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Photo Diary – October 22, 2012 at 10:44PM

One of the reasons why I fell in love was because of Vanya’s laughter. This little kid always smiled, always laughed… never shed a tear in front of me.

He has a strong will… he is far more courageous than I am.

He has grown up without a mother, and his family consists of children who cannot walk, cannot talk, cannot feed themselves… and yet, he sees the beauty in his friends he calls his family.

I can never speak highly enough about Vanya because I can honestly say, he changed my life.

I remember questioning myself when I was visiting Ukraine. I asked, WHAT AM I DOING HERE??? Finally, when I discovered Vanya, I said… I found him. I found the kid and his friends whose lives would be part of mine. My extended family. I knew that it was this particular orphanage in the countryside that needed help, and these kids would appreciate it.

So if there’s anyone to thank for Maya’s Hope’s involvement at Kalinovka… and frankly, in Ukraine itself… it’s Vanya. His laughter sparked the drive in me to find caregivers for him and the gang… Sergey, Vladik, Artyom, Yura, Katya… etc etc…

I love Vanya… Maybe someone out there will just fall in love with him too. via Maya’s Hope – on Facebook