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!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

8 years ago today

Eight years ago today, in hospital in Kragujevac, Serbia, a baby boy was born. His name was Lazar.

I imagine that when the doctor look at Lazar's hands and feet he knew right away. Lazar was different. Born into a society where different is bad. Where the left over opinions of Stalin, Lenin and Hitler still prevail, Lazar was one of them; a "useless eater" who could never be a contributing member of society.

But Asher's parents knew that although they couldn't give him all the things he needed, he wasn't "worthless". They visited as much as they could. I know, because I'm a mother, that his mother's heart broke every time she left him behind. I cannot judge her for leaving. I don't live in that society but I understand the pressure she was under.

Just a few months before his 7th birthday, Lazar's birth family chose to allow him to be adopted internationally. They hoped a family from the U.S. would find him, giving him opportunities he would never have in Serbia.

One year ago today, on his 7th birthday, Lazar's mother and father were at the orphanage having a small birthday party for him. I know they could see he was already disconnected from everyone, and the party was really more for them. They wanted to feel as if they were doing something for him. And maybe...maybe in their hearts they knew this would be the last time they saw him. The very next day, on November 1st, they were informed another mother and father had chosen to add him to their family on the other side of the world.

I cannot imagine the heartache his birth mother felt as she waited to hear the decision by the social center.

So while we celebrate the life of our son, Asher, we also recognize the heart ache felt by another mother in a small town in Serbia. Tonight she cries tears for her son while being happy he has found a family. We are eternally grateful for the decision Asher's birth family chose for him. We love our son more than anyone could imagine.

Update 2016:

Asher is 12 years old now. A handsome young man anxious to try anything we put before him. He is a true blessing to our family!


Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Asher. I bet this is your best birthday, so far. :o)

Julie said...

Aw man, now I have to go fix my mascara before I leave...Happy Birthday to a very special boy, and thank you Leah for sharing your beautiful stories with us. I am so grateful to you for the perspective you bring to my life and situation. Have a wonderful day

Jackie said...

He, HEEEEE! Oh I love it! Happy Birthday Asher!

The Sumulong 3 said...

Happy birthday, Asher! To many more happy celebrations for a really special boy! Cute video too--he LOVES his Papa!

Colin Chase said...

I recently tried to reach you via email, but didn't hear back. Knowing how it is with so many emails coming into everyone's Inbox nowadays, I thought that maybe posting a comment would be a quicker and much better way to connect.

I am working with a very special lady, Dr. Julia Kinder, who has an 8 year old daughter with Down syndrome. We're trying to promote A PETITION REGARDING DOWN SYNDROME and I thought you would be a great resource to help spread the word.


We're also having all sorts of activities on her website Celebrating Down syndrome -

We also published a national Press Release about this a few weeks ago, but we need the active Down syndrome community to get involved -

Please let me know if you would help by posting some of this to your interested audience:

Your time and efforts are so important as we try to change the stereotypes surrounding Down syndrome - dispelling the myths - and as we try to CHANGE THE WAY IN WHICH THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY PROVIDES RESOURCES TO NEW PARENTS. We can only achieve these goals with your help!

Thank you so much!

Difference2This1 said...

Happy Birthday Asher!!!