I had someone ask about where my boys are from. And this is what I sent her:
Hi! Yes, both of my boys were Lost Boys. The term was coined from a mother, because her son was the first boy to come out of this orphanage. It is blogged about here and you can read about my Boden there as well. His name was Heath on RR. It was a level 4 mental institution in a very small, rural village. Boden spent 8 years of his life there….he was sent there when he was 4. The whole time he was there, he shared a wheelchair with another boy, and had absolutely no stimulation or education at all. When we met him, just coming into the office where we were so completely overwhelmed him. He was constantly yelling and making noises, his hands were constantly squeezing and pinching. He terrified me. He couldn’t even make eye contact or look at anything. He didn’t take notice of anything….not even bubbles. So much so that I thought he had vision problems.
No toys. No playing. nothing. They sat in the metal sheds with the doorway blocked by benches, or they sat off to the side of sidewalks, waiting for the next time to eat.
It’s not that the director or nannies were mean. Quite the opposite actually. You could tell that most of the staff genuinely cared for the boys there. The director was a sweet Christian woman. But they are underfunded, and overworked. There would be two nannies in charge of about 30 boys. Most of whom needed diapers, needed to be spoon fed, and would hit themselves or others. So toys were dangerous. Toys got dirty, and there wasn’t time to keep up with them.
Boys that could walk away were drugged. I am thankful that Boden wasn’t. But I think they were all drugged at bedtime.
They were only allowed one or two diapers a day. So they sat on buckets for hours at a time. They were dehydrated purposefully.
I am not mad at the nannies. Boden looked like a holocaust picture when I bathed him on the night of Gotcha Day. Even though they had three meals and two snacks, the group of about thirty boys would finish lunch very quickly. And most of them had to be spoon fed, so they probably didn’t get very much. Although I must say I was impressed, that the kitchen staff worked very hard, cooking from scratch all day for the boys. This situation isn’t unique to their institution. They caregivers are doing the best they can with what they have…or lack thereof.
I saw some boys raking leaves, carrying the potty buckets, pushing wheelchairs, etc. It gave them jobs…it gave them purpose. There was so much that we didn’t see. There are laying down rooms that no one is supposed to know about. IDk how many kids have died in there. Alone and forgotten.
This orphanage was pretty much closed. It’s not that the director is a harsh woman and doesn’t want good things for the boys. She is scared, because she does care for the boys. There is fear in letting people in, fear of the unknown. Especially when it is your job to protect kids who can’t protect themselves. Every once in a while she opens up and lets one couple that we know come in and minister to the boys. Then, only the most “normal” are allowed to listen to music, open presents (only to have them taken away) and hear about Jesus.
That’s what we know about the orphanage. But when we were there, it seemed pleasant enough, strange to say, I know. They are doing the best they can with no special training, no dr., and no money. There was mischief from some of the boys….one that would break away from the group to snatch walnuts off the ground (sometimes eating the shell, too!), we saw a boy hide a kitten under his coat and smuggle it inside (we saw it make an escape later). One boy that I affectionately refer to as my friend with Down Syndrome always wore a sport coat. He blew me kisses, and showed me the work he was doing and the apple he had, and the cut on his finger. He would always wave and blow me a kiss.
One boy would always grab me and mumble loudly, IDK what….But more than once a nanny had to get him off me and tell him “She’s not your mama!” It both scared me and broke my heart. You wouldn’t believe the cheers and smiles and excitement from the boys when they were paraded from their sitting places into the dining room. They loved seeing us. We caused a stir with our presence, and I am sure it made the nannies’ jobs harder, but oh the joy from the boys! Lots of smiles, waving, and excited jumping….
That’s our Lost Boys’ home.
This is why it is important to care for the orphans. If you can’t adopt, give. Donate to missions. Donate to families like us who are working to bring our kids home. If you can’t donate, advocate. Yell for these kids, share fundraisers, spread the word.
Here is where you can give a tax deductible donation to our adoption to bring home our Lost Boy.