Ukraine Family #42383 – $29 per month
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Slava and Natalia Zagrotskyi are the amazing and unique parents of this wonderful Ukrainian foster family. At age 14, Natalia became aware of and began praying for children in orphanages. At 19, she started visiting an orphan named Maxym and eventually decided to give him a permanent home. Nobody understood why a young university student wanted to take in a 4-year-old orphan. In 2006, at 20 years old and unmarried, Natalia created the first foster family in her town. She successfully obtained guardianship of little Maxym.
Natalia remembers, “Max was handicapped with a hole in his heart. He was very sick and had a neurological disorder. My mother kicked me out of the house and I had to quit the university. I found a job, but the public school would not accept Max due to his handicaps. I planned to adopt him and make sure nobody could take him away from me. I experienced many days of despair and sometimes was starving. The Lord was faithful and about four years later I got married. My husband Slava and I have finally adopted Max!” Today, Maxym is 19 years old.
Their daughter Kateryna was born in 2012. Natalia continued to visit children in shelters. She met a boy, Viktor, who was HIV-positive. She was told she could not adopt him unless she also adopted his two brothers. “Financially, we were not able to adopt three children at once,” she says. “However, they gave us guardianship as foster parents and today we have these three brothers — a 9-year-old Viktor, Ruslan, 4 and little 3-year-old Nazar. Our little Ruslan has got epilepsy and brain damage from fetal alcohol syndrome. He did not speak at all. After a year and a half, he is better but still does not talk. He understands everything, listens, and sympathizes. Nick, the youngest, has Epstein Barr Syndrome, frequent pneumonia and anemia. He has more than doubled his weight. He could not keep up with his peers, but he has tried hard. The boys need surgery for injuries they suffered from abuse but we are afraid the legal system would remove them from our care.”
The boys’ mother is a drug addict and Natalia has contact with her. Her daughter Sasha – the boys’ baby sister – has just been rescued by Slava and Natalia from an orphanage. She has no left arm, is developmentally delayed, and needs constant care, and Natalia is certainly willing to give it.
The Zagrotskyi family sold their car and saved money to buy an old farmhouse. They are rebuilding it to have enough room for their children. “Our desire is to take in the boys’ sister who needs a family. The farmhouse must be finished first. We need the wisdom of God for everything,” Natalia shares.