As the plane touched the runway, I craned my neck & tried to see; Impatiently I waited for luggage to be claimed.... unfortunately, there was almost no one who had not lost luggage and we were among that majority. I couldn't wait to be outside in Kyiv and the minutes ticked by painfully slow until two hours later we emerged from the airport.
The moment that I had been waiting for, (for almost a year.) came with a weary and impatient, taxi driver, (which took away some of the excitement I had anticipated, as we rushed along loading our bags in a somewhat uncomfortable silence at our driver's obvious displeasure at how late we got out.)
After taking in all the flashing cars and horns, bright signs in Ukrainian, I think I may have drifted off to sleep.
I awoke to find us almost at our destination.
Unloading our bags in front of a brick building we went up to the door and pressed a number from the keypad; a voice answered and a click in the door proved that it was had been unlocked, we walked in; up a dusty flight of chipping, concrete stairway. the door to the Peipon's apartment opened and Marianna and Jim welcomed us in and made us at home; after introductions we ate in the living room and chatted for a little bit, then went to bed.
I couldn't believe it, I was finally in Ukraine!
The cry of "Revolutsia" [Revolution] was in the air, several times we walked through it.The people were united, it was sweet to have random people come up and start talking to you... (not something that happens in Ukraine very often!) ((and for those who may think that the Revolution was like what you see in the news, I am telling you as a witness, it was very peaceful, the singers and speakers were reminding and exhorting the people not to respond to violence with violence, the government is wanting some sort of violence so that they can send in their riot police. There were LOTS of people though!))
The first two days I felt extremely inactive & then it all began!
meetings, catching the metro, learning how to "survive" in a Ukrainian metro station full of shoving people, [maybe because I am someone from near Chicago I am supposed to know about metro/subways... I have never been on an American 'Metro' (subway) so this was a completely new experience!]
At Okmadet we were shown around the hospital, including the room with the abandoned children, they had been brought in for treatment and then left behind, the parent(s) hadn't returned.tears threatened to spill over as I gazed at the little ones, touching one child's hand I saw something in it, I removed a little piece of garbage that she was about to put in her mouth (it was a piece of paper or plastic... can't remember which anymore) a couple of the children were crying, I wished that I could stay there forever; to scoop them in my arms and tell them stories, sing them songs, tell them about Jesus.
We left and carried on with the tour, leaving the little ones behind.
the next day we played with several children, most had a mother there, I didn't recognize any children as from the abandoned room.
more meetings and late nights, busy metros and Revolution cries, and then the hospital.
2 little children, 4 and almost 1 years old; as I held the little four year old on my lap, he seemed more like an a two year old. I wanted to hold him tight, show him the love of the Father; that he was loved.
I didn't want to leave him either of them at the end of our 10-15 min. stay.
As we walked out I realized... the nurse was only there till 4:30 pm she returned at 9:00am the next day; there was no one else there!
at the orphanage it was the same. The best orphanage that Mrs. Heim had ever seen, left the children by themselves at night!
what if this little boy didn't get a family-ever?
His little, hot cheek against my hand, his warm little hands, his precious smile, his wispy hair, and I find myself asking why;
why would anyone leave him?
why would anyone leave the children at Okmadet?
my eyes fill again with tears, will this little boy ever experience the love of a family? all I can do is pray that he and the other children will be adopted into a good family; but most importantly that these children will find the heavenly Father, who will never leave them or forsake them; and who loves each of them dearly.
Down those dusty, chipping, concrete stairs, to another taxi... this time with a kind, Christian man driving our taxi.
boarded our plane.
the miles flying by.
each one taking me further from Ukraine, and closer to home.
I almost cried at seeing my family and again being wrapped in my mother's loving arms and greeted by the chorus of voices calling my name as they realized that I was there (we had come up behind them, not knowing where there were at first)
My poor family, I was perky and awake in the airport despite the fact that I had only slept for about 5 out of 36-48 hours, but in the car everything came down at once...
The sleepless hours caught up with me and I was exhausted, I missed hearing the Ukrainian and Russian all around me, I didn't know how to share all that happened, I was realizing that I wouldn't see Ukraine for a long time if ever again...
I was not the most sociable or sweet person to be around for the rest of that evening, (which turned out to be about 2 hours for me because as soon as we started home from the restaurant in Morris, I was out!)
I am sooo thankful for the Lord bringing me to Ukraine this last December and I am so grateful for my family, supporting me and being a part of it and making it a family mission, and for all the people I met and places I went; and people who have supported me.
Thank you Lord!