For most kids their 14th birthday is nothing more than just another year passing. A bit of pride in getting older, some extra privileges or responsibilities earned and likely a big birthday party with lots of carefree friends.
For a child owned by the government, a child without parents, a 14th birthday means that your last shred of hope that you will have a family to call your own is crushed.
At the very young age of 14 a child "ages out" of the orphanage and foster system. The worldwide statistics for orphans aging out are staggering and the future is bleak. In a country where family ties and lineage is extremely important there is a profound stigma and a huge disadvantage attached to being labelled an "orphan"....a label that will follow him long into adulthood.
I would like to introduce to you a boy that has been on my heart, and in my prayers, a lot lately. He has just over a year until he crosses that line. He has until July 2015 for a family to commit to him, process the paperwork, and come for him. There is plenty of time to get it done...but not much time to wait.
"Ben" has waited so many years already. He has been on the wait list, processed for adoption for about 5 years now. Waiting to be chosen. Waiting for someone to say "that's my son".
He's waiting to belong to a family that will love him, help him navigate the teen years, and take pride in the young man he is becoming.
He is described as a boy with a sweet and gentle spirit. He is a responsible boy who cleans his room, likes to be helpful, and gets along well with other kids. He is bright and curious. He asks a lot of questions and listens intently to the answers. He enjoys studying and is working on learning English. He likes to play basketball. He has been in foster care for the last several years and is reportedly adored by his foster grandma and the neighbors.
When asked, he says he wants a family that will be his family forever. Like any child, he craves security and stability. Foster-care and institutions can't provide that.
His special need is a repaired bilateral cleft. That's it.
His real need is just to be loved, and to be someone's son.
He needs someone to take a chance on him.
He has already faced more rejection than any child should ever face.
Doesn't he have a sweet smile? and there's just something about his eyes.
These are two pictures of him trying out some "baby wearing". One when he was a little tyke fresh into foster care, and one is more recent. Doesn't he look like he'd make a good big brother?
There's something about his boy that just begs to be seen.
There's something about this boy that has worked it's way into my own heart and I want him to find a family.
I don't know if it's partly because nearly 14 years ago I held my own baby son in my arms...and he also had a bilateral cleft lip and palate. My son was so wanted, "defects" and all, yet I couldn't keep him.
This boy is healthy, but was unwanted....and has yet to be chosen.
I believe that all that hard stuff can be redeemed.
Is he your son?
Do you have room for a big brother in your family?
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