Sunday, May 23, 2010

Broken Record

Sometimes I feel like I may sound like a broken record, especially when it comes to the plight of the orphans around the world. But, it is something that is very important to me and I will keep talking about.

When my grandparents were here, my grandma was sharing some stories from her childhood. She had a brother who had mental retardation due to something that happened at birth. Back when he was born in the 1930's, America had mental institutions. And it was looked down upon to raise a child like him. Just like it is still in other countries around the world. My grandma's family had a bad stigma around them because her parents raised her brother.

Her mother was encouraged to put him in an institution type of thing when he was an early teen because they would teach him school and he would supposedly do well. Yeah right. She put him in there for a little bit, but hated it. And then ended up bringing him home because he wasn't being taught . . . it was a mental institution.

When my grandmother was telling us this, I couldn't help but think of the orphans who still live the plight of a mental institution and orphanage, even to this day. Yeah, America may not do it anymore and we have come a long ways in that regard, but loads of other countries still do it.

America has just changed what is done with children who have disabilities, namely Trisomies. Instead of putting these children into orphanages or institutions, they are murdered (aborted) 90% of the time a prenatal diagnosis is found.  Because many people still are scared of a child who has a disability. And reject the fact, that God is the one who made them with an extra chromosome. There's nothing that the child could do about it anyway!

Instead of being put into a horrible place to live, where there is hardly any love, where they are starved of proper nutrition and adequate food, and basically die a slow death, they are killed as soon as the diagnosis is found out. Except for the 10% of families who choose to keep their baby after they are given the diagnosis.

So, in these other countries around the world, like many Eastern European countries, you can see the children starved and you can see them dieing a slow death until they are rescued through adoption.

This is the reality of the orphanages in many countries:

How old would you say this little girl is? A year old? Give or take a little.

No, she just turned 5 years old. Yes, you read that right . . . F-I-V-E years old. And she weighs 15 lbs. Her family just adopted her and was able to take her out of the orphanage for good this past week. Just in the nick of time before she would be transferred to a mental institution where she would've very likely died quickly. She will now know the love of a family, instead of her small world of living in a crib.



Looking Up said...

I just wanted to let you know that I agree whole-heartedly with the majority of your post. The one portion I disagree with is when you state that "many people hate a child with a disability". I would change that phrase to "fear having a child with a disability". I am one of the uncommon 10% of people who learned that my son had both DS & a serious heart defect prenatally, but chose to continue the pregnancy. Let me say that it was the best decision my husband & I have ever made. We love our son dearly & wouldn't trade him for anything. That being said, I can tell you that after learning of our son's diagnosis, the remainder of my pregnancy was a very sad & stressful time for my husband & me. The so-called medical experts painted a very grim picture of what raising a child with DS might be like. I was told that my son would "look funny", would "be retarded...maybe with an IQ of 10 or 90" it was impossible for the "experts" to say. He was already suffering from a heart condition that would require open heart surgery, & he could be prone to many other ailments....GI probs, eye & ear probs, even leukemia...the list goes on. I was told that the marriages of parents with kids with special needs had a "70% divorce rate". After having been given all of this negative information, was I told about any positive aspects to raising a child with DS? Was I referred to a support group, a counselor, a fellow parent of child raising a child with DS???? A resounding NO!!!!! I was told, "Well, now you & your husband will have to figure out what to do". That was it. Can you imagine being an expectant parent & having all of that negativity dropped into your lap? Can you understand how upon receiving that information, that some parents might be absolutely terrified & feel compelled to terminate a pregnancy? The sad truth is that what happened to me is not uncommon. I believe that the medical community often gives expectant parents a barrage of very inaccurate & outdated info about DS (ex...I have yet to meet a person with DS with an IQ of 10) & people make life-altering decisions based upon these so-called facts. What they don't tell parents about are the success stories. The children who benefit greatly from early intervention. The kids who go on to have jobs, or college educations & live independently. They don't show you the pics of kids with DS who are absolutely gorgeous...not unlike any other newborn baby. They don't tell you about that joy that child can & will bring into your life each & every day. And that my friends, is heartbreaking.

Qadoshyah said...

I thought I had reworded that phrase before I published it. But, I reworded it to "many people still are scared of a child who has a disability."

Thanks for the commment!

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