In addition to all the good memories I have of Ukraine, I would be remiss if I didn't share a moment in time that stands out with such clarity that I vividly remember it like it happened yesterday.
Right at the end of our adoption, our Facilitator--who is a very kind, compassionate man at heart--said to me (through translation) "Paula, you come back next year and I get you a HEALTHY child."
I was stunned! I wanted to say to him...
Haven't you seen and experienced the joy and thankfulness that adopting Bella has brought to us! Can't you see that we LOVE this beautiful child we have been blessed with?
There were many things I could and should have said, but I only replied "No, this is the child God intended for us. And we are so thankful for her."
I hope and pray that through Reece's Rainbow and the adoptions of children with Down Syndrome that God will use adopting families as instruments to open the eyes of the world to the worth and beauty of our children!
The ultimate goal would be for things to change dramatically in foreign countries so that parents are able to keep their children with Down syndrome at home and not give them away to orphanages.
But, really, we aren't much better here in the US are we? At least there, the children are born...here, if the child is found prenatally to have Down syndrome, over 90% of their parents will end their life!
So my prayer really should be that ALL people from ALL over the world recognize that ALL children are valued! All people need to know this scripture taken from Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
So I hope this memory will stay with me and act as a catalyst to advocate for children with Down syndrome all over the world--first for life and then for families!