Sunday, December 28, 2014

New photo of Dmitry

Today we received permission from Life2Orphans to share a very recent photo of Dmitry. It was taken on November 12, 2014. on their recent mission trip to the Kharkiv orphanages. You can see that years in a crib have likely caused muscle wasting. He is so painfully tiny.

From Megan, the director of Life2Orphans..."This is an emergency situation for him. He cannot move around anymore because his head is so large now."

It's also important to understand that at his age, Dmitry could be transferred at anytime to a facility for older children, or even adults. His situation is urgent either way. for more information.

Aging out - Lera

The life of an orphan in Eastern Europe is harsh and damaging. I have friends who grew up in orphanages and eventually "aged out." This is a term used to describe an orphan who has lost their opportunity to be adopted. It's a tragic event, especially for the young adult who has seen many of their friends adopted. Selected. Chosen.

Aging out for a disabled orphan is tragic on a whole other level. While typically developing kids have opportunities to attend trade schools or university, a young adult orphan who has been labeled "invalid" will spend the rest of their lives behind walls. Imprisoned with no opportunites for self determination.

This includes individuals with physical disabilites who are cognitively normal. Take my girlfriend, Lera, for example. I've shared her photo before:

Isn't she adorable?

Here is a newer photo...look how she has grown!!

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this kid. After a few days, she took the opportunity to climb up into my lap. She desires physical closeness and tenderness. She simply cannot walk, but she has lived with other children with severe intellectual disabilites. She has had no educational opportunities, but she demonstrated to me that she can learn. I taught her several signs within just a few minutes time. She used those signs every time I visited her.

Lera is happy, but she doesn't know another life. Unfortunately, she will age out later this year and will be unavailable to adopt. Eventually she will be transferred to a "nursing home." It may be a facility for primarily men, or a women's facility...wherever space is available. She will be especially vulnerable since she cannot walk. These are not nice places to live. Do I need to be more specific?

Do you have room in your family for this girl? Can you give her the opportunity to learn and the chance to run her own life? Could you simply love her? Email for more information.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dmitry...sweet boy...

We have some difficult news to share with you today. Project TLC was so encouraged last spring to have a team of doctors in Kyiv and funding in place to evaluate sweet Dmitry for surgery. He needed this surgery years ago. In the USA he would likely have had this lifesaving surgery shortly after birth.

Because he didn't get timely medical care, the pressure in Dmitry's head has caused it to grow dramatically. Orphanage doctors tried to tell us that his condition had compensated, meaning the fluid had begun to drain and his head wasn't getting worse. Recent photos and visits have indicated this may not be true. He is getting worse. He is losing skills and the ability to move around.

And worse, after months of trying to coordinate care for him, we have been assured that Dmitry will not be allowed to travel to Kyiv for medical evaluation and possible surgery. The funds pledged for his medical care are not available for any other purpose.

But...the good news...he still has hope.

After being evacuated from a region affected by war, Dmitry was unable to be adopted since traveling to the capital of his birth region for paperwork and passport applications was impossibly dangerous. All his paperwork was in order, it was just too dangerous to try to obtain required new travel documents once the adoption was complete.

A new official procedure is in place now and he can be adopted at any time! This is great news, and honestly, we believe it is his ONLY hope for survival. It is a miracle that Dmitry has lived as well as he has lived for as long as he has lived. A miracle that he has learned to talk and to laugh. I cannot believe that God has preserved his life for no reason.

Have you considered adding a child like Dmitry to your family? A child with special needs that has no hope otherwise? He has the potential to be a great blessing to the right family! How can we encourage you? Contact us at for more information.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Looking back - 2014

Project TLC had grand plans for 2014. God had other plans, mostly.

We had plans in place to bring a group of Crimean orphanage directors, caregivers and social workers to the USA for a two week educational seminar at a world reknowned special needs center. This plan fell apart when we lost access to Crimea early in the spring. Heartbreaking! How disappointed we were that they would not get to experience how early intervention, education and inclusion can enrich their communities and improve the lives of their children.

We had plans to help a very sick boy get the medical care he desperately needed. All the funds were in place. The doctors were willing. The doctors were waiting. Our plan fell apart when his village exploded in the turmoil of a war. So frustrating.

We have periodically shared information about children who are available for adoption. Adoption, while not always possible for every child we serve, is the best hope for an orphaned child to reach his or her potential. It's a reflection of our own adoption into the Kingdom of God. It's redemption.

We had plans to continue caring for children at a mental institution by sending volunteers to spend time with them daily. Despite some challenges, this program was successful and continues to improve! We see incereased communication skills, increased coping skills, and happier kids. They are getting what they were programmed to Several generous monthly sponsors have so far funded this program by 50%.

While not all of our plans for 2014 were successful, not all bore fruit. However, we are encouraged by new connections and new possibilities for the coming year. We will share more about that soon. In the meantime, will you pray for us...and with us?

Yes, we needs funds. Yes, we need volunteers. But truly, the greatest way you can help is by going to our Father God in prayer. Lift up the children, that they might have hope in Him...the volunteers, that they might have strength for the task...the orphanage workers and officials, that they might have soft hearts and open minds...for the Project TLC board, as we determine our upcoming projects. Most of all, pray for the people of Ukraine during these difficult days of war.

Our Father does not NEED us to do anything for Him. He does not NEED us to come to Him. But it gives Him joy, He lets us participate in His plans, and it changes things. Prayer helps! We feel your prayers, so please keep them coming as we make priorities for the coming year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving in the Season of Buying

Today is "Giving Tuesday." Ever heard of that?

After a series of days focused on shameless and conspicuous consumption, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, we have a day to switch gears and do some giving!!

Please consider Project TLC on this Giving Tuesday! 

Our caregivers are volunteers from the perspective of the orphanage, BUT we must pay them a salary...and it's the only job that these ladies have to support their families. Food prices have gone up dramatically so we felt compelled to give them a raise. Otherwise, the ladies would have to find employment elsewhere, and the children would suffer.

We need more sponsors!!

Our current monthly heroes only cover about 50% of our caregiver budget and that can't go on for much longer.

However, it's not only about money! Some of the most precious gifts are of yourself...your time, your talents, your precious prayers. Project TLC has other needs that you could help with! Prayer coordinators, graphic design, writing letters, and creating content for our new website are just a few examples.

We are convinced that God has a plan to meet every need...from every small project to every lonely, fatherless child. Has God planned for you to be a part of meeting someone's needs? As we navigate through this advent season, anticipating the greatest gift of all time, ask yourself:

How best can I give of myself?

You can arrange to make a one-time gift, or become a sponsor through our Paypal links to the left. If you have time or other talents to offer, please contact us at

Merry Christmas!!