Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jhenya морская звезда

We're expecting! Yes, we're expecting another grandchild in our family. He's 2-1/2 and he lives in Siberia. He has a beautiful round face and blue eyes and blond hair and a sturdy little body.

Well, we WERE expecting. And he DID live in Chita, Siberia. This was the start of a blog I tried to write a while ago. And now, after weeks turning into months of waiting, and after two stays in Atlanta to care for the grandson I already have while my daughter and her husband went to Russia, Jhenya is at home with his American parents and his big brother Nicholas and Daisy the dog, ("sobaka" in Russian; "wocka" in Jhenya baby-talk). We have all learned to say "nyet, nyet, nyet" as little Jhenya explores his new surroundings. That's a word he knows and says frequently. He is, after all, two.

My daughter said she thought he hadn't been out of his orphanage to play since last fall and that it's unlikely he has ever felt grass under his feet. Now he has front and back yards and a playset and a driveway and an electric play car ("machina" in Russian) and a tricycle and rubber balls and tons of books and toys. But his favorite new belongings are his shoes. We think that shoes must have been prized at the "baby house" ("orphanage" in Euphemism).
May God smile on this child and both his families, old and new. I am so proud of my daughter (and my son-in-law) for having done so much to save this little starfish* (морская звезда in Russian) . May Jhenya one day come to know his Russian heritage as well as his American one, and may he always, always, from now on feel cherished and protected and loved for the very one he is.

*There is a story about a boy walking along the beach and, seeing hundreds of starfish stranded far up on the beach after the high tide, takes a few, one by one, and throws them into the sea. A man approaches and says, “What difference can you make when there are hundreds and hundreds stuck so far from the water?” The boy gives the stranger a quick glance, throws another starfish into the sea and says, ‘It made a difference to that one.”

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