This is Gene and Ernie. Gene will be 16 in August and he has Down syndrome. Ernie will be 4 in December and he has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus. These boys are both living on borrowed time. Gene is already in an institution and isn't doing well in the current situation. In August, he will be transferred to a worse place with no hope of ever being adopted and knowing the love of a family. Ernie will be transferred to an adult mental institution on his birthday. Did you read that? This BABY will be in an ADULT institution as of December. Ernie will most likely die from exposure, abuse, or malnutrition within his first year in the institution. Why are these boys being transferred? Because they were, unfortunately, born in countries where people who are differently-abled are seen as worthless, cursed/a curse on their families, "a lump of flesh and bones" (quote from an orphanage worker about a child with Ds), not worth investing in or loving, and a burden. If you have seen Wesley, you will know that this way of thinking is NOT TRUE.
People with disabilities deserve to be loved and poured into. They can thrive and lead "normal" lives! In the U.S., these boys would receive therapies to help them succeed, they would go to school with their peers, they would receive necessary medical and dental care. Where they are now, they are deprived of all of this, in addition to not having families. Why waste your time and money on someone who is of no benefit to society, right? Can you see the warped lens through which they're being viewed?
Gene is in a country where the adoption process moves quickly. He just needs a family committed to him by August and he will avoid transfer. He has over $16,000 in grant money for his adoption. That is over HALF of the adoption costs that are already covered!
Ernie also needs a family committed to him by December. He has about $1,500 in grant money but he is so loved by the Reece's Rainbow community, that I know there are people who would help his forever family to fundraise.
PLEASE see these boys. Please see their potential. I can put you in touch with families who have adopted children with special needs so you can see the transformation that comes from being in a loving, secure environment.
If you are not feeling called to adopt, would you do something in honor of Wesley's 2nd birthday tomorrow? Would you consider donating $2 to each of these boys? Or even just one of them. All donations made through the links below are tax-deductible. If you are unable to donate, please pray for these sweet boys and their future families. I am praying that each of them will be spared the horrors of an institution.
We're almost 2 years into our journey with Down syndrome and I thought I would take the opportunity to celebrate it on World Down Syndrome Day - March 21 or 3/21 for Trisomy 21, which is the most common type of Down syndrome. Before having Wesley, I will admit that I believed people with Down syndrome all looked alike. (And it's OK if you thought the same!) It's true that they can share many common physical features such as a flattened profile or nasal bridge, extra folds of skin at the inner corner of their eyes (epicanthal folds), almond-shaped or upwardly-slanted eyes, and small, low-set ears. After seeing so many beautiful faces of those with Ds, I've realized that they all resemble their family members more than anything else. On this day where we celebrate Down syndrome and campaign for acceptance and inclusion, I present this video of the loved ones of families that we're living life alongside online and in real time. I love seeing the joy they bring and how precious and valued they are.