Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our five 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!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Significant risk!

Going to Reece's Rainbow breaks my heart. If you've never been there, you should go. Pictured there are children who's lives are hanging by a thread. Many, who when the reach their 4th birthday, won't have a celebration, but instead will be moved to an institution (much like this one, and some will go to the very same one!) where they will likely die within a few months time from dehydration, malnutrition, neglect, and illness that comes when a child is subjected to all of those things.

When I go to Reece's Rainbow, I visit this page, and pray for the little girls there, many of whom have their 4th birthday looming over them. They don't know what's in store when that birthday comes. All they know is their life in whatever orphanage they happen to be living in at the moment. Some of the orphanages give very good care considering the circumstances. The children are clothed, fed, and bathed occasionally. If they're lucky, they'll be the "favorite" in their group, and get a hug on occasion. Other orphanages are not so good. The food given them is barely enough to keep a child alive. The children are severely malnourished, with every bone on their body showing, and their face sunken. Illness is rampant, and many don't survive to REACH their 4th birthday. You know, the birthday that marks their transfer to certain death.

The other page I visit at Reece's Rainbow is this one. There are girls pictured here who could easily be Angela.  Who've never received the medical care they need. There are some children who were abandoned for something as simple as a hand malformation, or a cleft lip. There are others who have more significant needs. The children who are deaf break my heart. All they need is communication, something I could so easily give a child. 12 year old girls who've never known the meaning of "family" or "home". The children who have Down syndrome make me want to crawl into a hole and make it all go away. I KNOW Down syndrome, and I KNOW it is so far away from the misconceptions these countries believe. 

Meet Irena, who's two younger siblings have already been adopted, and she's been left all alone in the world. A girl who can read, and talk, and loves school, but who has never known "family". No mommy to braid her hair. No mommy to paint her nails. No mommy to hug her when she cries in the night. No mommy to teach her about the changes her body is going through now. In fact, in Irena's country, when a girl turns 16 she is TURNED OUT! No money, no clothing except what is on her back. No nothing. She will live in the sewers with the other orphans who've been turned out. Most girls like Irena will be forced to become prostitutes in order to survive. It is said that 80% of these orphans commit suicide by the age of 18. Look at Irena's face! What will HER fate be? 




So why do I visit Reece's Rainbow? What's the point of torturing myself? I'm in no position to adopt, and probably never will be. It would take nothing less than a miracle for Dean and I to be in such a position, and I don't ever expect that miracle to happen. I go because one thing I CAN do, is talk about them here, and hope that someone reading will actually click on the link, and see a face that says, "I belong in your family! Are you the one to save me?" Please click on the links. Please don't turn your eyes away, and think "Nope, not me!" Why are you afraid of looking? What stops you from going? Is it because you don't WANT to know what happens to these children? I bet the children wish if they blinked, it would all go away, and they wouldn't have to suffer. I bet they wish just the right person would look at their picture today. Today...maybe today...thier Mama will find them. Maybe today someone will see Irena's face and say, "It's me! I'm supposed to be her mother!" 

3 comments:

mmc said...

I'm delurking to say I do this too! That site breaks my heart. There are so many kids on there I would adopt if I could (I'm 20, so no kids yet) But a bunch of the kids I prayed for have found families. Last night I found out one of the at risk boys that I love has found his family. I was so happy that I cried. Thank you for spreading the word!

JennyH said...

It's so sad. I do the same thing. Pray they find their homes fast!

Leslie said...

Leah-
I have come back to this post over and over since you sent me the link. It is heartbreaking, particularly because our little one may be on her way there very soon. Do you know which institution the photos are from? Is it the one in Torez? Thank you for advocating for these kids.We will pray for Irena's family to come for her.