Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where He is, there will be hope!

Reece's Rainbow is an incredible organization - very much like The Shepherd's Crook.  They post pictures of children all over the world with special needs.  It started with one mama who loved her son - Reece - with Down Syndrome.  She wanted to save others who should be treasured, but were discarded instead.  There are children from China, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Columbia, B*lgaria, and more.

The B*lgarian children have grabbed my heart from the very beginning.  There big beautiful brown eyes and dark complexions are captivating.  But even more captivating - or should I say horrifying? - is the treatment these precious little ones receive at the hands of those who are assigned to care for them...

I have traveled the road on my understanding of orphanages...I started out, when we were adopting Romeo & the Professor, thinking orphanges weren't "the best" place, but not too concerned. (I loved the fact that Romeo & the Professor were in a "foster" home in Guatemala - until I found out their care was very poor!)  Then, as God lead us to Grace, I began to see that even though she is in a "good" orphanage, it is still a far cry from being part of a family.  She is not held and sung to.  She is not encouraged to grow and move and smile.  She just lays there.....until a nurse flips her over and she lays there again.  Eventually a PT comes in for a weekly visit - but what can a once-a-week visit due for a body stiffening from lack of use?

But, as I learned more of B*lgaria, I realized that an orphanage wasn't just far from "ideal" - it can be a horrible place - where children are left in their beds, in their own waste.  Where they are feed from old beer bottles; bottles filled with putrid brown water.  Stuff so vile, that it makes the children gag - when they gag and stop eating, the worker moves to the next child.  End of meal time. 

I began to see children who were absolutely skeletal in their appearance.  14 year olds who weigh 14 pounds.  This is NOT due to some "special need" this is due to evil people abusing those who cannot defend themselves.  These are children who have not been out of their cribs for more years than some of my children have been alive.  This is hell.

When I thought it could not get any worse, there are stories coming out this last week, from families who have just rescued their precious children, of horrific physical abuse as well.  Bruises and cigar burns on their little bodies.  Many families have to visit the orphange until all the paperwork is complete to take their children home.  One family saw very quickly that one little boy (who does have a family racing to rescue him) was hated by the staff - probably because he was of "Roma" descent.  One staff member would call an older boy over and have that older boy hit and abuse this little 5 year old boy.  The family was horrified, but could do nothing....They wondered if the staff was willing to do this in front of foreigners, what happens to him when no one is watching?

This sounds too horrific to be true, doesn't it?  Because we would not even dream of laying a hand in such a way on a child in anger; we just cannot fathom that this could be happening.  I also think because they are just "stories" with no faces attached, we can easily shove them away, to protect our own hearts.  How could someone be so evil?

When I first began to see all these little faces after we began the paperwork for Grace, I prayed that God would not let me look away.  That no matter what it was, I would keep shouting and praying for these little ones.  Some days, oh, how I want to forget.  To not know what I know!  But as a friend told me, "Once you know, you cannot not know anymore."  The little faces are with me wherever I go....I cannot forget. 

It changes how I see life - I hold my children tighter, but loosen my grip on other things that do not matter so much.  I want to continue to organize my life so we can save more.  I want my children to understand - we protect them from a lot of the extreme information - but I want them to know that all is not right in the world.  I want them to know that God has commanded us to care for the orphans and widows.  How we do that will look different depending on how God calls each person - but He DOES call each person to do something....

With B*lgaria, an adoption agency gets a "batch" of files of orphanded children about every 8 weeks.  They have those files for 8 weeks only and then, if no family is found, the files are sent back to the country.  The files may or may not go on to another agency.

When I first found Reece's Rainbow, it was nearing the end of a batch of files...and people were screaming for families to rescue the last little boy, Kristopher, from being "sent back".  Oh, how I prayed and cried for this little boy!  God heard our cries, and he was chosen - RESCUED - at the last moment.  I saw it again as we all screamed for a family for precious, Sarah.  Again, God raised up a family to save her at the last minute.  Then came a new batch of files...we all screamed and prayed and waited...but many of the children's files went back.  This is not only heartbreaking for that child, but it also sends a message to their country that their country is right - that these children are worthless and unwanted.....that they deserve to be treated worse than animals, because no one cares.  They have no value, no worth...nothing.

Slowly, three of those children are being rescued by families asking agencies to request their specific files. Here are those three loved and precious ones...


 

Praise God!  He is mighty to save!  He has saved these precious children from hell on earth.  Please pray for their families as they race to get the paperwork done and raise the funds to get them home.

BUT there are two children that have still not been rescued, their files sent back where no one can see them to save them....Please pray with me, for God to bring a family willing to serve Him, but loving these little children that He loves...

Little Roland is a tiny little guy - he has a form of dwarfism.  But other than that, he is "healthy" by orphanage standards.  He walks, is trying to talk, feeds himself, interacts and plays.  But he is so tiny...orphanage "food" is rarely "food".  It does not nurish the body, it just keeps it alive.  Click here to read more about him. 

This is beautiful Penny.  Oh, how my heart aches for her!  She is 11 years old and is in the worst orphanage in her country.  She is so skinny and frail.  She is so neglected that her major joints are "contracted" (stiffened to the point they do not move) and her mouth is full of rotting teeth.  But those who have seen her say that there is a precious life in this little one!  A little girl longing to be held and loved and sung to.  This little one holds her Father's heart....please pray that she grabs someone else's heart as well.  Someone that will use all the strength of Heaven to save her from the hell she is in....
 
Please pray with me!  Christ is on the throne.  Our God is the Hand of Providence.  We have HOPE.  We have hope in God's mighty Hand to save these two "forgotten" ones.  Please let them be etched into your heart so that your prayers always include them....
 
I will keep shouting for these little ones until He comes...To Christ be all glory, honor, and praise.
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flames....


Imagine...You are walking along a street and see that a house is on fire. There are flames pouring out every where! Hot flames...smoke pouring out of every crack and window. You get as close as you can to see if there is someone in the house - only to see the house is FULL of children. Children whose cries you cannot hear -but you just see each of their little faces as the flames are creeping closer, burning holes in their clothing and choking their every breath. You are horrified beyond your wildest nightmares. You start shouting for help to all those passing by. "Help me save these children! Help me get this one, and this one, and this one!'

But to your amazement, people glance at you and walk away. Others say, "I am not equipped to fight fires, I am so sorry. Good luck. I support your efforts." Others wring their hands for a few moments, then say, "There are too many of them. What good will saving one do? It is only one of hundreds. Why try?" Even others say, "Why put your life at risk? Why change your day to help them? What of your own family? They are your responsibility, not these ones." One even had the nerve to say, "God wants to give you good gifts, He wants you happy - this will make your day hard. I can't imagine He would expect you to do this."

Finally, you see a few people running into the house. To your relief, these people are grabbing as many children as they can. They run them out to the arms of the rescuer's family and race back into to grab as many as they can carry. Relief causes tears to stream down your face and you struggle into the flames, darkness, and evil to grab a precious child. It takes so long to get to them! It takes so much energy - you are weary and struggling. You are praying for help with each breath. "God in Heaven, You love these children even more than I do. Help me to do this!" As you are struggling to put one foot in front of the other, you hear a loud mumbling coming from outside the house.  You pause for a moment, but can't take the time to really listen to what is being said by so many people. You even recognize a few of the voices. You are thinking, " I am fighting for this child's life...why aren't they helping me? What are they saying?"

Finally, in desperation, you burst outside. Your face is covered in soot and tears. You are stumbling out in your weariness. You are gasping for breath! But you are triumphant! You look up and see your friends and family. A few are reaching to help you - to restore your strength and tenderly care for this child you rescued. You see a few on their knees and realize that they were praying the whole time you were in the house.  You are filled with joy and your strength is renewed.

Then you glance at the rest of them - those you love and know. You are expecting them to come help this precious child at any moment. But instead, you realize that they are part of the mumbling. You focus on one face after another as you pass this precious life to the arms of those closest to you .....you are getting ready to run in for another child - and another, as many as you can carry in the strength God is giving you. Slowly though, their words start to break through to your mind. And your horror grows...

What are they saying? To STOP? Did they really just say that? You scream over the mumbling that there are still children in there! "Please come help me!", you desperately cry. But their mumbling grows to shouting. They say that they could understand you feeling like you needed to save one -as they glance cautiously at the little one that you just risked your life for....that you were willing to GIVE your life for......but they really can't understand why you would go for another. Haven't you sacrificed enough? Some are even saying that you are selfish! They are saying that when you race into that house, it makes them uncomfortable. It distracts them from the things that they have to think about that day. You try to reason with them, but their faces are full of pity for you! Pity that you have obviously lost all common sense. That you have stepped out of where God would want you to be....

The agony builds in your heart as you pause in indecision...these are the people you love and trust! You glance back at the first tiny group - the ones that raced to embrace the child that you carried out...the ones that prayed while you are in there....and they stand up from their kneeling position and form a circle around you. They place their gentle hands on you and tell you, "Go. We know they are in there. Go, we will pray you through." Then they silently go back to ministering to the child you rescued and to their kneeling positions. Their faces filled with trust in your Father - yet anxiousness for the children still in the building.

You turn again to the larger crowd and plead with them to understand. But they only become more adamant in their opposition to you. There is no convincing them. They yell, "You cannot do this alone and we will not support you!" You cry as your heart breaks. But then you glance at that building again and you picture those little ones trapped in their cribs. You let out one final scream of agony over those who do not understand, and you turn......

and race back into that burning building.

Until He comes....To Christ be all glory, honor, and power!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Read and pray!

There are so many hard things going on in the orphan world lately.  So many sad stories - so many great needs.  Honestly, my heart has been overwhelmed these last weeks.  I don't know what to say....I don't even know what to pray specifically over the agony in my heart. 

I don't have any words of elegance to write.  I stare at the screen and just see little faces in my mind.  I think the best thing right now would be to link to those who are speaking eloquently about these babies.  Please read the blogs....then PRAY. 

http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/2012/09/for-sake-of-saving-one.html

http://butbygraceitcouldbeme.blogspot.com/2012/09/sadists.html

http://covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2012/09/vacant-eyes.html

There are so many families that need help raising funds to go rescue their little ones....many links are in blogs above.  Won't you consider donating? -Even a little helps - and the encouragement it gives to the families is HUGE.  Don't underestimate this!

Until He comes...We will glorify His name...

Just have to throw this little man up here again. Please pray for a home for little Ivan.....


Praise the Lord!  Ivan has been chosen!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Do Not Grow Weary....

I am weary today....I keep wanting to write something new on my blog...something that moves hearts to adopt....but I just get overwhelmed by the needs of each child. I then also have to remember that it is God moving hearts to adopt, not just the right combinations of words.   I always hope for something more creative than, "Please rescue this child!"  But sometimes it just comes down to the plain truth....and prayer....lots of prayer.  Most of these childrens' files go back the end of this month...there have been a few inquiries, but no families.  Please pray with me for:
Ivelin 2 years old
From his file:" It is about a child in a satisfactory general condition,  - which is lagging behind in all indicators of age. Delivers continuous combinations of sounds. Continuous plays with toys. Sit upright independently. The child has poor physical and psychomotor development. Monitoring of urinary tract infection and vesicoureteral reflux should be conducted contrast control study in June 2012"
He most likely has kidney reflux - my daughter has this.  It is a relatively simple surgery, but until it happens he is at a huge risk for kidney infections from his UTIs.  In general, his SN are very minor.
Gergana - 4 years old
From her file "The child was diagnosed: Spastic cerebral palsy. Kvadripiramiden  syndrome. Converging  strabismus. Profound mental retardation"
I can't help but believe that all of these children have been ignored beyond basic care - they will thrive in a family.
Dianka 4 years old -CP, microcephaly, strabismus.  Can stand, walks holding onto caregivers hands, makes combinations of sounds, considered very delayed.
Harry - 2 1/2 years old. 
Has some kidney issues and some delays typical of being in an orphanage.  More detailed medicals available on this handsome little man!
Ivan 4 years old
Has numerous issues including infections - profound delays.  Please pray for a family to save this precious little one!
Kristina - 3 years old
This little dolly is a favorite of mine!  She has Rubenstein Teybi Syndrome which causes differences in the facial features and some cognitive delays.  She also has had heart surgery for some heart defects.  She is lagging behind in all areas - but I have to believe that a great deal of it is due to lack of care and stimulation.  LOTS of pictures and a BRIEF video as well as detailed medical history available.
Todor 4 years old
From his file "It is about a child who is in poor general condition, emotional contact can not be done. Given the child's illness seriously lagging behind in psycho – motor development. Extrapyramidal neurological symptoms persisting and severe delays in cognitive and motor development. It takes special care in keeping and regular medical supervision and daily rehabilitation. The child has erratic hand movements. Pronouncing unconscious cries and sounds. The child is lying, periodically the position of the body changes with aids."  Lord, I pray for a very special family to save this unique and precious little man!

There is more information and pictures for all of these children.  Contact Myriam@AgapeAdoptions.org
 
 
Please also remember little Penny in your prayers, her file has already been sent back....pray that God still leads her family to her.  For Penny, contact Shelley Bedford <shele337@gmail.com>.
 
Would you please stop during your busy day and remember these lives? Remember where they are....real children...not just fictional stories...real little souls with no love, no tenderness, no mama or daddy to hold them.  Pray for them they way you would if your own child was alone and hurting.
 
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." 
Galatians 6:9