As Bill and I are checking off our lists, it’s good to remember that we are doing much more than paperwork. We are strategically engaged to bring Katya home. The following post is by a young lady – Rhya who was adopted by Clark and Kris Stoesz when she was 10. There organization, Ukraine Orphan Outreach is listed in the sidebar. People may say, “What can be so bad about an orphanage? They have food. They have shelter. They have school.” But what they don’t have is a family. God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6), not institutions.
A Day in the Life of an Orphan by Rhya Stoesz (age 12)
Hi my name is Rhya Stoesz and I am Clarke and Kris’s daughter. I was adopted 2.5 years ago by the “Stoesz” family and I am happy to be here. I wanted to tell you a little about my time at the “internat” which is where I lived and went to school for 2.5 years with my brother Luke. When you wake up, do you usually have a nice breakfast or a hot cup of coffee? If you were at my orphanage in Zhytomir the first thing you have to do when you wake up is get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floors. The floors there are filthy and smelly. Sometimes I wished to not do such awful jobs, but I knew that hard work pays off. Since there are a lot of kids at the orphanage you would have to eat fast so other kids could eat too. For breakfast I hardly ate because the food was not tasty. We would have fish (which you would have to clean out the bones) and porridge for breakfast. After we ate we had to get dressed into our uniforms for school. After we got ready everybody gets to class as a group. You had to hold hands with boys, which was not my favorite part. At our class we had to do reading, writing, math and gym class. I worked hard and tried my best. We would spend the day studying and end our day with dinner consisting of bread, porridge and a hard boiled egg. We did not have clothes that belonged to us so at bed time we had to even share our pajamas. While lying in my bed at night, I loved to think about how it would be a miracle if I had a family. I would dream about having a family and it was such a happy moment until I would wake up. I prayed to God about having a family. I thought it would never happen. Many times I felt lonely in the strange dark world. I used to think that I would be stuck in the orphanage until the director would say that I am old enough to take care of myself. The day that my dream came true I was very happy. Today I know that dreams do come true and just have faith in God. I often think about the children left back in Ukraine living in orphanages. They dream for a warmer place, food, nice clothes and most importantly a family they can call their own. The older they get the less chance they have of getting adopted. The children don’t know what is good or what is wrong. They need a mom and dad to lead and help support their life. I wonder if they are OK and I know that they are waiting for someone to reach out to them and love them. They certainly wish for a better life and future.