Wednesday, September 7, 2011
We are entering the fourth week since Altynai's fund was launched and I am excited to share more stories about the waiting children/parents. Krystina's to-be mom, Ann, is an exceptional woman! She is a pediatric transport/flight nurse that has a heart of gold! I am personally indebted to her for the love that she showed Altynai during one of her trips to Kyrgyzstan. Shortly after Altynai's diagnosis of hydrocephalus was confirmed, Ann contacted me to let me know that she and another waiting mom (love you too, Nicole) were going to Kyrygyzstan on a mission trip and that she would do anything in her power to help Altynai. Ann and Nicole were able to visit Altynai several times, including in the hospital before her surgery. Ann was able to give me some of the medical information that I desperately wanted and more importantly, they were able to shower Altynai with attention and love. Since then Ann has continued to fiercely advocate not only for Kyrstina and the waiting children, but also for several other special needs orphans she met during her visits to Bishkek.
A Tale of Two Children
Two children so beautiful, so special and so loved. Both my children but only one I can hold and kiss, teach and provide for. The other lives in my heart and I hold her in my dreams.
In June of 2008 I met Shelby Krystina. She was then 19 months old. Her medical reports include hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, severe malnourishment, global developmental and physical delays; all consistent with the suspicion for cerebral palsy. Shelby sat for the first time unassisted on my first trip. She walked unassisted just prior to my second trip in December of 2008. She remains extremely small for her age. And she remains in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan. Two and a half years after meeting her government has continued to invoke delay after delay. We have no end in sight. We have no timeline for when or even if she will ever get to be more then the child of my heart.
On a positive note due to continued delays my fiance' and I chose to pursue a concurrent adoption. In December of 2009 (on Shelby’s Birthday) we received photographs of a little boy who we knew instantly was meant to be our son. Six months later Nikolas Benjamin Richard became a United States citizen as we landed on U.S. soil at John F. Kennedy Airport.
I met Nikolas (aka Kolya ) in April 2010. He was just shy of 18 months old. He too is tiny, malnourished and developmentally delayed. But Nikolas has an advantage. Russia, despite recent troubles, has continued to allow International Adoption to proceed. Their government has worked closely with many adoption advocates to unite as many children with families as possible. Kolya will turn three on October 10. In the last year he has learned to not only walk without toppling every three steps, he now runs, jumps, skips, and climbs. He has gone from not talking in the orphanage to exceeding the age criteria for language development. His words daily melt my heart. His new saying makes me sad and happy at the same time. My favorite words are most certainly “I wuv yoo Mamma” When going to sleep or being held, “I wuv yoo” is said over and over. Kolya has transformed from a lonely scared developmentally delayed child into a happy, shining little boy who is almost right on target in all areas for his age.
Kolya came home at the same age that Shelby “should have” come home. I am reminded daily, just by watching him blossom, of what Shelby is missing. No speech, physical, or occupational therapy. No nutrients to help her thrive, no one to sing her bedtime songs or hold her when she cries. Shelby will turn five in December. She potentially was moved to the orphanage for older children before her fourth birthday. A year has passed again and still she sleeps alone. She should be starting preschool. She should be enjoying her family. But yet she still remains another year of childhood lost. She has lost her infancy, her toddlerhood and now potentially her preschool year. What will happen to her? Who will watch over her? Who will tell her repeatedly “ I wuv yoo?” Maybe just maybe we are getting closer. But our fight and our process is not over. We will anxiously wait now to see what the new process will bring. Will Kolya and I be spending a month in Kyrgyzstan? Paperwork that we were promised did not have to be redone… Now it may have to be started again from scratch. The fight for this child is not over. She is our daughter and I am determined she will hear the words “I wuv yoo “ every day of her life.
Ann's blog is easy to find at www.myadoptiongeography.blogspot.com