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

Friday, August 12, 2011

Visit with Atroshkins!

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.

Girls Orphanage & Foster Village

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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Highlight!!! Baby Orphanage!

Well it wouldn't be Belarus if I didn't make it to some orphanages!!! This is one I have
wanted to go into for quite some time. It is the baby orphanage. They have 300 workers
(24/7) and 143 babies right now.

This is Masha. She is 4 weeks old.....that's Katie in the background (she traveled to Belarus
with us, Katie went to visit her Belarussian "sister"). We are in the infant room. Most of these babies
are already potty trained. They begin at 4 mths. old...putting them on the potty.
Diapers are so expensive and they pee pee right thru the cloth diapers they use...and they
don't have rubber pants...

This is Kacha....she wanted all of us to pick her up!

The infant room...where is all the color?

Ihar will make a great daddy someday. He loves kids and they love him!
He didn't even seem to mind coming with me here!
He didn't even have anybody telling him to pick up the children!
He loves them!

She's ready for her shopping trip!

Ihar enjoyed pushing the children on their swing.

This is Koyla...he wanted me to hold him the entire time I was there...of course, I
obliged him! He seemed to tell me "don't put me down"....I sang songs to him and I
prayed scripture over him. I wish I could have taken him home with me. He squished his little
head right next to mine. I wanted to cry.

Koyla looking so very very serious. Isn't he adorable?

Aren't we adorable?

We bought diapers, diapers and more diapers......and we
bought medicine for babies' gums and stomach...I hope it helps a little! All thanks to a precious friend!

Pleased that we could help!