Adding to the family

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
When a new family member arrives, there are a multitude of different feelings ranging from love to excitement. For one Whiteman family, their multitude of love and excitement was multiplied by two.

Master Sgt. Jay Scoda, 509th Maintenance Squadron special section chief, along with his wife Trina, recently adopted 13-year-old Iryna, and 5-year-old Jayson, from the Ukraine.

"This is our third and fourth adoption," Scoda said. "My wife and I always knew we were going to adopt when we were a lot younger."

The Scoda family had adopted two children prior to the two new additions. They have a total of nine children. Although they have always wanted to adopt children, the Scodas said they waited to adopt until their biological children were old enough to understand why.

"We wanted to wait for our biological children to get older so they can be able to explain what was going on," Scoda said. "You are going to have issues because you are dealing with children who have gone through a hard life being in an orphanage and institutionalized. Because of this, you want your children to be able to express the relationship between them and the incoming sibling."

The Scoda family had previously adopted two children from the Ukraine, and wanted to add two new members to their family.

"We went through an advocacy group called Reese's Rainbow, who usually sponsors special needs children," Scoda said. "They help people do independent adoptions overseas and in many other countries other than Ukraine. Both children were in the orphanage group. While we were adopting the previous child, we found Jayson. We couldn't adopt him at the time because we had to do home studies along with other things. It was then, he caught our eyes. We met Iryna because people were advocating her and trying to find a family for her. I felt she was someone I wanted to add to our family."

Pure joy is how Scoda describes the very first time the family met the two children.

"Despite being in an orphanage her whole life, Iryna is a very loving girl," he said. "It's exciting to see her because she enjoys interacting with us; she wants to hug, play and do stuff. When we met Jayson for the first time, it was a little different but we still adored him, still loved him. As we got to see him more, he started to blossom and get comfortable with us. He started playing around, goofing, making noises and doing 'boy things.' Both of them are awesome to spend time with."

Senior Master Sgt. Eric Hadsall, 393rd AMU specialist section superintendent, a coworker and long term friend of Scoda expressed a few kind words about the family.

"I have known Jay since I first arrived at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. in 1995," Hadsall said. "He was as great a friend and father then as he is now. Jay and his family had already adopted two children from Ukraine and have provided them an abundant life that would not have been possible in their previous homes. All of their children are showered with love and affection every day, a blessing most of us take for granted that was not common in the orphanage. The Scoda's recent adoption brings their family total to nine children with the addition of two more lives that will be forever changed for the better. Master Sergeant Scoda and his family are truly making a difference."

Scoda and his family embraced Iryna and Jayson with open arms and in return it has only made their family grow closer and stronger.

"Our family is really close, we take care of each other," Scoda said. "All the children help each other, play and have fun together. The family has become closer and in turn, Iryna and Jayson have brought more of a dynamic into our life because they are bringing a different culture and thought process and it makes it awesome!"