As I looked through pictures taken by other families who had traveled there I knew the descriptions were not an exaggeration. I noticed not only did the building itself look grim (almost no toys, "cribs" looked more like cages, paint was fading and chipping off the walls) the children themselves looked truly pathetic. In pictures at other orphanages kids are often seen playing on the floor with other children and caretakers. In the pictures of Jonah's orphanage kids are just sitting in their metal cribs. There are pictures taken by a number of different families who all traveled at different times, but in all the different pictures kids are just sitting in their cribs. Most of the children appear to have vacant expressions, just staring mindlessly into space as the day passes by. Many also appear physically unwell - they have sores on their face, redness around their eyes, runny noses, etc.
There are a number of smaller "group home" care centers where children receive medical care, therapies, lots of stimulation, and even love and affection by the caretakers. In some orphanages younger children even attend preschool classes. There are plenty of toys and clothes and enough food for all the children. Unfortunately Jonah's orphanage is most definitely NOT one of these places. No orphanage, no matter how good, can replace the love and care of a family, but the worse the environment the more damage that is done to the children.
Given the substandard conditions at Jonah's orphanage it is all that much more important we get to him without delay. We are now awaiting our travel approval, which could come at any time, and once it comes the only thing holding up travel is a lack of funding. Please consider praying for our Jonah and for us to have the funds for travel as soon as we get our TA, share our tax-deductible fundraising site on Reece's Rainbow, and if you are able please consider donating to help get our precious child out of a miserable orphanage and into the arms of his family.
Here is the link to our tax-deductible fundraising site on Reece's Rainbow, an amazing organization which advocated for Jonah long before we ever committed to adopt him. (He is known as Breck on RR.)
|This is how Jonah spends his days. He is in the center of the picture wearing a yellow shirt and red pants.|
|Another picture from a different day. So so bored...|
|Jonah isn't in this picture, but it shows another day in his room.|
|...and yet another day of kids just sitting bored in their cribs.|
|No child should have to grow up like this.|
|Jonah, in desperate need of a bath and decent skin care. Some boy clothing would be nice as well!|