Exactly five years ago, we were in Ukraine, just two weeks into our five-week adventure for Masha’s adoption. For the next few weeks, I’m posting excerpts and a photo or two from each day. Sometimes funny, and sometimes proof of how naive we were, I hope you’ll enjoy our little trip down memory lane…
Since we arrived in Ukraine, there’s been much ado about the upcoming “1 June Celebration.” Finally, the day has arrived! The kids, workers, and sponsors have all been working very hard to make sure everything is perfect, and when we arrived at the orphanage a few minutes before 10:00 this morning, we saw that their work had paid off.
Streamers and helium balloons hung everywhere, the courtyard had been transformed into a marketplace for crafts the kids had made, and people filled the area. Kids dashed around in their costumes, greeting visitors and tending to last minute preparations. A few of them paused long enough for us to get some pictures, and of course Masha gave us each quick hugs.
The celebration opened with Masha floating across the parquet floor wearing a beautiful white gown, in the arms of a young man leading her in a beautiful waltz. Three other pairs of dancers floated through, but our eyes were focused on our beautiful daughter.
Following the dance introduction, there were several presentations to acknowledge sponsors, workers, and some special accomplishments of some of the kids. The benefactor who made Vika’s surgery possible last winter was one of the major participants, and they called her up with him to tell her story.
After the performance was complete, the audience adjourned to the courtyard to mingle and shop for baked goods and trinkets that the kids had made. We bought a large layered pastry and some gooey chocolate confection things for the girls to share with the other kids, and we also purchased a few crafts that Masha and her friend Lena had made.
Too soon, the time came to bid the girls farewell for the afternoon. It had been a very busy morning, and the kids and staff still faced the monumental task of cleaning up. Just before we left, Masha took Mark around to photograph all of the drawings that the older kids had made in sidewalk chalk on the parking lot. She was particularly proud of hers, and Papa made a big deal of the great job she had done.
Do you remember the first recital or ball game your parents attended? Leave a comment…