mother holding child's hand
Jade Small
Jade Small
December 30, 2022 ·  3 min read

Kind-hearted woman adopted a boy, that no one wanted to adopt: see what he looks like now

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes, there are stories that can help raise and maintain awareness of important subjects. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to help keep parents in the know. They may be touching and even make you shed a tear, but the health and well-being of our children are what we value most. This story is from June 2018.

One little boy was destined for a troubled life due to deformities. His appearance attracted a lot of bullying, and there weren’t many prospects for adoption coming his way. That is until Nika Zlobina came into the picture. She made it her priority to get him adopted but ended up adopting him in the process. She now has an Instagram page where she posts about their daily life in the hopes she improves the stigma against adopting disabled children.


Adopting disabled children

Nika had not known Rustam for very long before she adopted him. She happened to be preparing the documents needed for applying for adoption and she came across a bunch of children. They were all eligible for adoption and listed within a database. As she flipped through the pictures, she came to Rustam. His appearance caught her attention because he was riddled with deformities. This pained Nika, who then made it their mission to help him get adopted. “I was preparing paperwork for an adoption and there was a database with photos of children, and I happened to see images of Rustam,” said Nika.


So, she made an Instagram account. The purpose of the account was to showcase all the children, Rustam included who are eligible for adoption. They managed to get a clip of Rustam dancing, which went viral after posting. This should have been his big break. Although, internet trolls did what they do best, and they muddled the comments section with negative comments. “Some said this ‘freak’ won’t ever be adopted. I was terrified how many people wrote negative comments, and among them were young mothers with kids,” Nika says.

Correcting misconceptions

Disabled children tend to intimidate a lot of people. They do not understand their difficulties and would rather not face uncomfortable feelings when they inevitably try to empathize. This might have a lot to do with why disabled children struggle to be adopted. The prospective parents do not want their adoptive child to be suffering.

This is why Nika created his Instagram account. To correct these misconceptions that there is no joy in adopting mentally or physically disabled kids. “Everyone mostly wants blond beautiful babies to adopt, and there’s a long line for such kids; meanwhile, others suffer without parents,” Nika complains.


An inspiration to other parents with disabled children

There might be a lot of negativity to sieve through in the comments section, but that doesn’t mean the adoptive father and son are not an inspiration to others. There are many parents around the world struggling with the same situations that being disabled makes difficult. For instance, Nika wrote about one mother who can now take her down syndrome daughter on outings with her thanks to Rustam and Nika. “One woman wrote that she was afraid to go out with her daughter who has Down’s Syndrome, adding that my posts give her courage; and now she does not hesitate to go for walks with her daughter,” wrote Nika.


When people stare as they pass by in the streets, Nika tries to ignore it. Although, there have been instances where people shouted out at Rustam. One example was when Rustam and Nika were passing by a kindergarten. Then, a few children who were sitting outside shouted out. Nika described the incident: “They started to shout at him, ‘You invalid,’ which is something that I won’t tolerate. I was absolutely shocked.”

Ignore the detractors; the now nine-year-old Rustam is living a life of contentment. Nika says, “My opinion is you need to fight your detractors. I don’t want to make mistakes; we need a professional here.”

Keep Reading: ‘I just cried holding her’: Couple welcomes baby girl after 5-year adoption journey


  1. ‘Children shout ‘invalid’ to my son – I won’t tolerate this’: Instamother raises disabled issues.RBTH. Alexandra Guzeva. June 26 2018.