Friday, April 9, 2010

We Couldn't Be There

We are not sure how much Nina understands the English language. Sometimes it seems like she has a great grasp, while other times we wonder if she understands what we are asking or saying to her.

We are still puzzled by her behaviors at times. What seems a normal situation, can send her into her own world, where she can easily be irritated or upset. This times are hard for all of us emotionally. It makes us wonder what exactly took place at the orphanage, and what her life was like.

I shared in a previous post, that the first time I walked into Nina's room, they were not expecting me and I was sure that a little girl was going to be tied down to the smaller wooden pen. I saw this same little girl being smacked across the face and her ear pulled as she was dragged to a chair because she was not fast enough. never mind that she too has Cerebral palsy and could not walk. The impatience and lack of love were heart breaking. Praise God Oksana has a family waiting to go get her!

I tried to teach a worker how to feed a little boy with Down syndrome by helping support his jaw. She said she had not time for that and shoved the food into his mouth. His eyes watering and gulping, gasping for air, maybe even aspirating with every spoonful going in his mouth. He too has a family ready to come get him.

I saw other children treated harshly and being punished. And I saw more. And what I saw will forever be in my heart, and it will remind me that these children live in dark and scary places, and that those with special needs are abused even more, because it is easier to hurt those that are weaker.

Nina's recent reaction to having her braces put on, along with other behaviors, made Andy wonder if Nina had been tied to her crib as punishment. We have found out that it is not the braces that make her cry, but rather having her lay down and getting them strapped on her, the noise of the Velcro, and having something that "restricts" her body. Once she is up and walking, this is not an issue.

A friend who is also adopting from Ukraine wrote on her blog, "We showed up unannounced one day at the orphanage. All the children were in the big wooden playpen. They were all tied to the slots of the playpen so they couldn't move. No wonder they didn't want us to come in the room."

So we asked Nina today about her life at the orphanage, not sure if she understands us, not sure if she knows how to communicate with us.

"Nina?" I asked, "Were you tied down on your crib? Did you have to lie down and they would tie you?" She looked at me, a sad expression, her little lip came out, and the tears started to come, she said softly, "yes." And she cried some more. I held her so close to me, wishing I could take that away from her, wishing that somehow she had not had to go through that. Andy asked her why they did that. "Nina naughty, Nina naughty." She responded.

We were not there to protect her for the first 3 years of her life. She has gone through so much in her short life, and there is nothing we can do about it. We will never be able to take that away. We can love, and we can pray, that is what we can do.

I think of how we almost allowed money to be an issue. I think of how I almost said Cerebral palsy was too much for me to handle. Those things are so insignificant now, so small.

My heart breaks for orphans around the world. My heart breaks for my daughter. And it aches, oh how it aches, that there were times where she was tied down to a crib, treated like an animal, starved of comfort or love. Never again, never again. Our loving arms will wrap her close, and whisper how much we care.

Today I was her mother, I felt it. I will protect my sweet girl as best I can.


You can find many waiting children with special needs on Reeces Rainbow. They all need a family, they all have suffered enough!


ErinL said...

Oh I'm sobbing. Tomorrow wouldn't be fast enough but I know you know that.

Kim said...

That breaks my heart thinking this is what is happening to my daughter right now. We are hoping to travel in September to get her and I'm so excited to get her home, but dread what I will see there.

Jodi said...

This is close to my heart, it's heartbreaking, and I feel so helpless....

Poor Nina, poor Ari,and the poor little cross eyed boy that got punished just for waving at us...

And the endless number of children that are alone and unwanted right now.

Qadoshyah said...

Oh how horrible, Ellen. I hadn't been at your blog for awhile and thought it time to check in. I've got tears in my eyes now. That's so sad. It is perfect timing for me to read this though. I am writing an article about CTR for our local DSA newsletter. I'm sending you an email to ask if I can use a quote in there ;).

Jet said...

I have been advocating for this sweet, precious little boy who’s in China for a while now. He needs an adoptive family! Jack will be three years old in november. He is in a fosterhome right now. Wouldn’t it be great if his family finds him soon? What an amazing birthday present that would be!

Recent update: Jack is two and a half years old and has such a sparkling personality. He really is the life of the party. He loves people and will let any one hold him. He is smart and his Chinese is coming along so well. He asks for anything he wants to eat and his favorite is M&M’s but he also loves Cheerios. He was born with Spina bifida and at birth his legs were already paralyzed. He had surgery at about two months for the SB and later got a Shunt for his hydrocephalus. He was recently given a wheel chair and at the end of day one he was already navigating it around the house.

He’s still on the China special needs adoption shared list. Male 11/2/2007 Postoperative meningomyelocele for more than 5 months, hydrocephalus.

Here’s some links I found the last couple of months; with pictures of “sparkling” Jack:!/photo.php?pid=4059257&id=644087423

Any help in getting him a forever family would be appreciated!!!