UV: Volume 4

My goodness! It’s been a while since we’ve had an update.

I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the new year. I can’t believe it’s 2016!

We spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day at our friend’s ranch. UV had a blast! He met a boy his age, L, and the two of them became fast friends. They played basketball and pool. They tried not to end up in the ER with fireworks. UV and James got to see the farm animals – so much fun for boys of all ages! Our friends also served many “comfort of home” dishes that are found in Eastern Europe – UV (and we all) enjoyed the yummy food. I can’t wait to make more cabbage rolls myself.

Then, the big bowl game. Wow, did TCU amaze or what?! His first American football game – talk about awesome! (I’m a proud alum!)

At the end of the first half, as many might imagine, we felt pretty defeated. Then a field goal. YAY. Over-exaggeratory celebration commences because we finally had points on the board.

Then a touchdown. Then another. Wait a second – this is a game! The Oregon fans suddenly got quiet. And We. Got. LOUDER. It was incredible! I’m so glad Jacob and UV were there with me to cheer on my frogs!

Now, we recover. This week is filled with dental and vision appointments. Thank God his teeth are ok. He has some baby teeth that may need to come out (adult teeth growing behind them) and just one cavity. Compared to many, many other kids visiting – this is NOTHING. No major extractions, no root canals, no gum disease. He’s in great shape! His eye appointment is tomorrow, and I suspect he’ll be ok there, too… we would have heard about it by now if not. {And as of this morning, he has been shown to have 20/20 vision. YES!}

Which brings me to – he’s speaking so much more! He’s still pretty quiet… you know, compared to me… but he’s learning more and more English and getting more and more comfortable here. It makes me happy to see him so at ease. But there is still that lingering sadness of knowing he has to go back in just 7ish more days. Next week, we head to Dallas and he goes home. But it may never feel like home to him again. Maybe it never did. I don’t know.

I learned that he has been in his orphanage for nine years. I also learned he may be moving to foster care (as the Ukrainian government is trying to shut down “orphanages” and start offering these “transitional schools” instead). I’ve heard people don’t approve of this family he’ll be with… and yet, they might move him anyway.

I don’t know much about his past. I don’t know much about what his future holds… but I know that he’s happy here. Happy now.

In Ukraine, many celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 6/7 – it’s a rollover from the old occupation days, I believe… they couldn’t outright celebrate a Christian holiday under Communist rule.

So what are we doing tonight to celebrate? Taking him to a SPURS GAME! Can’t deny bonding over sports 🙂

Thanks for all of your love and support. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself – or even for him – I try to smile knowing that so many people are praying for us and over us. It brings me joy, it really does.

I saw this quote yesterday:

“If you want to get warm, you must stand near the fire. If you want joy, peace, eternal life, you must get close to what has them.” — C. S. Lewis

Much love to you and yours xo

Happy new year!

Steph

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