Orphanage. Chapter 13 – The Kids
I tried to gather info on some kids from the baby and toddler orphanage in Vorzel. Unfortunately, I could not ask about every single one of them.
This is where I will introduce some of the inhabitants of buildings #1 and #5.
Building #1 is where we built the new playground. You asked why put in all the concrete and remove the good old (rusty) elephants…
This is where live the kids with severe mental and physical disabilities.
02. David. He cannot walk without assistance. He has cerebral palsy. He has a mom and an older sister. They live in Kyiv. I think, his mom is an advocate. Sometimes she takes David home with her for a weekend or a day, but always brings him back.
04. Maksym. Very lively boy. Keeps getting out of his crib.
He loves walking and is very active. And, he loves sucking on hands – no matter whose: his own or yours.
05. This boy’s name is Andrey. He has a Down syndrome. He cannot walk unassisted. And when assisted, he can walk only a little and too uncertainly. It seems, he has a grandma, but she visits him rarely. If you give Andrey a toy, he will accept it, but then hurl it really far. He throws toys all the time. He loves to be carried – then he puts his head on your shoulder, becomes quiet, and can stay like that forever. But, he is a very active kid. Has very strong hands. Loves to pull on and tear his own hair, which is why he always wears a short crop.
06. They call this little man Velentyn Petrovych. Yes, with the patronymic. He is special that way. I think he has microcephaly, that is too little grey matter in the brain. That is why all of the staff believe he will never learn anything. He is very active, loves walking hand-in-hand (he could not was unassisted).
Valik (the shorter version of the name) loves to be taken around in a stroller. That way, he can look at things to his heart’s content.
07. This cute thing is Danik. He is 4 and he does not talk, but keeps yelling something. He has been in this orphanage for over a year. Danik’s story is pretty sad. His mom is an alcoholic. She kept him in a wardrobe. That is why he is very nervous. Sometimes he has fits of hysteria, when he cries and nobody can do anything about it. The only thing that seems to help is when he is allowed to sit in an arm-chair he likes – that is where he becomes calmer. They say, that during his first month at the orphanage he would not eat anything, but bread. Danic has a passion for doors—opening and closing them. Seems like he could spend hours by a closet doing it. He can walk on his own, but not very well. Danik plays with other kids, although he does not really relate to them. The teachers said that he never laughed until we came... I think Danik has a grandma, who visits him rarely.
12. “Vanya is a dear boy. He is blind. He also has a cerebral palsy. He loves swings, jumping, hearing new sounds, clapping his hands, well, practically everything that the absolute majority of kids love! He especially appreciate tickles, that is when his laughter can be heard miles away! And, he loves listening to bugs buzzing the best! Vanya says very little with words, but he answers questions nodding his yes’s and shaking away his no’s or simply agrees to things via a big smile. He made his own sign language, but the nurses do not understand what he says with them. Vanya loves to sit in somebody’s lap, feel somebody’s arms around him, know that he is loved. However hard his life is, I believe Vanya’s future is hopeful, especially if he finds loving adopted parents.”
13. By the way, we learned by the end of our stay at the orphanage that Vanya was going to be adopted.
14. “I lack words to describe this wonderful girl Katya. When I first heard of her, I thought that her condition as it was described to me could not be real. Of course, such a cute girl should feel better than what I learned. But no, the truth breaks my heart. Katya is mere skin and bone. She has no muscle tissue (it atrophied) and cannot do anything but lie in bed. He body is so cringed that it takes all her energy to stretch. When I visited her room (quarantine), the nurses were shocked, “Why do you want to spend time with her—she just lies there.” I thought, “But that is exactly why we are here!" Katya responds most when you touch her face and head. I have no idea what her future holds. I pray that a loving family adopts her soon (I do not think she has too much time) and helps her heal.”
16. “If I had a chance, I tried to spend some time with little Sasha every day. And he always said, “It is so great!” When I first met him he was in a room alone. He is not very active now, as he is recovering after a surgery (two more to go, so his hips and legs are corrected and he can walk). His legs were in cast with a rod in-between stretching them. We threw a beach ball back and forth. I read—he listened. I put stickers on his hands and taught him to count to five. I could spend only a few days with him. Then, he went back to Kyiv for rehabilitation. But, those were unforgettable days. I know that Sasha has some bright future in front of him, especially is he is adopted and enveloped with love.”
18. I think this boy’s name is Vadim. He is undergoing a rehabilitation course at the orphanage. He is not an orphan. He has a mom, brings him here every day. He is overweight and mentally retarded.
These are the kids from Building #5. It’s the building where the playground is almost ready. The kids here are better developed.
During the last three summers my eyes have been fastened to a dear little boy with plump cheeks. He is very shy of me, but I have been watching him for a long time now. And I have noticed that he is a very talkative and bright boy. He easily shares with other kids. And, he’s a leader. When he’s asked to clean the toys in the end of play time outside, he always does it. Other kids join him. I have no doubt that if Kirill get out of this system, he would grow to be a smart and kind man."
Little David came up to me slowly and tenderly like a deer, but his eyes were the eyes of a strong lion. We spent five days together filling our time with coloring picture, building things of meccano, making sand castles, walking and singing. David seems to be very shy, but it’s an illusion. He is not just bashful and quiet, he is extremely observant. He is studying people and penetrating everything that they say and do. For example, when we were coloring pictures first time, he did not want to color with me. I thought he did not like coloring, that is why I tried to find other things to do. He would not get up and go do those other thing, so I just sat by him and started coloring in the book. The, I noticed that he was watching me—how I hold the pencil and what I do with it. Then, he grabbed my hand and looked at how I held the pencil, and only after all this he joined me in coloring.
When we go for walks, he shows me things that he finds interesting. We go check them out and then continue our walk. He taught me to value better the thing and people around me. Now, I do not just see that people do this or that, but also how they do it and why. I learn that way. Today, David and I sat on a bench for an hour. We just talked and sang songs. He is a wonderful listener and I suspect that he is a very understanding and accepting person. On must work hard at getting a smile from him, but that smile when it comes is well worth the effort."
34. "David’s sister Sonya is his complete opposite. She is very friendly and personable. She loves playing with her dolls and starts to interact with people as soon as she sees them. She likes to run and laugh. Her laughter and smile are as beautiful as her brother’s. And she has these sky blue eyes. A deadly combination. When they are together it’s a great experience. When they talk and laugh, it’s like a movie scene, which you would like to rewind over and over. They complement each other greatly. And they were a blessing to me."
43. "This little plump boy with so few teeth is Daniil. He’s a real manly man. He points his finder and smiles every time when a big truck passes by or a motorcycle and he jumps every time to pick up things and put them together. He puts his head on my chest right under my chin and hugs me with his little hands so strongly that I do not want to put him back down. When we walk around he hugs trees and flowers, smells them, touches them, and laughs when throwing them back onto the ground. The experience of my time with Daniil is much more exciting than any story I ever read or watched on TV. I had a chance to play with Daniil only for three days, but I have yet to see a man – however tall, dark, and handsome – who could compete with this little man’s love and charm."