Friday, February 3, 2012

Telling Brandon's Ukrainian Family

Many of you are aware that Brandon had a living paternal grandmother "Vera" (translated Faith) and paternal Uncle Tolya.  I was really struggling with whether or not to tell them, when to do so and how to break the news. 

I confided in our adoption agent, Larissa, because she has become a true friend.  She has walked us through the entire adoption, answered a gazillion questions, translated letters for us, encouraged us while we were in Ukraine, rejoiced with us when we arrived home in the States, and then followed up every few weeks with his progress.  Larissa thought about it for a little while and then suggested that we tell Uncle first or at least have Uncle be with Babuskha when we told her since she is so old. 

Our dear friend (who speaks Russian) from church, Anya, said she would help us tell however we chose to do so.  I prayed about it some and I really trust Larissa's opinion so we did so.  It was really divine wisdom.

When Anya made the call, Uncle Tolya mentioned that Babuskha has been ill with something with her heart and this would be a very bad time to drop the news.  In the letters she last wrote she mentioned her health was failing her and that she missed her sweet "Seroja" a lot. 

Babuskha had cared for him on and off (as she was allowed) since he was 1 years old.  It's nice to know that she loved on him.  She adored him.  I believe it is because of her love in his early years that he could love so freely.   She and Tolya were so proud of him, just like we are.

Anyway, Uncle wanted to know how, when and why it happened.  He really doesn't know how to tell her, if ever.  I feel so bad for Tolya because on one hand he probably feels she should know, yet on the other hand he doesn't want her to die from a broken heart.  I suppose he took it as well as can be expected.

I can understand how she felt when we left the orphanage with Brandon. He was probably a tremendous joy in her life as he was to us all. I now know why she cried and begged him for several hours not to leave her.

Finally, I was so thankful that Anya carried that burden for us.  I couldn't bare the idea of hearing them cry and grieve as they received the news.  I know that was a hard thing for Anya to do, but she did so with grace and compassion.  I will forever love Tolya and Babuskha because they cared for my boy when he was little.


  1. Sister,
    Olga Calhoun (from Odessa) was very much interested in his grandmother. Thank you for this news. She is a dear sister in Christ and felt close to Brandon because of their common home towns.

    Pas Bill

  2. Larissa is a saint, we love her as well. I still have few words, so I just keep praying. Blessings on all of you. Kelly