Sunday, August 21, 2011

There are good orphanages

Not all orphanages are bad. In many, many orphanages, children are loved and taken care of. They are allowed to grow their hair out. They have relationships with each other and their caregivers. They have their diapers changed and they are certainly well fed, even if the diet is not always diverse. Please don't think all children in Eastern European orphanages have to live in poor conditions. Some do. Processes are in place to report and correct poor conditions when they are discovered, and hopefully this will help end them.

This is Heaven. She probably lives in a "good orphanage."

Heaven probably plays with toys. She is probably held sometimes. She probably is changed several times a day. She is certainly fed.

But she still doesn't have a family. Heaven doesn't know what "mommy" or "daddy" really means. She doesn't know what it's like to have a family. She doesn't know what it's like to be held whenever she's scared, to have her needs met when she cries out, or to make choices about her day. She doesn't know what it's like to have someone she can rely on every day to meet her needs, without vacations or employment changes--and even if she does, all that will be torn away when she's transferred. She was born the same year as my son, so she's one or two. A good orphanage is so much better than a bad orphanage... but it's still an orphanage, and Heaven needs a home.

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