(This will be a two part post.)
I am so grateful for Micah.
He became my son in May 2009. It was, at the time, the hardest thing we had ever done.
These two pictures were taken by a friend who was visiting children in Ukraine during a ministry trip. Micah (then Misha) was in a baby orphanage in Novohrad-Volyns’kyi at that time.
We actually did not originally plan to adopt Micah. We had planned to adopt a different little boy who was very sick. Through providence of God, another family who we had met through the internet was adopting from the same orphanage a few months before us. They had planned to adopt Misha, but when they got there, he had already been moved to a mental asylum, and they were not able to adopt him. Instead, they ended up adopting the little boy we planned to adopt. It was actually an incredible blessing because when they got him back to the States, they were told that he probably would not have survived much longer. Most likely, he would have died there in the orphanage before we got there.
When we found out that he had been adopted, we thought and prayed and decided to try our hardest to adopt Misha from the asylum in a town about 100 kilometers from the baby home (where Matthew was still living). It was not easy for many reasons, but the main reason was because no one had ever adopted a child from this town. Furthermore, no one had ever adopted a child or young adult from one of the asylums in the entire region.
The day we met Micah for the first time was one of the most difficult days ever. Not the hardest day, but it is on the short list. I will never forget my feelings when we drove up to the place.
Let me preface everything else with this: First, we have some friends who have moved to the region where the institution is, and their love for the boys who live there and their persistent ministry there has changed this place fundamentally. Second, it is easy to blame and hate the people that were working in that place, but the real villain is the system.
To get an idea of what we were facing when we arrived at Romaniv, please read this article from World Next Door about what Mission to Ukraine was doing there. We actually met this team when we were there. They had come only a couple of times when we got acquainted with them during one of the visits to Micah.
These deformed, immobile and helpless boys have been abandoned by the world. They live in a tiny building with bare walls. They eat disgusting, soupy slop every day. Frankly, they are treated as less than people. It is a terrible place.World Next Door
NOTE: This article came out when we were in Ukraine, adopting Micah from Romaniv. It is an accurate depiction of what we found there.
This post got much too long and got so emotionally heavy that I decided to split it into two parts.
Today, I am thankful that Micah is my son.