Daniil is a 6-year-old boy with Down syndrome. His biological mom and dad were heartbroken when their dream of a life full of promise for their child was shattered by the reality of his diagnosis. The doctors said “he won’t live—it is better to put him in an institution.” That is just what is done there—as it was here until very recently—and so they did. Little Daniil has lived his life in an orphanage. It was a good orphanage with enough to eat and a clean place to sleep—but his life was about to change. He was scheduled to leave the baby orphanage and go to a scary place called Torez.
Torez is an institution where orphans with both mental and physical disabilities are sent when they "age-out" of the baby houses. These include, but are not limited to, disabilities such as Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, cleft lip, limb deformities, and severe mental retardation. The kids are malnourished, are very small for their age, and are severely delayed. Torez is the last stop for these kids—there is no way out.
But, Daniil will not be going to Torez. He’ll be coming home and joining our family. He’ll have 3 big brothers and 4 big sisters and a mom and dad to love him. The rest of the Torez kids are not so lucky. They are condemned to this horrible existence—But there is a chance to make things better for them.
Life 2 Orphans is a qualified 501(c) (3) US nonprofit charitable organization that was established by a group of caring folks in the fall of 2003. It is a humanitarian organization, not affiliated with Ukrainian adoptions. Their purpose is to directly support over 40 qualifying orphanages in Ukraine by trying to improve the life of the orphans through many sponsored programs. These programs include formula and diapers for the babies, clothes and shoes; Christmas presents for over 6000 Orphans; vocational sponsorships; College Scholarships; additional care for bedridden children; medical supplies; and the list goes on. Their support comes from many directions, but mostly from adoptive parents or simply other caring individuals who have decided to help alleviate the plight of these babies and children. Torez is one of their orphanages. Since Life 2’s involvement, Torez is far less bleak Life 2 has been providing Clinutren formula, other food, cribs, walkers, 24 hour care (and so much more); and now many of the kids who were previously bedridden are up and moving about; (amazingly some even walking).
Along our journey, many people have asked what they could do to help us--- Our answer is the only thing we need are your prayers. But you can do something to help the kids of Torez. Please consider a gift to Life to Orphans—specifically for Torez. Their greatest current needs are for 1kilometer of fencing to keep the kids from wandering off and money to pay for physical therapy and medicine. You can learn more about them online at http://www.life2orphans.org/.
We invite you to follow our adoption journey on-line at http://www.martythompson.com/Ukraine.html. We’ll be blogging as internet connections allow. Please remember us in your prayers.
So, what is the cost of saving a life? Missed time with mom and dad, uncomfortable living conditions for us, challenges for co- workers, friends, and family still in the States. But, the cost of saving life is not nearly the cost of passing up the chance to change the world one child at a time. There is no greater calling.
· The orphanage was established in 1966 to care for very special needs children. · They currently are caring for 350 Ukrainian Orphans, ages 4-adult, all with physical or mental deficiencies. · The local government has little funds available to support this orphanage. Until Life 2 Orphans started supporting this orphanage the last repairs had been done in 1991. And this only focused on faulty heating equipment. · The orphanages are in a sad state, as they were constructed during Soviet times, and most are literally falling around the children/caretakers. · 230 staff members care for these children and this is not sufficient. Because of the childrens’ severe disabilities, the staff must do EVERYTHING from repairs to painting, to lugging water for sanitation when the water goes off several times a day. · During a recent visit by Life 2 Orphans staff, the water was off and there was no water to flush the toilet. The staff filled a bathtub with water and gave the visitors bowls to pour down the toilet. The visitors were told the water is on only a couple hours each day in the morning and afternoon. · 20 of the staff do help the children (that are able) to do hand crafts. · There are two rooms where children are bed-ridden and they need 24 hour support in every way. · Since Life 2 Orphans began supporting this orphanage, children who were just lying in bed are now sitting up and moving around... and some are getting out of bed. This is attributable to extra food and the individual attention given to children by adult visitors. The orphanage director (Alexander) was very excited by the results. · George is a Life2Orphan volunteer in Ukraine. Here is an email from him about the success of this project and the director’s (Alexander) response:
o And Alexander confirmed, that he is waiting for you in May, as you have to look by your own eyes on the great changings - local officers are telling him: "Now we know, where to invite any comissions for showing good job!" Alexander even made proposal, that you would able to make video of the bedridden children's success for printing disc and sharing it! So, we have to collaborate all our common efforts for your trip would be successful!