Monday, November 8, 2010 30.

I haven't blogged about my final day with the children at the sanatorium, because it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it, but with us leaving for home tomorrow and since I can't sleep because of my absolute excitement in going home, I thought I would take advantage of this time while the apartment is quiet and the boys are asleep, finally. I mentioned in an earlier post that when the boys left the sanatorium their final day they weren't able to really say goodbye to their friends, so the next day we returned to the sanatorium. Before we took the 45 minute bus ride over to the left bank I gave each of the boys 50 grivna so they could buy a few little gifts to "present" to their friends. They bought little flashlights, a football, candy and a few packages of sunflower seeds. When we walked through the fence I could hear the children inside calling out, "Bogdan, Ruslan" and then from every open window and door boys were spilling out. They all ran to eachother and embraced one another. They each have their own little group of friends, so they would stand together and hug and talk amoungst themselves. Their friends were so grateful for their gifts. They all split the sunflower seeds by filling each of their pockets and periodically grabbing a handful and then filling their llittle mouths, the sanatorium "playground" is covered with sunflower seeds, they love their seeds. They are flavorless and I personally do not care for them, but oh how the children devour them. During our visit three nurses stood within five feet of our little group literally standing guard, they each stood there with arms folded across their chests and not a single smile amoungst them. I didn't undestand why, but it was okay...they let us spend some time with the boys and then about 30 minutes into our visit they started ushering them back into the sanatorium and this is when, as you guessed it, I lost it. Each of the boys embraced Ruslan and Bogdan and a few of them just held on for a bit longer and then they came over to where I was standing and hugged me also. My little Nicholas, who I absolutely have grown to love and adore said, " please Daniella, me America, no mommy no poppy, please". How do you respond to something like that, what do you say? I simply hugged him and told him it would okay... and I hope that one day everything will be. He then walked away. The boys said their final goodbyes and then a few of them walked us to the fence opening where David and I had left our boys so many times before, but this time they were walking out with me and yet I still had to leave some behind. The children continued to stay and wave goodbye at the fence until we went around our final corner to go home. I wish I had the words to share with you how heartbreaking that day was. Each and everytime I think of these boys I have a heavy heart. Why do they need to live like this? Why can't every child have parents that love and adore them? Why? I will never be the same person I was when I first arrived in Ukraine, my life has forever been changed.

Loves and kisses!!

The boys that walked us to the fence waving goodbye.

My most adorable Nicholas. He fell a couple of weeks ago and really skinned up his little face and hands. The green you see on his face is an antibiotic they use.

I snuck a picture of the sanatorium dining room through an open window. The tables have bread and apples for the children to eat.

The sanatorium playground. These are pavillion type structures. On one of my visits we played tag like game where instead of tagging someone with your hand you would tag them with a small soft ball. We ran around these structures, they, not me, climbed on top, to avoid being tagged. We laughed, ran and dodged the ball until we were absolutely exhausted.

More of the playground. The Ukrainians sure know how to recycle their old tires. You see them everyhwere as playgound equipment, planter boxes, benches...they sure are popular.

Bogdan's buddies. (Roseanne notice the baseball equipment, they were so excited when I told them we were leaving the ball and gloves with them. Thanks for letting me give them to the boys, you're the best!)

Ruslan's friends.

The boys showing eachother their gifts and then playing with them.

Nicholas and Vladik.

Ruslan with his friends showing them each what he brought for them. This picture was taken from quite a distance, when they realized Ruslan was back they all ran to eachother. It was the cutest thing ever.

The children.


  1. Heartbreaking post, Danielle! I think we all need a visit to the orphanage to see how much we take for granted. I've been touched by your dedication and hard work at getting these boys to your home! You are an example of someone who truly has unconditional love for others. You are one of the most Christlike people I know and I value our friendship more than I can express! Thanks for being such a great example to me! Let's get Nicholas here! We can do it! That will be our next neighborhood project. What's one more around the house? I've gotten used to having Windsor fact I'm going to miss her when you get home!!! :)

  2. I agree with everything Jenny said. You are truly amazing! I am blessed to be your friend. It is so heartbreaking to hear about these children. I can't even imagine how heart-wrenching it was to have little Nicholas ask you to take him with you. Thank you so much for letting us share in this experience with you! We love you and your family so much.

    The Becksteads

  3. Wow, an amazing post to wrap up your journey. That little Nicholas is one cute kids. There won't be many days that you won't think about him. Many families from previous years have gone back to Ukraine for their 'Nicholas', having that impression burned in their minds.

    You did it. You made it to the end. What a couple of handsome little blessings Ukraine is entrusting you with. They will bring you joy and make you proud.

    Please let us know your flight information if you would like airport visitors.

  4. This is a tear jerking post. It is SOOOO hard to leave the ones behind and wonder how they will do and what their future holds. We still call and talk to some of the kids at the orphanage and they appreciate it. You have been changed and so have those children. They will think of love when they think of Americans and if someone comes for them, they will not be afraid because they had the blessing of knowing you. Who knows, you may have intigated the future Baseball Federation of Ukraine :) Nicholas was from our orphanage and is even cuter without the antibiotic stuff on. We hope you have a very safe and uneventful trip home. You are amazing and we are so happy that your journey in Ukraine is complete. The adoption excitement is not over yet. Take a breath, there is more to come :) Keep blogging if you can. Love the Hinksons

  5. I can see why this was hard for you to write, it was hard to read. I am all teared up. I wish so much that I had the money to give you to go back and get Nicolas. He is a gorgeous boy. I can't imagine how hard it was when he asked you to take him too. You are such a kind, loving person and so is Dave. I believe it was God's plan for you to be the parents of all of your kids. With all of your miracles who wouldn't believe that. I'm sure there are more miracles to come. Like Jenny and Karalee I am so very blessed to be your friend and I love you! Good luck on your trip home.

  6. Congratulations, Danielle. We wish you joy in your new boys.

  7. Really pulls at your heart strings. All such handsome boys, sweet boys just wanting someone to love them. I just don't get those nurses. Lighten up and let the boys have such small simple pleasures. Glad you are back in the states with your boys! :)

  8. Just checking in for an update......airport know? I hope you'll keep blogging! You've only completed chapter one! I want to keep reading the rest of the story!!

  9. Hello! We are just about to begin our journey. Wendy mentioned to me that you had some Ukrainian things. A curling iron, among them. We leave in 2 weeks and I'm wondering if I could meet you some place and get that? Please let me know!

    (imjazzed14 @