Monday, November 15, 2010

What would have happened??

Since it is National Adoption Month, I figured I'd write a brief post regarding what would have most likely become of our children had we not adopted them.  Ever wonder?  Ever wonder where your kids would have ended up or what they would have ended up doing had they not been rescued???  I can give you some ideas based on what we know about their particular orphanage and situations.  This will be raw and honest so if you can't stomach it, I would not read further.  I just think sometimes the real stories need to be told.  So, here goes.

Max and Irina came from a very, very remote village.  It was four hours away from center of the city & they used donkeys as the main mode of transportation still.  Grew their own food.  Very, very poor village.  We asked lots of questions.  Well, their orphanage only went up to age 13 years old.  I specifically asked what happens to them once they reach 13.  She said they are on their own.  Yikes!  I know I couldn't have survived.  IF the boys are lucky, they get to go into the military at that age.  If the girls are "lucky," they get to prostitute.  Not exaggerating.  At 13 yo, they are released on their own.  No money, no job skills, limited education, no place to go (& boy does it get cold there!), and no family.  Very few I'm told survive long.  Irina and Max would have been dead for years by now had we not adopted them.  That is the honest truth.  Especially, since both take medication.  No one would have fixed Irina's nose w/ surgery.  No one would have helped Max with medication.  No one would have helped them get educated.  No one would have helped them learn how to drive.  no one would have gone with them to apply for jobs.  No one.  Why?  Because they would have been dead had we not adopted them.  Irina wasn't supposed to be allowed to be adopted.  She was abandoned.  No parents signed off on anything.  It pains me to think that the other children there that were the same age as them...4 yo's and younger would be dead most likely by now too.  No one came for them.  From this orphanage, there have only ever been 5 children adopted from there b/c it is such a remote village to get to.  2 of my children came home from there.  2 of the others live in CA and are extremely intelligent and successful young adults.  They will make a difference in the world for sure.  Another little boy lives near us as well.  That's it.  That's who made it out.  As far as we all know, they said we'd be it b/c it was just too far to travel to any more.  And, on the boards I had never ever found anyone else during these 10 years go here.  So, guessing it was true what we were told.  Can you imagine if we hadn't adopted Max and Irina??

Yana and Alex.  What would have happened had we not adopted them??  For Yana, I fear she would have been a prostitute.  I don't say that lightly or just to throw it around.  When we got there, she was 8yo.  That's what they were "training" her to do.  She witnessed much in her young life as most orphans do once they get to the older homes.  Plus, her biological sister we are told took this route and was also hooked on drugs.  (found this out from another one of the adopted children stateside).  Can't confirm it but since the orphanage director spoke so poorly of Yana's bio sister, I am guessing it is true.  That too would have been Yana's fate most likely had we not adopted her.  Alex.  Alex would have been in serious trouble by now.  Without his meds, he literally can not function in daily life.  I am guessing by now, they would have sent him to a mental facility.  Just a guess but a fairly educated one. 

Next is Bojan.  We were told they were "hiding" him away and not transferring him to a different institution.  If none of you have seen a video of the Serbian institutions, please watch it.  It will shine some light on what goes on.  NOT all are like the one in the movie but it is definitely not the only one.  Anyhow, Bojan was fortunate enough to have people care about him enough to keep him at the baby home.  He just turned 6yo when we picked him up.  Bojan was 6yo.  He had no self- care about him.  Did not feed himself, use the restroom himself or dress himself.  Think infant.  Just a big one.  Now, once home, he dropped these behaviors in 4 days.  However, what do you think would have happened to him had he been transferred to an institution?  Bojan would have never gotten all his surgeries on his clubfoot that he's had here.  He would have never gotten all the new prosthetics that like he's gotten here.  Had he been transferred, I doubt education would ahve been at the top of their list.  Now, he's student of the month this month.  He's doing very well in school.  Interested in Egypt.  Reads all the time.  SO much potential for sure!  What would have happened had we not adopted him?

Alyona and Nik.  Wow.  They for sure would have been in awful, awful shape by now if not dead.  Most likely the latter.  Alyona was 7 yo when we brought her home.  Health in horrible shape.  The only reason they kept her at the childrens' home and did not send her onto the internat is b/c she was so frail.  The orphanage director was afraid they would have beat Alyona to death.  Her words.  In other words, she wouldn't have survived the transfer.  Not a bit.  Now Nik.  We were told if we did not get him that week, he too was to be transferred to a Russian Mental Institution.  You know, the kind where the kids are not taught a thing.  They are tied down to cribs all day long.  The "lucky" ones die with in two years.  I can NOT, can NOT phathom this active little boy living that life.  He is so dog gone smart and will have plenty to contribute to society once he's older.  Who would have given him the gift of hearing?  Who would have made sure his asthma was under control?  Who would have watched his miraculous turn around from an 18 month old developmentally into a thriving growing little boy?  What would have happened to Nik and Alyona had we not adopted them? 

Bottom line is had we not adopted all our kids, there would have been no future for them.  No family to love.  No hope.  No love.  No life.  I know we can not save them all nor do we even want to try.  We just know the kids that are meant to be in our lives and our family.  We don't discuss the "what ifs" here often.  Just don't do it.  It comes up every once in a blue moon.  What if we didn't adopt them?  It's not just our lives or their lives that have been affected.  Others have been adopted too b/c of their stories.  Other programs have been started b/c we got the ball rolling.  One person touches the lives of so many others.  Many, many have been touched and changed for the better b/c we decided to adopt them.  We took that leap of faith.  We didn't wait for more money, or a few years down the road, or when one of the kids gets older, or for a raise or for whatever other reason keeps so many people from saying yes to adopting.  Let's put it this way, there is ,much better timing for us than now to adopt.  I mean really.  We need a new roof, we need a new HVAC system, we need new windows, we need so many repairs done, the teens are starting to drive--$$$, etc., etc.  So many reasons why we could say no this time around.  Yet, we feel as though we did with our other kids.  BTW, Bojan was NOT the best timing at all.  We had just gotten home w/ Yana and Alex at the end of May & started his paperwork in August.  Not only that, Yana and Alex were both dealing with RAD.  Timing was horrible.  Yet, we really felt he belonged.  And, he does.  Honestly, if Bojan hadn't come home, I don't think Max would have made it through so many rough times.  Those two are stuck together like glue.  Right now, not the best timing for us for the other 3 coming home.  Yet, we feel they belong.  I mean really, the house needs repairs and the US economy is weak as ever.  We ask ourselves though "what would happen if..."   Read above & read again what would have happened had we said no.  No one else was coming along for these children.  They'd been passed over and over. 

So, are you waiting?  Don't wait.  As Nike says Just do it.  Details tend to work themselves out.  I just know I don't like thinking about what would have happened to my kids if we had not adopted them.  It is National Adoption Month.  Just think for a moment where these kids may be destined to go.  They have SO, SO much potential to change not only their lives but the people around them.  Their dreams and potential are limitless.  They just need someone to give them the chance.  Be that chance.  Take that leap.  These are definitely our last set of adoptions.  But, I will continue to advocate for the ones left behind.  Always.  they can not be forgotten.  Someone took the time to advocate for MY kids.  I can at least do the same for the ones left behind.  So that their families may find them. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Stephanie, albeit heartbreaking in its implications. My kids would probably be in similar situations had they not been adopted - many of the girls in Alesia's group are now prostitutes, and some have babies. My son was viewed as totally disabled by the government and would have collected a Kazakhstan disability check the rest of his short life, just due to his missing hand.

    When we adopted our kids we SAVED THEIR LIVES. I know it's not politically correct to say it, but you and I know that's the truth. Bless you for saving your children. Bless you for even attempting to adopt 3 more.