Birthday are usually such an exciting time. Little Catherine will be four in 6 months! To me, four kind of marks the end of toddler-hood. There's so much to celebrate, how much you love them, how much they've grown and learned. Lots of cake
with gooey icing and presents.
Four years old means a totally different thing in orphanages. When you turn four in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, you have a very different kind of day. You get visited by a doctor who prepares your paperwork so you can be transferred to an adult mental institution. You get to take your first car ride and your last car ride as they drive you to the institution. You are forced to leave everything that is familiar to you, everyone you know.
This is Masha. Masha is four, but she is the size of a 12-month-old baby - so tiny!!! Her sweet little eyes are crossed and her hair is shaved. She takes a lousy picture.
She is a week away from being transferred. Here is her information from Reecesrainbow.org
Girl, Born January 10, 2007
Photo dated Feb 2010. This beautiful muffin…..Masha struggles with many symptoms of FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome).
From her medical records: Diagnosis: mother was an alcohol addict. This little one has so much potential.
Her strabismus (crossed eyes)have gotten worse, and at 3 she is still not walking. Masha needs a family to help her be all she can be!
Masha is not only what you see in her description, which sounds scary.
There is a family at her orphanage right now and this is what they said about Masha.
"Oh Masha is so, so precious and smart and friendly!! She is happy and curious and just a delight!!She kept playing peek a boo with us and waving and talking to us in her language but never the less she was talking. The speech therapist came in to work with the kids and soon it was Masha's turn. But here is where it gets very sad....the doctors were there to do medicals for the children being transferred to the adult mental institute sometime in the next week and Masha is one of them. Please someone come forward right now and be her family."
Regrettably, this orphanage is one of the poorer ones, with very little outside aid and very little hope. All of the children are tiny and undernourished. These children are immediately transferred at 4, and have little chance of survival where they are sent.