We’ve had lots of fun with Ian our first few days. We went swimming – he loves to go swimming. We did some other sight seeing around the city, a boat trip down the Dniepro, and the war museum (a BIG hit with Ian). He’s not much of a walker, but there is lots of complaining, but when we get to our destination (or he know we’re going to McDonalds) he perks up. We had lunch with another family here from BC that are waiting for their second SDA appt (thedriedgers.wordpress.com), and Ian hit it off with their boys who are about the same age (complete with arm pit farts and all!) We also went to the International Church Assembly and Ian was very patient and good. At various times I have prayed for Ian’s salvation, but God layed it on my heart to pray during the church service specifically for it. I would imagine the church experience was very different from the Ukrainian Orthodox chruch experience he has had.
Today was the fifth day that Ian has been living with us! It’s been amazing, but, at times, challenging. The amazing part has been that it has been so easy to love on Ian – he is very affectionate, happy, excited to come to America. He is VERY annimated, and he has us laughing a whole lot! One of the best decisions ever was to bring Olivia with me back to Kiev. Ian and Olivia have made an incredible connection and I think they will always have a special bond because of their time together. She is also very helpful to me. When Ian has been resistant to doing something (i.e. brushing his teeth) he will usually do it if he sees that Olivia has to do it too. It’s also nice to have an extra set of hands and eyes when traveling around the city.
The uncomfortable and challenging part is parenting with a language barrier and trying to figure out what and how much to compromise on. We are in a trust building phase of our relationship, but I still need to show that there are boundaries. But, when I’m setting those boundaries, and saying “no” how do I communicate why? Today we had our first real meltdown. We had been out and about doing some fun things, and we got to the street of our apartment on our way home, which happens to have a toy store. Ian has been eyeing the toy store every day, and today, I gave in and we went in (hindsight – mistake). Ian wanted a toy gun, and I said “no”. At which point, Ian starting asking for anything and everything in the store indiscrimately. I had already said “yes” to a few other things prior in the day (cola and chips, Mc Donalds, extra time at the war museum) My thought was, in America, we can purchase him a nurf gun , and I won’t have to worry about him shooting things in our host apartment and possibly breaking something (and transportation home). I did effectively communicate that he could have one in America, but, of course, like any child (or adult) we want what we want NOW! What pursued was a meltdown and by the time we got to our building, I was practically dragging him in. I sent Olivia upstairs to the apratment and I sat on the step with Ian and again tried to explain myself and comfort him. He cried the first tears that I’ve seen and it was hard. Our fellow flat guest is a sweet English woman named Jenny, who happens to be a play therapist and speaks Ukrainian (as well as our flat host, which has been wonderful for transation), came down to help out. It turns out, it was more about being tired and maybe a little overwhelmed than anything else. I had to remind myself that in some ways I’m parenting a much younger child developmentally. Maybe we’ve been doing too much, but at the same time, just hanging out in the apartment tends to allow too much gravitation toward the computer and electronics.
So, we will hang low today and maybe play some games We are getting our tax ID number later today and then can apply for our passport. It’s a very optimistic but possible with lots of prayers that we could be done by Friday afternoon and fly out Sat. But, it may be more realistic that our paperwork will be done on Mon, and we would fly home on Tuesday. The transition time is hard here and we are really feeling ready to get home. I love to be home in my familiar surroundings and circumstances. During the trying times it’s hard to be away from my sounding board and soul mate (as well as my other fishies). So, wait we will continue to do……