Archive for ‘Orphans’

January 7, 2013

and still he waits….

Two years ago I walked into an orphanage in Africa and met a precious baby boy.

Elias* was about a year old.  I was told he had seizures and low muscle tone.  He had reflux and was considered “failure to thrive”.  His caregivers asked me if I might be able to find a family for this precious baby boy.

Of course, I answered.  Of course this precious, adorable baby boy would find a forever family.

elisha

Two years later…Elias is still waiting.

His chances in Africa aren’t good.  If he survives he will spend the rest of his life in an institution.  He has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and they have a hard time controlling his seizures with the limited medical care available to him.   He is being fed through an NG tube (in his nose) because he aspirates his food.  While the orphanage he is in is a great one, it is still an orphanage and Elias NEEDS a family.  There is nothing that can replace a loving family.

Last time I was at his orphanage I went looking for him.  I had been warned that he looked a lot different.  “Like a holocaust victim” is how a friend who works at the orphanage described him.  Apparently he had been sent to the hospital and came back to the orphanage is worse shape than he was in before.  I was heartbroken.  He had changed so much.  He smiled at me as I held him and I smiled back with tears in my eyes knowing how much harder it would be for him to find a family now.  Now that he was older, gaunt, stiff and spastic.  I was heartbroken that this little boy with SO much potential is wasting away without a family or the medical attention he so desperately needs.  Wasting away because no one will step out and say YES that they will rescue this precious child.

Elias is a beautiful, innocent 3 year old boy who needs and DESERVES a forever family.

photo-8

I know it’s scary.  I know.  Elias needs someone willing to take a leap of faith.  Someone who see’s what I see:  a sweet little boy who longs to connect with you but who is stuck in a body that is working against him.

Parenting Elias isn’t going to easy.  Especially at first.  There is no doubt about that.   But I can tell you, this little boy is WORTH IT.  He will make the most amazing son for someone willing to step out of their comfort zone and bring him home.

Please friends, won’t you consider if you are this sweet boy’s family?  

Elias has waited far too long.

*name changed to protect privacy

Little E from sister haiti on Vimeo.

August 20, 2012

Home

I am home from Uganda.  10 days was a very long time away from my little ones!

This trip was full of extremes.  Ten days felt so long yet it also went by so quickly.   There were happy, fun times with friends and then heartbreaking, cry-my-eyes-out times with the orphans we are helping.  I’m exhausted.

I have so many stories and pictures to share but I feel like I still need some time to process it all myself first.

In the meantime, something adorable is posted below.  The smile is contagious!   This sweet little man asked me seriously before I left his orphanage if I could find he and his brother a family.  I promised him I’d try.  I can’t wait to hear their file is ready and we can start looking for their forever family!

IMG 3627 from sister haiti on Vimeo.

March 30, 2012

Laurel Needs a Family

Laurel is a beautiful 15 year old girl in Eastern Europe who desperately needs a forever family ASAP.

Laurel was born with arthrogryposis.    Very soon, if she’s not adopted, she will be transferred to an adult mental institution, despite the fact that her special needs are physical and they say she does not have any mental disabilities.    On top of that, if Laurel is not adopted very soon she will no longer be eligible because of her age.    She is a beautiful little girl who needs an adoptive family ASAP.

 Laurel currently has almost $12,000 in grant funding available for her adoption through Reece’s Rainbow. 

She can be adopted by married couples, large families and older parents are welcome.  Both parents are required to travel.

Because of time constraints a homestudy ready family (or one that can be homestudy ready very quickly) is being sought.

Please visit Laurel’s Reece’s Rainbow page.  Even if you aren’t her forever family, please consider giving to her grant fund.  She is more likely to find a forever family if money is not an issue.

You can read about arthrogryposis HERE.

This is a blog advocating for the adoption of children with anthrogryposis.    They have a lot of resources on their blog.

Interested families should email Andrea Roberts:  bamaroberts@comcast.net

Thank you for considering how you can help this beautiful girl!

February 29, 2012

Children Underground – Documentary

This is now 11 years old, so others may have already seen this documentary but I just found it online and thought it was worth sharing.

I am embedding the trailer here. The full documentary is available on Netflix or it looks like most (all?) of it is uploaded to youtube in multiple parts. Please note that I would not consider the documentary appropriate for children and does include some language.

January 28, 2012

Some days…

The latest:

We raised more than enough money for these girls to be SAFE and taken care of.  We are already working on a long term plan for them to be within a loving family in Uganda.  THANK YOU to everyone that donated and shared.  

UPDATE from Facebook: 

We are quickly coming to a solution for the seven little girls who are living alone in central Uganda.  The short story is that the two malnourished babies (age 2 and 7 months) will be temporarily going to a malnutrition rehabilitation home and the five older girls will be going to boarding school. A bandaid on a very complicated situation but the girls need care and safety NOW. We need sponsors to step up and cover the cost of the girls boarding school. Urgently, we need $200 USD per child for the first term and the necessary books, uniforms, etc. Donations came be made on the AAI website (www.adoptionadvocates.org) and please note it is for the “7 Sisters in Uganda”. AAI is a 501(c)3. Please send me a note and let me know if you’ve donated so I can keep track of what has come in. I really hope to have all five girls in school by the end of the week. Please share with anyone who might be able to help.

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Some days I feel like my heart just can’t handle anymore…the pleas for help, the stories of children in need.

Yesterday, Linda (my friend and the one who runs our work in Uganda) went on a community visit in an area of Uganda we’ve been asked to help. She told me briefly about a situation she came across. I want to share their story with you.

She met a family of seven little girls.  The oldest is 13 and the youngest is 7 months.  The baby is very malnourished.  Their dad lives and works hours away in the capital city.  Their mom died.  For weeks at a time these seven little girls are alone.

ALONE.

A 13 year old girl is the head of their house.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I was told: “the kids get attacked at night by strangers”.

And my heart broke.

She didn’t elaborate on details but I can only guess what can be happening to these seven little girls who are alone.

Can you just imagine for a moment being 13 years old and being responsible for the lives of your six little sisters? 

These precious children, how vulnerable they are.

The thing is, I don’t know how to help these little girls.  They need to be somewhere safe now.

We’re researching our options for getting them out of this situation and into a safe place.

For now all I know to do is pray for them and ask you to pray as well.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82: 3-4

January 2, 2012

Is your family missing an amazingly adorable and sweet 4 year old boy?  

If so, Let me introduce you to AJ.  

I became aware of AJ at the beginning of December when I saw his picture posted on a friends facebook wall.

I may have gasped a little at how adorable he was.
Be. Still. My. Heart.   

Let me tell you a little bit about this sweet boy.

AJ is an orphan.  He lives at a wonderful children’s home in Honduras.    He just turned 4 in November and is described by his caregivers as having a strong spirit, love of adventure, and compassionate heart.   He loves to get down in the dirt and play with trucks and cars.  AJ is quite the conversationalist, very affectionate and very curious.   He is so loved by his caregivers in Honduras but they know that AJ needs a forever family.

AJ has a form of dwarfism that only affects him from the waist down.  He can not walk but is proficient at using his wheelchair.   He appears to be cognitively and developmentally on track.

Adoptions from Honduras do not appear to be very easy.  I have been in touch with the attorney who will process his adoption and gotten some basic information.  Because this is a child with special needs some parts of the process may be easier than normal and I’m told things may be expedited.   Families should still expect the process to take 12+ months.  Families will be required to take 2 trips to Honduras.   The first trip of about a week to meet the child and start the adoption process.   I’m told the second trip would be a trip of approximately 4-6 weeks.   The second trip might be able to be broken up into a third trip, so the family doesn’t have to stay so long.   The adoption can be done independently or through an agency.

 I am still trying to figure out the fees that may be required.  The attorney fees in Uganda will be between $5,000 – $8,000.   Travel seems like it could be in the $10,000 – $12,000 range with plane tickets, hotels, transportation, food, etc.  I would guess families should expect that the adoption will be upwards of $20,000+ even if adopting independently.   Agency fees would likely add another $5,000 – $7,000 onto that (depending on the agency).    I am happy to help any family through the process if they need it.  Anything from help with paperwork, fundraising, researching grants, information on parenting special needs children, etc.   Whatever is needed.
I just want to see this amazing little boy find a family as soon as possible.  

Families for children like AJ are found when people network.  I’m asking you to please share this post with your family and friends.  Post it on your facebook.  Link to it from your blog.  The more people that see this post, the more likely we are to find AJ’s forever family.  

Are you interested in becoming AJ’s forever family?   
Please contact me and let me know you’d like more information.  I’ll put you in touch with the right people! 

 

August 19, 2011

There are no words….

There are no words to describe how much this hurts my heart.
This little girl is eleven years old. ELEVEN. She weighs 10 pounds. Yes, you read that right…TEN POUNDS. She is dying. Not from cancer or some other deadly disease. She is dying from a lack of food, a lack of medical care, a lack of attention, and lack of the love of a family.

This is happening now. This little girl is fighting to stay alive right now.

If you can help provide the funds her family (wherever they are – and yes, I believe a family will step forward to adopt her!) will need to bring her home please go to this blog and chip in. Anything will help.

Pray for Lilliana.

August 16, 2011

It’s not OK….

It’s not OK that in the year 2011 children are still living (and dying) like this.  See the link below.  My heart breaks for this precious girl and the thousands of others like her throughout the world who don’t have families fighting for them.   It’s almost more than the heart can handle….

http://theblessingofverity.com/2011/08/my-baby/

 

 

June 25, 2011

June 2011 Uganda Trip Day 3

Day 3:

My overnight flight from London to Uganda was decent.  I had a bulk head seat and slept about four hours.   We got to Uganda at about 8am.  The visa line was long.  The immigration officer looked at my passport and asked why I was only staying for 6 days.  I explained it was only a short trip and I couldn’t stay longer.  He pointed to my visa renewal stamp (my visa expired last year when I was in Uganda for so long and I had to get it extended, a huge pain!) and said that he didn’t want me to have to go through that again if I decided to stay longer so he gave me a 90 day visa.  :)

I’m always nervous my bags will get lost but all three were there!   I got my bags loaded on a cart and headed out.  Linda was out front waiting for me and it was so good to see her again!  We found Patrick outside in the car and made our way to our first stop – my friend Robin’s place!  I had a ton of stuff to deliver to Robin plus we had to see one of the sweet babies being adopted by one of our families.  We spent about an hour there sorting through donations, getting some pictures and catching up before heading off to our next visit.

We visited another babies home we’re currently working with, dropped off donations, met some adoptive parents in country, got updates on kids and went to visit the orphanage director who was in a local hospital sick with malaria.  Oh yeah, in between that we stopped and got some American dollars exchanged into shillings and went to the market and bought some supplies for the orphanages we were seeing that day.

Robin had told us about a new, poor orphanage in Entebbe she wanted us to check out.   So we took a bunch of food and a million pairs of underwear (thanks to the generous donations of our AAI families!) and set off to see what this new place was all about.  We were greeted at the orphanage by 40-some young children, most between the ages of 2-10.   We were led to the back of the property where we found a renovated chicken coop turned children’s home!

Several months ago a good Samaritan working on the islands of lake Victoria started taking in orphaned and abandoned children.   The story she told us was that she came home, asked her husband if she could bring some orphaned children back with her.   He said OK, how many?   Her reply:  40.  :)  They renovated the chicken coop and boys quarters and they are doing the best they can to care for them.   When we were there each child had ONE outfit (the one you see in the video).   On laundry day, the kids go naked until their clothes are done washing and then they put wet clothes back on.   They don’t have much of anything at all.   But my goodness, this lady is committed to these kids and the kids are seem so happy and full of life!  She showed us some pictures of the kids before they came and the transformation is amazing.    She’s doing a great job with the very little she has and I hope we have the chance to help her with some of her needs.

singing kids from sister haiti on Vimeo.

 

After this stop it was coming on evening and I was exhausted!  It was time to head to Kampala and get checked into the hostel.  It was my first time at Red Chilli, the most popular youth hostel in Uganda.  I was impressed!  I had a private, ensuite room for less than $30 per night.    It is very backpacker-ish so not the best fit for everyone but was perfectly adequate for me!   The bar/restaurant area (also the internet area) can get a little rowdy in the evenings but I never felt unsafe and everyone was super nice.    I ran a personal errand that evening (will come in a seperate post) then settled in for shower and bed.   All would have been almost perfect except the crazy dog outside my window that barked ALL NIGHT LONG.  So another night of not the best sleep but at least I was in a bed!  :) 

Day 4 coming soon!

May 10, 2011

Anika Needs a Family

My sweet friend Lovelyn is advocating and fundraising for this beautiful little girl in Eastern Europe.  Anika is going to be 3 years old in August and needs a family!  She is HIV+ but don’t let that scare you!   There is no risk to you or your family if you bring her into your lives and this little girl should be able to live a long, normal life with the right medicines!  Get educated about adopting HIV+ children here.

There has been over $8,000 pledged to her adoption fund already! 

Can’t adopt?  Consider hosting a Love for Anika party and raising money so that someone else can adopt her!

Interested in adopting Anika?  Visit Reece’s Rainbow to find out how.