“They saw the boy and understood: this is our son.” The story of a couple from the Mykolaiv region who dared to become parents

“They saw the boy and understood: this is our son.”  The story of a couple from the Mykolaiv region who dared to become parents

Cheerful, active, inquisitive Bohdan (name changed) half a year ago was a completely different child. The boy spent a year and a half in a rehabilitation center. And like all children who grow up without parental care and love, he dreamed of his home and loving mom and dad. On Valentine’s Day, 4-year-old Bohdan finally went home – the Stark family took him under his care. “Ukrainian truth. Life” tells their story. *** Anna and Serhii Starkovy from the Mykolayiv region have been together for 15 years. They don’t have their own children, but they’ve been dreaming about children for a long time. They approached adoption responsibly – they understood that it was a big step, and they wanted to be ready for all the nuances: they signed up for training and started preparing the necessary documents. “It was on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. One class was held before the war, another during it, and then we were informed that the class was canceled. I confess – then we gave up. We thought that nothing would happen. And then we got a call and they said that studies were being resumed – we were incredibly happy,” says Anna. Anna and Serhiy Starkovy from Mykolaiv Oblast. The training, which lasts 8 days, allows you to help prepare candidates for adoptive parents, says Zhanna Petrochko, a consultant for the educational and methodological work of the international charitable organization “Partnership for Every Child” (this organization conducts the training): “At the classes, we say about the role of the family in meeting the needs of the child, about powers, rights and responsibilities. We talk about the patterns of child development and the peculiarities of his adaptation in a new family. We explain how to establish a trusting relationship with a child and how to raise him. Candidates can share their experience and analyze the experience of other parents. And already after training, the candidates finally decide whether they are ready to take a child into the family. And this is extremely important, because a mistake cannot be made.” Zhanna Petrochko, consultant for the educational and methodological work of the international charitable organization “Every Child” Partnership. In the end, the Starks completed the training, collected all the documents and were waiting for an opportunity to meet the child. “You know, during training we were told that we would feel that this is our child. And it was so when we arrived at the center and saw Bohdan. So they brought him to us, and I couldn’t say a word, we felt in our hearts that it was ours, our child. He even looks like my husband,” Anna recalls. During the acquaintance, the boy was not very verbal, but the workers of the rehabilitation center where he was staying later said: Bohdan was sincerely glad that he would have a real family. He went and told everyone: “My new mom and dad will take me to their home, I will live at home.” He was really looking forward to it. And he waited, like his parents. A few months later, the boy turned 5 years old. In just a few months, Bohdan has practically adapted to his new family. But, Anna admits, it was not easy. “At first, for example, if something hurt him, he didn’t admit it. He was silent, he didn’t say anything. We understood that it was subconscious. We don’t know where he lived, in which family. Maybe he once complained to his mother , that he was in pain, and they told him to shut his mouth and sit, or don’t touch me. We don’t know. So we tried to gently establish contact with him, explained that we couldn’t help if he didn’t talk about it And so, over time, Bohdan began to say that if something bothers him, he doesn’t hide anything from us anymore,” says Anna. She is convinced that the main thing is to create conditions for a trusting relationship and explain a lot. After all, for a long time the child had no guidelines: what is good and what is bad; how to behave, what not to do: “There were moments when he invented something or did not agree. We explain everything to him like a very small child. But he absorbs all the information like a sponge – he understands everything, he listens. For example, what can’t be done lie, especially to your parents, because if you constantly lie, and one day you tell the truth, we will no longer be able to believe it. Now, even if he does something, he will immediately confess, because he already understands when and what the consequences can be. In Bohdan’s behavior very noticeable changes”. The boy became more open, began to joke, likes to dance. Bohdan is a cheerful and sociable child, he even copies the behavior of his parents. “It seems that he no longer remembers what happened before, we are mom and dad for him. Now it’s very joyful, excitingly joyful. You look at that miracle, how it runs around the playground, rejoices, laughs – these are the best emotions.” – says the woman. Currently, the boy is still under the care of the Stark family, as the adoption documents take a long time. In addition, the court session, which is supposed to make the relevant decision, has been postponed once again, says Anna: “We were immediately offered to take the child into custody with subsequent adoption so that the child does not wait.” To date, Ukrainians have already adopted 400 orphans and children deprived of parental care, says Vasyl Lutsyk, Head of the National Social Service Service: “Currently, there is a trend towards a gradual increase in adoption rates. The information for the first half of the year shows positive dynamics, as the number of adopted children compared to doubled last year.” The head of the National Social Service, Vasyl Lutsyk. Now the Starks are already thinking about adopting another child – when Bohdan grows up a little. And those who are also considering such a step are advised: you should not pay attention to heredity, because how a child will grow up depends on upbringing, says Anna: “And when you come home, and the child runs to meet you, hugs, kisses, tells , what he was doing or what he was busy with and says: “Mom, I missed you”! You understand – there is something to live for.” The material was prepared as part of the UNICEF project “Monitoring the needs and support of children in conditions of war”, which is implemented by the “Every Child” Partnership with the support of UNICEF Ukraine, commissioned by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and the National Social Service of Ukraine. Natalya Kushnirchuk, especially for UP. Life

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