Those older child grants are pretty amazing. The funds were pooled for the older children to allow the grant money to help any older child with special needs listed on Reece's Rainbow have available funding. It is already harder to find families for older kids, and having funds available to help families who feel prepared to adopt these kids is a huge help! Right now there are 15 remaining older child grants for children with special needs other than Down syndrome. If you would like to donate to that older child grant fund you can click on the donate button on their page HERE. There are also 50 remaining older child grants for children with Down syndrome. You can donate to that fund by clicking on the donate button on their page HERE.
Solomon is the first child this week. I will be writing a more detailed update about Vance later this week after my husband has seen and spent time with him.
Solomon http://reecesrainbow.org/59316/solomon-2 needs paperwork and fees sent in by March 2017
This is a recent photo. Solomon is walking and holding someone's hand.
Solomon also used to live at the same institution as some of my boys. He was moved with other boys in 2013 to the facility where he is now. They are also a more closed facility where it is difficult to get updated photos and videos of the children.
Solomon is a quiet boy. He seems sad and scared a lot of the time. His life is probably scary for him. He has been seen with bruising in the past. He usually sits and rocks by himself. He loves to have his head gently rubbed. It makes him smile. Gentle touch like that is rare in his typical day.
A family was recently adopting from Solomon's orphanage. They saw him while they were there. They were surprised to hear how old he is. They said he looks like he is only 6 years old. But he isn't 6. He will actually be 16 in March 2017.
He is a very tiny boy. In his older photos he was even smaller and thinner. There are a lot of reasons why children don't grow while they are living in orphanages. Sometimes there are medical conditions. More often it is lack of nutrition. Usually the budget for food is provided by the state, but it assumes each child will need the same amount of food. Food offered is typically what is available and easy to prepare in large quantities and inexpensive. At one point these kids were being fed semolina porridge exclusively. A lot of the kids were having trouble digesting it due to previous malnutrition. It also clearly isn't a balanced diet. But it is what the orphanage can afford to provide. The amount of food allocated by the state also doesn't take into account that kids with special needs might need more calories. Everyone gets what it is allotted in most places, and that is it.
Lack of human contact and interaction can also keep kids from growing. It is called psychosocial short stature or psychosocial dwarfism. It can occur in kids who are in stressful environments without loving care. Even when appropriate food IS provided, these kids can't grow because of hormone levels and stress responses.
This is an older photo when Solomon was even smaller.
Solomon has cerebral palsy. From what I have heard and what his profile says, he was born without special needs, but was very ill as a small child. The illness caused the cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Sadly I assume that means he lived with his family before he got sick, but was not able to return home afterward. Solomon needs a family who will take him home and love him even if he isn't the same child he was before that illness.
Solomon's orphanage is pro-adoption even though they are closed to charities and visitors. A few families have adopted there over the last few years. There are many available kids who could be adopted at the same time. Many of them are also older and close to aging out. Some are younger and were recently transferred from the baby house. Mario, Morris, Elijah, Jason, Jonathon, Fabio, Athens, Wylie, and Vijay are all there. There are other adoptable kids not listed on Reece's Rainbow also.
Solomon is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to assist with adoption expenses. You can view his profile HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.