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Friday, July 1, 2011
a boy with arms wide open
Most people who have visited the orphanage with me in the past remember Leblanc. It's hard not to, because he is always the first one to come rushing out of the orphanage with his arms spread open ready to leap into your arms. He always stays close, and would be happy to be in your arms the whole visit if he could. He turned 5 years old in May. He should be moving out of the orphanage soon, but it's been hard to find a home for him. Most children return with their families when they reach 4 or 5, some at age 3 years old. However, some children are rejected by their families or their families cannot take care of them, so they linger at the orphanage with the babies and toddlers. We've been talking to the director about trying to put him in the local school while he still lives in the orphanage and he says he will do that in September. Even though I really believe that an orphanage is not the place for any child, I also don't believe going to a family or home where you will be neglected or abused is a good situation either. The director and I have long talks sometimes about the future of the orphanage and trying to make a small family home setting on the grounds for those kids that can't find a foster family. We dream about how to best help those children that are rejected in the long term. It is challenging, complex and there are not easy answers.