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Category Archives: Orphans On My Heart

Aura Lee

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This sweet child is Aura Lee.

She lived in an orphanage for the first 6 years of her life.  Lonely perhaps, neglected – probably, but her most basic needs are met.

She’s a beautiful child.

 Then the day came.  The awful, inevitable day of transfer.  For many children this is a death sentence – that’s the horrible truth so many kids face.   She was transferred to an adult mental institution.  This is her shortly after transfer.   

7 years old and tiny as a toddler.  Starved.  Restrained. Vulnerable. 

Little Aura Lee just had her 8th birthday.  Life for her is not life at all.  Now, she’s literally hanging on by a thread.  If you watch the video below carefully, you can see her collar bone protruding and bruises.  

Click to watch – Video of Aura Lee

The good news is she has an incredible family fighting to get her out and bring her home.  The bad part is the harsh reality little Aura Lee may not survive long enough.  This family is in a big hurry!  They are doing everything they can but they can’t do it alone.    Please check out their bio to lean more about their journey and consider how you can help this little girl survive.   Pray, donate, share?  Heck, reach out to the family and ask how you can support them!  I want to see this sweetheart come home. I want to meet her someday since she’ll be so close to me!  I want to see her survive and thrive!

Little Ones Lost

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Heavy on the heart  is a common thread with me, which I feel I should apologize about.  But truly, there is no way to sugar coat the orphan crisis, child abuse, trafficking and just plain brokeness.  There is too much reality in what I blog about to be sweetly packaged with a pretty bow.

Over the months I have been so blessed to see so many beautiful children come home to their forever families, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Many I am still waiting to meet.  But then there are so very many I will never meet, never see them as they grow and never, never, never.  Why?

There is a side of this world that should never be.  The side that doesn’t get talked about aside from those in our closed little community of passionate advocating orphan lovers and adoptive parents.  Although we stand with torches blazing and lungs bellowing, screaming at the very tip tops of our voices for all to hear, begging for others to hear us out, to see what they have been blinded to.  Please, SEE THEM!  LOVE THEM! HELP THEM!  SPREAD THE WORD!  Although we stand, this is what is not heard…  They will be lost forever, aging out and put on the streets to fend for themselves.  They will be placed in mental institutions, be forgotten, caged like animals.  They will die.   If you dont listen, help, share, or see.  Really open your eyes and look at their faces.

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Walden

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Dayna

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Declan

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Kevin

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Kyle

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Myra

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Rosie

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Stacy

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Hanson

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Jacob

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Connor James

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Leif

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Will

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All of these precious, sweet babes have lost their battle waiting for a family.  They all passed away before they could know the love of a mother, before they knew what snuggles were.  They did not get the chance to live loved by the people they were with, but rather they were all so very loved by all those fighting to help them.  We loved them, I loved them.  I believe we will always love them, think of them, pray for their powerful legacy to live on.  My hope is their legacy will bring forth change and give hope to those still waiting.

These are just a handful of the children who died waiting.  In loving memory.

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It doesn’t have to be this way.  These babies did not have to die.

Please share.   Advocate.  Educate yourself despite the heartbreak.  Donate.  Help change the world.

Alert The Media!

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Holy Moly I am publishing another post y’all!, can you believe it?!   Has it been six months yet?  Ha!  I keep saying I am going to keep up with this but alas I stink at juggling two little girls a teenager and a blog!  A girl can still try though!  Where has my mind been?  Let’s see…

Little Emi Roo…

Little Emira

Little Emira

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My Pookie girl, Ari…

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My new teenager…

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Notice a trend?  He calls Emira his baby.

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My Husband…

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The kidlets…

Like precious Hollis who just came home from Ukraine to be with his new mommy and daddy.

1005510_577601198963907_681898616_nHis parents, the Buhman’s are wonderful folks who I met recently and who helped me during my pregnancy/bedrest with Emi by bringing my family a meal.  They are super sweet and I couldn’t be happier that they live just minutes from me!!   Hollis is 2 and he was raised in a decent orphanage.  But even in a decent place, they still didn’t feed him anything but puree’d food so they could shovel it in his mouth at lightning speed.  He didn’t ever have time to chew, so he never learned.  Since gotcha day, his parents have been teaching him how to chew and sign and he is doing wonderfully.  He is adjusting very well and it is rumored he loves to snuggle with his mommy.  Isn’t he sweet?!    To read more about this amazing family and their journey, go here:  http://www.thebuhmanbunch.blogspot.com/

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Precious Reign…

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She is 14 years old, yes 14!  The extreme malnutrition and confinement to her crib has left her like this.  She is tiny!

Here is a short video of Reign.  You can see she seems drugged and the sad reality is she most likely is…  It is a common practice used to keep kids and even young babies “manageable”.  Sick I know, but the reality is there just aren’t enough hands to care for them all and so this is their solution even if it is wrong.   Poor Reign has possibly spent most or all of her life in a crib (her legs are probably stuck that way from laying), being fed this exact way, drugged and helpless.  My heart breaks…   You might also notice how she is intelligent by the way of her thinking twice about chewing in her shirt after being scolded a couple times.  These kids do have potential!

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Amazing little fighter Sophia!  Remember her before?

1003305_623799324305819_552575150_nJust look at her now!  This child has been home for around a year and look at how fabulous she looks!    Remember little Hollis from above?  Sophia had a little something to do with him finding his family.  It’s a pretty special story that  you can read here.   Go, read it!!!!

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And this precious child…  Keep in mind that this photo may be hard to look at, but it is reality.  The beautiful child shown on the left is Kyle, he is pure beauty, pure innocence, pure perfection…  Just look at those big brown eyes!   The neglected and starving child on the right is sweet Kyle just a couple of months after he was transferred to the mental institution.  This drastic transformation is not caused by disease or disability, but by mistreatment and neglect.  This child is literally dying in a mental institution in Russia…  There are thousands more just like this one.  Kyle has a family fighting to get him but with Putin’s ban on American adoptions, Kyle sits waiting and suffering.

UPDATE:  As I am writing this post, I have learned that sweet Kyle has passed away.  Rest in peace sweet one…  My heart is broken for this loss and for the family who wanted to make him their son.

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What will you do about it?  Share it or turn the other cheek?

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Finally, this guy…

OwenMany of you will recognize Owen, if you do not, please visit my beloved introduction of him on this page.  I have advocated for him many times and he holds a special place in my heart.    Everyday I wonder how he is doing.  You see he, like Precious Kyle picture above,  is in Russia.  I pray he has been found by a loving family in a “permitted” geographical location, that he is healthy, happy, and no longer waiting.  I dread learning that he has been transferred to a mental institution.  Please pray with me that this ban is lifted, that the children will be covered and safe and that changes will be made to improve the care they receive.  Love you sweet boy!

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So my brain has been all over the place and rightfully so, this isn’t even the half of it!  I do hope that some of you will be compelled to share and pray this blog, this post, really any part of my site you find moving enough to do so.  Sharing is really my main goal here.  The more people learn about all this, the more change can be made, the more prayers, the more good can be done!  God bless!

Well, It’s Official!

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Well it’s official, I am the worlds WORST blogger/advocate ever!  Ha!   I know it has been so very long and all I can say is that it would seem that God wanted me to back up and take some time off.  There are so many reasons that I have gone missing in action.  But the biggest one is well, let me just show you…

Our Newest Addition

Our Newest Addition

Meet Emira (em-EEr-uh)!  She was born a month early on April 19th after a very difficult pregnancy which included 2 months of strict bed rest.  I was not allowed to change my toddlers diapers, get her meals, bather her, or anything else.  I was told to sit or lay down, and that was it!  So there I was pregnant, sitting day in and day out with all this time on my hands, yet for some reason I could not seem to formulate a complete thought in my head concerning my blog.  I blame baby brain!  It happens every time I am pregnant, my intelligence and ability to think clearly goes out the window!  I am of course glad to lend my brainpower for the sake of my little one, but it nonetheless sucks a bit.

This pregnancy was one of the hardest times in my life, and that is saying a lot considering I was a single mom for 7 years!    I have never felt so isolated and helpless.  God definitely used it to teach me about being patient, gracious and humble.  He also used it to help me let go of my very uptight and uh, “particular” ways.  Okay okay, I am controlling.

In all seriousness, we were shown such love from the folks around us during that time.  We had sooo many meals brought to our family, our house was cleaned by strangers, errands were run for us, our kids were cared for by others.  So utterly and completely covered by Gods hand during that time, and we are so thankful to all who stood by us.

Before bed rest

Before bed rest

It proved very difficult trying to make sure someone was with Ari and I everyday to take care of us.   The doctor recommended that due to my history of fast labor, she did not want me to be alone, ever.  So here’s the breakdown;  I was put into the hospital at 28 weeks and stayed for a week, then my Mother -in -law came to take care of Ari and I for 2 weeks ( flew all the way from Indiana!), then my cousin came to stay with us.  For 5 weeks she took care of us as many days as she could while still having a full time job and a life of her own, somewhat.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week.  My kidlets are so awesome!

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week. My kidlets are so awesome!

If I needed to make something, this was the way to do it.

If I needed to make something, this was the only way I was allowed do it.

Well, the day came and my water broke at 4:45am and 30 min later we were out the door.  I was already in full blown labor at this point and we still had a 20 min drive to the hospital ahead of us.  Lets just say, thank the Lord I went into labor before rush hour because I gave birth to Emira 12 minutes after arriving at the hospital.  In total my whole labor was just over an hour!   Yeah, fast! I have to say that typically when a baby is born, it’s a big adjustment and can equal stress and anxiety followed by a whole lot of uncertainty.  For us, it was a huge relief!  We could breathe again and stop worrying about the pregnancy and focus on this new little one.  Such a blessing! Needless to say, we are IN LOVE!!!  Emira Joy Marion Low is a precious little sweetheart baby.  We are now the proud parents of an almost 13 year old, a two and a half year old, and a two and a half month old!   Busy busy life, but one I would not trade for the world.

Family of 5!

Family of 5!

DSC01258 DSC01018 Having an infant again reminds me of when Ari was born, as that was the time that God opened my eyes to the plight of the orphan and rampant child abuse in our world.  I am remembering a time when I went to get Ari from her crib and felt God touch my heart and say, “Ari is no different than any child stuck in a crib in an orphanage, no different than that child whose been abused”.   I just lost it at that point and cried while hugging my infant. Emira is putting me back in that place when this whole journey began.  When that passion was stirred in my spirit, that love for the little ones who cannot choose, who have nobody to love them, and those who cannot defend themselves against abuse.   Earlier in this post I said that I had never felt so isolated and helpless which makes me wonder, how isolated and helpless do all those children feel?  When they are dumped into a crib and never held, how isolated do they feel?  When they are transferred to a mental institution, how helpless do they feel?  How helpless do they feel when they are tied to their crib for days on end?  When a child is shaken so hard he is mentally and physically impaired for the rest of his life, how helpless does he feel? My point is this:  How many times do we look at our own lives and think of how hard we might have it, how isolated and utterly alone we may feel.  But really, no matter what we are feeling, those kids are feeling it ten fold.  Because our worst is not even their best, ever.  They are UTTERLY HELPLESS and ALONE. Like sweet Sophia. Sophia before Did she feel so isolated and helpless when she was starved in her crib for four years of her life?  I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia, and she was the size of a 6 month old baby at 4 years old.   When I met her she had been home a month and had already gained 5 pounds, yet she was still so tiny.  She has become a valued and cherished member of her new family, and no longer has to suffer the way she had for so very long.  Look at her just a few months after coming home!

Sophia just a few months later.

Sophia just a few months later.

No longer isolated, No longer helpless.  Just look at the beauty that can come from despair…

A Sour Return To Posting…

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I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

As most of you know, I have been taking a break from posting for a while due to health reasons.  I am 5 months along now and by the grace of God I have been feeling better for about two weeks now, yay!  It has been a tough road thus far but we are getting through it.  Thank you all who have been praying for us.

With my health improved so greatly, I felt it was time to make a return to the cause I love so much.  Sadly, what has moved me on this day is the sorrow of Russia’s new and crazy law.  I really cannot believe this is happening.  It seems the leader in charge of this movement in Russia is upset about America restricting entry to people who have been “accused “of human rights violations in Russia.   Although, it is also reported that he is siding with the common misconception in Russia that American parents are neglectful and abusive to their children.  Interestingly there is no evidence to back this up.  In fact it has been found that since 1998 after close to 50,000 adoptions of Russian children by American families, there have been 19 reported cases of child death.  However in the same length of time, 1,220 children died while in the care of their Russian adoptive parents.   So I believe this reason is completely unfounded and is quite honestly being used as a fabricated excuse.  Not that I think ANY child death is excusable, I just think that if we are going to play this game it should be fair and backed by facts.  If they are going to say that Americans are dangerous parents and they are going to bring in human rights mumbo jumbo, that they should actually look at the numbers and punish their own people.  1,220 children is a whole heap more than 19.  Still, shame on each and every person responsible for those 1,239 children who died, no matter what country they are from!

Human rights violations are what we advocates are all about, we are trying to stop human rights violations in all sorts of countries.  That is a main reason I started blogging in the first place.  We ALL want fair and good treatment of children, and disabled adults all over the world.  America may be leaving a huge gray area for this ban (accused instead of convicted), Yet I am happy about the statement we are making, “We won’t tolerate that kind of behavior folks”.  Still, really?   Punishing the children, with the main goal of pulling at our heart strings is a pretty sick tactic.

Let me get this straight Russian leader who’s name rhymes with tootin;  Let the children suffer, be abused, languish in a crib for years till they die of neglect and starvation in some orphanage or institution, which in turn will hopefully make us Americans change the law and allow the scumbags responsible for this treatment to be granted travel access into our country?  Would you like us to lay out a welcome mat too and maybe a big sign for them that says “we love abusers”?    We are not okay with human rights violations!   You are going to go and blatantly COMMIT human rights violations?   You are totally willing to sacrifice those precious lives purely for retaliation on us for not being “cool” with these people?  Yeah that makes a ton of sense, and it is sick!

Shall we look at the numbers? Shall we see how many children “could have” been rescued?  Are you ready?

An estimated 1,500 American families are now were in the process of adopting Russian children.

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46 families are were in the final stages of adopting Russian children.

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So folks that means around 1,550 children who thought they were finally getting out of their chains of bondage, some of who met and felt the love of their new families, will now get nothing!  Nothing but a life rotting away in an orphanage or mental institution.    They almost had the chance at a real life, but it has been taken away from them like everything else.  This makes me so sad…

I will never understand why people do what they do.  How in their minds such evil motives and actions are acceptable, how they go to bed at night warm and snug and actually live with themselves.  It is beyond my comprehension.  Things like this leave such an unsavory sour taste in my mouth and leave my stomach churning.

Satan and his demons roam this earth preying on people.  So many fall victim and end up doing terrible things.  God giving us the gift of choice has been manipulated by the dark forces of our world and is being used to harm so many who are so very innocent.   Please join me in praying for these lost people, for the helpless children, for the families who long to make a difference, for the country and it’s  leaders,  for our country and for our world.

Thank you all!  I have missed you!

Life Matters

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Today’s post is a direct follow up to my previous post about Owen.  If you have not read it you can go here to catch up!  If you have never heard of Owen, please go to my very first post about him here.

You all know my heart has been on the many children of the world who are either orphaned, aborted, abandoned or abused.  For a long time, and even now, I still wonder how in the world I am going to be able to help or make a difference?  I just keep praying, and unfortunately I must be patient for the answers I seek.   Sometimes it’s hard to keep blogging because the enemy sometimes whispers into my ear that no one cares and no one is listening.  But then, I get that feeling that I can’t simply just give up on them can I?  I mean, I have waited many years to hear God tell me what in the heck I am supposed to do with my life?  What am I called to do?  What is my purpose?

Well, I do know that one of the answers is that I am meant to be a mother, that I KNOW I am called to do.  But why do you suppose that is?   Why has God given me such an incredible love for children?   The answer to that is all over this website!  I know that I have a TON of content on here in the numerous sections.  I know that it takes a hundred years to read through all of it, especially that pesky Research section.  But something I don’t know is, has my site done any good?  Has my hard work helped open any eyes?  Has it caused just one child to be helped?   Ugh, I wished I knew!!!

With all my questions, doubts and fears, that terrible feeling of wanting to give up creeps back in.  But then I see a sweet and familiar face in my mind, like this one…

Sweet baby Owen

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Toddler Owen

And then I think to myself, “HECK NO I CAN’T QUIT!”  What would happen to Owen?  Do you see a sweet smile and great potential in these photos, or do you see just a deformed child who you would rather scroll past?    You can guess which one I see!  I hope and pray you all see it too.

His life matters just as much as these lives…

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Owen’s life is as important as all of our children’s lives are.  So, as hard as it is to put myself out there and beg for other people to be generous and help me give this child a chance, I still HAVE to do it.  Because the real question is, if I don’t try to help Owen, who else will?   He will surely sit in an institution for the rest of his life.   he has already been discarded by his parents, by society and even those charged to care for him purely for being born “different”.  I cannot and will not pass the buck to someone else on ANY of these kids, and I certainly can’t forget about this precious little 5 year old gem, Owen.

Today, when my 12 year old son asked me how many people donated to Owen’s fund, I seriously broke his heart when I had to tell him that not even one donation came in.  Owen’s fund still sits untouched despite the over 50 readers I had visit.  My son, was so upset by this that he is deperately trying to come up with some way we can entice others to donate.  He genuinely loves Owen and wants to help him, so I understand his sadness.  He suggested a garage sale which may do something, but it certainly wont raise the thousands of dollars needed to really help this guy.   Plus I’m having a difficult pregnancy thus far, and am limited as to what I can do (fundraising and such) so at this point I am literally left just asking.  I know, lame huh?   I certainly am not trying to make excuses, but I am trying to let you all know how much I need your help right now.  I am open to suggestions of things I cant try to raise money for this boy, so please suggest away!  Of course if I come up with anything, I will keep you all posted!

For now, if you find it in your heart to spare a few bucks and donate to Owen’s fund please click on the following link:   “Owen’s Help Me Get Adopted Fund”

Don’t forget to leave me a comment that you donated and of course please pray hard for this sweet boy!  He needs a family!

God bless!

Time To Step Up!

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Many of you who read my blog may remember these sweet boys…

Heath

Heath has been waiting so incredibly long for his family to find him.  He has spent his entire life in institutions, never knowing the love of a mom and dad, never getting hugs and kisses, never being able to run and play like every child should.  Heath now lives in a cold, desolate, sad place that is the mental institution he calls home.  Heath is very tiny for his age and it is most likely a daily ritual for the older, bigger boys to bully him and steal his food.  These children are litterally left to fend for themselves.

The good part…

Last week folks all over the nation came together on what became “Heath Day”, holding fundraisers and events to raise money for Heath’s adoption fund.  Now, with the thousands of generous people who came together and donated funds, Heath is fully funded!!!  Yay!  How amazing is this news!?

I am one of the many people who believe that if he is fully funded, his family will have nothing holding them back from claiming their son.  Heath now has a chance to be rescued!  I know Heath has such a bright little light inside him, and am so excited to see what his future holds!

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Well folks, I would like to set the same type of goal for this little sweetheart below…

Do any of you remember this little guy?

Sweet baby Owen

This is Owen.

If this is the first time you are meeting Owen, please go to this link and read my story about this little love, then head on back over here and read on.

This precious boy has struggled his whole life, and to be honest, he has even less of a chance of getting a family because of his rare genetic disorder.  What I am really trying to say is, because most people are afraid of “different”, Owen has even greater odds to beat.  I pray with all my heart for the day I see his sweet face on the “My Family Found Me” page!  However, I also hope that a family in Oregon adopts him so I can visit!

when I learned about all those coming forward to help Heath’s family find him, I realized that Owen needs the same help!  Owen only has a little over $3,000 in his grant fund.  This amount is sadly a LONG way away from the goal of around $25,000-$30,000 that is needed to fund his adoption.

Owen

So friends, you don’t have to be rich you just have to be willing.  Would you be willing to donate $2, $4, $6 or $10 or more?   Would you be willing to sacrifice one day of Starbucks ($4) to help give this boy a chance at a family?  By taking five minutes to donate a few measly dollars, we could help Owen’s family find him and bring him home sooner without them having to shoulder the financial burden of the massive cost of adoption.   Owen desperately needs a family to love him.  I can’t imagine how he would blossom if he were in a loving family.

I feel connected to this little five year old as if he were my own son.  But I also know that at this time God has other plans for us, outside of adoption.  It breaks my heart as I am so attached to Owen, I can’t bear to see him waste away in some orphanage unloved for the rest of his life.  I certainly DO NOT want to see him get transferred to a mental institution

Will you please help me to reach my goal of at least 30 people donating?  If we could get more that would be amazing!  If each of my readers would donate something, anything, it would help so very much and I know I have more than 30 readers.   Click on this link to go to Owen’s donate page, there is a “donate” button towards the bottom.  It takes just a minute and could help give Owen a real life outside orphanage walls.

Please leave me a comment and let me know that you have donated!  I would be so pleased to know how many are supporting this little guy!

   Fellow bloggers, readers and friends, Please share this wherever you can!  Let’s see what we can do for Owen!

     Phase one of “Project Rescue Owen” initiated!  Let’s pray that God moves mountains here!

Abandoned

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The plight of the orphan is great.    Their stories are heartbreaking.   They are suffering in silence in sad and lonely places.  They live worlds away with nobody to help them.  The following is a glance into a world most seldom get to see.  What these children endure, simply because they are labeled as different, is inexcusable.  Please don’t take my word for it, see for yourself.

This is a multiple part video, 9 parts to be exact.  I know it seems like a lot, but please watch it.  Even if  it’s just a few minutes here and there over the course of a few days.   I appreciate all of your support and all of your prayers!

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Have You Heard Her Story?

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Today’s post is for those who have not read about The Life Of An Orphan in Eastern Europe.  I have felt a tug in my heart to put this story out there as a post rather than a blog menu section.  Thanks for reading!

The life of an orphan in Eastern Europe, more often than not, goes something like this…

She is born, beautiful, pink, and tiny.  She coos, cries, and likes to be close to her mommy.  But she has Down’s Syndrome.  The doctor tells mom and dad that the best place for her is in an institution, where doctors and nurses can appropriately care for the immense and expensive needs of this flawed child.  The mother wants to keep her baby, but the doctor continues to discourage her, filling her mind with thoughts of her child being bed ridden, and the burden of being in a wheel chair all while needing expensive medications and doctors visits, not to mention the shame she will bring to their family.  Her parents relinquish their rights, and she is sent to live in a cold and drafty orphanage.

She is only a week old, yet she lays in her crib alone all day and all night.  Her hands are the only comfort she has, so she keeps them close to her face and chews on them when she needs to feel safe.  She is changed one or twice a day in the crib.  She is so uncomfortable lying in a soiled diaper for so long all the time that her skin burns, but they never put any medicine on her.   She gets a sponge bath every once in a while… in her crib.  She is fed, while laying flat on her back… in her crib.  She chokes and aspirates her cabbage water formula into her lungs, but nobody picks her up to pat her back.  She continues to eat from her bottle, but since the nurses have cut the end of the nipple on the bottle off for faster feeding, she continues to choke.  She chokes during every feeding.  She is lucky that she is able to clear her lungs herself.  Nobody ever picks her up.  She is never held or rocked or sung to or comforted.  Her head hurts, she is too little to roll herself over, and her muscles are too weak, so her head is flattening on the back.  Her body aches from always being in one position.  She often cries for hours sometimes in hopes that someone will come and help her or hold her.  She is desperate to feel the warmth of someones arms holding her close.  But no one ever comes.  She wonders if her mommy will ever hold her again.  What happened to all the promises of medical care the doctor was talking about?  The doctor was lying.  There is barely any medical care here.  Her orphanage is one of the worst ones.

She was finally listed on an adoption site!  Maybe, just maybe, she will be chosen.  So many have scrolled past her listing, watching her precious round face and big brown eyes go right by.  She is left to disappear into the sea of  “lost children”.  She lays in her crib and watches as a few other children around her are taken “home” with a new mom and dad.  Why won’t anyone come for her?

She is now 3 years old.

She spends her days exactly the same way she always has, in her crib, 24 hours a day.  Some foreign aid workers came to her orphanage and gave her a toy which hangs on the side of her crib.  This toy is all she has, and she loves it!   Her hands are raw and sore.  She has chewed on them for comfort and entertainment since she was a baby, and now they are close to infection, they are so red and raw.  But it doesn’t matter.  She continues to chew.  This new toy helps take her mind off her boredom and gives her hands some healing time.  She cannot sit up on her own because her muscles are too weak.  She is barely 11 pounds, a product of the very nutrient-deficient formula.  She does not know any other food besides cabbage water formula.  She hates it.  It’s sour and chunky and gross.  But it’s the only food she ever gets, so she eats it anyway.  The nurses still feed her while laying flat on her back.  The bottle nipple hole is still too big and she still chokes.   She no longer cries, ever.  She has lost all hope than anyone will ever really hear her.  No one has ever come for her.  She does not know how to use a toilet.  She has never seen one.  They give her 1 diaper change every 24 hours.  Her skin still burns from her soiled diaper.  They still never put any medicine on it to soothe her irritated skin.  The nurses say she is to be transferred soon…

She just had her 5th birthday.  Alone.  She is 9.5 pounds.

She amazingly has survived her first year inside the adult mental institution.  But barely.  She is one of the less than 10% that make it the first year.  Her Down Syndrome diagnosis makes it a miracle that she survived this long.   They took her only toy away from her when she was transferred.  She has nothing… again.  The windows in this prison are too high up for her to be able to see what outside looks like, so all she has to look at is the haunting environment around her which she calls “home” .   The bars, the suffering, the darkness.  She wishes she could see outside.  She remembers seeing it once, when they transferred her to this place.  It was like nothing she had ever seen before, it was very bright, but it was new, and she liked it.

Her precious, thin little face has bruises and cuts and scars all over it, and all her hair is shaved off.   She wants to feel something besides the numb that consumes her.  So she lays on her side and bangs her head against her crib bars.  She can’t even feel it anymore.  Her hands are raw once again.  She chews all day and most of the night.   She doesn’t get sponge baths anymore.  Her skin itches from the filth.  She used to love getting her bath because someone was with her, touching her, looking at her, acknowledging her.  But that is gone.  She lays awake at night, pitch black dark all around her, afraid by all the sounds she hears.  People screaming and moaning.  The child in the next crib over is choking for breath. His muscles are atrophied, and he can’t move, so he, in a way, suffocates as he lays there.  Her life in this dark, cold, scary place is fading.  She is growing weaker by the day, and nobody cares.

She, this little girl with no name, has been sentenced to a life inside a tiny crib where she will never be allowed out for any reason.  She will never get to celebrate a birthday.  She will not ever be loved, hugged, sung to, cuddled, smiled at, played with, tickled, given toys,  or spoken to.  She will never know what ice cream tastes like.  She won’t ever run and play or explore the world outside.  She will barely be fed and will know only pain, suffering and distress.  She has since suffered a great deal of neglect and inhumane treatment that comes with living in such an awful place.  A mental asylum is a scary place for a little child to be.  She is not crazy, and she doesn’t have schizophrenia or some other mental issue that may make her a danger to herself or others.  Her only crime was to be born into a society which labels her imperfect (like we all are!).   She has medical needs, but don’t we all?  Stories like hers are not rare.  They are not uncommon but, in fact, happen to thousands of children in over 25 countries all over the world.   Can you imagine how her life could have been different if her parents were given the chance, the education, and the encouragement needed to raise her themselves?  Or how different her life would be if she were adopted by a loving and good family?

Thousands of orphaned children in Eastern Europe are regularly transferred to mental institutions between age 4 and 6 where more than 80% die in the first year.  That number goes up to a staggering 90% or more if the child has Down Syndrome!  Kids do not even need to be mentally ill to be sent to such a place.  Any disability makes a child an outcast in this part of the world.  Like in my story above, many, many of these orphanages and baby houses are poor, receive little aid, and the children are malnourished and underweight.  That is just where they start out.  It gets even worse at the mental institutions.

One more, lost… Severely malnourished and dehydrated. Notice the restraint around this child’s waist which is tied to the crib? Does this child look like she is going to try and go anywhere? An example of the cruelty these kids endure.

Children in institutions  all over the world may not experience this exact scenario.  However, each and every child growing up in an orphanage will most likely live lives filled with loneliness, abuse, neglect, starvation, and sadness.   They will all share the similarity of a life without love.  A life without freedom.  A life without a chance to be who God created them to be.  They may never know what it is to giggle out of pure joy or get hugs and kisses from a mom and dad who loves them.   They will never get the chance to just be kids.  Many of them will die alone and scared.

This is where God has recently placed my heart: to advocate for these kids, to do my best to bring about awareness, and to strive for change in the systems which choose to treat these children in such an inhumane way.   I need the support of all my family and friends to make this successful!  So when you see a post about a child in need, step out in faith with me and help get these kids stories out there!  And please, don’t underestimate the power of prayer!

 (The photos of children pictured are as examples,and the scenario above was written by me, not about a specific child)

Orphanage 9

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Today’s post isn’t about anything new.  It isn’t new, but it is a matter of life and death.  Folks, it’s all about prayer.  It’s about getting on our knees and begging God to help find these special children families!  It’s about getting their faces seen so that maybe a mom or a dad will see one of these kids as “their child”.  Today is all about Orphanage 9.

Orphanage 9 is a sad place.  It is one of the poorest orphanages in the region.   All of the children here are extremely malnourished due to the nutrient poor diet which barely keeps them alive.  Of course this also means that all of the children are incredibly tiny for their ages and have many other health issues as a result.  This ophanage receives little outside aid and transfers all children to mental institutions at the age of just 4 years old!

These 5 children are the only children who are listed available for adoption from this place.  Why so few?  I have no idea, but it sickens me.  I know there are so many more children in this sad place just waiting for a chance.    But instead, they lie in their cribs day after day, month after month, year after year waiting, hoping,  slowly dying.  Most of them end up thrown away like yesterdays garbage, completely alone and neglected in some horrible mental institution.   These children truly have numbered days, and will be transferred soon.   Oh how I pray that God will let their families see them and bring them home before it’s too late!

Please meet the children of orphanage 9:

Tina

Precious Tina is such a little light!  Look at those eyes.  what do you think she was thinking at the moment they took this photo?   She looks sad.

http://reecesrainbow.org/728/tina-9

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Violetta

I have advocated for this little one before.  This little sweetheart has such a sweet face.   I just want to grab her up and snuggle her!

http://reecesrainbow.org/865/violetta902

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Camille

This baby girl looks like she desperately just wants somebody to hold her.  This little doll needs her mommy!

http://reecesrainbow.org/789/camille904

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Giselle

Sweet Giselle.  What can I say, her face breaks my heart!  She looks so sick and neglected and sad.   She will surely not survive in an institution.  We must help her family to find her!!!

http://reecesrainbow.org/12884/giselle901

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Sergey

On the adoption site they call this little one a monkey.  That  is just what I think when I see his little face!  What a cute little monkey!  I would snatch this guy up in a heartbeat if God said “Do it”!    Praying, praying…

http://reecesrainbow.org/1543/sergey905

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To view each child’s full listing click on the individual links or the link below.

http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingbycountry/ee-1/orphanage-9

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