Katya, or Kate in English, is one of the children I remember from way back when. She stuck out in my mind for the first time when she was probably 4 or 5 years old. She is currently 15 or 16. A beautiful and talented young lady.
Kate was playing, shirtless, in the play area outside of the orphanage. She was dirty, as only little kids get after a long day in the yard, and full of spunk. I had Barbie-like dolls that I gave all of the girls, and matchbox cars and trucks for the boys. I looked over and saw her with tears running down her face. I quickly wanted to know what was the matter. The interpreters were embarrassed and didn't want to tell me the problem.
I insisted! They finally told me that Kate was unhappy with her toy. She didn't play with....dolls....she wanted a machina like the boys were playing with. The interpreters thought she was being ungrateful...I thought she was being a tom boy! Of course we immediately exchanged the toys! I wish you could have seen her eyes light up! I told her, and her friends that story today. She shrugged her shoulders and admitted that she much prefered being outside with trucks and balls and dirt. She doesn't look much like a tom boy any more...more like an exotic model!
Kate is not only beautiful, she is a talented artist. The thank you card on the bulletin board is one of her works of art. She has been working on a 'surprise' for me for quite awhile. Rita told me she was really looking forward to giving it to me. When I arrived at her group, she was excited to show me. She had hand painted two glasses with traditional Ukrainian folk art. They are really pretty, ask me, I'll be glad to show them to you!
Kate has grown from a disgruntled and hurting little girl, into quite the together young woman! I don't know where her art will take her, but I know she has a way to support herself when she graduates in two years.
By the way, Fayrene, she proudly showed me something that I gave to her last year. It was one of your bracelets. She had very carefully wrapped it up and kept it in her room. Thank you for loving my girls!