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So Raw…

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For so many, finding out the child they are carrying, the child they have been anticipating,  has a birth “defect”, is devastating news.   I hate hate hate using that word… DEFECT.  Like a badly made pair of shoes you have to return to the store because they fell apart before they were supposed to.  Isn’t that a terrible way to look at it?  That’s how much of the world, our world, looks at these precious children… poorly made and worthy of nothing more than to be destroyed so that parents can try for a “normal” baby afterwards.

This child will be “different”, right?  Is that what people are afraid of?  Being judged, scoffed at by others for having a child who is “disabled”, deformed, or being called the “R” word.  As terrible as this is, there is some valid concern here, “will my child be made fun of?”, “Will my child have a good life?”   But should that fear, yes that is all it is, FEAR…  really make one choose to do away with their child?   Does that in and of itself justify ending a life?   Of course not!    What happened to being fearless, strong and determined?  Why are we so afraid of everything?  Is this just our culture to turn a blind eye and run from anything that calls us to rise up and overcome?

It seems every culture in the world believes babies who are “different” should be dealt with or locked away forever.  Babies all over the world are abandoned in train stations, flushed down the toilet, tossed into pit latrines and left to drown in filth, sold into the sex trafficking industry, and so on and so on…    Even remote tribes people living deep in the jungles of the Amazon believe if a baby is born with a deformity,  it is the mothers duty to kill the child.  terrible right?  I can’t even believe this happens?  This is all worse than anything I could ever imagine happening!

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I was recently driving and spotted a bumper sticker the other day.  I saw the notorious pro-abortion statement which said, “If it’s not your body, it’s not your choice.”  This statement is the most ridiculous thing.  Yet so many very intelligent politicans, doctors, educators and so on, keep saying this?  Agreeing with this, like it makes so much sense.  However, here I am looking at this statement and all I can think is this;  When you are choosing to stop the beating heart of someone other than yourself, it is no longer “YOUR” body.   Even if that beating heart is contained inside your body, it is still undeniably, someone else’s beating heart.  How can anyone who is well educated argue with that?  Its very simple isnt it?  Yet nobody seems to “get it”.

 

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And really, is it a fair argument to push to terminate a life because the baby isn’t perfect or “normal” whatever that means.  Aren’t we all “defective” and  abnormal somehow?   How many of us have perfect minds and/or bodies?  Do any of us have perfect skin, straight teeth, flawless physique, brilliant minds, personalities free of oddness and mental issues, etc?   Yeah I thought so.   So why is it so hard for would be parents to realize this?

 

What’s worse?  Finding out your child has a fatal condition.  One that will take the life of your precious love before he or she takes their first breath.  Or maybe minutes, or hours after birth.    Maybe people figure they don’t want to go through the pregnancy and birth only to lose the baby…  I mean, pregnancy is tough, I know, I have had three tough ones.  Maybe it just seems to hard, too real to actually meet this child, bond and then say goodbye.   For thousands upon thousands, abortion is the fate their child succumbs to when a disheartening diagnosis enters the picture.

But for some, many in fact… they choose life.  They choose to take the chance.  They choose to let whatever will happen, happen.    THIS is one such story.

The couple in this short video are giving us a precious glimpse into that world.    It is unimaginable.  Raw.  Heart shattering.  But it’s beyond precious… that little tiny light they’ve shared with us.  They chose life for their child even thought they knew it would be the hardest path they’ve ever taken.  And for that, I commend them.   I thank them.

 

Dissclaimer:

All this said, it is well established throughout my blog what my stance is on abortion.  However, I believe some  people try to do the best they can in their circumstances.  Many have regrets, and many don’t.  My post is not intended to judge anyone for their choices, it is only to shed light on this very hard topic.   Hateful comments are not appreciated.  If you care to share your story, you are welcome to.

 

 

 

Best for the child?

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As I sat there watching this atrocity unfold on TV about abortion rights, my insides shriveled up in disgust over what my ears were hearing.   I heard things like, abortion may be what is “Best for the mother or what is best for the child”.  BEST FOR THE CHILD?  How is killing a child ever “best” for him/her?   It’s appalling anyone would agree with this statement right?  But then I hear on the TV,  that abortion is essentially okay if the child is going to die anyway once it is born.      Wait wait wait, Huh?!  Its’ okay to kill a BABY, yes a BABY,  in a painful and horrific way because it will probably die anyway once born. Yeah, you know I have heard of babies who were “supposed to die” at birth, being born healthy and surviving.  Doctors aren’t always right.  And even if the baby is going to pass once born, then at least you get to hold your baby in your arms when it happens,  rather than disposing of the parts in a plastic bio-hazard bag!!!

As I share this craziness with my husband, he says to me, “That’s the same as walking through the hospice wing of a hospital and just shooting everyone in the head because “they’re going to die anyway” right?”, so true!  My husband has a point doesn’t he?  I never thought of it that way and I am fairly certain that those who choose the argument of imminent death after birth as a green light for aborting the baby, haven’t thought of it that way either!  At least it would seem that way.

The voices on the television go on to say;  “No one is pro abortion, everyone is pro a woman’s choice”.   Are you kidding me here?  Sure, women should be able to choose what happens with their body, I agree with that.  However, the baby inside them is no longer their body, it’s that child’s body, right?   Therefore the woman should not get to decide when and how that child should die.

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What do you feel when you see this photo? Notice her sign…

The women at the round table continue this discussion; “18,000 abortions per year occur after 20 weeks gestation”.  This is,  “ONLY” 1% of all abortions in the US, wow that’s staggering!    18,000 abortions is only 1%, that is a huge number in itself!   I feel like I should be done listening to this monstrosity and change the channel, but despite my trepidation, I continue to listen.

They go on to say that if the child is malformed its okay to abort because it isn’t fair for the family to have to create a, and I quote, “new normal”.  Okay now I feel the vomit about to come up right about now…   Do people actually feel this way?  Do people actually choose to take their baby’s life merely because it’s birth would cause them the need to find a new normal?  Lets be clear here, any baby, disabled or not, causes the family to find a “new normal”!!!  This is too much now!  It’s all excuses for people to be irresponsible and heartless all while trying to make it seem acceptable.  Especially for themselves.  Does it help with the guilt maybe if one were to convince the brain of this?

How many times has the argument been, ” The baby isn’t viable so it’s alright to abort”.  Let’s clarify that viability in this country is around 24-26 weeks gestation.  Maybe you’re not sure what that means?  A fetus that age typically looks like this:   25 week fetus

Or better yet…    week24

This baby is actually 24 weeks, but could survive if born.   In fact babies have been born at just shy of 22 weeks and survived.   You telling me this baby cant feel the pain of an abortion?  Yeah, I thought so…  This little cutie weighs about 1.5 to 2 pounds at this age, and viable or not, it has a beating heart, a functioning brain, human features, actions, responses and feelings.  They can hear and respond to music inside the womb and react to it with kicks or grimaces.  They can suck their thumbs and play with their feet or umbilical cord in the womb, as many babies have been seen doing just that via ultrasound.  It’s a person in there, not a clump of “viable”  or “not viable” cells.    Ultrasound techs who have been present at abortions have reported witnessing the baby trying to scramble and get away from the abortion instruments. They have even seen them appear to be screaming once it has begun.  This heart-wrenching reaction has been dubbed “the silent scream”.  If that doesn’t make your heart sink, my blog may not be the right place for you.  My “mommy heart” is all over this emotion and it kills me.

I am not discounting the scars that are left behind for most of the women who chose this heinous procedure.  They look back on their choice as a moment of weakness and they wish they would have chosen differently.  But we live, and we learn, and we heal.  I have never personally experienced this, however I know women who have, and it is sad to see them endure the pain of the choice.  At the time it seems like the only way for one reason or another.  Fear.   What will she say to her family?   She is too young.  What will she do to get through it?  She has no support.   She has no money.  She is afraid of what will happen to her body.  She is utterly alone.   What if she can’t finish school?  She can’t raise a child.  These thoughts come at her like a title wave and there is nobody to talk to, nobody to tell her that there is a way to overcome ALL of these fears.  She is strong enough, but she doesn’t know it.  That this will be okay.

My heart breaks for this woman.

Me and Emira

Me and Emira

How many babies are aborted because of a positive Down Syndrome diagnosis?  Thousands! Nearly 90% in the US alone.  But I personally know people who got this diagnosis, had the baby and guess what… NO DOWNS?  What if they would have aborted merely on the doctors diagnosis?  I cannot even fathom!   What I really can’t figure out is, what is everyone so afraid of?  So what your kid is “disabled ” in some way, I use that term carefully here as I really don’t see it that way.   What about Van Gogh, Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, or even Nick Vujicic?  All of these people have some form of severe “disability” yet lead/still lead full lives!  I mean, Nick has no limbs at all and is successful, happy and has a beautiful wife and son.  Yet somehow these parents think that this child who “may” have a disability or deformity isn’t worth saving?  Sigh

Here is Nick pictured with his son.  Does that look scary or beautiful to you?  I vote beautiful!

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I happen to know several parents who have children rocking that extra chromosome and those kids are fantastic, with happy parents to boot!  They are not any more difficult for the parents to raise than a child without it.  So there you go,  all life is valuable.   ALL babies are work for the parent and cause ones life to change drastically.  Parenting is hard but so very rewarding.   It is the greatest work I have ever done, the most important work, the most beautiful and life changing, and I would never change a thing about my choice to birth our children.  Even as a single mother, young, with not a lot of support or ability to provide.  Having my son was the BEST decision I ever made.  It was scary, challenging and sometimes my infant son wasn’t the one doing all the crying.  I still say, that boy was my blessing in disguise.  He is my angel.  I stand amazed at his spirit, his heart and the beautiful young man he is becoming.    And it is all because I chose him.  I wanted him.  And now I have been blessed by him, he is my precious gift from God.

I pray every woman out there in the world chooses life for her baby, even if she chooses not to be the one raising him/her.  I pray she will see what a blessing adoption can be, and choose life.  I pray she will seek answers before following the advice of her doctor telling her to abort.    I pray she will not blindly choose to kill her baby due to the many faces of fear.   And ladies, there are so many resources out there to help you if you end up in a bad spot and need help.  Most churches have pregnancy resource centers that will not judge you, they are there to help you.  Adoption is a fantastic option and there are so many couples who would be great parents and cannot have children themselves.  In most cases, you get to choose the couple who will adopt your baby and you may also choose to have an open or closed adoption (you can still be part of your baby’s life or not), and your medical expense will be paid, and so on.  I am not an expert here, but all of these are options for you.

END RANT…

I appreciate your comments and feedback however if you do not have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Thanks for reading!

Blessings!

No Words – Part 2

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On the heels of this very disturbing video which I posted in my blog titled No Words, I was met with understandable outrage from my readers.  In fact, I had close to 10,000 readers visit my blog due to that one post. Many of you had things to say and I love that you all got so involved.  It was truly shocking.    It was one kind reader who brought to my attention, some follow up on this sickening display of abuse.  I thought all of you may be interested as well so I am posting it HERE.

Outside our generally comfy lives we must open or eyes to more than just our first world problems.  Don’t think I am not guilty of complaining about first world problem either.   It is known to happen on occasion and I catch myself, and feel guilty for a while.  But really, there is so much more going on out there than we realize.   And even if you don’t believe it, God sees, cares, weeps and wants to see change… from us, by us.

 

If you would like to know more about what you can do to help, go HERE.

Treasures, Not Trash

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First off I must say a big WOW!  Wow, wow, wow, wow!  I am overwhelmed by all of the support I have received from you all, my readers!  Over the course of the last few days I have had almost 8,000 visitors to my blog and I am truly shocked and overwhelmed!  So thank you all for your support!

In light of my most recent post  No Words,  many of you were so very understandably angry at how something like this could happen.  The answer is simple, God gave us free will.  He allows us to choose, without intervening.   And when evil takes hold on someone and they act in an evil way towards someone else, God cannot do anything to stop it even though His heart is breaking.  That was a really hard lesson for me to learn and accept.  But I too was so angry once, still am, but now I get it.  It isn’t God’s fault, it’s ours (as people). So WE must rise up to change it.  I truly believe He will bless us and guide us step by step, as I have seen Him do in my own quest.  His love for these sweet kids, in every situation around the globe is so immeasurable.  He has not forgotten them.  Every hair on their head is irreplaceable to Him.

My real agenda here is to answer one big question that I got from so many of you and that question is;  “How can I help?”

Truly at first I did not have an answer.  I myself have  been waiting for God to point me in the next direction, an action direction.   But then I started thinking about it and I think I have the answer, or at least an answer for now.

Folks there is so much you can do to help.  The need is so overwhelming and the feeling of not being able to do enough to make a difference is common.    So I am going to give a simple list that may point those wanting to help in the right direction.

  • First off,  prayer is HUGE!  I cannot stress this enough!  God sees every one of these children and cares for them deeply and passionately.  They are His children.  He loves them the same way I love my own children.  They are of His heart and I know it aches for them and their plight.  When you pray for them, He hears you, every time.  So pray fervently and trust that He is listening, loving and helping.
  • Secondly, Educating yourself and sharing what you know can help.  We are power in numbers and can reach so very many closed minds with this knowledge.  I have spent so much time and tears writing the information contained on my blog and encourage you to read read read.  Then, share what moves you.  Don’t be afraid of those who say they “can’t or “won’t” look at it, just share without fear.  When you share, it could save a life.  You could be playing a pivotal role in an orphaned child finding their forever family.  Helping to open ones heart to a world they may never have known otherwise, and finding their child who has been lost in the system.  Or perhaps find their true calling.  All because YOU shared.
  •  Advocate, blog, share your love of children with the world.  I am here if you need advice on that 😉
  • Check out:  http://reecesrainbow.org/waystohelp   . Reece’s Rainbow is a huge and amazing organization who loves these kids greatly.  This adoption site has all kinds of ways you can help these kiddos.
  • My wonderful friends Kim and Jed recently moved their whole family to Ukraine to DO something to help make a difference and let me tell you how awesomely God has blessed them and what they do.  Please check it out, it’s truly phenomenal.  They are all about improving the quality of life for these kids.  http://wideawakeinternational.org/vision/
  • Pleven is known as one of the worst orphanages there is.  So many children perished there from pure neglect and starvation.  I have had the privileged of talking with adoptive parents whose children barely made it out of there with their lives and are now thriving and loved to peices!  Luckily the condition of one of these kids made it to the spotlight and changes have begun!  You can read about that lovely child, little Katie who came from Pleven, here : http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/god-won/  .  Pleven has now launched a new program as a way to let others help them meet the great need in this place, which you can see here:  http://www.plevenproject.org/  .  You can also read about it here: http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/the-p-l-e-v-e-n-project/  .
Little Katie at 9 years old

Little Katie at 9 years old

Well folks I hope that this helped to answer some of your questions.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more!  Thank you all once again!  I truly believe that if we are willing to step out in faith and do something, anything, we can make a difference to even just one child.  All of these abandoned, abused, neglected children who are seen by those responsible as trash, are really precious treasures just waiting for a chance.

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
― Mother Teresa

No Words

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Okay maybe a few words…  Oh friends, please help spread the word about these precious kiddos trapped in orphanages around the world.

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.

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!

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)

Guest Post and Changes On The Horizon

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Today is actually a “guest post” of sorts, courtesy of Susanna Musser.  This post was recently featured on Susana’s blog:  The Blessing Of Verity.   Susanna has an amazing story of her own, and if you get a chance, go by her blog, and check it out!

The children featured here are orphans in an orphanage that is really the worst of the worst.  It isn’t one of the many terrible mental institutions I have mentioned on my blog before.  No, friends, but I tell you, it might as well be!  These children are living in a  place which has been referred to as “Auschwitz for Children”.   The children here are so tiny and malnourished from years of neglect and a diet of nutrient-poor food in small amounts.  I will elaborate more after the guest post below.

So, here’s Susanna…

………

Your light has come, little child

Small dear one,

When you were born, it was a dark time for the mother who gave birth to you.

The people around her used their words to paint a sad and dark picture of her life with you in it.

She put you into a dark place, in charge of a woman who did not love the truth.

For seven long years, you were hidden in that place of no love, of darkness and lies.

The place where four year old Marsha

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eight year old Payton

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…and twelve year old Penny…

…are still waiting for their families to claim them!

Please email without delay about adopting Marsha, Payton, or Penny!  shele337@yahoo.com, orstephanie.carpenter@lifelineadoption.org

You live in a place that made a five year old boy look like a tiny, skinny baby.

Meet Adam, who has endured severe physical, emotional, and medical neglect.  He lies in bed all the time with no baba and is suffering from the lack of shunt and cataract surgery.  I can’t look at him without tears, and cannot read his file without feeling angry.  Please, someone, allow God to move your heart, and email Nina Thompson about adopting this precious boy from Pleven.  nina.t@chiadopt.com

Little girl, you know all about being hungry, just like Adam does.

Look again, and see just how thin, pale, small, and sad you are in this picture.

Then your Father in Heaven opened the Pleven doors and shone the light in.

The darkness has been slinking away, and now beautiful truth is finding it’s rightful place.

A wonderfully kind doctor visited you.

There is a new lady in charge of you now.  She’s glad the light is shining into Pleven!

“She shared lots of changes…that are going to be great for the children and best of all, she is EXCITED about the [donated, specialized] formula!!!   She has completely revamped the “kitchen program”, so the kids are getting better quality food (and learning to eat from spoons, etc), the children with special needs will NOT be isolated anymore and will instead be integrated in with the other children and there is much more accountability in regards to the staff. It sounded like she’s restructuring everything, including mindsets.  :)”

I cannot read this without laughter bubbling up inside me!  Because it means more than simply policies or words, or simply a fundraiser button on a blog and kind people who give.

It means your life is changing, tiny girl.  You are getting better food.  You have put on a little weight, and have a healthier color now!  You are gaining energy.  And smiling.  And laughing.

Not long ago, a loving daddy and mommy saw your face.  They aren’t scared by your needs.  They love you just the way you are!  They sent a paper to your country to say,

“We commit to do all it takes to make this special girl our girl.”  

Beautiful small one,

“Arise, shine, for your light has come.”

………

Thank you again, Susanna, for allowing me to share your wonderful post!

So now you know that long-overdue changes are being made in this hellish place.  The children and their well-being will hopefully now be the number one concern for those in charge .   With that in mind, do you remember when I said I would elaborate on something?

Meet 11 year old Liliana…

That isn’t a typo.  She was 11 years old in these photos and weighed only 11 pounds!!  Okay, think about this;  my 19-month daughter is tiny for her age, not even on the growth chart and even she is 19lbs.!  Sweet Liliana was 11 pounds at 11 years old!  It is completely inexcusable for this child to have been so malnourished over so many years.  The amazing thing is that she has just been adopted and should be arriving home with her new family right about now!  Her new name is Amelia, and she waited for 12 long years in Pleven orphanage, this terrible place that has been called Auschwitz for children.  12 years slowly dying, bedridden, and starving.

Here she is all dressed up and looking so much better!  Pretty girl.  However, she is still very sick in this photo.

This is right before her family took her out of the orphanage.  She weighed 12 pounds.  She has gained weight only because she spent time in the hospital over the winter, which is a miracle in itself.  I shudder to think of how many children have simply been permitted to die without intervention of this sort.  Poor thing was still so sick and weak, her new mama had to take her straight from the orphanage to the hospital.  They plan to take her right back to the hospital as soon as they land on U.S. soil.

This is just one small group of kids from one orphanage.  How many more kids are out there who are in equally hellish circumstances?    How many are dying?  How many desperately need that giant “spotlight of hope” to be shone onto them like the children in Pleven have had?  Please everyone, pray, pray, pray for all of them!   Let’s shout it out at the top of our lungs to our Heavenly Father!

I will leave you all with one last thing.  Little Marsha from the beginning of this post, has a family coming for her!!!  Yay!!!   But I know that her family needs prayers that all will go quickly and smoothly so that they can go get their little angel as soon as possible.  Also, the other children in this post still wait for families, so it goes without saying, share it and pray!

Thank you all!

Andrea-

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