Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Even though we packed our Sunday clothes and made our intentions known we wanted to attend at least some church, it soon became evident that that was not going to materialize. Camille and I had a nice scripture reading in our apartment instead. We had been invited to go to the beach with Marrow, Carla, Olga and wanted Anastasia to be able to be there – and support her as her new adopted father and sister. We went swimming at the beach right near town. Svitsanna (Anastasia’s friend), her little brother Dema (who live at the orphanage) and Svitzanna’s parents were already at the beach. We swam at the end of an old concrete pier, which was littered with trash and beer bottles. The water seemed a bit dirty, but I figured it was probably o.k. as there were so many people swimming. The pier had a nice drop of about 5 feet to the water, which made it ideal for jumping/diving. After I jumped in and swam back to the pier, I climbed up the old metal ladder to get out of the water. As I was nearing the pier’s edge, I had the distinct smell of the toilet waft through my nostrils. Time and time again after jumping/diving in, I had the same smell confirm that this was not a clean place to swim. Camille and I swam for about 40 minutes in total and then got out. We decided to go back to the hotel and meet the others at 2:00 p.m. at the orphanage. We had a 12:00 check out from the hotel and not showering before we checked out was definitely not an option.

Camille, Anastasia and Olga walking into town to the beach

At the beach in Feodocia

Calvin - walking into town (with Camille taking picture) for a bite of lunch after a shower and before the farewell party at the orphanage.

Downtown Feodocia near Greenwich, where we frequently ate

We arrived a few minutes before 2:00 p.m. at the orphanage. Camille proceeded to wrap both Vera’s and Tamara’s gifts in the gift bags/wrapping paper Cheryl had purposefully packed in our luggage. We also had a suitcase/bag full of toys for the children at the orphanage. We were able to go into the orphanage’s nurse’s office to speak with Tamara and present her with her gift. Vera was there to translate and Camille was on hand to take some good photos. We had a very nice chat with Tamara and presented her with out gifts, a picture book of Utah scenery and a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle’s greatest 100 hits – something very regional and representative of where Anastasia was going to spend the next juncture of her life. We also gave her some money to purchase something personal for herself. Tamara told us that the best gift we could give her we had given - adding Anastasia into our family and placing her into our home. I told her we were glad to this and that more older children could be adopted if they would be allowed to come to America with the hosting program. It was a bit of an emotional experience. Tamara particularly made mention of Illia, indicating that he was such a good boy, but not as strong as the other boys and that she desired for him to be placed into a home. I told her again that the chances were much higher of having the children adopted if she would allow them to come to America and stay in the homes of the host families. I then presented Tamara with our gift to the orphanage and told her I hoped that it could be used to purchase something for the orphanage. She indicated that their washing machine had gone out and that it would probably be used to purchase a new washer. I was glad to hear that.

Camille, Tamara (orphanage director) and Calvin

We went back to the common room of the orphanage where they have their TV and proceeded to open the bag of toys we had brought from America. I had no idea what was in there, except for the few things Cheryl had told me. There were a couple nerf guns, monopoly, Jenga, three soccer balls, a pump, plastic bowling pins, etc. The kids really seemed to enjoy getting them. We routed the gifts to one of the teachers along with the suitecase/bag. Later on I was heartened to see the boys playing a game of monopoly and using the nerf guns.

For the food portion of the occasion, we traveled up a couple blocks to the local market with a few of the children and purchased 10 2 liter bottles of soda and 2 kilograms of sweets/candy. This was distributed along with their 4:00 p.m. afternoon treat/snack. We sat around and just enjoyed talking to the children and each other. Carla and I and Marrow were able to take some notebook paper and tell each other how our schooling system works. We also exchanged our house plans/size and incomes. It was very enjoyable. Part of my enjoyment came from spending some one-on-one time with one of the 17 yr. old boys, who had a homemade sling-shot. We set up a couple targets and shot pebbles at them until we had both hit it – a small white plastic domino and a plastic scrap we found on the ground.

Unpacking the toys at the orphanage

Calvin and boys at the orphanage

Outside area of the orphanage

Carla, Vera, Marrow and Calvin walking to the store to purchase treats for the children

Inside the store

Inside the store, again

Boys enjoying the English version of Mynopoly

Camille, Vera and Calvin

Olga (Anastasia's sister), Svitzanna and other friends of Anastasia

Camille with some of the younger girls of the orphanage - so cute!

Camille with Dema (Svitzanna's little brother)

Calvin with Sasha

At about 5:45 p.m. we called a taxi and and prepared to leave. One of Anastasia’s little friends – a younger (probably 7-8 yrs old) girl, Lena, was crying quite a bit realizing that she was saying good-bye to Anastasia. Anastasia herself shed some tears, which I was glad to see. It was an emotional experience for all of us. One of the boys, Serosha, helped me carry our one bag out to the taxi and waited with us. I grabbed him around the shoulder and gave him a squeeze and told him good-bye. What beautiful children.

We went back to Greenwich and had a last meal with Marrow, Carla and Olga and then went to the bus station where we caught our 7:25 p.m. bus back to Simferopol. It was nice and cool, for the most part. However, the bus driver let on so many ‘unofficial paying customers’ that it was very crowded from people standing in the isle. Also, even with my relatively short legs, my knees were bumping into the seats in front of me. Boy and I thought the airlines were skimpy on room.

Dinner at Greenwiches'

It was a long day and we were both physically and emotionally exhausted. This day was the conclusion of our adoption process in Feodocia. And for Anastasia, it is the end of Feodocia she has know as a child. It is also the end of her childhood in so many ways. It won't be until she is an adult, if ever, that she would return to the quaint little beach town of Feodocia, Ukraine.


standfortruth said...

Wow What a day. Glad you got out of the toilet swimming place. Good luck with the rest of the journey.

Joy :) said...

Oh my goodness! I have so many emotions when reading this. My heart is so happy that there are such wonderful people like yourselves helping these children, and on the other end my heart aches. Every child deserves a family and not all get to experience one. Thank you for keeping this blog! I really enjoy reading it.

The Horlachers said...

I've truly enjoyed reading your blog entries and the pictures. You're got a good way with words, and we can feel the emotions. Excellent pictures too.

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agan hermawan said...

I was very moved read blog you miss camille there is still a person who regard to live a man and man always, may the lord bless you i was very moved read blog you and when you were fhoto with a boy holding marbles with expresi the face of a child that was so innocent i can ' t imagine such a thing