so they know we do not forget about them.
If you see Roma or Marat or Sasha or any of them...please tell them Pam, Dana, and Misha say PRYVIET!!!! We love them so much!

Whitney said...

Did Robert cry at the wedding pictures too?!...
- i feel that is the million dollar question

Whitney said...

Also,
I hope robert is learning to eat hot dogs right while he's there because that picture didnt look like he had any mayo on it...
I feel that i have now realized after looking at your pictures that i need to move to odessa. I mean, look at all the kitties! that is secretly the town i dream of every night!
and also, you should teach the children how to play farkle so that they can be on the up& coming game trends...