World Down Syndrome Day 2012…

Today is 21/3 and we celebrate people with Down Syndrome. This date is specially chosen as it represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21 (21/3), which is unique to people with Down syndrome.

This year marks the 7th World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and for the first time the UN will be observing this day, officially! Many countries all over the world have events to celebrate and create awareness of this condition. Click here to find out if your country has an event.

i’m happy to say that Singapore has always had an active group advocating for the needs and rights of people with Downs. Here is a brief report of their WDSD event. i am sad though that Switzerland did not have an event. Maybe next year it will happen here too.

Maybe you don’t know much about Down Syndrome. i have found this website called Kids Health which gives a fairly complete and good explanation of it. It is a great website to use as a resource for children wanting to understand some health issues. Click here for a kid-friendly explanation of Downs.

i like the first two paragraphs:

You have probably seen people who have Down syndrome. They have certain physical features, such as a flatter face and upward slanting eyes. They may have medical problems, too, such as heart defects. Kids with Down syndrome usually have trouble learning and are slower to learn how to talk and take care of themselves.

But despite their challenges, kids with Down syndrome can go to regular schools, make friends, enjoy life, and get jobs when they’re older. Getting special help early — often when they are just babies and toddlers — can be the key to healthier, happier, more independent lives.

But the star paragraph for me is the concluding one on the second page:

Because they look different, some kids may tease or bully kids who have Down syndrome. But these kids have feelings just like anybody else. When they get teased, it hurts their feelings. They want to be accepted and have friends. If you know someone with Down syndrome, you can be a big help by not teasing him or her. Instead, offer a helping hand and a friendly word of encouragement.

The tagline for this year’s WDSD is Let Me In. It speaks of inclusion, which is what every one of us wants; to be included, to be accepted for who we are. The UK Down Syndrome Association has a wonderful competition which does just that – a photography competition just for people with Down Syndrome! Photography is my passion and i can’t wait to see all the entries.

So will you take a step towards accepting a person (adult or child) with Down Syndrome? Will you help your children to understand these kids who have such a great capacity for loving?

In a lot of countries, children with Downs are accepted and given the special help, health care and education they need. But in many others, they are simply unwanted; thought to be useless and are thrown out like garbage. It is a sad situation; it is very heart-breaking when we know that given the proper care and a loving environment, these children will thrive and grow to lead full lives.

Almost 11 years old, Heath needs his family to find him asap. Click on photo for details.

Which leads me to what i am praying for and who i am praying for. i am a prayer warrior for orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs, listed on the Reece’s Rainbow adovcate website. Specifically, i pray for little Heath and little Heather. Both have never been loved and cared for as they should be. Both have been in institutes, which can not meet their needs, for far too long. Both need a loving mummy and daddy to help them through life; to love them, hug them, let them know that they are wanted and accepted for who they are.

Could Heath‘s mummy or Heather‘s daddy be you? 

10 year old Heather, a healthy little cutie needs a family. Click on photo for details.

Or would you join me in praying for them? Pray that their needs be met daily and that their forever families will find them today.

Maybe you can contribute towards their adoption grant which would help their forever families get to them sooner.

Go to this post to read more about Reece’s Rainbow and, Heath and Heather. Learn 21 Truths About Down Syndrome as seen through the eyes of the families with Down Syndrome children. My favourite out of the 21 Truths is this:

3 They are everything wonderful that doctors DON’T tell you, and they are everything that is right in a wrong world.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

syc

PS: If you do consider adopting or becoming a prayer warrior or contributing to their adoption grants, please do leave a comment below so that i can send you a personal thank you and be praying along with you.

A Bell is No Bell Till You Ring It…

i have been in a mood for musicals (again). i love the songs in musicals because they express the feelings and emotions of the characters so well. Well, i’m currently listening to The Sound Of Music, the story of the VanTrapp family, made famous by Hollywood in 1965.

Today i was thinking about the two little special needs orphans, Heath and Heather, i pray for. And found the first verse of the song, Sixteen Going On Seventeen (reprise with Liesl and Maria), speaking the words i was trying to find to express my thoughts.

A bell is no bell till you ring it
A song is no song till you sing it
And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love till you give it away 

And since joining this group of people who daily pray for these orphans and reading about parents who share their journey as they work to adopt these precious kids, i have seen love in action and i have seen how God moves in response to that love people are showing these wonderful children.

i spoke about how God provided Samuel with a family within a few short days of a call for special prayer. Now his family is working hard to raise the money to go and get him home. A family who had never thought of adopting at all is now excited and anxious to have him complete their lives and home. You can follow their love journey here.

i want the same thing to happen for Heath and Heather. Today i specifically want to ask you to ask yourself, the love in your heart (i know you have it in you), can you use it to love Heath and Heather? Don’t let that love stay there. Give it away, love Heath and Heather. Maybe you are the family they are waiting for?

If like me, you are not in a position to adopt, then i ask you to give that love to Heath and Heather in other ways. In praying for them, in helping their grant (money which helps towards their adoption) grow. Heath has seen his grant grow through prayers and still needs more (estimated costs of an international adoption are US$25,000 to US$40,000). But little Heather has not seen her grant grow at all. Getting a bigger grant (US$2500) would get her listed on the sizeable grant available list, which hopefully would help her forever family find her sooner. The lack of information on Heather’s profile isn’t a sign that she is less needy, it simply indicates that no one really knows anymore (which i find a little distressing).

So click on their pictures below and let the love within your heart take action.

syc

PS: Please do leave a comment below if you have contribute towards Heath’s and/or Heather’s grant, so i can send you a personal thank you.

Almost 11 years old Heath, who really needs his family to find him asap.
10 year old, Heather, who is a healthy little cutie and needs a family.

Prayers Working Wonders…

As you all know, i have recently become a Reece’s Rainbow Prayer Warrior, which simply means i am committed to praying daily for specific orphans listed on RR (Reece’s Rainbow).

Today i would like to share how wonderful God has been in the last week, where 14 children of various ages and various special needs have families who will give them a loving home, where they can grow and be cared for as every child deserves to be.

Reece’s Rainbow Prayer Warrior Ministry: My Family Found Me Monday.

i want to highlight one particular boy – his name is Samuel. He is the oldest boy in this list of 14 you see in the link above.

A special call went out on the RR Prayer Warrior Facebook Page on 25th February to pray for Samuel and Duncan. Both boys would be aging out of the system (turning 16) in a few months and would be turned out into the streets or at least no longer be available for adoption. This means that they will most likely fall into despair and/or a life of crime would become a reality for them. Both boys have only minor special needs. They really needed a family soon and they needed a family who is paper-ready; meaning the family is 1) approved to adopt an older child with special needs, 2) able to travel quickly and 3) is financially prepared, which is rare to find.

But God moved mountains and within a week Samuel had a family! Amen, Praise God!

Now we continue to pray that God will move more obstacles and Duncan will have a family real soon, as will many other special needs orphans on RR.

Join me in praying for these precious ones, especially for little Heath and Heather who are the little ones i specifically pray for. If you are moved by the situation these little ones are in, please consider donating towards their adoption. (Donation buttons are on their respective pages)

syc

UPDATE: 08/03/2012

i just found out that Duncan has a family who will adopt him! Praise God! He works in wonderful ways. Amen! Now let’s pray my little Heath and lovely Heather home!