Saturday, September 14, 2013

Astrid: Why we are here

Here's a piece that Astrid wrote. It is so well written and right on, I got her permission to share it here. Reading it also gives me perspective to see how far we've come when the moment gets overwhelming.

By Astrid:

The reason we're in Ukraine.  - Twins: Jared and Brent - 5 years old

Their personalities are just as different as their looks. Brent is quite a bit taller than Jared. I think their only physical similarities are their eyes. Jared loves exploring, trying new things, is definitely the trouble maker of the two, and such a 'shmier katzl'. The crazier, the better with him. Brent is 'eihgezugn'. He's scared of elevators, escalators, even someone dressed as a panda on the street. In any of those circumstances, he wants you to hold him and hangs on for dear life! He's definitely no thrill seeker. He loves to see how things work, and will inspect things thoroughly to find out exactly why and how it works, and what makes it work. Mr. Brent can also throw tantrums. When something doesn't work just that second,  he yells,  pounds his fists, falls to the floor unt bucht. Thankfully they only last a few seconds. They both have an contagious smile, and absolutely love 'vietn'. Good thing their papa loves it too. Sometimes they laugh so hard, I worry they're forgetting to breathe. 
At the orphanage they called all the women, mama, and the men, papa. Jonte and our driver, Vadim, were papa, and Jennifer, Vicky, Alla and I were mama, as well as anybody on the street, store or wherever. Whenever they called Vadim papa, he told them  'menya zavut Vadim'. (My name is) So, we started doing the same. Either that or 'ya ne mama' (I'm not mama), then proceeded by pointing at Jennifer and said she's mama.  We kept getting them to practice saying our names. Brent  exaggerates and rolls the 'r' in Astrid. It's quite funny. Yesterday was the first time he asked me for something, and called me by my name. That was a huge 'molodetz' (good job) moment! Since they don't know a word in English, our Russian vocabulary is improving every day. When they tell us something, we figure out what they're saying by their gestures or we understand a word or two. 
When it comes to food, it seems what one likes the other doesn't. Ahwitz one of them says, 'ne lyublyu' (I don't like). However they both LOVE almonds, cucumbers, watermelon, carrots, juice and milk. Since they need some chub on their bones, we always have those items in stock and available for them on the table whenever they want. They don't even have cheeks to pinch! 
They're infatuated with lights. They turn them on and off so often, it's annoying.  We say 'nit tua', and they repeat after us. They know they shouldn't, but it seems like they just can't help themselves. 
Both of them love the little mp3 player Jennifer and Jonte brought with, for them. Sun up to sun down, one of them has it, listening to music or stories. Though the player has some songs and stories in Russian, they always skip them and listen to English and German ones instead, and can already sing along with some! We've heard everything so often already, we find ourselves randomly singing one of their favorite songs, 'mm eh, went the little green frog one day....'. 
It's been incredible watching them come around. They seemed so unsure of everything the first few days, now they're so lively, love all the attention and are energetic little monkeys. They've become very comfortable to be around us.  I get up some mornings with  little brown eyes staring at me from a few inches away. I smile, he rubs my face, gives me a kiss, says something, but I have no idea what, so I say, 'da' (yes), and he leaves.  Occasionally they'll say 'ya lyublyu' (I like you)...makes my heart melt. 
Going out with them is challenging. You have to watch them every second. It doesn't help that the streets are insanely crowded alllll the time, and everybody except us understands what they're saying. They have strangers smiling a lot with their comments... it makes us wonder what they're saying. 
It's strange to think that they'll be at home, in Baker, with us soon. They'll have a blast with their brothers, Drew and Demitri. And the trouble they'll get into....oh my. 

1 comment:

  1. Astrid,
    Thank you very much for your description of the boys. We see them in these posts, but thus far we haven't felt like we've met them. Through your descriptive writing we finally get to meet these mischievous, delightful characters.
    They seem to be doing a great job of keeping the four of active and entertained!

    Amazing what they have been through emotionally and socially and how quickly they seem to be adapting to their new reality. Humans, never cease to amaze...

    Nochmal danke and wishing your boys tons of love, attention and energy. Ok, fine, a little energy for you as well.