In Eastern European countries, at around age 16, orphans are forced to leave the orphanage system to enter the world with limited education, minimal support, and sometimes the just learned knowledge that they have HIV.  Within the first five years, almost 90% of these orphans end up in crime, prostitution, drug and alcohol addiction, or commit suicide.

In Russia 10% -15% of children who “age out”   commit suicide before age 18.  70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

We have four amazing boys on our list that could easily become statistics: Tim, Jack, Jonah, and Joshua. All of whom, have glowing reports. All are young men that want to make a difference in the world. All know the chances of them being adopted are slim. We have the chance to intervene and change the stories of these boys.

“Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me. I would really like for a visitor at least, because I am all alone and I have no one.” -Jack

When an adoptive parent came to the orphanage, Joshua asked why they were adopting such a small boy and if they would want a boy as big as him.  When a reporter asked him if he has a dream, he said “I have to find me a dad, mom, and a dog!”

According to a volunteer: “Jonah is a wonderful, just a wonderful boy!  He said that when he was younger he had a brother who was taken into an adoptive family but they left Jonah at the orphanage; then he added sadly, ‘but it’s good he has a family now.’   With great interest, he asked about family life. ‘Do you have a porch?’  ‘Do you go out socializing in the evenings?’  ‘Do you have a husband?’ (yes) ‘And he works?’ (yes) ‘That’s lucky!’”

Tim carefully and inquisitively peers into the faces of all incoming adults, hopeful that one of them will take him into their family.

Please consider becoming a FIG, or adopting one of our older boys. They have been waiting way too long for a family. Please help give them the childhood they desearve.

This article was written by Jenni Johnston, Waiting Child List Coordinator for Project HOPEFUL.  You can view children who are currently waiting for families by visiting http://www.projecthopeful.org/waiting-children .