I found a blog yesterday -- The Blessing of Verity. What an amazing mommy! I'm sure she wouldn't want me to say that. This lady has 11 children now. I think her husband is a carpenter. They don't have tons of money, and live in a smallish home. But oh my! Do they have big hearts.
Their 18 month old baby girl, Verity, has Down Syndrome. She's a doll, with adorable glasses. I would post pics here, but I didn't contact the mom, or ask permission, so I won't. They're doing all they can for Verity so she grows up to be as happy and healthy as she can be.
And then they decided they wanted to do an international adoption. Her blog site isn't well organized for searching for posts/events, but I think they saw a news special by Ann Curry about an orphanage in Serbia. And they started to look for their new baby, a special needs baby.
They found her. She's Katie. She's been with them now for 2 months. When they found her at a truly distressing orphanage a Central European country, she was only 10 lbs. But get this: Katie was 9 1/2 YEARS old.
I had to go back and read, and read posts, to verify this. It seemed impossible to me.
The child had been so neglected and malnourished, for so long, that her brain had shut down the grown hormone, and she'd stopped growing. She was so very thin in her arms and legs, with veins in her neck and temples showing. Pale white. So fragile. But they brought her home, and this mom has lovingly, gently nurtured her, slowly, patiently. At first Katie would only eat the tiniest bits of food, from the mom's fingertip. Now she's using a spoon.
I encourage you to go read about this. This is the Kingdom of God -- to take someone so close to death from a place of evil and bring her into love and light. That's what God has done for us, for each of His children. He gently, patiently cradles us and waits for us to respond to His grace.
International adoption of special needs kids is a growing ministry. I know several couples our age who never had children. I think they wanted children. I'd encourage anyone who possibly can, to consider adopting a child like this. I know it's incredible work. I know you may fear that you could never love that child like you would your own. But you know what? You can't really know that, until the child is in your arms, and your heart breaks for the care that he/she needs. And even just a home that has love, and safety, and food, and fun, is exponentially better than the horrors these children are consigned to, for life, in mental institutions.
Down Syndrome children are consistently a joy and blessing to the families they're part of. I've read it over and over. Consider what Katie's lot would have been, if this family had not opened its heart to her. The heavenly treasures are mounding up for them. Are they for you? I hope so!