Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What We're Dealing With

I've just started a book (and I'm already halfway through) called The Boy from Baby House 10. It's about a little boy who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in Moscow, Russia. Given up by his parents at 18 months, he grew up separated from the "normal" children in a room full of the "uneducable imbeciles."

Vanya, the little boy, has a tragic story. But it's the story of many in Eastern Europe and Russia.

When I told my friends how upsetting and painful reading this book was, they told me to stop reading it.

I refused.

While it may be so painful and sad it makes me cry at night, and so grotesque and inhumane it makes me want to puke, I need to read this book. Only when I am exposed to the wrongs of the world can I find passion to change it. I need to know what will happen to my sister if she doesn't come home, what happens to thousands of children every year, because it forces me to take action. I cannot ignore what I know. To do so would be against the Word of God. And I am responsible for what I have seen.

I'm going to post an excerpt from The Boy from Baby House 10. It's a little graphic, ridiculously unjust, and it makes me want to punch someone. I'm not going to make anyone read this. Some people may choose not to because they're scared. I don't blame them. But, personally, I think you need to read it. Knowledge of evil drives people to action for good. And, God knows, we need some action for the special needs children of the world.

Keep in mind that Vanya is very smart, especially for one growing up in such seclusion. He can speak, and was learning to walk. At this point, an instructor is taking Vanya to a mental institution. He doesn't know where he's going, and he thinks he will return home. Poor Vanya.

Already traumatized by his journey through the asylum, Vanya stared in horror at the scene before him. The room was crammed full of cribs. Not wooden ones like in the baby house, but bigger ones with high metal bars, like cages. In each crib was a bare mattress. There were no sheets or blankets. On each mattress lay a child. Some were naked. Some were wearing only a dirty undershirt. They were lying in puddles of their own urine. One was lying on his feces. Another child was banging his head violently against the bars of his crib. They were moaning and crying.
Before he could say anything, the deputy had taken Vanya from Svelana and torn off his coat and boots and dumped him in an empty crib. As Vanya struggled to pull himself up, he noticed the boy in the crib next to him was tied up in an old sheet so he could not move his arms. He was rocking from side to side.
Vanya grabbed hold of the bars of the crib and looked around frantically for Svetlana. She was by the door, not looking at him.
"Svetlana, Svetlana. Why am I here?" he shouted, breaking the silence. "Why has she put me in this crib?"
"Oh, he can talk can he?" said the deputy director, surprised. "You've brought as a talker - a troublemaker? As though we haven't got enough problems already."
Suddenly the terrible truth hit Vanya like a punch in the stomach. "You're not leaving me here are you?" Svetlana was still not looking at him.
The deputy director went over to Svetlana. "Are you sure you've brought the right one?"
"Oh yes. The commission examined him just two months ago. He's been assigned here. I've got the letter from the ministry." Svetlana found the document.
From across the room, Vanya yelled, "Don't leave me here, Svetlana. Auntie Valentina (a caretaker) wouldn't want it. I'm her little major." But Svetlana was still not looking at him. He searched his mind for reasons to persuade her to take him back to the baby house. "Adela will be bored without me. She likes the funny stories I tell."
Svetlana never turned around. The deputy ushered her out, shutting the door behind them. Vanya hurled his body against the bars of the crib and screamed as loud as he could. "Don't leave me here, Svetlana." He heard the key turn in the lock.

That is what we're dealing with. If you can read that and not be moved, at least a little bit, there is something wrong with you. Why should it matter if a child can't walk, or has a lower mental capacity than the next? They're children. God's children. Just like you and me. And I wonder how long he will allow his children to be so mistreated.

1 comment:

  1. this is moving it makes me so sad to see how people are treated