Thursday, August 11, 2011
Meet our friend Zhenya.
Zhenya is a 14 year old young man living in an orphanage is Kirov, Russia. He has lived in the Sovietsk Orphanage since his 8th birthday.
Not unlike most other boys his age in Russia, Zhenya loves soccer, being outside with his friends, and from what we hear he is growing into quite a nice leader. I was introduced to Zhenya through our former case worker at the agency we used when adopting Lleyton. Her and her husband have an organization dedicated to giving back to the children living in Zhenya’s orphanage. Part of their efforts to raise the spirits of the young people living there is a pen pal/letter writing campaign. Sara and I often talk about how we can give back or reach out to children like our own that have yet to find the loving home that ours have found and one way I have chosen to do that is through writing to my new buddy in Russia.
Our little ones love seeing pictures of our friend in Russia and have all sorts of questions for him. Hopefully one day he will feel comfortable enough to write back to us.
As I was talking with Lleyton the other day about Zhenya I reminded him that he lives in Russia. Lleyton’s eyes immediately lit up as he exclaimed, “He lives in Russia! He is so lucky!”
Hopefully our teenage friend feels the same way. As I tell him each time I write, Sara and I love his homeland, we enjoyed our time there immensely and look forward to educating Lleyton and the rest of the kids about Russia, and hope to one day visit there with all of our children in tow (I can just promise that it won’t be during the winter months).
Do you have a few minutes every so often to write to a child in Russia? If so, jump over to Sarah and Ben's blog and let them know. Life can be very challenging for young people like Zhenya, but hopefully the occasional letter and picture he gets from our family helps him keep his chin up.