Sunday, November 23, 2008

On their way...

When I was in Ukraine I had the joy and pleasure of being able to bring back with me information about some children in my children's orphanage. One of these little girls absolutely stole my heart. Her name is Darina and she has cerebral palsy, though you'd never know if you weren't told! Darina ran to me with arms stretched out yelling "mama, mama, you're so beautiful, I love you, you're so pretty, my mama, my mama..." Of course I wasn't there to bring her home, but just to take photos of her in hopes of finding her a forever family. Darina was already over 4 years old and wouldn't be able to stay at the orphanage much longer, and I spent many nights pleading with God to bring her a family. She stole my heart.

God came through in such God-like fashion providing a family that already had their dossier (paperwork) complete! Darina's family is leaving on Tuesday to go to Ukraine and meet their new daughter. Her new name will be Mary, and what a blessing she will be to her new family!

Click this button to go to her family sponsorship page where you can learn more about her family as well as donate, if you would like to.

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Her family has also given us a gift- they will hand-carry a letter to the orphanage for us with an update on Emma and Micah! Here is what I wrote, then the letter again in Russian-- this time translated by a Ukrainian friend (not google translator... learned that lesson already!). Unfortunately, with the crash of my laptop, I wasn't able to print photos to mail to the family for them to bring with them, but I did attach a recent photo of each of the kids to the bottom of the letter. I'll have to mail the photos later, but that is fine as I just want to hear the director's response to our update on the kids more than anything else! That's why I wanted so badly for the letter to be hand delivered :)

Dear Antoshka friends,

I’m so glad to have the opportunity to send you more news of our little Emma (Daria) and Micah (Daniil)! We have been home for 8 months now and both children are doing great!

Emma had just had her open heart surgery when I last sent news with Denis’s family (the little guy with the missing eye/malformed socket). She did great and was out of the hospital in just 4 days! She came home on oxygen during the night but is now off of that as well. She has gained 11 pounds since coming home and is now eating baby food from a spoon! She’s sitting up, making lots of sounds, and is very strong. Her face has filled out too and she is very healthy! Emma has learned to put weight on her feet and soon will get braces to help her learn to stand and maybe even walk one day. Twice a week Emma goes to a facility where she has physical therapy and works on strengthening her muscles. Once a week a speech therapist comes to the house to help her learn to communicate better. Right now we are working on having her use pictures to identify things and have her repeat behaviors that we do. She is learning quickly! Emma also has a teacher come to our home twice a week and work with her on doing small tasks like putting together a puzzle and turning pages on a book. She is now very good at rolling a ball and she, Brianna, and Micah have a great time sitting on the floor playing ball together! She has come a long way and is such a blessing to us all.

Aside from the physical things, Emma is smiling a lot, is always laughing, and is very loving. She will make her way across the room (she is not crawling so she scoots on her back or rolls) to sit with Mike or I and will hold up her hands to be picked up as well.

Micah is doing great too! He is now able to sit very well, is crawling all over the place, and he’s learned to pull up to standing and to walk along furniture or while holding someone’s hand. Micah goes to a school program 2 mornings each week for 4 hours where he is in a class with other typically developing children that are his age. There he has a physical therapist come work with him every other week to get stronger and teach him how to walk properly. Micah is now taking some baby food by spoon and also is drinking bottles still. We are working now on trying to help him to drink better because we have learned that when he swallows some of the liquid is going into his lungs. He also has reflux, which is also going into his lungs sometimes. These are why he had pneumonia and upper respiratory infections so often and we’re working to find the best solution to help stop this. Even though he is having these troubles, he is still healthy and strong and has gained 11 pounds since coming home. He is a very sturdy little guy now!

Micah is very loving and likes to lay and snuggle, give kisses, and to have attention. He has gotten a lot more teeth and soon will be able to chew foods properly. We are very encouraged by his progress!

Both of the children are doing great and we are very glad to see them doing so well. It is amazing what a difference the heart surgery made in Emma. She has a very strong testimony of God’s plan being laid out in her life.

Emma’s and Micah’s story of coming home and adjusting to life in a family will be published as one of the short stories in a book called Gifts 2 in early 2010. We are happy to share what God has done for our family with many others!

Also, as a result of Emma and Micah’s wonderful transformations and the many times that only God could be the one to have provided for them, several other people have decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome. Three of those families already have their new children home and another 3 are in the process of adopting right now. God’s love for children is amazing and the ability of children- even those with disabilities and health trouble- to overcome and thrive is simply amazing.

I hope one day to be able to visit again when another adoptive family is coming through, but until then I will continue to send photos and notes to you and I hope they find you well.

Thank you for your heart for adoption and for helping the children find families. Your love for the children is apparent in helping them to be adopted.


Meredith and Michael Cornish

Adoptive parents to Emma and Micah (Daria Ostepchuk and Daniil Deshenko), both with Down syndrome

And Kristopher and Brianna

Дорогие друзья из «Антошки»,

Я рада возможности рассказать вам новости о маленькой Эмме (Дария) и Михее (Даниил). Они с нами уже 8 месяцев и у обоих детей все прекрасно.

Эмме только что сделали операцию на сердце, когда я передавала новости с семьей Дениса (малыш без глаза и с неразвитым глазным отверстием). Все прошло отлично и ее выписали из больницы через четыре дня после операции! Сначала Эмме нужен был кислород по ночам, но теперь она уже не нуждается и в этом. Она набрала около 5 кг. после ее переезда и уже ест детское питание с ложки! Она может сидеть и производить много звуков. Она очень сильная. Ее лицо округлилось. Эмма очень здоровая девочка. Ее ноги окрепли. Скоро ей подберут ортопедические подпорки, чтобы помочь ей учиться стоять и даже ходить. Два раза в неделю Эмма ходит к физтерапевту, чтобы развивать и укреплять мышцы. Раз в неделю к нам домой приходит логопед, чтобы помочь ей лучше общаться. Сейчас мы учим ее использовать картинки для опознавания предметов и имитировать наши действия. Она быстро все схватывает. Есть еще один учитель, который приходит два раза в неделю и работает над простыми навыками: листать книги, собирать пазлы, и т.п. Эмма научилась катать мячик и теперь она играется на полу с Брианной и Михеем. Она для нас такое благословение!

Помимо физического развития, Эмма много улыбается и постоянно смеется. Она очень любящий ребенок. Она перекатывается или перемещается на спине с одного конца комнаты в другой (она еще не ползает), чтобы сидеть со мной и Майком. Она протягивает ручки и просится наруки.

У Михея тоже все отлично! Он хорошо сидит, постоянно ползает, научился подтягиваться и вставать, ходит, держась за мебель или за руку. Михей ходит в школу два раза в неделю на четыре часа по утрам. Там он занимается с типичными детьми его возраста. В школе с ним работает физтерапевт два раза в месяц. Он занимается укреплением мускулатуры и учит Михея ходить правильно. Он ест детское питание с ложки и пьет молоко из бутылочки. Мы пытаемся научить его пить лучше, потому что, когда он глатает, часть жидкости уходит в легкие. Также, у него рефлюкс, который тоже иногда идет в легкие. Поэтому у него было воспаление легких и частые респираторные инфекции. Мы пытаемся найти хорошее решение этой проблемы. Несмотря на эти сложности, Михей здоровый и сильный ребенок. Он набрал около 5 кг. после его приезда. Он крепкий малыш.

Михей любит обниматься, целоваться и любит внимание. У него появилось больше зубов и скоро сможет правильно пережевывать еду. Его развитие очень нас ободряет.

У обоих детей все впорядке и мы рады их успехам. Удивительно, насколько операция на сердце изменила Эмму. Она сильное свидетельство Божьего плана в ее жизни.

История Эммы и Михея – их приезд и привыкание к жизни в семье – войдет в сборник рассказов под названием «Gifts 2» в 2010 г. Мы рады рассказать другим людям, что Бог для нас сделал!

В результате того, что только Бог мог дать Эмме и Михею все, что им было нужно, и удивительных перемен в их жизни, несколько людей решили усыновить ребенка с синдромом Дауна. Три семьи уже забрали детей и три семьи проходят процесс усыновления. Бог любит детей. Это удивительно. Также удивительно то, как дети, даже дети-инвалиды и больные дети, могут перебороть сложности и процветать.

Я надеюсь, что я смогу приехать опять, сопровождая новую семью. А пока я буду посылать фотографии и письма. Я надеюсь, что у вас все хорошо.

Спасибо за ваше участие в усыновлении и за то, что вы помогаете детям найти их новые семьи. Ваша любовь к детям очевидна.


Мередит и Майкл Корниш, приемные родители Эммы и Михея (Дария Остепчук и Даниил Дешенко), обои с синдромом Дауна,

и Кристофер и Брианна


  1. Meredith, what a wonderful letter! I just KNOW that God will use this letter to help other children in that very orphanage and I am praying it will help to open the hearts of the doctors and others in the Ukraine to see what a blessing all children are! Imagine if the workers there start talking to their families friends outside of work and the word just travels! Anyway, thank you for sharing the letter!


  2. Meredith, I talked about you last night with our friends in a prayer meeting at our neighbor's house. She has no idea all that has been done on her behalf, over this entire process, and to think that we will meet her within the week - wow!! Thank you so much.

  3. That letter was great, well put and most def. better translated than the last one LOL. Hopefully the people there will see the potential that these children have and what a true blessing they are and more people there will want to adopt them and find therapy programs also....what a future these children have