Back in November, we had our ladies meeting at church, and we had this woman come and speak to us: Jennifer Elise. She goes over to the Ukraine and visits orphanages. She got her degree and was working at a daycare at her church when she felt God calling her somewhere. She went on a mission trip to the Ukraine to visit an orphanage, and when she returned, she spoke about it so much for a year that her church fired her and had her set up her mission trips. (This is a bit of a mangled version of her story.) The government there is quite corrupt, so she can't send things directly over there to the orphanages: officials would keep it for themselves and for their children, so she sends things to a church there (this bypasses official things, I guess), and the pastor holds her packages until she returns. Then she brings clothes and other supplies to the orphanages.
There are too many children and not enough workers. The babies get bald spots on the back of their heads because they're not held enough, and they have an isolation room to have the babes learn not to need affection, and this can cause psychopaths as you know. The little children will drop their toys when someone new comes by as they clamor to be held because they aren't held or hugged very often. They spend their whole childhoods int the orphanages where everything is regimented, and then they're turned out at 18, not knowing how to survive in the real world. Most turn to crime, drugs, and/or prostitution. Not all, of course, but most. Not many continue their education.
Not all the children can be adopted either. Every child in the orphanage is not an orphan. Many have parents who are druggies, alcoholics, broke, or any number of other things. They can go to an orphanage and claim they can't take care of their kid(s), so they put them in the orphanage for 6 months. When those 6 months are up, they can either take the child back or leave them there for another 6 months. If the parents don't make contact after 6 months, the orphanage is supposed to go through the process of making the child available for adoption, but this doesn't happen very often unless someone is pushing for it, and the orphanage just won't claim the child is available to be adopted. Many kids have fetal alcohol syndrome, and others have problems like crossed eyes or a foot turned in a little (things that could be easily and readily corrected here in the US). People want perfect kids, so these children are labeled "mentally handicapped," and the orphanages say they don't have any "normal" kids (or something like that; I forget how they put it).
Jennifer wants to bring some of the kids over here to the US for awhile and put the children with host families, hoping to get them adopted. There's one big problem. The orphanages and government won't let them. Apparently, in the Ukraine (and other places, I'm sure), there's a belief that we Americans go to other countries to adopt children and use these adopted children to harvest organs for our own children. Yeah. I'm not sure where the belief that we only use foreign kids to harvest organs came from, but it's out there. Out of all the crap we've done, people still had to make up reasons to hate us. Anyway, bringing the children here won't be happening any time soon; it's going to take time for Jennifer and the others to get the orphanages to trust them.
They are looking for things like clothes, blankets, and wipes. Obviously, you're all too far away, and I wouldn't expect you to mail those things in to her or to me (Mom's getting things together to bring them another load). If you want to make a donation (and can), go ahead. She's trying to raise $5,000 for a soccer field—for the older kids, I believe—and for physical therapy equipment for the disabled children. More than anything else, though, you can pray for her and for the babies and orphans in Ukraine.