Friday, February 6, 2015

Part II of our Trip to Belarus in July 2013

These are some of my favorite photos from our trip to Minsk sightseeing for the day. It was so much fun to see the city! Minsk is the capital of Belarus. 

Rommy was so happy to find a McDonalds! If you look closely through the window in the background you will see a TGI Fridays across the street. 

A day spent sightseeing in Mogilev. Population about 300,000. Ihar used to go to school in this town; Tatiana's family lives here. These are a few of my favorite photos.

Our favorite pizza place. We go to this restaurant every trip to Belarus...sometimes several times during the trip! No complanints from Ihar!

Dinner at Tatiana's daughter's apartment.

Sightseeing around Krychev. This town is about 2 1/2 hours from Mogilev...close to the border of Russia. Krychev is where Ihar was born and where he goes to trade school.

What does every parent do with their child before taking them back to college? Buy groceries of course!

It was so hard to say goodbye to him this time. We miss him so much!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our trip to Belarus in July 2013 Part I

Hugs after 4 long years of separation.

Family!....Papa has only been to Belarus twice while Mama has been 4 times..

I (Marta) always make a trip to the baby orphanage...this time we took toys, diapers and wipes. 

 Celebrating Ihar's 17th Birthday! Wish I could say I made the cake! It was yummy!

We are so grateful for friends like Tatiana and Sasha who always open up their home to us and Ihar. Language or country doesn't matter. We have become a family.

Tatiana is like a sister to me.  

This is Anzhelika....we always try to visit her and her family. This was my (Marta's) first host family in Belarus.  

The Atroshkin kids and Grannie (Anzhelika's Mother) from Siberia. Ihar is great friends with this family as well. Left to Right Luba, Grannie, Masha, Liza, Dasha, Ihar and Angelica. All of these kids are former ABRO kids with the exception of Luba. 

We met with many of our former ABRO kids this visit. This is Anastashia. 

They are great friends!

 This is Lena who works at the ABRO office in Belarus. 
She is also very special to us!

 Vlad and Anton (both former ABRO kids)..

 Masha and Liza are also part of our ABRO family...!

These kids are Tatiana's grandchildren! Anna on the left and her brother Maxim on the right are part of the our ABRO family! There are many more children we were able to visit with but for the sake of keeping my posts shorter...we'll skip ahead to Part II of our visit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ihar Then and Now.....

Ihar age 11...loves baseball and being part of the family! This is shortly after he came into our home and hearts. June 2008.

Ihar age 12 with his Dad....looking cool and ready for church! July 2008

Ihar sent us this photo when he was missing us. Age 12 1/2, at cadet school. Nov. 2008

Ihar age 12 1/2. Photo taken when I was in Belarus shortly before I left to return home. Jan. 2009
Almost 13! Graduation from Grade 7. May 2009

Ihar age 13 1/2 (Jan. 2010) The date on the photo is wrong! Ihar was playing w/my camera! Ihar is in Grade 8 in this photo.

Ihar age 15. My how he has grown!!!! I almost didn't recognize him! :-) It had been 1 year and 7 months since I last saw him.
He has finished Grade 9 in this photo...August 2011

August 2011
15 years old!

I love you!

Although this message is a bit personal....I decided to share it with you! Ihar loves and misses his Dad very very much. Someday perhaps we will be together as a family.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not Goodbye...

The night before we left. It was an emotional evening...thankful for some sleep medicine! Tatiana is like family to me....we love her!

Our last morning....It's a little early for Ihar! This is the first time I've been to Belarus that he has accompanied me to the airport. We had a 3 hour drive and needed to arrive 2 hours early. I knew it was going to be hard for me.

Mom....I'm half asleep!

Saying Goodbye to a wonderful friend who also has made Ihar part of her family! Thank you Tatiana and Sasha!

At the airport...tears are just below the surface.

Minsk Airport....We love you Ihar! See you later!

Ihar...Some of our favorite photos

So happy to see Ihar! This trip was all about making memories to last a lifetime.

There is no price tag you can put on spending time with your kids!

He is growing up....He told me he wants to stay in Belarus until he finishes school...

...even though it hurts, we understand his he must make good marks at school if he wishes to stay where he is...It's up to him.

We told him we would do all we could to continue to help him. He is happy he has a family who cares for him and loves him even if we are in America.

When he finishes school, he will decide then if he will try to come to America or pursue a career in the military or police. He knows our home is always open to him. Our desire would be for him to come here!

God put Ihar in our lives for a reason. It is all in His hands. We love him as a son. He is our
We are proud of him! Yes, he makes some bad choices, and he knows we are not happy when he does that! But he really wants for us to be proud of him. And we are! We had alot of serious talks about things. As I said, he is growing up. He knows the importance of making better choices which will impact his future.
Loving him and so happy I got to spend some time reconnecting with him!

American smiles...all around!

We played alot of card games...which was great fun! 

Happy when he wins!!!

We love you Ihar! Mom, Dad, Miranda and Zack