"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families..."Psalm 68:5-6a

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kathi...the sister I could've never known...

Reece's Rainbow doesn't just help children with Down syndrome. Some of the special needs I've seen on RR are blindness, severe burns, mental delay, cerebral palsy (which my oldest sister has), arthrogryposis, HIV+, deafness, congenital heart defects, autism, fetal alchohol syndrome, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, & even spinal muscular atrophy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy that my own nephew also has. I personally have seen what a difference the care of a loving family can have in the life of a person living with special needs. 

As I mentioned, my oldest sister Kathi has cerebral palsy. She turned 45 this year, & everyone who knows her loves & is delighted by her. She is active in her school, in all sorts of sports including downhill skiing, basketball, & horseback riding, & she is an incredibly hard worker. Every birthday she makes a handmade card for each of her sisters, & she knows & loves each of her nieces & nephews. She is partially paralyzed & cannot speak, but she certainly can communicate! But her life could have turned out much differently. You see, when she was diagnosed with CP, around the age of one, the doctor recommended that my mother put Kathi in an institution. He gave a grim prognosis, stating that Kathi would never walk, be toilet trained, be able to communicate, or even know her own family. My horrified mother refused...she knew that her baby needed one thing most of all, & that was a mother.

Kathi has proven that doctor wrong many times over. I often wish that somehow that doctor could see the life that Kathi has led. I hope he became better informed on what is "good for" children like her, & I cringe when I think that other scared, new parents probably took his advice. The difference between Kathi's prognosis & her actual life simply comes down to the love of a family, & the hand of God. It all began with my mother's willingness to lay her own life down & do whatever it took to be a mother to her baby...

I am praying that people would see these children. That they would really see them & realize that they each deserve the best chance at life that they can get. I'm praying that families will be raised up to bring the children home. I'm praying that people would do whatever they can to help the cause of the orphan. Christians out there, this is specifically addressed to you. We are told that true religion is caring for the orphan & widow. Every single one of us should be asking ourselves & God, "What is my role? What can I do?" There are people like me, who long to adopt but cannot...but there are also people who are able in every way, but who just haven't ever thought about or who are kept back from adoption by fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what it will do to their family. Fear of never having their child-free golden years. Meanwhile, the children wait, & suffer, & long for the love that they need.

It's not my job to convict anyone...that is the work of the Holy Spirit. All I can hope is that my words can help someone to stop & think...to ask themselves what they can do, & maybe even to come to the realization that they are called to adopt. Oh Jesus, open the eyes of your people to see the need, & speak to them to do what they can to meet it.

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