My wife and I visited Ukraine: God gave us the compassion and the money needed to adopt Mary, and also Marina, another orphaned girl with special needs in 2016. By a leap of faith we accepted the challenges we knew would come by by holding to the verse, "As you do it to the least of these . . . you do it to me."
The seriousness and extent of her conditions was not discovered until she arrived in our home. Mary was going deaf, and quickly. Her hearing is gone in her left ear but was barely saved in her right. Had she stayed in the orphanage she would have been deaf in both ears. Now with the help of a hearing aid she now can hear in her right ear and she is starting to speak in spite of a large hole in her palette. The speech therapists are amazed at her abilities and encourage us by saying that when the palette is repaired she will be able to make tremendous progress. For months now the maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists have been preparing her for the first major reconstructive surgery. The procedures are complex. A full-day of surgery to be followed by 3 days in ICU and then days in a normal room will begin November 30, 2017 at Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A second bone graft surgery will follow in six months. We hope to be beside Mary as she faces many years of speech, occupational, physical, and possibly emotional therapies.
We are so thankful to be chosen to help this child. It is encouraging that our friends and even caring others join in helping Mary to realize a new life of greater normalcy. She will notice a change in the mirror, also she will enjoy talking, eating, and so many little things that will come with the repair. My wife, Julia, and our two sons will enjoy seeing her more readily accepted by others. Our insurance will pay for the vast majority of the costs. However, there are deductibles and many expenses surrounding such major surgeries. These unexpected medical liabilities are financially and emotionally overwhelming. We are explaining to our sons that we must view our difficult times, not as a crippling lifestyle burden, but as family sacrifices made as an investment to help a young girl who was facing huge life-crippling burdens to be able to assume a greater quality of life for the rest of her years. I expect, and pray, that our family will always look back and view the current extreme circumstances as a huge intrinsic heart-felt blessing. I was reluctant to ask for help through this “go fund me” page. But, Mary needs the help, our family needs the help. My prayer too is that, as you give what ever you can, you also will now and always enjoy a heart-felt blessing and enjoy it by thinking of us and Mary often. If you can not send dollars right now, please send prayers: We need plenty of both.
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