Sunday, March 27, 2011

What If?

Today The Skink learned how to use Iraq's old princess CD player. (No - there aren't a bunch of old princesses on it... it's a toy CD player that is a few years old and features images of some of the Disney princesses.) When we got the player for Iraq, it took her a while to figure out what each of the buttons did, and she often came to us for help when she couldn't get it to play music.

Today, Iraq taught The Skink to use it. It took The Skink about 60 seconds to catch on, and she has been playing music on it all day. Well, that may be a toy, but I should also mention that The Skink also knows how to find and start her games on my iPhone.


What if The Skink had been born to a family in Eastern Europe?
We can feel pretty certain she would not be playing with a toy CD player OR an iPhone today. No - in Eastern Europe, children like The Skink are considered ineducable and... well...

For starters, her family would be advised to put her into an orphanage because in Russia, the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries the socialized health care will not cover people who are "defective."

In the orphanage, The Skink would not be held, comforted or sung to. She would have no possessions of her own. She would not be given any education and she would not know what it felt like to be loved. If she was lucky, she might become an orphanage favorite because of her personality. At worst, she might be assigned to a lying-down room as a result of her slow motor development. If that happened, she would never leave her crib except, perhaps to be changed. If she cried, nobody would come to see if she was OK. The underpaid caretakers would just go about their business hoping the annoying sound will stop soon. All too often, it does.

The children who are not in the lying-down rooms at the orphanages learn to rely on each other for comfort and friendship. She might have a few close friends in her "groupa" that she would spend most of her time with when she was not in her crib.

Between age 4 and age 6, The Skink would be taken away from the only friends she has ever known. It might be her first real car ride... maybe even the first time she has been off the orphanage property since she arrived as a baby. Perhaps she would think it was a lovely adventure.

It's not.

She would be taken into an adult mental institution where her head would be shaved and she would be placed in a crib. She would not know anybody around her. If she tries to climb out to investigate her new surroundings, she will be taken back to her crib and tied in.

Here there are no toys. There is no outdoor playground. There are many, many other children, most of whom spend their days rocking or banging their heads against the crib bars, desperately seeking stimulation of any kind.

Once transferred to the mental institution, The Skink's average life expectancy? Nine (9) months.

In this depressing setting, some children stop eating and simply waste away.

 Some have pre-existing medical conditions that are left untreated and ultimately become a death sentence. There have been cases recently where the cause of death was simply dehydration and malnourishment. Perhaps some of these children die, unloved, unwanted, of a broken heart.

Those that don't die, "live" like this:

It's hard to look at. It's heartbreaking, but it's the reality thousands of "imperfect" children face in Eastern European countries. Their countries do not know or understand how much potential these children have.

Can you imagine The Skink being treated like that? Living like that? Dying like that?

What about this little girl?

This is Josephine. Look what a precious doll she is! Look at the love she is showering on that little stuffed animal. This child is JUST as capable of love and of learning as The Skink! But... she lives in Eastern Europe and she is already 5 years old. That institution I told you about? She'll be headed there very soon. All that beautiful hair will be shaved off. There will be no stuffed animal to cling to. Nobody will ever take her picture again.

I am on a mission to find this beautiful, loving little girl a family! This precious pumpkin has so much potential and so much personality to share with someone. All she needs is a chance.

Please help me give her that chance! If we can get enough donations into Josephine's adoption fund, when her family finds her, it will help them bring her home sooner. It will help keep her out of the institution. It will help her realize her potential as a beautiful human being, worthy of love.

No donation is too small. If you can't donate, help Josephine by spreading the word! Share the link to this blog, or share the link to Josephine's page. Every dollar is one dollar closer to bringing this child home.

Thank you for doing this for Josephine!



  1. OH Miss Josephine!!!! My goodness she needs to go home!!!!!
    and I do believe you is in some very determined hands! (those would be yours)

  2. Stopping by to thank you for being Josephine's warrior, she is pulling heavily on my heart!

  3. You are so inspiring. I hope sweet Josephine finds a new family soon.

  4. Oh, I love Miss Josephine!! I donated a little to her grant today. I would love for her to find a family soon. She's already 5 :-( I would take her in a heartbeat if we could. But since we can't adopt again right now, I want to advocate for this beautiful angel!


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