About the Garrett family

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Matt and Aimee have been married for 9 years now. We have 5 daughters between the two of us. Three who are still living at home. Jasmine is 17, in her junior year of high school. Haley is 14 in her freshman year of high school. Anya is 18 in her junior year of high school. Anya was adopted from Ukraine in 2008. Taylor 18 is a senior in high School living in Thornton, Heather 20 Married living with husband Chad and thier baby Ezrah, he was born in Feb 2011. We are in process of adopting siblings Oksana 13, and Vladik 10 whom we met on a hosting program this past summer.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday is "Funday"

If it wasn't for all the disapproving stares and glares I got from just about everyone today, it would have been the perfect day. Apparently I won't be up for any, "Dad of the Year" awards here as I clearly had my kids under-dressed for the conditions and I was in my cargo shorts and sandals. The picture to the left is from a monument on Independence Square where the direction and distance radiate out in the direction of major points of interest. Oksana & Vlad are standing on the one for Odessa. The main street here is shut down on Sunday's and people can walk up and down this usually jam-packed street and feel safe. We went to church this morning for two hours. We rode the "METRO" all the way there by ourselves. When I reached in my pocket and pulled out the card for the church, two young men sitting across from us smiled and said, "Where are you from and are you going to ISA?" I answered, "Colorado and yes, we are." They were on their way to the same church. As we talked on the METRO, all the eyes on the train went right to us and just watched us using English. That's also when all the disapproving stares started. The little guy next to the guitar was at church. He sat next to me. When the offering was taken and he saw me put some in, he said, "You have money? I want money!" I don't know if it was habit from being here but when he asked, I opened up the wallet and gave it to him. He ran after the offering bag and stuck it in there! He then sat real close and spent the better part of the hour asking me for more. He also asked me for my phone. Didn't happen.The service was great. After the service, we got on the METRO with Karen Springs who took us to the center of the city, "Maidon", or Freedom Square. when you get off the METRO, you take an escalator that is ridiculously long. I could not believe how deep the train system must be and from what I understand there are even more levels below this one. We are going to try and take the same route tomorrow except this time we will make a switch to the line that runs East and West. Hopefully Oksana will help with this. The picture of Oksana and I was actually staged and taken by her. This was unusual as she continues to demonstrate a clear distrust in me. Nothing gives her more satisfaction than exercising some sort of control or subordinating of me. I've addressed this earlier and I'm playing alone. Can any of us even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to completely leave behind everything we have ever known to go to a completely different place that will take away our niche's that have been so carefully and meticulously carved out? What must Abram have felt like, or even Jesus when He gave up Heaven for 30 years of hell on earth. This is also one of the few shots I have of her showing teeth, which she refers to as, "Big American Teeth Smile", and then scoffs at. She also loves to point out men who are wearing what she has decided are women's jeans, laughing at and mocking them-sometimes intentionally loud enough for them to hear. She's also the master at creating scenarios where she has to get on the computer, or comes up with some scheme that allows her to get her little fingers back on her Ukrainian FaceBook. She is pulling out all the stops in trying to maintain contact with a world that is slowly getting further and further away. Every time I turn my back my peripheral vision allows me to completely see what she's up to. She lost computer time yesterday because the night before she recognized that I was involved in a conversation that distracted my attention. She jumped on the opportunity to get on FB and do some more connecting. What I do like is when confronted, she doesn't cover-she concedes and accepts. Vlad spends most of his time just trying to squeeze the most fun out of every opportunity and is mostly interested in stuff when it involves some sort of video or arcade game. When walking through Independence Square, there are these aggressive street vendors or performers who literally thrust themselves on you in an attempt to get you to take a picture of them with your kids. One such young man had a pigeon that he put right on Vlad's arm as we walked by. I didn't know what was happening so I took a shot and video with my Blackberry. When I tried to walk away, still not knowing, him and his friend surrounded me and started yelling at me in Russian. I did hear the word, "photo" and a few other words like, "dienge"(money) and, "seh-chass"(right now). They became incredibly angry, demanding and hostile. When one grabbed my arm, still yelling, that was when it ended abruptly with some very loud yelling and unmistakable body language on my part. There was also a living statue. He would only move when given money. One woman approached, gave money and he reached down and grabbed her hand and would not let go! She smiled, then became nervous. Vlad approached put in grivnha and he let go. I took a quick picture and he bailed. Tried taking a picture of Oksana near a statue and this guy dressed up as an American Indian literally threw himself on her. He tried again and she had to run away. We ate at a nice cafeteria that was really good. Oksana ate more food than all the rest of us put together. It had this fresh orange juice machine that peeled and squeezed the orange right in front of your eyes and dropped the next one into place. We then walked to get ice cream and then went back to the apartment for some DVD's and dinner made by Karen, Oksana and Vlad. I did nothing. Every day I realize how different this is going to be for me with these two. It's going to require very careful interaction with Oksana and learning how to survive the energy of a 10 year old boy. I have to keep reminding myself he's 10, not a grown man. We did watch "Mega Mind" again, today. It's a new favorite and really, what a great story! I can do the laugh just like the main character and now, Vlad thinks he can so that's all we've heard all night long. The night ended with Oksana reading a Russian adoption story about a cat to Karen and Vlad. It was amazing, touching and, for whatever reason, I was proud. I sat behind them for most of it and was pleasantly surprised that, although I comprehend very little, I could totally follow along, word-by-word. Then Oksana tried to get on FaceBook one more time. She's relentless. This will be my greatest test, yet!!!! BWOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA......!!!!

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