Our third referral is too sick to leave his groupa. This poor child cannot function outside his groupa. He is so mentally challenged that he cannot be considered for adoption. We were shown his file nonetheless.
We are done here and are returning home.
We sat in the hallway of the SDA until we were allowed to meet with the Director. We asked why we were shown files three different times of children that were so much worse then their files stated. We asked why we were not allowed to call the orphanage director during our third appointment. We were told that the SDA staff is too busy to keep the files current or accurate and that they rely upon the families to take the referrals and report back to the SDA about the childrens' status. This information isn't consistently added to the children's files.
We were told that it was illegal for us to have had our 3rd appointment. (Third appointments are not illegal.) We were asked if we were asking to have members of the SDA break the law by being allowed to see more files. Even though we reiterated numerous times that we were looking for a child with correctable health issues or a child that had the cognitive ability to function within a family unit and that the child or 2 children could be of either sex and up to 7 years old we were told that there are no files that would meet our criteria. The SDA Director told us that there are no healthy children under 8 or 10 years old. She said that she is working with the US Embassy to update their website to reflect this information. She said that Ukrainians do not abandon their children in orphanages if they are healthy. She said that prospective adoptees that want healthy children go to countries like China where children are abandoned for reasons other then health.
We did not receive nor did we think we would be offered an apology for being shown inaccurate and outdated files. It is our perception based on this conversation that the SDA has no interest in keeping the files current or accurate. It is our conclusion that there is no concern for adopting families traveling blindly to far away regions in their country based on wrong data. The excuse we were offered was that it was God's will that we did not find our child here. From our perspective the reason is that we are forced to make decisions on children with information that is completely inaccurate and outdated. Thankfully for many families the inaccuracies plays in their favor. For us the inaccurancies did not.
We did not fail the children of Ukraine. We see them being failed by their own government. I saw piles of files in every room we were in during the selection process. We are told by complete strangers in this process that when the SDA is called by orphanage directors or city inspectors the SDA has no record of the child, and that the files sit on desks of medical doctors who don't feel there is any need to expedite their updating. Based on dates given to us during our appointments, children are available for adoption months before they are ever shown to prospective adoptees.
It is so saddening and heartbreaking for the children. These children run to you, cry for you, gaze at you from afar because they so desperately want a Mama and a Papa to love them. We do not cry for ourselves. To try to make sense of it all is futile as there is no logic or humanity in it. We are going home and we know in our hearts that we did as much as we could for a child in Ukraine.
2 years ago