Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Gift

Six years ago today, Evan was born in a small hospital in a tiny town in Eastern Ukraine. I was not there to witness his birth or the heartache that followed, but on this day, each and every year, I am grateful to a beautiful, courageous and strong woman who gave life to the little boy that brings unspeakable joy to my heart every day!

Shortly before leaving for Ukraine, we learned from a friend, of an independent investigator, Gene Sagin, whose primary focus was to locate Ukrainian birth parents for adoptive parents. After we arrived in Ukraine and had met Evan, I began to have this nagging feeling that I needed to locate Evan's birth mother to let her know that Evan was okay. I filed the thought away in the back of my mind and, ocassionally over the next year, it would make its way to the surface again.

Finally, in June 2009 that nagging feeling pushed its way, with some urgency, to the forefront of my mind and I knew it was time to act upon the promptings I had received to locate Evan's mother and to share with her that, not only was Evan okay, but he was thriving. I finally contacted Gene and, within a week, his report was waiting for me in my inbox.

Her story is truly tragic and one that is filled with pain and heartbreakingly difficult decisions, especially for one so young (just 18 at the time Evan was born), but because of her strength and her courage against what, I am sure, seemed like insurmountable odds, Evan is alive! Her story is not mine to tell, but what I can say is that, she could have chosen to take the easy way out. She could have chosen to end her own suffering. But she loved her son so much that she fought for his life before he was even born and she paid dearly for that courageous decision. And, after all that she had suffered just to bring Evan into this world, I can only imagine how devastated she must have been on this day, six years ago, when her sweet baby boy, who she loved so dearly, came into the world "severely disabled" and she was told that he would live no longer than a month.

I received contact information for Evan's birth mother along with Gene's report. I knew immediately that I needed to write to her to let her know that her courageous fight and her suffering had not been in vain. That, because of her strength and her courage, Evan is alive and he is thriving today. What welcomed news this was to Evan's birth mother (and his grandmother), who both thought that he had died many years ago! What a blessing it has been for both of us to be in touch this past year (comical as it may be between my broken Russian and her broken English) as we share in our love for this amazing little boy who brings so much joy and inspiration to everyone he meets!

Lidia, you have truly given me one of the greatest gifts I have ever known! Evan is pure sunshine and he brings joy and light to everyone he meets. It is because of your strength and your courage that he is here, touching lives everywhere he goes. My respect and love for you run so deep and I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the gift that you are! May He bless you every day for your faith, courage and strength.

Happy Birthday Evan!


Jill said...

Happy Birthday Evan! :D

Mandy said...

Happy Birthday Evan! A celebration for the whole family.

Charissa said...

Beautiful, Valerie. I had no idea....

lookingforgeorge said...

Happy birthday Evan! How wonderful that you have his story and that contact to share with him -- that he will know how much his birth mother loved him.

Spencer and Kami said...

Happy birthday beautiful boy!