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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Asking again for prayers for two special kids...

I am reposting an old post from March or April about both Micheal and Haven, as I am still praying for them and ask you to join me. 
I have been assigned as their Prayer Warrior through Reece's Rainbow.  So I am committed to praying for them until they have a committed family.  Please join in in sending your prayers and your good will out to them and to potential families who may be a good match for them.  And if you know anyone contemplating adoption, especially adoption of a child with special needs, please share Reeces Rainbow with them.  Even if they do not adopt a child listed there, the information, community, and connections with other parents adopting kids with special needs is incredible and a great Gift from God.
Here is Michael D.:

He is in Russia and he looks very well taken care of at the orphanage.  Please pray that he is adopted before he is transferred to an institution as he is 5 years old, where in Russia he will then be unadoptable.  If he has a committed family before (or very near) his 5th birthday, they can keep him at the orphanage while the necessary process is underway.  He is running out of time...
Info from RR: Michael D.
Date of Birth: June 2006
Gender: Male
Eyes: Gray
Hair: brown
Character: calm
And this is Haven, and her info from RR: 
"Girl, Born March 2006
Poor Haven……sweet little girl.   Such a pretty girl burdened with such medical and cognitive difficulties….and no mama to love her through them.
From her medical records:  celiac disease, CP, toxic Hepatitis, hypotrophy of III stage
From our team who visited there: Haven is afraid of strangers and would not interact with us :( "

I am not sure which country she is in, though most EE countries transfer to institutions at the age of 5.  It appears she is NOT in Russia, so even if she is transferred, it might still be possible for her to be adopted.  However, medical care at the institutions tend to be very poor, and often over 50% of kids transferred do not survive their first year.  With her medical issues, an institutional life will be a short one.  So pray that a family steps forward for her soon.

For those of you who do not know, Reece's Rainbow is an absolutely amazing organization that helps connect people seeking children with waiting children who have special needs.  It also helps raise funds for adoption for both waiting children and for families.  Additionally (this is the greatest of all) they are working in various countries to help establish supports and groups for people who WANT to keep their children.  It is truly an inspired and amazing group that is addressing the issues from multiple fronts. I have been following the founder since the very beginning of Reece's Rainbow back in 2005--before there was even a website.  Many children with special needs in foreign countries are institutionalized at a very young age for even minor special needs, and given no education, no chance to become active, functioning members of society.  Like the US used to do 30-40 years ago, until it was finally realized that people with special needs, given the right supports from early on, can often go on to live full, functional lives--have jobs, friends, and even families of their own.  By institutionalizing them, it takes away not only the life they could have, but also puts a high burden on the government to care for people, many of whom could care for themselves if they were taught to during their early years.  Or if they have families, the families and friends can and do help with care that is needed if the person can not care for themselves.   There is very little need for institutions, as even residence facilities provide a better quality of care and provide more opportunity for people with disabilities to experience life and contribute to the community by being part of it.  So, I advocate for the adoption of children with special needs (hence the two amazing little boogers I have (who in a foreign country would be institutionalized (well J with his medical issues would probably not have survived his first six months)).  And I advocate for as much inclusion as is possible for both children and adults with special needs (and I do mean possible, as my dear G is not able to function well in a mainstream inclusive classroom, and thus has less inclusion than I like, but only as it is necessary for his success and the success of those around him).  When my mother started working at the residences, she would always invite one of two of the residents to join us for BBQ's, holiday meals, etc...  They are people too, and can contribute to life (maybe in a different way than most are used to) and deserve to be treated with respect. 

Oh, and a note on why an International Downs Syndrome (and other special needs) Adoption group?  Why not focus on the USA?  Well, both of my kids ARE from the US, and I do pray for kids who are waiting in the US, as there is a high need EVERYWHERE for children without families to be adopted.  So I choose to advocate for both--I am not nationalistic in my desire to care for the orphans of the world, all people, no matter where they were born, deserve to know the love of a family (even when that family is not perfect (as long as it is not abusive), it is still better than not having one).  The first goal should be to keep familes together whenever possible (employing supports rather than punishments to fascilitate that), and when not possible, to get the child into a permanent family as soon a possible.  I have qualms about both the insititutional model of raising kids who for whatever reason are no longer with their familes, and I have issues with the way foster care and adoption are run in  our own country.  But I understand the necessity of both, and until other solutions are in place, they are the systems that we all must work with to ensure that families and children can find the safest and most potential supporting way to live.

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