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When couples enlarge their families, they usually have one baby at a time. Today, the rate of twin births in the United States stands at about 1 in 30 babies born. At the Children's Home in Netanya, our family multiplies overnight. Just before the holidays, 7 new 'sisters' arrived at the home in one day. Of course, they were not newborns in diapers, they range in age from 5 to 8.

Our program director, Bracha Runes tells us how these lovely girls arrived, with social workers, to help them acculturate into their new environment.  We learn how the youngest ones, who are 5 and 5 ½ years old, were quiet and withdrawn. Bracha assessed that they did not fully understand the negative atmosphere from which they were removed. After all, for them, it was the 'norm'. She explained further that such young children cannot fathom why they must be moved to another home, where strangers would be taking care of them. The other girls were much more understanding.

IMG_0360.jpgAs is the custom at the Home, the older housemates invite the newbies to lunch, show them to their rooms, and help them put away the minimal possessions they had upon arrival. The new girls are then presented a welcome basket containing toiletries, and cute stuffed animals to put on their beds. Besides the professional care the new girls receive upon arrival such as educational assessment, mental health evaluation, medical appointments and new shoes and clothes, their social adjustments are equally as important.

To reiterate, everyone knows how difficult it is to raise children from infancy, even in a normal and healthy family setting. So one can only imagine receiving 7 kids in one day - and unfortunately from tumultuous and unstable backgrounds. These girls are sometimes either social orphans who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, or true orphans who have lost parents through death from illness or accidents. Bringing up such children is challenging and requires a team effort.

IMG_0365.jpgBetween our Programs Director, Educational Advisor, Activities Director, Social Workers, Housemother and counselors, and with the added warm welcoming of our housemates, each new arrival was nurtured and given proper attention on their first day and night in their new Home. In the ensuing days and weeks, each of the 7 girls were specially observed to make sure that their transition was smooth.

Lev LaLev is proud of their team in Israel, on site, and its extending family in the U.S. and abroad. Every one of you, dear friends and supporters, are part of the team that cares enough to contribute to the healing of these very special young girls. We are glad to keep you updated on their progress and achievements, and as we learn more about their great needs.

After almost two months at the Home, we are pleased to report that these 7 sisters are looking up, with glorious smiles lighting up their darling faces!

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