I remember the day we met.
Jed and I heard the news that there were a couple of new arrivals at the orphanage and we rushed there to meet them. The faces we saw that day changed us forever.
Sweet Ben and Isaiah, six-year old boys in baby bodies, lying in their cribs, unaware of all the concern swirling around them.
The nannies were afraid. Isaiah wouldn’t eat from a spoon and they had no bottles available for them. After all, we’re talking about an institution for men and boys, not for fragile babies.
They tried to take their time to feed the little ones properly, but time is just not something the nannies have much of to spare. Twenty other boys/men with severe needs were yelling and moaning from behind the shut doors of our little baby hideaway, so even though they cared, the nannies simply had to move on, shutting and locking the door behind them for the safety of the wee ones.
Our family left for a week to go work at a camp, and when we rushed back at the end of the month to see our babies, we were devastated. They were withering away right before our eyes. Of course they were. Babies, children, teenagers, adults, no one is meant to be locked behind a door, in a crib 24 hours a day. Our hearts sunk. Something had to be done.
As fast as we could we hired a special nanny to take care of just those two babies. She would give them her full attention 12 hours a day: feeding them, changing them, holding them, loving them. She would save them. Then another partner, Bible Orphan Ministry, hired a second nanny to care for them so that every day of the week, for 12 hours they would not be alone. They would be treasured.
And boy oh boy are they treasured! Those two nannies love, love, love Ben and Isaiah. Last spring when Ben was on the verge of life and death they cried and rocked him and cried some more, knowing they could not save him. And then praise God, he sent the team from Humedica to literally save Ben’s life with a specially prescribed diet. He is not thriving, but he is not dying. I know it is not enough, but until he is adopted it is the very best we can do for him. So we still pray for God to send a family to his rescue.
Now the nannies cry again, hearts broken. The doctor has told them that our sweet Isaiah is losing his sight. No no no. How can this be? There is no answer as to why, no timeline for how fast. We do see that he is tracking less and less, and we cry.
Isaiah is light and joy and pure sweetness. He knows his name and when you enter his room and call out to him his whole body responds with joy. He laughs and is ticklish and loves to be held. He is a boy, but he is a baby. If I could, I would take him home in a minute, so confident am I that he will bring unspeakable joy to a family.
He has cerebral palsy and has never had any kind of therapy, unless you count visiting physical therapists who have come to lend their expertise. (THANK YOU!!) He has the beginning of contractures in one leg and the nannies worry. And now it seems he is losing his sight. We are heartbroken.
Can you imagine laying in bed 12 hours a day, unable to get up, and then falling into darkness? I know all the sounds he hears and I know he must be so frightened. Ben too. They are completely helpless, completely reliant on others to feed them, clothe them, protect them. How will he keep that beautiful smile if the whole world turns black? I can’t even fathom. My mommy heart is devastated and it takes everything in me not to jump on a plane today and go to him.
I’ll be honest. Isaiah’s only hope is adoption. Ben’s only hope is adoption. The special nannies, the special food, all of it is a temporary solution. It is the best we can do under the circumstances, but it is not nearly enough. We know this. Their quality of life is poor. Okay, they aren’t dying at this moment, but they aren’t living either. We absolutely love these boys like we love the 5 children under our roof. And I say that this life they have right now is not good enough. Our Havalah is 6. Would I be satisfied with her having attention and love 12 hours a day and then being bound to a crib surrounded by moans and screams and cries the other 12, the door locked for her protection? Would I be okay if I learned she was going blind? Would I be content to let her fall into darkness?
No. I would fight for her.
I would scream for her.
I would cry out and fight and petition until I found someone to help her. Someone to rescue her.
And so I do for my babies across the sea.
I can’t be with them. I can’t hold them. I can’t rescue them.
But I can fight for them. I can petition for them until I find someone to rescue them.
Please, please share my babies. Isaiah is falling into darkness. He needs a family now. Please see him.
Ben is a 6 year old in a 12 pound body. He needs a family now. Please see him.
If you have considered adoption, please do not wait. Sometimes it is a matter of life and death. This is one of those times.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3
Yes, adoption is a huge decision and a hard road. But right now I’m looking across the table at my Vladik and can tell you with all confidence that it is worth it. Would our lives be easier if we didn’t have Vladik? Of course!!! But I know where he would be right now if he wasn’t at my kitchen table. My heart can’t even handle that truth. In the light of that, the “ease” of my life seems pretty insignificant. These babies are worth our discomfort. Just as Jesus came to us, we are to go near the broken on his behalf.
Please pray and ask God how you should respond to Isaiah and Ben. Please don’t just move on. They are worth fighting for.
If you have any questions about either boy or the adoption process itself, please don’t hestitate to ask. You can leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.