When his parents discovered his illness, they abandoned him.

After finding that he had hydrocephalus, his parents abandoned him in a Ukrainian hospital.

child at garden

Dima was placed in an orphanage for disabled children in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine.

Dima was four years old when he could not eat or walk alone. The orphanage personnel was concerned that he would not mature correctly due to his lack of growth at the time.

They were all hoping he would live longer. Being alive and well at the time was regarded as a miracle by Dima and the orphanage staff.

cute child

Due to the unrest in 2014, members of Dima’s orphanage were forced to flee and seek protection in a much safer region.


The orphanage’s occupants expected Dima to be one of the casualties of the conflict owing to a lack of food, water, and medicine. They even invited a priest to the room before he ‘went’ to pray for him.

Dima demonstrated that despite all the obstacles, he has the strength to fight. Dima, like the other children at the orphanage, survived.

He eventually came upon an American family who had already adopted children. Ernest and Ruth Chaves of Vermont had already adopted seven children.

save child

They had completed all the paperwork and fell in love with Dima.

Dima’s parents are now the Chaves. Dima has taken to calling himself, Zebadiah.

Zebadiah quickly learned to feed himself and can now walk with a walker, thanks to the Chaves’ unwavering love and care. Surprisingly, he was able to master all of these skills in less than a year.

Zebadiah is dedicated to pushing himself to enhance his mental and motor skills, as well as his ability to speak English and Ukrainian fluently.