His story is a little unusual. Babies end up here because they are out and out abandoned; sometimes they are given-up by a parent or parents that can't take care of them. Sometimes the "State" removes them. One kid had a single parent being treated for TB so they had the baby for the time being. Little Rostik is caught in the middle of a custody dispute and so he's a Ward of the State until the issue is resolved.
He's not overly emphatic but then again a lot of the babies here are fairly lethargic, I think due to lack of stimulation, at least until they start to approach being about a year old at which point they ship them off.
Anyway, he was removed a couple weeks ago to everyone's dismay. In the year or so I've been visiting the children's hospital, it's pretty much unheard of to know whatever happens to them when they leave, until now. Apparently some of the girls have been questioning the hospital staff and they were sympathetic to our cause and told us how to go see him at the Regional Baby Orphanage (for kids up to 3 years old). A church here in town also had some connections with the Orphanage and they put in a call on our behalf.
Yesterday my friend Anya called and invited me to go with her and some other girls today to try and see Rostik. We left town at 8 am on public transportation to Svalyava, about an hour and a half away.
We had an amazing time. It's a bear to get there and back, being almost 2 hours away, but worth every minute. There are about 100 kids at the facility. If you think holding babies is fun, try chasing a dozen toddlers!
I will say this: the toddlers LOVED the girls and took to them instantly. No so much with me. My guess is that they don't have too much interaction with men. I don't know if I'll be able to visit often enough to change that, but I'd sure like to.
One kid in particular stuck out to me: Her name is Bogdana and she has a cleft palate. I didn't get a chance to question any of the nurses about it. I suspect it's something that be surgically corrected pretty reasonable over here plus I know at least one American Dr that might be able to point me in a direction.
Oh, and we didn't find Rostik. They said he is in the Hospital in Mukachevo, so maybe we'll see what we can find out.
I didn't want to pull my camera out on my first visit, but one of the girls, Maria took a few pictures.
This is the only one that seemed to really like me on the first visit.
Thanks Anya and Tonya, Maria and Katya for letting me tag along today!