Monday, March 3, 2014

February 2014 Trip

We were very fortunate to visit Ukraine this past February. Here you see the locked gates of the adult mental institution in a small, poverty stricken village in the countryside.

We took some of the boys at the children's mental institution, which is right next door, for a walk in the yard. The weather was warm and sunny. It was a real treat for the kids to get some fresh air and exercise. These kids are considered behavioral problems, but they seemed like typical boys to me!

We spent a relaxed morning outside with the children and the Project TLC caregivers. These ladies are a true treasure! SO patient and SO kind to the children. They help care for the children while others work on their individual lessons. One boy needs constant supervision to keep from harming himself. Another boy's shoe fell off a hundred times...Our ladies never had a cross word for him, just bent over to put it back on. True servants.

One lady's story was very moving...that she has a genuine love for children and wanted to have lots of babies. She is grateful for this opportunity...thanking God constantly. I know that this job was not easy in the beginning and that it was difficult to be accepted by the orphanage caregivers.

In the photo above you can see the boy with CP who kept losing his shoe. This sweet boy's heel is raised due to spasticity and he walks on his toes. BUT, he does walk and I cannot wrap my head around the fact that he will live out his life in this compound.

While outside with the big boys and group of tiny little people marched right by us. My sweet Betty, shown below, was in this group! I was so pleased to see her walking! And to see her hands uncovered!! This darling girl has been available for adoption for a long, long time, but not yet chosen by a family. We are praying for this to change very soon!!

We received an urgent message about this darling boy while in country. He will be four this coming fall and like all the other orphan children with health conditions or disabilities, he will be transferred to a mental institution. He is available for adoption as well, and this might be his only hope to live to see adulthood. 

During the trip, the whole country was mesmerized by the protests in Kyiv. When we arrived in the city on February 19th, the situation was really heating up. We had to pass through checkpoints and have our vehicle searched to even enter the city.

These piles of tires were lit on fire on the afternoon of February 20th when dozens of protesters were killed by snipers and we were encouraged to get out of the city while we could! Even the US Consulate closed up early that day. The consulate workers advised us to get out of the area before the titushkiy arrived. It was a very intense experience.

Now you have probably read about, or seen on the news that Russia has since taken control of Crimea. This is a very serious situation for the orphans who live here. If the region is returned to Russia, the ban on American adoptions would likely ruin the chances for any of these kids to have a real family life.

Please pray for peaceful resolution to the stand off in Crimea. The situation seems to be changing so quickly that it's hard to get a grasp on what is truly happening.

Email for information about the adoption process in Ukraine. We can get you started in the right direction!

1 comment:

Jill said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Great photos. Thank God for Natasha and others that are willing to serve in this capacity. God bless you for what you have done for these lost and forgotten children.