"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Changing Hearts

When I first started advocating for Reece’s Rainbow, I didn’t realize that I would need to bring the fight home.

I think most people in the Western World are horrified by the treatment that they see extended to children with disabilities elsewhere. I know I did and I felt so superior… Its easy for people to point fingers and think that the treatment is so barbaric and that we have much higher standards here in the US… we would never let something like that happen!

And I forget that just 30 odd years ago, our treatment of people with disabilities was no better than what we see today in the rest of the world.

Children abandoned to institutions at birth because they are less than the ideal child everyone so desperately wants.

Children denied life saving medical treatment because they are not considered worth the extra effort.

Children denied therapies because for all the effort, they will never be typical.

Children denied basic schooling because they have a less than average cognitive ability.

And of course I look at the United States 70-90% abortion rate for those with a prenatal diagnosis of down syndrome and I know that our hearts are just as hard. That number just hurts my heart.

I know that there are people who see the treatment of orphans with disabilities and instead of thinking that they deserve our love and energy and effort as the least of these, they think to themselves, it would be better for them if they had never been born. Surely, that it is more humane?

Arguments like that tell me all about a person’s heart more than anything else and how they treat people. People deserve to be treated with kindness and empathy no matter what their situation or ability not ignored or killed just because they require a little extra effort. I generally find the more effort I put into people, the more they surprise and delight me.

God give us a heart for justice. Forgive our hard, uncaring hearts. Help us to stand up for those who really are weak and voiceless. Give us hearts that love and that value people for what you made them to be.

One of the reasons that I am so excited to be back in the United States is that I get to be more involved with Reece’s Rainbow on the ground level. I know that there is much more that I could be doing, but for a start – I was honored to be able to represent Reece’s Rainbow at our local Down Syndrome Buddy Walk at the end of October!

My confession is this… I thought that I was going to just show up, sit at a booth and answer questions about Reece’s Rainbow!  No. That is not all. It turned out that I needed to help with the planning and fundraising and also try to get people to show up. Not to mention help decorate a booth… decorating is not my strong point! I was new in town and I did as much as I could, but I still didn’t do much. Next year I hope to do more!

Anyway, it was such an honor to go and help out. Before I started advocating for Reece’s Rainbow, I didn’t know anyone with Down Syndrome, but I just knew that I had to do something. If people tried to get to know someone with DS... you learn that they are just like regular people. They are funny, they get sad, they get happy, they talk, they sing, they dance… and they love. They are human beings, and just as deserving of life and kindness as anyone else, maybe more so.

I was able to meet a fellow Angel Tree warrior, Elaina, who I had an online friendship with even before I found out we were moving to Midland… and it turns out she and her husband were also the secret matching donors from my Miracles post two years ago Smile. It was so cool to meet her. I also had my amazing family and my husband who is the best ever come along and help out! Our friends the McCollochs came, which was so sweet of them.

My favorite part was the Zumba at the beginning to get every one warmed up for the walk! Check out those moves Smile, there was one little girl with DS who just stole the show, and of course Isla had to get into the action. I tried to upload a video of it… but no dice. She still loves her Buddy Walk shirt and its her favorite thing to wear.

Kickin’ it to Zumba!

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Loved this shirt!

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Isla passing out Skittles with a Reece’s Rainbow sticker on it that said “Share the Rainbow!”

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Elaina trying to keep the awesome Angel Tree sign up poster she made from blowing over!

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People signing up to be Angel Tree warriors Smile.

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This little girl stole the show dancing to Gangnam Style! She was so cute!

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Anyway, it was so fun to see all of Midland’s Down Syndrome community come out and celebrate people with an extra chromosome. We raised over $18,000!!! The kids we saw were so loved by so many! They are going to lead wonderful, full lives because they have families who love them and support them…

I want the same thing for Asher and Prince!!!!

Please help me find them families. Donate to their grant accounts, share their pictures and stories! You never know, but you might be the one who introduces these blessings to their families!

Asher

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Prince

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Please donate to Prince HERE or Asher HERE or click on their pictures above or on the side of the blog!

If you donate $5, you will gain entry into our giveaway, with extra entries for each multiple of $5. See below for prizes and rules! ($5 = 1 entry, $25 = 5 entries, etc.)

If you donate $35, you get an ornament in honor of Prince, AND I will ship you a batch of either my REGIONALLY famous brownies or my INTERNATIONALLY famous chip-of-your choice (milk chocolate, semisweet, peanut butter, etc.) cookies… hint, hint my MOTHER taught me how to make them Smile.

THESE ARE OUR PRIZES!!!

$1000 to the Reece’s Rainbow Child or Family of YOUR CHOICE!

A Vitamix blender - a $450 value!

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A beautiful handmade scarf!!!

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Earrings - $20 value

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Glass Angel - $5 value

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BIBLIOPLAN E-Book Ancient History - $40 value

BIBLIOPLAN E-BOOK Medieval History - $40 value

BIBLIOPLAN E-BOOK Modern History - $40 value

BIBLIOPLAN Ancient History Craft Book - $12 value

BIBLIOPLAN Medieval History Craft Book - $12 value

BIBLIOPLAN Modern History Craft Book - $12 value

Swavorksi crystal necklace – $80 value

Silver earrings from Peru – $10 value

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Pink faux leather jewelry box - $20 value

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Lovely scarves – $25 each

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Ginger on a Mission tote – $25

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Lovely handmade scarf donated by Scarves and Skirts for Sara – $15 value

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Hobby Lobby gift card – $10, donated by Hannah Sophia Music

Target Gift Card – $25

Visa gift card – $25

A Poppies Blooming blog makeover, blogger or word press format - $75+ value

The Boy From Baby House 10 – $13 value

MORE PRIZES COMING!!!!

*Child of the day will be the lowest child on the Angel Tree as of that morning at 10 AM Central Time. Children will only be featured ONE TIME. If they are the lowest child on the tree more than once, then we will select the next lowest child on the Angel Tree.

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