Andrea and his wife, Kashia are adoptive parents in Poland and are responsible for leading one of the few parent support groups in the country.
The Zielasko's adoption worker, Dorota, shared a book with him many months ago that eventually lead to us. It was the first edition of my first book, the Whole Life Adoption Book, published in 1992. She had just received it. He contacted us, asking for permission to translate it into Polish, and I suggested we send him the updated book. In subsequent conversations, we discussed the possibility of coming to his country for training…and that is what leads us to this past week.
Dorota suggested the book to Andrzej and that set everything in motion.Off to Poland
Last Tuesday we left our friends in Kiev, Ukraine, for Poland and arrived late in the evening. Andrzejand his friend, Andrzej, met us at the airport and took us to his home. We met his beautiful wife, Kashia and peeked in at their sleeping daughter. She absolutely stole our hearts. The first day we were there, Mya told her parents that she was slowly getting accumstomed to us. By the evening of the second day, she said she was totally accumstomed to us. We have a new little friend we will always count as special to us.
David, Maya and her little guinea pig - whose name is made up and I don't have
any idea how to spell it!
any idea how to spell it!
At breakfast on Wednesday, Andrzej shared with us what to expect for the marathon days ahead. He said there will be adoption seminars for workers on Wednesday and Thursday and adoption seminars for parents for evenings. On Friday will be a gathering of adoption directors and workers from a number of different regions, as far away as two hours. And, oh, by the way, he told us, plan on Friday for TV and newspaper interviews for a national station and national newspaper.
Meeting with Polish Colleagues
What we experienced in meeting and working with our Polish social work colleagues is hard to part in words. We were with the staff of the Adoption Centre of Wroclaw and local government workers for three days of training. We saw their compassion for adoptive families and children and their deep desire to do excellent work. During the days of training we have the privilege of having lunch with major government officials, including the Director of the Adoption Centre, the Director of the region's social services department and her vice-director. All of them asked us to consider returning for a collaboration. I shared with all of the groups about the work of ILDC in Ukraine and Krygyzstan, about the training organization, Institute for Human Services in Ohio and they were very interested in future work with all of us.
Inside the workshops
Ending the final day of training....
Breaks During the Training Days
Between training sessions of workers and families, our hosts and new friends gave us a guided tour of their historic and beautiful city. We were captivated by their stories and peppered them with many, many questions.
Our new friends - three of them are government officials who work in adoption and human services and Andrzej is on the far right. He collaborated with them for this week's work.
We were prvileged to take part in a regional seminar and following the event, we were ushered out to interviews. We were just overwhelmed with the kindness of these gracious people.
The TV interview was scheduled to air Saturday on national television.