On Tuesday, June 2nd, RADA (Ukraine's Parliament) is voting on a law to end international adoption in Ukraine.
For many children, international adoption is the only hope for every becoming part of a loving family. Unfortunately many children with disabilities are looked down upon and older children are unappealing to Ukrainian's families. Families with disabled children are given no support and there is no schooling for these children. Older children age out of an orphanage on their 16th birthday. On this joyous eventful, birthday day in the US, Ukrainian children are sent with little more than a few dollars int heir pocket and a good luck pat as they head out the door. Some children ( like the one we hosted) attend school and live within the gates of the orphanage and has not been exposed in large amounts to the "outside world".
Here are some statistics of Ukraine Orphanages
Over 100,00 children are orphaned in Ukraine
Of those 100,000, 80% are social orphans who have suffered abuse, violence, or abandonment by one or both parents
After the age of 5, the children have a 20% chance of being adopted
The statistics are daunting for those children who age out of orphanages in Ukraine.
10-15% commit suicide before age 18
60% of the girls are lured into prostitution
70% of boys become hardened criminals
only 27% will find work
I think of all the families who have a love for Ukrainian children through mission trips, hosting, sponsorship programs, and summer camps. There are families in the midst of adoption plans right now, with time, love, and money invested in bringing a child home. If this law is passed, those families will be forced to walk away with no reimbursement. I think of our daughter Hannah (and Vivi and Nadia too) that have been adopted. All three girls have "abilities" that didn't show in the orphanage because they were not provided with the love and care that a family can give. Hannah had no language, no mobility, and no hope to be adopted. I'm sure her orphanage fully expected to send her to an institution on her 4th birthday. And yet, here she is, in our family, flourishing and learning new things every day!
I think of Max, and what his life will become. Will he have the education to enter the workforce? Will he stay out of trouble? Will he have a warm bed to sleep in at night? Max is just one of the many children who could easily become part of those statistics above without the chance of international adoption.
Please pray reverently for the orphans of Ukraine, and for Parliament to see beyond what they currently know. The Lord hear our prayers, and the prayers of thousands who have somehow been affected by Ukrainian orphans can make a difference.