First, I want to say how wonderful it has been to hear from so many friends about Elliott! It helps us feel a little more connected–and it is just plain fun to celebrate Elliott with our friends and family!
We had a great visit today. The weekends are much quieter at the orphanage and we do not have very many workers coming and going through the hallway/mudroom where we play each day. Elliott was playful and ready to have some fun. Since the weather has warmed up here a bit, we asked if we could take Elliott outside again, but we were told the doctor said we could not take him outside. A little disappointing, but we must follow the rules. They did say we could take him to the music hall to play with him. We were a little excited for a change of scenery, but the music hall is a larger room that has very dirty and somewhat dangerous floors..not good for a little boy who gets around by crawling everywhere. We enjoyed the larger space by doing some dancing with Elliott and some flying around the room! We also got some good airport layover practice by playing with him while sitting in some chairs. As is the case with any child about his age or younger, the never-ending game of drop the toy from the chair to the floor so mommy or daddy can pick it up was a favorite!! He did pretty well playing in the chair with us with just a few toys, so I have at least some hope that we might be able to survive the ariport time ( naive hope, but hope none-the-less). We decided to head back up to the hallway where Elliott could crawl around and we could play with more of the toys. Well, once again by about 2:30 he began to get so sleepy that he nearly fell asleep while I was holding him. I told him he had to wait about 30 more minutes before falling asleep, but he apparently did not agree:) Jon and I held hands and said a little prayer with Elliot, for Elliott, and when we were finishing, his eyes were closed and his thumb had dropped out of his mouth. About that time, however, one of his caregivers came out and brought his food and drink so we could feed him. We were so thrilled to be able to feed him, but also so conflicted since we knew he was tired! He did perk up when he saw the food. It was some sort of meat and rice mixed together into an oatmeal consistency. He had a bottle of some type of juice as well. He slowly ate bite after bite. He was so tired he could hardly chew and swallow, but we were not sure of the expectations or if he would get any food again before tomorrow, so we felt like we had better try to encourage him to stay awake and eat! It was wonderful to be able to meet his need and get to feed him, but also heartbreaking that he was so tired and really needed rest first before food. We did tell him that when he was in our care, we would be able to better meet his needs since we would see the full picture of what his needs really are. Even as it was, he did not finish the entire little cup of food they gave us to give him. I am praying that his tummy is not hungry tonight and in the morning because of us.
I do know, however, that as much as I already love Elliott, I know God loves him more and has taken care of him his entire life. For months, Jon, Anna, Ryan, and I have been praying that our children in the Ukraine were not scared, were getting loving care, were not going hungry, and were laughing and having some joy each day. Jon and I talked several days ago about God had answered every one of our prayers! Elliott does not seem scared at the orphanage, he is not going hungry, he is receiving loving care, and he is getting to laugh and have some joy with his caregivers! My faith is so small sometimes. I cannot get my mind around just how much God cares for the fatherless and the least of those on earth. God will meet Elliott’s needs for us tonight and in the morning. God may even be preparing Elliott to accept our care more readily when we get to be his sole providers and his forever family. In much the same way, God provides for me each day. I am in awe of God’s provision for me the longer I spend here.
Please continue to join us in prayer that the court decision on Tuesday would be favorable and that Elliott would be given to us and in our care by Tuesday night. Pray for the legal logistics to go in our favor so we would be able to head back to Kiev for our offical documents, etc…as early as Tuesday night or Wednesday. Although spending some extra days in this region have given me more experiences to share with Elliott when he grows about his hometown, I am certainly ready to head back to Kiev and be one step closer to heading back home. I cannot wait to hug and kiss my other little ones, Anna and Ryan. I am also anxious for our new family of five to begin the process of getting to know each other and bonding and adjusting.
One final observation for today..kids are kids no matter the region or language. Earlier this week after it snowed, Jon and I were headed to a very early dinner and we came upon a handful of middle school girls and boys who gotten off the bus from school and were either waiting to catch the local bus home or waiting to go in and eat. The boys were boisterous and were all making and throwing snowballs at each other and at the girls. The girls were all huddled together giggling and making a pitiful attempt to make one snowball and toss it at the boys. I almost laughed out loud as I realized that God created people who are similar in so many ways…regardless of language, culture, environment, etc… It was a good reminder to me that every person I see was created especially by God for His glory and for His purposes!