News from Nikopol

We finally made it! We’ve been here for 2 days already, since Tuesday at around 10am; details to follow. First, let us introduce you to the future Baldacchino twins because, let’s face it, that’s why you’re here reading!

This is Alina, to be named Isabella Alina Baldacchino.


This is Maxim, to be named Isaac Maxim Baldacchino.


We have taken to each other pretty well. Alina is in good health overall and a bit delayed in her development like most kids in orphanages. Maxim on the other hand needs a lot of care and attention as he’s physically delayed, has moderate retardation and suffers from epilepsy. Hopefully once we get back to the US, we can provide all the healthcare, love and attention necessary to help him progress and grow as fast as possible. They were born at 35 weeks and Maxim emerged first at only 0.98kg, while Alina was 2.35kg. They were placed in the care of this orphanage at age 5 months.

The caregivers have been doing all they can to raise these kids and are very nice and attentive to all of them. The “internot” where they’re at is for kids up to 4 years of age and is termed as a “baby orphanage”, where they also school them. In fact Alina and Maxim would probably be moved to a different orphanage unless they were adopted soon. We were told that another family visited them a week or so ago and that Alina wouldn’t have anything to do with them! So we consider ourselves very lucky :)

We started our 600km journey (375 miles) at around 4:15am with Sasha the Road Warrior at the wheel. We sped, we swerved, we dodged all sorts of road obstacles (some potholes as big as the car itself), we bounced, but ultimately we made it safely at around 10am. Did you ever watch the movie “The Pacifier” where after Vin Diesel spun the mini-van in a parked position, the girl jumped out of the car and yelled “LAAAAAND!”? That’s what we felt like upon arrival!


The first order of business was a trip to another orphanage a few blocks away to talk to the social worker, who then rode with us to the other orphanage to meet Alina. At the time Maxim was still at the hospital (he’s taken there every 3 months for checkups in Dnipropetrovs’k). We waited for a while and after some serious anticipation, they brought her in. She was so cute and so skinny! They talked to her in Russian and then she turned to us. We held her hand while she led us to the courtyard, head down, and then jumped right on the swing. After a few swings, she started stealing a few looks at us. When our eyes made contact, she would smile and look away once again, soon to try again.

After spending some more time together, with the caregivers encouraging her to give us a hug etc., she went back in and we left to grab some lunch. The first impressions were great and we couldn’t wait to see Maxim later in the afternoon. We then returned at 4:30pm and Maxim was brought out. Here are pictures from the first morning and afternoon encounters (click images to enlarge).

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8 clicked here to comment!:

adopting2fromUkraine said...

It was meant to be!:) Two little cuties!

That's a relief to know Maxim was just getting tests at the hospital and that they do it often. He's a little show-off, isn't he? lol


Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks :) Yes, he is a show-off and a pain lol! His laugh is quite contagious especially when he's being chased or tickled. Can't wait to get back home with them.

S and T said...

Wow! Twins! You are blessed and so are they. They are adorable. Maybe we can meet them when you get home. Sharon

Phaedra said...

Congratulations, Lori and Dave! It sounds like your trip is successful! Have a safe journey home.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I'm sooo excited for you guys. Keep your spirits up and get plenty of rests...
this is reyna btw. :) i posted once already as 'anonymous'. i dont know what i'm doing....

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hey Sharon, we'd love to meet up. That will also give you a chance to chase after Isaac ;)

Thanks Phaedra, it's been a long time since we met at Central Market!

LOL Reyna, you must not be logged in to your blogger account and that's why it's not showing your name. Thanks a lot for commenting! We're finally sleeping properly. You know, kids wear you out ;)

Christine said...

Awesome! The delays that you speak of will improve once you guys are home. We have a daughter that was very very delayed at first and now she is reading, writing, and doing math. She is still delayed but she is doing things I was never sure she would do! Kids are amazing-- especially when they are loved and nurtured! Thanks again for blogging!

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks Christine. We're already very encouraged. Even though Isaac can't really speak yet, he understands and has good memory. He can point out body parts when I say them in English. He also imiates parts of words really well. We have no doubt he'll flourish.