In the last several weeks, there have been 3 deaths in Wichita that have just devastated me. They were all children - all under the age of 19 months.
The boyfriends of the mom in two of the cases (men who are NOT the childrens' father) are accused of MURDERING them...abusing them, hurting them, and ultimately killing them. Both moms are 20 and have multiple children by different men. They left their precious charges in the "care" of monsters. One of the kids (19 months) was abused so severely that the medical team said they'd never seen anything like it. His fingernails were pulled out, his leg was broken and was deformed, he had sores in his mouth from being stabbed with a fork, his collar bone was broken -- there was not an inch on his body that hadn't been severely injured.
To make all of this worse, in both of these cases, neighbors and/or family members had reported to the authorities suspicion of abuse. In both cases, the authorities decided that no further action was required and the report didn't suggest abuse. Now, both kids are dead. The third case is still under investigation - the child was a newborn.
On one hand, I'm almost glad the children are safe and secure in our Father's arms...they can't be hurt anymore. But, seriously, why did this have to happen???
I have a good friend here in Wichita who is working feverishly to adopt two children from Eastern Europe. These two boys (Alec and Zhenya) are about to be transferred to a mental institution, and if Stephanie can't raise the money and finish the paperwork by then, it will be too late. These precious boys will spend the rest of their (short) lives strapped to a bed, with no stimulation or opportunities for learning or physical contact.
They deserve so much better than that!! See, the reason they'll be transferred from the orphanage to the institution is because they have Down's Syndrome. Most of them have living parents, but these parents chose not to keep them because of their disability. Stephanie loves these children so much! Her youngest son has DS, and it's given her a love and a heart for these kids. I'm amazed daily at her passion and strength! These two boys in Eastern Europe need her and her family! Here's another tidbit about Steph. She has 9 children of her own...yet, she still is willing to open up her heart and her home to bring these boys HOME. Amazing!!
Steph has a blog where she writes about their adoption journey. One of my favorite posts is this one where she writes about another family's adoption journey and the impact it had on her. And I can't find the link right now, but she has a friend who just came home from starting the process in Europe to adopt some children, and her report of the conditions was horrific. The children (4 and younger probably) were inside a large playpen where they were TIED to the walls, so they couldn't move. These kids who are 3 or 4 weigh 20-25 pounds, they can not walk, they can not speak, some of them can not even sit up. They need our help and love and rescue!
As you can imagine, an endeavor like this is very very costly, and it's also time sensitive (the boys will be transferred this summer, at the latest). Steph is hosting a giveaway for a quilt that she made if you donate to their adoption fund. You can donate on her blog here.
If you can spare a few dollars, please consider helping her out. I love that I can be a part of the amazing thing that her family is doing by adopting these kids -- just by giving and praying and supporting her. I'm so excited to get to know these boys and watch them interact with their brothers and sisters and learn about our God. I don't know if adoption will ever be what God has in mind for our family, but I'm absolutely sure that God wants me to support Steph in her journey to adoption. Can you help, too??