Friday, November 11, 2011

All grown up...almost

I was in Kherson last week preparing documents for a small group of kids who will be traveling to the US over Christmas. One of the places I always try to visit while in Kherson is the main internat (orphanage) in the center of the city.  I've known some of these kids for nearly 5 years now.  Really I don't get their often enough because I'm always amazed at how much the kids have grown and changed!  I am also reminded that they are still there.

One sibling set has weighed on my heart all these years. Edic, Sasha and Nika.  We've taken 2 of these 3 sweet kids to the US, so I've gotten to know them decently through that time. Paperwork was never done for them, as there mother was in prison all these years--making them never available for adoption.  Edic will age out of the orphanage this year as he is 18.  It amazed me as he still recalled memories we shared together on bus rides in the US 4 years ago--when he seemed like such a kid!  Those trips were so meaningful for the kids...I'm reminded of that when I hear their stories.

If you look closely, you'll see that Nika (on the right) is the same little girl that is with me on the right hand column of this blog. I've never had the heart to change that picture, as her little face has always been so endearing to me.  It was taken on the last day of a camp we did-- when she was sad to say goodbye--nearly 5 years ago!   When I saw her this time I was stuck by how grown up she looked-- that little girl look had left--she is now a young woman.  And yet when she saw me she came running up with a big smile on her face-- something in her little girl eyes seemed to remain-- distant-- but it was there.


Natasha Jones said...

Oh, wow, she has grown up!
Mom in prison...we know another little girl whose mom is in prison, but she'll be adoptable soon, so I wonder if it's really the orphanage staff??? They have too many kids in there for such a long time!!!

Tara G. said...

How heartbreaking- they are beautiful!!