March 28 Day 17 of Journey

March 28, 2011 Day 17 of Journey 
By Tony
We had a quiet morning punctuated by my most awesome oatmeal. Fortunately, Anne had brought spices for my oatmeal and I didn’t realize it until about a week into the trip. For over the last week now we have been having this nice warm oatmeal to fortify us against the cold mornings.
 We took the LDS Missionaries to lunch at Puzata Hata which translates to “Fat House”. It serves traditional Ukrainian food. it was so good that even Gabe liked it. We we will be going back again for dinner Tuesday evening.

Next to the "Fat House"

We drove to the orphanage after lunch. Sometimes it is hard to think about driving almost 90 minutes one way to visit the kids for only a couple of hours and then driving back that same amount of time. There is nowhere to take them in their village so we just stay at the orphanage. When we turned from the main road to the orphanage street we could see a solitary figure sitting on the steps of the orphanage. We when got close enough we could see that it was Yuri waiting patiently for who knows how long for us to show up. Suddenly my complaints about the long drive went out the window. How many times in our lives do our kids or loved ones wait patiently for us to “show up” and due to inconvenience we don’t bother thus missing an opportunity to strengthen our relationships? Before we came to Ukraine we were most concerned about Yuri, out of the three children, and the difficulties he could present being older and seeing a couple of behaviors that concerned us while the children were visiting in Utah (mostly being girl crazy). Both Anne and I have been pleasantly surprised at what a polite and conscientious young man he is here. He makes sure that Anne does not carry her bag if he can help and lets us know that he will do any clean up so we don’t have to. While we don’t entertain any fantasies that things will be perfect, we have felt much more comfortable about being able to face the challenges ahead.

We had a fun, although relatively short, visit and the kids are not shy about practicing English. Spring break is over so we didn’t see all the other kids like we did last week. We did see a few kids that we had not seen before. Presumably, they were able to go somewhere while school was out.

At the end of our visit we had a little huddle and talked a little about the court date on Thursday and some of the things that would be asked. We told the kids that pretty much all they would be asked is if they really wanted us to adopt them. They were pretty emphatic that they could answer that question pretty easily.

We have been reading “The Chronicles of Narnia” with our boys while here. We just finished the series with Gabe for the second time. For those of you who have not read them they are, in my opinion, the finest allegory of Christ and the history of the world that I have ever read. In the series Aslan is a mighty lion who is the figure of Christ helping when help is needed most but not without stretching us to our utmost. The last few chapters about the end of the world concisely sum up what I believe and hope will happen to all of us. Anyway, near the end of the last book the heroes are talking about how difficult things are and how they may just lose their lives in defending the right. Rather than complain about the difficult situation, they put their best foot forward and call what they are passing through, “The adventure that Aslan has sent us.” 


Seventeen Days and still smiling!


I’m sure that the other families that are here would not say that this is an easy process but I think that they would agree that we would not trade this “adventure that has been sent to us” for anything. It is too long to post here but I will post a link about a man who filled the “adventure” that was sent to him. As far as I have been able to determine it is a true story. It will bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face and encourage you to be a better person. Enjoy!

Note from Anne:
I am  SO grateful that Tony is blogging with me. It was so nice to drive up to the orphanage yesterday and see Yuri there waiting for us. Tony said that the kids are not shy about practicing their English with us, he actually means Luba (9 y.o. girl). Yuri (16 y.o. boy) does practice despite his shyness about making mistakes in practicing. He has such a cute smile. Zhenia (12 y.o. boy) hardly practices because he is always off with our camera taking photos and videos. When he was visiting with us in the States, he did not sit down and practice his English very much with us because he always wanted to be riding the bike. He did learn how to say, “May I ride the bicycle?” If we can get him to hold still long enough, maybe, he too will learn English. I assume that he will eventually learn it on the move with the help of our wonderful neighbors and friends. When Lucy, Sam and Gabe got a little rambuntious last night and could hardly hold still and be quiet and were playing with the camera, Tony called them Zhenia 1, Zhenia 2, and Zhenia 3. Tony suggested that we make Zhenia a verb meaning very active, I told him that we would NOT be doing that. Zhenia is a very happy go lucky young man who seems to be quite resilient to the difficulties of life. We hope that is the case. He is a very cute young man.
Have I told you anything about our shower? I think about putting things in our blog, but since we were not able to blog for a bit, I have forgotten if I put them in or not or if I just thought about it. Well, if we repeat anything, please just smile and realize that we don’t have time to go back and read our own blog. We will do that when we return home. Anyways, the first morning we were here, Tony had showered already when I got up to get in the shower. He explained to me that the shower head does not adjust easily, so he has it in the only position it could be in unless we twisted it around and . . . I shewed him out of the bathroom and said it would be fine just the way it is. Well, I put a tiny kitchen kitchen chair in the bathroom so that I would have some place to put my clean clothing. The chair took up most of the floor space. I reached into the shower to turn it on before stepping in. Well, guess what . . . the position of the showere head was NOT going to work. It was so high that it shot straight across the shower, over my head, hit the opposite wall and ran down it. I tried to do some adjustment while the shower was on, and only managed to get the door, the chair, and my clean, dry clothing all wet. I decided I better turn the water OFF to try and adjust it. I was successful, and Tony has been kind enough to leave it in the twisted position for us short people. The water still shoots straight across the shower to the opposite wall, but it is positioned low enough that it actually hits me so I can take a decent shower.
After our day at the orphanage, our taxi driver took us to the nicest shopping center that we have been to since we arrived in Ukraine. It was kind of like a mini Wallmart. We, as in Tony and I, were stocking up on lots of juice, yogurt, bread, ham, cheese, etc. and Lucy, Sam and Gabe were all questioning us on buying so much when we will be leaving on the Thursday night train. They actually started to sound a little naggy about it. I had to told them to please trust Tony and I because we are the experienced family shoppers. They really have no idea how much food we go through at home. We finally arrived home after 7:00, hauled the groceries (including bottles of water) and all our STUFF up the four flights of stairs, put the groceries away and then got out what we wanted to eat. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the kids to realize that we will eat all the food we purchased and still may need to make a quick stop at a small market to get a couple of things.
6 Responses to “March 28 Day 17 of Journey”
  1. Stephanie Holbrook says:

    How wonderful to see that you really are still smiling:). It is so sweet that Yuri was waiting for you. He has been his whole life-he just didn’t know it. Narnia is a fabulous collection of writings. C.S. Lewis is amazing. We pray you continue to have a good and safe trip and that all goes well in the coming days as you prepare for court and more traveling.

  2. Christy Hinkson says:

    We are so glad that you are surviving Ukraine. It sounds like you are finding some fun things to do and I hope it all continues to go well and that you are back in the USA soon.
    Much Love
    The Hinksons

  3. What adventures you have to share. Thank you both for taking the time to write the blog posts. I’m sure your experience there has made you realize how many little and big things we all take for granted here. It’s sure making me appreciate things like easy access to produce, internet access, convenience of owning a car, a good shower, well stocked stores near my home, warm weather, and so much more.

    Our prayers are with you and the kids for your upcoming court date. We love you.

    Laura Jo

  4. Bryan says:

    Hey Ryan gave me the blog so I started following yall. Looks like you are having a good time! Good luck and hope everything works out.

  5. Erica says:

    I LOVE the Narnia books. 🙂 I read them often.

  6. Kara Forsey says:

    Ryan posted the link for you blog on facebook, so I’ve been reading through them! this sounds like quite the journey! this is so exciting for your family! good luck with everything and i’ll be praying for your family! 🙂

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