Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nine Months

Alina has been home for nine months, today.

In the span of a typical pregnancy, this little girl has worked her way into our hearts and lives like she has always been here.  

Alina asleep in big brother Kyle's arms
Now that we know Alina, it is extremely hard to think about the years she spent without a family of her own, and even harder to think about her fate had we not come for her.  

Alina will be four in a few months.  Her paperwork would most likely already have been in place for her imminent transfer from the baby home to a remote, regional mental institution, where the care is poor at best.  

I can't put into words how it feels to know that she was so close to having to experience transfer and life in an institution.

She is a child--a beautiful, sweet, funny, curious and sensitive child--who is very aware of the world around her.   

She has so much to offer, and we are so very grateful to have her in our lives.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saving Normal

A new, less-invasive and accurate blood test to detect Down syndrome early in a pregnancy will be available to the masses before long.

It is being billed as a test "which has the potential to reduce the number of women referred for invasive testing for Down syndrome by 98 percent". It is a test that will "save women from losing normal children just because of a procedure".

New Down Syndrome Test Could Cut Healthy Baby Deaths:  Non-Invasive Blood Test Could Eliminate Miscarriage Risk of Amniocentesis

This story was run widely in newspapers, on t.v. and on the internet. News anchors reported the story with enthusiasm. "Exciting!" and "Fantastic!" were just a few of the exclamations heard in the clips.

Amidst all of the excitement, there was little discussion in the news reports about the consequences and implications of the test. (The comments sections on-line are a different story--as anyone who has a personal stake in this issue is already aware).

One expectant mother who had the test (and it was negative) was so relieved to know that her baby "would be safe". A punch in the stomach would have felt better than hearing that statement. The message: Down syndrome is to be avoided at all costs. Saving "normal" babies is the goal.

I've been around this debate long enough to know that there will never be a last word.

"Personal choice", "burden", "cost to society", "quality of life"....are all issues which come around and around again. But what we are really debating is the value of human life.

If we value Life as a whole, we don't put qualifiers on it. We don't reason and rationalize lives out of existence.

More than 9 out of 10 expectant parents who learn that their unborn baby has Down syndrome will choose to terminate. This statistic is hard to process. It says plainly: to most people, individuals with Down syndrome are not worthy of life.

Loving two little girls with Down syndrome, its something I can't even begin to process.

Because our experience is not a hypothetical one.

Our daughters with Down syndrome are real. They are vibrant, beautiful people who are as worthy of life as anyone else. They are people. They are my children. They are my cherished daughters.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A New Year

And some new pictures to go with it :).
She's from Ukraine alright :), this girl loves high heels!
And can walk in them!

Alina is obsessed with Alphie the Learning Robot
(she dresses him with any clothing that is laying around and loves
to put stretchy headbands with big bows on him!)

Doctor Alina listening to the robot's chest (in backwards
footy sleeper and hot pink cowboy boots)

Bridget talking to her dollies

Sisters, enjoying popsicles in bright afternoon sunlight

I have no idea what was so interesting out there,
but look at those cute little bodies :)

Two little girls, not feeling well, but laughing anyway :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Please Say Yes


Is there room in your heart or home for one more?  Just look at these little loves.  Both of these beautiful, able little girls are in dire need of homes.

Olga is due for transfer very soon, and she has a HUGE grant...$12,549 already raised for her adoption. Kareen already has $3,276 in her fund.  This grant money will go directly toward the adoption costs for each girl, to be used by the families who commit to bring them home.

Don't wait any longer. Please, if you are considering adoption, choose today to commit. Say yes today.

Contact Andrea at Reece's Rainbow for more information.