Over three years ago, international adoptions ceased in the small country of Kyrgyzstan, leaving 65 orphans stranded and 65 American families fighting to have their adoptions finalized. Altynai's Legacy Adoption Fund, in partnership with Lifesong for Orphans', mission is to provide financial assistance to those amazing families. January 2013 Update: $28,400 raised!!! Goal: $40,000
I want to thank everyone for reading about Altynai and Altynai's fund. I am so excited that several donations have come in. The PayPal link is to the right and it is working! Over the next several days/weeks, I will be sharing stories of some of the waiting families and children. You are going to be amazed at how devoted they are to their children that are so far away, especially when you consider that they have been waiting over three years to get them home!
When I was in Kyrgyzstan on our bonding trip to meet Altynai, I was privileged enough to do medical evaluations on several of the babies that had been matched with the same agency that we were using. Vladik was one of those little ones and even way back then he had those big "squeeze me" cheeks. I will never forget him because he was the happiest of all the orphans I met! Meet Vladik.....
The Kahler's Story:
Our journey began in March 2008, unbeknownst to us, right about the time that Vladik was born.
We signed on with our agency to adopt from Kyrgyzstan where it was possible to adopt a child under one year of age. Our youngest biological child was only 16 months old at the time and we wanted to adopt a child younger than him to preserve our birth order And to save a child from having to spend their most formative years in an institution. How ironic now that we think about it.
We worked hard all spring getting our dossier finished and in August 2008 we received a referral for a beautiful 5 month old baby boy. He was gorgeous! His name was Vladik. We had a new son. We traveled to Kyrgyzstan two weeks later and held Vladik in our arms for the first time on August 30, 2008. He was even more gorgeous and captivating in person. We would have him home in two months they said.
We said good bye to Vladik and left Kyrgyzstan on September 7, 2008. The Kyrgyz Ministry of Education stopped signing approved dossiers in late September. Our dossier did not get signed. It still sits on someone's desk. Waiting.
In January 2009, missing Vladik, we returned to Kyrygzstan. We wanted to meet with anyone who would see us. We were stood up two times by the assistant to the Minister of Education but finally met with her by showing up unannounced. She pulled up our file on her computer. And told us, with excitement in her voice, that the newly appointed Minister of Education would start signing dossiers again in 10 days. We would have our son home, possibly by his first birthday. Ten days later, the Minister of Education did not sign any dossier. The Prime Minister declared a moratorium on international adoptions. Our son would not be home for his 1st birthday. Or his 2nd birthday. Or his 3rd birthday.
The first medical reports we received in Vladik's referral reported that he had congenital hip displasia. When we visited him in January 2009, he was 10.5 months old and could not sit alone. He could barely roll over and could not crawl. In the week we were there, we taught him to sit up. The latest reports we have of him (over a year old) say that he walks with a very obvious limp. Immediately you have to ask, "What precious time have we missed out on to correct these orthopedic issues? And how is this going to affect our boy for the rest of his life? How much has the last 3 years cost our son???"
We long to have him home. He now has three brothers and a sister waiting for him. Vladik's brother Ezra came home from China in October 2010. In the last 11 months we have seen the transforming effect that a family has on a child. It is a miracle to watch and be a part of. And the miracle that every single child deserves. The miracle of a family.