Katya will be traveling to Atlanta within the next several days - and we would like as many people as possible that are willing to get to know her to have her contact information. If you want to be her friend - please contact us as soon as possible and we will keep you connected. No one can have too many friends. We have arrangements for her made as follows:
1. Sponsor will be purchasing her ticket today.
2. U.S. Embassy in Kiev has made arrangements with the U.S. Department of State; Health and Human Services to get her repatriated. She will be in Atlanta - and helped by Fulton County Children Services and the Job Corp - they will get her started and help her complete her final year of high school.
3. We will stay involved with her and do what we can to encourage and support her.
Keep in mind this young woman was SENT back to Ukraine - two months after she turned 18, with the Russian language of a 12 year old, and absolutely no Ukrainian language. She went to an orphanage (illegally) and was being coerced to give up her U.S. citizenship. She was sent to school and was approached by our staff (who also teaches at the school). She recognized such a discrepancy between her very poor Russian and her good English. She began asking questions of where she learned the language so well. The story surfaced.
The story is complex and there are many decisions that were made that were wrong - not good for anyone. Bottom line - this young person was "kicked" out of her adoptive family. Bottom line, she was a rebellious teenager (aren't there lots of them out there still living with their families!) Bottom line, she asked to be sent back to Ukraine every time they had a blow up in the family. But let's be reasonable - you don't send a child off to a foreign country to punish them!
Success for her was most unlikely - as the statistics for orphans in Ukraine are dim and very disturbing. Only 1/3 of the graduating orphans are successful. Those who are successful have grown up in the culture. The other 2/3 have also grown up in the culture, but cannot find success. They end up being trafficked out of Ukraine for sex, coerced into prostitution, addicted, homeless, in prison or committing suicide. Those who are successful are fully Ukrainian - culturally. Katya is not culturally Ukrainian - she is American. She is an American citizen, resident of Georgia, has a "southern drawl" and has become American fully over the last 6 years.
There is a very large team working with Katya in Ukraine - people who are professional, know teenage behavior and have come to know Katya over the last four months. I have met her, talked to her and know she is suffering terribly. She is an 18 year old, trapped in the emotional state of a 12 year old. She needs people who will just be her encourager, her friend and help her through this very difficult time. And she is a child of God.
She has talked to her aunt in the U.S. who told her that the Job Corp was a terrible thing and she gave her details of how bad it would be for her - causing Katya to stress over the return to Georgia - causing her to doubt her ability to cope with such a move. She is suffering - confused and unsure of how she can make it alone. She has been abandoned by all she has know for the last 6 years.
Katya will return to Georgia - she will have people to help her, yet she needs friends, people who will call her once in a while, write emails to her, pick her up for dinner or just be a sounding board for her. We will follow her - encourage her as well. But we do not live in Georgia - we need you to help us too. God has protected her - brought her to people who could see the damage for life that giving up her citizenship would cause. She is coming "home", yet she is a wounded little bird. She will need lots of encouragement and support to move forward. She is loved by many - and God, our heavenly Father has NOT abandoned her. He has made her for a purpose and it is yet to be revealed. And each of you who have been so supportive, are part of this larger plan for her life. We thank you.
Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. (NASV)