Monday, March 19, 2012

not the sickest.

It is understandable and perhaps even commendable when so many advocate and choose to adopt children who truly, truly are "the least of these". 

There are children who live in The Bad Place who are beyond thin and beyond sick.  These are children who will present with very complicated medical needs in a family.  These are children that need assistance from hospitals and doctors in their country - now. These are children who weigh less than 20 pounds (despite being aged 10 or more!) who suffer with debilitating delays, illness, and other maladies that are almost exclusively a result of The Bad Place.

Many of you know of a fundraiser that is currently happening to benefit orphans in Pleven; orphans that could potentially die without help.

Seriously.  They could die.  And why?  Honestly, it is because of where they live, not who they are.  Children in the United States die as well.  Some die of neglect, others from incurable illnesses, and others from accidents.  But it is rare to see a child die in the United States because they live in poverty, or live in an environment that is completely unsuited to their needs. 

Rickets, a vitamin D deficiency, is rare in the United States and in other developed nations.  It is almost entirely preventable, and is also treatable.
We take for granted the "vitamin D added" in our milk products, the easy availability of vitamins on our store shelves or on the internet, and sunlight is usually in abundance, even in our homes. 

Our little boy has rickets, among other problems.  His bones are soft, which is causing the bowing we see. He is likely in pain, suffering silently because he cannot tell anyone it hurts.  And even if he did, who would listen?  Why would he ever bother to walk or move when it hurts so much? 

He needs intervention.  But he is not the sickest.  He is not one of the ones whose faces shock you.  His is not a face you'd see in a youtube video, compelling you to act.  Our Little Dude's cheeks look plump (a mistaken image of health, but it is actually a sign of malnutrition).  He weighs 19 pounds and he's nearly 2 1/2.  His legs are softening due to nutrient deficiencies.

The funds raised to help the Pleven orphans should be designated for the very sickest, and I hope it is.  Our little boy is not the sickest.  He may not benefit much from that - and we accept that.

We must be his voice right now.  It is important for us to advocate for him, as well as the others, who suffer mightily in The Bad Place.

Please consider purchasing a bracelet from our button on the right.  As we "believe", we hope you will too.  We are going to use the profits from this to help purchase additional nutrition for him that we pray will reach him.  Please consider entering the Mulligan Stew giveaway and choosing "Ian" (our Little Dude) as your sponsored child.  If our Reece's Rainbow fund grows, we will be able to designate more of our own funds to send nutritional supplements to our Little Dude. 

Please pray for peace for our family, as we fight with horrid feelings of frustration at this process.  Where are our FBI fingerprints?  We grip at any thought of hope.  The FBI just charged our credit card for the fee on the 14th.  Does this mean we will see something soon?  I hope so. 

Our Little Dude needs to come home.  We need to travel on our first trip to see him.  We need things to move quickly so his deterioration can stop.  So many need this as well...please pray for all of them.

Thank you for purchasing bracelets, donating to the children housed in the The Bad Place, for sharing our blog, and for praying for us.  We are so grateful for followers, supporters, and prayers.


  1. Jennifer,
    I know that you know this, but I want to reassure you that other people know it as well. Just because he doesn't look "the sickest" or isn't on "that floor" doesn't mean he isn't still very sick, or possibly even sicker than some who are on "that floor". Now, I've never been to Pleven, and certainly there are children who we can tell from photos need to be hospitalized right away. He might not be 'sicker' than them. But appearances are so deceiving. I 'know' so many families who crossed the ocean to adopt two children, preparing for the health needs of one to far outweigh the other, and then once they got there, under all the lies and layers of clothing and things photographs can't tell us, they realized that the child they thought was healthier... actually wasn't.

    In the case of your little boy, there are very encouraging signs. The video of him walking (even assisted, or cruising) speaks to his health. His demeanor, his exploration of the unusual room he's in, shows a child who has not 'given up'.

    I don't want my words to cause you extra worry. But I do want you to know that those of us who have watched families come home know that things aren't always quite the way they seem, and that every single child needs and deserves intervention. In my opinion, were these children found in a building in this country that no one had noticed for years, and someone just walked in and saw what there is to see, every single child would be hospitalized immediately. The reason we see those sensational photos in the youtube videos, on the blogs (including my own), on the front of brochures... is because people who aren't already a part of this community DON'T know what we know. They might look at a child who we know is very sick, but who looks deceptively healthy, and say, "Well, that's sad, but he looks okay," and put it out of their minds. We can't afford for that to happen. Not one of those children in that building can afford for that to happen.

    I'm ashamed to say I was that person for years. I knew there were orphans, sure. I knew children were starving, yes. But it took word of something literally too incredible for me to believe, for me to be pushed to action, to research what was going on, to find out about the plight of ALL the children. It's sad that it has to be that way. It's like 'out of sight, out of mind'. If it doesn't look broken, we don't think we have to fix it. But unfortunately it is that way... and for the sake of every single one of the kids, we have got to make people notice us, push them to find out more. Then our community can grow, and people can know the truth as we know it now.

    I've reworded this comment a million times now, I hope it doesn't come off wrong, but I just want you to know that your little dude means every bit as much to me as the other 200+ children in The Bad Place, and that many, many of us know the truth, which is that a photograph doesn't always tell the whole story. I know your post wasn't meant out of any ill feelings about who gets the most attention - and that in fact the opposite, you encouraged people to also look for the sickest of the sick - but I don't ever want you or any other Mama to think that her child means less to this community than another just because he doesn't look as sick. People outside our community might not understand, sure. That's why we need to catch their attention and make them listen, so that they can know the truth too. But we know, and we love your little dude just as much as all the little ones waiting beside him. Bless you, Jennifer. Please know that I think of and pray for your family often.

  2. I understand what you are saying. Praying that it speaks to people's hearts and that the process goes very quickly so you can get your son home. Praying for peace and patience as you have to wait on paperwork that is slowing things down. Praying for health and protection of your little guy...

    I've been torn on this very subject. Our son isn't in a bad place as far as we know, he doesn't have serious special needs, again as far as week know, and by looking at him you wouldn't see what the rush is, why we need people's help to get him home ASAP. But every day is a day that he isn't with a family who loves him, a family to meet his needs and not having that affects every area of his development.

    Because it isn't obvious, it makes it difficult for me to voice that urgency to people...and very few seem to notice or care. The reaction or non-reaction to our adoption news by those who know us and those that don't was very surprising. Makes you feel very alone, like the only one who cares enough to fight for our child. Now I know we can't be the only ones who care about him, but on those discouraging days-which are many, it sure feels like it!

    We haven't heard anything back about our FBI prints yet but you might've had a head start on that...hoping for both of us that it goes quickly!

  3. Is this kid not entitled to privacy? Dignity? You know, things each and every person on earth is entitled to. This would include not having their photo and medical history (and speculation on their health) splashed all over the Internet by, ooooh, let's go with, PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO LEGAL CLAIM TO THEM WHATSOEVER, as of right now.

    Ah well, your heart's obviously in the right place. Still, you may wanna read up on how adopting an institutionalized child can be so very difficult (esp one with a smooth lil fasd-indicative philtrum).

    Adopted kid with RAD & FASD sexually assaulted their siblings, murdered family pets and generally did stuff that makes their godly Christian APs seriously regret adopting them:

    Sexually assaulted siblings:
    (the latter also killed several family pets)

    Ava, a lil girl adopted from Ethiopia recently murdered the family dog (kicked the dog, broke her back, dog had to be put down):

    Falsely accused A/dad of sexual abuse, incited younger siblings to say the same:

    Life made living hell by kids (rad, fasd, odd) they seriously regret adopting:

    1. "Dr. Stacee" I chose to publish this because, despite the fact that you are a spineless troll, you are also so horribly misinformed it's almost frightening. That "smooth lil fasd indicative philthum"? Did you think you were using big words that I couldn't understand? Hardly. The FACT is, while you carefully study a photograph you first claim is illicitly posted, is that real doctors with, you know, EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE rate that "smooth lil philtrum" you claim to see as "well developed" (rated 2-3) and an adequate vermilion (rated 3) in a relaxed position. Need I go on?

      The links you keep posting...let me understand this. You troll adoption blogs and other sites, why? Because you're some great advocate? Sure, because all strong, convicted advocates hide behind fake names, use false IP addresses, and otherwise remain anonymous. RIGHT. That's the mark of truth right there.

      As your short sausage fingers tremble with delight over the fact that one of your comments has been published instead of summarily deleted, try to contain yourself just a bit. Maybe a hobby would be more to your liking, a hobby that goes beyond mere trolling and spouting incorrect information as if it were fact. Were I to use your standard of truth, I'd submit that you're probably bored out of your mind, patiently waiting for some talk show guru to arrive with a wrecking crew to forcefully remove you out of your home and ship you off to fat camp. Untrue? Eh, but I'll bet if I worked as hard as you did, I could find enough links to support my misguided, crackpot, baseless theories about philtrums, photographs, and adoption.

      Bye now. Don't let the drywall hit you on the way out.

    2. Hmmm....Dr. Stacee, before you link to my sisters blog you might get the facts straight. My niece was adopted in the US, never institutionalized, does not have FAS, and was raised primarily by her birth mom....she was adopted along with her three bio brothers who are great kids. Is adoption easy? No, but then parenting never is. This is evidenced by the huge number of children raised by their biological parents who grow up to have mental health issues and do horrible things too.


      Sarah's sister, Aunt to a RAD kid and Little Dudes Case Manager


Kind comments are welcomed. Poorly researched, ill-informed, horrifically biased comments are exploded. :)