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Yura, a tribute to the collector of Shampoo bottles

We always feature our amazing kids at Kalinovka… our “cutie pies”. We show them laughing, smiling, learning something new.  We wanted to make sure that we show the happiness that we can help contribute to providing a more loving childhood.

But what happens is that… we know one day they won’t be children forever.

Some of these kids will age out of adoption and remain in institutions forever. After 16, you are forever committed to mental institutions in Ukraine regardless of physical or mental handicap.

That is why there are adoption advocates working hard to help get our cutie pies from Kalinovka adopted.

So far, the amazing children who have been adopted from Kalinovka are:



Sasha in 2013


Sasha’s before and after picture







Alosha in 2012


Logan, formerly Alosha (2013)











Currently, there are 4 other children at Kalinovka who are  in the process of being adopted… Before Sasha was adopted by Shane and Cassidy Robertson of South Carolina, no child had hope at Kalinovka. Last year, Alosha, now known as Logan, was the only child without limbs who was adopted.  He was adopted by the Vilardo Family in Ohio.

In fact, previously…

many children were dying…

In November 2012, another two children were taken… first Anastasia, then Zhenya.















We then had another scare with our boy Igor who had to face a few serious operations. We were so worried that after the last operation, we hired a caregiver to help give proper post operation care to rehabilitate him.


Igor after operations.


But we thought that we were on a roll… things were improving! We saw that people were more than willing to help, and we were finding the right people to help the kids in Ukraine!


And then… it happened. We lost another.

This time, it wasn’t a child. It was an adult at Kalinovka.  His name was Yura.  Yura was 26 years old and died from choking on a piece of candy. Such a tragedy from a preventable death.  But the truth of the matter is that… Yura was once a child like all of the children we help… and he couldn’t escape an institution because he was never adopted. The children who remain at Kalinovka will become like Yura… a ward of the state and will never be allowed an independent life and will be locked up in an institution forever.

So, even though Yura is an adult, he has the childhood innocence like all our kids… and one thing about Yura is that he loved having his photo taken… so in honor of Yura, who was a child of Kalinovka… we decided to make this tribute to him through photos…


Yura was a happy man. Always smiling. He only wanted to hold a person’s hand, give them a hug. It’s all he could ask for in life. And he lived life with a smile… We hope that you will never forget his smile… it’s the most genuine item he could offer this world.

More on Yura:

When our partner Mariya returned from her travels, she sadly found out about the sudden death of Yura. She was so upset and shocked that she felt it was partially her fault that such a tragedy occurred while she was away.  She went to print pictures of Yura and when she showed other adults and children at Kalinovka, they remembered him fondly.  Oleg, one of the kids at the Happy Home had to sadly explain that Yura ate candy and is now “under the ground.”

Yura didn’t have much, but they soon discovered he had a stash of  shampoo bottles and food.  They shared his food among the adult men at Kalinovka.  All thanks to Yura, they had a feast to celebrate the man who loved to be photographed.



If you want to learn more about how you can help at Kalinovka, email maya @!


Submitted by Maya Rowencak.



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