Thursday, May 30, 2013

Babes Who Were Abandoned

After an hour of meandering through courtyards, parks, and small lanes, I finally found the hospital where "the abandoned babies" were.

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.
Babies.
(Toddlers)

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:



I'm going to talk straight about what's happening.

That button puts the money straight (straight!) into my own personal bank account. From there, I'll withdraw it as cash at the ATM and it will be used, directly, to buy what they need. There's no organization to go through, here -- no "Abandoned Babies At the End of The Hallway" fund. You'll just have to trust me on this one, that I'm an honest person, and that your dollars will go straight to helping out these babies.

If, by any chance, you do want to support or encourage me financially in my time here (it would probably go towards getting the shoes I need to wear at the hospital, bus fare, sunscreen, stamps, and a bar of dark chocolate), you can still send the cash via that button, just add a note (they'll give you the option for that) and specify that, "Hey -- $5 of that is for you to enjoy! Go get yourself some carrots!" Otherwise, it's all going to them, which is just swell!

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This is what I wrote as my status update on Facebook, today, on June 10:

Folks have been asking about the babies who have been abandoned I've been loving on here in Ukraine. I can now speak from experience, with them, and what I've witnessed and seen and learned. The babies aren't necessarily orphans. Their existence is a crib and they don't really get any love or attention except for when their diapers are changed. They don't even get picked up for feedings -- the bottles are propped up by a blanket. Their bottoms, oh goodness, they are completely raw with diaper rash! A lot of them sound very sick when you listen to them breath.

I go in a few times a week for a few hours and I cuddle them, sing to them, dance with them, play with them, and love on 'em as much as possible.

There is a huge huge need for diapers and medicine (at the hospital!). I have a list I was given of the medicines that they need. I said I would go ahead and buy them. I've already bought and brought some diapers with the money some people donated the hospital ladies were excited about that.

Yo! Folks of America! Canada! Switzerland! Alaska! Does this tug on anyone's heartstrings? If this speaks to you at all and you feel like helping out, your dollars would much be appreciated. The dollars will go straight into my bank account but, from there, I will personally use them to go buy the things the babies need but the hospital can't provide (diapers, medicine).

I'm sorry I'm using Paypal, I know it isn't perfect... but it's easy! I'll use every gathered dollar for the kids.

There are a few blog posts on them already which I will attach.

This system is broken, folks. In Ukraine, someone like a doctor might only make $150 a month. They're making nothing (the girls I know who work 14 hour days make less in a day then what I make in an hour in Alaska). You would think this would be compensated for with cheaper prices but, the thing is, they aren't much cheaper. The cost of living is not significantly lower than the states. I know that your dollars aren't "fixing" the broken system -- but they are making some beautiful children a lot more comfortable and getting a little, little bit more healthier.

If you can't give but still want to help, pass on this link. The need is real.

8 comments:

  1. you are quickly winning the 2013 Human of the Year Award

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  2. Do you know Peter and Sharon McCracken? They just adopted a baby with Down syndrome from Ukraine. You might enjoy reading through their blog at http://mccrackensroundup.blogspot.com/ (not updated recently, but I know they got the baby home!). Blessings to you for the good work you are doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I've already spent about 30 minutes, now, at that blog. Baby Leeza is so sweet. THank you for passing along the blog. I don't think I know the McCrackens (maybe I've danced with them) but am enjoying reading about their journey.

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      Delete
  3. A tough job...so sad for these little one's. :( I pray God's love will flow through you to each little one.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's exactly, exactly what I need. I was praying that yesterday because, goodness, on my own I couldn't do this.

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  4. Uh! My heart breaks! How long will you be there? Do I have time to send a care package with books/toys/clothes etc? As our own battle to have children drags on, I've been supersensitive over stories like this. I wish the adoption process wasn't so dammed ridiculous so these beauties could have a home. Praying for your time there. -Mags

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    Replies
    1. Maggie,

      Goodness, thank you! I'll be here for a few months more but, really, what they need more than anything is cash for diapers and medicine. They have toys and clothes so far (and those are reusable and washable) but the diapers and medicine supply is low. I'll still check with Tanya to ask if there's any other needs, but those are the ones I was told are definitely there.

      Thank you for your prayers, they're really (really) appreciated,

      Magi

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Your words make me grin.

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