Rescued from ‘Living Hell,’ Russian Boy Found Home in Pennsylvania

April 8, 2011  []

This Sunday, Dateline NBC will trace John Lahutsky’s journey from Baby House 10, the Russian orphanage where he was placed after his alcoholic parents abandoned him and his two sisters Tanya and Olga, to his new life in Bethlehem Township, PA with his adoptive mother Paula Lahutsky.

A story of courage beyond belief, John, formerly known as Vanya Pastukov, has survived to tell it because of the efforts of those in the Orthodox Church who adamantly campaigned for his extrication from his living hell and because of the Bethlehem, PA woman who adopted him when he was 9 years old.

In September 1998, Paula Lahutsky answered an ad in her Sunday Church bulletin written by an adoptive couple returning from Russia who had come across a child with cerebral palsy in desperate need of adoption.

“The moment I read it, I just knew,” Lahutsky said. “He would have died in Russia.”

By October, she had initiated the first call to adopt Vanya through the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and by July of 1999, she had a court date to legally adopt Vanya from the Russian asylum where he was little more than a prisoner in his metal crib, drugged, neglected and labeled an “imbecile.”

Read the full article here.

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