Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Imagine a different life

Imagine you're a newborn baby. Born in a land far different than where you are now. A place where the value of human life is much different than it is in developed countries. Now imagine that you were born with something like Down Syndrome, or something as minor as a hand deformity.

Your parents will be told to send you away, that there is no care for you, and you're going to die anyway. So your parents follow the advice of doctors and bring you to an orphanage. But remember, this is an orphanage in a 3rd world country. You spend your days, weeks, months and years cold, hungry, and without medical care. If you're lucky, there will be one caregiver who takes a liking to you and tries to give you some extra attention each day.

But there's something looming over you. Something that most children in the world celebrate...your 4th birthday. Only for you, this birthday brings a death sentence, because in many of these countries, if you turn 4 and have not been adopted you'll be moved to a mental institution where you are no longer available for adoption. For all intense purposes, to the rest of the world you are dead.

There you well spend your days like this
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You will be straight jacketed in sheets. Why? Because of the intense boredom and lack of human physical contact you will resort to desperate measures, even if it means gouging your own eyes out. The only contact you will get with people is if you're lucky, someone will notice that your sheets are full of urine and feces and decide to change them. You will never see sunshine. You will never smell fresh air, only the overpowering odor of urine and feces from several hundred children just like you crammed into the same building getting the same lack of care. You will likely die within the first couple of years from some terrible illness, severe dehydration, or hypothermia from lack of heat in the decrepit building.

Or perhaps you would be like this little girl. Bound by her wrists for years already, left alone in a state of severe dehydration. TIED TO HER BED!!!!!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you don't die within the first couple of years, your body might continue to grow. But don't think it will get you a bigger bed. Instead you'll be forced to spend more years in the same crib, just like these TEENAGERS have been crammed in.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But it doesn't have to be this way! It doesn't! While governments and organizations like Mental Disability Rights International will have to deal with the indidual countries, there are ways to save these children! Reece's Rainbow is an adoption organization dedicated to rescuing children with Down Syndrome from certain death in these countries. There are many children who are approaching their 4th birthday. While not everyone is in a position to adopt a child, Reece's Rainbow has established a fund for each child to help with the adoption expenses so that nobody can say, "I would do it if I had the money."

Even if you can't adopt a child, can you spare $5, $10 or more so that someone else can? Please...this makes me sick to know these children are dying. Read through the child profiles. You'll find children that have nothing wrong with them other than an eye that needs surery, or a hand that has a mild deformity, yet they have been thrown away. But we can save them!!!!


Meredith said...

Leah, you know this is SO close to my heart. Thank you for posting this. Each one makes a difference. EVERY ONE!
Meredith from Downsyn

Michelle said...

Leah...thank you. They haunt me, every minute, now.

Shelley said...

We found our son through Zreeces Rainbow. He became ours just 6 days before he would have turned 4 and been moved to a mental institution. Instead, he celebrated turning 4 with a cake, candels and a family who will love him forever. Thank you for spreading the word about these children and how everyone can help make a difference!

Violet said...

Thank you for posting this. I've been to Reece's rainbow many times, and hope to adopt from their website someday. In the meantime I will sponsor a child.

Do you mind if I copy your post to my blog? And give credit... I know I can link it somehow but, I don't know how.


Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

do you have a list of the countries that have conditions like this?

Noah's mama

SunnyShep said...

Thank you for this, Leah. I will inquire about using a lot of it for my church presentation, as I embark on my campaign and mission to bring home my Bulgarian baby and save him from this fate. ~Kristen

Kate said...

I read this at the end of 2008 and it was your post that introduced me to Reese's Rainbow and the little girls who are now going to be a part of our family.

Thank you for making a difference in my family's life and the lives of so many orphans.

Thank you for writing what you did, as God used it to move my heart to want to adopt internationally.