Nikolai’s Journey



We are a close and loving family of 4 residing in South Africa. Our son, Nikolai, who is now 14, was adopted at the age of 13 months from an orphanage in Kazakhstan. The orphanage where Nik spent the first year of his life was under-resourced, and as a result, he never had access to a primary caregiver and was never held or soothed when distressed. This lack of emotional and physical nurturingcoupled with time in the womb of his troubled and poverty-stricken biological mother meant that he was emotionally and neuro-developmentally scarred in his infancyresulting in neurological developmental delays and behavioural disorders. Our efforts to treat Nik’s disorders over the years were increasingly ineffectual aswe explored every possible option of treatment available in South Africa. In our desperation we realised that we had to place him in a Residential Therapeutic Programme of which there are none on the African Continent. Following the advice of the specialists, in August 2018, we placed him in a Residential Therapeutic School in the US (where he is currently). The cost of specialised education in the US is high (Nik’s annual fees are almost the same as one would pay for a Harvard Medical degree!) When one takes into account the unfavourable exchange rate and the average income here being so much lower than the US in terms of parity the costs are truly staggering. Additionally, our medical health insurance does not provide any funding for Nikolai’s therapeutic programme costs and we are currently self-funding all of his costs. This is a huge cost to bear and one that cannot be sustained in the long-term. Nik is making progress both behaviourally and academically, but needs to be in the program for another 14 months in order to make those changes that would allow our precious son the chance of a full and meaningful life. At this stage, we will be forced to withdraw him prior to completion of the programme as we are stretched financially and are running out of options.We are thus forced to turn to the broader community for help and pray that you will have compassion in your hearts for the needs of ourson. We thus, in utter humility but with great hope, ask that you assist us if you can. Adoptive Families Coalition is a non-profit that has graciously agreed to help us raise some of the money we need to keep Nikolai enrolled in the programme. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to support our son’s treatment. 100% of the money raised goes directly to his treatment and Adoptive Families Coalition will match the first $2000.00 in donations. Thank you for your support.