Monday, January 30, 2012

Catch-up on the weekend

We've had a few incredible days around here!!  We spent time on Saturday together: walking around Gus, skyping with friends, and just hanging out!  I opted not to go to the sauna as I wasn't sure that I had the proper attire (bathing suit, flip flops, etc).  Barry bought a Russian hat...and I enjoyed looking at different shops.  For dinner on Saturday we went Sasha and Ksusha's home.  We enjoyed delicious pasta for dinner, had tea, and watched some English television together.  We really enjoyed talking to our new friends, and cooing at their almost 5 month old Ivan.  He's a cutie.

Sunday morning:  Barry wasn't feeling well, so I ventured out to the Crystal Market alone to pick up a few gifts that we didn't get to buy on Saturday (everything closed early).  Then we got ready for church.  It was nice just to walk downstairs and be in the sanctuary!!  We sat in the back and used Barry's ipod to read the lyrics to the songs in English.  They sang In Christ Alone (who can remember all the words to that song!!) and a handful of others that we just sang along with them in English.  They also sang a few that we recognized from hearing them practice on Thursday.  A few of those had some repetition and words we could say, so we just sang in Russian.

Then the sermon was interpreted for us...and we were grateful because it was a great sermon.  Sasha's father gave the sermon partially about Abraham having to (almost) sacrifice Isaac.  It was excellent.  There was a prayer time after that and we were brought up.  Barry spoke, Sasha interpreted, and I stood there smiling.  The room only had maybe 25 people, but still.  After church which wasn't over until about 2:30 (started at 12), we hitched a ride from Sasha to one of his favorite restaurants.  We liked.

Barry took a little nap, and I relaxed.  We had dinner at Ksusha's parents' home, along with Ksusha and Sasha who helped us communicate with them.  (Thanks to Jim and April for teaching me to bring flowers or a gift along...Olga (Ksusha's mom) seemed to LOVE the flowers we took). 

Monday:  This morning we packed up and Sasha took us to the orphanage for our last visit with Sveta!  She came down and didn't take much time to warm up to us at all.  She was running around and playing right away.  It was a great visit.  We asked Olga (the head social worker) if we could see Sveta's living right before we left, Sveta showed us her bed, her cubby, and her chair where she eats.  Both Barry and I took a few pictures, and we left smiling!  I am SO grateful we'll be able to show Sveta where she spent so much of her time.

As soon as we walked into the room a little girl (Ira) began just screaming.  She was excited and scared, and who knows what else.  She tried to grab Barry's legs, but a caregiver quickly took her into another room.  It broke my heart.  She LONGS for attention.  She LONGS to be loved and to be chosen.  Her heart literally was crying out for her Mama and Papa to come and take her home.  I found her on the database for available children. She can be adopted internationally now.  Pray for her.  Pray about how you can advocate and help give her a better life. I'll put her picture on the bottom of the blog.

Tonight/Tomorrow:  We pack up the apartment in Vladimir, give items back to the team, sleep, and are picked up at 9:30am tomorrow morning to go run around!  We'll pick Sveta up at some point during the day and stay in a hotel tomorrow (Tuesday night) in Vladimir.  Early Thursday morning we will travel to Moscow.  We'll try to keep you posted on how things are going...or at least post pictures.

Love you all.  Thanks for getting us to the day before "Gotcha Day..." which I think I might call "Family Day" instead...cause "gotcha" sounds a little scary!!

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