Children there were picked up like packages, always facing away from the caregiver. No eye contact for the little ones. No smiles. They sat for hours on end in empty playpens in the heavy silence. Some were left slumped over in high chairs, or walkers which were tethered to radiators with old pantyhose. Disposable diapers hung out to dry and reused as often as possible. Cribs and play equipment in dangerous disrepair. Children hungry for human connection were often rewarded with beatings and verbal abuse. We witnessed these things firsthand.
In the course of our adoptions, we donated huge sums of cash to this baby house. We were new. We were naive. And we were forced to do it. Upon our return visit the next year, we found that nothing had changed for the better for the children we left behind. We found them dirty, wet, and forgotten in cribs. Some of our favorite children were missing, presumably transferred, and the workers couldn't even remember their names. They might as well have not existed.
When we found an institution that was willing to let us provide additional, dedicated full time caregivers, we knew that we could really help change the kids' lives for the better! They get eye contact, positive physical contact, and patient attention. They are prayed over, sung to, and valued. In short, they are treated with human dignity for the first time in their lives.
The results have been even better than we imagined! Yes, the children are benefitting, but we didn't fully grasp the contagious nature of TLC until we learned that the regular orphanage workers' hearts were softening, too. They were starting to treat the children with more care, less harshness. Beatings occured less frequently. (Beatings? Yes...the sad reality of institutional existence.) Even some local Christians have started to visit occasionally and bring fruit for the children. God is at work here.
However, our caregiving fund is running dry and we need your help. We can't fail these kids. If we can find 20 people to commit to a gift of $25 per month, our caregivers will be funded and we can explore opportunites to expand in new facilities.
Will you partner with us to bring TLC to children in mental institutions?
It's too hot now for a chocolate giveaway...but we have this little lady! Isn't she darling?
When we hit our monthly $500 sponsorship goal, I will randomly draw the name of one of our newly committed supporters to receive this sweet little matryoshka doll. She's about 4 inches tall and fresh off the plane from Ukraine.
You may set up your sponsorship via Paypal below, or contact us at ProjectTLC@cox.net for additional options. One time and smaller gifts are always welcome. We will keep you posted on our progress!
Thanks for helping us care for the kids we left behind...the least of these.