Dom Dziecka Playground Improvement
Mission Team pours cement for a playground for Dom Dziecka 2During the first 10 days of, a short-term mission team from the KansasCity, Missouri, area came to work on Phase 3 of the dom dziecka playground project. Mark White, the man who adopted Daniel’s younger brother and sister three years ago, was the team leader, with my role being more as the Polish-based facilitator. Mark and I worked together on Phases 1 and 2, so this was simply an extension of the previous two projects.
The team consisted of people from Mark’s area, two American missionaries who are based in northern Poland, an American university student studying in Poland who needed a service project, a university student who is the daughter of one of my very good friends from Whatcom County, and Daniel, who is part of my quasi-family in Poland. (pictured below right, with the red shirt on)
One of the side benefits of the project is the opportunity for the dom dziecka kids to work along with us. Kids of all ages always seem eager to help out.
Dom Dziecka kids were eager to help.
Volunteers and kids alike were eager to try out the playground equipment!Phase 3 was successfully completed, with dom dziecka kids and team members alike being eager to play on the newly installed equipment.
It appears that Mark’s heart for the dom dziecka kids will likely lead him to plan a “Phase 4” playground improvement project in another year or two.
Biological and Adoptive Families Together
David and Daniel reunitedAs mentioned above, three years ago Mark and his wife, Nancy, adopted David and Ania, Daniel’s younger siblings. A special treat for all of us was that Mark brought David with him as part of the Kansas City mission team. This was David’s first return to Poland since the adoption, so it also was the first time that David and Daniel had seen each other in three years.
David spent four nights at our place, giving the two brothers some good quality time visiting together. It was absolutely wonderful having David with us. We also were able to arrange an afternoon gathering where David could spend time with his biological mom, and his brothers Daniel, Mirek and
Pawel, David, Mom, Daniel, Mirek
Having members from both the adoptive and biological family together was a little bit awkward at first, but everyone adjusted quickly and the time was extremely worthwhile. Watching the “good-bye” was heart-wrenching, though, as the tears shed by David’s biological mom made it apparent that she still hurts deeply at the loss of her two younger children.
Daniel’s brother, Mirek, who used to spend considerable time at my place until he began making decisions that were not compatible with the values I desire in home, was recently dismissed from the dom dziecka due to his age. He initially tried to live at his mom’s apartment, but with mom now living three hours away at her boy friend’s place, the oldest brother, Krzysiu, has taken over the apartment as if it were his. Unfortunately, Krzysiu and Mirek do not get along very well, so Krzysiu eventually kicked Mirek out.
With nowhere else to go, Mirek showed up at my place. I had clearly outlined the changes I needed to see in him before he could once again be a regular part of our household. Mirek had not addressed any of these issues over the past year, though, so when Mirek asked if he could live at my place, I had to say, “No.” I did, however, say that I would try to help find a place for him to live. My strong conviction is that Mirek desperately needs professional help in dealing with his substance abuse, anger management, suicidal tendency issues, and generally destructive approach to daily life.
An extension ministry of our church called New Life Center is specifically set up to help displaced men address issues similar to the ones Mirek is facing. With considerable help from Pastor Piotr Zaremba, we were able to get Mirek admitted to this facility. He is currently there on a probationary basis, but soon he and the staff will decide whether or not Mirek will stay for the entire 7-month program.