Our First Day

What a great first day together!!  Our friend Beth took us on a walking tour of Donetsk and it was wonderful.  The weather was great and we had the best time.  Donetsk has the most beautiful parks!!

As we transition from a very superficial existance the past 10 weeks as all fun and play visitors in their world 3 hours each day into becoming a true family I want to be honest to help others who walk this path a few steps behind us while being respectful of our kids.  Life is not all rosy and perfect with any family and ours will be no exception.

Yesterday we got our first taste of a bad attitude in our little guy.  We were so shocked to see him be totally defiant, we had never seen this side of him before.  This little guy has been the one who always greets and sends us off at each goodbye with big hugs and a joyful spirit.  This is the one of the four who is concerned about the cost of us being here so long, who shows the most concern when I’ve been sick.  Who was this kid who refused to stop playing with a lighter and ran from his Dad when he was discovered the second time?  Where did our sweet boy go?  It was not a good day and he made it a rough one for us all.

After the initial confrontation and his defiance, he retreated to himself.  It was the day we were checking them out of the orphanage for good and they were all to come home with us and we had one sitting 12′ away with his back to us avoiding us all day.  The first big test.  A big prayer for wisdom.  When it was packing time and he had to face us we let him know that with our translator at DCU we would be talking about his attitude later that evening.  He refused to eat dinner and was still defiant when talking with the translator about the day and what he was feeling.  He was open to a hug from me at bedtime but was obviously alienated from the relationship.  They all slept 10 hours last night and he slept 11.

When he awoke he welcomed my hug and ate breakfast well.  Soon he had Alex translate to his dad that he was sorry for what he had done.  He owned it and apologized to his Dad and got a big hug and the assurance that his apology was accepted and he was forgiven.   Repentance.  Grace.  It was freeing for him, he behaved beyond wonderfully today and we all had a great day.  We pray that established the authority and communicated clearly attitudes that will not be tolerated.  Our sweet boy who thanks us for everything so genuinely was back, we were elated and the day could not have been better.  We’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story of our first day together as a family.

~ We walked along the river ~

~ Enjoyed skipping a few stones ~

~ Found this fitting graffiti, "I'm Have Hope" under a bridge ~

~ Toured this Beautiful Church ~

~ The Interior of the Church ~

~ With the Flags for the 2012 European Football Championship ~

~ Enjoyed a stroll through Putschken Park , and of course, taking a few photos ~

~ A Great Ukrainian Restaurant for Lunch with sallow, pelmini, shashlik, borsch, and more for lunch ~

~ Donetsk is known as The City of Roses, bed after bed in full bloom...stunning!! ~

~ Alex and Pavlina having fun Bouncing ~

~ Gorgeous Fountains ~

~ Beautiful!! ~

~ Cotton Candy made over an open fire ~

~ Beth treated them all to Cotton Candy, delicious!! ~

~ Headed Home ~

~ The guys grilled hamburgers over an open fire for dinner and we finished the day off with ice cream and fresh strawberries ~

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2 Responses to Our First Day

  1. Aimee Garrett says:

    Hi Barney and Marie,
    I have been following you faithfully, had to comment today. Good Job Mom & Dad standing your ground during this first of many defiant attitudes that will come with the many emotional ups and downs these little people go through. I am amazed at how long you have survived in country, I think you should get the adoptive parents of the year award just for time invested alone. How long before you leave for Kiev? I ask because good friends of ours from Colorado have just arrived in Donestk they got a referral for 10 year old boy and 8 year old sister. Not sure which orphanage but maybe the same as yours? They are Monique and Chris Green, email is greenclan@mesanetworks.net and blog is greenclan66@blogspot.com I am sure they would enjoy American friends 🙂 They are first time adopters too. Matt and I have shared some of your story with them also before we knew that they would end up in the same city. It would be good if you can give them tips on where to eat, things to do, church to attend and good people you have met there. Tell them you are friends of Matt and Aimee Garrett and that we met at Karen Springs they may remember then.
    I love the photos it really is a beautiful place.
    Congratulations on all the blessings you have been given.

  2. Sarah says:

    Still following you every step of the way. You continue to amaze me at how you handle adversity. Admittedly, it won`t be smooth sailing all the way. Good testing in small bits beginning in their homeland where they have a special sense of security. Also good that you can establish boundaries for them on their turf. Also special that you can work through attitude adjustment filled with the wonderful, Christian spirit that envelope both of you. My prayers continue with you. Sarah

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