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, August 16, 2016

An Update on Duane

I included Duane in a recent aging out post. He is a child in the same place my son Barton once lived at. Barton had been moved to a different orphanage later, where we adopted him. Duane is still at the orphanage where Barton used to live.

They were both destined for the same adult facility. My Barton escaped it. We are racing to bring home Amos so that he can escape it also. Duane will likely end up there if he is not adopted. It is not a good place.

Various visitors to the orphanage have spent time with Duane over the years. He has been in the orphanage for a long time. Orphanage life is a hard life, and it often makes children hard. It isn't their fault. It's the fault of the system that fails them. Children in an orphanage aren't taught socially acceptable behavior. They don't have families to gently guide them. Orphanage life is survival of the fittest. It is survival by those who can survive.

Duane is going to need an awesome family. He is going to need a special family. Duane is a child with a lot of love to give and a lot of potential if he is given a chance. He is also a child who needs a really skilled, very prepared family. He will need to be the youngest in his family.

For a long time Duane was one of the smaller kids in his orphanage. There were some older children like Barton and like Amos who followed directions and were gentle with the smaller children. There were other children who didn't and who weren't. Due to other children being transferred and being adopted, Duane is now one of the oldest and biggest kids. He doesn't have older children modeling good behavior anymore. He now repeats some behaviors toward smaller children that were once used on him.

This isn't his fault. Children don't belong in orphanages and institutions, and they especially don't belong there for the length of time he has lived in one. I truly believe that the very best family for Duane is out there and can help him. They might not be easy to find, and we don't have a lot of time.

This is not hopeless. This is going to be hard, but worthwhile things often are. Duane's life is just as valuable and just as precious and just as worthy of being saved as all of the "easier" kids out there. It's just going to be harder.

His newest update also talks about how he loves attention and thrives with it. He will sit close and listen to singing for a long time. He loves a special bouncing horse song. He is trying so hard to talk, but it is difficult for him to make sounds. He responds positively when people understand and repeat back what he is trying to say.  I think a family giving him the means to communicate would be a huge help toward teaching him appropriate behavior, but there are no guarantees. He has so much potential, and his life is going to be thrown away in a cage if he isn't adopted.

Let's talk more about life if he isn't adopted. Any difficult behaviors often result in medication in orphanages and institutions. In fact, one of the things the orphanage we adopted Barton from mentioned is that he had adjusted so well to moving that they hadn't needed to sedate him at all. Duane will almost certainly be given tranquilizers to make him easier to handle. He will be grouped with others who the staff consider difficult, many of whom are likely stronger than him. These are the realities of life in an institution. It is cruel and it is unjust. It is fighting for survival by both the residents and the often under-equipped and severely outnumbered staff.

Duane needs a family. He needs a fantastic, excellent, strong, amazing family. And he doesn't have a lot of time. He still has love and light inside of him. He is alive in there, waiting for a real life. A new life. But it might not be easy. He needs a family who knows that it won't be easy and is ready to fight for him. I know in my heart his family is out there. I hope they realize it in time.

We are a "crazy" family who does "crazy" things. We adopt multiple kids and older kids and older boys and kids with terminal conditions. But to us it's just going and getting our kids. I want a family for Duane who will see him and do the same thing. They will see their son and they will go get him before he ages out and before it is too late. They will know there might be behaviors, but there is also a boy who wants to listen to songs and be able to communicate with the people around him. They will see hope in the hard things that are worth doing, and they will see hope in this boy who is worth loving and worth saving even though he has waited for such a long time.

Where are you, mama and papa? Your son is waiting. He ages out in November.

Duane has a grant of $12,466. I can put you in touch with people who have spent time with him and will share honestly about his strengths and challenges. His profile is HERE and you can email for more information on adoption. Please share this post and share Duane so that his family can see him in time.

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