Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A detour from the Shoup House

Last year, I stumbled upon a website called Reece's Rainbow. It features orphans with special needs all over the world. If you're interested, you can go to the site and check out the founder, Andrea's, backstory.

Families who are making the adoption journey create blogs and you can follow them every step of the way. They also do fundraising to help them raise the $25,000 or more needed to adopt (some call it ransom) these children who deserve so much more in life. Reece's Rainbow, in its own special way, has created a wonderful community for people who are interested in adopting, have adopted, or even for those who want to support adoption. I have been following adoption blogs for some time now; rejoicing with families when they get to bring their child home, cheering for them as they raise the funds needed and rooting for them as they work to climb the mountain ranges to bring their child home.

Through Reece's Rainbow, I have learned children born with Down Syndrome have a huge need for an adoptive family. Many Eastern European countries shun children with DS and move them into adult mental institutions at the age of 5. The conditions are horrific and there's all kinds of googling you can do to find videos of these children who are suffering. In some cases, there is evidence of deliberate neglect, in other cases, it's cultural ignorance. One family was told that the child they wanted to adopt was better off in an institution because he'd never be able to function in society. Families are encouraged to give their child up at birth because they will never be able to care for the child the way an orphanage can. So, while people can't necessarily change the culture, they work to help the orphans in any way they can.

A woman by the name of Susanna Musser went to meet nine year old Katerina for the very first time this week. She and her family have been working very hard to adopt Katerina. You can read their story here: The Blessings of Verity. The country where Susanna is adopting from requires several visits and they can hope to have the adoption complete in four months, at the earliest. This doesn't include the months and months and months of paperwork just to get to the first visit. When Susanna walked into Katerina's room and met her for the first time, this is what she saw:

Susanna holding Katerina

Keep in mind, Katerina is nine years old. This is just gut wrenching. Later, in the visit, Susanna was able to get Katerina to relax enough to feel comfortable being held.

And later yet, Katerina was all smiles and gigglesfor her new mommy.

Please pray, send good thoughts, whatever your inclination is that the Mussers will be able to bring Katerina home sooner, rather than later. I know it's extremely melodramatic to say we don't know how much time she has left, but honestly, the fact she has survived this long is a miracle in and of itself. Please pray that she will be able to witness the miracle of a loving family. Thank you.

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