Sometimes protecting children isn’t about saving them from harm but saving them from the horrible emptiness left by neglect. Adoptive mother Tatiana found this when she helped heal the physical and emotional holes in her young son’s heart.
Two years ago, Artem and his brother were placed in an orphanage in the war-torn Donetsk region of the Ukraine. Their mother, who was very poor, had died suddenly of a stroke, leaving the two young boys completely alone. The boys were moved to the quarantine infections department of the local orphanage. Conditions in the orphanage were incredibly poor and the two boys languished there – hungry, dirty, and still alone.
Until they met Tatiana, a kindergarten teacher who was to become their adoptive mother. After months of adoption paperwork and procedures, Tatiana and her husband were finally able to bring the two boys home.
When she received her new sons, Tatiana washed them, fed them, and clothed them. These simple acts, performed with great love, began to fill a vacant place in the two boys’ hearts and changed their lives forever.
Artem’s happily ever after was a little bit longer in coming though – he was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart defect. Luckily, his new family sought help from Chernobyl Children International (CCI) and Artem was able to receive treatment in December 2015 through their “Flying Doctors Cardiac Mission.” Founded by World of Children Honoree Adi Roche, CCI provides financial and logistical support to teams of European cardiac surgeons who travel to Eastern Ukraine to perform life-saving surgeries for children like Artem.
Artem showed his strength and resilience throughout his surgery and recuperation. He’s already made a good recovery and told nurses that he missed his brother and his cat while in the hospital. But having his new mother by his side made it all better.
Now back at home, Artem and his brother are flourishing in their new family. Just two short years ago, Artem was suffering from physical and emotional scars that left him vulnerable to sickness, abuse, and even death. Thanks to the love and care of his new family, his heart is whole again and he has a long, bright future ahead of him.
Learn more about Chernobyl Children International >>
Learn more about the effect the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is still having on children and their families in the Ukraine >>
This story was originally posted as part of our January 2016 Child Protection Blog Carnival. Read more posts from the Blog Carnival here >>