Friday, October 2, 2009

Gifts - do you know what you are missing?

I wasn't going to go this direction (yet!) but something came up. I remember when Ralph was born that you couldn't drag me away from him. Sure, I had seven other children at home, but I was not going to leave Ralph's side. Kind of like the shepherd who left the 99 to find the 1, I felt that he needed his mommy  by his side.

It is only by the grace of God that Ralph was born into our family and born in this country. What would I have done if I lived in a place where parents often leave their infants with Down Syndrome in the hospital and tell their families that the baby died? A place where there are no services, no therapies, no inclusion for disabled people. Would I be strong enough to never leave him? 

Here is Ruslana. Would you pray for her today? She lives in a country where it was impossible for her birth mother to keep her, because she was born with Down Syndrome. Her new mommy and daddy are on their way to claim her but she is in a dangerous situation. She is slated to be transferred to a mental institution in the next couple of weeks and may be lost to them. 

It wasn't so long ago that babies with Down Syndrome were routinely institutionalized in the United States. These days our society is more enlightened, isn't it? No. The fact is that a large percentage of babies diagnosed with DS in utero are snuffed out. I've heard figures of 80-90% reported. They don't know what they are missing.

It's kind of sad, really. For most of us parents of children with DS, this isn't the life that we would have chosen for ourselves. But, it is a rich and rewarding life. One that we would choose again, given the choice. Having Ralph for a son has made me a better person and touched many other lives. He is truly a gift.

Which brings me to my drawing announcement! Each day that you leave me a comment this month I will enter you into a drawing for, what else? Gifts 2: How People With Down Syndrome Enrich the World!!

From the product description...Gifts 2 presents a broader perspective on Down syndrome and life by including passionate stories by siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as mothers of older children. Friends, teachers, medical professionals, and coaches also share the joys of knowing and caring for someone with Down syndrome.  

Don't be shy, you lurkers! Leave me some bloggy love so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself! And pray for Ruslana.


Sarah Z said...

Stephanie, how far you've come from my Girl Scout buddy! What a patient and giving woman you've grown into. Thank you for sharing your story.

Stephanie said...

Why thank you Sarah! Gosh, I was a girl scout, wasn't I? Seems like a lifetime ago. So glad to call you a friend again!

therextras said...

Just me again.

Another blogger I follow (yes, I DO read others) is doing a read it forward thing where she will send a book and then track where it goes on her blog. I won't do that, but I will promise to giveaway the book if I win it, after I read it. Barbara

Regina said...

Amen!! I agree with you! I couldn't imagine leaving my little ds angle in an institution! Also, I found an article that claims that 92% of down syndrome babies get aborted! Check out my entry on Oct. 3 on my blog. There is a link to the article. Also, I read the first book Gifts and can't wait to read Gifts 2.

Stephanie said...

Apparently, this book is flying off the shelves. I was at Barnes & Noble the other day and just out of curiosity, I looked for it. They didn't have one copy of either Gifts 1 or 2!

Anna said...

I went to our B& N on Sat to purchase a copy too. They dont even carry it, but could order it. I chose to wait.
We are adopting our 4th child. Waiting on the phone call to fly to Ecuador to bring her home. Its been a long year. I love your picture show from Reeces Rainbow. We chose a little one that wasnt listed yet, by chance?! I chose to think God had her saved just for us.

JennyH said...

I would love the gifts 2 book. I will have to add this to my Christmas list!