I know that none of the people reading this probably know me, but I know Katia (“K”). Over a year ago, my family was adopting two children from Ukraine. While there, I met Katia and Viktor and Yuri. Yuri and Viktor both always wanted to play with me, especially Yuri. Yuri would scoot across the floor like a rocket and leap into my arms… if the workers didn’t pull him away, which they usually did. I tried to spend as much time with them as I could, but more often than not, I was only allowed to wave at them through the door. The careworkers did not like me interacting with them. My family spent seven weeks in the orphanage (three hours a day) visiting the children we were adopting. Sadly, I was only able to spend a few hours altogether with Viktor and Yuri. Despite that, their smiles and pleading eyes are seared in my mind & heart forever. Upon returning to America, I decided that since Viktor and Yuri were healthier than Katia, I would focus on making sure I would at least be able to find a family for her. I knew that if someone didn’t come for her quickly, she wouldn’t survive. I spent months advocating for this little girl before God lead the Russells to her story. They felt He was calling them to adopt Katia. And, as you all know, just a few days ago she became part of their family. I am full of joy knowing that Katia will come home to the US and receive the care, food, love and hope she needs. I suppose that it would be easy to assure myself that even one of them coming home is enough. But I can’t forget about Yuri and Viktor.
Within the next month, both of them will turn six. They have spent their entire lives behind the bars of cribs. Pause for a moment and imagine that that was you. Your last six years…nothing. Nothing to look forward to, nothing to look back on. Getting older, but not being able to change. This is what Yuri and Viktor live with everyday.
They are in great danger of being sent to “mental institutions”. These places usually have much worse conditions than the orphanages. Due to their ages, they should be transferred any time.
Yuri has microcephally, strabismus and supposedly he had cerebral palsy, as well. When I met him, he couldn’t walk, but he could teeter along holding someone’s hand. He was able to crawl at an amazing speed, though!! A facilitator I know got an update from the orphanage that said he was walking now.
He is very underweight and about the size of a two-year-old. He’s got beautiful brown eyes and such a great smile. He’s a bundle of energy that won’t get out of your arms…and I mean it. When I put him down, he would jump right back into my arms. I miss him. Yuri seemed like a bright light in a hopeless place. I don’t want him to give up his joy and love.
Viktor has microcephally, spastic tetraparesis, and partial atrophy of the optic nerves. I believe he has deformed ankles. They didn’t seem to bend. He also has Down syndrome. He can crawl (or more like scoot around on his behind). He cannot walk (I think this has something to do with his ankles). He is also very, very small like Yuri. He seems like he has given up on hope. Given up hope that anything will change and make his life better. He needs to have a family come for him; someone who will help him work through some of his problems and will be able to give him the attention he needs.
You can go to my site: www.ukrainianorphans.com to find out more about both boys. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands, however, so please be patient waiting for a response. Thank you for reading this. If anyone knows someone interested in adoption, please pass Yuri and Viktor’s stories along. As you read this, they are lying in cribs waiting for love. They are real people. Real little boys who deserve a childhood.
--McKennaugh, age 16
We are aware that this is something not to be entered into lightly, and there are long lasting health and mental/emotional issues possible, but if God has called you to this, we can also help with information and resources to get things done in the Ukraine. Please don't let the cost scare you off. If God has called you, He WILL provide! We have seen it and heard it countless times over. Thank you McKennaugh for what you have done for these children. God bless you.