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Mom gives up baby because of his head – 4 years later, there’s a knock on the orphanage door.

This is Dima Kalekin from Ukraine. He has no recollection of his birth parents.

Dima was born with hydrocephalus, sometimes known as “water on the brain.” And when his parents first saw him, they made a callous decision.

They left the hospital without him, never to return.

Dima was forced to start his life in a crippled children’s orphanage in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Waiting at Keiv airport

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Monday, 20 July 2015

Dima couldn’t perform basic tasks like eat with utensils or walk four years later. The orphanage staff was skeptical that he would grow properly in the future. They were shocked, however, that he had lived for so long and could even speak a few words.

Yet that would not be the last time Dima surprised the world.

As riots broke out in eastern Ukraine in early 2014, Dima was confronted with a new threat: the orphanage was located in a contested territory.

Zebadiah woke up this morning and greeted his nurse.

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Friday, 18 November 2016

Dima, like the other children in the orphanage, was forced to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.

For a week, the kids and staff were compelled to move from one location to another without access to water, food, or medication.

Ultimately, a group of rebels recognized that some of the youngsters were on the verge of death and delivered them to Ukrainian authorities.

Still in Kharkov Tomorrow we should get Zebadiah and head to Kiev for the final leg of our journey

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Monday, 31 August 2015

The youngsters were sent to a hospital in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. When the physicians first met Dima, they had to fight back tears. Attempting to flee the battle had taken its toll on him.

The doctors didn’t believe Dima had a chance in the war-torn nation. They were so desperate that they called a priest and asked him to pray for a family to adopt the kid, says Hefty.

Pics of Zebadiah

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Monday, 24 August 2015

The priest’s prayers were answered quickly. Dima and his pals were first placed in a new orphanage. A few weeks later, a couple from Vermont in the United States called Ernest and Ruth Chaves arrived. They’d heard about the battle and wanted to adopt a kid from the devastated area.

Ernest and Ruth made the choice to adopt Dima the moment they saw him.

In Kiev took some selfies while walking Zebadiah

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Monday, 7 September 2015

They chose to adopt Dima, and his life was forever changed—this time for the best.

Ernest and Ruth had previously adopted seven children and were used to being parents. Moreover, they were well-versed in all of the relevant paperwork, allowing Dima to join them in Vermont very soon.

Dima moved with his adoptive parents to his new home in the United States two months after his adoptive parents visited the orphanage in Ukraine.

We got home about 1:40am this morning We are all up. Feeling pretty good. Some pics of the kids this morning

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Friday, 11 September 2015

Dima has also changed his name to Zebadiah Chaves.

The young boy’s new family was by far the finest thing to ever occur to him. He got started as soon as he landed in Vermont. His parents realized he could eat with a spoon only a few days after he moved into his new house!

Celebrating Zebadiah's birthday he played in his cake

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Friday, 9 September 2016

A year later, the youngster who had fled Ukraine on the verge of death was a completely different person.

Zebediah can now communicate. He is fluent in both Ukrainian and English. He can also walk.

Zebadiah arrived home today at about 4pm. He did so well they (the hospital staff) were amazed at how fast he bounced back after the surgery. Other than the cast he is back to normal

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Sunday, 27 September 2020

Talk about improvement!

US physicians examined Zebediah’s brain and concluded that the sickness had not caused significant damage. They think his prospects of developing normally are excellent.

for Ruth

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Friday, 13 May 2016

Such a courageous warrior!

Zebediah still has a long way to go and will need multiple surgeries, but he’s already demonstrated to the whole world his unbreakable strength and determination to survive!

A peek at him now, in 2022, provides us plenty of reasons to grin! What a gorgeous young man he has grown into! It’s difficult to realize that this is the same youngster Ernest and Ruth adopted!

Posted by Ernest Chaves on Friday, 23 April 2021
I believe Zebadiah’s future is promising, and I wish him and his family the best! Please share if you do as well!

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