After learning of their son’s illness, his parents abandoned him.
After discovering their son had hydrocephalus, his parents abandoned him at a hospital in Ukraine.
Following that, Dima was sent to a special needs orphanage in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine.
At the age of four, Dima had trouble both eating and walking. The orphanage staff was concerned that he wouldn’t reach his full potential because of his slow rate of development.
However, everyone hoped that he would have a longer life expectancy. Dima and the staff at the orphanage considered it a miracle that he was still alive and thriving.
In 2014, the orphanage’s staff and children fled the fighting zone for a safer location.
Because of the scarcity of food, water, and medication, the orphanage residents assumed that Dima would be one of the fatalities of the conflict. They had a priest come in and pray with him before he ‘left,’ too.
Dima proved that he is resilient by continuing the struggle while facing several obstacles. Dima, like the other orphans, survived the ordeal.
Eventually, he found an American family that had adopted children in the past. Ernest and Ruth Chaves of Vermont had previously adopted seven children.
Once the paperwork was done, they fell head over heels for Dima.
Dima now considers the Chaves his parents. Dima is fondly referred to as Zebadiah by his friends and family.
Zebadiah quickly learned to feed himself and is now able to walk with a walker because to the Chaves’ unwavering love and care. Surprisingly, in less than a year, he mastered all of these skills.
Though he now has a solid grasp of English and Ukrainian, Zebadiah is determined to push himself even further to develop his cognitive and physical abilities.