Thursday, January 21, 2010
Okay . . . . so here it goes.
The first thing I want to do and tell is thanks to Mom and Erin and everybody that prayed for me and raised money for me that I could go on this trip to Ukraine.
Mom, I love you and without you and everyone else I could not go to Ukraine with Dad, Karina, and her dad.
Okay . . . so let's get to the flight!!! We flew from Orlando to Atlanta. We got to Atlanta at 10, but our next flight didn't leave until 3:35. So we waited and I didn't complain. I'm so happy for me!!! Karina, her dad, and Erin met us at the Atlanta airport and we flew to Paris. Here is something to make you laugh. You know how when you put all your stuff in the scanner to make sure you don't have weapons? Well you have to take your shoes off too. So I did that and I was watching my stuff and I realized only one of my boots came out and I was like, "Excuse me. I put two boots there and only one came out! Would you check for me and see if you can find it please?" Thank goodness they found it!!!
From Paris we flew to Kiev. It was good except for the part when my ears were popping and I almost started crying. And Karina and I didn't get to sit together except on the last flight from Kiev to Odessa. That plane was really tiny too. We got to eat dinner AND breakfast on the plane! Dad was sleeping the whole time but I only slept on the last flight.
So then we got to Odessa, waited in line, and got the luggage Karina and her Dad brought form their Sunday School to the children. M, V, and S met us at the airport and took us to A's house where we ate Ukrainian pizza (which I like better than American pizza). Then we took showers and rested after a long day.
The next day we were allowed to go to Karina and my old orphanage. We were not allowed to do video but pictures were okay. Since I've left the orphanage two years ago I didn't see a lot of people I knew because many of them have been adopted! I'm so happy for them!!! The children left from my class were Vladik (he missed me so much he gave me a hug!), Edik (he looks the same), Jenya (looks just like I remember), Marat (he is so much taller!), and a new kid named Uri ( him and dad are best friends. He is sooo sweet and very nice to talk to). Uri wanted my dad to make sure he knew what the Bible was so he took his out to show him. He also offered to give his Bible to Dad. Dad showed him the verse John 3:16 and he knew what it was. I also saw Sasha and Andrey. Andrey wasn't in my class but he remembers me. He was a good friend to me and Karina. You heard me mention Erin. Well she prays for many of these children.
I also met new friends like Luba and her sister. Luba liked to talk a lot and her sister was very sweet. The next day when we came to visit her sister gave me a hug. I enjoyed visiting them and sharing my love with them!!! While I was at the orphanage, I translated for my dad, Karina's dad, and Erin. I was happy to be able to do that for them.
I also met with the orphanage director and talked about my new life with my family in America. I also got to see my favorite teacher Svetlana V. She's my favorite because she would take care of me like a mother is supposed to. When I had lice (which I don't anymore), she would help me. When it was my birthday she would come early before class and give me a little present. She called me ponytails because I always wore ponytails. She loved me and I was her favorite! We talked to many people and answered questions about our families. I showed Erin around the orphanage and she met the librarian.
I also got to see my Natalia and Tatiana - my teachers from the orphanage! We talked, took pictures, hugged, and ate dinner. Natalia has a baby and he is so cute! I didn't hold him though. He looks like her. Tatiana gave us the pictures from a long time ago when I was little. I looked so cure! Maybe my mom can post them on the blog when I get back,
The next day we went to the open air market. We bought some warm coats for the kids in the orphanage. I hope the kids like them. We used the money from Karina's church. And a big thanks to Christina Dent for helping out!
After the market, we went to the orphanage where Sasha was moved to. I've taken many pictures so far. Some of you might have heard that we are trying to adopt two little cute boys. I wish my mom was with me, But I will tell her everything that happened and take many pictures of them and the other children. I think I might want to be a photographer. I know I'm not a better photographer than my mom, but I'm learning!!! We did crafts with the kids and spent time talking to them. Then me and my dad went to the cafeteria to meet Sasha. He was getting his food so we waited for him. When he came out, M gave me a present to give to him. It was colored pencils and a coloring book. My dad met him too. I took a picture with him and patted him on the head. We only got to spend 10 minutes together, but I thank God for that! He looks so much cuter in life than in the pictures! He is also very small for his age, but he is so cute! M said he likes to be cuddled and be tickled when he gets to know you. I'm thinking of sending him a package when I get back to America. I don't think we are going to be able to meet Vitalik on this trip. I'm upset, but I hope we can adopt them both. We looked around this orphanage and Erin and I talked with an 8th grade teacher. She was very sweet. I told Erin that if I was an orphan there, I would want this lady for a teacher. Karina's dad played football with the boys and they tackled each other.
We went back to A's house and ate borscht. Woohoo!!! We've also eaten pelmeni and shishkabobs. We went ice skating with Tatiana and I fell once. I also made Karina fall! We couldn't stop laughing. Dad and Karina's dad didn't want to skate, so dad took pictures of us.
Tomorrow we are going to downtown Odessa and back to my old orphanage. Then we are leaving Odessa to go to Luks to visit more orphanages. It is a 12 hour train ride. We're staying in a 2nd class car which is a small room with a door that can close and lock. We don't know if we will have internet, but I will try and write again soon.