What I originally wrote is in black, I'll try to re-write the rest in blue. :-(
I was looking back at old entries from our blog tonight. Last year at this time, we were in Ukraine. On our way there, I met Teresa, the director of His Kids Too - a non-profit Christian organization that serves orphans, street children, poor, and disabled in Ukraine.
Teresa spoke to me about the horrors of institutionalization and shared a video with me that broke my heart. I was watching that video tonight and all of a sudden a face jumped out at me. A little girl that I had seen before. But where? All of sudden, I remembered.
She was one of my Love Note recipients. I hurried to the Reece's Rainbow page to see if I was right. There she was - Natalia!!
Oh my heart... the short hair, those striking eyes, the beautiful red lips - she reminds me so much of my sweet Maia now! This picture was taken in 2010.
This photo was taken earlier this year and hides what the video does not. I'm not sure when the video was taken, but given the hair - I think it was around the same time as the first photo. The video shows a full length picture of Natalia. Her legs are deformed (accd to the RR site, she had a fracture which was not set correctly) and she appears very malnourished.
My heart breaks for this precious girl who is in an institution that is NOT a good place! She is said to be a smart child. But institutions rob children of their life. One of the statisitcs I came across a while ago (sorry, I don't remember where to quote the source) stated that children tend to live an average of seven years once they are institutionalized. I've seen pictures of kids before and after they are transferred to institutions. It is appalling. No child should be in these types of situations. Every child should know the love of a forever family.
Natalia is heavy on my heart - are you her forever family? Would you join me in praying for this precious angel?
Click here to see the video from His Kids Too - Natalia is at 3:38
And click here for the link to Natalia's RR page.