As we’ve begun preparing for our December trip to Ghana, the urgency of getting the children’s haven up and running has been brought back into focus this week. We know the need for having a safe, loving environment for orphans as well as children in-process for adoption in Ghana is high, but emails like this will keep you up at night….from the Ghana coordinator of Adoption Advocates International earlier this week:
This is one of those days that I so wish the Children's Haven was up and running. There is such a HUGE need Janel! We've got one kiddo in a government orphanage who desperately needs to be where she can receive love and attention. We have another kid who, without great intervention, will probably die (at the same orphanage). I'm just sick to my stomach. =-(
And in a later email:
I am counting down the days until the Children's Haven can take in children! I know your ministry will make a life-changing difference to many children. I'm already praying for the Lord to prepare a "spot" for each child that is in the most need to be there!
An email like that first one above will also send my husband into a tailspin of action. Literally. Within a matter of seconds he practically had himself a plane ticket booked to Ghana and was ready to go and save the day! :) However, it’s also not an easy thing to get these children ‘released’ from the orphanage either. You have to have a ‘working/favorable’ relationship with them, as they hold the authority over kids who are abandoned at their facility.
The NGO that we have partnered with in Ghana, The Ripley Foundation, mostly utilizes private foster care homes for children in their programs. Recently they started advocating for the special needs children residing in this government-run orphanage….if an adoptive family is found for the children they can be released into other care….like a private foster home or group foster home like our children’s haven will be. Right now, however, all the private foster homes are full and our partners are running out of options. Getting this email yesterday was like a swift kick into reality. What a reminder that we are literally dealing with the difference between LIFE and DEATH here.
Thankfully, Jake knows a lot of people who know a lot of people who are literally waiting to pounce on a situation just like this and help out. After a few quick emails, we had a family ready and willing to pay the costs for “Baby O” to be released from the orphanage and admitted into a hospital where she can receive the medical attention and evaluation that she so desperately needs. It is likely that “Baby O” has microcephaly and could have a hospital stay of several weeks. For a family to step up and cover these costs of a child they have never met, never even held in their arms is SO WOW to me! Talk about turning compassion into action….sheesh…..another great example of that! Not only that, but Jake got Ezekiel in on the mix, and Ezekiel found a great foster family for “Baby O” all set up for once she is out of the hospital. You can read more about sweet “Baby O” here, although some of the details of her story have since changed….namely, there is a good chance that a forever family has been found for her!
One of the staff members from The Ripley Foundation also decided to care for the other child in the orphanage (a 2-3 year old girl with cerebal palsy) in her own personal home until her adoption is complete. This child can be released from the orphanage because she has already been matched with a forever family who just passed Ghana court a few days ago.
There are many families who are able to meet the needs of a special needs child and commit to developing their full potential. Some families are not able, and that’s ok! I did want to advocate today for some sweeter than sweet little brothers in Ghana who are currently waiting for their forever family to be found. I can’t share their picture on here, but I can share their info:
Beautiful brothers around 2 and 4 years in Ghana are in need of a forever family! We have an opportunity for these precious ones to go to court very quickly if we have a family that is able to move forward at lightening speed with all of the paperwork and fees required. Fees will be reduced! These boys are special needs, with significant hypotonia (unknown cause). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! Please spread the word!
To see pictures of these boys, as well as many other waiting children in all of AAI’s international adoption programs, visit: http://aainews.blogspot.com/2011/09/password-protected-waiting-child-page.html in which you will receive the contact info for obtaining the password.
By the way, I hope you have been keeping up with Miss Lucy’s progress over at our friend’s blog: Step Up Sister! Another great example of a sweet child with great needs that can develop and even thrive in a family filled with love, encouragement, and individualized help. Lucy’s story is one that will take your breath away!