Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tell All Tuesday!

This little guy needs a home and a family. Could it be yours? 

Soon, (if it hasn't happened, yet) he will be transferred to the mental institute. His head will be shaved and he will likely be tied to a crib. When he cries (and he will, at first, until he learns it won't do any good), he will be ignored or abused.  He will sit for hours in his own waste with no stimulation and nothing to do. 

Given a family, he could thrive! We've seen it happen time and time again. These kids do very well when given a chance.

Please share this. Post it on Facebook, tweet it, blog it, tell people irl, send emails, etc. Please, let's find Harlen a home!

Friday, July 22, 2011

$5 Friday!

Today is $5 Friday for Harlen. Can you spare just $5 measly dollars for a boy who has no one? Maybe you think, "$5 is just a drop in the bucket. It's really nothing compared to the need." You're right. It's not. But a bucket is simply filled with lots of drops. If enough people just take the time and a little bit of cash, soon the bucket will be full.

So, go ahead. Be a drop in the bucket for Harlen! This little guy will soon be transferred to a mental institution. There, he will likely face abuse and neglect that will kill him. 

Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don't stand back and let them die.  Don't try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn't know about it. For God knows all hearts, and he sees you. He keeps watch over your soul, and he knows you knew! And he will judge all people according to what they have done.  Proverbs 24:11-12 (NLT)

Sorry, but now you know. There is a little boy in a far off land who is headed for death. He is innocent and there is something you can do to save him. God knows you know. 

$5 is not much, but it can be everything for this child!

Please give here, today, right now, before you forget! 
(And share this on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, wherever you can think to.) 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dear Harlen,

You are a little boy with an extra chromosome. Because of it, you have neither a mom or dad, siblings, grandparents, or a church family. You have no toys, clothes, or even shoes that are yours alone. You have blond hair and blue eyes. You are five-years-old.

That is the sum total of what I know about you.

I don't know what makes you smile or if you ever laugh so hard your belly shakes. I don't know what comforts you when you're sick. I don't know if you dance when music plays or if you wave your hands like your directing the choir. I don't know what your favorite food is or if you like the color red.

I do know that I have failed you. My heart aches over my failure and I've lived in a haze of guilt for several months because of it. I do know that my guilt in no way compares to the misery of what's in store for you as you transfer (or have already transferred) to the mental institute.

I agreed to be a 5-5-5 Warrior for you, to advocate for you, and raise money for your adoption, to tell the world about your fate and maybe even find you a family.

I am a coward.

I wish I could say that I got busy or forgot. Even those lame excuses would be better than the truth.

The truth, dear boy, is that I am a coward. I was afraid of so many things. I was afraid that people were sick of hearing me go on and on about orphans. I was afraid that people would think I was only friends with them because I wanted their help. I was afraid people wouldn't care.

But mostly I was afraid I would care too much. It hurts to love an orphan. It hurts to allow my heart to be broken over things I can't control. It's hard to have one part of my heart in an unknown land and still deal with the here and now. 

The reality that I can't protect you is hard for me to take. The harshness of your world is hard to reconcile with the ease of my own. 

Added to that is my own foolish pride which knows that I'm not creative enough, persistent enough, or eloquent enough to move others to give with their hearts, to feel your plight, and to tell their friends. I couldn't do it perfectly, so I settled for not at all.

I am so sorry. I am weeping as I write this. The middle-aged mom of many from the rich country of America, ashamed to confess her failings to the poor orphan of Eastern Europe. 

It is my hope that one day you will hear these words. I hope that you will sit on the lap of a woman who smells like lavender soap and calls herself "mom" and she will whisper these words to let you know that someone, in her own warped way, really cared about you when you were all alone.

I also hope that others who read these words will care and give and act to get you here. 

I am not afraid, anymore, sweet boy. I know that you are not really alone. The same Jesus who is here with me is there with you. He will not give either of us more than we can bear with His help. He will give me the strength to fight for you and you the strength to hold on until someone comes for you. He will hold me as I love you from afar, and hold you as you wait.

Be strong, little one.
(If you would like to donate for Harlen, in spite of my failings, I would be so very grateful. Every little bit helps. Please go here to give.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Signing, picnic, and VBS musings.

We recently counted up Eon's consistent signs and found there are about 40 that he uses regularly. Most of them are close approximations and some are so similar to each other that we have to pay attention to context (apple and candy, or bug and bird, for examples.) I continue to be amazed by how well he communicates with facial expressions alone, though. Those big blue eyes communicate volumes!

We went to the Down syndrome Indiana picnic last weekend and really had a good time. It's fun to connect with other families and see all the kids. Of course, I can't seem to stop myself from comparing him to other kids with Ds. Seems he's doing really well, especially gross motor wise, thanks to the wonder PT, Jill. She works with him at the playground, frequently, and now he's convinced there is nothing he can't do. Which is great...and scary! 

It is VBS week at church this week and for us, it's a family affair. The big girls are assistant leaders, Shawn does sound, and I work the nursery while the middles all participate. I enjoyed learning a bit about Eon last night. He is so comfortable with his brothers that he tends to be a little "in your face" with other kids. He was trying to play with a little boy about his age and he started off by tickling him. The other kid was having none of it, and I encouraged him to back off a bit. Then, he tapped the other kid and ran away, wanting to be chased. Other kid was still intimidated by this. Finally, he found a roll of duck tape and threw it, then chased it. Other kid watched for awhile and joined in and they played together.

At first, I was cringing that Eon was scaring the kid. It was obvious the boy didn't know what to do with this odd kid who doesn't speak his language. But, then I was happy that Eon seemed to sense that and adjusted his approach. He certainly isn't one to be ignored!

I also realized how nice it is that, for the most part, I am perfectly comfortable with how everyone loves and interacts with him at church. He is accepted just how he is and I hope that will always be a safe place for him and us. There are a few exceptions. There is one gentleman who means well, but I always get the vibe that he has to "try" to interact with Eon. He'll pat him on the head and say nice things, but I get the impression he's thinking he's such a great guy because he was nice to the disabled kid. Do you know what I mean? Kind of like prejudiced people who say, "Some of my best friends are black"?

Have I mentioned that I'm a little overly sensitive? :)