Life as an FASD Caregiver is challenging enough – but what about when you have to leave everything you have ever known, first to seek immediate safety, then as a refugee to another country, and then apply as a refugee yet again – all in the space of three months, while raising two daughters, one with FASD.
We first met Olga and Serhii Bolshova, a family I interviewed days after Russia invaded Ukraine in Episode 97: Olga and Serhii: An FASD Family on the Front Lines in Ukraine. Olga is an alumnus of our CKS! The caregiver Kick-start Coaching Program and was beginning her journey to help build an FASD community in her homeland when war was declared. You may remember on the night they were to flee from their home, Olga had Serhii and the girls waiting in the car as she wrapped up an FASD training session on Zoom!
It’s been a few months and their adventures continue. Many of you wondered how they are, so once I found out they were in Ontario, I knew I had to take a drive down to see them.
We are still kind of lost. I feel disconnected. This life I had in February, prior to the war is gone. We do feel safe even though our senses are heightened. (Serhii)
I need more time to relax. My anxiety is still very high. It is not easy. But what is good is our children have a school, a church, and a community. (Olga)
In this episode you will discover details about their fleeing for safety and how even while trying to keep themselves safe and find their footing in a refugee center in Poland, Olga was providing comfort and encouragement to many of the hundreds who also fled. We find out:
Stepping on new land is nothing compared to the challenges people go through during war. I am not scared of looking for a job or being without a home. I’m happy my kids are safe. We value every day. We are grateful we are together. And the fact everyone is safe is incredible to us.
We also talked about the healing Olga experienced through helping others and if they are still following the news. I ended the interview by giving the donations our FASD community has raised to help them establish themselves here.
I said it before, this is the most surreal experience I have had, and although we may say we would do one thing if faced with such an upheaval, one never knows.
Olga and Serhii have inspired me to be so much more appreciative and grateful. And you will find out how your support of Olga and her family inspires her.
I know you are going to be moved by the stories they share and the resilience and strength Olga and Serhii have in the face of such life-altering circumstances.
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