Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Sorry - no pictures or videos yet. I have LOTS to share, but no outlet to do so. There is an internet cafe in Mariupol which allows me to upload them. Slowly. But I'm in Artemovsk now and so that will have to wait until next monday. Can you wait that long?

Okay, last night we taught English at the church building in Mariupol. We began talking about music and the various kinds of music. Then we opened up the floor to the 20 students (all adults) and they asked us questions about our adoption and American politics. It was really fun to speak with them and they were very excited to talk with Americans. :o) Afterwards, I sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" (a church hymn) and "Zdes Khorosho" (by Rachmanioff - sp?). They really enjoyed it and it was fun to sing for them.

After that we went to Yl'ana's house (she lives with her grandparents) and we talked about Yl'ana doing a foreign exchange program. So far I haven't been able to find a program to bring her over, but I am hopeful that I will. The more I spend time with Yl'ana, the more I am impressed with her. I hope the foreign exchange experience will become a reality for her. I am excited at the prospect of bringing her to the US.

This morning we met with Kristina. When we arrived, her entire orphanage was having a celebration about AUTUMN. The children were dressed up and recited poems about the fall season. It was precious to see! We were able to sit in the back and enjoy the show - Kristina noticed our arrival and kept turning around to look at us, which was quickly corrected by her caretakers. She's such a doll!

We drove to Artemovsk and we visited with Keith this afternoon. He was slow to warm up to us, which made me sad as he recognized us towards the end of our first trip with him. One thing that is just now beginning to alarm me is that he isn't speaking. At all. For some reason I just assumed that he would return home with us and would begin speaking, walking, doing everything that most four-year-olds are doing. But, this may not happen. Does anyone know what I'm feeling?

Tomorrow is our court appointment. 11am, Ukrainian time. Pray for us!


traceylynndel said...


When we adopted Katya she wasn't speaking or making any kind of babbling sounds at all. She was younger than Nick though. After we brought her home she started speaking English words right away. She didn't start babbling for a few months. Now a year later she has about 100 words in English and at least that many signs. It will take time for Nick to learn. He may need speech therapy for a long time but it isn't hopeless. Just one more thing to witness as a "first" for him. You'll get to see all his first words.


Kathey said...

Many years ago we had Kirsten on a special program for handicapped children. It was a patterning program for which we had volunteers come in to help. When we first started the program Kirsten was 7 years old and had only word she could say which was "NO!" often said with much enthusiasm, unfortunately.

Believe it or not, we increased her vocabulary greatly by teaching her to read. The method was the How to Teach Your Baby to Read method by Glenn Doman. Because she was non verbal she couldn't learn phonics, but this program is designed for non-verbal kids, such as babies.

I don't know if you would be interested in this or not, but I want you know that it's an option that could be quite valuable. I do have some of the materials.

This website could be interesting for you: It's the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential who taught us the program we used for Kirsten.

Love, Kathey

Winnie said...

If your using the Sim City internet place in Artemovsk take your laptop and they will let you plug it in directly. You may have to show it to them so they know what your talking about that way you can upload pics and stuff directly. Also they can upload pics from a stick drive for you too but that's a pain.

Glad things are going smoothly. Court is really just a formality but beware of how informal it is, it is pretty shocking. Make sure you go to the bathroom before court and do not use the one in the courthouse as it's disgusting.

Good Luck

schoolmother said...

Our court was pretty easy-breezy but it was in Irpin. It must be pretty challenging to be visiting children in two different orphanages. I hope things get better with Nick.

Mandy said...

Just a thought but are your sure Keith can hear? Our Bryce started talking after he had ear tubes....just a thought. Also, he is going to blossom after he gets home and has that brother and sister to play with :)
Prayers for your court date!

Leah said...

There is a blog called "our Ukrainian Journey". It's a private blog, but you can email the woman who writes it. She does humanitarian work with the orphanages, speaking engagements with the government there, etc, which is how she brought home her THREE sons this year. All older kids. But, the 3rd son is 16 (?) and they had to bring him on a student visa. I bet if you get hold of her she can help with the exchange student situation.

Diana said...

That is a VERY good and rather significant sign with Kristina.

Look at exchange programs through BYU - they have some good ones!

BTDT on the speech thing, too. Our little one was non-verbal when we adopted him. Again, I'd be happy to talk at lengh and in detail about our experience offline. Just email me with whatever questions you want answered.

Court will be different anywhere you go. It depends on the judge, the region, and which direction the sun came up in that morning. Our court was VERY formal and VERY by the books. Sunday best was a must! It was a grueling 2.5 hours long...and we ended up at the judge's home for dinner the next night - presumably so he could make peace with his decision. It all turned out well in the end, though. They are good people with a good family!