I am feeling like i need to explain some things. Not because anyone has said anything...just feeling like it is needed. I am asking that you read this post. (and now the next one too)
This adoption has been a LONG LONG journey. One that i NEVER dreamed that we would EVER be on! Especially at the age that we are! (we have since found out that we are actually some of the YOUNG ones!!!! SO if you are thinking that our age is old to be doing this...you haven't met a lot of my new friends....many of them are in their 50's AND LOVING these children immensely!) It has been ONE YEAR since MY life was changed. I know that i will NEVER EVER be able to explain it to anyone who has never experienced it but i am going to try.
When i first saw the children that we have advocated, prayed, and given to since March 21st, 2011...my life was FOREVER changed. Have you ever experienced a time in your life like it-where a moment changed your life? I saw children that were JUST LIKE OUR SOPHINA whose only problem was that they were born on the 'wrong side of the world'!!!
I want you to know a few things. My heart is NOT angry with MOST of the orphanages that are in these other countries. (DISCLAIMER: My heart IS JUSTLY angry at orphanages that treat their children the way that some have been shown to do and my heart is feeling hopeful that changes are slowly being made in some places!) My heart is actually compassionate. You can ask my girls. I have tried many times to explain to them that YEARS ago...OUR country was the same way. NOTHING made it more clear than the story that we read last week of a fellow-adopting-lady who shared her story of going into one of these places when she was a teen. When our Victoria read it, she looked up at me and said, "But Mom, it sounds just like Russia or Ukraine!" We FINALLY had a connection where it was REAL....what we are seeing in these countries WOULD HAVE happened to me had i been born with DS. You see i was the SAME AGE as the little girl in the story who the teen visited for three years as often as she possibly could! (just ONE of the MANY things that struck me when i read this story was the response of the workers when the teenager asked if her parents could adopt the little girl.....)You can read this incredible story at http://theblessingofverity.com/2012/03/love-never-fails/ and you won't be sorry. I agree with many that it would make a wonderful movie! (it is VERY VERY long but i really think that it is on my top three favorite of all times blog posts that i have ever read)
ANYWAY, i want my children to know that a lot of times it really is because people have no idea. My goodness, do YOU know that March 21st every year is World Down Syndrome Day? Highly doubtful, unless you have a friend who has a child with DS. SO, the question should have been...before you met our family did you know this info??? THIS is in a country that HAS children, in school systems now even, WITH DS in the REAL world...they aren't being hidden away somewhere. We have such a long way to go in OUR OWN country. MANY MANY people have no idea about details of DS and what it would mean if their child in their womb had it. Would an average pregnant woman know to believe what the Dr. suggests when it is said, "My advice is that you could have an abortion now as this child's life will only be a harsh struggle. Your child will have a very high chance of needing an open heart surgery. Your child will NEVER be "typical" and do what your "typical" child would do." Would she have met someone with DS where she could answer with some facts from that family that she knows? As an overall nation we abort our children with DS at astronomical rates. Do you know what the rate is? Check it out. SO please don't say that a Dr wouldn't say that. MANY people in our country do not know what they are missing!
SO, may i tell you that there is empathy with these families who may never know what they missed out on. I think that our girls are 'getting it' as they asked just this past week (after reading the above blogpost)... "Mom, what happens when Ethan's parents DO find out what Ethan could have been?" I said that i didn't know. I pray in forty years that these countries will have learned that children with DS ARE different BUT they are SO worth that difference because they are a HUGE blessing! (i didn't say that they were EASY remember)
SO....if you have read anything where it seems that i am condemning these countries for the way that they treat their children OVERALL....i am truly sorry. Again, outraged when there is obvious abuse in its truest form and yes, you can make the claim that that is what it is BUT MANY of them it is just lack of knowledge, finances, information to even start to do things differently, etc....
My apology however does NOT change the FACT that there are children who are DYING because of that lack of information, finances and knowledge. That apology however does NOT take away the sting of what i saw on that FIRST day to what i have seen friends go through throughout this past year. It does NOT take away the PASSION that i feel when i talk about it.....BUT this is already long....SO there will be an apology #2. THAT ONE....is the reason i started this particular blogpost.
SO this apology is for if i have come across as condemning the countries and peoples of these countries.
I am STILL ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew
PS. In case you didn't know...a reminder is....our court date is in on the 27th of THIS month!