It’s a quiet Monday evening at my house after a long, enjoyable weekend. I spent time with my family and friends and simply enjoyed some down time. As is usually the case, I find my thoughts drifting to the many children that are currently growing up in orphanages. I wanted to introduce you to a little 1 ½ year old boy named Sasha.
Nine years ago my wife and I were in a small farming village in the Ukraine called Mykolaiv , adopting our son Gregory. As part of the process, we visited the orphanage daily to spend time with him and to visit all the kids. It was definitely a unique experience that forever changed our lives. We would walk with Gregory around the perimeter of the building just getting to know each other and enjoying the fresh air. Gregory was 3 ½ years old, very intelligent, and eager to see everything around us. Every time we showed up to take Gregory outside for a walk, a little boy named Sasha would latch on to my wife Danielle. He would wrap his little arms around Danielle’s neck and hold on for dear life, never wanting to let go. He simply wanted to be loved. Of course we had to take him with us on our walks with Gregory. We didn’t speak the same language, had never met each other before, and had no real way to communicate. However, we communicated through love. He was an adorable child and we grew very attached to both he and Gregory.
Knowing our time to depart was fast approaching, we inquired into whether we might adopt both Gregory and Sasha together. For a myriad of reasons, mostly political, we were told that was not an option. When our day of departure finally came, it was one of very mixed emotions. Of course we were thrilled to be leaving with our new son Gregory. However, we were distraught at the thought of leaving little Sasha in the orphanage. Many tears were shed that day. Although he couldn’t possibly understand, we vowed to come back for him.
As life happens, we eventually flew home and welcomed Gregory into our family. It has been an incredible journey from the very first day. Approximately six months after we returned home, we inquired into the process of going back to Mykolaiv to adopt Sasha, as promised. At that time we were told it was again not an option. However, this time, the reason was because a family had decided to adopt him. Although we were happy that he would be leaving the orphanage, we were definitely upset over the fact that he would not be a part of our family.
As I fast forward back to tonight, I am of the opinion that this is all God’s plan. I am blessed to be a father and a husband. I am both proud and humbled by my children. My wife is the only person in my life that I could possibly imagine going through this journey with. I hope and pray that Sasha is growing up and thriving somewhere in the world with a family that loves him more than life itself. I think about how he must have felt when we left and Danielle didn’t show up the next day to take him on a walk. I wonder what he looks like and what his life must be like today. I think maybe we were just supposed to be there at that time in his life. He was just one of many children in the orphanage. He simply needed a little more love at the time. I know unequivocally, for a very brief time in his life in a very small town in the Ukraine, Sasha was loved. I pray that you are happy, healthy, and loved.