Thursday, February 20, 2014

Talking To Cava About What's Happening In Ukraine

One of the questions I get most these days is, "Does Cava know what's going on in Ukraine? And, if so, how is he handling it?"

The answer is, "Yes, he knows."

Every time he hears someone on TV say the word "Ukraine" he darts in to see why.

It has upset him, made him sad, and scared him to see what is going on in his homeland. He often asks us why all of that is happening. He worries about his friends who are still in Ukraine, even though we have explained that they are  safe at the boarding school, which is four hours away from Kyiv.

If it's difficult for Danelle and I to process what is happening in Ukraine, it is even more difficult for Cava to process this information. The more violence breaks out and as more Ukrainians are murdered, the more our hearts break in sadness for the people of Ukraine who only want democracy.

It's hard for us not to see Cava in the young boys who are a part of the protests.

These children are not our son, but they are some mother and father's children. And we pray for them throughout the day.

We are careful not to let Cava see the really explicitly violent footage of what's happening and when Cava does see what's on the national news, we always take time to comfort and talk with him. These conversations end in praying for his friends and for his country.

When he sees footage, he remembers Kyiv when he was there with Danelle. It's hard for us to see what has happened to places we visited, such as Independence Square.

When we talk to Cava about what he's seen on the news, we listen to him and respond to his questions as simply as we can. We offer him reassurance and let him know that he does not need to worry about his safety. It's not easy and we are careful to watch to see if he has nightmares or if this affects him physically, such as stomach aches. We limit Cava's exposure to the news. Sometimes it's better to hear the stories on NPR than to see them on the national news. 

Sometimes, we try to focus on some of the more positive stories for him, like the man who protested by playing Chopin on his portable piano.

Prayer is key.

We tell Cava that while things may look out of control in this world, we pray to a God who has control over all of it.  So Cava prays, "Lord, make Ukraine better. Keep my friends safe. Help them to all be nice and happy. Jesus, amen."


  1. Cava's prayer is so simple but it has it all.

    your family and especially Cava is in my daily prayers.

  2. Even though we don't know you folks personally, I drop into your blog from time to time. I think about Cava when I hear news from Ukraine, and especially during this current upheaval.

    And, not that you need my input, but it seems to me that orphans most of all need to know that sometimes confusing and upsetting things happen to innocent people through no fault of their own, and maybe through no fault of *anyone's*. And, even though the violence we hear about in Ukraine isn't a good thing, *talking* about it honestly (and age-appropriately of course), even if it's hard in the short term, might be good in the long term.

    Good luck, and tell Cava I'm thinking about him.

  3. Even though I just discovered your blog (via a link at the Mommy Bloggers group at Circle of Moms), my heart goes out to you, Cava and to all the children affected by this conflict. I hope that Ukraine will soon see stability and piece.