The Answer for Nikolas and Be The Answer for Shelby

2 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign Click Here

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?”

Nikolas has An Answer.  Be the Answer for Shelby by posting the below message on the president of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, facebook page (found here):

”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.”

Be sure that you link to this Blog Post on the President’s Wall!



12 responses

2 11 2010

Update- Just after submitting this story I learned that Shelby and several other waiting kids were all moved out of the baby house to the older kid’s orphanage. All were moved months before their fourth birthday. All were moved because of overcrowded conditions at the baby house. Overcrowding is occurring because adoptions are NOT. This trickle down effect from a moratorium that the government refuses to resolve is not only affecting 65 children waiting for IA but all children who could be in homes and the children who are living in overcrowded institutions because the children who are legallyt available for adoption are not allowed to be in families.

4 11 2010
Be The Answer

Thanks for the update Ann! The trickle down affects thousands of children through out the world – Kyrgyzstan, Guatemala, Nepal. It’s a tragedy!

2 11 2010
Eileen Bates

I am , and have felt like Shelby Krystinas grandmother for over 2 years now. It is sad for me everyday that she can not come home to us. It also makes me sad she has been moved before her time. I pray that during this time of transition of their country they will also think of their children and what is best for them.

4 11 2010
Be The Answer

Can’t agree with you more Eileen!

2 11 2010
Kim Hansen

Please advocate for the 65 matched children waiting for international adoption

3 11 2010

Thinking of Shelby and all the other sweet little ones stuck in the middle of this horrible mess…. xoxoxo

3 11 2010
Angela Sharp

Great article!

3 11 2010
Chareyl Moyes

My heart is always touched by stories of children. Brings out the fight in me!

3 11 2010
Yoonie Cho

If anything happened to my partner and I, we would want a loving environment for our child. Every child deserves such love and care.

4 11 2010
Be The Answer

True. Thank you for sharing!

6 11 2010
Блог Ильи Лукашова » Blog Archive » Дети умирают. Уже двое из 65, но проблему никто не решает…

[…] запись. Оригинал записи можете прочитать здесь При переводе я сделал легкую литературную правку, […]

23 11 2010
Be The Answer for Iraqi Children «

[…] or like Jason, who grew up in U.S. foster care, live in families.  And more families, like the Bates family, who are waiting to adopt a daughter from Kyrgyzstan, are able to give these children a loving […]

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