HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL : the story of Yana and Hope
Yana and Hope Aug 5, 2009
Sometimes we forget that the youngest of children have dreams, wishes and hopes. This is the story of the fulfillment of a dream of a young adopted child.
Her name is Hope and she lives in Florida. She came from Ukraine in 11/2006 to live with her parents Tom and Dawn and her new brother Cannon. She has adjusted very well from the stark change in circumstances, speaking flawless English and enjoying sports.
Hope had been found in Ukraine by the Foundation for Children, Inc., also known as Med Assist USA, and Dr. Charles Moore of Tallahassee, who had made a trip to Ukraine on which he took Hope’s photo. Here is that photo:
Dr. Moore is a board member of the Foundation for Children. The foundation is a Tallahassee, Florida, not-for-profit which works with orphans in Crimea, Ukraine, providing medical equipment and surgical assistance in combination with Rotary International.
When Hope left Ukraine, she was five. Her only expressed regret was that she was leaving ‘her baby’ and friend Yana, age three, behind. Yana, also an orphan, was born with her bladder outside her body as well as other congenital medical issues of such a nature that, like Hope, she had spent her entire life within the hospital. She was unable to walk, and sadly delayed in her development as a result of her surgical needs, yet loved by all around her. She clearly had a strong spirit and could learn quickly, but her surgical needs defied treatment by local surgeons. Here is our first photo of Yana:
When Hope arrived to live in the United States, Yana was not forgotten by Hope. Hope reminded us continually of ‘her baby.’ The result was that Yana’s plight was brought to the attention of a talented pediatric urologist in Florida, Dr. Michael Erhard of the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, who was experienced in the challenging surgical correction of bladder extrophy.
Dr. Erhard immediately agreed to help, and convinced his entire surgical team to accompany him to the Republic Children’s Hospital in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea.
In March 2007 Yana, and four other orphans in surgical need, were operated on by Dr. Erhard, Dr. Kevin Neal and Dr. Richard Bosco.
The surgery was a happy success,
resolving her bladder extrophy and
other orthopedic problems.
The photo here is Yana post surgery.
Hope was kept closely informed of "her baby’s" progress, and told her family that Yana needed a family like hers. The search was not an easy one for Joyce Sibson Dove, President of the Board, who worked with Nancy Krivit, Board member, to find a family who could manage the unknown future for Yana. Numerous families of good intention felt daunted by the potential for future health problems to which Yana might still be susceptible.
No one gave up hope, least of all Hope! In October 2007 Yana’s "forever family" was found and after a review of Yana’s records flew to Ukraine in Jan 2008 from Florida to adopt her. Yana was admired in the hospital for her sweet disposition and her ability to learn quickly.
Her new family fell in love with her at first sight.
At the first visit between Yana and her new mother and grandmother, a hospital staff member expressed her dream of hope for Yana, whom she had known like Hope since birth. She said that the arrival of a family for Yana was a miracle, created by prayer. She said others had called her "crazy" for the last four years to think a child with such daunting health issues would ever leave the hospital, and she had always replied that she had faith otherwise. She stated that she had "hope for this child, hope for great things for her." Mrs. Dove replied that Hope had felt the same way and had been telling us as much ever since her English had been good enough to do so.
The tears and good byes past, Yana has come to her loving, new home.
She and her family have spent time since their USA arrival with Hope's family. The accompanying photo shows the instant rekindling of love and affection Hope demonstrated when Yana stepped from her family car and they saw each other in the USA for the first time. The now six year old Hope was thrilled to see ‘her baby’ really was here and immediately proceeded to introduce her to the new life she was herself enjoying, her toys, her dolls, her dog, her own grandparents. During the few hours of this ice cream social, the reality that her Yana had come to be so near, was indeed ‘here,’ affected Hope deeply. The two girls dressed up as princesses, and Hope gave her favorite pink princess dress to Yana to keep. Every adult was touched that this child would give away her favorite dress, and no one doubted that Hope had her priorities straight.
The Nemours surgical team, once again led by Tallahassee surgeon Charles Moore, returned to Ukraine at the end of May 2008. They operated on 13 children, all orphans, most of whose records came for early review in the USA through the assistance of Yana’s new mother. As for Yana herself, Dr. Erhard has already seen her in follow up visits at Nemours Children’s Clinic, where her ongoing urological care will be provided.
In addition to these 13 children, two other orphans came to the attention of the team. The medical issues presented by these two children were unable to be addressed in the May visit, and on September 16 they arrived in Tallahassee on medical visas to obtain assistance. U.S. Representative Allen Boyd’s office was extremely helpful in obtaining these quickly.
As they receive assistance we are all reminded that they are a continuation of Hope’s legacy, her hopes and dreams.
Whenever you need to be reminded that hope can empower the world, remember this child named Hope, whose faith insured that her friend Yana would have a "forever family" . . . and a pink princess dress.
new photos of Yana
(below) July 2009