Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another transformation...Bojan

Onto our next transformation from orphanage child to family.  We had just returned from Russia w/ Yana & Alex.  Before I had left, I caught a picture of a little boy in EE.  Just caught my eye for whatever reason but knew we were travelling for two children, how dare I think of another so soon!  Yet, got home and still could not shake that feeling that I should at least call about him.  In adoption, it is a rarity that you would get approved for another child so soon after returning w/ your two new ones who had some major emotional issues.  But, we did and the rest is history as we say. 

Bojan's orphanage in Serbia was quite different as they weren't malnoursished.  They did get food, they did have toys, they were out of their cribs.  However, they were still just as affected as our other children for that emotional attachment.  He had no family bond.  Everyone was a potential parent and that's how he acted to everyone.  Bojan was missing his right leg, had a clubfoot on the left and some finger deformities.  Those were MINOR problems compared to the emotional baby we had gotten.  He lived in a home w/ babies and his reactions were as such.  We were stunned that this just turned 6yo crawled around on the floor like a little monkey, couldn't feed himself, didn't dress himself and didn't even take care of restroom duties himself.  Warren turned to me and said "are you sure we can handle this."  Something about Bojan's smile though did me in.  I knew this kid had SO much potential. We proceeded with the adoption.  What many who don't adopt don't realize, you do have the opportunity to refuse your referral and not accept the child.  Some adoptive parents realize the child may have more needs than they first realized.  Some may change their minds and realize they are not ready to be parents.  Some have situations come up at home such as a medical emergency.  Any number of reasons that an adoption may not happen while meeting the child.  We met Bojan and came home with him.  For these transformation segments, I'm not really going to speak about the journey as I will publish their actual adoption journeys in later posts.  I want to solely speak of their actual changes that took place because of adoption and having a family.  Their are subtle AND dramatic changes.  Back to Bojan.

Bojan came home and w/in four days was feeding himself, going the bathroom himself, becoming more aware of how things functioned inthe home and really began to settle in.  After just 4 short days!  This was a kid that was totally out of control at the orphanage.  Wild beyond ADHD.  I look back and understand why now.  If you are surrounded by babies day in and day out and rarely ever get to go outside, you just have bottled up energy as this little six year old boy did.  What happened next was even more astonishing.  Our other son Alex has some severe behavioral/ emotional issues due to a pretty severe traumatic past.  Alex is dx'd with FAS/ RAD/ devel. delays/ PTSD and a few other things.  Everyone thought we were crazy for adding Bojan to our family when Alex was so affected.  Bojan helped to heal Alex in a way I couldn't imagine!  They were only a year apart so very close from that point forward.  They really connected and Bojan helped Alex grow emotionally without even knowing it.  It was amazing to watch.  I can honestly say without Bojan coming home, I'm not sure how Alex would have gone on.  All psychiatrists were saying to disrupt Alex.  Yet, Bojan came home andthe family dynamic changed.  Alex changed and it was good for eveyrone.  Bojan had very dramatic changes while home. Think of it, his country does not smile upone anyone with a disability.  They don't believe they can do much and consider them retarded in all aspects.  Bojan was lucky as he was supposed to be sent to one of those institutions.  They(the orphanage he was at) thought he really could do more if he had an actual family in America.  Now, Bojan is the epitome of health & happiness.  This once considered "mentally retarded, can't do much" child is now in 4th grade with excellent classes.  All regular classes.  Sings in chorus, has too many friends, is running and too many other things to name.  I said running.  When we brought Bojan home, he would fall down about every 3 steps or so.  Rarely falls.  Bojan wants to be a scientist now.  Now, can you imagine if we had just let him sit there?  This kid may find miraculous cures for diseases.  Who knows as the world is endless and so is his potential.  We don't give his prosthetic a second thought and neither does he.  Bojan is the one in the family who keeps us all laughing.  He is our comedian.  He is full of life, full of curiosity and has somuch to give this world.  I can not imagine him not in it.  His transformation both physically and mentally has been amazing.  Could not have asked for a better outcome.  Does he drive us nuts sometimes repeating movie lines?  Absolutely!  Knowing how far he has come though makes me so proud.  It really does. 

This was the first picture that had me hooked!  Notice, they did not show his missing leg and tried to hide the hand missing a finger behind him.  This is typical of Eastern European hide the disabilities.  Though funny, I have never really considered him disabled. 

This was taken at a camp we went to.  What you don't see is this is a huge balancing platform.  That's right, balancing while it moves back and forth.  He could not have done this while at the orphanage.  He has absolutely no limitations and even has a running leg now as well.  Bojan has amazing self-confidence andwe have no doubt he will acheive anything he wants to in life.   Watch out NASA, Bojan is coming!  Hope you enjoyed reading about Bojan's changes as much as I enjoyed writing about them.  Wow, from a 6yo kid crawling around an orphanage to an independent, running, balancing, smart child w/ endless potential.  When the orphanages tell you they can't, just know they CAN!!! 

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