I have been following along on a families journey to adopt from Eastern Europe, and I just wanted to share what they had to say about their son's orphanage - and why we need to advocate for all these kids as much as possible. To read more, their blog is here. This is their son, Johnny -
""Coming to get Johnny has necessitated that we spend a significant amount of time in the orphanage. That has allowed us to see, just a little bit, into the lives of the children that live there.
The things that they do and see each and every day, rarely changes. They have little, if any, interaction with another person (child or adult). We have seen a couple volunteers come in to play with them, however, it seems as if the children don't know how to play. On one occasion, the young volunteer told us in English that the child didn't like to play. It was quite obvious as the child just sat still, not even looking at the toys that were brought in front of her.
Another older child with Down syndrome was sitting on her butt on the floor rocking forward and backward. One swing forward went too far and she hit her head quite significantly on the thinly covered concrete floor. She sat up after that looking a little confused and then continued to rock. As with Louey (I don't think that Johnny has learned this yet), they learn that it is pointless to cry because no one will come to help.
A young child with Down syndrome has a crib that he stays in all day long. I thought to myself that he was blessed to have a crib that wasn't quite level, allowing him to slightly rock the crib (which seemingly allowed for slightly more entertainment value).
There is a young girl (7?) who appears blind and is a room all by herself. Day after day, she tries to find something to do. She seems active, but has nobody to interact with and very little to do. They keep the lights off, but I suppose since she is blind there is no reason to keep them on. It just looks all the more careless without the lighting.
There has been a young child crying multiple times a day on the floor when Johnny is (there are 5 floors). Additionally, we had to wait a half hour in the lobby of the orphanage one day and there was a newborn crying endlessly the whole time. We have no idea if there was someone trying to comfort the baby or not. But, what we have seen (or rather, not seen) in the eyes of some other children seems to indicate that little interaction takes place. The children seem to lose their life - there is no flame, not even a spark, that appears in some of the children. We heard that baby crying and thought of the potential of that baby growing up to have the same lack of spark because of the lack of love.
We are not naive enough to think that all of these kids should be constantly entertained or provided with things to do. What should an orphanage do? What do the orphanage workers do? Should they be interacting with the children when they are not preparing food or changing diapers? Is that "job" of volunteers?
I think of the things that I used to spend my money on before we decided to adopt (and even now). I think of the things that I used to spend my time on before we decided to adopt (and even now). I cannot think of anything better to do than to spend it helping these children""
Please, if you can, give a little - every single penny helps - help some zeros out, give them a chance - if you don't - who will ??