Today we found Vova outside playing. It was a beautiful Fall day, and the kids were having a great time running around, playing soccer (or, should I say, football). When he saw us, he came running up to us, breathing hard, and checks red. I would have enjoyed just sitting there, watching him continue to play outside with his buddies, but, as always, he wanted to go inside with us. So that's what we did.
Before we left yesterday, Vova asked if we would bring another movie, so today we brought Kung Fu Panda. We figured with the movie being shown, a bunch of his friends would show up, so we came with plenty of grapes, bananas, chips and juice boxes for everyone. Vova passed out the juice boxes, gave out some grapes, and opened one bag of chips to share with everyone. But no one touched the bananas...as much as those kids eat, that seemed odd to me. So, a little later I decided that since no one else was eating a banana, I would have one. But as soon as I started to peel one, everyone wanted one! It was if they just didn't know how to get one open before, so nobody had taken one. But now that they understood the secret of eating one, they all wanted one of their own! I wonder if that was something new for them?
Over the last couple of days, I have noticed a little girl who keeps showing up...this one little girl amongst all these boys...yet they seemed to accept her as part of the group. I realized today that her brother, Aziz, is one of Vova's friends. That's probably why she's accepted so readily with the crowd. Anyway, today she gently pushed her way into my life. As we watched the movie, she sat right beside me. When the chips were passed around, she ran back to her room, and brought back a page that she had torn out of her Barbie coloring book. She folded all the sides real nice, and made a little plate. She put her chips on this special plate, and gave them to me. Then later, she brought me a ring she had made. Her name was Fatima, and, just like her brother, she is beautiful, inside and out. She's not only beautiful and sweet, but she is also very strong! She can do 12 pull-ups off the the top of the door frame, and is working on being able to do one-armed pull-ups! All I can say is that with three brothers, and with her being as strong as she is, NO one had better mess with her!!
Two or three times today, I noticed that Vova looked like he was in pain. When I asked him about it, he pointed to his ear. Oh, we all know how bad earaches can be! But try being a mother with no way of helping your child! As far as I can tell, they only send the children to the doctor when there is an emergency, but not for an ear ache. So, I'm not sure what to do for Vova, except to pray for him. This is yet one more reason I want to get him home as soon as possible. No child should have to go untreated when feeling bad! The thought of that makes me sad.
In so many ways, the word "sad" describes me right now. I'm sad because I miss my kids back home...I missed going with Abigail on her first middle school field-trip...I missed seeing Jeffery do his first step-team performance at school...I missed rejoicing with Felicia this week when her bottom front tooth finally came out...and on Friday, I am going to miss Madison being a pumpkin in her first kindergarten school play. Then, to top that off with not being able to help Vova with his earache...Yes, sad is the word for me tonight. That's not to say I don't want to be here. I am exactly where I am supposed to be; I have no doubt about that. It's just not easy right now. But then again, no one ever said this would be easy. Worth it, yes. Easy, no.