Family 2013

Family 2013
Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting to know these little people

First let me just clarify. During the summer months the orphanages send kids school age to summer camps. They leave the routine and orphanage environments they are used to, including caregivers they know,  and are sent away.Many times kids are joined together from different orphanages.  Can you imagine? Having the little security you have taken away, then to have the "normal" you know gone. They load up old buses and off they go mostly to way out of the way towns with very old poor buildings.  And very limited staff. Erase the idea you have in your mind of summer camp. No bright colors. No fun activities. No fun filled days. No camp fire songs and roasting marshmallows. Think more like wake up , quick breakfast of mush, a piece of fruit from the local farm, and out the door you go to play and wander outside in the very hot weather until lunch time. Thats it. Drinks come at the scheduled time. No , it doesnt matter how thirsty you are. Not enough staff to pass out drinks whenever kids want them. Bathroom breaks? ha! No. These children go outside . They more delayed children, bless their hearts, stop and go where ever they are. Be it next to a bush, or next to your shoe. It is not their fault! They simply do not know better :(
These camps can be on the shores, or just a different orphanage. Typical children usually go to the nicer camps on the sea. But still it is not the fun packed camp we would think of. Kids spend their days wasting time and wandering around. Imagine leaving your 5-17 year olds outside most of the day unsupervised with other 5-17 year olds.... it is a recipe for trouble.
Children deemed "special needs" or "Mentally delayed" depending on the severity of their condition and the opinion of the person evaluating them, will go to a "camp" on a lake (no one watching them most of the time) or to a emptied orphanage for the summer months. Thats where our little guy went. An emptied orphanage internat that was doing repairs while the regular residents are away at another "camp" In  a remote town , to a large empty orphanage internat up on a hill, in the middle of nowhere.The blessing in this is we got to spend hours with some really amazing kids and get to know and love them. We have even found families for 2 children who no one seemed to know were here !  Children who have parents who leave them at the orphanages during the week, or school terms (this sad thing happens WAY more than you would like to believe) are required to take them home for the summer months.
While we were at the "camp" M where our little guy was sent with some of his classmates we encountered a handful of caregivers who seemed to like the kids and were kind. We also encountered a few that were very harsh. And I imagine the night caregiver and the weekend caregiver are the harshest :( I say this because the kids were very clingy and whiny on the weekends. Also a few  children were sporting brand new cuts and bruises that were clearly from abuse. Black and blue buttocks in various stages of healing. Purple , yellow, blue. Large 2" bruises that look like slash marks going up the leg and hip of a skinny little 7 year old girl. Up the whole thigh and hip. A black eye and split lip plus various cuts and bruises on a sweet gently slow moving little boy with Cp. It  disgusts and angers you. You feel  powerless. You want to shake someone!

 This beautiful angel little A :) His laugh and joy warms your soul. He has hemi Cerebral Palsy and get around just fine. My facilitator speaks with him and she says he is a smart little guy. He LOVES when we are there because we lift him into the swing and onto the slide. He is unable to do that on his own so he is left to sit on the bench. He is a joy. The anger we felt over seeing his beat up face and bruised bottom was crazy. But who cares how we felt? Can you imagine being so helpless and being abused? This sweet child deserves better! He is papers are not cleared for adoption yet, but are being processed. I will be shouting with joy when he can be adopted!!!
These bruises in person were clearly a spanking gone nuts. They next day the bruises were dark purple and blue. She was VERY clingy and not herself for several days after this :(

Yet..There is NOTHING you can do.
Find families. One. child. at a time!
So please take a look at these beautiful amazing little survivors that have wrapped themselves around our hearts :):) Can you pray for them? Some are not available for adoption :( others are just waiting and waiting. To be Picked :)
Maybe. Just maybe. You will be looking at YOUR CHILD.
 This little cherub is an example of a child from a very poor farm family who brings her to live at the orphanage during the week, and brings her home on the weekends. Can you imagine choosing this environment for YOUR child? You can see by the light in her eyes and her plump little limbs she is cared for . Her family loves her I am sure but feel they have no choice. Its not a judgement but a sad reality.

 Wow. What can I say about this little beauty? Sweet little "S" wrapped herself around our hearts QUICKLY. This child is a survivor and a rare little gem in this crazy world of hers. She is considered special needs because she has an easily treated condition here in the states. I spent  hours with her, and have never seen anything out of the normal. She is FUNNY , and smart, and affectionate, and helpful :) All the caregivers rely on her to run errands, fold laundry, find kids, answer questions. Too much really but she is responsible. She wiggled her way into our visits with our little guy, and quickly we looked forward to seeing her as MUCH as seeing our Sasha! I knew I loved her the day my husband was a bit grouchy, and she looked at him and said (thru our translator) "it is easier to laugh then to cry, now smile!"
This beautiful abandoned child sharing words of wisdom with my husband!   I would have adopted this sweet little beauty in a second. Wanted to.  But unfortunately she belongs to the M orphanage and my guy was only here for camp. It would have meant another complete adoption and my home study was not approved for a child her age. :( I was crushed. The burden of leaving her here..all alone was making me ill. Then an amazing thing happened! By posting her sweet face on Face book, and sharing what a gem she was HER MAMA FOUND HER! A friend of ours from back home, took one look into  her sweet eyes and KNEW she was looking at her daughter! God worked this all out :) I have peace knowing sweet "S" will have a family to love her and protect her. She will thrive in a family ! Shoot- this kid has managed to thrive here ! That is very hard to do ;)
 This gorgeous child is HILARIOUS! Another gem! He would be such an amazing light in a family. He is funny and smart and just a joy! Sadly he comes from a broken  home and was removed. His papers to allow him to be adopted are in process, but no way to know when that could be. I ask that you pray for him, to not lose the light in his eyes, and the innocence in his heart. He really is a neat kid. Pray that his paperwork is completed and he can be adopted before that joy is stolen away from him.
 This little guy is smart! And loves food! He tries to trick me into giving him several granola bars, even though his mouth is FULL :) When he sneaks into my backpack , he holds up 2 fingers to tell me he is getting 2 more darn it! My husband told him no , to get out of my bag and he was so funny-he started flicking my husbands arm and kicking dirt on his shoe! Really spunky kid but gentle with his friends and loves to sit on my lap.  I completely understand the need to get as much food as you can NOW. He is trying to survive :( He is available to be adopted :) He would be a really neat kiddo to add to a family. Smart little guy ! Physically capable. I'm sure he has a label of mentally delayed -they all do. This life would delay anyone!

 Little A   found this workbook page outside and you would have thought it was a new Barbie doll! She was SO excited and wanted to just study it. Giana would try to tell her what was on the page, and she listened so intently and repeated it. I got the sense she really loves to learn.
 Little A on the left side. You can see how tiny she is. She didn't feel good this day. I felt bad for her.
Oh sweet little "A" ! This baby NEEDS a mama and a papa. She has a sister that she has been separated from :( They were together at the baby house (see my last post) She doesnt see well out of her right eye, and walks very slowly because of this. She is tender and tries to stay out of the fray. BUT if you make the effort to connect with her you will be rewarded! This baby is light as a feather and tiny (this picture makes her seem bigger then she is) and she loves to be hugged! Her face just lights up when she realizes you are actually TALKING TO HER! She has separated herself from her crazy world because it is easier then being hurt more , I would guess. Being alone is NOT where she wants to be, She lights up and interacts given just a bit of kindness and love :) Her sister is much the same way! We found her all alone back at the baby house, standing off , all alone holding a truck :(

No eye contact or even a clue she knew we were there. UNTIL Giana went over to her and started blowing bubbles! That caught her interest. Then I went over and gently stroked her hand with my finger. Then her arm. Then I slowly rubbed her cheek...and oh so slowly a tiny tiny smile started!! I scooped her up put her on my lap and proceeded to let her sit there for almost the next hour! THIS BABY WANTS TO BE INCLUDED AND LOVED!!! These kids just shrink into themselves to avoid hurt and rejection! These beautiful girls NEED a family. They NEED to be back together!! Not separated by 90 minutes of 80 miles per hour driving! Please consider them! They are beautiful and tiny and so sweet and gently. Yes, they have some mental delays. Who cares?? They will thrive and blow peoples minds if just given a chance! This is the link to their listing on Reece's click HERE.

 Working on getting her to warm up to me. Didn't take long once she knew I cared about her :)

This is C ! Samantha's SISTER!! TELL ME THESE GIRLS ARE NOT PRECIOUS!! She is tiny and such a doll baby :) She needs a mama and a papa to bring these girls back together and love them!  PLEASE consider them . Please share their info! I would love to talk with anyone considering them !!! They are precious.
This beautiful boy is "A" he stole Giana's heart :) really a smart loving kid.He is said to have ADHD. And he is in an orphanage for the mentally delayed. Wow.  It blows my mind how these kids are labeled Mentally retarded, Mentally delayed, Psychological delay and they seem just like any other kid although behind a bit due to living here! These labels are a dangerous thing. GOOD news is he is the child who had the family come from Canada and they are adopting him !  
(update- the couple have returned him to the orphanage. They are NOT adopting him. They hoped for a child that is smarter, with no institutional delays)
 Sweet "s" and me again :) Did I say how much I love this kid????

Sweet S and Sweet L - I need to do a post on L on the next blog post...AMAZING CHILD.
This little guy is older maybe 10? He is the bravest kid. BOTH of his feet are twisted in. Imagine both your toes pointing to the opposite ankle. Completely makes a line that he stands on . AND he runs and walks and climbs ! He is amazing! Seems smart and loves to talk. I am working on finding out if he is free to be adopted.  This kid will go places if given the chance!

Here you can see this beautiful boys feet. They are literally crossed completely. And yet it does not stop him! A real hero this kiddo is .
More on this sweet baby. We call he blue eyed baby! Her name is A and she is free for adoption!! I will post more on her next post. She is precious.

This is beautiful "A" before the beating. He is a happy joyful kid who claps with joy whenever something makes him smile!  

I have several more kiddos to share with you all in my next blog post. They are all so deserving of a life much better then they have been dealt. I cant help but pick up each one that raises their arms to me. Kiss each cheek and whisper how good and special they are in their ears. I search out the child in the back, who stands there so forgotten. I WANT to work to earn their trust. To be blessed by their smile. I am so much richer for the experience this trip has given us. I have to say I am beyond proud of my Giana. She just jumps right in the middle of the kids. She doesnt care if they are dirty or sticky, or even on the day none of the girls had on underwear ....she would just smooth down their dresses and pick them up and love on them anyway. She makes us proud :)
God had a purpose in sending us way out here in the EE countryside :) And I am SO glad he chose us!


Julia said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR SHOUTING FOR THESE KIDS!!! Oh Maria!! Be their voice. Find them families. You are their HOPE!! God is good.

Anonymous said... ddil makes you want to adopt them all!:) :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! Such sweet little blessings God placed in your path. We prayed that you would find Samantha's sister!! Then to see all those beautiful pictures of her...just brings me to tears. We will never give up being their PW's!
Their family IS out there. May I copy the pictures for my new blog? Or would you prefer that I just link to your blog? Our family donated every last penny we could scrape up in order to try and win our choice in the "Our Own Starfish." Oh how I had hoped we would win and give the sisters that extra advantage the Angel Tree allows. : ( We'll just keep advocating for them all. That first little guy tugs at my heart too. So glad to hear your special little gal is getting a family! PTL!

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking - and infuriating, to read of the outright abuse (in addition to the habitual neglect) that many of these little ones suffer. Can the authorities in the Capitol City be notified, in their office next to the beautiful blue and white church?? Would that make any real difference for these specific children?? Thank you so much for being the voice of the voiceless, for your advocacy - and for showing the children such love and affection during your time with them. They will remember...

Susan in Ky
Cousin to 2 from EE

Monica said...

Oh, these poor, poor children. Heartbreaking. I keep coming back to your blog, hoping something can be done for them. I can't believe they came back with the boy they were going to adopt, leaving him in those conditions.


Diana Tyree said...

Maria,I'm so glad I found your blog, I saw a link to it from new horizons facebook. My heart goes out to all these children, the others on RR and all the hosting children I've seen. I would love to adopt! Were you able to see Tania, the little girls with downs syndrome at that orphanage? I have a soft spot for her. Please pray for us, for the Lords will to be done concerning adoption. I love what you are doing to give these children a voice through their pictures and stories.Thank you for your honesty that it's not all pretty, but neither have we been. God bless you! I posted a link to your site on our facebook page. Diana

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"...Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT..." Proverbs 24:12

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -(Mahatma Gandhi)