There is a family in our church who was blessed with a baby boy in January. Simeon Lakes is a happy boy, full of chatter, and a FULL head of hair. He was also born with an extra chromosome. To be honest, I did not know a lot about children with Down syndrome. Even as a teacher, I never had the privilege of interacting regularly with any children with Down syndrome.
Reece's Rainbow is a 501(c)3 organization that seeks to promote the international adoption of children with Down syndrome. You see, in many places around the world, those who are born "different" are often viewed as outcasts with no ability to learn or be functional members of society. Often times, babies with Down syndrome are left in orphanages, and then transferred to mental institutions, where many do not live to see their 10th birthday.
Andrea Roberts started the organization to help change this. There are various ways that hope is being brought to children around the world:
1. Providing funding for adoptions- International adoptions are costly, averaging about $20,000 per child. And, as Tara said yesterday, there is no discount if the child you fall in love with has a disability. For this reason, at the Reece's Rainbow website, an account has been set up specifically for each child awaiting adoption. The money you give toward that child is saved in an account for the family to use when they are ready to adopt that child. What a gift for that family to have to make the process a bit easier financially! Their goal is to raise at least $1,000 for each of the 200 children awaiting adoption. Click the link for more info.
2. Prayer Warriors- They have a program where you can become a prayer warrior for a child awaiting adoption. Much like a child sponsorship through other organizations, only you give of your time in prayer. The Lakes have a little boy they are praying for, and are praying for a family with "a mommy, a daddy, a brother, a sister, a dog, a cat, and the guinea pig is optional." I love it.
3. Adoptions- In only three and a half years, Reece's Rainbow has been the hands and feet of Jesus to bring hope and life to 225 children with Down syndrome. And if you love a good, honest, happy ending, check out their "Homecomings" link. And this video. You might want some Kleenex handy, though.
And it all started with one family who was blessed by a precious boy named Reece. What gets you excited? What makes your heart skip a beat? Don't let anyone tell you it won't make a difference. Tell that to the 225 children who now have a loving family and a place to call home.
If you would like to read more about the Lakes family, feel free to check out their blog. And, be sure to read this entry. What a reminder to take it "one day at a time."
Thanks, Tara, for sharing your passion and your sweet Simeon with us.