x

Happiness Messengers For an Ordinary Family

It is well known that in the process of preparing and legalization of documents for a child’s guardianship, the child is initially chosen by the parents-to be; but it happens otherwise, too...
Author: Elena Ivanchenko, translated by Elena Guda, www.deti.zp.ua Published: April 30, 2013, 11:10 2585

Hi, everyone! We are Elena and Viktor Ivanchenko, a family from Zaporozhye.

We are raising nine children in our family. They are Katya, aged 18, who is our own daughter, and eight orphans: Tanya, aged 17, Vova, aged 13, Edik, aged 12, Ruslan, aged 11, Elya, aged 9, Kolya, aged 8, Lyuda, aged 7 and small Yura – he is only 3 years old.

Though based on the documents I am only a guardian for my children, all of them call us “mother” and “father”. As back as 2006 we understood we wanted to raise many children and to present our love to them but the life has turned out so that we had only one daughter. So we made our minds to invite one more child into our family. We dreamed about a fair-haired and blue-eyed girl about 3 or 4 years old. However, one can wish a lot but the real life makes its corrections in the plans.

My husband, daughter and I often helped one orphanage: sent there toys, clothes, sweets, as well as visited the orphans. So, on one of the New Year’s Eves we were invited there. When the staff of the facility came to know I was preparing documents for guardianship they proposed to me to take one of the children home for the vacation. At the time only several children were staying at the orphanage: the rest of them went to their relatives for the holidays and the vacation. So that was how we met with Tanya and Vova (at the time they were 10 and 6 accordingly). My husband and I thought the children would simply stay with us during the holidays and then we would take them back. But right from the start Vova called my husband “daddy” and Tanya began to call us “mommy” and “daddy”. And we understood that parents do not leave their children in orphanages. Thus, first “swallows” of happiness flew into our home. When we are asked: “How did you dare to make this decision?” I usually answer: “They chose us their mother and father”. And it’s great honor for my husband and me because God doesn’t allow everyone to take care of orphans. Tanya and Vova’s natural parents died and at present we are their family.”

Two years passed after that but our wish to have a small blue-eyed and fair-haired girl didn’t leave us. Again we prepared all the required documents and addressed Children’s Affairs Service and we were sent to visit an asylum – a girl was waiting for us there. When she was brought to us I simply came to love her from the first sight! Extremes meet: black hair; brown eyes were looking at me and saying: “I AM YOUR DAUGHTER!” We decided that she was ours but we were told that she had two problems that had scared away all the previous people who had also wanted to take her. I looked at the girl and thought: “She looks healthy, what problems can there be?” And then these problems were also brought to us – these two problems because of which other people rejected her: they were her two brothers, swarthy as their sister and very cute.

I have never had prejudices in national issues because all people are equal. It’s the same like with fruits that are different in their taste and color. Anyway we cannot imagine our world without plums, apricots, apples or pears. Same with people: God created people very different. Maybe the comparison is not very good but it is visual anyway. First words of my Elya were: “When I am your daughter I will be WHITE!” I will remember these words till the end of my life. Only afterwards, when we took all the three children into our family (Elya was 4, Edik was 6 and Ruslan was 5) they often used to ask me during their baths: “Mom, rub me harder please so that I will become white”. That is how our family was extended to three more happiness “swallows”. Certainly it is difficult to touch upon everything in our conversation: it would comprise life stories of every of the children in our family.

Two more years have passed; we improved our living conditions and prepared for a new member in our family. As usual we prepared all the documents and applied to Children’s Affairs Service. We found a child we liked and a lot of trips followed: the boy lived in an orphanage in western Ukraine. But the main thing was we went there to bring home Yura, eighteen months old, but returned also with a six-year-old Kolya and Lyuda, aged 5. It turned out Yura had a brother and a sister and they could be taken into a family only together.

Now we are many and we are friendly. Different situations happen at times, though: for instance, someone becomes too eager to be mom’s favorite. But then we usually have a talk, hug each other and everything ends well. The most important thing is for children to know they are dear to you, to know that they are needed in the family and their parents cannot imagine their life without them. I often talk to my children; we often make tea parties with questions: children ask me any questions and my husband and I answer them, then we change our parts. We like to do everything together very much. We have a small country house with a plot of land and the children like to grow vegetables there without any assistance. And I have noticed how they protect their plants and how distressed they are when some seeds do not grow. So sometimes in our conversations I use the same tactics saying: “Mom loves you and takes care of you. Anyway you return to sadness at times”. It’s the way we call their misbehavior – “a return to sadness”.

I haven’t regretted a single day the decision I made once to help orphans and the fact that now we have so many children in our family.

Best regards, Elena Ivanchenko.


This publication related with such categories:
       Foster families  Publications made by Happy Child, Ukraine  

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

More than 16 years of trust of donors and benefactors, thousands of aid transaction processed every year. Full transparency in the usage of donation
You donated $256 330 in 2020

Our expenses in 2020

153 sick children: $143 953 
Medical equipment: $9 258
To disabled orphans: $27 848
To eco-village for orphans: $14 044
To orphans and poor families: $5 890
To adults ("Helpus" charity): $8 424
Administration and fundraising: $25 527
Total sum of expenses: $243 680 

$4 824 243 donated since 2007

They need help:

Olga Pavlenko, born in 2002, high degree cystic fibrosis

Olga Pavlenko, born in 2002, high degree cystic fibrosis

Yegor Bespalyi, born in 2017 - Severe cystic fibrosis

Yegor Bespalyi, born in 2017 - Severe cystic fibrosis

Kirill Karpachev (born 28 June 2000) and Timofei Karpachev (born 22 November 2011) – Cystic fibrosis, mixed form

Kirill Karpachev (born 28 June 2000) and Timofei Karpachev (born 22 November 2011) – Cystic fibrosis, mixed form

Mark Bondarev, 5 years old - Cystic fibrosis

Mark Bondarev, 5 years old - Cystic fibrosis

Vladislav Bogomazov, 6 years old - Cystic fibrosis, severe course

Vladislav Bogomazov, 6 years old - Cystic fibrosis, severe course


A Child Needs a Family: Vladislav Sh., born in 2003

A Child Needs a Family: Vladislav Sh., born in 2003

A Child Needs a Family: Stepan S., born in 2013

A Child Needs a Family: Stepan S., born in 2013

A Child Needs a Family: Tatiana M., born in 2005

A Child Needs a Family: Tatiana M., born in 2005