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I met Seryozha for the first time a year ago during a cleaning day in Kalinovka launched by the Happy Child charity foundation. Almost all the orphans there were trying to help us, coming around, making friends with us, grasping us by the hand while Seryozha was sitting near the house porch and just smiling. Then he came over in his wheelchair and said “Hi, I am Seryozha!” He was one of very few orphans in the Happy Home who could somehow speak and always asked me how I was and what was new since my last visit. He always remembered what you were wearing, saying or promising. Sometimes he would notice such subtle things in your words, so it made me realize that Seryozha could see much more beyond what we at times try not to notice.
This boy with a big heart, he shared with everyone around, was looking forward to his big dream of living in a real loving family coming true. Seryozha believed with all his heart and soul that there was his mama somewhere in the world. He honestly hoped to see his mom in every girl who visited the orphanage in Kalinovka.
The big day finally came – and Seryozha’s mama finally found him. He was awfully nervous and feared that something could go wrong and his future parents wouldn’t like him. One of the reasons of his deep concerns was a complicated situation in Ukraine. He genuinely wished peace and it really upset him to see on TV how cruel and stupid people could be. One of the biggest obstacles to his dream was to bring his birth certificate from the annexed Crimea. Seryozha was ready to wait but he couldn’t help but feeling worried and bursting into tears imagining that after such a long wait he would have to stay in the orphanage for even a bit longer. This young man was seeking consolation in Heaven and hoped for the best.
Seryozha’s future parents were very excited about the time when they could officially call him their son. They made every effort to bring Seryozha into their family, so they are undoubtedly worth our great respect! There are hardly any people ready to choose this winding road and bravely walk along it. They were really looking forward to meeting their son, regardless of the fact that he’s not their biological child. They are definitely going to put their heart and soul into him. Seryozha is gracefully rewarded for his patience and firm belief that one day he’d be loved by his mom and dad.
After their main ordeals Seryozha’s parents needed to complete some trifling issues in the city, so they took their son from the orphanage and headed to Zaporizhzhia on their way home to the USA.
The next time we saw Seryozha, he met us with a spirit of confidence on his face and happy eyes. Now Seryozha has people who are responsible for him not just legally but for whom it is an art of love. Seryozha is felt loved by everyone. The young lad was quick to take the initiative like making tea or doing the dishes by himself. Seryozha with his new dad are like two best buddies – they enjoyed making faces and laughing their heads off. They were learning to understand each other.
By this time Seryozha could easily manage to operate his own wheelchair and did not ask for assistance like he used to do in the orphanage in Kalinovka where he climbed on bars asking to be taught how he could stand on his feet. He was literally burning with a desire to move and live.
There is certainly a very special kind of happiness – to be happy for someone else. I was overwhelmed with such a feeling when Seryozha was leaving for America. He was blooming and becoming stronger. He now possessed more strength and enthusiasm to go on fighting for his happiness. He finally knew the goal and worth of his destination. Wesley and Karen gave him the most wonderful feeling of a solid foundation. When you know that someone believes in you and will always support you – you are ready to go on till the end, even when your strength is running out.
Once during a wheelchair race in Kalinovka, Seryozha drove over, smiled and asked me “If you were disabled, would we become friends?” I tried to explain to him that it did not matter and we were friends anyway but he did not believe my words. Before the train departed to Kiyv, Seryozha hugged us tightly and confidently called us his friends. This amazing change of Seryozha’s attitude is that he now feels himself a personality who can live his life to the fullest without being dependent on someone else. We agreed to meet in a couple of years time and visit together his old but “Happy Home”. I really hope he will come back there an entirely independent, strong and happy person.
The Blakes Family are happily settling down everything in the South Carolina and getting used to their new life. Seryozha is trying to learn English and teach his parents to speak some Russian which is hilarious at times since he doesn’t pronounce some Russian sounds well enough. The family is sharing with each other all the best they have collected for their lifetime and feeling blessed they have someone to enjoy it together with.
Seryozha’s story is a shining example of faith in your dreams coming true and big-hearted people who want to take care of special children.
I’d like to hope that many other little orphans with special needs in Kalinovka who all truly deserve loving families, will be fortunate to have their mom and dad one day too!