Oh Romaniv…oh sweet boys. I wish so much that each of you could visit Our Boys and spend even just a few minutes with them. I wish I could accurately and fully express just how we feel about them. They are beyond precious to us. I remember the very first time Jed and I ever visited there…nervous, excited…never the same. Never would I have dreamed at that time that we would now be so invested in to these boys. We are learning about their little quirks, their likes and dislikes, who can eat a banana on his own and who needs help; who will try to eat rocks and grass outside and who will try to escape; who will throw their shoes on the roof of the building and who’s feet are too twisted and misshapen for shoes at all; who needs to be held tightly when overstimulated and who likes to sway…the list goes on and on. There is so much to learn and we have the time to learn it. These are the things that matter. To know and to be known, I’ve never understood the importance of that until this move.
Our Isolation boys stay inside all day every day. There are simply not enough caregivers to take them all outside. All day every day in the same small building with the same hall and same rooms. No wind in their face, no sun on their skin, no grass between their toes. They eat in their building and sleep in their building. It is their whole world.
A few weeks ago we decided to ask the caregivers if we could take the boys outside during our Friday visits. We weren’t sure if they would allow it, but it never hurts to ask! Surprisingly they said yes without hesitation. The only problem was digging up enough shoes and coats for all the boys. Oy. Yeah, they were only able to find enough shoes and jackets for 8 of the 21 boys. We were disappointed that some boys would be excluded, but we still took several of them outside.
Later that day I posted about the visit on the Wide Awake Facebook page. I mentioned that there weren’t enough coats and shoes to go around and that people could let us know if they wanted to help with that. Oh.My.Word. You guys!!!! Your generosity blew us away. Within the next couple of days $725 was donated to buy shoes and coats for the Boys.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!
We went to Mission to Ukraine (MTU) to discuss how and where to purchase the needed items for the Boys. They, in turn, contacted the Director at Romaniv and he indicated that they should have enough coats and shoes for all the boys…they just needed to be taken from storage. So, we are a bit halted right now on buying the items as we try to verify if there are truly enough clothes for everyone, and if not, what sizes are needed. We already know the shoe supply is not adequate. We’ve got some foot measuring to do.
(Hint: nothing happens quickly in these here parts. No biggie, we’ve got time.)
In the meantime, we’ve been able to take the boys out every Friday since! The caregivers have found enough slippers for those who are willing to go outside. Most of them are broken slippers and don’t stay on worth beans, but at least it’s enough to get them out the door 😉 It’s been warm enough that we haven’t needed jackets, so we have time to work on that issue.
One need that did arise is the need for hats. Our Boys never see the sun, so you can bet they are as pale as can be, We realized right away that they needed hats to provide some sun protection while we’re outside. So, we were able to use a portion of the donated funds to buy hats for the boys!
A few of our more interactive boys were SO EXCITED!!! It made us feel so much better to know their little white faces were protected. The last thing we need is a sunburn to rain on our parade. 🙂
Thank you to each and every person who donated so graciously. Each step forward greatly improves their quality of life and we just can’t thank you enough for making it possible.
We’ll keep you posted on the shoe and jacket purchases. We really need to get some shoes that fasten well so “you know who” can’t chuck them up on the roof of the building quite so easily….ahem….not to name any names… 🙂
If you are interested in donating specifically for the boys at Romaniv, here is a link to their fund.