"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

She's in the Eyes

A few days ago, I was talking on the phone to my friend, Tracey. She had just done a great post about the adoption of her son, Kullen, who is from the same orphanage as Francesca and Victoria. I had read her post the night before. We were talking about all the kids we had seen at the orphanage. Then, she told me something that kind of rocked my world. She said that someone had recognized Victoria in one of the pictures on her blog.

Well, that was impossible, I thought. I had already looked at all the pictures. Victoria wasn't there. Tracey said she never saw Victoria at all when they went to adopt Kullen in November 2011.

I decided to just zip on back to her blog to see which child looked similar to my Victoria.

Then, I saw. The eyes on the child in the photo took my breath away. They were the eyes that I look into everyday. The eyes that were so haunted when I met her.

Victoria, my baby. Her picture was right there in front of me, but I hadn't even recognized her.

How could I not recognize my own child's photo, taken just 6 months before I met her. How? Because six months before I met Victoria, she wasn't a starving, haunted child. She knew how to smile then.

Someone had taken the time to get her out of her crib and put her in the big playpen. They even put her on her tummy, which she couldn't have done on her own. Just six months before I met Victoria, she had the strength to hold herself up.  Her head wasn't sunken in from being starved.

What happened in that six months? I am so angry. I want to know who made the decision that Victoria didn't deserve to live. Who decided she had no spirit? Who? Why? Now I understand why they were so negative about her. They didn't know I was coming for her. They probably didn't want anyone to know that Victoria's fate had already been decided. 

Please pray for all the children waiting in orphanages. Please pray they will all have someone who believes in them and values them.


  1. Oh that is just so terrible! I will NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY THEY CHOOSE TO STARVE OUR CHILDREN TO DEATH! IT IS SIMPLY CRUEL and EVIL. None of them are starving! They are all large enough!
    That struck me about the girls' orphanage too. All the children were UNUSUALLY TINY, but not the workers. It is sick.

  2. that breaks my heart for her...poor poor baby! But you knew, knew that she was worth it, and look at her now! Growing and thriving and participating in life!

  3. I kept scrolling from the tummy picture to the one with the sunglasses and my stomach got a knot. What happened? Did she have a doctor visit and they said she isn't curable so ignore her? Don't help her move? Don't smile at her? Oh my heart hurts. I hope that you send pictures of her to that place. Pictures of her laughing and holding cups and sitting up and in the pool. Lots of pictures of this wonderful child.

  4. I am angry over this and she isn't even mine! I cannot imagine starving anyone, let alone an innocent child. You were clearly led to her.

  5. I recognised her immediately in Tracey's blog. I can't fathom how anyone can let a child get into such a condition... The change in her is amazing!!

  6. Every time a see a picture of Victoria protecting her face with her tiny, skinny arms it breaks my heart. When I first saw Cighid orphanage clips and all the misery of it I started thinking that as a caregiver you must go crazy too to survive all that horror and loneliness (I'm not excusing them, it is just a thought I made)

  7. I've never heard someone described as having no spirit. I don't how a person can even come up with that thought...about an innocent child. It's so hard to even look at those pictures....and the ones where she covers her face make me cry. It's so amazing to see her today. I wonder what her former caregivers would say now....to see her spirit so lively and free...and clearly so loved and cherished.

  8. Will we ever know what is going on in the heads of the caregivers? How do they get through the day watching these kids waste away before their eyes?
    What do they say when they see pics of the kids that they were starving because they weren't perfect thriving and growing in such a short time?
    What Will they say when Francesca and Victoria go back for a visit as strong, healthy, happy adults? Will they wonder about the others? Will they wonder if they could have been teachers or doctors or scientists or moms or dads despite their imperfections?

  9. I often feel blessed because while my son had so many scary diagnoses (perinatal encephalopathy, hypoxic injury to CNS, jaw 'malformations', heart condition, multiple missing limbs) he was also one of those Resiliant Rascals but I did sometimes see the fear and terror in his eyes (a gentle scolding or me taking gifts down to car after a visit to grandmas while he was upstairs) would cause this mini-panic attack. the whole process was so smooth and not at all like my first adoption, but when I think of what could have happened when my 4.5 year old was sent off to an older child orphanage away from everything and everyone he knew (how to charm!) I get panic attack.

    Like Tessaraemum I hope that when they see how both your girls are doing they will feel at least a bit of shame and maybe even give another child who they deemed 'hopeless' a chance!

  10. When I see the change in Victoria since you brought her home, I will always be thankful. I'm so sorry for what she went through. But so glad for how her life has changed.

  11. I would like to encourage you to write a letter to the SDA about the conditions in the orphanage and the neglect you witnessed as well as the pictures you have. Give them information that will be helpful for them and copy it to the Consular's office in D.C. along with the American Consular's office in Kyiv.
    We did this after the girls spoke English well enough to tell us what happened. One particular worker's abuse was accounted and we told them we expected them to do something about it so no child has to suffer like they did.

    When we went back 2 years later to visit the orphanage, that worker was gone, and improvements were being made to the orphanage. I don't know how much impact our letter had, but my guess is that if they KNOW and are made aware in writing, it would require they do SOMETHING about it.

  12. Thank God for Mommies like you! You are such a blessing and I love to read about your life :)

  13. It breaks my heart to hear how these precious ones are treated in some of these orphanages! I'm soooo glad you got to your sweet girls in time! Praying...

  14. And cue tears!!!

    Oh how my heart breaks for the others waiting, some who never even get a hug or told an "I love you". Thank you for answering the call to go and get this sweetheart!!!


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