Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Little Boy's Birthday

Yesterday a small boy's birthday came and went.  He turned five years old.  He did not know it was his birthday.  It was a day like any other for him.  Laying in a crib.  Hungry.  Alone.  Waiting.  Meet Edwin:

Boy, Born July 11, 2006
Edwin is a handsome little boy with dark hair and dark eyes.   He was born with Goldenhar Syndrome. This is a very rare condition, and is accompanied by several additional medical complications for Edwin.    His medical records indicate:  congenital nervous system malformation – internal obstructive hydrocephalus, subcompensated form, rickets, mental delay, right micropsia, acoustic meatus atresia – Goldenhar syndrome, delay of physical development.  This little boy needs SURGERY to relieve his hydrocephaly and a family who will love him and save him from certain death in a mental institution.  
***Due to the severity of Edwin's needs, families interested in adopting this child in particular must be HOMESTUDY APPROVED before an official match or commitment can be made.***

$1105.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

This little boy was transferred to the same institution as my darling Gideon.  There are dozens and dozens of children in that institution, yet only two are listed as being available for international adoption:  Gideon and sweet Edwin.  He has hydrocephalus, and from what I have heard, he does have a shunt in place.  He suffers from rickets, which is caused by severe Vitamin D deficiency.  Which makes sense, considering that he never goes outside.  He is also diagnosed with quite a list of other special needs.  Some of these may be fairly minor, and some could be significant.  There is really no further information available, and so no way to know how these issues affect him, and what his potential may be.  This photo is pretty outdated now.  I have heard that he is painfully thin, and painfully neglected.  

In a few short months, Derek and I will be in the same building as Edwin.  We will be so close.  But the chances that we will actually see him are virtually non-existent.  You see, Edwin has been relegated to a laying-down room.  Yep, that's just about what it sounds like.  A room for the kids that they've already given up on.  They lay in cribs, all day, every day.  And visitors are rarely even allowed inside the institution, but NEVER into the laying-down rooms.  

Can you imagine what this boy's life is like?  I wonder where he finds the strength to hold on?  To keep waiting?  And then I remember:  "I lift up my eyes to the hills.  Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."  Psalm 121:1-2    The Lord loves little Edwin so very much.  

So yesterday Edwin's birthday came and went.  For him, this could mean good news and bad news.  The bad news?  He's a year older, and people are less likely to take on the risk of an older child.  

But now for the good news:  Yesterday, Edwin officially became available for international adoption.  Until he turned five, he actually did not meet the criteria to be adopted by anyone except a family from his own country.  This is a fairly new policy in his country.  Until recently, children were considered adoptable if they had any special need, (although in the case of certain special needs the child would have to be available only to families from his own country for their first year.)  But recently the rules have changed.  Now there is a list.  A very short list.  If a child's special need is on the list, then they are available for international adoption.  Down Syndrome is on the list.  Limb differences are on the list.  But so many needs are not.  Hydrocephalus is not.  Cerebral palsy is not.  FAS is not.  HIV+ is not.  So for those children whose needs are not on the list, they are not available until they turn five years old.  Hence the good news for Edwin:  today he is officially free to be adopted.  

Things are undergoing major changes currently in Gideon's country, as far as adoption goes.  The list may be expanded.  There has been mention, again and again, that more special needs will be added to the list.  Please pray for more special needs to be added to the list!  We will not be personally affected by the new list, because our Gideon will turn five years old next month and will then be available for adoption.  But there are so many children who had been available and now are not.  Children with cerebral palsy, and hydrocephalus, and HIV.  Children with rare and unusual conditions and syndromes.  Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  So many children.  Some of them already had families working to bring them home when this new list was published.  Those families are now stuck in limbo.  If the list is not expanded, they may have to wait YEARS until their chosen child turns five.  YEARS!  Please, church, PRAY!  There are children's lives hanging in the balance!  Pray that the government of this country will add all of these special needs to the list, or come up with some sort of case-by-case review system to allow children with very rare special needs to still be adoptable.  

Pray for the Lord to work mightily in calling forth a family prepared to love Edwin and able to provide him with the medical care he so urgently needs.  Edwin is a living, breathing little boy.  He was seen about a year ago, before his transfer, and he seemed to be very strong despite his conditions, crawling around his crib and trying to amuse himself.  He needs somebody to scoop him up and hug him and give him the life he longs for.  A life outside of a crib.  Outside of the laying-down room.  Outside of the institution.  Please consider sharing Edwin's story on Facebook or on your own blog.  Please consider giving to his grant fund.  A larger grant could REALLY help a family to make that leap of faith!  

Yes, Edwin has a long list of diagnoses.  Yes, it's intimidating.  His potential is unknown.  His needs are unknown.  His mommy and daddy will have to take a leap of faith in committing to this little one, trusting the Lord to guide them in wisdom.  But one thing is for sure:  Edwin is created in the Lord's image, cherished by Jesus, and God will mightily bless the family brave enough to commit to him.  

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
   for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
   for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
   for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
   for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
   for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
   for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
                             ~Matthew 5:3-12

 Happy Birthday, adorable little Edwin!  It may not seem like there is much to celebrate this year, but maybe next year you will have a family to call your own.  Wouldn't that be the best gift ever?  We do not celebrate your circumstances, Edwin, but we celebrate YOU!  You are a miracle!  


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful angel. I pray his family will come for him soon.


Anonymous said...

There is a newer photo of Edwin here: http://www.ukrainianorphans.com/blog.html