First, I would like to remind you that this month TWOB is hosting Spare Some Change to Change Jack's Life. This is an easy and effective way to raise funds for Jack's adoption grant.
Second, Jack's mom has created a blog called 1000 Loving Jack to chronicle their adoption journey. I invite you to check it out and follow their progress in bringing their son home. His mom is proving to be an entertaining writer!
Today I would like to introduce you to Aiden. Aiden turned five in May, and he is blind. Much like Andrew, it appears that Aiden spends his days confined to a crib, lacking stimulation and attention.
There are two reports on Aiden, one from a volunteer to his orphanage and one from a missionary.
Aiden is visually impaired (I'm not sure if he has some vision or if he is 100% blind). Aiden has some more significant delays however it is difficult to tell if he is cognitively delayed for medical reasons or if his delays are simply a result of institutionalization / lack of stimulation. Aiden engages in a lot of self-stimulation such as poking his eyes, tapping his head on the side of his crib, rocking back and forth, etc. When I first met Aiden he was able to walk around the edges of the crib holding on to the sides, but he would not walk independently, even while holding on to someone's hands. As I worked with him however and he grew to trust me he began to take his first steps and now he loves to walk! Still, at least while I was there, the workers never let him out of his playpen. Aiden does not speak but he responds to his name and I believe he understands simple directions. He is not toilet trained but he is learning to feed himself. Aiden is difficult to engage. He doesn't initiate interaction but when you play with him/tickle him, etc. he is full of smiles and laughter. I believe that this boy has way more potential than can be seen right now. Whoever Aiden's family will need to be persistent about getting in his face in order to force him to engage and patient with what may be slow progress but I believe that with the consistent love and stimulation that a family would bring this little guy has all kinds of potential.
Aiden is a complicated little boy. His years of minimal attention and probably some sensory issues seem to be the biggest of his struggles. He does at times hit his head or bite his hands to self stimulate. He let me hold and comfort him when he hit his head harder than he meant to one time, which was a great sign as far as attachment and trust goes. I like to refer to Aiden as my "mouthy" boy. He loves to chew on hard toys, and he very much enjoyed holding a slinky in his mouth and shaking his head to make it fly back and forth. He does not seem to have any vision at all. He navigates fairly well despite his lack of sight. His favorite thing ever is to be tickled. He has a wonderful smile and laugh. He will need a lot of attention and stimulation to help him to recover from all he has experienced, but I think he would really blossom with the right family!
This little boy is in desperate need of a family to rescue him from confinement in a playpen and a life devoid of stimulation and love. Imagine being left alone in the dark, all day, every day of your life. That is Aiden's experience of life. That is no life for anyone. Aiden's life is slipping away from him. He needs your help!
Aiden has $1160.87 in his grant fund. He does have a Guardian Angel. You can help Aiden by donating to increase his grant fund, sharing his picture and information, and considering whether Aiden has a place in your family.
UPDATE! I was just contacted by someone who has video of Aiden taken just last week and given permission to share it here! (And no, it turns out he wasn't peeing on her!) After this video concludes, click in the lower right corner on video MVI 1736 to see a few more seconds! There is also more at MVI 1727!
More video of Aiden, from last year:
Please take a look at another Forever Friday child, Eugene S. Eugene turns 10 this year and still waits for a family.