Tracy Mazuer and her husband once proudly proclaimed on national TV that they were child-free by choice, dammit! Ultimately the couple changed their minds and embarked on a journey that took them 30,000 miles, cost her $35,000 and finally landed in their own backyard. Tracy documented her experience in both words and video. In part four of this gripping series, they realize they've been duped.
Read Tracy's thoughts after she discovers what happened.
Tracy Mazuer: I'm so f*ing pissed I can't even see straight and I can't stop crying. The people we trusted -- our facilitators in Kyiv and now here, in Dnipropetrovsk -- are liars and people I now view as the enemy. Our person here in Dnipropetrovsk, I'll call her "Irena," is the sister of our main guy in Kyiv. We trusted her when she said she'd seen Snizhana and that she's perfectly healthy. That was utter bullsh*t. This is all about making money. They'll say and do whatever they have to to get us to adopt a handicapped child. It's clear that the adoption center in Kyiv is only allowing sick children to be adopted by Americans. Massage? A little physical therapy? Are you f*ing kidding me? Here's this poor child who's already been told, by the way, that we're her new mommy and daddy and we're having to walk away! F*! Had they been honest with us, we wouldn't have made the trip to Dnipropetrovsk. Save us all a crapload of heartache, time, money, and stress.
We're talking non-stop to our friend on the "inside." He knows this is all corrupt and he's desperately trying to help us get a healthy child -- there are thousands of them here in orphanages all over the country. We're ready for PTSD, developmental delays, learning disabilities, but not freaking cerebral palsy. We made it clear to EVERYONE involved that we wanted a "healthy" child and here we are walking away from this beautiful little girl. John and I are wracked with sadness and grief. Snizhana is a beautiful, funny, smart girl who will be a blessing to the right family. It's just not us.
The only person we can trust here is our translator, Sasha, who, by the way, is the employee of the facilitators. When he was translating the Russian to English, I noticed him wince when they were saying Snizhana had no problems that couldn't be resolved easily. I watched him intensely and then at one point, as he was translating word for word, he said, "This is what they're saying, not what I'm saying." We knew that he saw exactly what was going on. He knew they were lying and pressuring us to adopt this child for their own profit.
Our friend tells us we must try to get Sasha to break away from his employers and SECRETLY come with us to L'viv. We'll be safer and we need him. We have a job to do in L'viv. He'll tell us what that is when we're safely on the train. We are not to tell anyone. Not even our friends and family. You never know who's listening.
Sasha is willing to go. He doesn't like what he is seeing. He, too, was an orphan. He's lived in Ukraine his entire life and understands the nature of corruption and greed. He wants us to find our child and is willing to do what it takes. Can we adopt him? He's 24 and a spectacular human being.
We're on the train. We've essentially stolen the translator right out from under their noses. Now we're laughing. We feel like we're living "The Bourne Ultimatum." The people technically responsible for us in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk are panicking because we're leaving and we're not telling them where we're going or why. We say we'll be back to Kyiv in about a week. They actually demand that we head immediately to Kyiv with all of our paperwork. All this while we sit on our train with Sasha on the top bunk. Ha! F* you. We're in charge now.
|Tracy Mazuer is a TV producer/writer and creator of TheReluctantGenius.com "for professionals who need professional help." She and her husband John have been married for 23 years and live in Playa del Rey with their 2 dogs, Hankie and Lizzie.|