Saturday, July 13, 2013

Little Boy Gone

This morning I am driving my son to the airport.

We will spend the two hours in the car talking and laughing and sharing.

I will cherish our time together.  Mom and Son. 

Last night he walked into the office and I was sitting there weeping.

My Hanson.

I haven't advocated much in the last few months.  I've been exhausted and our schedule has been crazy and Aaron's surgeries really took their toll.  I've also been saddened deeply by a lot of muck happening in the adoption world.  Muck that makes advocating hard.  Yelling for the kids hard.  Raising money hard.  
But in the midst of our schedule and Aaron's surgeries and the muck happening... three new boys were listed from Aaron's institute.
They were listed at least six weeks ago.
I wanted to yell about them.  I wanted to share.  I wanted to show you their faces.
But I was afraid that in light of everything, I wouldn't do it right and they would go lost.  Unnoticed.
But they NEEDED someone to notice them so yesterday... yesterday..... I posted about them.
If anyone had been paying attention they would have noticed that when I listed the Lost Boys at Aaron's institute - I only included FOUR pictures.
These four boys.

      Pearson                                                           Dagmar
      $5,206.00                                                        $5,197.00
 30520132428  30520133548
                                                    Grady                                               Porter 
                                                 $5,197.00                                           $7,600.00
30520133224  Porter 2013
I left one off.
I struggled.  I prayed.  I considered.   I chose to leave him off.
Not because I didn't love him because I loved him dearly.
I left him off because I didn't know if he was alive.
I was afraid he had died.  I was almost certain he had died.

In my deepest heart I knew he was with Jesus.
So I cut him from the list of Lost Boys. 

I wrote my blogpost yesterday and wondered.... wondered... would anyone notice that Hanson was not there.
He was the boy that was easy to miss.  The crib boy.  The one picture little guy who barely had anyone inquire about him.
No one noticed.  In fact... if I want to be completely and totally honest here - No one even really commented on my blogpost yesterday.  I had a few likes on FB.  I had ONE NICE comment.  I had one comment that I deleted. 
That was it.
Three NEW Lost Boys listed and One Lost Boy missing and barely a blip on the radar. 


Then yesterday afternoon I received a private message.  My worst fear had come true.  Hanson had died. 
He died.
Alone.  Most likely stiff in his crib.  I can see them carrying him out - a caretaker on each end - lugging his body up the walk.  Another dead child.  Two in the last year.  Hanson and Sasha. 

I wept.

Ben just stood and looked at me weeping for a child across the ocean.

Hanson was in our Mulligan Stew for two years.

Over and over and over again I shared about him and begged for a family.

No one ever even came close to inquiring about him.

He was the unnoticed boy in the crib across the way.

That is how he died too.

I want to bang my head against the wall and weep and wail.

I have no words.

Five Lost Boys are now Four.

I will drive my son to the airport today.

He's crossing the ocean to a country where I left my heart.

I will cry when I hug him goodbye.

I will walk to my car and drive away and have myself a good hard weeping fest.

My tears will be a mixture of goodbyes and sorrows.

My son will cross the ocean today.

A little boy died across that same ocean.

He deserved much more than he was given.

Four boys remain.

They deserve so much more then they have been given too.

Porter.  Pearson.  Grady.  Dagmar.

Four Lost Boys. 

I cannot let outside influences keep me from being their voice. 

I cannot worry that my words will be lost in the drama.

If we do not yell for them.  Who will?  Who will?

Hanson deserved so much more.

So do they.

To all of you who lovingly gave to his grant account - to you who prayed - to you who shared and cared about him - to you who are shedding tears along with me over him - THANK YOU.  Thank you for loving him.  Thank you for grieving.  Thank you for rejoicing that he is now safe, free and forever in the presence of the Father to the Fatherless.

Hanson's baby picture - discovered just this week!

Hanson's money was split between the three new Lost Boys. 

Please keep yelling with me. 

We can't save them all.  And sometimes we lose some.  And sometimes we get sidetracked by the world.  But we can make a difference.  I've seen that difference.  I've held in my arms that difference.  I've hugged families who crossed the ocean because we were working hard to make a difference.

Please let us not be sidetracked. 

"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

We cannot give up.


We cannot give up.

There are Lost Boys and Lost Girls across the ocean who need to be found.




  1. Weeping and praying with you.

  2. I've been "sidetracked" for quite some time. Since R closed my heart has been building a big wall. afraid to get to "close" again. Thanks for this post Julia. It's really time for me to fight for the ones I can still reach. Prayers for your heart today!!

  3. Ohhhhh Hanson.
    I am weeping too :-(

  4. I'm sorry I didn't comment- I read your post and I prayed and I went over their faces again and again. Please know that that you do is not in vain. And sweet Hanson.. I am weeping along with you. Thank you for your dedication and for how much you care. It is not unnoticed.

  5. RIP Sweet Hanson. Maybe he'll be the one who wakes us all up again and gets us shouting even louder than ever before. Maybe he'll be the one who opens up new eyes and ears and sets the wheels in motion for more adoptions. More advocates. More shouting. I've done my best to keep away from the mudslinging ad politics - RR is about the KIDS, about getting them home and not leaving them to rot ignored in cribs. Rise up, Hanson's army !!!

  6. I hadn't checked on Hansen in a long time. I'm so sad that he has also died. I wanted to adopt him and Sasha as well, but I am not able to adopt right now. It's so sad to see these boys dying over there. At least Sasha had a family coming for him. Hansen didn't. :( I am thankful we have a caring and merciful God who loves these boys and is holding them in His arms.

  7. Oh :( Now I know where the extra money came from... I was so happy thinking people were seeing the boys right away. Poor Hanson. Cute little angel.

  8. What precious boys! Rejoicing to see three more treasures listed. Heartbroken about Hanson. So much heartbreak. But it is not too late for Pearson, Dagmar, Grady, and Porter. Praying for families. Please never stop advocating, Julia!

  9. All I can say is my heart is breaking and you, you have made a huge difference for so so many. You are an angel here on earth. God Bless you and your sweet family.

  10. Oh, Julia-

    It's true, I didn't realize Hanson wasn't among the other boys. I recognized his photo of course. And now see his baby picture showed he could sit up; once upon a time. I am so glad you have taken such a close interest in the lost children- you know where they live, how many of them are doing, and know when they go missing. Like probably many of your readers, I have come to rely on you to keep me informed on the children who need help. And am constantly thinking about how we can make adoption work again for our own family- have had my eye on a girl for awhile on the RR list- and if not, will support others with our little donations and prayers. Thank you for making us aware about Hanson.

    This passage makes me think of you:

    What is the price of two sparrows--one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

  11. I read yesterday's post, and was so glad there were more Lost Boys listed--but I did not realize the significance of that. Maybe you don't realize how many readers you have who are a little more new to this whole orphan advocacy thing--I feel like I have only been reading your blog for a year or so, and have loved every single minute of it. Your heart, your passion, you getting the word out about needs. I have LOVED participating in the last two Mulligan Stews--wait--that is when I first found your blog, at the MS time before last--and advocating for it on my blog. But I think I still don't *get* the full significance of the things like a Lost Boy being listed, unless you spell it out for me. And please remember too that it is summer and a lot of people probably did not even read that post yet because they are not at their computers--not because they don't care. I just don't want you to be discouraged--you just keep yelling, and that is what you are called to do--not make people listen. We will listen when the Holy Spirit moves us! And sometimes we are slow to listen too. So please keep the faith and keep on keeping on.

    The most special thing happened this last Mulligan Stew--my children's homeschool liaison reads my little blog and so she asked me if I would choose some children from the MS kids/families for her to give to, because she really wanted to but felt like she did not have the time to read through everything and figure out which families were most in need, etc. That was better than Christmas for me! So I divided up the money she gave me and each of my kids got to read through and chose who to give to. My third daughter gave to Hanson. So did I. We cannot adopt (as in no one would approve a homestudy because there are 6 of us in a 560 sq ft home!) at this time, but I did not understand why no one was going for Hansen--he was so good looking! I mean, this is cynical, but don't the attractive kids usually get picked first? And his baby photo--break my heart!!! How could he have ended up a Lost Boy in the first place?! What a little dish! So clearly he was not overlooked because of lack of publicity, and not because he was not adorable--honestly, this might be one of those times when God chose to take him straight home to Him. How can we say we wish he were not in heaven now? But I do feel your pain that any child would live and die alone, unloved by a person they could see or feel. In these cases I pray that God made His love tangible to the child in some supernatural way, trusting that HE was there when the child died, that HE provided all the comfort the child needed.

    Julia, I'm not just saying this. What can we do sometimes but to do our best and then trust that God the one who loves most and best has these children in HIs hand, even in the midst of such gross human rejection and neglect.

    Much love to you.

  12. So sad to hear about Hanson. Such a sweet baby picture of him. Advocating for the least of these is very hard when so few have any interest. I post things all the time on Facebook about waiting children in China who need families and have a lot fewer special needs than a child like Hanson and rarely does anyone like, comment, or express interest. The only people who usually comment or express interest are those who I have met because they have already adopted a child with special needs. You have done so much for so many children by advocating and I am amazed by the money you have raised to help so many. I am so sorry no one came for Hanson before he went to be with Jesus. I don't know why but I pray God comforts you since I know Hanson had a very special place in your heart.

  13. Thank you for reminding us of Hanson & the other Lost Boys. It's heartbreaking for children to live and die in such conditions & to be so neglected & unloved.

    Lately, I've tried to better inform those who, considering themselves "adoption reformers", seem so concerned about adopted kids losing touch with their native country, language, culture & birth family that they are unaware of or discount these children often losing touch with life itself, or being left to languish in places like the institution of the Lost Boys.

    These same "reformers" frequently bash adoptive parents (domestic, international & special needs), especially large families & Evangelical or conservative Christians. There have been similar attacks against pro-adoption churches.

    All this, while children exist in conditions such as those at Hanson's institution.

    There is a great lack of general knowledge & much misinformation regarding international adoption, orphanage & institutional conditions, & needs of children with disabilities.

    I try to counter these misconceptions, but it's hard when people who are very uninformed about conditions often seem to view issues in black and white, absolute terms,& present themselves as reformers.

    Sadly, these "reformers" often seem to lose sight of the real children caught up in the system they claim they are reforming. So, while I appreciate their zeal & idealism, when neither are backed by factual information & experience, the results are not productive & can be quite damaging.

    Such attitudes frustrate me - but I try to speak the truth as I understand it. I often must hold my tongue & try to hold onto my patience, so that my reactions don't result in even more completely closed ears & hearts. A few of those ears & hearts are a little more open now (I don't mean to imply just through my own personal efforts - this is a conflict involving many people & many voices), & are a bit more receptive to learning & understanding what conditions are really like.

    Although few of these critics are likely to become special needs international adoption advocates, at least a few have inquired about ways to help children. Contact info for various effective & honest NGOs have been shared - evident common ground we all can support. It may be all that can be done to help turn unproductive criticism into people into productive help.

    But I still spend much time trying to clarify, explain, describe, answer questions, correct misconceptions & inaccurate claims. Might that time & effort be better spent in a different form of advocacy? I send various items over regularly, through Bible Orphan Ministry - it's all been put to good use. I support RR, various adoptive families & the Angel Tree. I've represented RR at Buddy Walks. I give Angel Tree ornaments at Christmas. I ask for donations to RR kids instead of presents.

    Yet - there are so many children like Hanson. His loss will spur me to pack up & send over the waiting fall clothes & small toys for orphanage birthday presents; to do what I can...

    But it's hard to learn that this little boy's earthly life ended as it did, where it did, even knowing that the angels are singing his arrival.

    I so wish he could have experienced love and joy during his brief time on earth.

    Thanks for the opportunity for everyone who cared about Hanson to share our grief. I hope his memory will help lead to another child's rescue.

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from EE

  14. I too have been in a "haze" since R closed. I honestly don't know what to do. I promised myself I would do whatever I could to get a little boy home and he had a family coming for him before the closure. I just sit here not knowing what to do. My heart was drawn to R. For now I pray for all the kids that are in my heart and I know it just isn't enough, I just don't know what to do yet.

    I wept when I read of Hanson's passing. It didn't need to be this way. And I don't know what we all can do to stop it from happening.

  15. Julia, your blog has sustained me in so many ways. I have been unable to participate in your advocacy, because I have been working to get Zabrina on the girls 5-9 RR page adopted. She was our daughter's best friend. (P.S. It's working, she has a guardian angel and potentially a mama!) In the meantime, I knew that our other daughter's sibling was potentially coming available, and sure enough, she has. With 2 FAS adoptees from 2011, DH actually said he didn't think we could swing it. I was devastated but your blog helped me find a way to support him and now he has found his answer in the Bible and we are racing to do the home study! She is 4 now, but at 3.5 she was 13 lbs, and apparently acts like a 12 mo old. So, we are entirely wrapped up in our process and our fears. Yet, I continue to check your blog nearly every night. Are those "excuses" enough to get a pass on not realizing the Hanson omission? I hope so, but is there ever a "right" way to ignore a suffering orphan? The whole problem is just 50 shades of horrid. Nothing we ever do will be enough to wipe out survivor's guilt, but we do have to squarely place the blame and responsibility where it belongs...the child's parents and country. We are trying to help, and our own USA orphans are also treated shamefully, but you have to look at what you have done and not at what remains to be done. You have performed miracles, and you may very well inspire Hanson's army. Please don't become too discouraged. I need you as we wait, once again (only this time I pray she lasts till we get there). I need you when we get back. I love spending time every day "in" the RR world and Aaron's world, even as we deal with 8 year olds who still mess their pants and adult children who think we have stepped off the path and teen sons at the exact ages of your sons who are trying to come of age as their parents follow their faith. I need you, so you can't lose it no matter how hard it gets, OK? Blessings! Sherry

  16. Julia thank you for keeping us informed about not only the lost boys but many children and families in the adoption arena. Even if you never shouted for another child, you are a living example through Aaron. Because you are one of His children, your heart has been broken and continually pricked for those that you can help by informing those of us that are waiting to serve the Lord. I am sorry you are having a rough time and we are grieving with you for Hanson. I pray that through his short, miserable life many will learn of the plight of these children! Praying for the safe return of your son and that his mission heart will be full upon his return.

  17. Please don't think that your posts are in vain - there are many who read, and who for some reason, don't always comment. But your thoughts and prayers are taken on board, and that makes more people who are thinking of and praying for these precious children. If only....if only.... we could take them all...we had more money....we could help someone to 'see' the potential in these precious boys. Please do not stop advocating - your voice is special, it is heard, and it is acknowledged, with love.

  18. Crying tears right along with you. Praying for each of these boys to be found. Keep screaming Julia! You are a blessing to these children and your words do not fall on deaf ears.

    Praying for your son also. What an amazing journey he is on! What a tribute to your awesome parenting and role modeling.

  19. Julia,

    Believe it or not, when I saw your post with the new boys I went and pulled up Hanson's profile. At one time, I checked his profile, as well as Heath's, every day. I saw he was "on hold" and my heart raced. I was afraid he had passed away, particularly since I didn't see any mention of him by Alexei's parents. I am so, so sorry. Thank you for telling us.


  20. Oh dear blogger, internet "friend," know that we are all here. Sometimes during these busy months of summer daze go by before I check in very sad at all that is here today. Know that your words are not in vain and your efforts are making a difference. How incredible that soon your oldest will share some insights first hand with you too...hang in there and keep blogging away!

  21. I will write when I get home. Andrew is heartbroken. "Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on him forever"


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!