Monday, July 1, 2013

The Search

A few months ago, Genea came home from school and was excited to tell me something big. During computer class she had searched Google Earth and found her orphanage in Ukraine!


She had never hinted at any interest in the subject and it startled me. A hundred questions raced around my head. How did she find it? How does she know how to use Google Earth? (I didn't!) What was she supposed to be doing in class instead?

She said, it was free time in class and she just entered "orphanage" and "Ukraine" into the search box for Google Earth and up popped an orphanage.  It looked like they were really poor, she said. Okay then.

I explained to her what she had probably done was locate AN orphanage, not likely HER orphanage. There are hundreds of orphanages in Ukraine and what she found might be similar to hers but that was probably not the exact building she spent her first year and a half of life in.

Though the interest was new, it was something I had expected would happen of course. However, just because one thinks one is prepared does not mean one is not susceptible to tumbling down the rabbit hole where wonky emotions like to hide.

I let her know I would look through her old papers and see if I could get enough information to find some pictures online. When I got the papers out, I saw that we have much more than that.

Originally, when we were in the process of the "paperwork journey" for adoption, I received several heavy packets of documents. Some in Ukrainian, some translated to English. Some started in English and were then translated the other way. When I read all of it back then ( many times over) I saw that the first and middle names of Genea's birth mother were listed. I somehow missed that her surname was written down as well.

Whoa again.

Without thinking about it, I immediately entered the name into Facebook. There are 5 or 6 women with the same name and none of them matched up. One entry however, had only a name. No picture or other identifiers. When I clicked in that entry, it was almost blank. Just one tiny line popped out at me- the date. The person who put up the profile had  done so less than 2 weeks prior to my finding it.

To be continued.


  1. Holy smokes. Must know more.

    How old is Geena anyway? I don't think my kid can do google earth....but perhaps I am an old deluded person. Yes. That's probably it.

  2. Oh, my land. I've done the same thing...on both counts.

    Do just a general search of the internet for her name. When I did, I found several more options, including a Russian/Ukrainian social media sight that is similar to Facebook. There were several more matches for the name and some had profile pictures. There were several that were clearly not matches, but there was one that significantly grabbed my attention. Right area, VERY similar facial features to my kids (including things like the shape of the eyebrows and chin), but several years older than what we were told she would have been.

    You know it, baby! I snagged those pictures and copied them in about 5 different places!! I didn't dare reach out to her at the time, but I did save the link to that profile just in case I get brave enough in the future.

  3. No.. you can't do a be continuned... uhh..

  4. Oh, wow! How exciting. I have to say that for me one joy of older kids was being able to talk to them about their past, etc. Plus, of course I actually was IN their orphanages, and it gives one a ton of insights.

    I do have to laugh a bit - there is SOMETHING about the architecture of orphanages throughout Russia and Ukraine that I now completely recognize. They don't all look the SAME, but they tend to look ALIKE... Well, like schools in the US look alike, I suppose. The one she found probably looks a lot like "hers".

    We know many of our Russian relatives and it's been good! They are not financially together enough to be on FB, though....or have computers.

    I'm so tempted to search for the relatives I don't know. If I just had the money I would....

    Casa makes me laugh; it was 5 year old grandson who introduced me to google earth - and he how to find where his dad had been in Iraq!

    Google Earth really surreal; hardly believable.....

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  6. Holy cliffhanger Batman! Just when things were beginning to warm up you give us a 'To be Continued.' Update soon please. Also, I love your posts!


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