Monday, December 3, 2012
Two Moms From Portland Changing the Lives of Orphans Around the World
Giving Thanks: Two Moms From Portland Changing the Lives of Orphans Around the World
by Melissa Sher
Huff Post Parents
All Cindy Kaplan had hoped for was a healthy baby. But when my friend and her husband met their 6-month-old son for the first time in an orphanage in Kazakhstan, he was dangerously underweight from severe malnourishment. "Jadyn was slowly dying. He wasn't going to live much longer," said Cindy.
Jadyn's developmental growth, as a result, had been stunted. He couldn't roll over at 6 months old. He couldn't lift his head. His needs were so tremendous that Cindy quit her job to care for him. "It wasn't easy. I was struggling," Cindy said about bringing her precious son -- whom she calls her "gift" -- home to Portland in 2006.
One afternoon, Cindy went to the park to reconnect with a woman she had befriended online. Mishelle Rudzinski had adopted a child from Kazakhstan at the same time as Cindy, and they had been exchanging emails for months.
Mishelle, who had been working as a speech pathologist, had read about a 5-year-old girl's plight on a work listserv. The orphan, diagnosed by some doctors with cerebral palsy and by others with muscular dystrophy, was to be permanently transferred to a special "end-of-the-road" facility if she was not adopted soon.
Mishelle immediately contacted the adoption agency and received videos of the little girl who was to become her daughter. When Mishelle watched the videos, she saw the girl's condition grow progressively worse. As a toddler, Bakha could crawl and climb. But by age 5, she was hunched over, bowlegged and barely able to walk. At the time of the adoption, the agency had Mishelle sign papers acknowledging that Bakha might not live to age 18.
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To learn more about the Spoon Foundation click here.