Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Children

The days here are getting warmer and warmer, today was close to 80, it is funny how its almost the same weather pattern as home.

Yesterday during our first visit we let Sofia take her usual nap, the care takers of Sofia's groupa were out walking with some of the kids as well so we had to be careful so they didn't notice Sofia sleeping. In this picture, Jen is propping Sofia up pretending to talk to her.

But you can see here she is really fast sleep.

When we got back for our second visit in the afternoon, the staff told us that we shouldn't let her sleep when we go out walking, because apparently she didn't want to take her nap when it was time...BUSTED! It is so hard not to let her sleep since she is so tired around 10 AM when we visit. We don't know what we are going to do today, we don't want to get in trouble again.

On the second visit we saw this mom that comes to visit her daughter on Sundays. It is the most heartbreaking thing to see, she loves her daughter so much but can't take her home because she won't have a future in this country. She visits every Sunday and bring her daughter Anna diapers and other necessities, treats for the children and the staff. She spends several hours with Anna taking her on walks, picking flowers for her, talking to her and loving her. We don't know the complete story but we know from Marina that she wants her baby to be adopted so that her daughter can have a better life than she would here. She is currently on Reece's Rainbow as waiting for a family. Jen and I can't image what it must be like to have to make the most difficult decision of giving your child for adoption when you love them so dearly. But at this date and time in Ukraine, she has no other option.

After 8 days of visits here, and seeing these children every day, you start to wonder what their story is. Even the "typical" children you see in the pictures, they are so beautiful and I wish we could take more home. Of course the children with special needs are the ones that need more help, they need therapy and care that they don't get here. But also the normal children, which look like any other child at a local park back in California, they need a home as well and it is heartbreaking to see them here in this place all alone.

We are so focused on Sofia and taking her home but it will be hard to leave so many more behind. We only hope and pray to God that it is just a matter of time until all these children find a loving family.


  1. Oh Jen...this breaks my heart....and warms it at the same time that this mom comes to visit her daughter every weekend. It seems so many of the families abandon their babies that it is interesting to hear of a mom who really loves her daughter but feels she has no other choice. What about the woman from Reece's Rainbow that brought her daughter there a way for those moms to connect, and maybe just maybe she could see that she too could do it? Man.....what is wrong with a society that will not see the worth of these children??? They do not deserve to be cast aside like this. I am ever so grateful that little Sofia is going to be coming home soon to her own home...where her worth will never be questioned. Stay strong you are getting so close!! :)

  2. I can't help but cry... I am at a loss for words. A mother who comes to visit her daughter in an orphanage...that to me is almost more sad then the ones who never see or know their parents. You both are so brave, I could not do what you are doing. Today I met a mother who adopted a little girl with Down syndrome here in the States. The most beautiful little girl. She was so happy and vibrant and my daughters wished that she was their sister too. Sarah said to me that she is so happy that Delilah is like heart soared. I feel so blessed every time I look at Delilah Rose, so lucky that God made me her mama... I am so proud of you both - Love you... Amy

  3. The story of that mom just breaks my heart - how difficult it must be for her! I cannot imagine her pain in choosing to have her child adopted - it must be so difficult.
    I hope everything else is going well and that you manage to keep Sofia awake in your next visit! :)

  4. Just so heartbreaking. Especially the photos of the mom who desperately loves her little one, but cannot keep her. Just brings me to tears. You know, when I first became aware of the plight of European orphans with special needs, I was just stunned. Absolutely stunned. I thought, How can it be that these poor children's own countrymen don't recognize the value & potential in these young lives??? How can these precious children be discarded like trash, left to languish in mental institutions simply because they may not talk or walk as quickly as their peers?? Surely, something like this would never happen in the U.S!! But then, wait a our own country's attitude towards children with special needs much different???. Do physicians not encourage, even pressure women to have genetic testing to determine if their babies have conditions like Down Syndrome before they are born? Don't the same physicians often paint a grim, albeit horribly inaccurate picture, of what life with a special needs child will be like??? Don't they often give the impression that the expectant parents are better off choosing to "terminate" the pregnancy rather than keep their babies??? The methods may be different, but the end result is the same. People with special needs are being eliminated for being "different" when they are in fact, not much different at all. The only way that this is going to change if parents who love their kids with special needs stand up & say "This is crazy...These children have so much to give, the are bright, & loving, & active & deserve a chance at life, just like you & me." God bless you for already doing this by opening your heart & home to this little one. You are an example to us all. Praying that you can get that little one home soon so that she can nap at 10AM if she wants to!!! Kim

  5. I keep checking back to see "in the air on the way home."

    Prayers for you and for the momma who has no other choice...may God reward her for her sacrifice of giving her child to another so that she may have a better life.

  6. My heart is breaking for the mother who comes to visit her daughter. She is one strong woman seeing what is best for her daughter. I was just at a conference where there is a mission in Ukraine trying to prep parents to adopt national children and spread awareness. And to end on some positive notes...BUSTED...too funny! Poor girl. It will be wonderful to have your little one nap when she wants to and begin her own routine when she is HOME! And court this week!!!

  7. There are no resources to help parents of children with Ds in many other parts of the world. Just 25-30 years ago, things were exactly like this in the States. Parents were told to abandon their child with Ds at birth. Things have changed because of the parents who didn't listen and who became strong advocates.

    Jen, you are Saving Sofia...and now you are Saving Anna. This entry is exactly what it takes to find these precious children families. By helping others see her beauty and worth, by highlighting HER and her unique story, you have just saved her as well.

    I guarantee you that someone out here is listening and will come forward for her because of what you have just done.

    I can't wait to see who it is :)...

  8. oh, what a sad yet touching situation...her mother is very beautiful. What a sweet daughter Anna would make some lucky family.


  9. I know exactly what I would do if I ever won the lottery! People think I'm nuts when I say I would adopt a child or two and then give most of the rest so other families can bring these kids home. It just breaks my heart! (I'd also use some of the $$ for a nanny... I could use some help every now and then - LOL. And come to think of it, I just might replace my 2000 minivan... )
    Keep the pictures and stories coming! I can't imagine what that mother goes through visiting her daughter each week. We can only hope and pray the Ukraine will soon begin to understand the value of our beautiful children with different-abilities!

  10. Thank you for posting about Anna. I hope someone finds her soon and brings her home so that her Mama can have "peace" about her decision. And what a tough decision that must have been for her.


  11. That baby in the red shirt looks so much like Joey! OMG! How sad...

  12. The baby in the red shirt is little Anna :)

  13. Hello! I have a question for you, could you please email me?
    Your daughter is gorgeous! I can't wait to see your homecoming!

  14. I pray that someone brings Anna home-if by some odd chance they don't by the time our adoption is done-I would love to bring her home and give her Momma a chance to come stay with us to visit! If anyone is reading this and could do that for Anna-then please do. My heart just breaks for her and the very long list of other kiddos on RR. God bless you and little Sofia!! We so have to get all these babies together someday. Yana has to have her picture with Sofia & Alina & the rest of the angels. Take care!

  15. What that must be so heartbreaking to see all of the children there just waiting. Oh and that poor mom. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes with no support system or options for her child.