‘I want to help people, to heal them’
Gulnura has had a dream to adopt an orphan since she was a young girl. Motherless children appealed to her emotions, she wanted to do something to change their situation, to remedy it.
In 2017, after a course at the Adoptive Parents School, she discussed her decision to adopt an orphan with her husband and daughter. They didn’t mind, now they only had to wait for their kid.
‘I’d been monitoring plenty of sites, I’d been browsing pictures, but I couldn’t find my child until I begged our Lord for mercy. The very next day the Kirovsk Guardianship Office called me to consider a boy of 12.
Gulnara went to meet him. His name was Ian, he’d never known his mom, grandpa had been taking care of him since he was born. But grandad had died, and the boy was sent to an orphanage.
Since the very first minute I saw him, I knew he was mine, and I was not leaving without him. Ian felt the same, that’s why he agreed to see me right on. When at home, he asked me to take him forever.
Two weeks later, the papers done, while staying at Gulnura’s place, Ian started to call Gulnura ‘mommy’. ‘ I didn’t feel he’d been taking effort to adapt, it went so smooth, he was my boy, that was it. We decided to adopt another kid, maybe a girl, but the picture of the 9-year old Dima got my heart to melt.
The boy was the youngest of four in the family, and the unluckiest one. Intermittently taken from his birth family only to be sent to an orphanage, or hospital, or children’s shelter, he’d been returned there again. All his siblings but one were within the system then.
On seeng Gulnura, Dima clung to her like a leech, he just wouldn’t let her go, he sobbed, he begged her to take him home. That she couldn’t resist. All hell broke loose with Dima’ s coming home. A 3rd grader, he couldn’t read or write, he had no idea of hygiene, he tore up and stained his clothes, he swore, and he constantly screamed.
Gulnura’s husband couldn’t tolerate this and abandoned his family. Gulnura didn’t give up: she never believed that her son was mentally retarded, she hired tutors, together they were doing the impossible. As a result, Dima finished the 3rd grade with a certificate of honour and only two B’s. With his new mom, he went through all the stages of development: crawling, her lulling him to sleep, babbling, etc. Now he has learned some table manners.
Though he can still give his tutors a nervous breakdown, he’s doing well at school, getting straight B’s. Gulnura’s helpers are her daughter and Ian. She says she always feels their support. ‘Dimka is a good boy, a bit of a wild street, but he’s live and he’s mine. He’s got a good memory: he memorises poetry page after page, remembers the places we’ve been to in detail, and the orphanage, the horrible place he wouldn’t like to be in again.
‘When I was going mad, when I felt desperate and about to give up, the club ‘The Ways of Good’ gave me so much support and consolation. The people there listened to me, gave me advice, sent to specialists. It’s crucial to know other adoptive parents’s stories, to read on the topic, to learn how to live in the new reality, even with a bit of tranquillisers, it is going to work out.
Some people think I’m earning a lot of money, some are being judgmental, some can’t get it – I’m not going to argue with them, nor am I going to get upset. I’ve got a job, I’ve got a car, I’ve got a home. I don’t care about the people whose first priority is money. What I care about are my two big boys welcoming me with ‘Mommie’s home!’.
Gulnura’s relatives accepted her sons, conquered by their sincerity and openness. Her 5-year old grandson has made friends with them too.
‘My dream has come true’, says Gulnara, ‘ my sons give me warmth and happiness, I can be proud of them and I’ve got a lot to live up to. Sometimes, when I come late from work, the table is already laid and dinner heated up, isn’t it enough to feel happy?’
Gulnura doesn’t think it might be a good idea to adopt one more child right after the first one. It is necessary that both you and the child get accustomed to your new roles. ‘ Just don’t be afraid, ask for help whenever you need it.
There’s no shame in seeking help from psychologists or other specialists. If I had done so before, things would have been a lot easier for me. You must keep you head clear, and your heart calm. Give yourself a rest, a worn out mother is of no help to her children, while the one in good health and happy can move mountains.