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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 fiancé 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 turned two on October 10. In less then 4 months 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 saying at the very least 25 English words. His latest melts my heart. His new saying makes me sad and happy at the same time. Two days ago Kolya started saying “I wub oo” When going to sleep or being held, “I wub oo” 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 nutrionist to help her thrive, no one to sing her bedtime songs or hold her when she cries. Shelby will turn four in two months. She potentially will be moved to the orphanage for older children. Her world will become scarier as she will go from one of the oldest to the youngest, smallest, and frailest of the children. What will happen to her? Who will watch over her? Who will tell her repeatedly “ I wub oo?”
”Please advocate for the 65 Kyrgyz children waiting to be adopted by U.S families. To learn more about one of these children read this story.”
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