What If ….

I often think of what would happen to my sweet boy if I never saw his picture, never acted on my feeling of love, never started this adoption process …

These were the first 2 pictures I ever saw of Ari that made me fall in love with him!

What if I was too afraid of his needs? What if I had thought his diagnosis was just too much? What if I had just said no?! What then?

swi_xiushan1Picture of a Social Welfare Institute in China

Well, in China, children age out of eligibility for international adoption at 14. 14!!!  Yes they are teenagers, but they have grown up without the love and guidance of a parent. Some of these children may not know how to write, may have trouble speaking, may utilize wheelchairs and may need full time care. Where do they go when no one else has stepped up for them. What happens to them when no one decides to make them part of a family?

When these precious children are not brought into loving families before aging out, they move into the state-run nursing homes. Frequently these are on the same site as the orphanage … but there is less cognitive enrichment and large ratio of those needing care to those providing care. They have 1-2 nurses on site, but instead of being treated for various medical issues, most of the more involved children are just barely “managed”. IF a child has to go to a hospital, it is likely only for an extreme and acute issue, but more often than not turns into a life-altering or life-ending experience – this holds especially true when living in smaller cities/towns.

Often times, children who have aged out and have been moved to the elderly institute are left in cribs all day and all night. They are provided with diaper changes around 2x per day, they are bathed 1x per week, and they are given food as quickly as they can eat it. Their bedding is changed 1x per week – which is difficult when children soak through diapers and have food dropped on their bedding. For children who are non mobile and non verbal, this often is a never ending abyss of nothingness. They are rarely interacted with and spend most of their time in homemade “straight jackets”, peering out through the bars of their crib. These defenseless children are left to try to fend for themselves – which is so very hard to do when you cannot use your feet/hands/body and cannot speak. These children often experience severe neglect due to their inability to do for themselves.

IMG_7338 A recent picture at an orphanage where make-shift straight jackets were utilized to keep children in their cribs

Not only are children with significant needs moved to the elder care homes, but also those children who aren’t diagnosed with extreme needs. It is these children who can band together and form “gangs” within the homes.  Sexual activity is rampant (some consensual) – but it can quickly turn into abuse. Physical abuse also occurs, especially towards those who cannot fight back or report the abuse.

THAT is the reality that Ari would face if I had not said yes …

It is a terrifying reality for so many kids.

Are YOU considering the possibility of adopting? If so PLEASE reach out – I would LOVE to talk to you! There are so many children who need a family. One of the Children in desperate need of a home and medical assistance is this sweet boy.

A friend had posted this sweet little boy in Bulgaria who looks strikingly similar to my Ari …

If you even have an inkling of being interested in learning more about him, please let me know. He is in desperate need of a home and a family! You can check out a little bit of info on him here: http://reecesrainbow.org/117473/anthony 

Can’t adopt, but are still wanting to help?! There are so many amazing non-profit organizations that help orphans. There are organizations for children in care as well as those that assist the education and skill building of children who have aged out! I am in the process of compiling links to these programs now and will share as soon as I have a good list!

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