Serendipity is a beautiful thing.

The first blog we read after learning about Independent Ukrainian adoptions, and which undoubtedly led us to pursue this path, was that of the Bush family from the Houston area. It’s been almost a year since I was immersed for an entire 6 hours or so reading it from start to finish until the early hours of the morning. Naturally the details of where their adoption took place faded over time, but the name “Nikopol” stuck with me. Since then my reading list has grown exponentially and I couldn’t remember where I heard the town’s name.

This past Monday, we got a comment from the Bush family and they encouraged us to get in touch with Carol. I immediately pulled up their blog and my brain finally clicked: that’s where I learned about Nikopol. We saw a few familiar pictures of our surroundings there too (ex: the tank on the 1944 memorial), but the orphanage was not the same as the one we visit. We then recognized that it was the first building we drove to in order to meet the social worker.

Anyway, we got in touch with Carol and it has been absolutely awesome to get to know her. She spends most of her time volunteering at the orphanages and helping the elderly who struggle to make ends meet with their miserly pensions. What an inspiring lady! Her husband works at a nearby company and they have been living here for almost 4 years. So far we met up twice for some much needed coffee and lunch at Pizza Celentano. She lent us a 40+ page guide about Nikopol that she put together herself and has already helped us smooth out the language barriers when taking our clothes to a laundry facility, while we wait for the apartment washer to be fixed.

Children's Day 08. Concert at the baby home 063Carol shared a lot of pictures with us from last year’s events at the orphanage. When she gets monetary donations, she figures out what their requirements are and goes shopping for them: toys, baby chairs, fruits, veggies…anything they need to supplement their limited funds. The caregivers are paid next to nothing and really do this out of pure love.Orphanage kitchen Nov 10th 08 005

We We were lucky to find a few photos of Isabella and Isaac from a year ago during one of the many different events. In November 2008, some local students put together a toy kitchen for them. Look how attentive they are as they observe!

Orphanage kitchen Nov 10th 08 018

Here’s a picture of Isaac and some of their buddies. We’re quite familiar with a few of them, who are still here and we see in the playgrounds almost daily.Orphanage kitchen Nov 10th 08 020


Here’s Isabella and one of her best friends. She’s the announcer of the group. Whenever we show up, she’s pretty much the first one to notice us and we hear the familiar shriek…”ALINA! MAMA E PAPA!”.

The students did a great job with the toy kitchen, which I’m sure the kids cherish and love to play with every day. They don’t have much, but it’s great to see the community pulling together to make their life just a little better.

Orphanage kitchen Nov 10th 08 009Orphanage kitchen Nov 10th 08 006

6 clicked here to comment!:

adopting2fromUkraine said...

WHAT! You're not experiencing the joy of hand-washing your own clothes and waiting for them to dry!;) lol

It will take quite a while on the food issues. They probably don't get fruits or juices much at all, if any. Karina was eating as much as our full grown teenage boys when she first got home. It's settled down a little.

Love all the pictures!


Dave Baldacchino said...

LOL! June, you don't know Lori..she HATES ironing haha. It was fairly cheap. 7 grivna per kilogram to wash, iron and fold! We had two bag-fulls, 7kg (15 1/2 lbs): $7! That's not worth the effort according to Mrs. Baldacchino!

Today we took them some grapes and a box of chocolate milk. They loved it. Isaac drank this the fastest and he sure needs milk. He didn't do much of a mess this time. Isabella also shared some grapes (just 2!) with her two favorite friends. Stingy little thing!

Anonymous said...

Are you affected by the vote on the 2nd? Will you still be able to adopt? What is your facilitator telling you??

Dave Baldacchino said...

I called to ask this morning...she couldn't even find anything related to that vote on the 2nd. Even if such vote is taken, it's not clear what it really means. It sounds more like they want to put some more restrictions and not to totally put an end to international adoptions. Even if a vote on any changes passes, it would typically not go into effect right away. From what we understand, the process is not as straightforward in Ukraine so there's more to it than just a vote. In the meantime we're focusing on the needs of the kids as that's the only thing in our power.

Lisa, Chris & Lucas said...

I cannot tell you how honored I am that our blog was the first one you read. I am even more thrilled that you ended up in Nikopol and met the amazing Carol. I feel such joy for you all and I can't wait to read more.
...and seeing those photos is making me want to go back for one more.


adopting2fromUkraine said...

Well, I hate ironing as well. That's why we're taking wrinkle-free clothes! Wish we could find someone when we get there. You're probably giving them some much needed grocery money.