Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don't Turn Away: Life In An Orphanage

This won't be easy to read and you will probably leave this blog with a hurting heart.  But I would just like you to remember that this is the everyday reality for these kids. They don't have the option to turn their eyes away, they can't pretend like it's not happening because they live it.  So please, even when it hurts, don't turn away.

The life of orphans in other countries is far from what you may think.  Most days are spent in their crib with no interaction, no toys; these kids are lucky if they get their diapers changed even twice a day.  With nothing to their name, they live on borrowed time, waiting for something, or someone to come along and change their everyday routine.   If the child is lucky they will get a caretaker who sees something special about them and pays a little more attention to them than the other kids.  But most days are spent alone, in a crib, chewing their hands, or hitting their head trying to feel something, anything.

Please, don't stop reading, don't turn away.  Remember, this is their life that they cannot escape from.

Feedings are scary to think about. I've heard stories and watched documentaries of feedings.  The older kids have gruel shoveled into their mouths, so fast they don't have time to swallow.  I wonder how many older kids dread feeding time for fear of choking? But yet they know that might be the last time they are allowed to eat for who knows how long.  Babies and children who don't have the ability to sit up are laid on their back in a crib with the bottle propped up as this thick substance pours into their mouth faster than they can swallow.  Not having time to breathe causing them to aspirate this thick gruel into their lungs, but since they cannot sit, they cannot cough it up, and often times get so sick from this.

Please, don't stop reading, don't turn away.  Remember, this is their life that they cannot escape from.

Some children at the age of 4 their time runs out, and they are made to leave what's been their "home" for the past years. They are sent away to an adult mental institution where their heads are shaved, unneeded medicine is given to keep them quiet, and they are tied to a crib for hours on end.  Statistics say that most children who are sent away to an institution won't last their first year, and I believe it.   In most cases it's extremely hard to adopt children once they have been transferred because their institution directors don't see their value and don't see the point in letting families rescue them. But for other children, their life has always consisted of shaved heads, unneeded medicine (to keep them from crying.), and being tied to a crib to keep them from self harming (This self harming is from receiving no stimulation and attention, so the children bang their heads on the bars of the cribs, or chew their hands, or continually scratch behind their ears till they bleed).

When a child is born with a special need in other countries, they are deemed worthless, and parents are told that their child will never contribute anything to society.  Or in some cases the families aren't able to provide the proper care for their child, and doctors *convince* them that the orphanages will be able to.  I hurt for those parents, the ones who are trying to do what's best for their child, and have no clue what the orphanages are really like. Their child won't receive therapies or proper medical care. They will be malnourished, ignored, and beaten.

So this, my friends, is why we're adopting Nikolai and why we fight for these kids.  This is their reality, their fate, and without advocates and willing families these kids will die in the hands of people who could care less about them.  Without you and me, these kids will pass away without ever knowing what it's like to feel love, or to have mommy snuggles, and a daddy to wrestle with. They will know nothing other than the lies that have been fed to them over the years.  They will believe the lies that they are worthless, unwanted, a burden, and have no purpose.  You and I know that those things aren't true and we know that they have potential and are wanted. The little boy pictured above, Keith was adopted from Bulgaria 3 years ago.  When he came home at 5 years old, he weighed 10lb (Yes, 10 POUNDS) and could fit in an infant car seat (the one you would bring your NEWBORN home in).  These conditions are treacherous, horrendous, unbelievably inhumane, I've seen animals who have better living conditions.  So this is my question to you...will you fight with us?  Will you join us, and help end this horrible injustice?  In the words of Eric Ludy  "We will rescue these little ones"

**Thank you, to all of the  mommas who let me use before and after pictures of their kiddos.  All of the children pictured above were adopted from Bulgaria**

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