Friday, May 1, 2015

Simple Pleasures-A Special Post

When you've lived your whole two years of existence in orphanages, there are some things you don't get to experience very often that the rest of us take for granted. I thought I'd use this post (one I've been working on for awhile) to describe some of the "simple pleasures" that we've noticed Jonas enjoys. I think we all have something to learn from him about appreciating the little things.

1. Wind in your Face

We're not sure if this is because Tokmok is not a very windy place, he didn't get outside all that much, or it's just stronger in Colorado, but Jonas definitely noticed and felt the wind when we walked to our car at the Denver Airport. He kept touching his face and hair when it blew, and he even started pursing his own lips and blowing. It was pretty cute. He's since blown seeds off dandelions and blown a pinwheel with a look of wonder on his face. We can't wait to see what he thinks of flying a kite!

2. Plush Carpet

Jonas's face when his feet felt the shag carpet in our front room at our house was priceless. He lifted his feet up and down and kind of giggled. He liked the carpet near his bed in his room as well. At the orphanage, they had flat carpets and paneled floors. I understand those were probably easier for cleaning, but can you imagine never having felt soft carpet beneath your feet?

3. Cars

Jonas probably didn't see many cars before leaving the orphanage. There were occasional ones that drove into the grounds to drop off donations, the toy ones he loved playing with, and I'm sure he saw them on the cartoons they showed, but his exposure to automobiles in real life was pretty limited. Our little boy makes the cutest "ooooooo" sound when he sees a car he likes. He especially likes the ones that are big, flashy, or noisy. We're in trouble when this kid turns 16!

4. Baths for Pleasure

Getting clean in the orphanage was a task, not an activity. From what I understand, the caretakers washed several kids at once in showers. So imagine getting to take a sudsy bath for the first time with toys and one-on-one attention and nobody rushing to get you out. Pure bliss!

5. Possessions

Jonas has never owned ANYTHING of his own. Every item of clothing, toy, blanket, etc. that he's ever seen has always been shared. I don't think our son quite understands yet that some of the things in our house are his, and only his. What an amazing thing it would be to have your own room, your own closet full of clothes, and your own toys for the first time in your life!

6. Balloons

Now, I think most kids love balloons. But I feel like Jonas has a special love for them. Maybe they were only used for decorations (instead of toys) at the orphanage, and he was never allowed to touch them? I'm not sure, but he's crazy about them, especially the punch balloons.

7. Eating

Whatever was served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was what Jonas ate. It was usually bland, colorless, mushy, and he had to finish it all. There was strict enforcement of using full-sized silverware with the right hand only. Now he gets to decide what he eats, how much of it he eats, and how he eats it. He's exploring new textures, tastes, colors, and flavors every day. How strange and fun it must be to try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the first time, to squish mashed potatoes between your fingers, or have fresh vegetables and fruit made into a special juice just for you right before your eyes?

8. Choices

Jonas had a strict routine at the orphanage. He did what all the other kids did at the time it was supposed to be done. That included going to the bathroom, play time, getting dressed, eating snacks and meals, etc. Now his life is full of choices. He can run around in his diaper for awhile if he wants. He can choose to not eat all of the sandwich if he's not hungry. He can pick which book he wants read to him at night. He can choose to color or play with blocks or go down his slide or climb in a hole and get dirty. How amazing to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it!

9. Birthdays

I'm so happy that we only missed one of Jonas's birthdays. If we hadn't been in Kyrgyzstan for his second birthday, I'm sure that the day would have passed by like any other day in the orphanage. Nobody would have said anything special to Jonas, made him a cake, given him a present, or celebrated his life in any way. Now, I know he's only two, and he won't remember it anyway, but I'm glad we'll be able to some day show him pictures of the fun time he had on his second birthday. It's sad when I think of the orphans, especially the older ones, who never have a day each year where their being born is acknowledged and celebrated.

10. Parents

As far as I know, nobody greeted Jonas by name when he woke up each day in the orphanage. When he cried, nobody necessarily comforted him. When he was sick, nobody held him. Nobody cooked him his favorite food, took him to the park, read him a story, or kissed him goodnight. Nobody ever even told him that they loved him! A lot of people say that Jonas is lucky to have us as parents. That's very kind, but we feel like we are the lucky ones to be parents to such a special, sweet little boy. We love you, Jonas. Thanks for teaching us to appreciate the simple pleasures in life!


  1. . . . and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

  2. Aubree,
    We all tend to take everyday things for granted. Thanks for reminding us that there is beauty and wonder in even the littlest of things. We just have to view them through the eyes of a child.