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Tag Archives: Calling All Prayer Warriors!

This is All

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Anger, rage, heartbreak questions, tears, hopelessness, agony, sorrow…  All these words…   A pit in my stomach…  This is all I have to say tonight.

 

Just read it.

 

Can you really turn a blind eye?

Would You?

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Christmas time has come and gone once more… During the mad rush of shopping and preparing and attending holiday gatherings, did you stop to think about what the holidays really mean?  This season is so full of want want want, but what about give give give?  Isn’t it truly about the giving nature of the season, when we pause to give thanks to God for giving up his only son Jesus, who died on the cross to save us sinners?  All so that we could have eternal life.  Now, even if you aren’t a believer, this holiday season should still represent giving and sharing, right?

After seeing the truly horrific and glum existence of many of the orphans in the world, would you consider helping a family bring home one of them?  What a gift adoption is and how blessed both parent and child can be by it.  To show a child who has spent their entire existence in a laying room, never ever being held, cries ignored, diapers soiled far too long,  often drugged, or abused, or just…  not loved.  Would you help give a child like that a family of their own?  Would you?

If all it took was one day where you didn’t go to Starbucks but instead donated that $4 to a family’s adoption fund?  Would you?

Let me repeat that, ONE DAY, $4!  That is so piddly isn’t it?  We spend that without batting an eye twenty times over at Target on junk we don’t need right?

So, would you?

I happen to know of a need that is pretty huge right now.   I have some friends who are trying to make an orphan in this world, an orphan no longer.  I have personally met each of these families and there is no better place for an orphan to end up, wonderful people.   But the cost of adoption can be upwards of $25,000 , yes I did just say that.   So before you decide whether or not you want to donate, share, or pray, please check out each one of these sweet families and what they are fighting for.

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Little Donald is waiting for his new mom and dad to come get him!

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The Jenks family

The Jenks family

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Terry and her kids

Terry and her kids

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And I am such a meanie, I forgot this last one when I published earlier!!!  I can’t forget the Horton Family who is adopting Gary and Marnie.

Sweet little Gary

Sweet little Gary

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Adorable Marnie

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.

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!

Just the Q

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I have to admit, when I started this whole blogging thing, I knew it was going to be ton of work.  Getting my blog up and running with all the content I wanted to include seemed to be a never ending project.  But you see, I thought that if I could just get all of the main content done, the actual blogging would be easy.  Ha!  Boy, was I wrong!

I constantly find myself thinking, “I am a terrible blogger.  I am disappointing my readers by not posting often enough.”  I think it is safe to say that I am probably accurate on these assumptions.  However, for someone who needs absolute quiet in order to get her thoughts written down in a reader friendly manner, my house does not provide a conducive environment to do said task.  With a less than fun pregnancy taking every ounce of my energy and a toddler who would much rather hang out about an inch away from mommy no matter where mommy is, makes writing difficult to say the least.  Now factor in the sassy pre-teen boy who as of late, simply must press every one of his mothers hot buttons (oh the eye-rolling that has taken place in my home has reached epic proportions)!   So, as you can guess, what my wonderful and amazing readers get are the leftovers: one frazzled mama.  What am I to do with a bunch of fabulously bored readers with nothing new to read?

Shall I post about how my heart is broken for Owen and all the other children in Russia who won’t get the opportunity to have a family here in the U.S.?  Or shall I scream about how angry I am that children who are in dire need will be denied the possibility of a family here, making their chances of being adopted at all very low if at all?

Like this beautiful creature.  How can they tell her “no”.  This sweet thing has gone from this:

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To this:  Lina-update-Oct-2012-215x300as6z-lina-updatejan2013-279x300

In less than a year. Little Lina has wasted away. She will be 2 years old in June.

 My heart is breaking for her, for all of them.  So many faces fading away into oblivion it seems (big sigh).

Nope, I just can’t think about that now.  It tears me up, but all I can do is pray.    I can whine, and stomp my feet, but that won’t do any good.  Only God can fix this.

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So what shall I blog then?

I know – I will ask you all a question or two.

Has the information on my blog done anything positive for any of you?

Has the information on my blog opened any eyes?

Yes, I know the sections are lengthy.  But truly, I need your thoughts.

I ask these things because I need to know if what God has asked me to do is doing the good that I hoped it would.

Is there any information I should add to my content on here?

Constructive criticism is good, however I do ask that when responding, all comments remain kindly worded.  Thank you!

I appreciate everyone’s feedback!

God Bless-

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!

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!

Healing And Truth

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Abortion can ruin a woman’s life.  It can destroy her emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  My heart breaks for all those babies who have lost their lives as well as all the women who felt they had no other choice but to give in and have an abortion.  I would actually like to hear from my readers on this!  Is abortion part of your story?  Have you decided to have an abortion and then changed your mind?  Do you know someone who has experienced either of these scenarios?  Please, I would love to hear about it – good or bad.   Why did you decide what you did?

Abortion is a touchy subject, I know, and I am fairly sure everyone who reads my blog knows where I stand on it.  However, I do understand that many women live with the scars of the choice they made at a vulnerable time and afterwards realized it was the wrong choice.  I pray for healing in your hearts, ladies, if this is you.  Some continue to choose abortion as their preferred method of birth control, which is so sad.    It is these women I pray for the most.  Not that I don’t pray for ALL of them, I just meant that it’s the women who go back for seconds and thirds and fourths I really pray for.

ALL life is precious.  Whether a child is healthy or not, has down syndrome or any other “defect” as so many call it, that child is perfect in the eyes of God.   All children are fearfully and wonderfully made and should be given the same chance at life as any other.  That is one reason why my heart breaks for the orphans.  They are seen as “defective” and aren’t even given a chance at all.   Makes my mommy heart so sad.

How precious…

I remember recently reading a story about a woman who was pregnant with twins and learned that one twin had a heart defect.   Let me repeat that, A HEART DEFECT.  Most heart defects are operable.  Anyway, following the advice of her doctor she agreed to terminate the one twin and keep the healthy one.  Once the procedure was over she discovered that they had aborted her healthy baby, and she was still pregnant with the “defective” one which she then had terminated as well.  Wow, really?  I obviously have not walked in her shoes and should not judge  but I still wonder how on earth one can make a decision like that?

Let me just say that this is just ONE case.  There are many more like it.

It saddens me that our world is so afraid of “different”.  In some countries, I have heard that orphanage staff  refuses to even touch children with down syndrome or autistism for fear they can catch it!    Oh my!  Why?  Again I would love to hear from my readers on this!  Why are people so afraid of “different”?

The link below will take you to a series of eye opening accounts from many different ex-abortion employees.  The testimonies you will hear are those of ultrasound technicians, nurses, administrative staff, etc.   It is a side of the dark and vastly growing world of abortion that I think we all need to hear.

It is shocking to hear so many say that those performing procedures were not even medically trained, how many women were seen as dollar signs and not people, how the staff purposefully kept patients in the dark regarding the risks and specifics about the procedure so they would not change their minds, and how many of these people became excited at the growing pile of dead babies in trash bags in their back room on a daily basis, because the more dead babies there were, the more money they would get.  This video does not show anything explicit.  However, it is a compelling series of interviews.  The link below will take you to parts 1 thru 4.

Once you have watched it, I would like to know your thoughts.  Is this new information for you?  What do you think about all this?

Part 1

Part 2

part 3

Some other tidbits you will find in this video series:

  • Providers at abortion clinics have been purposely prescribing low hormone birth control pills because they knew of the high failure rate and in turn guaranteed themselves repeat customers.
  • Many reports of women coming back for repeat abortions as in, more than 3 and even more than 5.
  •  A former abortion ultrasound technician tells about how she has witnessed what is called “silent scream”.  As the baby is being aborted, the baby appears to be screaming in the womb.  This haunting account also describes how she witnessed babies pull away from the abortion instruments, trying to get away.  Let me tell you, this made me shrivel inside.  Those babies feel what is being done to them.

This is part 4 which speaks about the above.

Part 4

You can find out more at http://prolifeaction.org/providers/

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)

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