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!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What I saw, what you should know

I have a lot of new readers here who may not have gone back and read my posts from April 2010. (If that's you, go have a read, and you'll understand a lot more about me!)

Now, before going any further, watch this video. (it's not long)

Because of the issues surrounding Serbian adoption the past few months, I get several emails per week from people asking if there are "healthy" children available in Serbia.

First of all, "healthy" is a relative term. A child can have a disability, and still be healthy, not needing ongoing medical care for anything. Axel, although he has Down syndrome, is "healthy". He had a problem with his spine, which we fixed, and when that recovery is done we'll be moving on with life! He does not have the medical issues often associated with DS. (I didn't know that until I adopted him.) But even if he had, it wouldn't have prevented us from adopting him. DS is not a big deal. It's what I know. But Axel is healthy. He hasn't even had so much as a sniffle since we brought him home.

In Serbia, there are 480+ families waiting for healthy "perfect" babies. In the U.S. you might have to wait a very long time for a healthy infant. (or you could get really lucky and be chosen by a birth family very quickly, but since there are THOUSANDS of waiting adoptive families, you have tough competition!) The same is true in Serbia. Those waiting families have turned down all of the special needs children. They are seen as a burden. "Useless Eaters" as they were conditioned to believe thanks to T4.

That video you just watched? All children who were or still are waiting for families. Several of those children are now in loving homes. One little boy, Srecko (striped shirt against a yellow wall) just arrived home last night! Several other children in that video have been transferred to institutions. If you want to know what the conditions are like in Serbian institutions, go here. And then watch this video, produced in 2007. I can tell you with 100% certainty, not much has changed since then.

Serbia is doing their best to fix the social issues for it's people who have disabilities. Change takes time and money. They have the time, they don't have money. It is a society recovering from war and the extreme economic hardships that come with it.

These are the waiting children of Serbia. Children who's parents felt they had no other options. Children with no hope of an education. Axel had never attended a single day of school in his life. This beautiful child was scheduled to be sent back to the institution. Back to conditions you see in that video above. (In fact, he had already spent time in one of the institutions featured in that video, and was headed back!) Our beautiful Axel is a perfect example of the waiting children in Serbia.


Devon said...

I have always loved that video you made of the kids in Serbia and I especially LOVE the cutest boy ever that you started the video with! He too is a perfect example of a healthy child that can be found in Serbia.

Speechless said...

This is the first time that I've seen the used my favorite song, and a photo of my favorite little boy (a new-to-me picture, LOVE). Thanks for re-posting.