Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

James 1:27

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's been a while...so here is an update on Dema

 It's been a while since we have updated you on Dema's transition, so here is a snapshot view of our lives over the past month.

Dema had 7 teeth extracted, of which 2 are already being replaced with adult teeth!  And he now has glasses!!  When we looked through them we couldn't believe just how bad his eyes are!  A big thanks to Dr Beamer in Lewistown and Dr Kelly in State College!  Those 2 men have made a huge impact on Dema's quality of life. 

 It's been 2 weeks since Dema started school--and he loves it!  He is going to The Great Commission School in Altoona, a private Christian school with very small classes--there are only 4 kids in the 3rd grade  He spends the fist 1/2 of the day with his class, then eats lunch (his favorite part of the day!), then heads off for an afternoon of one on one tutoring--they are focusing on word recognition and he is starting to learn to read.  Math seems to be his best subject, and he has excellent hand writing...but he has lots to catch up on!  The bus picks him up and drops him off at the end of the lane, but that means a really long day for him--pick up at 7:00 and return home at 4:00! 

Last week we got Dema 30 laying hens...but they were only hours old.  It was going to take 21+ weeks for them to lay eggs and Dema really wants to sell eggs and make $$$$!  So today I spent the afternoon at the poultry auction getting him a ready made flock!
I came home with 12 hens, 2 roosters, and 3 guinea hens for mamas.  (Somehow I became papas and Cindy is mamas)

As of today his chores were limited to cleaning up after himself after a meal, making his bed, and putting his clean clothes away, but starting tomorrow, his daily chores will be increased!  Each day after school he will feed and water the chicks and chickens, gather eggs, clean and package the eggs, and help with the fire in the seed starting station. 

The question every family seems to be asked is, "How's it going?"  Well, after a couple of weeks of trying to get our feet under us while adjusting to our new addition, and getting him started in school...It's going pretty well--actually we have no complaints or regrets!

 For right now, Dema is one of the most compliant kids we know of.  If we correct a behavior, he just says, "Okay...sorry" and moves on the something else.  Sometimes he forgets what we have taught him, but he usually catches himself, stops and says, "Sorry!"
 There was a problem at school this week, but with an evening of no Sponge Bob or Mickey Mouse, and us explaining that the teachers are there to help him...everything seems to be squared away.

He told us that in Ukraine, he didn't listen to the teachers because they were mean, so he brought the behavior with him!  There are plenty of little issues that he brought with him, but with a little effort--we can help him to leave them behind!

When we were talking about why he needs to listen, we explained that he is a little boy, and the adults in his life are there to help him learn.  He said to me, "Me 9, when me 12, me big and no listen"  When I explained that in America he wouldn't be big until he is 18...well I wish you could have seen the expression as he said woohoo--too big!   

I don't know, but maybe 12 years old is some sort of right of passage in orphanage life.


  1. What a wonderful post and pictures!

    When I was his age, we had have laying hens in Kiev, and loved to eat the raw fresh eggs.

    With love and blessings,

    Fr. George

  2. He looks SO grown up with hair longer, new glasses...a real All-American boy!!! Thanks so much for sharing your lives! (Looking forward to the eggs, too!!)

  3. Loving it! He looks looks happy! I am so glad you all are doing well.

  4. Thanks for the update! Great to hear how well he is doing!

  5. How wonderful! We loved hearing about Dema! He looks GREAT!!! And the advice you offer is very helpful to us! So helpful!

  6. Great update!! We need to come visit and get some advice as Dusty and Dima are looking to make a "chicken house" and get some chickens as well. So glad to hear things are going well!!!

  7. Wow...he looks so happy...how fun to read all the cool things your family is doing...love it. :)

  8. Thanks for the helpful advice. We are right behind you in the adoption process so your blog is priceless to us. We also have chickens and I intend to get our little Sergiy a few new chicks when we get home too. Dema looks so gentle with your animals - the mark of a gentle heart!
    ~Dani Olsen