Faces of The Fellowship: Dennis

The Fellowship  |  August 16, 2017

Dennis, a young boy smiling at the camera while Abandoned at birth, cared for by the Fellowship text is to the left of him.
Faces of The Fellowship: Dennis

Dennis was never hugged as a child. His mother abandoned him at birth, and he spent his first three and a half years neglected and unloved in a Russian orphanage. Dennis became an introverted little boy with occasional outbursts of rage.

Thankfully, the childless Tretyakov family, who were a strong part of the local Jewish community, decided to adopt Dennis.

The Tretyakovs were by no means wealthy, but they were profusely generous with their love. They showered Dennis with hugs and attention, something he never knew existed. The loving atmosphere in their home encouraged young Dennis to allow his defenses down little by little. He started to talk and smile, laugh and play.

Dennis, now 8, is a clever boy filled with energy and joy, but his rough start in life left a deep scar. He is easily angered and has very little control over his emotions. He is struggling academically and has been put in a special class for children with learning disabilities.

His parents pour all of their hard-earned income into providing Dennis with all of the care he needs. He has massage therapy, swim therapy, sports classes, psychological care, and more. Thanks to all their efforts, Dennis is advancing by leaps and bounds. The family attends the local synagogue, which gives Dennis a feeling of belonging that extends even beyond his loving family.

The family also feels a sense of loving, supportive community from Fellowship friends around the world, who provide monthly food packages which are delivered right to their door. “We love Dennis with all of our hearts and souls, but his needs are immensely draining on us emotionally and financially,” Dennis’ mother days. “We cannot thank Rabbi Eckstein and The Fellowship enough for making our load a little bit lighter.”

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