Meet Dima Kalekin from Ukraine.

Dima doesn’t know who his real parents are.

When he was born, doctors said he had hydrocephalus, which means there was too much water in his brain. But when his parents saw him, they left the hospital without him.

Dima had to live in an orphanage for kids with disabilities in Krematorsk, Ukraine.

Four years later, Dima still couldn’t do basic things like eating with a fork or walking. People at the orphanage didn’t think he’d ever learn to do these things. They were surprised he was still alive and could even say a few words.

But Dima had more surprises in store for everyone.

When the war started in eastern Ukraine in early 2014, Dima faced a new danger: his orphanage was in the middle of the fighting.

So, like all the other kids there, Dima had to leave and find a safer place.

For a whole week, they moved around without enough water, food, or medicine.

Finally, some separatists saw how sick the kids were and took them to the Ukrainian authorities.

The kids ended up in a hospital in Kharkiv, a big city in Ukraine. When doctors saw Dima, they were sad. The war had hurt him a lot.

The doctors didn’t think Dima would make it if he stayed in Ukraine. They even asked a priest to pray for a family to adopt him.

The priest’s prayers were answered. Dima and his friends got moved to a new orphanage. Then, a couple from Vermont in the United States, named Ernest and Ruth Chaves, came to adopt a child from the war area. They heard about Dima and decided to adopt him.

When Ernest and Ruth met Dima, they knew they wanted to adopt him.

They decided to make Dima part of their family, and it changed his life for the better.

Ernest and Ruth already had seven adopted children, so they were experienced parents. They knew how to handle all the paperwork, which helped Dima join them in Vermont quickly.

Just two months after his new parents visited him in Ukraine, Dima went with them to his new home in the United States. He joined his new brothers and sisters.

Dima got a new name, Zebadiah Chaves.

Life with his new family was great for Zebadiah. He started improving as soon as he got to Vermont. Within days, he learned to eat with a spoon!

A year later, Zebadiah was like a different person. He could talk, understand both Ukrainian and English, and walk.

Doctors in America looked at Zebadiah’s brain and said the disease hadn’t hurt it much. They think he’ll grow up like a regular kid.

What a brave kid!

Zebediah still has a lot ahead of him, including surgeries, but he’s already shown everyone how strong he is and how much he wants to live!

Looking at him now, in 2022, makes us all happy! He’s grown up to be such a handsome boy! It’s amazing to think he’s the same kid Ernest and Ruth adopted!

I believe Zebediah has a bright future ahead, and I wish him and his family all the best! If you agree, share this!

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