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Thursday/Friday (Kelly)

Thursday/Friday (Kelly)
Kelly - Fri Jul 23, 2010 @ 01:25PM
Comments: 1

Our final wrap-up days have been just as busy as the rest of the week, and also just as fulfilling. We've done so much in the last two days I'm not really sure where to begin. I am ready to go home yet it's strange to think that we leave Rivne early tomorrow morning and start making our journey home. It always goes by so quickly. We're filled with ideas and passion, and are already talking about what we should do next year and what we can bring.

Thursday was a productive day. We visited Pahinets in the morning and had our annual meeting with Tamara to learn about all she's done and hear hysterical stories about the children. She's had enough rooms renovated and received enough money from the government that she can finally extend her ages past 8 years. In September she'll start the first class for 9-10 year olds. Now Pahinets will serve children from the age of 2 months to 10 years. Her hope is to eventually serve children to 16 years. About 3 years ago, after our sessions on parent advocacy, Tamara had intense discussions with a few parents and promised to extend her school through 3rd grade. I was ecstatic, but it didn't happen, until now. The other great part of the day was that she agreed to help us with Nikita. Nikita is the 17 year old we agreed to help last Sunday. A young man who's never attended school. Tamara agreed to start slowly with him. Sending a therapist to his house once a week, and then hopefully have him attend school once a week and eventually receive some job training. We were supposed to meet him on Thursday afternoon, but he was resistant to riding in the taxi so he didn't come. We had a really nice talk with his grandmother and younger brother though. We met at the OMNI center in the afternoon and reviewed the conference. They seemed pleased. They'd really like even more specialized, practical classes next year.


BabyOn Friday every year we visit the baby house.  I've included some photos so you can join me in loving and praying for these sweet children.  Normally, the director gives us a tour, but this year he had a colleague show us around.  Unlike the director, this colleague let us hold and play with the children.  It was heartwrenchingly glorious.  We were frequently cautioned against taking photos of certain children because they're in the process of being adopted.  I was surprised, and of course, overjoyed at the large number of  children being adopted.  Even a couple of the children in the special needs group!! 

 

Two

Saucer

After the VBS group finished their annual pizza party at the Intake Center, we drove over to the "mall."  The best part is that it has an ice skating rink in the middle and it's probably the only place in Ukraine that's COLD.  We spent the afternoon shopping at the mall, the linen store, and the amber store.

Anton, Victor, IrinaThe best part of today though was having dinner with Victor, Irina, and their son Anton.  Anton is now 8, graduated from Pahinets (his parents hadn't heard they'd extended the classes), and he'll be attending a "school" in the fall called Special Child.  Anton is speaking wonderfully now and has made a lot of progress academically.  He's a delight.  I had a great time chasing him through the park and giving him piggy back rides.  For those of you who don't know, Victor is the father that waited in the hotel lobby several years ago for Karen Feathers (founder of USNOF), and made the organization aware that parents such as himself were keeping their children at home rather than placing them in the orphanages and asked USNOF to help them too.  This man in essence expanded USNOF into helping the parents, OMNI, Pahinets, and eventually the educators.  He's amazing!

Thank you once again for all your support, thoughts, and prayers.  It means so much to me.  People are flying in many different directions and spread across a few airlines.  Please keep us in your prayers as we fly over the Atlantic.

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