Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22

We have now been in Kyiv 2 weeks.  We are hoping to hear news this week on a court date.

This past weekend we were able to spend a lot of time alone with Kirill.  No other families were visiting the orphanage this weekend and on non-school days all the kids have quiet/nap time in their rooms from 1-4 pm.  If your family is visiting you during that time, you get special treatment and do not have to have quiet time.  For us parents, visiting during that time period meant we got uninteruptted time with Kirill. 

We have been working on English and math problems with Kirill each day.  He tries to talk us out of having to do this school time each day but we think it is important and it is an opportunity to bond with him.  He has really impressed us with his English and math skills.  He tries really hard to sound out words and he is does quite well.  Our insurance agent donated some crayons and coloring books to the orphanage.  On Sunday, we took out a box of the crayons for Kirill and he looked at the box and very clearly pronounced State Farm.  It is great to see the joy on his face when he knows he has pronounced a word correctly.

Kirill doing math while Paul studies his Ukraine.

One of the caregivers was very sweet and prepared tea for the three of us.  Paul and I enjoyed this special time with Kirill - drinking tea and eating cookies at the little kid's table.  It is surprising to me that these young kids drink hot tea but they all seem to like it (yes they do add a fair amount of sugar).
 On Saturday when we arrived at the orphanage there was a big group of people busy at work putting in some new playground equipment, painting and fixing up steps and the equipment.  This group spent a good portion of their Saturday fixing up the outdoor play area for the kids.  (Last Saturday there was a different group at the orphanage that also did some painting and put in some new benches.) The thing the kids were maybe the most excited about though was the opportunity to sit on the 13 motorcycles that many members of this group had driven to the orphanage.  It was clear this was not the first time this group had been there.  After quiet time as the volunteers were getting ready to leave, the kids raced out of the building towards the motorcycles.  The kids were allowed to sit on the motorcycles while they were running (I was very nervous about this as there was not always an adult standing next to the bike), beep the horns and rev up the engines.  It was so loud but the kids had huge smiles on their faces!

The motorcycles that brought many smiles.
 On Sunday, we brought a few little gifts and candy for the kids.    Although the gifts (playing cards, hair clips, stickers and glow stick bracelets) would not be deemed anything special to many kids I know, the kids were so appreciate and we heard thank you (in English) from all of them multiple times that afternoon.  A note for families who follow after us, if you bring gifts you may want to bring the same thing for the boys and girls.  We didn't know how many boys and girls there were when we bought things at home so we just guessed.  The girls were not happy that the boys got playing cards and they got hair clips, they wanted the cards.  There were two extra packs of cards and the girls quickly talked me into giving the five of them the two packs to share.  It was very fun to see most of the kids playing cards outside that afternoon.  They were not allowed to play on the playground equipment due to the new paint and cement still drying so cards turned out to be a great thing for them to do outside after tea time.
Choosing stickers

Some of the kids enjoying their new cards.
During outdoor playtime on Sunday, we also watched the kids witness the abandonment of a newborn puppy by its mother.  A sad situation anytime but to watch these children who all in some way have experienced their own abandonment witness this was heartwrenching.  We assume the puppy was left outside on the sidewalk near the orphanage by one of the stray dogs in the area.  When Paul and I came outside several of the kids came and got us to show us the puppy and they were saying things like 'no mama', 'its mama left him'.  The kids were clearly upset by this and you could see tears in some of their eyes and the pain in their faces.  The caregiver was telling the kids to stay away from the puppy and therefore Paul and I didn't feel like we should go over to the puppy (not sure what we could have done as it was probably only an hour or so old).  Paul walked around the yard to see if he could find the mother to bring her over to the puppy but he didn't find her.  Jessie, the 'orphanage dog', keep trying to help the puppy but at times it seemed she was hurting it.  The kids let her know when they didn't like what she was doing.  We hope that after all the kids went inside the mother came back.


  1. Glad to see Paul you were sitting on the hard wooden chair at tea time. ha Unlike me who breaks things at the orphange.
    Glad to hear things are going well.
    Leah, Doug,Logan and Lauren

  2. For Jeanne, Lucas and I one of our favorite orohanage times was a Sunday when no other families were around and just the children and weekend staff. We gave gifts as you did and had tea. A wonderful memory. We'll pray for a very quick court date. God bless the Landrys!

  3. What's the latest update on court date?