There are moments I look at throughout my life as moments that change who I am. Moments that alter how I see myself and the world around me. I would love to say that I am openminded enough that this happens often, but that is not true. I have been blessed to have had many opportunities in my life to see the world..... But only a few change my core.... My dreams..... My worldview.
This weekend r, j, baby girl and I all stayed with 10 of the most loving, beautiful children you will ever meet in your life. They are aged from 8-15 and act the same as any child you know in those ages. There were 6 boys and 4 girls.
Everything was as you would expect. The boys don't like to take showers, the teenage girls are concerned about how their hair and makeup looks. They love to hug and kiss..... And chase and be chased.... They are great at video games and we watched movies together. Some like sausage and eggs... Some prefer cereal. Guitars and pianos are fascinating. Footballs and soccer balls are constant. Nap time is reluctant. But meals are just plain fun.
They are typical kids.
Except for two things:
1. They aren't from around here :) they are Ukrainian. So, if you add all the fun of that many kids in a house together with the idea that you only understand a small portion of the English they have learned in the last week or so that they have been here.... You can imagine the chaos....
2. These kids are orphans. They don't have families. They came from 4 different orphanages in the Ukraine. I have heard it said that an orphans is just an orphan until they have a face.... This is painfully true to me right now. While to many, these kids are nameless, faceless poor children who need someone else to care; these kids, with their personalities so distinct, their stories so scarred and varied, but their love still so available, have attached to my heart in a way I never thought possible. Not just one or two... But all 10, in their own little way.
Adoption is a dream for each one, but not a promise they have been given. Every moment in the US is part of a performance of sorts. Not to be manipulative, but to give it all they have, with everyone they meet, in the hopes of accomplishing their dream. They are sometimes tired... Exhausted even, and yet, when they get a chance, they smile, try their English with yet another stranger, and pray that someone will love them.
I am amazed at the strength. I am overwhelmed at the ability to love. I am humbled by the courage. I am grateful for what I have been entrusted with, my children, husband, family, friends, material possessions, etc. I am less attached to my "things" and oh so much more attached to people than I ever have been before. These kids, when meeting people, aren't sizing up how nice the cars are, or how big the houses are. They are looking for love. Don't get me wrong, they know about cars..... They understand what it is to have nice things, they just seem to have the priorities so lined up that they know that things are cool..... But the love of a family is worth so much more.
I do not know right now what the long term impact will be from this worldview change. I only know that I am glad I am changed and I pray that I never forget these amazing kids that attached to my heart so quickly.
Pictures from a wedding dress party!
1 week ago