I do not know how old Jason is in this picture. His body looks tiny but his head looks large. I'm guessing he's 3 or 4 here.
This is the picture of Jason that captured my heart. Honestly, I don't think he's the cutest kid I've ever seen. He wasn't one of those boys who made me say, "Wow, now THAT is a good-looking kid!" (But we all know that it's not about who's cutest, anyway.)
Jason is one of those kids who didn't have any information about him on his profile. This is what his profile looked like when I first found him.
Poor little guy. I kept coming back to his page, looking at him. I didn't really know why he grabbed my heart. I posted his picture on my 38 for My 38th fundraiser (by sheer coincidence his grant at that time was $38). I hoped his grant would rise. It didn't.
I kept looking at his page, thinking about him. I put a little money in his grant. I wrote about other boys. I advocated hard for Jack. I fell in love with Denis. And still, Jason tugged at me.
I found out that Jason was being advocated for over at Zero The Zeroes. The host of that blog was pushing to reach $50 in each of the grants for all the Reece's Rainbow kids who had zero in their grants when she started her project by July 4th. What a great idea! And she did it! After July 4th, Jenny announced a new goal: to get the kids to $100 by October 31st. I looked at Jason's grant again. It was at $95.70. On July 31st, I put Jason over $100.
I still wondered what it was about him that held me. One day, while looking again at his sweet face, I realized what it was. Jason looks friendly. He looks expectant. A friendly kid, waiting to see what life has in store for him. That's Jason to me, and I realized how much I love him. He is never far from my thoughts these days.
I used to worry about Jack a lot. I don't any more. His family is working hard to bring him home. They definitely still need your support. But Jack's gonna be ok. He's going to come home, and he's going to have a magnificent life.
But I worry about Jason. I worry A LOT about Jason. As Jason's profile states, he lives in a remote institution (and they do mean remote). It's not a bright and cheerful baby house or children's home, where the kids go to school and adoptions are frequent. It's an institution for disabled kids, and adoptions are rare.
And sweet Jason, so friendly and expectant in the first picture I ever saw of him, hasn't fared well. He doesn't look friendly, expectant, happy, curious, or interested in life in any of the other pictures I have seen of him. He looks lost, sad, and as my friend told me, like he always has a headache. He looks guarded and wary. He looks like life has let him down.
And, you see, it has. From what I have been told, Jason has spina bifida. He can't walk. And for kids in institutions, this is a very bad thing. Kids who can't walk are often neglected in their cribs much of the time. Kids who can't walk are often not educated. Kids who can't walk are often not seen.
I do know that Jason gets to go outside occasionally. But even outside, he is confined to a stroller. Life must get awfully boring when you do a lot of just sitting.
And I know some more about Jason. It's heartbreaking. Jason "suffers a lot ... he needs a lot more love and attention than most of the other children. He is a good, sweet child, but his condition causes him to hit himself. Unfortunately, he is often restrained because he hits himself really hard."
Poor Jason. This kid needs a family. He really, really needs a family! Who knows what Jason's potential could be if he lived in a family that could give him the love, attention, medical care, and education he deserves? Perhaps he could walk with a walker! Maybe he would develop musical talent! He might be a math whiz waiting to happen! At the very least, I hope he would stop hitting himself. In every picture, he has self-inflicted head or facial wounds. No child should have to live this way.
The good news is that Reece's Rainbow has shared the updated information about Jason. This is how his profile looks today.
Jason, a little boy tucked away in a remote corner of a far-away country, is a child who matters. Please help his family find him!
Please also check out my post about George and Dmitry.
George's grant fund hasn't budged in months. Why is this lovely child still waiting? And sweet Dmitry, soon to turn 8 years old and still waiting ...