Adoption Saves

  • Written by:  kimdeblecourt
  • Date Posted:  November 12th, 2014
  • Category:  Adoption
  • Comments:  2 Comments »

It began as a story of a family that never was.
Four children were born to a single woman in Odessa, Ukraine. They entered the orphanage system directly from the hospital they were born in. It would be years before the children met each other. I am privileged to know two of them.
One was internationally adopted into a family. It was an adjustment. The language was different. The food was different. And life in a family is very different from an Eastern European orphanage.
For two years, nightmares terrified him. He never wanted to see an orphanage again. It was hard to coax him into any large building. One look and you could see his fear.
The other had been a part of the system for sixteen years. She had finally finished school and was on her way to college. She was looking forward to her first apartment with a friend from the orphanage. She was ready to experience life on her own terms.
She didn’t want anyone telling her what to do anymore. She didn’t want to be adopted and said “No, thank you” to the offer. But, she wanted to meet her younger brother. I was there when they first met.
The young boy began to change, almost as soon as he entered his new family. His thin hair grew thicker and his paper-thin nails grew strong. He started to grow so fast, he often complained of leg pain “in his bones.” His quick grasp of his third language in his first four years of life surprised all. He overcame his fear of crowds, the small family dog and meeting new people.
The teenager, the young boy’s older half-sister, moved into the new apartment with her friend. She started trade school. She dreamed of becoming a cook and an accountant, so she might open her own “small but good” restaurant one day. She took lots of photos. She kept in touch with her orphanage friends and her younger brother via Skype. She was well-liked. Her life held promise.
The young boy tested positive for a latent tuberculosis infection in 2010. He received nine months of treatment via the county health department in the U.S. He now has a 99% chance the disease would never develop, never spread, due to a simple daily antibiotic.
The teenage girl tested positive for the tuberculosis disease in 2012. By the time it was discovered, the TB had advanced into her right lung. She started a rigid treatment plan in the government run TB treatment center in Odessa, Ukraine. It wasn’t long before her left lung became infected also.
The boy’s family was very concerned for the young woman. They flew to Ukraine to take her for further testing. They made sure she had medication and food. They urged her to enter into a hospital for proper dosing and treatment.
Today, the boy is in second grade and thriving. He loves mathematics, Lego blocks and Star Wars.
Today would have been the young woman’s 22nd birthday. Lena died on June 22, 2014. Her U.S. family held a service for her at her younger brother’s request. They remain broken-hearted.
The boy is our son. I am convinced he was spared a similar fate due to his adoption. His life is one of love, family and promise.
Lena, our Ukrainian daughter of the heart, had her life cut short by a cruel disease. She was a victim of faulty reasoning: One that believes a government can raise children; one that believes remaining in a birth country is more important than joining a waiting family; and one that believes children are merely headcounts and have no human right to a family.
I know people who are avid adoption supporters. I often hear from people who are anti-adoption. They are equally passionate about their beliefs.
My pro-adoption beliefs aren’t formed from a successful or non-successful adoption experience.
My pro-adoption stance doesn’t stem from any extensive research or doctorial degree.
I believe in adoption because of our son and his sister. I am involved in orphan care because I’ve seen too much not to be. I am for adoption because love doesn’t recognize man-made boundaries. I advocate for adoption because I believe family is a basic human right. I fight for (domestic and international) adoption because adoption saves lives. Our son is living proof.
Happy birthday, my dear Lena. You will remain forever young and beautiful to the family who loves you and considers you their own. May you rest in peace and love.

Ваш американский мама



2 Responses to “Adoption Saves”

  1. Kim says:

    I’ve just finished your book. First, I want to convey my condolences and prayers to your family. “Svetlana” became very special to me for many reasons as I read your words. I am reminded that God sets people, situations, even books like yours on our path exactly when He knows we need them. We’ve adopted from Ukraine, in 2011, and are honored God let us be the parents of a precious little girl. We are once again on an adoption journey which seems impossible but know God has a perfect plan for the soon to be 16 year old we hope to adopt. Even in the midst of political turmoil, we (and she) have hope. Thank you for reminding us, in all things, God is with us. May God continue to use you for his kingdom.

    • Thank you, Kim. Svetlana was as much a daughter to me as I could have imagined. I’m glad to know my love for her bled through the ink of book pages and into people’s hearts. May your current adoption journey be a blessed one and may God hover close over all of you. Feel free to contact me at with any questions or concerns that arise.
      Peace & grace,

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