Today was quite a different day with Vova than the last two were. We told him that we would bring him some pizza today, so we stopped by a restaurant and bought two different pizzas. By the way, pizza here is AWESOME!! So much better than any I have eaten in the US. Anyway, we thought that we would take the food to the orphanage and eat the pizza with Vova and a couple of his friends (we told him yesterday that if he wanted to invite 2 or 3 friends to eat with us, he could). So, we drove up to the orphanage, and Vova and his buddies met us in the parking lot this time! We got out of the car with the pizzas, and immediately the number of kids around us grew to about 15...all making comments about the pizza!
Vova led us down the hallway back to our special room, and two of his friends, Kiril and Ruslan, came in with us. All the others stayed at the door, but they all looked in at us with big puppy dog eyes! Oh my, we should have gotten more pizza! Our coordinator gently closed the door, and we all sat down to eat. Vova said the blessing. As the boys dove into their pizza, Jeff and I realized that there was no way we could sit there and eat knowing a whole bunch of hopeful kids were still behind the door. So we just watched, trying to decide what to do. Then Vova took one of the pizzas, opened the door, and gave it to his friends. He even gave them his drink. That was very sweet, and answered the question for us as to what to do with the food.
After lunch, 3 or 4 more boys came in to play with Vova. Jeff and I had fun doing things with all of them...doing puzzles, playing with the remote control car (we brought new batteries), throwing a ball, playing with Jeff's phone, and playing Uno. We were amazed at how easily the boys shared with each other, and how much they enjoyed being together. Vova is really going to miss his friends, and they are going to miss him. If only we could find people to adopt his friends...that is my prayer now; that every one of them will find a home. Not an orphanage to pass time in, but a home to grow up in.
Throughout the day, you could tell that Vova didn't know what to call us, so he called us Jeff and Twila. But then at some point, close to the end of our time together, one of his buddies picked up three stuffed animals. He brought them over to me and said that one of them was me, the "Mama"; another one was Jeff, the "Papa"; and the third one was Vova. As this friend said that so matter-of-factly, Vova was watching him. It was almost as if that was his friend's way of telling Vova it was okay to call us Mama and Papa. That must have hit home for Vova, for the very next thing he did was to ask Jeff to help him with something...but he didn't call him Jeff...he called him Papa. I almost started crying right then and there.
Every day is a day to treasure. I wonder what tomorrow holds....