Where are the orphans with Special Needs? Где находятся дети-сироты с ограниченными возможностями?

Где? Where?                           www.gdye.org

Authors:  Lynn & Yuri Kolber, parents of Sasha adopted from an orphanage in Ukraine and Travis.

Adopting our daughter in February 2002 we see a little boy. Aleksei Nikita is swaddled tightly in white blanket and is diagnosed as blind. Curiously though he seems to be trying to track objects with his eyes. Aleksei and our daughter were born on the same day.

For months afterwards, Travis our son, begs us to return to adopt his “brother” - the “baby in white”. Amazingly we find Amanda and Jimmie on the Web – they have adopted Aleksei and Dima, both with Cerebral Palsy. Travis insists that I phone Amanda and ask if he can visit Aleksei when he is older.

Visiting the orphanage in 2003 with Travis, the director proudly shows us a photo sent by the Clarks of Dima with a walker (what a change after just 6 months home!) and asks us if we can locate one for the orphanage. My mom and I buy two walkers and a chair suitable for supporting special needs kids.  Visiting the orphanage in May 2004 we unpack the boxes with the donations. The staff enthusiastically assemble the walkers and chair and rush through to introduce us to Lena. Lena has Cerebral Palsy but is integrated with a regular group. She is sweet, smart and has a “regal” air about her.

By May 2005 Lena has grown. She has a great sense of humor and is attached to her caregivers and friends. (See Daniil’s Story).

As time passes the prospect of institutionalization weighs heavily on all those who have come to know Lena.

A family who adopted from the same orphanage make an appeal to Amanda and Jimmie. After a weekend of intense deliberation the family decides to adopt Lena. The race against time begins as the family starts fundraising for Lena’s adoption and preparing their paperwork.

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