We are home with Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Meanwhile we have jumped in again for one last very special girl. If you would like to help with that, you can make a non-tax-deductible donation HERE that we can access immediately. You can also make a tax-deductible donation HERE that we can use once we receive travel dates. Or by donating HERE you can help provide her and other children at her orphanage the care and nutrition they desperately need. See all of our current fundraisers HERE. We are thankful for any support you can offer!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Birthday Boy!

Today is Orion's birthday.  He turned 13. We have a few birthday traditions in our house. One of them is that we repeat "Happy birthday, birthday boy!" (or birthday girl) over and over again throughout the day.  I can imagine our comedian loving all the silly things we do.  I can't wait to hear his laugh!

He is getting so big! I can't believe how much he has grown, just in the last few months. Sometimes it is hard to look through all the photos I have of him and see how little he was and how long he has been waiting. A lot of birthdays have passed without a family. As hard as it is to look at these, it is really amazing that we have so many photos of the boys. I am so thankful that we can see how they have grown up, even if we couldn't be there for that part of their lives.

These two photos are from a couple weeks ago.  Look how happy he is to try on clothes.  He will have a whole dresser full of his own clothes soon. See him looking through that book? He will have walls and walls of books when he is here.

This picture is from the fall.  Look how much he has grown since then! I love seeing him with his friends.  It would be so amazing if we could recreate this picture in a couple years with all of the boys in families!

This is from winter last year, near his birthday. They have been in the group home for a little more than a year here, and it has been a great thing for them.

This is the year before, 2012. The boys had only recently moved into their new home.  

And this is from near his birthday in 2011. Isn't he little here?

  Here he is in the summer of 2010. I love this picture.

This is from the summer of 2009. At this point the institution has started receiving more and more visitors to work with the children.

Here is Orion in the summer of 2008. At this point the boys have started to have some time in separate, smaller groups.

This is from a very early visit the charity made to the institution in December 2007 to bring toys and spend time with some of the children. The boys spent all of their time in large groups at this point.  

These are from the charity's first trip to the institution in the spring of 2007. Orion had just turned 6.  These are the oldest photos we have.

We don't know what his life was like before that. We don't know when he might have been transferred to the institution, although many of the other children arrived before they turned 5. We don't know if he was in a better place before being transferred or if he ever lived outside of an institution.

We know that when the charity first visited the orphanage, it was the most overwhelming sight they had seen. We know that the conditions have slowly and steadily improved at the institution, but most visitors would still say the same thing.

Things have improved for Orion and Theo. They were spending their days in an empty room with 30 others with disabilities, both children and adults.  After that, more caregivers were added and a few of the boys began to spend some time in separate smaller groups with some instruction.  Eventually, the group home was built and the boys moved in. They have more attention than before and more lessons, but it is not the same as being in a family. There is also no hope for a future beyond staying at the institution and possibly tending the grounds as some of the other boys who have grown into men do now.

We are very excited to celebrate next year as a family.  If you would like to help us make that happen, we are currently selling Superman Was Adopted shirts to raise the remaining funding we will need to complete the adoption process.

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