Find Me Friday: Irina & Dylan!

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PD: RR’s logo states ‘Reece’s Rainbow’ across center, w/ signature 3 diagonal brush strokes in blue, pink, & green. Above & below in a circle are the words ‘Special needs adoption support’.

Update April 2019: Unfortunately, Dylan aged out before a family was found for him 😦

Original post:

In this series, each Friday, I want to share a different child with you who is available for adoption and listed through the adoption advocacy website Reece’s Rainbow. All the kids who are listed on RR from Sarah’s Covenant Homes, India, the focus of my previous posts, have been posted about, so now I am focusing on a few kids or a sibling group listed on the site each Friday going forward. When more SCH kids are listed, I’ll continue to feature them!

Please note that the names used on RR are usually not the childrens’ real names, and their real names will only be shared with seriously interested families in order to protect their identity. Today, both featured kids are at risk of aging out! That means if they are not adopted by their 16th birthdays, they will no longer be internationally available for adoption by Americans. They may be eligible for this in their birth countries, or other countries worldwide, however, children with disabilities are often overlooked for adoption, and especially domestically. Their best chance is a home and a family outside their home country.

Today’s first featured ‘Find Me Friday’ kid is: Irina! Let’s find her family! She was born on March 5, 2005 (making her about 13 years old), lives in an Eastern European country, and is waiting for her family to find her. Elinor, Devora, Julia, Sullivan, Artemur, Duane, Abner, and Irina may all be in the same region. She is eligible to be adopted by older parents and large families! She’s been listed since before 2010 – way too long! Irina has been transferred to the older child internat.

I am eligible for an Older Child Grant! Grant funding is dependent on a completed application and available funds. For more information, visit: Other Angels Older Child Grant

PD: Irina sits on a colourful bench, wearing a cream-coloured sundress & white shoes. She has shoulder-length, brown hair in 2 pigtails w/ bangs, smiling shyly while raising her hand to wave.
Irina, waving. Photo credit: RR

PD: Irina sits on a colourful bench, wearing a cream-coloured sundress & white shoes. She has shoulder-length, brown hair in 2 pigtails w/ bangs, smiling shyly while raising her hand to wave.

Irina’s Medical History

Irina was born with a cleft palate. It is possible that she may have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), but this is unconfirmed.

If you are unfamiliar with FAS, please spend some time researching this condition. Just as with Down syndrome, FAS and FAE have a wide variation of effects on each child, both medically, physically, and cognitively. This is typically dependent on how long during the pregnancy the mother consumed alcohol, and of course, how much. There is no way to know this ahead of time.

Other Information About Irina

From the same volunteer from the previous interview, who visited with Irina in again August 2016:

Irina’s update from last year is still very accurate, but her introverted and shy behaviors have increased. She prefers not to interact at all. It took me half our trip to get her to trust me enough to walk around the building with us, and would still not look at me. She avoids any eye contact, but she did enjoy the attention. She still loves to sit on someone’s lap. She has grown even more than last year, and had become too heavy for me to carry.

I think Irina wants to get out of the facility. She was transferred to this facility a couple years ago. Before she lived here, she lived in a ‘normal orphanage’ with a special needs group. When they lost their funding, she was transferred here. When we take her for a walk, she walks to the gate and just stares at the world outside of those gates – she realizes there is an entire world out there. One day, the nurses saw us at the gate and yelled at us for minutes. We were not allowed to take Irina there, she could walk away. The gate is closed and locked and we were there with her, so there was no way she’d walk away, but from that day on, Irina was even more closed and lost most initiative while walking. She even lost her interest in the swing. She needs someone she can trust, someone who she’ll know will stay and love her. She has already been listed for so long! She needs a family!

From a volunteer who visited with her in July 2015:

Irina is a beautiful girl with dark hair and big, dark eyes. She is a precious and happy little girl. She loves personal attention. She craves attention and physical touch – if it was up to her, she’d be held and hugged all day. She can react really shy to people who talk to her and especially when yelled at, she will become really introverted. She is a really sweet girl. Irina is a physically quite healthy girl. She is well nourished, can walk, run, swing, and so on. Her physical development is good compared with other children in the same facility. She seems to have a strong body. She knows how to use a swing properly and can swing by herself. She enjoys it a lot. She can play accurately with toys like dolls, or engage in pretend play with kitchen tools. She can walk upstairs, dress and undress herself, and drinks and eats independently. She attends to her own washroom needs and will tell if she has to use the bathroom. She doesn’t speak, most likely because of her cleft palate,  nor does she make noises, but her eyes express how she feels and her smile will tell you when she enjoys something. She understands what is being said to her and can follow orders.

When Irina is in group, she’ll try to stay away from others. She prefers to play by herself, but is also capable of interacting with other children or adults. She prefers to play with children who are smaller or younger than her, probably because they are no threat to her – last year, I saw she was being bullied by bigger children. She tries to flee from bullies and yelling, but there is nowhere to go. This year, she is doing much better. She has grown physically, which has made her less of a target. Maybe also because new, smaller children are in the group now. Sometimes she’s still the target of bullying and harming behaviour, but at other moments she will show these behaviours herself. She can be a bully to smaller children – I think this is her way of showing  she is stronger now, but this is not a good development. The longer children are in this facility, the more harming behaviour they show. Irina is still able to receive love, but time is ticking away. She needs a family. She would thrive in a family where she could be ‘the baby’.

Today’s second featured ‘Find Me Friday’ kid is: Dylan! Let’s find his family! He was born in March 2003 (making him about 15 years old) and lives in an Eastern European country. He’s been listed since October 2011. Unfortunately, Dylan has aged out in 2019.

PD: Dylan holds a toy guitar, wearing a white t-shirt & looking down. He has straight, light-brown hair & brown eyes.
Dylan, 2015. Photo credit: RR

PD: Dylan holds a toy guitar, wearing a white t-shirt & looking down. He has straight, light-brown hair & brown eyes.

Dylan’s Medical History

Dylan was born with Down Syndrome. This handsome little guy has some strabismus (eyes that cross), so an opthamologist visit will be in order when he gets home.

Other Information About Dylan

Many more photos are available of Dylan, so please inquire with RR or his agency to see them! He looks pretty small for his age. Doesn’t he look like he needs a Mama to scoop him up & snuggle?

Update March 2014:  Dylan has a lot of personality! Dylan would do well in a family with older children, especially teen boys that love to roughhouse and wrestle! He’s quite the clown, and extremely verbal and capable. As someone mentioned before, he is also rather aggressive in getting what he wants, not only because he seems oblivious to personal space, but also because he will not hesitate to grab what he wants and assert his strength over weaker ones. He’s 11, strong, and stands about the height of a typical 9-10 year old. He also seems to have a mischievous streak and is very impulsive, which can result in pinching people unprovoked. Although he has a lot of potential, he definitely needs the right environment and very patient and experienced parents in order to thrive.

Update June 2013:  Dylan is an energetic, smart, goofy little boy. Physically, he looks about 5 or 6 years old, but has the attitude of a teenager. He can be extremely aggressive – he shoved other children out of the way when I was holding them to try and get to me and hits other children. I can’t tell you how many times he headbutted me in the face. But he can also be very loving – one of the other missionaries was crying and he just sat in her lap and hugged her until she stopped. Dylan is also very smart. When he wanted to go outside, I told him he had to have shoes on… I didn’t expect him to go bring his shoes to me! He also has an extensive vocabulary and loves his Montessori classes at the orphanage.

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