He's 12, so he isn't super close to aging out. He's got a little over three years still. But let me point something out to you. He's almost 13. I'm not sure how long he has been in an orphanage, but he's probably spent almost his entire life in orphanages. He's waited 13 YEARS for a family. No, he's not "aging out" yet, but why wait until the last minute! He needed someone to come get him, like yesterday. Just because he isn't "aging out" doesn't mean he doesn't need out. He needs out of that mental institution.
I have shared the picture of Frank on the trampoline before. The reaction is usually, "Hey, he has fun there!" He's having fun at the mental institution, so he doesn't need a family, right? I mean, he's got a trampoline, that's all a kid ever needs, right? Right? Look a little closer at that picture. Do you see the ripped, high water jeans? Do you see how skinny he is? But of course, he has a trampoline, so he's fine! Right? My heart hurts when people just see that and think he's fine, because they have a trampoline. What about those jeans? They're ripped and way too short on him, yet they are falling off because he is so skinny. Sure, he gets fed at the institution, but with 70 residents, there's probably not "seconds". There's no choice of what you're going to eat. You sit down and eat what is given to you, or you don't eat.
Frank doesn't have a life- threatening illness. He just has a mental delay, and possibly FAS. So there isn't that "urgency" to save him. But there needs to be an urgency! Everyday he's there, he's getting older, and he's becoming more delayed. He doesn't have anyone to teach him, to help him grow. With no stimulation, his delay will only increase. He does nothing all day. He just walks around. He needs a family who will be able to teach him, to help him experience the world.
He's got food, clothes, and a place to sleep. So he's well off right? I've already talked about the food issue. Yes, he has food, but they never get enough. No one has time to make sure all the residents are "full". He has clothes, but they aren't his own. They come from a community closet, and they wear whatever they can find. Most often, the clothes are too big or too small, and never new. And his "place to sleep"? It's a cruddy old mattress, in a room full of other residents. The mattresses are all falling apart, with patches and holes. The residents do the best they can to fix them and clean them. They really do need new ones, but it is very expensive and they cannot afford it. Whenever his mattress gets dirty, he'll drag it outside and try to wash it, then lean it against the fence, and hope it dries before he goes to bed. When I say 'mattress', I'm not talking about your super comfy, Sleep Country USA, heated, TEMPUR- Pedic. I'm not even talking your average, bunk bed twin mattress. No, I'm talking about a few large pieces of cloth, sewn together, and stuffed with anything soft. Not the best thing in the world to sleep on. He needs someone who can answer all his questions. Little kids always have lots of questions. "Why is the sky blue? Why is grass green? Why do I have brown eyes?" And while caretakers can answer some of those, he will always have more questions. Let me tell you a little story that happened a few weeks ago.
The institution had just put a new decoration on the wall in the dining room- a figurine of Jesus on the cross. During the next meal, Frank noticed it on the wall. He went over and observed it, then began asking the caretakers who that was, and why he was crucified. The caretakers told him it was Jesus, and he was crucified because people sinned. He kept calling people over and telling them, "That's Jesus! That's Jesus!" He needs a family who can help him learn more about Jesus, and his love for us, so he can tell the world, "That's Jesus!"
He's a smart, kind, bright little boy. His story may not stand out as much, but he has just as urgent a need to adopted! Please share about him!