Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting Wednesday: Brody

This Wednesday, meet another one of the little boys in the orphanage I visited. I don't think any of our team members saw him. He has now been transferred, but that's a good thing in his case! Brody!

Boy, born April 2006

Based on the time that I was able to spend with him, I believe that Brody is autistic. Brody does not make eye contact however he shows no aversion to touch and actually likes to be held. Brody was transferred in December but while he was at the baby house, he exhibited a lot of self-harming behaviours, namely banging his head constantly, harder than I have ever seen before. Nevertheless, Brody is the child I saw the most progress with. During our one-on-one time he was calm and would often go the entire hour without engaging in any self-harming behaviour. He would smile, laugh, and explore his environment and sometimes even make eye contact for seconds at a time. Since being transferred to an orphanage for preschool-aged children (age 4-8) with special needs, Brody is doing much better. While at the baby orphanage Brody had what I thought were permanent bumps on his head the size of half a ping pong ball as a result of banging his head on the ground. Brody has since nearly stopped banging his head and when I last saw him in January those bumps had gone down considerably. The orphanage Brody is currently in is one of the good ones. Small with a good staff-to-child ratio (there are 6 kids to 2 workers in Brody's group). It is clear that the workers care about the children very much and show them plenty of love and affection. Brody can walk independently, is being toilet trained and is learning to feed himself. He does not speak and it's hard to tell what, if anything, he understands. Brody responds well to music (i.e. me singing to him) and his absolute favourite thing is playing with someone's hands – clapping them together, watching the fingers wiggle back and forth, etc. If you work at it a bit you can get plenty of smiles out of him and he has the best laugh when you tickle him.
Unfortunately, if he is not adopted by the time he is eight-years-old, Brody will be transferred to an institution. I know that Brody will become more and more troubled in an institution setting however I believe that with a patient, loving family he has the potential to be a truly happy little boy.

More pictures available.

$0.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

A post from the missionary who spent time with him:

My relationship with "Brody" took a little longer to develop than it did with some of the other kids. He was a favorite of one of my roommates who I was going to the orphanage with for the first several weeks so I held back while she played with him and focused my time on the other kids. It wasn’t until I started spending time inside the orphanage that "Brody" really grabbed a hold of my heart.

Outside, "Brody" does ok. He spends most of his time in the outdoor playpen but he doesn’t really seem to mind being in there. There was one time when I took him out of the playpen so he could walk around a bit and then made the mistake of turning my head for a second at which point he plopped down into the sand. The workers were not happy about him getting dirty and swiftly snatched him up and dumped him back into the playpen which resulted in a very upset little boy. Aside from that however, my observations from those first few weeks were that "Brody" seemed to be fairly calm and content.

Inside however, was a whole other story. "Brody" did not do well in the chaos and noise that took place in his room. He dealt with it the only way he knew how, by repeatedly smashing his head on the floor. "Brody" wasn’t the only one of my kids who banged his head but with "Brody" it was different. He would sit with his legs spread apart and throw his upper body forward with the full force of his weight, banging his head on the hard floor over and over again until I was sure he would knock himself out. The workers did nothing to stop him, they just say back talking and laughing as if they were oblivious to what was going on. Out of all the things I saw inside the walls of that orphanage, watching "Brody"suffer day after day without being able to do anything about it was the hardest thing for me.

 LOVES hands!) and even making eye contact for seconds at a time! On those days I feel like I got a window into who he really is, a glimpse at his immeasurable potential if only someone would give him a chance.

The day "Brody" was transferred my heart sank to my stomach. Knowing how he reacts when he is upset, afraid, etc. I was heartbroken thinking about him trying to cope in a new environment and, not knowing anything about the facility he was transferred to, I was afraid to think about how the workers might be responding to him. As it turns out, second of course to finding a family, being transferred was the best thing that could have happened to him. When I was finally able to visit him a month later, I couldn’t believe how well he was doing! "Brody" used to have what I thought were permanent bumps on his head the size of half a ping pong ball but when I saw him at his new orphanage those bumps had gone down considerably. I asked the workers about him banging his head and they told me that he did at first but that wasn’t doing it very often anymore; sure enough, he didn’t hit himself once during the entire hour we were there! There was more to it than that though, he just seemed so much more peaceful and content. He was free to walk around and do what he wanted and every once in a while one of the workers would stop and rub his back or scoop him up into their lap.

I’m so thankful that God allowed me to see "Brody" in his new orphanage and ease so many of my concerns. One concern remains however; if "Brody" is not adopted by the time he is eight-years-old he will be transferred again. I don’t know where he will be transferred to but, knowing the country he is living in, it is extremely unlikely that it will be as good as the place he is in now. I have seen how "Brody" reacts in an institutional environment and can’t bear the thought of him being subjected to that again. He needs a family. Again, I’m asking for your help. In celebration of their five year anniversary, helping over 500 children find forever families, Reece’s Rainbow has launched their 5/5/5 Warrior Project to bring greater awareness and grant funds to all of their 5-year old children. Being that "Brody" is 5-years-old, he is a part of this project and has a “warrior” who is trying to raise $5000 or more for his grant fund HERE IS THERE BLOGLet’s rally together and help them out, shall we? Right now he has $205 and I would love to see that number go up over the next few days. At the same time, would you help spread the word about this little boy and join me in praying for his family to step forward soon? Together we can see this little boy’s future changed for the better. For more information or to donate, click here.

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