Read part one. The Reality.
When we were still in Kanani's country the adoption facilitator told us...
"The institution here is not good. It is very bad. The children should not be there, but they are"
That struck me and I desperately didn't want Kanani to see the inside of that place. However things don't always happen like you hope. Kanani has been living in this institution for several months now. That scares me. Some people don't understand why this is so serious. Or maybe they just can't grasp the concept of children in mental institutes. It's like something from an old horror movie. I can assure you though, it is very real and it is happening this very minute. It is happening to Kanani.
Two families adopted from Kanani's institution this last fall. Their children are home safe now, but they had to leave so many children behind. They have walked the halls of the building. They know how real it is. They don't want Kanani to stay there any more than I do. So they are willing to share what they know. To paint the picture of Kanani's life for us. To hopefully help you us really see.
This is where she is living. This is real. It's her reality.
"Fields of downcast sunflowers. Fields and fields down miles of dusty, straight dirt road. It was late summer when we were there and the sunflowers were shriveling, near death for the winter. I couldn't but help make an analogy in my mind before we went to visit the place where Kanani is. Miles and miles, 50 I believe, of driving swerving through occasional traffic. Dusty dirt road turned to a hidden away gate, hidden away behind tall weeds and in obscurity. Who knew about this place where Kanani is at? We had to ask many locals the first time we visited and not too many people knew where or what it was. Hidden. We went through the gate after our driver and the gate guard squared it off with a couple of words, and we finally entered. The building was long and looked like an old hospital from the outside. Our facilitator was in shock at how bad it was when we got there. She kept telling us, "this is now adoption, this is rescue." "We sat and waited and finally entered. The inside had lots of plants and was somewhat welcoming....except for the smell. Except for the skittishness. We were carefully shuffled to different locations to not see anything. I did see some things. Crumbling concrete steps...concrete everywhere....some wood too...children who sat down and watched me from afar....craving attention from the deepest place of their inner being. Craving attention. All alone, not knowing what to do with themselves. Very little supervision. Screaming, urine smells, tiny tiny little beds. No place for children.
One little girl walked back and forth from her room like a caged bird, watching me from the window. I wanted to cry. I will never forget it. All the little boys lined up in a row, watching me. A group of teenagers 'talked' to me outside and they hadn't bathed in days and days. I felt so sorry for their feet. Their clothes and shoes were rags. They smelled and their teeth were very bad, but they wanted my attention so badly. Rooms with little beds in little rows. Just like I saw on youtube. The bathroom smelled very bad. No bathtubs, just little spaces where they spray them down quickly and move on. Our little one was afraid of showers for weeks. Where is Kanani? I know from my own child that her hair is shaved, she is hungry and slowly starving to death, she is laying in a crib by herself all day long, day in and day out. I know she has nothing and is facing a slow death unless someones gives her a better life.
Our daughter was only 22 pounds at six years old when we adopted her, and her bones stuck out all over. It was very noticeable when I used to give her a bath. She looked emaciated. Her entire rib cage, collarbones, and the tops of her shoulder blades stuck way out, and didn't have any fat on them at all. Our one year old weighed more than she did.
She is doing great now. The love of a family changes everything for these children. She is a happy, smiling and sweet child...she loves us to throw her in the air and to tap on the drum to songs with her...to hug her tightly before bed and to sing to her. She had recent surgery and we are joyful she is showing signs of gaining some sight. She is empathetic and even tries to console my husband by tapping him lightly on the arm when she thinks he is pretend crying, playing around with the other kids. She is a child like all other children that needed a chance and love, just like Kanani desperately needs."
"We had to go up several flights of stairs to get to our girl's floor, and it is always locked from the outside. They would spend 10 to 20 minutes to find someone to go and unlock the door.
You walk in the floor and the smell is so bad, but it is even worse when they hand us our daughter. I really don't think she had ever been bathed here. The smell, I will never forget the smell.
The room that we were allowed in was the first room off from the door so we didn't see much. But we could here the sounds of people, and the moans and the screams of the others that lived there. One day a father came to visit his daughter while we were there and they were visiting in the same area as us. The daughter was tiny, and lifeless, and bed ridden. The card the director gave us said that this institution was a children's rest home. In my mind that reminds me of a place to go to die.
Our daughter was super thin, her head was shaved, but she was in high spirits. We had a translator with us and he talked to the person that monitored all of our visits. He said he was told to not let our girl join in activities because she was not behaving appropriately, so she sat in a crib all day. Once our daughter knew we were there to love on her, she tried to do the same thing with the care taker, the care taker wouldn't have anything to do with touching her, holding her, they were just there to monitor us. They absolutely would not touch her, if she tried to get in their lap they felt very uncomfortable and would not let her near them.
Our daughter was small. She weighed in at 28 pounds at her first doctors appointment 2 weeks after we got home. Her stomach was sunk in, ribs showing. She was 6 years old."
That is Kanani's reality. You can't make this stuff up. It is so very real.
It is urgent. She needs a family to get her out, now.