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!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Evan, Two Years Later. Plus the Beginning of the Bedridden Project!

I've been working on a bit of a project for the bedridden kids recently. It has grown much bigger than I expected. It isn't finished yet, but I'm going to start sharing it in pieces now. There is more coming, but this is the start!

Today is two years that Theo, Orion and Evan have been home. It is also Evan's 13th birthday. He has changed so much in the last two years. More than anything, I want people to see how much Evan has grown and changed. I want people to see how different his life is and how much better he has made our lives.

The birthday boy is very happy with all of the attention being on him for his special day.

He has grown and changed so much over the last two years. He has made our lives so much better.

This was Evan's referral photo. This was the photo in his file to identify him and for possible parents to see. It is, frankly, very intimidating compared to the child in front of us today.

Two years ago, Evan was scared. Everything was new to him. Even being lifted from his crib was terrifying. He was so rarely taken out, and if he was it was for something most likely painful or uncomfortable. Being upright was a sudden and startling change from constantly laying horizontal in a crib.

Evan stayed in his crib during many of our visits because taking him out was so scary and painful for him.

He was so thin, starving. He would barely eat for the nannies. With so many children to feed, if a kid fussed and refused to eat the nannies moved on to the next crib. Sometimes they came back around and tried again. Sometimes a more eager eater was given their bottle instead. When he turned 11 he wore the same size diaper as my 1 year old.

Even eating was exhausting because he was so small. He fell asleep as soon as he finished eating in our apartment waiting for passports.

This photo is from his birthday exactly 2 years ago. We were traveling home. Do you see how that shirt hangs off of him?

Here is a photo from the following year. Do you see his younger brother filling out the same shirt as a 2 year old? 

He was also in pain very often. Without the regular stretching necessary for kids with cerebral palsy, his muscles would get very tight. He had extreme stomach discomfort from the techniques used to manage bowel movements within the orphanage. He had bone degeneration from constantly laying down. You need to bear weight and receive proper nutrition for bone growth, especially if you have spasticity from cerebral palsy. His hips suffered greatly without those things.

But we brought him home. And he grew. He grew in so many ways. He put on weight. We spent a year and a half slowly learning to eat. He had laid flat on his back drinking thin liquids from a cut open nipple in the orphanage. That's a huge risk for aspiration. We started moving him more and more inclined during feedings. We moved onto slightly thickening his liquids, but he would still only drink juice or vanilla flavored formula. We were able to gradually add more flavors and textures from a bottle, until Evan started eating from a spoon practically overnight. Now he can eat all all sorts of foods from a spoon. Chewier things still get puréed, but he can eat all sorts of foods right off the table with our family now!

Evan was just starting to fill in here.

Growing more! Look at that tummy and those legs!

He learned what it was like to have the freedom to roll all the way over instead of from side to side. He seemed completely baffled in the beginning to find he could keep rolling and not hit the side of a crib. He is not only used to being upright, he can now sit independently for short periods of time!

This crib was Evan's entire world. 

Evan can now sit all by himself!

Most importantly, he is happy and loved. He loves to snuggle on the couch. He loves to play with his favorite toys. He has a mama and papa, plus lots of brothers and sisters, who dote on him. He laughs and smiles when he is picked up these days, because he knows something great is always about to happen. He has grown from the scared and confused child we met into a son who knows he is loved.

His first day out of the crib at the orphanage.

One of his early medical appointments.

Home a few months.

Here is Evan playing with one of his favorite toys a few weeks ago.

Evan is very, very special. But he isn't unusual or unique. There are many other kids out there, just waiting for their own family to bring them home. Some of them still have their smile and sparkle in their crib. Some of them need help to feel safe in the world, like Evan did. They all need families. That is why we are going back again. Daisy and Lee were next to Evan in the bedridden ward. I'm going to start introducing some of the other bedridden children who also need families. All of these children are worthy of families and love. They just need someone to come forward. 


Leilani's need is urgent. She was recently transferred from the baby house to the same bedridden ward as Denzel, Phoenix and others. She will die very quickly there. These photos show her getting older before she was transferred. The cold truth is that she was wasting away in the better equipped baby house. The baby house has more medical staff and equipment. Her needs are too great for the lesser care in the facility for older children. She needs a family who can act immediately. She has a grant of over $10,000 toward her adoption.


There is very little information available for Stanley.  It is clear his life would be much better in a family. He looks very thin in his photo, but he also looks alert and aware. He was born in 2009. Someone needs to bring him home!


Lydia has the best smile! Look at how happy she is! She would be such a blessing to a family. I would guess she has been transferred since her last update 3 years ago. She needs a family. She has an adoption grant of nearly $1500.


I have spoken about Denzel many times. He was in Evan's room. We spent a lot of time with him! He will turn 16 and age out in 6 months. He will die in a crib unless he is adopted. He would thrive in a family. His life could be amazing. But it won't happen unless some steps forward and brings him home. He is now eligible for a $10,000 grant from the older child grant pool.


You can do this. We didn't do anything earth shattering with Evan. We brought him home and took care of him. That's it. Any family could have done that. These kids need families to make that leap too. It can seem scary, but they are just kids who need families. Adoption changes lives.

1 comment:

  1. I'm praying especially for little Leilani. Her video and story breaks my heart. I hope her family found her soon!! I'm praying.