13 November 2007

The Long Road to Love

Note: Several blogs were published on November 13th.

12 November 2007

Our journey today took us 1-1/2 hours outside the city to two rural orphanages. The first, Lomonosov, is a home dedicated to babies from birth to 4 years of age. The home is an historic landmark tucked away on farm roads, surrounded by birch forest. The children are so beautiful, and do not yet comprehend their plight. Because the desire to adopt infants and young children is great, this orphanage is fortunate to provide homes for a good percentage (in comparison to other institutions). And we've been told that the number of orphans dramatically increased at the fall of the Soviet Union, because so many people couldn't cope with the freedom they had been given. That number has not yet decreased.

My sweetheart this morning is a 3 year old named Ula. At first glance, she reminded me of childhood pictures of my dad. She could be a Sellers. She doesn’t yet know how to speak – we learned today that one week in an institution can delay development by up to a month. I was so proud of Ula – when she received her new boots (which were precious), she refused to take them off! The caregiver wanted her to put on some slippers, but she stood her ground. I know, I know – encouraging rebellion isn’t something I should be doing. But I was proud to see she had backbone!

We said goodbye to the children at Lomonosov and traveled to Lopukhinka, where we met wonderful school-aged children who were eager to talk, laugh, and learn. We talked about prayer, made prayer boxes, and played a few rounds of “Duck, Duck, Goose” – it’s a universal game, you know.

Did I mention that we had lunch at Lopukhinka? Yes, borscht.

Brad and I both found special buddies at the orphanage this afternoon.

His friend is Dima, a first grader who has a heart of gold and the boldness to volunteer when kids much older shy away. And mine is Veronika – her nickname is Ronnie. We instantly bonded because, well, “Veronika’s rule!”

Returning from the country, I listened to David Crowder sing “He’s the Remedy” as I prayed for Russia.

1 comment:

Chris Gray said...

I am very familiar with this orphange. How were you able to socialize with the children? Were you involved with a church or vacation VBS trip? When did you go & do you have any other pictures from the orphange that day? If so, please post them or email me. Please tell me everything. My email address is hooleeo2007@yahoo.com. I am anxiously waiting to see any pics that you might have.