Happy Birthday Olyvia!
Olyvia just celebrated her birthday at the beginning of this month. She was adopted from Ukraine with her sister Rachele in 2014, when she was 9 and a half. Her only physical special-need from birth is a mild form of spina bifida.
Now, she is 13 years old. A teenager! Below, you can see Olyvia and Becca, her new friend from church! Becca is a week younger than Olyvia. Please, let that sink in.
Most people when they meet Olyvia remark, “Oh, how cute is she! Is she about four years old?” No. She is a teenager. She should be in middle school, playing sports, having sleepovers, and going to birthday parties for her friends.
The treatment and neglect of children in her Dom Invalid (orphanage for special-needs children) was so horrendous, her body shut down and simply stopped growing. Termed failure-to-thrive Olyvia’s body simply stopped growing due to lack of care, touch and nutrition. In Eastern Europe, this is the norm for orphans with disabilities – not the exception.
Olyvia and Rachele’s adoption opened Brian and Stephanie’s heart to Ukraine. Today, we are parnters with Bible Orphan Ministry and Shelter Friend – Ukraine. Read about our partners’ work here.
At Ting Ministries, we are dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of special-needs orphans around the world. We are blessed to be Olyvia’s family and honored to be her Voice and a Voice for the thousands of Voiceless orphans still waiting for their families today.
Happy Birthday to our Солнышко (Sunshine)! Мы любим тебя!