Today, Kirill is in Canada with a family that would never consider Kirill’s disability an issue.
As Yahoo Parenting reports, when Doug and Lesley Facey were given the opportunity to adopt Kirill, they were overjoyed. The orphanage, however, tried to discourage the Faceys from adopting the boy.
“They kept emphasizing throughout the process, ‘Do you really want a child with one hand?’” said Doug Facey.
According to Nicole Skellenger of MLJ Adoptions, the skepticism of the orphanage reflects the difficulty of finding adoptive families for special needs children. Skellenger tells Yahoo that most adoptive families look for young children without special needs, which can be heavily stigmatized in some countries and cultures.
The Faceys had a very good reason for wanting Kirill. Doug’s father, Chris, was also born missing a hand. Chris Facey never let the lack of a hand hold him back in life, and his son and daughter-in-law knew that their adopted son was going to have a great example in his new grandfather.
“How could I sit there and say ‘This is going to be a problem,’ when you’re looking at this man who’s been to the Paralympics,” said Lesley Facey, referring to her father-in-law. “He’s a great philanthropist in the city, he’s a very successful businessman. He’s the absolute perfect role model to show that this is not a disability, that he can do whatever he sets out to do, there’s nothing going to hold him back.”
When Doug and Lesley showed Chris a picture of their new grandson, the response was immediate and emotional.
“I turned the screen for him to see the picture and all he did was point at the screen and say, ‘He’s like me.’ And you could see the tears,” Doug toldCBC News.
Then came the poignant moment when Kirill and Chris Facey met for the first time at St. John’s International Airport in Newfoundland. Kirill was as surprised and overcome at meeting his new grandfather as Chris had been when he saw his grandson for the first time.
It was obvious to everyone that there was an immediate connection and understanding between the two.
“I went over and knelt in front of him and I just stuck out my hand,” Chris Facey told CBC News. “[Kirill] was sort of taken aback and he reached out with his stump and he touched mine.”
Chris knows he has a big responsibility to his grandson, and hopes he will be an inspiration as well.
“Doug and Lesley can hold me over him. ‘If your grandfather can do it, you can do it,’” Chris told the CBC. “He’s going to get the best chance to be the best he possibly can. He’s bright, he’s smart… He’s a keeper.”