Just going to quickly throw this out there - I'm not a fan of that phrase. Just like we (I) don't say "disabled people" (I generally say "people living with developmental disabilities") - these are children who were abandoned. There will be so much more to them in this life then their abandonment. It may form their life and play a huge roll in it, but it's not who they are.
Enough about that.
I'm going to try and tell this as straight-up as I can. It's easy to sensationalize things -- but I'm trying my best to keep this as real and legit as possible.
I met up with Laura outside the hospital and she took me upstairs to the babydepartment of the hospital. There were pictures of breasts and babies sucking on them everywhere. I approved. She took me into a small room where I was handed a damp scrubs-shirt from a pile (things don't always dry here) and some slippers, since I didn't have my own designated-hospital-slippers yet.
Down the hall you could already hear the yelps of active children. She opened the door and there, in four cribs, were four babies/toddlers.
Loving on them is going to be part of my regular life during my time spent living in Ukraine.
I'm not going to go far into what we did - we did what you do with kids. We hugged them, read to them, played with them, cuddled them when they cried.
We did the sort of things kids need.
The thing is, for these kids, this is not the norm.
This is what happens when people from the church come in to visit them.
The state can pay for the babes to be fed and... and.. that's just about it, honestly. The first time I went the hospital, the women from the Nehemiah Center I was going with got a call from them asking her to bring some more diapers.
When I asked, "Is there a need for diapers?" I was told that not only was there not enough money for diapers for the babes, but for medicine as well. I'm going to see what I can do about that... still looking into a good way to fundraise some of the money but not through a system that will take away a bunch of the money in fees.
Anyways, as I was saying, the state can pay for their basic needs - but these kids don't get the "luxury" of being loved, cared for, played with, or stimulated.
Their current lives are spent in these cribs and... that's it.
So we pulled them out so they could run around.
They cried and cried when we put them back to leave.
I don't have much to say at this point. But, if you have a kid, try to imagine them spending weeks and weeks at a time inside a crib. Imagine that being their world. I don't know...
I've been praying a lot.
And I feel driven to love all the more.
Want to help?
Currently, the best way you can help is with your dollars. I'm still checking on what needs we have, but from talking to the woman who set me up with the hospital, they are short on diapers and medicine. Clothes and toys can be washed and reused, but there's no way to reuse a bottle of medicine.
So -- I have this button: