It's been a while since I posted about these two little girls. You may have forgotten about them, but they are never far from my mind.
First comes Grace. She is 7 years old and has a repaired heart defect and may have some other issues. We got to meet her when we were adopting H., though Grace is now back in her orphanage and not in the foster home where she had been living. She is a sweet, sweet little girl and followed A. around for the time we were there.
And then there is Tina (or Ting Ting, depending on where you are looking). She is 9 years old and has the same syndrome that H. does. (I'm nearly 100% sure of this, though my disclaimer is that I'm not a doctor) She has had quite a few surgeries and I think her condition is well-managed at the moment.
Both these little girls need families. They need someone to hug them and love them and give them a secure future. Neither of their futures look terribly rosy if they hit the ripe old age of 14 and age out of ever having a family. The society of their home country is not currently set-up to treat them kindly. Let's find them families before the last desperate push that will inevitably happen the few months before they turn 14. They have time, but wouldn't it be better to have spent that time with a family?
Can we also talk about the elephant in the room? The one no one ever really wants to say out loud, but it's there? If you are familiar with waiting child lists at all, you have seen this phenomenon. Our eyes and our emotions are drawn to beauty. If there is a little girl who appears on a list and is classically beautiful and is sporting pigtails, it doesn't really matter what the child's need is... it can be really, really significant... but that child will not be on the list for long. Beauty trumps everything. A child with relatively minor special needs, but has a poor picture or is not classically beautiful or has a really bad haircut will wait longer. We don't want to talk about it because we don't want to admit it; it is not one of humankind's more endearing traits. I am not immune, I do it, too. You see the extremely cute pigtailed little girl and your heart gives a twinge whether you want it to or not.
I don't know what the antidote is to this. I don't know how to find families for children who are not classically beautiful or photogenic. It's a flawed system. Children shouldn't languish for years in orphanages because they are not cute enough. But it happens. All I can ask is that we all begin to look beyond the surface and start to look at the child within. One of my new facebook loves is the page, myFace, the new face of the NFFR (National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction). Take a look at it. I truly believe that familiarizing our eyes to a variety of faces will help us all to see the beauty in everyone.
And if anyone wants information about adopting one of these two little girls, contact me and I can help put you in touch with the appropriate people.