When I met Lance almost a year ago in a run down orphanage in a beautiful college town I was torn. On one hand I had heard from other families that this was not a good orphanage...the children coming out of this place were scared and not well cared for. Years after they have been home they continue to struggle because their scars are deep - yes, big physical scars, ones that you can see that would make you cringe...but also emotional. Emotional scars run far deeper and take much longer to heal.
On the other hand, when I arrived I was told that there was a brand new director (who had been there less than a week). I felt HOPE! I felt encouraged that maybe this woman had a true heart for these children and would make some real changes for the better.
What I found was locked doors, secrecy, and a hush hush atmosphere. I met the director and thought that truly she had not had a chance to make improvements and I understood! I asked her (I have a video of this!) if it would be possible to bring a group of people to come minister and help the children and she responded with a surprising "YES! If it is ok with the Ministry of Justice." I asked "Can I pay for Lance to receive therapy while he waits?" and this also was responded with a surprising "YES!" and an introduction to a therapist who I was able to observe working with Lance. At the end of the week, while I was hurting for my malnourished 3 year old, I did feel that sense of hope.
A week later...I heard from my attorney that the director had changed her mind and refused to allow the therapist to come...because she said he had a therapist who worked with him already. Although they had told me several times that this was not the case and insisted that he had not received ANY therapy in the last 6 months - and his contracted, stressed body reflected that. I was upset, frustrated, and confused. Was I lied to by this woman? Was she confused? What was the REAL story behind those locked doors and dark stairways?
I asked a few months ago if there was a possibility that a ministry team could go this summer or fall to that same orphanage and was upset, but not surprised when I received an e-mail saying "The director does not agree." Still, I thought - they are familiar with me, familiar with Lance, and she had told me this was a possibility so maybe she will allow me to go without a team...maybe that will be less invasive and intimidating for her. Last week I got another e-mail "The director does not agree." I was devastated. This is NOT a good sign. A director who cares for the children in her orphanage will accept help and welcome it...I have been in the orphanage before so if she had nothing to hide nothing would have surprised me. I know it is a poor orphanage, I know what the building and elevators look like, I know what they feed the children.
I really have this to say...as painful as it is: Something is AMISS in this place. The children in this orphanage are not loved and well cared for. They are hurting and dying. Many of them will go home to their Heavenly home before they ever know the love of an earthly family.
Will YOU please help be a voice to these children? YOU can blog about them, YOU can share them on your facebook walls, YOU can GO GET THEM!
This was Lance when I met him in this place less than a year ago (14 pounds at 3 years old) :
This are some pictures of Lance taken earlier this week after he has been home 4 months:
Samson is capable of so much more! Most importantly though - comfort and love!
I wrote this post over a year ago and never published it, but I felt that maybe it was a good idea to at this point, because the reality is. Samson did not find a family in time and he died never knowing the love of an earthly mother or father. He is now in the arms of his Heavenly Father forever, but once again the amount of pain and neglect he suffered here on earth is unimaginable. I find myself wanting to shout WHY? Why is their so much hurt? Why didn't someone get to him in time? Why didn't the orphanage staff show him more love? The fact is that God called all of US to care for widows and orphans in their distress. When we ignore or neglect that call we ignore and neglect them. Our hand in their suffering is just as real as those who walked by his crib every day and did nothing. Friends, the plight of the orphan is not easy and is not fair, but WE can and SHOULD be doing SOMETHING. Does this mean you need to jump the next plane and bring home every child you can? No, I absolutely do not believe that. I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY believe that everyone can and should be providing for these children. Here are some ways you SHOULD be thinking of doing something if you don't feel that you are able or ready to adopt yourselves:
1. Find a child that you are drawn to, print off their picture and then tell people about them
2. Share this blog or another adoption blog with your friends - you never know who is being called to bring a child home!
3. Donate toward an adoption! Trust me - sometimes the $3 donations were more encouraging to me than anything else. Plus I personally saw God multiply every dollar.
4. PRAY for the widows and orphans. - At the least, do this!
5. If you are considering or have considered using essential oils for your family in the past I know of an amazing mom who is adopting again and was offered a matching grant $150 of every Premium Starter Kit ordered under her will be given toward her adoption! (GO! Order some oils and bless two more orphans!)! (You can read about the child that Jennifer adopted from Ukraine and understand why I am passionate about getting this family fundedHow "Jacob" lit our fire to adopt Lance
And another story of how "Jacob" changed our lives