What do you feel?

What do you feel?


I imagine my home. I look around and find my safe place.

I feel good there. I feel comfortable. Whatever happens in the world around me, I feel protected in my safe place.

The door bell rings. 

“Who’s there?” 

Could be a neighbor, could be a friend, could be a relative… But it’s a woman I have never met before. Who is she?

She introduces herself. I hear her talk, but I don’t comprehend what she is saying. 

“You have 10 minutes to get your dearest belongings into this box,” she tells me.

“10 minutes? What?” I look around, trying to grasp what’s happening. 

“Get your stuff, we gotta go.”

I walk around my room, picking up an old stuffed turtle who is almost as old as me and putting it into the box. A photo. “I can’t take my cat with me, can I?” 


I have my box ready. I think I have it ready.

The lady takes my hand and we walk toward the front door. We leave the house. I take one last look at my room’s window and get into the car with the lady.

I am in a shock. 

We go to a clinic. The doc takes a look at me, orders some tests, and writes something in my medical records.

I wait for the tests to be done, observing the nurses running back and forth along the corridor. Doctors in white lab coats intimidate me. 

I start to feel scared and angry at the lady who took me from my familiar safe place. 

The lady comes back. “We have to go.”

“Again?” I ask, but I get up and follow her. 

“There is someone I would like you to meet. They have been waiting for you.”

I don’t reply. I can only think of the family and home I have left behind. The past is known, the future isn’t. The past wasn’t too good, but I have no idea what the future will be like.

We come to another home.

I look at it. I still feel confused, but now I feel curious also.

The front door opens. People who opened the door are smiling at me. 

“Come in, welcome!”

Their cheeriness is even more confusing. I didn’t expect anything. Why are they so happy? 

“We have waited for you for a long time,” they say.

They waited for me?

They waited for me?

They waited for me?

“Here’s kitchen and living room. Here’s the bathroom. And here is your room. This is your new bed. Here is your wardrobe – you can put your clothes here. We also got new clothes. And the toys.”

I’m overwhelmed with new information. I hug my old purple turtle closer to myself and try to sort the information. Too much information. Too many new noises, sounds, smells, people, voices, experiences, emotions. Everything is new, except for the clothes on my back and the box I packed at home.

I stand, watching the floor.

“This is your new family,” the lady says.

The couple smiles warmly at me.

I look at them and think of my home.

This was a guided fantasy experiment Sam and I went through at the school of adoptive parents. The coach would say what is happening (in tiny bits of information) and we would have to say what we feel in the given moment. 

It is a brief glimpse of what a kid goes through when they are taken from their homes by social services.

My story above was way shorter than what usually happens. Most of the time kids go to a hospital and then they are moved to the orphanage, and only then, after a few months or years there, they might get a new family (or return to their original one if the parents regain parental rights.)

When they are adopted, it takes months of adaptation to get used to the fact that things have changed. To get used to the new family (and overcome those initial misgivings as to “why are they so nice to me?”) It takes time to understand that they aren’t going back. 

Sam and I are currently in the preparation season. We’ve got all the documents ready and now are getting closer to the finish line by taking the adoptive parents classes.

Every class is emotional and hard. We keep reevaluating our motives and inner resources. We keep plunging deep into the tragedy of each of the losses the kids in the orphanage experience. 

In Ukraine, according to the latest stats I’ve read at WeAreLumos, 98% of kids in the institutions have living parents.


They aren’t orphans in a traditional sense of that word. However, their parents, despite living, don’t care (or can’t care) for their offspring and therefore kids have to be taken out of families for their own protection. It’s a scary idea in itself, but it’s not the only one.

But thankfully, there are families who are willing to give these children a home they would be happy at. Not just a house where they are fed and clothed, but a home, where happiness lives. 

Join Sam and me in praying for *our* future kid or kids, whom we’ll be able to take care of and show love to. It’s a journey where we’ll need a lot of emotional support. And wisdom. And patience. And… yeah. 

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