I first heard about Reese’s Rainbow via the blog: No Greater Joy Mom. The Christian mother who writes this blog has three biological children, two adopted daughters from Asian countries, and they recently adopted two Down syndrome girls that they found via Reese’s Rainbow. When they brought them back to the States, the girls were about 5 years old and 20 pounds apiece. Since arriving in their new home, they’ve grown and developed quite a bit. It’s a fascinating blog to follow.
Off and on for the past year or so, I’ve considered the idea of adoption.
I still hope to have another baby or two of my own, but the idea of adoption appeals to me. I am especially attracted to the idea of adopting a child who really needs help that s/he can’t get in their own country. I want a child that truly needs a good home. I’m not looking to create my family through adoption; I already have two daughters of my own. Instead, I’m looking to expand my family by helping out a child who really needs help, and to give that child a chance to join our already-existing family.
I’ve often thought that I would like to adopt a child who was an actual orphan, who had no family that loved or cared for him/her, and who really needed a home. Recently, I discovered a website dedicated to children who are special orphans, and now these children are on my mind and heart. The website is called Reese’s Rainbow, and here’s an abridged description of their organization from their website:
Reece’s Rainbow was started in 2004 as an outreach program serving new families with babies with Down syndrome in Atlanta, GA. In 2006, the program expanded to include promoting the international adoption of children with Down syndrome. By raising money to offer adoption grants on waiting children, we are able to give adoptive families the extra financial help they need to bring a child with Down syndrome home from a miserable existence in overseas orphanages. Our Sponsorship Program provides a unique opportunity for anonymous donors to contribute to the adoption journey of our families. These children are viewed as outcasts with no ability to learn or be functional members of society. They languish in mental institutions, hidden away from the world in shame. Even if you are not able to adopt a child at this time, you truly can change the course of a child’s life by helping adoptive families afford the costs of international adoption.
If you’re strong of heart, you can view actual pictures and read short descriptions of the waiting children here. I was looking at some of the children this afternoon when Lyd came home from school. She joined me in looking at the children, and she asked questions about why some of the children looked the way they did. She thought some of them looked funny at first, but when I explained what some of the various problems were that made some of the children look like that, she was deeply affected emotionally. Then, she snuggled close to me and didn’t want to look at the pictures anymore.
But, wouldn’t you know, when she and Jujubee were playing later (making a huge mess in the process!), I was informed that they were playing a game called “We’re adopting babies!” The girls had gotten out all their baby dolls and were somehow playing adoption. They were both really into the game, although, to be fair, I’m not sure Jujubee understood what was going on. But, she was playing with Lyd, so she was happy. (If only they would have had equal zeal to pick up their mess later on…) Lyd thinks we should adopt one of those children, but she still prays every night that I will have another baby.
I mentioned this idea of adopting a child with Down syndrome to my husband a few nights ago, and his initial reaction wasn’t as skeptical as I expected. At his childhood congregation, one of the families had a son with Down syndrome, and while that son is older than us and still living at home, that son functions pretty well in society. He’s an usher at their church. Plus, that son is always happy. I’ve heard that about Down syndrome children: they’re almost always happy.
I don’t know what the future holds. It’s one to thing to feel sorry for those kids, but it’s another thing to think of actually coming up with $20,000+ and traveling halfway across the world to get a child, a child who will probably never leave the nest. I don’t know if I’m made of strong enough stuff for that. But, it’s probably one of those things where I won’t know that I’m strong enough until I try, and then, God will give me the strength that I need.
I’m not ready to give up my dreams of another pregnancy yet. But, this idea of adopting a Down syndrom orphan is appealing to me on many levels. We’ll see what God has in store for our future.
The tagline of the Reese’s Rainbow blog reads: “Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down syndrome…” That phrase certainly gives one food for thought.