Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where to start..

I had good intentions of blogging daily through this process. Obviously that has not worked out. For those that have followed on facebook you have a better idea as to what has gone on. (sorry for what ever reason it is not putting lines between paragraphs....) We arrived in Ukraine on Sunday night and were taken to the grocery store and dropped at our apartment. We had an appointment Monday at the SDA where you formally ask to visit the child. If you chose to meet this child you are given a formal referral. We had been told there was a small chance we would receive that Monday since Robert was leaving on early Thursday morning. That did not happen. We received the paper we needed late Tuesday afternoon. Did some running around to sign papers and were put on the overnight train to the biggest city close to the orphanage. The train was ok. Too many stops along the way to sleep well but we had a sleep room to ourselves.
We arrived and were met by our facilitator Alix. We drove 2.5 hours to the regional SDA office and did more paperwork and picked up the social worker to take with us. Then we drove another half hour to the institiution. We did some more paperwork with the director and the regional social worker and finally went to meet the boy.
He enjoyed the attention but was less then impressed with us. He wanted gifts and did not like what we had brought. A year ago he was moved into the new section of this institution. He has had a lot of visitors - teams coming to visit and work that bring them gifts. He was a bit spoiled. After about an hour with him we had to decide if we wanted to adopt him. We then signed more paperwork and discussed where I would stay.

My options were the big city 3 hours away. I would pay $200/day for a taxi to visit him and would not visit daily. Option 2 was stay an hour away - pay $100/day and still not visit daily. Or I could stay onsite. The director was open to my staying there but did not think I would be capable. There was not running water. No microwave, no stove, nothing. I agreed to try it for 2 days. Or facilitator was coming back Friday to pick me up to take me to the city an hour away to do paperwork.

We took the social worker back to her office a half hour away and picked up some bottled water for me and some raman noodles and candy for the kids then they dropped me off. Robert and the facilitator drove 12 hours back to Kiev to the airport.

I got to visit that night from 4-6 and then after dinner. That 4-6 visit was horrible. He wanted to return to the place he lived before going to the "Happy House" He has several friends there. He obviously ran the place when he was there and would have nothing to do with me. When I said it was time to go he took off and refused to come with me. As I pushed the issue that we were leaving he became more defiant. Finally a caregiver stepped in and told him he needed to go with me. I carried him out and put him in his wheelchair and started to push him back to his place. He saw the "dinner train." He went ballistic! It was awful. He started screaming, hitting, kicking, he turned and started to bite me as I was pushing the wheelchair, then started putting his leg in between the wheel and the chair to stop it and spit at me. He dove out of the chair and took off. I caught him and tried to carry him and push the chair. He kept trying to headbutt me, spit and bite. I left the chair and carried him back to his place for his dinner, returned the chair and went to my dinner.

I cannot begin to describe how hard that night was! I was alone, no way to communicate with anyone, no Internet, no way to talk to anyone. I had no running water, the outhouse was over a block away and it was just a whole in the ground. I cried more than I ever have. I also did a lot of praying. I knew the obvious physical handicaps he had. I was not prepared for everything else. Physically he is a mess. Missing the limbs he is is nothing compared to everything else. Both hips are dislocated, neither shoulder works, he has severe scoliosis, his rib cage/ back are severely deformed, his jaws do not line up, he does not seem to chew his food, he has speech issues, his eyes cross, the one "knee" he has goes back and forth both ways and to top it off he is severely delayed mentally and was quite mean.


  1. Whew!! That would blow me away. From what I read that sometimes is a typical response from an orphan, but I cannot imagine with even you probably knowing that how to have handled the "real deal". You guys are awesome for walking into a place that no others would dare to traverse. Either way, God has blessed you with a plan. I hope you will be confident and continue to write about it on your blog - you won't hear any judgment from me - just prayers to you and yours.

  2. I am so sorry to hear how difficult things have been for you! I cannot imagine how hard this has been. You and I don't know each other, but I will definitely pray for you.

  3. Saying prayers for you and this boy. Please tell us the rest of the story. We pray the young boy came around, I'm sure just as it was a major change for you, having someone there for him was a huge change for him too. I know from adopting ourselves we envision this child for months one way then we meet this child who is nothing like we ever imagined....for the good and the bad. We pray for healing and patience during this. My husband and I have been following your journey little by little since we saw you were adopting him. We continue to lift you up in prayers and hope things were able to be turned around for the better for everyone!

  4. Wait! I can see these pictures! Wow. I forget how small 'our' kids look in 'real' life. My guy just turning 7 next weekend is 48" now but at 4.5 year old he was only 28 inches tall!