– Adopting Yura and Tetyana

by Teresa Clements


“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11




We found ourselves in early 2006 – happy, healthy, and feeling much too blessed.   We knew we had the money, the time, and most importantly the love to give to additional children, but having more biological children was no longer an option.  And with Tyler being 14 and Courtney 11, adding babies at this point would create almost two “sets” of children within our family.


We hosted Yura-9 and Tetyana-8 in the summer of 2006.  I still remember how small they looked when they walked down the hallway of the airport to our little meeting area.  I still remember how messy Tetyana’s hair was, and how she had her little baseball cap on backwards… how polite and shy Yura was, but with a ready smile.  As we placed them in our car and drove them to our house, I was amazed at the bravery of these two little ones.  They had travelled halfway around the world and had no idea where we were going, or even who we were.


The three weeks of our visit passed quickly and before anyone was ready, the day arrived that we had to send them back to Ukraine.  It happened to be the same day that I sent Tyler to high school and Courtney to middle school for the first time.  To date, that has been the worst day of my life.  It was amazing to me how quickly we had become attached to Yura and Tetyana.  It was also hard for Tyler and Courtney to say goodbye to the children because they already considered them to be their new brother and sister.  Unlike a pregnancy that lasts nine months, I had no idea how long our adoption would take to complete.


The past year and a half has flown by.  Tetyana is in third grade and is on the honor roll and doing grade level work in all her subjects.  Yura is in fifth grade and should be caught up in all his subjects by the end of the year.  


We have been pleasantly surprised by how social both children are.  After some initial (and to be expected) shyness for the first couple of weeks, especially around large crowds, the children have made many friends.  We think the experience of the orphanage taught them some very valuable people skills!  They have also appropriately bonded with our family and extended family, something that can sometimes be a concern with older adopted children.


There have been many times when I am absolutely floored by their capacity to deal with all of the changes that they are experiencing.  It has been such a joy to watch their development.  We have had many laughs along the way, and a few tears, but it has been the adventure of a lifetime for each of us.  There are so many wonderful children in the world, just waiting for the same opportunity of hope and a future.


The Clement’s were a part of Advocate for Orphans 2006 Program.



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