It wasn't long until we ran out of BBs. So, the boys went around where we had been shooting and rounded up as many of them as they could find. Loaded up, and shot again. Before we finished up, they found some of them again, and put them back in the small ziplock Baggie.
They asked if we wanted to play contra-strike, I've never heard of it, the best I could understand after four rounds is that it's kinda like capture the flag.... Or paintball... But no flag. No gun. Just one team hiding in a large blown out brick building-like structure.... And another team trying to get into the building. You "shoot" the other team by seeing them when they don't see you, and saying "boom, Julia!" Or, whoever you were shooting." If you say it before they do, they they are dead.
When we finished the game, we went back to the orphanage and Lena and I watched a little Scrooge McDuck, you could hear the English voices, then the Russian overlay, and all text was German,,, fun times.
I then suggested we go play with the iPad. I have a few apps that will help her learn some English. We worked on that until lunch, we ate, and then we just played other interactive games on my iPad. I am specifically using a lot of English with her while we play to try to encourage language comprehension. Otherwise, the google translate app saves us!
Around 3:30 I was getting exhausted. I fully believe it is due partly to the emotions of the whole scenario.... Partly to the remaining jet lag.... Partly to hearing nothing but a language that I don't understand for hours..... But also, to paraphrase David platt, an orphan is only an orphan as long as they can remain nameless and faceless. Being here. Learning the kids. Knowing names. Knowing personalities. Watching their faces light up with a gift of a glow bracelet or hot wheel car. Seeing the pants too short, the boys wearing girls sweatshirts, the shoes too small. What most of these kids would give to have a family..... These kids aren't here because they are less than other kids, or because they are worse than other kids. They aren't here for any fault of their own.... Yet they are here.
And let me be clear. From what I have heard and experienced, this is one of the best orphanages around! My interaction with the teachers has clearly shown that they are very interested in the well-being of each child. These kids are not neglected, they are fed, they even have things that they call their own. Some places can't say this. Yet, these kids still are without families. The 4-5 year old girls taking naps and running downstairs in their pjs. The one precious girl, that wore her nicest Christmas dress today. Another with a dance leotard on. They are amazing.
My walk back to the bus stop (approximately a mile) was filled with tears running down my face. I tried to hide them when I passed someone on the street, as I'm sure that makes me look more American than anything else!
If there is anything i am learning right now. It is that a family is a priceless treasure that not everyone has access to....
I really think I will end the blog here. I'm really not sure how to verbalize my thoughts much further without getting preachy, or offending some. I may do that later.... But not yet.
Pray for these children. Pray for Lena as she prepares to leave. While it isn't perfect, to her, it is still home.
Pray for her friends that will soon see her ride off with a family. They will turn back and see that one more family came, and left them there.
Pray especially for the small ones that lena loves so dearly. They will have a very hard time comprehending what is about to happen.
I am praying for you. Some of you that read this blog have been interested in adoption. These kids need people to be more than interested. They need people to step out and get active.
I will stop my sermonette here.