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.
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 decision...now 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 to see Anzhelika and Liza! Even Ihar was happy to see the family!
Liza and Ihar....Liza has been to my house before.
I love this family! We are at Grandmother's Datscha; Anzhelika, Sergei, David, Ihar, Angelina, Liza, Anya, 3 cousins and Antie complete the photo.
David is taller than his father! Liza gives "the pose"!
The kitchen inside the datscha. Ihar is helping himself to some "kukarooza" or corn!
The kids cooked dinner for me...corn, boiled potatos and a cucumber salad. Anya and Liza competed for my attention. Anya won out most times...she was anxious to show me everything!
Sergei with 3 of his girls, a niece and a nephew (these are his sister's children)....They are showing me nuts growing on the tree.
A datscha would not be a datscha without beautiful flowers in the garden! This is Liza!
Three beautiful Atroshkina girls! Angelina, Anya and Liza!
Ihar and David...David is one of Ihar's good friends. They are the same age. David has finished Grade 9 and will move to the trade school to learn working with metal. Ihar will remain at the Cadet School. David has been working this summer sometimes helping his father who is working in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Great Grandmother's Datscha....isn't the scenery beautiful?!
Great Grandmother (83 yrs. old)....Angelina, Anya, Cousin, Liza and Cousin
I was the first American Great Grandmother has visited with. She was precious and so Russian!! I love this photo! All in all, it was a great visit with my precious friends...Pray for them, their lives are difficult right now.
Ihar is standing in one of the dorm rooms for the girls. The cabinets are new from the last time I have visited the school/orphanage. My friend, Cheri, her daughter was in this orphanage. Many of Ihar's friends are here as this school and his school get together for many dances throughout the year. And the boys and girls are at camp together in the summer.
They are taught many skills. One of them is sewing and design. Aren't these cute?!
Ihar in front of a mural. All crafts are taught to the girls....beads, jewelry, painting, sketching, sewing, cross stitch, etc. I have given money in the past to help buy supplies for the girls.
The girls' handiwork from sewing class. I can't even sew!!!
We are at the SOS Foster Village. It has been open for only 1 year.
Ihar always goes with me when I visit the orphanages. I have wanted to tour this village from the first time I heard about it.
I was really impressed! It has been built with money from other countries, such as Germany. Each "home" has a mother who has been hired and up to 6 children in the home. There is no "dad" ....
This little guy took us on a "tour" of his home. He was so sweet and wanted to show us everything! Then when we got ready to leave, he gave us a muffin!I could almost see myself doing this kind of thing.
SOS Foster Village, Mogilev, Belarus
Ihar looking at a photo of the president of Belarus.
Rommy and I have been married for 32 years. We have two children. Miranda is 27 years old and living in South Korea teaching Kindergarten. Zack is 24 and is employed at UNCC. Ihar is the child of our heart. He is 18 years old and is in his last year of trade school in Belarus. This blog is about him and our family.