Tuesday, June 26, 2012

She needs a mommy

She has a touch of strabismus (which is correctable), but isn't Sophia gorgeous? I bet she is well-loved. She is also described as sociable. I bet she gets along well with Julia, who is just 4 months older :) (I don't know if she is in the same place, but it seems likely).

Sophia needs a mommy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

sociable 4-year-old girl

This is Julia.

She is actually the second "Julia M." listed in "Region 23."

She is about to turn 4 this month. She is sociable! I have a four-year-old girl myself, so I certainly find that believable. Four-year-old girls can talk your ears off.

If they have someone to listen to them. If they think you might care.

I bet Julia would love to have pretty ponytails... to learn how to dance and play baseball and slide down a slide and swing... to be your daughter.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I don't get...

I don't get the bonnet. (It's just gotta be said.)

I do get that somewhere in Eastern Europe, there is a four-year-old boy who needs a family. You can call him Cyril.

I guess I don't really get it, because I have always had a family. I can't comprehend his loneliness, his isolation, his lack of hope.... but I do know that Cyril is a real, living human being. And I know he deserves better than an orphanage.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

For Jesus

Ivan is another little boy with Down Syndrome. Just 4 years old.

Just another face on the list.

He does have quite the description: calm, emotional, active, interested in toys, gets tired quickly

When I looked at Ivan this morning, a song came to my head:
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary.

Obviously this little boy isn't Jesus... but Jesus did tell us what we do for the least of these we do for Him. Ivan needs a family. Hope. Love.

Do you have these things?

What if Jesus were four years old, alone in an orphanage, faced with the prospect of growing up in a mental institution? How much paperwork, family upheaval, travel would He be worth?
God made Ivan and stamped him with His image. God says if there is something you want to do for Jesus, do it for Ivan instead. For the "least of these."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Someone's little boy

Aidan is 3 1/2. He is an orphan with Down Syndrome. He deserves to be someone's little boy.

Imagine him in your house... playing with your kids... hugging you good night. It would be hard but you would never regret stepping out for him... because he is your son.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Little boys and opportunities

Stanislav is a handsome little boy with Down Syndrome. He was born 3 1/2 years ago in a country where his diagnosis meant life in a crib... where his family was encouraged to give him up... where he will never get the chance to show everyone how much he can accomplish.

Sometime very soon--maybe today--I am going to give birth to a little boy. To my knowledge he does not have Down Syndrome. But if he did, he would never see the inside of an orphanage, let alone a mental institution. He would still come home with me and be loved by his brother or sister. No one would suggest maybe I should just leave him at the hospital and try again for a healthy baby. He would be eligible for many services, and likely attend a public school alongside typical peers, unless I decided to homeschool him. If I didn't feel equipped to be his parent, many families would be willing to adopt him. I know families right now who would love the opportunity to parent my son if I felt I could not handle a baby with Down Syndrome. I could visit him, receive pictures, and be part of his life. There would be no reason to be ashamed of my son.

That's not because something is different between a little boy with Down Syndrome born in Eastern Europe and one born in the US. That's because in our country we've decided that people with Down Syndrome matter, that they deserve the opportunity to flourish to the extent of their potential (if they are born, anyway). And if a family here decides that Stanislav is their son, he will have all those opportunities too. And he will have a family. He deserves all of that.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Her picture is blurry, but isn't Anna a beautiful little girl?

She likely has Down Syndrome and is described as calm.

Around Christmas time Anna will turn 4. She won't have brothers or sisters to celebrate with her, or even parents. She won't have a princess party or a Minnie Mouse balloon. Her friends won't bring her homemade cards. At Christmas she won't get any games or toys. Not only is Anna an orphan, but she has Down Syndrome. So where she lives, that means growing up in an institution. It means that it has been decided she has no potential, and that her life isn't worthwhile.

But Anna is worth it. She is worth the money, the travel, the risk. She is worth it because she is someone's daughter... maybe yours?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

friendly and curious

Look at sweet baby Catherine:

Catherine actually will turn 4 in November. I am betting her picture is way out of date... but Catherine is lucky. Someone cares about her.

Check out her description: Character: friendly, curious, willing to play with toys

Someone cares enough to give her more than a one-word description. Someone cares enough to notice her positive traits. If that description is still true, if that special worker is still around to invest a little bit of attention in Catherine's life... she will blossom in a family! And if that person isn't around, and she is now another little girl who lays in a crib... well, God will still bless you if you step out to adopt her. God will make a way. He cares about her; He cares about you. If she is your daughter, he will lead you to her and give you what you need to be Catherine's mommy or daddy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The least of these

Julia turned 4 in April.

She is an additional child--who needs a family no more or less than those with their own page and funds.

Our God, who sets the lonely in families, is pleading with his church to go and rescue his precious sons and daughters. The ones we call the least of these... but I don't think that's what He calls them.

He calls Julia Precious Daughter. Redeemed. Beloved. Made in His Image. Bought by His Blood. Above Rubies. Like Refined Gold. Created Through Christ.

Who does God think are the least of these? I think those who are concerned with themselves... those who look down on others... those who think some people's lives just aren't worth the time and effort. But these people too were worth it to Jesus. He died for them with no more hesitation than he died for sweet Julia.

And he called us to die to ourselves and to follow him.
That might mean travelling around the world to adopt a little girl who desperately needs a family... or it might mean supporting a family who did so... or it might mean fostering a child in your community, or helping the single mom next door with groceries, or working for one of many other very good causes.

I don't condemn you if you can't adopt Julia. I am not going to adopt Julia--I hope to adopt one day, but if I could adopt right now--I can't--she isn't the little one I'd be inquiring about. I don't condemn you if you can't donate to RR right now--there are other causes and we are called to take care of our family first.

But there are two things you can do, and I think you should. Consider, if you have not, whether you might be Julia's mom (or dad). Could you open your heart and home to another child? Could she be the one? Maybe you know it's not the time to adopt, or that you will never have that opportunity. That's okay. But make sure you've considered it... and if it's been a while, consider it again.

Pray for Julia. Pray that she is loved and cared for now. Pray that she will find a family, that someone will recognize her as the daughter of their heart. Because you can always pray, and it matters.

If you have prayed over Julia's situation and your own, and you know that's all you can do... thank you. You're making a difference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Down Syndrome means....

Francine turns 4 in August. She is such a lovely little girl--I am betting the picture does not do her justice.

Imagine her smiling and playing. Imagine her reaching for you... calling you mommy. If she understands that she does not have a family, and what that means, and what a family could mean... that's her dream too. And if she does not understand, she needs a family no less.

Francine is "calm."

In our country, Down Syndrome means special education and services. She would receive many supports, and therapy. Some people might be biased against her... but she would have the opportunity to prove them wrong. Where Francine lives, Down Syndrome means a lifetime in a mental institution. No chance to show what she can do. Once she leaves her baby house, not even a chance at therapy or education.

She's a little girl who deserves a chance.

Monday, June 11, 2012

She's not busy.

I have been busy... I have been distracted... I have been living my life.

Amina has had no such luxury. Every day is like the last. She may have toys... she may have some affection... she may have enough food... but she may not.

Amina does not have a family. It is unlikely she receives education. At almost 4 years old--not much younger than my daughter--this little girl has nothing she can call her own.

You can change that.

You could be her mommy--or share her picture, and help her find her mommy.

Amina is calm.