Three a.m. came very early Tuesday morning. We had clothes laid out and Denys was packed. A quick shower, everyone dressed and off to the ATL we rode. Surprisingly most everyone remained awake on our trip over. Check-in was a breeze and the NHFC staffer on-site was incredibly helpful. I took a couple of pictures of the crew and it wasn't until I was home that I saw the face.
(Oh, and do you see this? I made sure to get a picture just for all of you who prayed so diligently those last few hours. The bag came in at FIFTY POUNDS - even. Thank you, Jesus!)
I knew he wasn't thrilled about going home, but I was surprised at the pouty face he gave in those last moments. What he couldn't say in words I think he was trying to tell us by his looks. When asked via Google Translate was he ready to return to Ukraine, he always said, "No." But was unable to elaborate on what he was really feeling. But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. (Can you see the humor here, too? He's such a funny kid!)
Then we waited.
At first we were a solemn bunch, but then Denys pulled out the juggle balls (Koosh balls are WONDERFUL for juggling) and he and J quickly began playing. In a short while he caught a glimpse of some of his buddies and was absolutely THRILLED to see those boys. They began talking non-stop and introducing us all to one another. Interestingly, their families had the same things to say about them we had to say about Denys. I believe their director, Larysa, does a fabulous job with her her children. She has taught them to be polite and loving. They are respectful and joyful and love to have fun.
From the time the friends arrived, he was involved with them and then it was time for them to leave. My children were broken hearted. J wept. We thought Jason was going to have to carry him to the vehicle. MG began sobbing also and AR chased Denys down and kept saying, "Bye, Denys." They were certainly a sad crew and it broke this mama's heart to see her babies hurt.
We watched them descend the escalator and turn the corner into security. And that was that.
We headed home and have all be mopey ever since. We know that God is BIG and will have his will accomplished in the life of Denys.
We would love to see Denys find a forever family here, in the USA. And if you're interested in learning more about Ukrainian orphans we would love to help you get into contact with the right people. Also, we have found out that Denys will be available for summer hosting. We have decided to opt out (for now) since we don't want to deprive a family who may be very interesting in having him in their home on a long-term basis. (hint hint) There again, please let us know if you're interested in more information.
Denys is a precious 14-year-old Ukrainian boy with a high-wattage ready smile. He is conservative in dress, but very ready to play and have a good time. He is energetic and is a bit of an acrobat and hip/hop dancer. He rides bikes, swims and likes fancy cars. Drawing is a passion for him and he can freehand nearly any illustration he sees. Denys plays well with children of any age and does an amazing job keeping a close watch on the youngest ones; making sure they stay safe and out of harm. He is empathetic and kind to others and animals. He was delighted to spend time with our extended family and loved on them as much as they loved on him. Video games are perhaps his favorite quiet time activity and he is quick to figure out any type of electronic device - even the ones in English.