I've been thinking a lot this week about WHY we are doing what we are doing, as we have worked our tails off to get ready for today's fundraiser. I have followed multiple families the last few months as they have journeyed to Eastern Europe to meet their new sons and daughters, and I have seen the reality of the statistics below. I have seen the 6 year old who weighs less than 29 lbs and size 2T falls off them. I have seen the older boy who was told he could never have a meaningful life or even meaningful interactions, because of cerebral palsy, who was often tied to his bed, now laughing and learning and beginning to thrive after only a week home. I have seen the before and after pictures and stories of sweet children, transferred to the mental institutions who have died...the "lucky" ones who somehow survived despite severe neglect, beatings that caused hearing loss, fear that caused them to become non-verbal, massive weight loss, bruises the size of adult fists, being dragged and slammed on the concrete, denied water in the heat of summer, ridiculed and yet somehow they survived until a family came. And they are finding healing and thriving.
So why were we compelled to adopt from Eastern Europe? Because there, to be born with special needs means:
- to be abandoned at birth in the hospital
- to live in a orphanage till around the age of 5
- to be transferred to a mental institution somewhere between the age of 4-6 where they will live and die
- 50% (and that's the conservative estimate) will die within the first year of transfer
- a child who cannot walk will spend their life living in a crib, which will likely not be a long life
Thank you for helping give hope and a future to one little boy. One sweet little guy we are moving heaven and earth to get to as soon as we can.
Come see us today! We can't wait to see our friends and meet many new ones!
And lastly, take a few minutes to visit Reece's Rainbow. Countless other children wait...pray, advocate, and ask God if your family might have room for one more. See you soon!