Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Feeling Guilty

In the interest of keeping it real, I must confess that I feel a sense of guilt right now. It's strange and I know it's not appropriate at all but I feel bad for adopting Sofia who is doing really well and is not in as bad of shape as so many other children here.

I know this is really a ridiculous thing to say but it's how I'm feeling right now. Sofia seems happy and content, she is very healthy and robust and she is not in any pain or suffering. In her groupa, there are so many that are so much worse. One little girl in particular is breaking my heart. I found out today her name is Liza (prounounced "Lee-zah") and she is probably closer to 2 or 3 years old (probably 15 lbs at the most) and has a slash across her forehead (a new injury) and a bed sore on the back of her head. She has Down syndrome and she suffers from an extreme strabismus and literally rolls around on the hard crib surface all day long and shakes her legs and arms to entertain herself. A few rare times she has made eye contact with me and has smiled as well as waved. My heart absolutely breaks for her. She is the one that most of the time is just fed her bottle without even being held. The staff just lean over the crib and hold the bottle up for her to drink. All I want to do is hold her. I'm tempted to ask them tomorrow if I can. I'm in tears just thinking about her right now.

I won't even begin to talk about the others in need in her groupa. Too many. I think I look at Liza because it would have been just as easy for me to pick her. Or precious Anna...I ache for her but I'm certain a family will come for her very soon. Liza is NOT on Reece's Rainbow and if there is anything I can do to get her on there I will. I plan on asking Marina next time we see her if we can get her basic information and get her on the website.

I know we are saving Sofia and she is just as worthy as any other child but these children are not as well off as her and I fear that that will scare people away from wanting to adopt them. Should I have found a child less fortunate to save? The circumstances of me finding Sofia that day in December were not anything that I planned. It just happened and I found myself drawn to her and to adoption for the first time in my life. Now, I see the gravity of the situation here and I am deeply affected by it.

For now, I will do my best to share these children's stories and to spread the word. It's all I can do right now. And I will try and shake the guilt I feel inside. I will focus on our task at hand and save Sofia.


  1. I feel so bad for you right now...it is rough I am sure. Just remember that God placed Sofia before you for some reason, just as he put Yana in front of me. This all to surreal stuff is what keeps me up at night and is why I can talk at hours upon end to anyone who will listen. What you are doing right now, by posting these stories and bringing this stuff forward into the light, is what is going to help them find the families they need. Try to get that info from Marina. Get it to Andrea-and the whole RR family will help to get this little angel a home. I know this saying doesn't help the feeling right now, but this is it "I may not be able to save the world, but I can save the world of a child." You are saving Sofia and now you are helping these precious angels from Sofia's groupa find thier place. God bless you and Hector!

  2. Praying for Liza, and Anna, and Igor, and all of the others who wait.

    Praying for your heart, too.


  3. It is VERY hard to see the kids. Having just returned from Serbia and Bulgaria and the orphanages there...man..it is hard! And in that trip I found our daughter. Here's the thing, God brought you to Sofia, and in getting her you're able to spread the word about the other children. Many people never see the other children. Here's a video I did from my trip.

  4. I've been following your blog for a few weeks. I gave birth to our 10th baby this January, Lily, who has DS. Is there anything we can do to help raise awareness of these children in Ukraine? I wish we had the $ to adopt. I will be praying hard for little Liza. Please post about her again? Praying for you too. God bless, Patti

  5. I understand your feelings, and would be like you and wanting to bring them all home myself :) You have done your part, and there will be someone for Liza, have faith. Your blog will spread the word.

  6. You are just a loving & compassionate human being. It's natural to look at all of these poor children & have your heart absolutely break for them. I thank God that you are there to save Sofia! If you hadn't answered God's call, who knows where that strong, beautiful girl might be in a few years? I have no doubt that by sharing this blog about your journey, you will have saved not only Sofia, but inspired someone else to save another child.

  7. Oh Jen! Please don't feel guilty! You are such a compassionate person. The Lord led you to Sofia because she was meant to be with your family. Yes, she seems to be doing well now...but imagine in 3 years how drastically her life would be without your family. I truly believe that God is using you to bring awareness of these other children and hopefully ultimately families! I think your love and compassion for them is wonderful!

  8. Hi, just wanted to thank you for letting us know about Liza, because if you didn't, I'd have no idea about her... I don't understand why staff didn't hold her while bottle feeding her?? I do hope you will be able to hold her... thank you so much for advocating for her... it could be that Sofia is meant to be yours, and our Father has a plan for you to see the others so you can let us know about them. I will pray for Liza. Please do share about Anna and others (if you are comfortable to do so). What you are doing is great, keep it up :) This reminds me of Psalms 82:3 "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy."

    p.s. I loved your photos.

  9. I felt much the same way when I saw the 'bigger picture' and ALL those children who are most likely not going to be adopted. So helpless.

  10. We will pray that they all find homes! You are doing what you can by saving Sofia and sharing the news of all these other angels.

  11. Grieve for those children. Love the ones you can while you are there. Then mobilize.

    By sharing these thoughts and images (and your story with Sofia) you are doing more for the cause than you can know right now.

    Guilt itself will pull you down. Please don't linger there. You have so many important things to do!

    Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that all people are filled with potential, and that there are many people out here who understand and believe that.

    We need to continue to give these children a voice, to highlight their potential, and to encourage others to help where they can.

    Reece's Rainbow has grown leaps and bounds because eyes are being opened daily to the lives of children in need.

    Those of us who have been to these orphanages or who spread the word (in whatever ways we can) are making a difference.

    We just have to keep doing what we can...

  12. I know just how you feel. I felt that guilt as well. My comfort came in knowing that our son was meant for us. God lead us to him and I am 100% sure of that. I wanted to take 10 kids home with me but I knew that wasn't the plan. It was so heartbreaking and I still look at the pics of the kids and pray they are well. Do as much as you can when you are there. I know certain orphanages have rules but I sat and sang to a little boy who was blind and it made me feel like I made a tiny bit of difference to him that day. You are doing your part. You are a voice of adoption now and we need as many as possible. By the way, Sophia is gorgeous! I enjoy following your journey.
    Shawnie (mom to Max from Serbia-RR)

  13. One of life's hardest lessons is that we can not save them all... but we CAN be activists for them!! We can spread the word in hopes of finding these children families. Does Liza have Down syndrome or just strabismus? I mean, really? She's in a crib without stimulation because her eyes do their own thing?? It's hard to wrap my head around!
    I'll continue spreading the word as much as I can! If I suddenly find myself coming into a fortune, that's where it is going.
    I'm going to tell everyone I know...

  14. That would be incredibly hard to see. I hope to be able to go to an orphanage someday (maybe via adoption, I can hope!) and I'm sure it would be incredibly hard to see.

    If there is ANYWAY you can get that little girl (Liza) listed on RR, that would be WONDERFUL! If there was a way my family could adopt from Ukraine (and I'm going to see if there would be a way - although, I think our family size hinders things), she would be the girl I'd want to take home. My heart longs to bring home one who has extreme needs, because I know how much just love and a family can do for a child.

  15. That must be the hardest thing to do... to see so many others in need and realize that only a small percentage will be adopted. THrough Grandma Esther, Sofia is leading you to see a world that most of us won't experience personally and bring more awareness to this human tragedy and sadness. You're already an amazing advocate for children with Ds, but now you're going another step further in helping children who are cast away and helping give them a voice for a chance at a full life. {{BIG HUGS}} Your post really makes my heart ache.

  16. Oh my... I can only imagine how painful that must be. Just know that you were meant for Sofia and she for you. God chose you for Sofia... try not to feel guilty. (But I understand how you do.) Yes, she is a robust girl, and looks so happy and content in the photos, but remember... she is only 1. Who knows where she would be two or three years down the road if you had not saved her.

    Think of it this way... you can only measure it in "negatives"; you will never know what "didn't happen" had it not been for you. (Hope that makes sense!) She is blessed, and this is her time. We just have to pray and pray that ALL these children will find their "time." You are amazing, and I know you can make a difference. Your photos are telling their story - just keep going. Keep advocating. God bless you all.

  17. Ask to hold Liza. They may say no but they may say YES!

  18. I am sure it is a natural feeling, but jen...you are doing a wonderful thing for Sofia and all we can do is pray that the same thing can happen for Liza and Anna.