Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Orphanage

In stark contrast to the beautiful downtown part of the city, Darya's orphanage is set back behind some old dilapidated apartment buildings on the outskirts.  Our drive there takes about 30 minutes each way.  This part of city is where the "real" people live.  There are lots of babushkas selling wares on the sidewalks from cigarettes to flowers to skinned rabbits.  You see them sweeping with old-fashioned brooms made of straw.  The orphanage seems to be nice, meaning there are lots of toys, it's clean, and the grounds have lots of beautiful trees and flowers.  But the life of the children there is forgotten and tucked away from the rest of the world.  Darya has hardly seen outside the gated grounds, aside from occasional doctor/hospital visits. Joel and I have seen more of her city than she ever has. Behind the orphanage is a school where we see kids play soccer. These are children with families, with homes.

While we visit with Darya, we notice so many precious little children with their groupas, many of them smiling and calling us "mama" and "papa" (so heartbreaking - can't I bring them all home with me?).  One little girl stole my heart when she repeatedly blew me kisses!  There is another little girl whose mom visits her regularly. You can tell her mama loves her. We have yet to see the inside of the orphanage aside from the reception area, director's office, and inside visiting area.  We don't yet know what Darya's life really is like.  We were able to see through a window several cribs lined up in a row. I wonder if that's where she sleeps?  Here is a small peek into Darya's world:

The gate we enter through

The fence and walkway around the orphanage grounds

Another view from the outside
The school behind the orphanage

Some play equipment with a peak of the orphanage building.

Joel and Darya strolling the grounds

The locked gate. Lord willing, soon Darya will be on the other side!


  1. I know the hardest part for me will be the other children. I know leaving them behind will just break my heart. It looks very nice there, and that school looks so "normal"

  2. http://waitingforreese.blogspot.com/2009/03/its-official.html

    That blue gate....I linked my most favorite picture of Reese was taken in front of that blue gate the day she left that orphanage. Praying for you guys!!

  3. Thank you for keeping us posted Marianne. I am so excited for Darya to come to Florida, swim for the first time, jump on Mims and Pips' trampoline, eat a cupcake, play the piano, ... meanwhile, she is contented, and so very happy to simply take a walk outside. What a sweet baby girl. I can't wait to meet her!

  4. Before you leave you can ask the facilatator to take you on a tour and they will. They will take you to see where they sleep and play. Thats where I got the picture i sent you of Darya. Do you have any pictures of Darya without her hat on?? When you take her out to go home on the second trip you will see how many people will freak out if you dont have her hat on right. People would always come up to us and tie my kids hats tighter or pull them down. It was so funny, we just could not get them bundled good enough for anyone over there!!