Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm giving away a pair of earrings!

But not here:-)! Bear with me - this is going to be kind of long... A couple of months ago, my husband came home, and began telling me about a story he'd heard on the radio about how children in Eastern Europe are sent to orphanages if they are born with special needs. This obviously affected both of us greatly, as our own son has special needs. I filed it in the back of my mind, and a few months later, as I was convalescing during a particularly nasty case of bronchitis, I came across a group of blogs about families who had adopted children with special needs from Eastern Europe. I remembered what Erik had told me, and read all of these stories with great sadness, and also great hope. I was hopeful for these children because there are wonderful people in this world who are able to raise the thousands of dollars to rescue these precious babies from the orphanages. You may be wondering why it is that I am saddened by the situation in another part of the world, when there are children here in the US that need as much help... I'll tell you! I worked in the foster care system for almost 5 years - in both direct care and case management, and I am fully aware that there are flaws in our system, and that children here are in very bad situations as well. However, in most Eastern European countries, the system is completely broken. Children are placed in cribs, and left there all day - no toys, very little interaction, and for most, not enough to eat. When they grow older (the age depends on the country - it could be as young as 4, or as old as 8), the child is transferred to a mental institution. A MENTAL INSTITUTION. VERY few children are adopted from an institution, and most just languish away and die. This is a true tragedy, because the only "flaw" in these children is that they were not born "perfect." To make matters worse, there are adoption judges in some countries who will not allow these children to be adopted. They feel that children with Down's Syndrome deserve no better than to live out their lives in an institution, rather than with a loving family who WANTS them. We can't change their syndrome, but we can help the children. One of the blogs I came across while sick posted a call for donations a couple of weeks ago. She was going to host a fundraiser and a giveaway, to fund the adoption account for one little boy. Here is the link to her blog, as well as the instructions: HERE By the way, what did I donate? Why, these! And after seeing some of the other donations, I wish I'd been able to do more...
I know money is tight for everyone right now. I'm not asking you to donate anything, but really, even $1 helps. I didn't do this to try and get my friends and customers to give their funds to a child they will never meet... but I hope that in doing this, I have opened your eyes to a true human tragedy, and maybe you might be inspired to do something too.