You know those moments where the weight of our broken reality here on Earth causes your life to come to a crashing halt?
That moment where the only prayer you know how to pray is “Dear God!” because after that your mind becomes a jumbled mess and the words just won’t come.
That excruciating moment when you would give anything to stop the pain and there is not one single thing you possess that will make any bit of difference.
Dear God please…
If nothing else, give me the words to express what needs to be said here today.
This sweet boy is a Russian orphan. His biggest fans know him as Kyle. Kyle has Down syndrome, so he was sent to an orphanage after he was born. He waited for four years to be rescued, for a family to step up and adopt him. No one did. A friend of mine was close to committing to this boy, until Vladimir Putin made the fateful decision to ban all American adoptions. Cut off from his only way out of life as a special needs orphan in Russia, Kyle was transferred to a mental institution to live out the rest of his, likely short, days. No one in Russia will take children so damaged, and very few citizens outside the United States have the will and the ability to come to his rescue.
Let me tell you a little bit about what I learned from this new picture of Kyle. There are two institutions in his region of Russia – a good one, and a bad one. Kyle was transferred to the bad one. The open wounds on his head are self injuries caused by banging his head against the metal bars of his crib to feel any kind of sensation. Children like Kyle lay in cribs all day with no interaction and no stimulation. You can see that his head is shaved, all the children’s heads are shaved upon entering the institution. It is easier. But there is increased hair growth on his face; this is caused by a severe lack of human contact. Children are never held and only touched once a day to have their diaper changed. Once a day. The unseemly lines on his face are from a lack of food. Just from this picture you can tell he is nothing more than skin and bones.
There is nothing I can do to help Kyle. There is nothing you can do to help Kyle. Nothing that will make the next year of his life more bearable.
But there is something we can do. We can help other children like Kyle.
In honor of this beautiful, sweet child, please do one thing today to help an orphan facing this fate. Below is a list of fast and easy ways you can help. If you do choose to do something please let me know in the comments; I could really use the lift today, and it will encourage others to join in and help as well.
You Can Help! Here’s How…
1. Share this blog post. You can share this post via email, Facebook, Twitter or repost it on your own blog. The more we get the word out the more people who can help. Little by little we can break down the walls and rescue these children.
2. Like the 300 Broken Promises page on Facebook. The adoptive parents whose children are stuck in Russia due to the adoption ban have created a Facebook page to raise awareness for their children. Please “like” their page HERE and keep updated on what’s happening and how you can continue to support their cause.
3. Contact your representatives. You can see a list of your representatives here. Please, please contact your representatives and ask them to make resolving the Russian adoption ban a priority. This is not the first time an American adoption ban has happened. Massive public outcry is the best way we can advocate for these children. Let the people who have ability to make a difference know that this issue is important to you.
4. Support the Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund. This is a non-profit organization working within Russia to change the culture and the lives of Russians with special needs. They work at institutions just like Kyle’s to make the living conditions humane, to offer life skills training and to help adults transition to independent living and meaningful work. In order to expand their work and help more of these children and adults, they need donors committed to regular giving. Please consider this.
5. Commit to praying for these children. Set aside a fifteen minute block of time to pray for the orphans in Russia every day until the ban is lifted. You can pray for Kyle, or another child. Here is a list of orphans in Russia. If you choose a child you would like to pray for, please let me know in the comments. It will literally make my day.
6. Donate to a child or family who is adopting. We cannot save Kyle right now, but there are millions of orphans around the world, many of whom we can save. Please consider making an $8 donation to a waiting child or family in process at Reece’s Rainbow in honor of the eight years Kyle has spent without a family. You can put “in honor of Kyle” in your note at the end. His suffering does not need to be in vain. And, as always, it would be a huge gift to me if you let me know who you blessed in honor of sweet Kyle.
Pray. Give. Advocate. Adopt.
Let’s change the world, one orphan at a time.