I have more beautiful families to share but I feel prompted to go a little different direction. I was going to wait until the end of the month to talk about this, but I think I want to do it now. The five fabulous kiddos you have seen so far have done so well. They all work so hard...with physical therapy, occupational therapy, some play sports, some swim, some have speech, sometimes they have surgeries, but all have love. They all have families that support them, love them, fight for them, and provide opportunities for them. They all have HOPE because of that. The world is theirs...they can do anything they want to do. They are blessed to have a family.
But what about those kids that don't. What happens to them? Do they still have a chance? Do they still have hope? Don't they still get to dream?
Meet Vince. He's five years old. The same age as Kumaka. What's the difference between my son and Vince? Kumaka has a family, one who loves him, who believes him, who supports him, and who allows him to dream. Vince is in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, awaiting a family. I wonder if he even knows what to dream about. He looks so mischievous... just waiting to have fun. I bet Vince and Kumaka would be great friends. Do you know what the similarity is? He is described as being a favorite by the staff at the orphanage, and being cute and radiant. Just like my boy. Can you imagine how much more radiant he would be if he had a family to love and support him?
Meet adorable Tanner. Tanner has low muscle tone and becomes easily tired. He lays down and can't hold himself up. Kumaka couldn't hold himself up either. Without physical therapy, Kumaka wouldn't be able to crawl, stand, or be as strong and have stamina. This sweet boy could be so much more in the loving arms of a forever family. He is also the same age as Kumaka.
Boo is ADORABLE. Does she not look like the little girl in Monster's Inc? She has clubbed feet like Kumaka and scoliosis like Toby. But until she has a family, these things will go unchecked. This adorable girl deserves to have her needs met, and a family to love and hold her. Taking a sweet child away from a solitary environment and giving her a chance to be whatever she wants to be is the gift of a lifetime.
Gemma is so precious isn't she? She concentrates so well on things, and is so loving around others. She is almost five years old. She loves water. Can you imagine her in a swimming pool, in an adorable suit, learning how to swim? Heaven! This brown eyed, brown haired beauty is just waiting for a mommy and daddy to give her a life, one filled with hope, with love, with joy.
Look at this beautiful face. What if Sofia had a family to support her, to raise her to love herself, to believe in herself, to know that she is beautiful, and that she can do anything. Maybe she could be the next Little Miss Wheelchair. Dreams and miracles start with a family.
The Spina Bifida community I have met is HUGE. STRONG. POWERFUL. The children are blessed with parents who fight for them. Occasionally it's an aunt, uncle or grandparent. But it's not often we hear about the parent-less The orphans. Why can't these children be allowed to dream? Why can't they have a dolly, why can't they play basketball? Why can't they go to school, learn to be independent? Why can't they be happy?
They can. If a family decides to welcome one of them into their home. To give them a mommy, daddy, maybe sisters or brothers. To give them a chance at a life.
When I think about Spina Bifida, I think about hardship at first. I think about surgery. I think about the tears I shared in the beginning. I think about the amount of learning and growth our family has done in the process. I think about the friendships we have made. Even more than that, I think about the miracles we have witnessed. I think about the smiles Kumaka gives us right after waking up from yet another surgery; I think about him thanking the nurses for taking care of him. I think of love. And there is enough love in my heart to give hope...to give happiness....to give miracles to another child. That is why Sofi is coming home to be with us. Because when we were talking about adoption, and we were casually looking at pictures, we saw her picture, and her eyes caught mine and my heart was captured....and became entwined with hers. I know this path isn't for everyone, but maybe, just maybe, someone will see one of these sweet children, and that child will reach their heart and they will know what they need to do.