Friday, June 3, 2011

Find My Family Friday - Bogdan

It was love at first sight. From the first time I looked into those beautiful brown eyes, somewhere deep down I knew that this little boy would capture my heart like none other.

The first day that they brought all the special needs kids outside I tried to focus the very brief time I had on the less mobile children who I knew probably never got any attention. Meanwhile, Bogdan stood at the side of the playpen, more accurately referred to as the prison, staring up at me with big sad eyes pleading with me to take him out.

The next day, his turn came. I wasn’t sure if he could walk but I thought if I took him out I could hold his hands and help him. As it turns out, he didn’t need my help. I put him down and off he went… he wasn’t 100% sturdy and would stumble once in a while but it was no wonder why he was so upset to be kept in “the prison” while all the “typical” kids ran and played. I tossed him a ball and discovered that he has a great arm! Bogdan was clearly not used to a lot of affection but he loved roughhousing kind of play, being thrown in the air, spun around in a circle, etc. His absolute favourite was when I hung him upside down and blew raspberries on his tummy. Bogdan quickly decided that he was going to blow raspberries too which unfortunately resulted in something that looked a whole lot more like spitting in your face… This new little trick of his was not exactly a big hit among some of the other volunteers but even with my face full of spit, I still found it endearing :)

I still remember the first time I took Bogdan outside by himself for some one-on-one time. When we got outside I just stood there to see what he would do. He just starred up at me as if to say, “Aren’t you going to put me in a stroller or something?” We started walking but I let him take the lead. Gradually he seemed to catch on that he could go wherever he wanted. The playful, inquisitive little boy in him came out as he walked from place to place, glancing back at me every few seconds with this huge smile on his face… oh to just be free to be a kid!

Bogdan doesn’t have more than a dozen “words” in his vocabulary but he is one of the most expressive kids I’ve ever met, communicating so well through facial expressions, head nods, hand movements, etc. He understands Russian well and I would often ask him questions like, “Do you want…?”, “Do you like it?”, etc. and he would answer by nodding or shaking his head. The boy is like a sponge, hungry to learn and soaking in everything. He was so quick to pick up anything I tried to teach him and I often caught him imitating some of my sayings and mannerisms as well. Because the spitting raspberries thing wasn’t going over so well with his workers, I taught him to blow kisses instead and he would often blow kisses at me when he saw me walking through the door. The Russian equivalent to “uh-oh” is “opa” (yes, like the Greek). It’s what I would say whenever he stumbled, dropped something, etc. and it quickly became his favourite word. I also taught him to say thank you (spasiba in Russian) although it sounded more like “a-bah”. Funny story: One day we were playing with one of the adoptive families and they were sharing their snack with Bogdan. This was just a few weeks before I left and Bogdan was very used to me having him say thank you when he was given something. This time however, when I told him to say thank you, Bogdan just turned to the adoptive parents, tilted his head to the side and flashed them his most charming smile. Where did he get that from?! I tell you, the boy is both a charmer and a ham.

I could go on all day with stories of Bogdan’s cuteness. The truth is, if words and pictures could convey how wonderful he is, I am convinced he would have been snatched up the very same day he was listed. Unfortunately, words and pictures do not do him (or any other child for that matter) justice. And so, he waits. He waits for a mommy who will teach him good manners and who he can to blow kisses to every day. He waits for a daddy to  play catch with him and throw him high in the air. He waits to be free to run and play as little boys should. He waits for the opportunity to go to school and learn his ABC’s and 123’s. He waits for hope and a future and a family to call his own.  You know the drill – we need to pray, we need to spread the word. Right now, Bogdan has $190 in his grant fund. If there is one person reading this right now who is able to donate $10, we could bring that total to an even $200. If there are six people reading this who could donate $10, we could bring it up to $250. If there were thirty-one people reading this who were willing to donate just $10 each, we could bump his grant up to $500. Will you help Bogdan find his family? For more information or to donate, click here.

Bogdan is listed as “Logan” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name


Amanda said...

I know this was hard for you. I can see the love. This post will find him a family! Shoot now I want him!

Ruthann said...

He IS such a cutie! He isn't kept in the playpen much anymore. And he still loves playing with balls. He always stops and wants to come over when we walk by, but the workers don't like us interacting with the other kiddos ;( But he does seem to be one of the better treated ones in his groupa. Sorry, we are not allowed to take pictures of the other kids either-not specifically.

Catalina said...

You are my inspiration, you know that? I hope one day I'll be privilege to meet you in person. If not in this world, then someday when we are truly home. :)