03 May 2009

another visit

I went to visit the orphanage yesterday, loaded with birthday gifts (six birthdays since I was last there in my two sponsored groups) and cupcakes. The cupcakes were baked with the last box and a half of American cake mix that a departing ex-pat had left. And the frosting...well, it's hard to find powdered sugar here. I never find it. So, I tried a butter cream frosting recipe I found that started with evaporated milk (one can left by the same departee) and flour cooked until solid. Yum, huh? Yeah, it tasted about that good, too...and it was khaki-colored had the consistency of a bad tapioca. I tossed it and made a seven minute frosting (egg whites, sugar, vanilla and hot water) that was pretty good. I was afraid it would be meringue-y, but it tasted a bit like marshmellow. I colored it pink and dashed on sprinkles. The cupcakes and presents were enjoyed by all!

One of the best parts about this visit was that I convinced a Russian friend to come with me. I've been talking and talking about my girls. Marina often helps me make phone calls concerning the girls, and agreed to come along since it was K and Ka's birthdays (they're two of my favorites). It was nice to have her tell me how beautiful, how polite, how nice they were. Shy little N took to her right away. Marina liked my favorite caretaker and confirmed my opinions about the girls' personalities. It was nice to know I was spot-on even with limited Russian. And, we found that I understand almost everything...eventually. She was very impressed with my Russian--until I pointed out that it was more likely my understanding of PEOPLE than Russian that helped me.

Three new little girls have joined 3.10. They're eight and just-turned-nine. Two of their mothers were orphans in this same orphanage. It's sad to see this cycle continuing.

The new girls are so uncertain, so needy. They talk and talk about their train journey (They're from a different part of the region, quite far away actually. I'm guessing they were brought to this orphanage because of their mother's ties to it. I'm not sure about that, though.), the long taxi ride together, when their mother's are coming. The other girls are gentle with them, especially little N. They stick close together and close to their caretaker.

Due to the economic crisis, caretakers hours have been extended significantly and their pay cut by 25%. My favorite caretaker (she's been there 20 years and actually knew the two girls' mothers--one of the girls is named after her) is worried that the orphanage will be closed and she'll lose her job. Her son has a large debt that she is paying because he has lost his job.

Her husband is just finishing a bathhouse/sauna and I'm invited to come by once fall arrives.

The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the weather was warm. We played a sort of combination volleyball/team handball over the monkey bars while the older boys cursed and played soccer nearby.

On the way back, always a hard time for me. I implored Marina to tell EVERYONE how amazing these children are. People are so scared by older children in orphanages (and not just in Russia). I want her help in letting families know about my wonderful children there. I just can't bear to have them be another tragic statistic.

13 comments:

MMrussianadoption said...

i hope they find homes. it breaks my heart

Rich and Jolynn said...

That is sad that their hours have been extended by that much with a cut in pay too. I have been reading your blog for awhile and it is super informative. A great read. I hope this is your last update ever, only because your little girls are home with you.

Rachael said...

Oh, I love those little girls too: vicariously through you. And, I pray for their futures and their happiness.

Glad you got a visit!

Jen said...

Kate, "your girls" sound so very sweet! I'm glad that you were able to go and play with them... I'm sure that they had a wonderful time and will treasure the memory of your visits. My heart hopes that each and every one of these precious children find amazing forever families!

Tina in CT said...

Just think what joy you bring the girls with your thoughtfulness and visits.

Will you be continuing once you have D2B?

lh said...

It is so sad to read your post. I've brought 3 girls home from Russia and wish I could bring more. I ask myself where are all the humanitarians who are always preaching and who have so much money? That would help so many lives - but it seems the 10,000 SF houses are of more importance then these sweet little creatures and their families. It is heartbreaking and, even with 3 miracles here in the US with me, it doesn't lesson the heartache.

Jim said...

I'm so glad you are still visiting the girls. Every time I read one of your posts about them I feel happy that you have been there for them, but sad that they are still there. I will continue to pray for them.

beckyww said...

People miss such a blessing by wanting children "as young as possible." The expression actually makes me a little sick now.

Calico Sky said...

This brought tears to my eyes. It is just so sad and so unfair that children spend their childhood in orphanages.

The Monroe 6 said...

What a gut wrenching post.
Wow!
That is just heart breaking.

The Holmes Crew said...

Thanks for sharing this. I know how you feel. I will FOREVER have etched in my memory, the faces of the children left behind In Angarsk BH2.

Kristine said...

I loved this post. Thank you for sharing this...

I will be praying for these beautiful children and for you as you are on your journey...

Annie said...

How I wish I could take those two little girls into my heart and home! Just what I long for!

It is such a shame that adoption has to be so expensive...and difficult. It is just wrong.