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Stories that you confided to us

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Alyona Yakovleva Chigrin

"Children knew the definition of hunger, but they didn't know the seasons"

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Children need love more than anything else in the world. I have three adopted children: Tolya (7), Darinka (6) and Vika (5). 

Children knew the definition of hunger, but they didn't know the seasons

In time of peace, I worked as a public relations specialist. The position is highly paid so I did not need extra money. I dreamed of only one thing – to have a child. Unfortunately, I was meant not bring my own baby to this world. Thus, two years ago, I decided to adopt a child. Later, when I realized what a blessing it was to see your children's loving eyes, I adopted two more. 

I sold my apartment in Donetsk and my parents' house, and bought another one – a spacious one with a garden. Then a struggle for the "inheritance" that the children brought from their biological parents began: exhaustion, wounds, boils, bilateral strabismus, neuralgia, hernia, viral diseases, tuberculosis, dental problems (father of one of the kids tried to align his teeth with a file). I tried to heal their emotional wounds.

I wanted to hug them, but they were afraid as if they thought that someone wanted to hit them. They knew the definition of hunger, but they didn't know what the seasons were. I began their treatment and education.

We went through the hard time of a surgery and kindergartens for children with special needs. Children grew up and transformed right in front of my eyes. Thus, we had lived two happy years in that new house… 

Then the war began. I no longer had a job, social security payments were delayed, and shells were whistling over our heads.

In July, I decided to take the kids out of town. We rented an apartment in Selydove, 50 kilometers from Donetsk. We waited and hoped that peace was soon come. Meanwhile, winter was on the way, no lull in the field was ahead, and the food situation was getting critical. 

I started looking for help and wrote letters to all authorities. We got some assistance. In early December, we moved to Fakel Children's Health Camp near Berdyansk. We got a free door-to-door ride. Here we are provided with everything we needed, including a room. 

Now, when the world is filled with cruelty, pain and grief, I am sure that merciful, noble and kind people are a majority.

The other day I visited my hometown with Tolya, Darinka and Vika – I had to draw up some documents again. The bus came under fire at the Yuzhny Bus Station. Having experienced these situations, it became clear that the decision to leave was absolutely right. 

And yet, we still dream to return home, although celebrating the new year in Berdyansk, Daryna's second eye surgery, and finding a new job is in the pipeline. Who knows what will happen afterwards. 

The main thing is that there are people who do not forget about their family and are ready to provide timely support and assistance.

Children knew the definition of hunger, but they didn't know the seasons

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Donetsk 2014 Text Civilian's stories
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