Frank's Freedom

Meet Frank. He’s 13 years old, and is curious, busy, fun happy and bright. He has a mental delay, but that doesn’t stop him from being friendly, engaging and kind. He’s also an orphan in Eastern Europe. This means he is in an institution. If he is not adopted by age 16, he will be thrown out on the street with nothing but the clothes on his back and his “disabled orphan” status. Let me tell you more about Frank.

He’s little, about the size of a 7 year old. And he’s smart. He is in a group with teenage boys ages 16-24. He does puzzles and he does his chores diligently. He is very kind to the younger children. Frank is friendly and engaging. He likes being with the boys, but is happy being alone too. He plays appropriately with toys and is “all boy”. He could very easily function in a family. Frank is curious, smart, fun and sweet. He likes to play in the dirt and jump on the trampoline. Frank is independent, a good eater, is happy and content. Frank is physically healthy. He walks, runs, feeds himself, speaks, does puzzles and interacts with others well. He's a sweet boy who seems rather unaffected by his surroundings. He has no future where he's at, and without help, he's never getting out. Institutions are a one way ticket to nowhere. And this little boy deserves a future. This little boy will be a blessing to any family.

The Baker family has committed to adopt Frank and another boy, Emmitt. But international adoption is pretty expensive. The adoption would cost about $30,000. Reece’s Rainbow is an organization that helps with this cost. They set up grants for children in 25 countries around the world, and any money that is donated to these funds is given to the families to help with adoption fees. With Reece's Rainbow's help, the Baker family only needs about $10,000 to bring home both boys!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frogs, Snails and Puppy- Dogs Tails

"What are little boys made of? What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails, And that are little boys made of." Three little boys. Brothers. Ages 9, 7 and 5. I don't know the circumstances, but somehow they were removed from their home, and put into an orphanage. Hunter is the oldest. He is 9 years old. In simple terms, he has difficulty sleeping, behavioral problems, and is usually hyperactive. He also has flat feet. He also has a condition that causes pressure on the brain, which can lead to massive headaches. This could be a reason for his difficulty sleeping. And if you can't sleep, it makes it hard to focus on being "good". Or he could have ADHD. ADHD can make it hard to make your brain "shut down" for the night. Or it could be PTSD, anxiety, or another disorder caused by a traumatic experience, like the event that caused the boys to land in an orphanage. When I was younger, I always had a hard time going to sleep. Every now and then, I still get nights where insomnia hits, and I can't seem to fall asleep. At age 5 or 6, I would stay awake for hours, unable to fall asleep. My parents would sometimes have me put boots on and run around in our cul-de-sac to burn off the energy. I remember sleepless nights where I desperately wanted to go to sleep, but it would not come. Hunter could have this same experience. But unlike me, he doesn't have parents to support him. Now, we have medicine like NyQuil that can help you fall asleep. He doesn't have any of that. If he can't sleep, then he won't sleep. His condition can also cause painful headaches. If you have a migraine, you usually take some Advil and go lay down in a dark, quiet room. Hunter doesn't have that available. His room may be dark, but it won't be quiet. He shares it with many other boys. When you have a headache, you're usually more irritable. Which can lead to "behavioral issues". Forest is diagnosed with a mild mental delay and speech issues. While he could have a mental delay, the reality is that almost all orphans are diagnosed with at least a mild mental delay. He hasn't had the same opportunities as other "normal" kids his age. He probably doesn't know all the same stuff as other children his age who have parents. His speech issue could be a range of things. It could be as simple as a speech delay; he could just be a late speaker. He may not talk much if he feels like no one listens. If his older brother, Hunter, has constant headaches, he wouldn't want people to talk to. Therefore, Forest would talk to his younger brother, and may be "delayed" as the result of his main interaction with a younger child. If his speech issue is something like a stutter, he also may be a quiet child, as to not be ridiculed. Ridge is five. His only diagnosis is a mild hear condition that currently does not require surgery. He is the baby of the family. All three brothers are unique boys who need someone to step up and rescue them. They need someone to get them the help they need. Hunter's condition is not life- threatening now, but it could be. Forest needs help now, so he does not regress. If left alone, a mild mental delay could turn into a moderate delay. If ridiculed for a speech issue, he could become withdrawn and mute. Ridge's condition does not require currently require surgery, but if left untreated, it could. Do you have room in your heart and home for three little boys? Little boys were not made for orphanages. They were made for digging in dirt, for hunting for bugs and wrestling in the yard. They were made for laughing at gross stuff and for pretending to be tough. They were made for their heroes to be Spiderman, Superman or Batman. They were made for fighting with imaginary LightSabers and pretending to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were made for a family.

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