Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Help! I have been transferred!

I see this phrase appear next to children on the Reece's Rainbow site as they turn 4, 5, or (for the very lucky ones) 6. It is usually followed by a flurry of advocating for these little ones who have been moved from their baby house to the mental institution.
What does it mean to be transferred in Eastern Europe?
For children with a disability, whether physical or mental, it means being moved from their baby house to a mental institution where they will live the rest of their lives. For children who are bedridden (cannot walk) like Emmitt and M, it means they will live the rest of their lives confined to beds or cribs. Only their most basic needs will be met--food, water, clothing.  And sometimes barely even that. They will most likely not go outside of the walls of their institution and will be extremely lucky if they can even see what sunshine and grass is through a window. They will not have education or schooling, because they are considered "uneducadable" and a burden to society. They will be cared for by overworked staff, who will likely not have the time to give them any individualized attention, care, or even the most basic of needs--affection. Some of the weaker of them will die within one year of being transferred. Those who don't will live a slow death of unmet purpose and unfulfilled needs and desires, as their bodies and spirits slowly waste away in the bed they lay in day after day.
Those who maintain a light in their eye--like Emmitt and M--are rare gems that rally even the hardened workers around them to pray for their rescue, their only hope--adoption.
Even in the best of institutions, it is traumatic for a child to be plucked from their baby home and thrust into walls that house older children and adults.
Rallying around the children who have been transferred just makes sense, and many have been rescued this way.
Rallying around those who are about to be transferred also makes sense, and many have been rescued that way.
Rallying around the babies and youngsters who will be transferred at an older age also makes sense, and many are also rescued that way.
But what about those children who have endured in this environment for years--shouldn't we be rallying even harder to get them out?
When I see Emmitt and M, I think it should say next to them: "Help!!! I have been transferred!"
They have both been transferred and we need to rally around them to get them out!
Their amazing ability to endure and maintain their spirit in the most difficult of situations should not make us lackadaisacal about rallying beside them, but should lead a call to action that ultimately brings them to their family.
Their only hope at fully developing and sharing their gifts is to be adopted
Can you even imagine what these two boys could offer to the family that adopts them? What magic and gifts they could bring?
I am truly jealous of the family who finally steps forward to bring them into their circle.

Help! These two boys have been transferred!
The time to move is now. The time to pray is now. The time to act is now.
Let's get them out.

(P.S. If you would like a description of what a mental institution can be like, leave a comment to be eligible to win The Boy from Baby House 10. I am giving away a free copy on Friday.)

1 comment:

  1. While all of us keep up with RR know about transfer it's one of those things that I will ever truly understand unless I saw it. I just hope to help keep kids from being transferred.