Friday, July 3, 2015

About A Lost Boy

I made promises when we left John's orphanage.  Promises that I would do whatever I could to find families for the five children we left behind.  I've fallen short on those promises as we have spent the last weeks treading in deep water and trying to keep from drowning.  Thankfully the Lord isn't dependent upon me to stir in hearts because two of the five children have families in pursuit.  Wetherby and Reilly will soon be tucked into forever families. 
That leaves three.  CharlieRebecca. Toby
This post is about one.
I cannot write this post without tears streaming down my face.
We met Toby the same day we met John.
His first question to our facilitator... will they adopt me too???
Break my heart!
We couldn't adopt him, but we welcomed him every single time he was allowed to come visit with John. 
We listened as he begged our facilitator for a family.
Please. Please find me a family.

He has Celiac Disease. He can't eat gluten. 
 Celiac disease.  That's his entire special need.

That's not to say that he doesn't have some orphanage behavior. I don't know of any child coming out of those kinds of places who doesn't carry scars from life inside.  Toby is a rocker.  A flapper.  These are called stimming behaviors.  He rocks back and forth when he is sitting or standing.  He flaps his hands and fingers around. They make him look like he is autistic but neither Rob and I believe that he is truly autistic.  What he is is bored and lonely and desperate for a Mama to gather him in her arms and hold him tight.  He stims to comfort himself. He stims because he has no one to soothe his fears and speak kind words to him.  He stims because it his body's way of giving him sensory input. Both John and Aaron stim.  They are both rockers.  John only rocks at night when he is falling asleep.  Aaron rocks both at night and occasionally during the day - usually when he is bored or watching something that has all of his attention.

John was a favorite.  Toby is not.  John's disabilities kept him from being overly physically active.  Toby is all boy contained in a small area filled with other children who are physically and mentally disabled.  He's frustrated and lonely.  He is filled with energy that can't ever be released.  All of his friends have been adopted.  He's been left behind. 

Though he is all boy - he can focus. In fact he tended to be more focused than John at times. 

He loves building and creating and drawing.  He knows his math facts and does well in school. 
He wants a family so badly that when he was around us he would only let us speak English so that he could practice. He was told that if he learned English a family would want him.  So he is desperate, desperate to learn English. 
He's all-boy but he totally knows how to be gentle.  He is surrounded by children who struggle to walk, who need help dressing, who are smaller and vulnerable.  He was so tender towards Aaron. It was almost second nature for him to help him out and to play in a way that wouldn't harm him.  Those are amazing qualities! 
Oh Please won't you SEE Toby.  See him!

I write this with tears streaming.  In the first days when we met Toby he was so happy each time he was allowed to be with us.  Unfortunately, though we granted him permission to come, the nannies would often refuse his request and we had to leave him behind in his groupa.  He would cry and beg and plead and cry some more.  We would leave him behind with broken hearts as we listened to his weeping and pleading. It broke our hearts.
We loved when he was allowed to be with us. He was always polite and well-mannered and quick to do whatever it is we were doing. He was a pleasure to have around.
After court, I left for home and Rob stayed and visited each day with John and often with Toby.  When I left, Toby hugged me goodbye. I held him and kissed his head. I told him I would be back in a few weeks.  He understood.  He knew the routine. 
Two weeks later I came back.  My coming meant that John was leaving.  My coming meant that Toby was going to lose his best friend.  My coming meant that he was going to be left behind.
I will never ever forget Toby's eyes the day I walked back into his groupa. I expected a smile and a hug. I received neither. He instead gave me a hollow, blank look.  A stare that spoke volumes.  Grief leaked from his eyes into mine.  He was sitting on the floor in front of the small snow-filled TV staring up and me.  I wanted to gather him in my arms.  Apologize.  Whisper comfort.  Make promises to this Lost Boy that someone out there would surely find him.
I couldn't do any of that. We just stared at each other. Grief flowing between us. 
Saying goodbye to him was like tearing a bit of my heart out. I brought him gifts.  Two Lego sets.  I gave both of them to him but sadly the nannies took one away and gave it to another boy.  I took it back.  Made it clear that it was for Toby. His.  His alone. I doubt he was allowed to keep it.
It was all I had to offer this sweet boy who wants a family more than he wants anything else in the world.

 Please see him!!  Please see Toby!

At the end of August, from what we have been told our Fabulous Five will be moved out of this orphanage.  The facility is getting a name change. It will become a rehabilitation center.  NOTHING ABOUT THE PLACE WILL CHANGE EXCEPT THE NAME but because of the name change the five true orphans are being transferred.  From what we understand, where they will be going is NOTHING like this place.  NOTHING.
We doubt that Toby will be transferred to the same place as the others since he is not physically/mentally disabled.  Please read what another RR mom wrote when she found out Toby will be transferred:
"I don't know where he will go, but I have personally visited two of the institutions that are likely candidates. I can tell you that Toby's shy and gentle spirit will be completely crushed by the harsh and competitive atmospheres at both of those other institutions. The orphanage where Toby lives is a kind and nurturing place, and the other two institutions in this same city are completely opposite."

Rob and I visited one of those institutions and we agree.  It is an awful fit for him. 
Toby needs a family. He desperately needs a family.

Please pray. Please consider.
If you can't adopt him, please give to his grant account so that money is NOT a stumbling block for a family.
See him. He is truly a hidden treasure!
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Who will sell everything to find this Lost Boy??


  1. I love your blog and this is the first post tbat is moving me to share with my friends: heck id adopt this boy but we have a 4 and 2 year old and id want him to have my undivided attention . i pray he finds his mommy and daddy soon and until then he can keep the faith they will find him. I have several friends who are older but want to adopt newborns; all i can say is: having a child is hard and newborns are hard and older kids are hard i suspect in a different way hope i can spread the word well

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. Our hearts are broken for him and we are praying about the role God may have for our family in Toby's life. His sweet face is etched on our hearts

  3. Julia - I'm told to contact you. Are you thinking of doing a fund-raiser for Toby's account? I believe I have a prize you can use. Email me. I think you know my email info from previous auctions. Otherwise a bunch of people whom you know will know how to reach me (Lucille B, Susanna M) . Esther Paris in RI

  4. This guy breaks my heart. Is there any chance he could get into a hosting program?

    1. I'm praying for a family!! We've met him and can attest that he wants a family. Hosting wouldn't happen until next summer and I have no idea if where he is being transferred allows for hosting!

  5. Julia, is there a way to contact you regarding Toby?

  6. We have decided to pursue adoption recently. We will prayerfully consider what God would have us do. In any case, we will definitely be praying for Toby.

  7. I shared this on the Fans of Knitting is Gluten Free Facebook page. My prayers are with Toby. I have all good faith everything will be okay.

  8. Wonderful to know his dreame came true!!!!
    Kate Germany

  9. Wonderful to know his dreame came true!!!!
    Kate Germany


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!