Yesterday, we had the inaugural meeting of the DFW Reece’s Rainbow group. Six ladies and a bunch of children converged on a centrally located home for food, fun and fellowship. Lots and lots of fellowship.
Three of the ladies had adopted children with Down syndrome from Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, India. One lady is in the process of doing so. Two more ladies simply want to support Reece’s Rainbow, having adopted children with special needs.
I had met most of the ladies on previous occasions but hadn’t met the mom who had just returned from Ukraine with three, yes THREE children who have Down syndrome. I drove up to the house just as this sweet momma was slowly making her way to the house—two boys in her arms and one darling toddling girl making the walk on her own—and I couldn’t wait to meet these children whose pictures I’d seen on Reece’s Rainbow.
I walked into the house just in time to hear this mom talking about her ‘triplets’ upcoming birthday party; they would all be turning six in the next few months so they were having a combined birthday party, a first for all of them.
I looked at these three beautiful, beautiful children: the biggest maybe the size of a two year old as she toddled on still unsteady feet, the smallest probably the size of a one year old, able to sit and do a small amount of scooting around but not yet crawling. I asked her again how old they would be this year, thinking I had surely misheard. Six years old, their birthdays roughly corresponding to Ella’s and Dean’s birthdays.
I have been to several orphanages and thought I had seen it all but it was a struggle at that point not to weep, not to dwell on the years of malnutrition and neglect that could produce these three tiny children from two different orphanages. I pulled myself together and instead rejoiced that they were in the home of a momma bear with some serious fight in her for her children. Apparently the time to weep and the time to rejoice can overlap.
My mind couldn’t help but turn to another child, Wade, I’ve recently seen on Adeye’s blog and on Reece’s Rainbow. He is about 10 pounds, probably wearing 9-12 month size sleepers (he’s never dressed in other clothes because he never leaves his room) and will be turning three later this year. If he stays in the orphanage he will eventually look like the three children I saw yesterday. If he stays in the orphanage he will continue to be drugged by his caretakers with sedatives intended for adults, at an adult dosage. If he stays in the orphanage he will only be picked up for changes and feeding, not for snuggles and love.
There are hundreds of children like Wade, their growth severely impeded not just by poor nutrition but from a lack of love and nurturing. When my children have entered a stage when they didn’t want to be hugging on their dear old mom, I told them that children need hugs and kisses from their parents or they won’t grow properly. I hate, detest actually, that I can show them an example.
Psalm 30: 1-3, 5b
I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
…weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Praying that tomorrow would be full of news of healing, help, being spared from the pit, and rejoicing! God is able, and He is FAITHFUL!