Mother Oksana masters: “for the Sake of her adopted daughter in America I learned to cook soup and porridge”
Twenty years later, her family in Ukraine — came famous American athlete without legs, the prize-winner of Paralympic games Oksana masters
Oksana masters — the name of the girl was known in the United States. Up to seven years her name was Oksana A. Cooper and she lived in Izyaslav orphanage for children with disabilities. In her slender private matter between details only a few lines: born June 19, 1989 year in Khmelnytsky region, the parents refused the daughter’s soon after her birth. The girl was born with a wide range of physical pathologies, therefore hospital map was much more impressive personal case: the membrane between fingers, six toes on my hands on five, but without thumbs, deformed bones feet, the irregular shape of the kidney…
Physical disabilities of the child cheated on the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The girl’s parents were immigrants from the exclusion zone. The struggle for survival Oksana started from the moment of birth. Even now, after living twenty years in prosperous America, of the days spent in the orphanage, she prefers once again not to remember. And even afraid to think what would it was if one night her five-year the little girl, has not led to the principal’s office for a meeting with a pretty woman, talking in an incomprehensible language. With that frosty December evening for 43-year-old American Ms.Gey Masters also began to fight for Oksana and her health. Then the woman and present that her daughter would become a famous athlete, representing the country at the Paralympics. Both on summer competitions (Canoeing) and in the winter (biathlon and cross country skiing).
*Athlete became the winner of the summer Paralympics in London (2012) and winter in Sochi (2014)
Only now Gay masters were able to implement most sacred dream his adopted daughter — to see Ukraine. Family Masters flew in to Kiev only for a few days, but once in the cycle of meetings, records, television and radio, interviews, road trips, they lost track of time.Here’s our the conversation took place after the “round table” dedicated to the education of children with disabilities. I caught myself thinking that at all didn’t feel officialdom during the event, held in the “American house”. It was a long time ago not seen friends. Eight-year-old Vlad (the girl came with a foster mother) touched her to tears, giving hand-made doll-motanka, hair ribbon, wooden beads and pattern. Memory photo, autographs, a friendly hug… for about half an hour Oksana communicated the guy who lost his leg in the ATO. Young people enthusiastically discussed technical characteristics and capabilities of modern prostheses.— Oksana, suspected that you would be so popular in Ukraine?— Oh! Hi! exclaims Ukrainian Oksana, and then continues in English: — It’s awesome! In Ukraine are very hospitable people! So many meetings, so many Dating. I’m overwhelmed with emotions. All of these I had a dream about the trip home. And when this summer we received an invitation from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for a few days to fly to Kiev my mother never doubted. At my first Paralympics in London in 2012 I wanted to me someone gave the icon of the national team of Ukraine. And now, during this round table, President Paralympic Committee of Ukraine Valeriy Sushkevich handed me this icon. I’m so happy! Proud of being born in Ukraine.— Before the trip, Oksana very worried — smiles the girl’s mother Gay masters (in the photo). — Kept saying: “What we going to do? We in Ukraine do not know anyone. Suddenly I don’t like it?”— I want to ask you both question: do you remember the day when I first saw each other?— I was five years old, recalls Oksana. — Was dark and cold evening. I like and other children, was asleep in bed under the covers when I was called into the principal’s office. It was hard to go because of wearing of clothing is a pair of sweaters, tights, pants. I was this clumsy. In the office there were several people but first I saw Gay and for some reason I thought that this is my mom. She hugged me and gave a soft toy. However, after this meeting, she had to leave right away, still need I had to make a lot of adoption papers. She left his picture hung on the wall near my bed. I was very afraid that Gay will not return me.— The adoption process took one and a half year, says Gay masters. — As I found Oksana? My friends through the international Fund adopted a boy from Russia and offered to do it and me. I have long dreamed of a child. In the Fund I showed a photo of Oksana, not hiding the fact that she is disabled. The photo was a cute girl with rosy cheeks. My first thought — my child! And I flew in Ukraine. Of course, very much was afraid to go to the former The Soviet Union. We got to some like me seemed, a small village closer to midnight. Children the house I remember cold and dark, some icy.When brought Oksana, she is still not fully awake and looked scared. No word spoke English. In his five years the growth of the girl was less than a meter and weighed only 15 pounds. Although in the eyes of the girl I saw that she is a winner in life. By that time in Ukraine, Oksana has already had five operations. The first years after adoption I was very scared to have girls was negative for cancer, she received a large dose exposure.— Oksana and how the change took in your life?— At first my daughter was worried that, if she will not obey, I will return her back — responsible Gay. — Director of the children’s the house has always scared the inmates, saying that those who bad leads, will not be parents. But in the end Oksana realized how much I love her. We’ve been together for so many survived. In eight years my daughter had to amputate one leg, and in twelve and two. In America she moved a total of ten surgical interventions — on the hands, feet… and teeth. Thank God we have a good health insurance covering all costs including modern the prostheses.From new York we had to move because there in the winter a lot of snow and very slippery. Prostheses Oksana was difficult to walk. We settled in Louisville closer to the rehabilitation center. With my daughter constantly worked therapists, psychologists.— You know, in childhood don’t realize that you’re not like all, — says Oksana. — The lack of hands or legs doesn’t make us different. We’re all not perfect. I, like a normal child, I wanted to run and jump. I liked to climb on roofs and in trees. Went on the bike, played football and baseball. My mom resolved all. If I did not, I was looking for the ability to overcome difficulties. Never not spared, was very stubborn. And when I said: “You can’t handle it”, it is, instead, gave forces. Learn from their mistakes.Even when Oksana amputated one leg, the girl on the prosthesis have mastered the skates and spent a lot of time at the rink. Did and horse riding, but after unsuccessfully caught a prosthesis for the harness and the horse a few meters stretched her on the ground, this sport had to leave. I tried it your hand and in a sitting volleyball.— In America for children with disabilities very many rehabilitation centers and sports camps, says Gay masters. — Oksana attended a regular school, no favors no one she didn’t do. I am a member of an international group mothers alone raising children with special needs. We get good support. In the group about 600 children we work with 1200 volunteers. Each summer Oksana went to sports camp, where he was engaged in Jogging, swimming, rowing. In rowing daughter and won his first serious competition, and then and selection for the Paralympic games.At The 2012 Games in London Oksana masters is paired with Rob Johnson became the bronze prize-winner. By the way, Johnson lost both legs on the war in Afghanistan. During this visit the girl enthusiastically accepted the invitation to visit the wounded in the Kiev Central military hospital.— When we arrived at the hospital, I was, frankly, shocked, Oksana tells. — To to meet with the guys, I had to overcome the enormous the number of steps. How to cope with it people in wheelchairs, without legs, on crutches? Why such offices placed on the second floor of a building with no Elevator? I really liked to chat with the soldiers. I showed how removable dentures, as you can safely do without them. Explained that there is nothing wrong in the lack of feet or hands. And for such people, nothing is impossible. All obstacles we have in mind. Told that there will come a day when they will be very hard. But in the end their body will adapt to everything.— Gay does Oksana on the farm?— Now my daughter’s very busy schedule and rarely to be found at home. But she knows how to cook and clean. And it cleans so much better than me (laughs).After moving in America Oksana very often asked me to cook soup and porridge, which the children were constantly fed in the orphanage. At the time I taught at the University, the grandmother of one of my students was originally from Ukraine. Knowing that I adopted the girl from her native country, she gave me a recipe for borscht. For Oksana, I learned to cook these dishes. However, after trying the borscht in Ukraine, understood, what adjustments need to be made in my prescription.— Daughter asked you for permission to get a tattoo?— No, says Gay. — When Oksana turned eighteen, got her first tattoo. I warned my daughter that if she will bring infection the treatment will not (smiles).— I have a lot of tattoos,— Oksana shows off. — The first is the key with lock. I saw a beautiful pattern and very wanted to get this tattoo. Then came the second. It’s a rose. With one hand she is beautiful, blooming, and faded and faded. But the the rose always remains a rose even if some will fade. I believe that people are beautiful regardless of skin color, hair length or the presence of hand-foot… On shoulder — flower, with which the wind blows the petals, and they, flying, turn the butterfly has the inscription “Let go and be free.”
*Oksana masters: “I wanted the people who saw these the photos were once again able to ensure that the human body with disabilities can also be beautiful”— Oksana, you have made bold and an extraordinary act, starring in Frank photo shoot for the sports calendar. I wanted so the people seeing these pictures, was able again to make sure, the body of a person with disabilities may also to be beautiful. But I had no idea that my candid pictures will become popular all over the world. I started calling friends: “Oh! We have seen online pictures of you. You’re great!” I began to be recognized even in other countries.— What is your dream?— Want to win Paralympic gold, while I have only “bronze” in rowing and “silver” and “bronze” in ski races. And really want to try yourself in the race. But until I, unfortunately, don’t have the means to to buy a special prosthesis for running. I hope this is my dream will still come true. see more detail on Ukraine adoption programs…