Waiting For His Mom Suffering From Alcoholism

It had been awhile since we visited the orphanage in Muromtzevo. Because of the bad roads we were a little late and had to grab a really quick lunch so we could start with the activities immediately.

We had the pleasure (and challenge) of sitting down and exploring the lives and dreams of these children. The conversations were not easy to ignite as some of the children were shy, withdrawn and unsure at times. When we delve into their stories we can see why.

There were also moments of openness, insight, wisdom and overwhelming joy as one of the boys told us of his dreams of growing up and coming back to take over the very orphanage he is in. We tried to convince some kids to join our online tutoring program. We have realized that it’s much more difficult to get kids in the orphanage to start studying online than to do so with kids in foster families.

We spent the rest of our time playing soccer with them in the playground, then gave out gifts - shoes, shirts, toys, and personal hygiene items. The kids showed and presented some of their artwork and told volunteers about their life in the orphanage. Younger kids picked up flowers from the local garden and presented them to our volunteers.

A volunteer from Ohio named Emily seemed very magnetic with the children and was literally surrounded by them competing for her attention. She spoke some Russian so children asked a lot of questions about the US and kept on begging her to share pictures of her life. Emily was very curious about how kids in Russia get into orphanages and why they are not adopted. She was surprised to know about the ban by the Russian government to adopt kids by American citizens as a response to US anti-corruption laws.

As we were about to end the activities, a child named Kyrill caught our attention. Kyrill, an active, smart and sociable boy has been in the orphanage for five years. He enjoys talking to people and he looks glad to see us back. He is a 9th grader and he wants to move to a more sophisticated city like Omsk.

He mentioned that he is doing great at school - contrary to what his supervisors say. We managed to convince him to join our online classes as we believe that motivation is the drive of learning and in the case of children like Kyrill since they lack basic needs such as love from parents, good shelter, food and clothes then they will be less motivated to perform well in class.

He has an interesting talent in woodworking and aspires to get a gold medal at a local competition of young woodworkers - something that his inspiration (his mother) could be proud of. His mother is an alcoholic and there's very little chance of her taking him back.

Our heart is sad for children like Kyrill. They love and miss their families, and don’t understand why they are left all alone in the orphanage. Many suffer from self esteem issues because they think they are the reason they are in the orphanage – that their parents or grandparents just didn’t love them. Our greatest and most challenging mission is to gently break the barriers of these children’s hearts and teach them to know God’s love for them. That He has not abandoned them.