Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mariupol - Artemovsk

Today is wednesday - which means that tomorrow we'll be leaving for Artemovsk. Our court date is on friday in Artemovsk. I'm getting a little nervous about it as it gets closer. I would appreciate hearing experiences from others about their court session - to prepare me for mine. Thanks!

Things I've noticed about Mariupol that disturb me: children smoking. I think the youngest I've seen was about 7 or 8. I wish I were kidding. Pornography: I've seen young boys, about 9 or 10 years old looking at pornography in an internet cafe. Alcohol: it's everywhere. People carry bottles and drink outside. I've even heard of mom's filling their baby's bottles with beer.

Things I've noticed about Mariupol that I love: people greeting me on the street. More than once have I been greeted by complete strangers here in Ukraine. In fact, there is a sense of friendship between the Ukrainian citizens here. They talk with each other and there seems to be a feeling of trust and honesty among them. Weather: we've had marvelous weather during our trip so far. There was only one day of rain - and it wasn't all day long. The sun is shining and the leaves on the trees are changing colors - beautiful! Food: I've got to tell you, I didn't know what kinds of food that I would find here. And while there are some scary meats and other items - I have always been able to find something very tasty and I'm a picky eater! I haven't been to McDonald's once!

Last night we had dinner with the Sister Missionaries. The sister from Mongolia made us Borscht - it was REALLY good! I watched her make it so I can recreate it when I get home. After dinner I taught her how to make no-bake cookies. She LOVED them! Peanut Butter isn't anything people eat here. I found only 2 kinds of pb in the grocery store and they were small and expensive. However, the juice aisle is amazing! You wouldn't believe all the different flavors they have here! My favorite thus far is the passion fruit/orange and the multi-fruit juices. YUM!

Our visits with Kristina are improving each day. She is calming down, somewhat, and is very affectionate and has learned 6 signs now and can say about 6 words in English. I'm amazed at her bright mind. She learns very quickly. I still can't believe that she's labeled as an invalid. I do want for her to have some therapy when we return home. For those of you who have had your child go through therapy after adoption - how did that work with the language barrier?


Diana said...

Jill - I've been through this with two kids. Email me offline at vorderbinnen @ gmail . com (remove the spaces, obviously). I'd be happy to talk with you at length about your question(s) and therapy and how to find a good therapist and community resources that may be available and when to start and anything else of that nature, including some other things to watch out for that you may or may not have seen yet - but I'd rather not do it publicly.

There were 5 year old kids smoking at my older son's internat. The older kids told me all about who did and didn't smoke. They also delighted in talking about s**. Many of the older ones would steal money and go to the stores to buy snacks. Teenagers and adults alike were drunk on the streets all the time. We also noticed that life is harsh and time stopped in many ways before the dawn of WWII...and how empty the vast majority of the population's eyes are.

Yet we also met some very kind, generous, and wonderful people that will forever be part of our hearts as well. We LOVED the juice and ice cream and fresh bread and cabbage salads and sausage dilled boiled potatoes and of course, borscht. YUM!! Much of that you can't find here in the states.

Good luck with court!! Just answer all their questions in a confdident, but non-prosylatizing way and you'll be fine!

Courtney said...

We started our oldest in occupational therapy about 3 months after we came home. His language was very limited, but he does OT at a children's hospital and they are used to working with children. They do a lot of demonstrating of what they want the kids to do and also making therapy a game. He loves it!