Adopting this sweet boy is no doubt a God thing. Looking back, there are things that make me realize that He has been preparing my heart for this for quite some time. I love kids and I totally have a seriously soft place in my heart for all children. And I love being a Mom as well! When my youngest daughter who has DS, was born, I received an information packet from the local Down Syndrome organization. In it was a brochure for Reece’s Rainbow. I still have that brochure. I looked at that website several times, praying, and crying for those little abandoned children, given up because they had Down syndrome, hoping that they would find families. I wished that I could adopt one of these children, and even told my husband, to which, at the time, he replied a resounding “NO”, so I figured that it would just never be an option. Couldn’t do it without the hubs on board! But, little did we know, it just wasn’t time. I had not visited the site for a while and one night, I was on a blog, noahsdad.com. They had a Reece’s Rainbow advertisement and I was inclined to click on it. I scrolled through the pictures, all teary-eyed, then, I stopped on one. There is a feeling that goes through you after you have given birth and see your baby for the first time; it is a rush of absolute pure love for your child. This was the feeling that came over me when I saw the picture of our boy, and I literally blurted out loud “Oh, I am your Mama!” It took a while and a lot of prayer to tell Michael, but, long story short, He agreed that we should adopt him!
Knowing that most (like really, most, we are talking 92%) mothers knowingly pass on the chance to raise their child with Down syndrome is heartbreaking to me now, though I realize and understand that the fear of the diagnosis is overwhelming. Unlike here in the U.S. expectant mothers in Eastern Europe do not usually have access to prenatal testing, so their diagnosis always comes as a shock after they have given birth. They do not have resources for support like we do here, there is no therapy or inclusion in school or Buddy Walks to raise money for research, and most mothers are simply told that they cannot raise the child and that it would be too much of a burden. I do not pass judgment on these mothers, if you go back fifty years or so, children born here with DS were commonly sent to institutions. It is most common to give up their child with Down syndrome to an orphanage, and then later when the child turns 4 or some actually wait until 5, they are sent to a mental institution. Many of these places do not have the resources to care properly for these children, so many just waste away and die, alone, in cribs, without anyone loving them. Look at our Alaska, if she had been born over in Eastern Europe, she would be facing a life hidden away in a crib in a mental institution.
Does it look like that is where she belongs!?!? So we are not just adding to our family through the blessing of adoption, we are on a rescue mission to save a child in need! I cannot save them all, but I have been called to save one and that is what this is all about. Saving a child, and giving him a family, love, care. A chance at life. A chance to thrive, play, grow, give love and contribute to society, just like Alaska! His life has worth!
So the Lord commands us to care for the orphan and the widow. He has made it abundantly clear what my part is in His plan! But, does caring for the orphan mean that you have to adopt? No. Do I think everyone should adopt? Why yes! Haha! Not really! I don't believe that everyone has to adopt a child. I am just the type of person that wants everyone to experience the same great joy in their hearts as I do from my experiences! But, there are other ways to care for the orphan. You can pray for them, advocate for them, and support them financially. So, I leave you with this as food for thought. It is not meant to offend, it is just something to think about and shed some light on the situation:
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
God Bless you all! Thank you for your prayers and support!