Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Is this the next Pleven?

Ukraine Orphanage 45 haunts me.  Reece's Rainbow lists the profiles of just 3 boys there, all with Down syndrome, all terrifyingly tiny for their ages. Who else lives there? Under what conditions? With what labels? And who will step forward to rescue them? Will this turn out to be another Pleven?

First, here is Sasha:

Boy, Born March 13, 2004
Diagnosis: Down syndrome
This is our most recent picture of Sasha, from June 2010.  This is a 6-year-old boy. Six.
His profile speculates: "He may have CP as well, but is considered severely delayed.  He does a lot of rocking…in his crib, in his stroller…to keep himself occupied.  He has teeth marks in his tongue from chewing on it from boredom.   We do not know if he truly has autism, or he is just so severely impacted by the CP or other birth trauma that the caregivers can’t really do much with him, and he turns to himself to soothe."
CP? Autism? How about profound starvation and neglect?!  He is now 8 years old.  It is a miracle that he has not yet been transferred to an institution, since he would likely die within months once that happens.  He has just over $2500 in his grant. He needs a family, like the wonderful families that came forward to rescue the victims of Pleven, to nurse him back to health so his true needs can be assessed.

Alexei is almost 9, and is the size of a toddler:

Boy, Born July 24, 2003
Diagnosis: Down syndrome

Look at those eyes!  He is super alert, active and ready to play!  His profile elaborates: "At 6 years old, he was just nearing his independence in walking.   He eats with help, loves to play with toys and be outside, and is very affectionate and lively!   He is mischievous, and ready to steal your heart."

 Well, that was 2 years ago.  Where is his family?  Who will take this adorable boy and give him a future?  With his spunk, I can see him surviving a transfer.... Yes, instead of outright dying, he could be one of those "lucky" ones, who get to walk like zombies between bare walls, rocking, rocking, rocking, fading away... Perhaps being beaten and abused by the older, bigger boys.... 

As with Sasha, it is a miracle that Alexei is still in the baby house.  G*d must have a plan for him.  Are you part of that plan?

Finally, Nicky Z, who at 3 1/2 looks physically and developmentally like a newborn infant:

Boy, Born October 27, 2008
Diagnosis: Down syndrome

He doesn't have any smiley pictures.  In his previous picture he looked positively miserable!  Here he looks merely resigned.... In three and a half years, NO ONE has inquired about him!  He has over $11,000 in his grant -- that's about half the cost of adopting him (and with the federal tax credit for adoption, his adoption would be almost free!).  He is so young still, so much potential for intervention and recovery!  No indication what his other needs are besides Down syndrome.  However, it is clear that if no one brings him home, he will share Sasha's fate all too soon.


Where is Orphanage 45?  Has anyone adopted from there recently?  Are there other children as needy as these waiting there?


I can see all three of them coming home together:  2 babies and a toddler.... They know each other, they would keep each other company through the transition and bonding to their new parents and siblings. They would gain the much-needed nutrition and stimulation, and grow to their potential.  Like the Pleven children, they need to be rescued YESTERDAY.

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