They awaken from their afternoon naps to a dimly lit room while the pale sky provides a pinch of light through their three windows on the second floor. Agile, but clumsy feet pitter patter with excitement to the round table. Little voices chatter from their porcelain white faces until they are seated …….and then silence. Thump, thump go the sounds of wafers as they hit the table where each child resides. Trickle, goes the water as it’s poured into each of their cups. Then, their hungry mouths eat and eat and eat. A fulfillment of a basic need as bellies fill and dopamine rushes through their little bodies. Contentment for a little while. In this moment, of yet another day, they can find contentment while their little hearts wait in the hope that a mommy and daddy will find them and love them too. I’m observing from the entryway leading into their room where the babbas have so graciously provided me with a chair to sit while Roman has his afternoon snack. My heart aches. These children, they ARE strength. I know nothing of strength. I know nothing of loneliness. Yet another humbling picture is seared into my mind. I know my heart will never allow me to forget this moment.
This is only one scenario of millions. Millions of little faces and little feet waiting for the basic need of love. We all need this basic need fulfilled. Those of us with the opportunity to read this from the luxury of our comfortable dwellings; those of us who get to lay ourselves down on clean sheets and fluffy pillows; we who have the capacity to protest, to vote, to shout loudly to the world our opinions, we were given a life so precious. We choose how we want to live it because we HAVE the freedom of choice. Many of these children will never see that day. They will never feel the grass beneath their feet or feel the touch of a mother’s hand on their full bellies. They will never feel their father caress their cheeks and kiss on their sweet faces…….unless we choose to confront this problem. Not turn our heads for one more day in hopes someone else will handle it, but truly effect change. Whatever way that may be for you! I realize not everyone feels they can adopt a child, especially a child with special needs, but we can spread the word; we can come together and create change within our own communities and abroad; and some of us can adopt! Each one of these actions is important.
This, unfortunately, is a better scenario than most. Many of the children in Roman’s room will go on to another orphanage and will likely get some type of schooling and provision of services until they age out at 18 years; in which case, they will be released into the world with no place to call home and likely deemed “incapacitated”. Others face a much grimmer future. Many children with special needs face transfer to institutions where survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning. Many of those with severe disabilities don’t survive more than a few months. One young man in particular faces transfer in coming months. His name is Darren. He, too, is a life so precious, just like you and me. Please take time to turn your attention to this little guy. This is not in effort to guilt anyone into adopting, but rather to inform. Whether you have interest of your own or know someone who would be a good fit for Darren, please take the time to check out his Facebook Page for further information: http://www.facebook.com/DarrenNeedsAFamily
Here are some pictures of sweet Darren: