Sochi Olympics: Beyond the Stadiums. The Grim behind the Gold.

The Olympics have garnered many criticisms directed at the host country this year, from hotel room accommodations, to the way they treat their stray dogs.  People express outrage or laughing shock at what they see and hear.   Americans are taking a hard look at Russia and their smiling leader, grinning at the crowds, but what I want for people to know most of all is that behind the impressive stadium, the elaborate, newly constructed rinks and showy, over the top visual declarations of wealth and importance, that there are hundreds and thousands of people who you will not see on videos broadcasting around the world.  Tucked away, hidden from our view, are the voiceless and frail.  In abundance.   The money is not spent on the ones who survive, or don’t, in the care of the government.  And when you see the glitz and the show, remember the ones who have no allotment for their care, by Russia, their country.  They sit in filth, alone and cold, digging holes in the wall, their only view, tied to their beds, as we laugh from our abundance attheir hotels and empathize, become called to action to adopt and care for their lonely dogs.  What I want you to do, is remember the ones who have no voice.  Have no care, in the care of the host country.  There are more than you could count, behind locked doors in water stained, crumbling cement buildings.  Many don’t survive.  But we won’t hear live tweets in their defense.IMG_0163  Living in tattered clothes, in cold buildings, under fed, while funds are poured into rinks and decorations to enchant the crowds to earn acclaim and a world standing.  Russia is a powerful country, but know, their press is state run.

51 billion dollars, a colossal event, leaves many out.

The truth is, their children without parents are just not important enough.  You won’t hear one of their voices, or see their faces from the world’s cameras now flooding into Russia, but I want you to know they are there, the grim behind the gold.photo_2

{Our son, in his first bath in Russia the day we took him from his orphanage}

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Enjoy the Olympics and cheer for your teams.  People have worked their lives for this season.  And while criticism is stirred and people exclaim and mock, remember that you can use your voice for people and children.  Issues of the Russian adoption ban, and basic human rights can be lost when you hear world leaders speaking out about yogurt, the press focusing on accommodations.

But as people, please know, things are happening and children living in ways that you would not feel comfortable with.  That would outrage you.  That would hurt your soul if you were to see, smell or touch.

If you could hear their voices.  If the cameras found them.

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Knowing is power.

Action is important.

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Laugh if you want at what the news shares, but with our voices, we want you to see the truth, that effects the smallest, the most in need, and the most forgotten.

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