First of all, good news: Valik has found a host family! And they are very nice, they’ve friended me on Facebook, and I cannot wait to see how his summer goes!!!
If you’re curious about life for Valik and Igor, here’s a pretty good summary. Valik is the boy dancing in this video.
We’re still working on fundraising the last bit of the money for Igor. It’s due in a week! They will give us until May 1st before it’s just too late.
Two friends I met last year through the hosting program (Children’s Cultural Connection) have been at Igor’s orphanage all week working on the adoption of two siblings. Kim is adopting them, and Ally went along with her. Ally previous adopted a teenage boy from the orphanage last year.
They’ve been able to share pictures of Igor with me. They told him we love him, and that we’re planning on hosting him this summer. He was thrilled. Glowing. He sent us a video via Ally, saying hello. My girls also sent him a video.
Igor wants to know if I can come to Ukraine to get him so that he can live in American forever.
Yesterday I read a blog entry that Kim wrote about her time in their village this past week. It makes me so, so sad.
“However in their town, the people bring their trash for the orphans to burn. 10-16 year old kids forced to burn garbage for the entire town. No wonder Yana had dark dirt lines on her bare neck, It was ash from a never ending chore. To top it off the orphanage does not provide them with supplies like soap or hot water.”
My sweet boy has to burn the trash of the whole village, and no one gives him soap or hot water to take a shower or even wash his hands afterward.
How demeaning is that? Everything screams out that they are worthless kids, no one cares if they wander around dirty and hungry, no one kisses them goodnight, no one comforts them if they get sick.
Being bullied by older kids, eating almost nothing but buckwheat meal (kasha), burning gross trash as a never ending chore, and not bathing…It’s so unfair. I can’t stand it.
I just want to get Igor here, forever. That will take time a miracles though, so I am focusing on the short term. The entire summer: No burning trash, all the bubble bath and warm water he wants, all the food he can eat, clean clothes that fit and don’t have holes, days at the pool, eating ice cream on the front porch and laughing, no one stealing his things, no one hitting him, endless hugs and kisses, and a whole bunch of people who love him day and night.
And most of all: Hope.
Igor, you matter. You are loved. Even though I will have to send you back there at the end of the summer, you’ll remember that we are here waiting for you. You’ll know we won’t forget you, and one day God willing we will show up at your orphanage gates and hold your hand while we walk out of the doors forever, to a new life where you can be proud of who you are. Where you will never be hungry and lonely again.
You can read Kim’s whole blog post here.
Here is another blog post Ally wrote about the area and the orphanage if you’re interested in reading more.