I have some entire vlogs to put together, but in the mean time here’s a short mashup of hosting…
Unfortunately, Vlad is no longer in our home. I can’t explain the entire drama here. Suffice it to say, the agency and I had a falling out, and we have severed ties with each other.
I’m also taking a break from Facebook, if anyone wonders where I went. The Facebook break came prior to the hosting organization drama because I was overwhelmed with notifications and it was all too much to keep up with while giving Vlad the extra attention he needed. I was planning on reactivating it after hosting ended, but I’m probably going to stay away from there for awhile just to avoid more stress in my life. (Messenger is still active though!)
This past week has me thinking: How do we get others to see what we see?
The difficult part is, if we are quiet and never speak up? Then no one will ever know. These children, who pile into institutions by the hundreds will remain forgotten. No one will hear their stories and have their hearts broken, no one will be inspired to stand alongside them and help them through their pain, telling them that they do matter and that they are worth it.
If we are polite to the point of sacrificing honesty and truth — if we mention nothing and plaster on a fake smile? No one will lay awake at night, as the reality of the orphan life hits them in the gut.
If we’re silent about the heartache and the struggles? The children will still be there, aging out of their institutions and returning to the streets to join organized crime, becoming hopeless drunks, or trapped in prostitution until they have more babies that are dropped off at the orphanage to start the endless cycle all over again, growing exponentially with each generation. In Eastern Europe especially so few of them succeed at becoming functional adults. The statistics are horrifying.
I write in this blog and share pictures in hopes that you won’t forget them, that you’ll find your own way to help make the world a better place for struggling kids. I share with you that the statistics have faces, names, hopes, dreams, and heartbreak. They are tangible children, they are as real as our own sweet babies.
These kids are the future of our world. One day we will be old and these institutionalized kids, along with our children, will be running things. Ukraine alone has over 200,000 orphans in institutions, each one with their own heartbreaking story. There are children everywhere we never see or think about, living this silent, heartbreaking orphan life–including in America.
If we say to ignore it, then no one will realize how trauma presents itself. Talking about it exposes everything to light–the struggle is real, and harsh, and parents who are brave enough to pour their souls into loving children who have been broken, who are determined enough to stand by them and help them heal, have their work cut out for them. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, nor something you sign up for because “it looks fun.”
There is a daily fight to show these children what love is and how to be part of a family. It is surely not for the faint of heart. It is the most exhausting, draining, sacrificial thing you could ever give your life to doing. But the kids? They are worth it.
We talk about racism, abortion, gay pride, and other hot topics that were once taboo issues in our societies. But we don’t speak honestly about the realities of being an orphan, or the side effects of trauma, or mental illness. Instead we whisper, we back away, we judge, we get defensive or angry, and the stigmas persist.
Our jails overflow with people who need proper mental health care, many of whom were traumatized by difficult childhoods and never got help to cope. We don’t talk about that. We don’t help them share their stories, or stand alongside them in support. We don’t help break the cycle for their children, and so the trauma and pain continues on from generation to generation.
If we’re silent, then nothing will ever change because nobody will be there to stand up for these lost children. I didn’t know much about the horrors of children orphans or the trauma they’ve been exposed to until running into others who could not be silent. But now I do know, and it’s my responsibility to pass it on as well.
Sometimes being honest is hard, because to put it bluntly Reality is a bitch. But I live here in Reality, so I’ve found that it’s best to gather up as many like minded human beings as possible and boldly march forward to meet Reality head on.
Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe I make you uncomfortable with honesty. That will have to be ok with me, even though I feel awful when I don’t please everyone. Not everyone has to like me.
No silent, well behaved person has ever made much of a difference in the world…have they?