“There’s a big hole now Garfield’s gone, he’s been here since the beginning.”
Garfield began his life in Chiang Mai’s Government orphanage and was recently taken to Bangkok’s orphanage after a new law in foster care came into place. Garfield’s mother and father died when he was a baby, leaving him a disabled orphan with no family.
He was three when Hope Home took him in, a boy that could not sit, talk or feed well at all. Judy recalls the impossible task of feeding Garfield.
“He never kept his head still, it was a three person job- one to hold his head, one to hold his arms and one to feed him.”
Now, after seven years of breakfasts, lunches and dinners at Hope Home, Garfield can be fed by one person. She admits things like that took a while to develop, but the important thing is that it did.
“He couldn’t sit or anything, he would lie on his back and move around in a circle to get anywhere.” Now Garfield moves to the Government orphanage with the ability to sit independently.
Hope Home did a lot of work standing Garfield in his walker, tilt tables and giving him the opportunity to play football and ride a bike. Due to his disabilities it is unlikely he will ever get the chance to do these things again at his new home.
Although Garfield cannot speak, he can communicate with his feet, as well as painting and colouring with them too.
The law changed in 2014 to state that any child who has special needs and is not in direct family care needs to be moved to the large Government orphanage in Bangkok on their tenth birthday.
“He’s being cared for but he’s probably in a room with lots of other children and Garfield doesn’t cope well with that.” Judy says Garfield copes better with one on one consistent care like he was receiving at Hope Home.