I have shared some of this with people around me and get the same response...its too sad, I don't want to talk about that. Guess what?? Ignoring it only allows things like this to continue. It is our duty and obligation as Christians (and social workers for some of us, me included) to care, to open our eyes, to advocate, to help...
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress
What has been done to these children is not only wrong but is criminal. They need justice and they need redemption. Don't close your eyes to these children. Read their stories. Look at their hollow eyes, their small bodies.
No 9yo should weigh 10lbs (Katie, theblessingofverity)! A 14yo that weighs 14lbs (unknown, referenced in only1mom)! A 15yo (Sophia, sousabrownfamily) that weighs 18lbs! An 11yo (Amelia, sousabrownfamily)that weighs 13lbs! A 4yo (Keith, God's Rainbows) weighing 11lbs! You are not misreading this...these are their actual weights. They are wearing clothing for 3mo babies! 6mo babies! Their bones are brittle and break easily. Broken bones have not been treated and have healed incorrectly. They have rotted teeth that reek of decay. They sit in their own urine, feces, and vomit. They have rashes that are beyond description. They are wasting away, barely alive. They live a life time alone in a crib, being fed laying down from old beer bottles with nipples that have large holes so the food will go down fast. If they choke, oh well...15 children died in 2011, and not from any disorders that should have killed them. Their diapers are changed 1-2 times per day. There are some Sundays they are not fed or changed at all. One child (I think Keith) has been in isolation for 2 years! A lifetime in a crib and then placed in a room all alone for 2 years. All because he had a respiratory infection 2 years ago!
Beautiful Katie has come so far in the 4 short months she has been home. When her mom met her in August 2011, she didn't like to be held. She was not used to it. Please, look at her first pictures. Make yourself SEE. They said she couldn't grow. Of course not if you don't feed them, give them stimulation, treat them like humans (or even animals for that matter)! She bit her wrist when she was scared. Her hands constantly fluttered in front of her eyes for stimulation and soothing. But even in those first days, she smiled when her mom talked to her and made kissing noises. She is so smart. She is already saying mama. She understands words like "outside" "bath" and so many others I couldn't possibly know. She is having to be taught to touch things. Her palms are so sensitive from not having anything to touch! See how much she has grown.
And Amelia...beautiful Amelia (also known as Lilliana). She was losing the will to live. She was unresponsive. Refusing to eat. Wanting it to be over. Then the medical team came and took her (and Sophia) to the hospital. She is doing better but still so unstable. Pray she hangs on until her adoption is final. Her mama got to be with her last week. Pray this was enough to give her the will to hang on a little longer.
There are many pictures of sweet Keith as well. He wears 6mo clothes! There are videos. Watch him smile and giggle with his daddy! So sweet and beautiful. Except he looks like a baby and should be a rambunctious 4yo boy.
Please go to the links! Please look at these children! Share their story! Pray for them! Pray for the medical team that is trying to save them! Pray for the families that are trying to adopt! Pray for the government to do what is right and help these children! Most of the institutions/orphanages in Bulgaria are not like this. But even one is too many!
I did not want to post any pictures or copy their stories without permission but didn't want to wait to write this up and start sharing. Change is in the works but there is so much to do. A medical fund has been established to start helping with the medical expenses for these children. The quicker we can get the resources to them, the quicker these children can get the care they need. Right now, about 30 are in need of hospitalization, surgeries, etc. All are in need of basic care beyond imagination.
Please pray, share, and give!! Donate to the medical fund! Help these children! Rejoice in the their blessings of redemption but let your heart be burdened by their injustices! I hope the links work (this is the first time I've done this). If not, take the time to copy the links to your browser.