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 crack in the wall

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“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”  ~ Randy Pausch – The Last Lecture

Many apologies that I have not updated this blog for such a long time. I had all good intentions but honestly, we have been in a holding pattern since last I wrote… hit a “brick wall” so to say. There were several times when I thought we would have news… and then nothing. And, it is difficult for me to sit down and spew out continuous optimism when I just don’t know what’s really going on. However, for those of you following the news… much has happened over the last couple of weeks and especially over the last few days. Some good and some bad. But first we back up just a bit… After we left Ukraine, a decision was made that “we” (mostly meaning Angelina & Co. in Ukraine) would initiate steps to move Dima from Nikolaevka to an orphanage in Donetsk. This would have been a positive move in many respects… much fewer back roads to travel as well as distance from Slovyansk… which was a Pro-Russian Rebel stronghold. And, if we could have moved him to Donetsk, we could have traveled back almost immediately. However, roads were closed to travel… which is why we came home early and which meant that he physically could not get to Donetsk.  Then, on June 8th we received this email from Angelina…

Hi Leslie! I am super optimistic, as always, Leslie. Finally we have our official President-Peter Poroshenko, and we all hope the situation in Eastern Ukraine will be changed and fixed within a couple weeks, at least President promises the same, and I want to believe this is the only way we have. So I will keep you updated, but at the moment the highway connecting Donetsk with the camp where Dima is now (it’s very safe place) blocked and closed… We are waiting for only good news, can’t wait when you finally meet your baby boy! I am sure it’ll happen very soon! Love, Angelina

So, we waited… waited for things to change and roads to open.  Just a couple of weeks, right? But the roads didn’t open and the violence continued. And in my continuous effort to try to “fix things” – which I am pretty good at doing most of the time – I made an inquiry as to whether Dima could participate in the hosting program… which, in hindsight, didn’t really make sense to even ask.  But it was all I had.  And so, I asked.  And on June 20th Angelina responded…

Hi Leslie, Unfortunately Dima is blocked in his camp, but I will find out if we can do anything to join him to any hosting group. At the moment it sounds absolutely impossible, unfortunately. All the best!! Angelina

And so we continued to wait… for all the same things that were surely just a “couple weeks” from happening. Well, things did start happening and just last week on July 2nd as we were preparing to go to the lake to enjoy a long 4th of July weekend… celebrating our independence… I got this message from Angelina…

 Hi my dear Leslie!! Oh, it’s really super hard to be an optimist in this situation but we try to overcome all these unexpectable difficulties that appeared now… Today they bombed our Grlovka city, fortunately there was an opposite side of the city, we just heard some bad sounds… Leslie, you can’t believe but I spoke with Valentina, deputy director of Dima’s orphanage half an hour ago… She says Dima in a safe place, 50 miles away from the orphanage… She says the orphanage sleep in the cellar (bomb shelter) and get used to all this crazy situation… so bad and sad… We are sure all will be fixed within two weeks, but still very dangerous and crazy… Leslie, last Wednesday (a week ago) I spoke with Tatyana, Max’s guardian, she is very upset and disappointed that our plan didn’t work. She promised to continue fighting for Max’s future, but no guarantee… need to wait. She says Max is also in a safe area, Southern Ukraine, at the camp near the Black Sea. He”ll stay there until the end of August… Oh, nobody could expected all this, but we hope we’ll winners very soon, really!! Please stay in touch!! love, Angelina

Needless to say, this wIMG_8971as disturbing news… not just on the adoption front… but we now personally knew people who live in a city that is being bombed. And there is nothing that we can do about it. So the 4th of July had a different taste for me this year. Don’t get me wrong… I had a great weekend – spending it at the lake with one of my highschool besties and her family. But I would periodically feel a wave of foolishness wash over me as I found myself struggling with decisions as critical as burgers or brats… or floating or fishing. (Rachel was successful at fishing as you can see) But that is what we love about our country, right? The very fact that sometimes… these are the most important decisions that we have to make. And this gave me a much needed re-energization on the adoption end and it filled me with a renewed sense of import to give Dima the opportunity to know these kinds of freedom… and perhaps to just be a kid. But again… all we could do was to continue to wait. And then, on July 6th, I received the following text from Angelina…

 Hi Leslie!!! Great news: Slavyansk and Nikolaevka are free from terrorists! Yesterday Ukrainian army liberated these cities!!! More than two months of occupation. Slavyansk is almost destroyed, more than half of inhabitants ran away… horrible… it’ll take time to return the city to normal life. Hope Donetsk will be also free very soon. Thank you for praying for us and Ukraine.

Finally… some good news! The news today shows that the Pro-Russian rebels have moved into Donetsk. This is not great for Donetsk, but their strongholds in the outer regions have been defeated. And it is clear that the new president is standing behind his promise to act aggressively with respect to these terrorists. Also on the bright side, it appears that, so far, Putin has ignored the rebels’ requests for troops. Ukraine has also recently signed the European Union Trade Pact which could mean financial benefits for the country and hopefully President Poroshenko will be successful in finding a good balance in relationships between Europe, Ukraine and Russia… which, in my opinion, is critical. So the brick wall isn’t down… but perhaps a crack?

3 responses »

  1. Marilyn 💥

    Bless you, bless you, bless you! Happiness to come with lots of prayers.

  2. Thanks for the update. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. And Rachel, that fish is fantastic!!!!

  3. Deanna Speranza-Murphy

    Leslie as you know life is funny! My thought threw reading this is what if in the end you wind up with both Dima and Max? Sometimes the funny things are good!


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