What time is it in Ukraine?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

The mall has Internet!!

We are renting an apartment from an orphanage worker but it does not have Internet.  We are moving Monday afternoon to a different location.  Until then...the mall it is!  Currently we are sipping on a Pepsi Light, eating lunch, and watching Ukrainians ice skate in an indoor rink:)
From the beginning…
Bus trip=never again!  8 hours on a bumpy bus and only ONE bathroom stop!  Yes, anyone who has been with me for an hour knows that this did not go well.  This was the first time I almost broke into tears from being so angry, in pain, and not in control.  When I was about to burst (literally) they stopped the bus.  I RAN to the toilets and I had to pay!!!!  My honey has all the money so I ran back, waited in line, discovered it was a hole in the floor, no TP, and the stench was horrendous!  Sigh…I am thankful that it wasn’t hot, the bus didn’t smell, and I was able to follow the Ukrainian movie somewhat to pass the timeJ  And, I didn’t get car sick!
Todd...my hero!  I just had to add this today...no reason:) 

Now, the more exciting news…meeting one…
We FINALLY met a little girl in Dnipopetrovtsk, a city of about 1.5 million people.  We’ll call her “Bo Peep” since “Little Bo” sounds a little boyishJ  “Bo Peep” walked in the room in a blue, flowery dress, white striped tights, red sandals, and two pigtails with giant, white “poofs” on her head.  Her eyes are blue and her hair is blonde… Can you picture her yet?  She cautiously came to us and studied everyone in the room.  We gave her some Banana Puffs, which she picked up one by one, very daintily.  We were encouraged by this because of her cleft palate and she chewed them up without a problem.  Todd picked her up and she stood on his knees for a while, then he sat her on his lap.  “Bo Peep” then grabbed hold of his finger and leaned into his chest…Todd melted.  I decided not to hold her the first day…I’m taking things slow too.

Meeting 2 with “Bo Peep”…
We met her in the morning while she was playing with her “groupa”.  “Bo Peep” recognized us and smiled.  She had on the comical hat!  It’s white with three “horns” popping out from the top.  I love it!  She recognized us and gave me a hug when I opened up my arms to herJ  Today we brought her a banana and spotted it right away.  I peeled it for her and she took a bite right away…not daintily like the puffs!  I was worried because of her palate and choking but she chewed it up and came back for more!  I then tore off pieces for her.  She did not like being messy!  She cleaned her face off and then stuck her hand out to me in disgust.  Fortunately, I packed many baby wipes!
“Bo Peep” has a gentle and timid demeanor.  While the other kids are playing and screaming, she observes.  We began playing in the sand and showed her how to dig sand with a shovel, put it in a cup, then poured it into a bucket.  She liked that and picked up on it quickly.

Meeting 3 with “Bo Peep”…
We met little woman in her “grupa” area inside today.  They put on a long, red stocking cap with an orange jump suit.  We took her outside and we got to spend some time alone with her.  She walked down the steps holding Todd’s hand and I just laughed and laughed!  She’s so little and the steps seemed giant in comparison to her…she would look up at me like I was crazy!  Once outside, we ate more banana then we read some books.  I brought a book with pictures and then a button that says the word.  I would say the word, push the button so she could hear it, then use her hand to push it.  After two or three times of this, she started to mimic me.  “Apple”, I would say, then she would search for the right button and push it!  We were so proud of her!!!:) 
Then “Bo Peep’s” grupa came outside and started yelling her name!  Many of them came up and gave her a hug and wanted her to come play.  She just stared at them, not knowing if she should go or not.  We wandered around for a while, lost ourselves, not knowing what to do or how to communicate.  All the kids call me “Mama” and point.  It’s so sad.  It’s a beautiful play area, but it’s not something you would see in America.  Nobody is complaining or crying or arguing.  When kids try to come up to us, the caregiver says “no”, and they immediately stop and listen.  Everyone puts away their toys and line up together when they tell them to.  They are three!!  One little boy fell HARD against the wall while putting away his toy.  He face was red and he had a cut under his eye.  He rubbed his little face and just stood in line…no one caressed him or gave him kisses on his “boo-boo”.  It took much strength to hold back the tears…if he could do it, so could I.  These poor babies need a mama and papa…
While we were playing, “Bo Peep” found some stacking blocks.  She is very particular and intentional about her actions.  She grabbed a block, stacked it, then straightened them out so they stood straight.  She stacked all eight of the blocks and they stood almost as tall as she was!  Todd tried to get her to knock them over but she would have no part in that.  A nearby boy saw him and knocked them down…”Bo Peep” did not care for that!  She moved the block to another spot and started building againJ  It was so cute!
Before we parted, we gave “Bo Peep” a small monkey.  He plays music when you push his belly and his cheeks light up.  The caregivers told us they would put it with her things so we wouldn’t have to take it from her.  I was happy about that…

AND...we found out little Sasha got adopted by an Italian couple:)  Praise God...he has a family now!!  YEAH!!!!

Meeting 4 with “Bo Peep" today…Saturday morning…
Our translator is leaving today for Easter weekend and we don’t have anyone who speaks English on our behalf.  This makes us a little nervous when communicating with our driver and others at the orphanage.  But, here we go!
When we got there, they told us to purchase some diapers for the orphanage.  We brought them bananas and candy and are taking them cookies this afternoon.  We’ll get some diapers too!  Since tomorrow is Easter, we plan on bringing a few dozen hard-boiled eggs for the kids.  I hope they like them…I do feel a little bad about how the gas might smell after some eggs thoughJ ha
A sign in the mall...haha...it doesn't get much simpler than that!

Little “Bo Peep” was dressed in her orange jump suit again today and she was sitting in a small chair, holding her little monkeyJ  She loves her monkey…I love it when she hold him by the tail.  She ran to us and gave us a giant smile! 
I led her outside today but took a wrong turn…imagine that!  “Bo Peep” pulled me in the right direction so I’ll never get lost when I’m with herJ 
Once outside we played on the swings and in the play house.  Then we ate another banana and some Banana Puffs.  After a few days of showing her the sign for “more”, she repeated it each time she wanted another puffJ  We then read our book again and “Bo Peep” was able to match the pictures to the buttons.  She sometimes got the cat and dog mixed up, but they are the same color.  The dog has his tongue sticking out, so Todd and I stuck out our tongue, and she peeked hers out too!  We colored and blew bubbles and then we walked around for a bit.  Her “grupa” came out and waved and yelled her name again.  We kinda just sat around together and she played with my sunglasses.  I took some pictures and then squeezed the button on her monkey.  She just burst into tears!  She held her little head in her hands and cried and cried.  We had no idea…then we found out why.  Her caregiver was going inside and she wanted to go with.  Oh my…I cried a little too and sent her on her way with her group.  We were able to walk her back upstairs, all the while she was seeing if we’d follow.  She happily undressed and waved good-bye and blew us a kiss.  Sigh…she is happy and attached…this is a very, very good thing.  We have been praying for “Little Bo Not a Peep” to talk or make some sort of sound.  It was an answered prayer to hear her little cry.  We can't wait to see her again this afternoon! 
We are spending the weekend with her and a doctor is coming to exam her next Tuesday.  Another famiy from New Jersey is here and they are deaf.  They are seeking to adopt a deaf child and we got to meet them the first day in town.  We get to split the travel cost for the doctor, so that is good:)   

****Sorry, no pictures of "Bo Peep" at this time:) 


  1. Yeah an update! :)

    Pink bows in your future?!? ;)

    I am also trying not to cry at your posts...ya know because I am trying to be strong and not emotional like you. ;) LOL

    Soooo excited to see how God contiues to unfold your journey to Little Bo or shall I say Little Bo Peep.

  2. You know, the first day we were at the SDA there was an Italian couple waiting along with us...I wonder if they are Sasha's new family?

    We are so glad to hear things seem to be going well!

    Drew and Kara

  3. Oh Leesh...I have been hanging onto every single word you write. I can't seem to pull myself away from your blog! I have been thinking and praying for the two of you on this journey. I'm so excited you have had a positive meeting with "Bo Peep". I can't wait to read as your story unfolds! Love you both :) Amy

  4. Alicia,
    Bo Peep seems like such a smart, cute and sweet girl. Do you get her for an entire weekend you said? That would be great...I can't wait to hear about the doctor visit! I check your blog often for updates and think of you often!