Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Take a look at these beautiful children.
They’re all former Russian orphans, adopted in 2012 by U.S. parents through the non-profit Reece’s Rainbow. A Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry, since 2004 it has found homes for more than 900 orphans with DS and other disabilities primarily from Russia, Eastern Eutrope, Asia and Latin America.
With the Russian ban on American adoptions that went into effect this week, many children will be withering away in Russian orphanages. According to The Promise, more than 200,000 children in Russia are institutionalized; Reece’s Rainbow founder Andrea Roberts estimates that 1000 of those kids have Down syndrome. More than 60,000 children have been adopted from Russia in the last two decades, per UNICEF. President Vladimir Putin’s political move is going to have a very personal, cruel effect on orphans/
“The law that Putin signed would literally be a death sentence for hundreds, if not thousands, of Russian orphans with special needs,” Andrea Roberts told First Things writer Matthew Hennessey, father to a little girl with Down syndrome. Hennessey notes that children with Down syndrome often have health needs, including heart defects, that are best handled when a child is young. He spoke of his own daughter’s issues with aspirating thin liquids, and how at home they thicken up water, juice and milk to avoid her drawing it into her lungs and getting infection. “If Magdalena were left untended, fed a diet of typical institutional fare without accommodations, she would aspirate daily, contract pneumonia several times over, and likely die within a few years,” he said.
Over on Reece’s Rainbow Facebook page, an update referring to the proposed amendment reads “A small window of hope for our kids with disabilities…please pray that this window absolutely OPENS!”
Kids with disabilities need our prayers. All those kids in Russian orphanages need them. Sometimes in life, we’re not able to head off tragic outcomes for children. This is one time it is possible, if only Putin would come to his senses.
Photos: Reece’s Rainbow