What if by some cruel twist of fate I woke up one morning to find that the tables were turned, and my beautiful and perfect Lily were lying in an orphanage, somewhere in Eastern Europe?
What if she had lived out the past 16 months of her life with no mommy and daddy to love her, no brothers and sisters to dote on her every day?
What if instead, she spent most of her waking hours in a crib, staring at the slats of the bars and playing with only her fingers or feet for comfort? What if she cried herself to sleep at night, because there was nobody who cared or had the time to attend to her when she woke up scared or lonely or sad?
What if she didn’t eat when she was hungry, go to sleep with a full belly, or have her basic needs met with loving care?
What if my Lily stayed in that orphanage for many years, never leaving it to see the world around her? What if the only connection she had to the outside world was an occasional trip to the playground on the orphanage grounds…but for the most part she was locked away, an outcast of society?
What if she never received the help she needed through therapy, never had the opportunity to develop skills, to grow, to learn.
What if she never got the medical attention she needed when she was first born, had attention given to that tiny hole in her heart that doctors watched so carefully. What if she survived simply because she existed, devoid of any quality of life?
What if she were never celebrated for the treasure that she is, never nurtured or praised or adored? What if there were no parties or gifts or songs to commemorate that beautiful day she made her entrance into the world, nothing that distinguished that day from any other day of her secluded and monotonous life?
What if, after being shut away in that orphanage for five years, she woke one morning to find herself being whisked away from the only home she’d ever known- however stark or isolated- to the horror that is the Institution? What if, because of the inability of any 5 year old, let alone one with cognitive delays, she could not comprehend what had happened to her? What if there were no one to explain to her why her head was being shaved, her tiny arms tied to a crib, or where her friends had gone, and why no one was coming back for her to save her from the nightmare that was now her life?
What if that were my Lily’s fate?
What would I do?
In the words of a dear friend…
I would beg, borrow, and obsess myself to make sure she knew love and felt valued and wanted. If Lily were alone on the other side of the ocean, I would find her and rescue her no matter what the cost or how much dignity needed to be compromised.
Albina is my Lily.
She’s no more deserving of the fate that awaits her than my child.
She is a beautiful and precious treasure, waiting for someone to recognize her value.
Albina is an orphan in Eastern Europe. Because she was born with Down syndrome, she is considered a burden to her society, an outcast to be hidden away.
An anonymous family has committed to matching dollar-for-dollar donations for her up to $5,000. So far, through the generosity of so many like-minded people, she now has $5,332.50 in her grant fund on Reece’s Rainbow; with the matching funds, her grant fund for her adoption is over $10,000.
I have a feeling her sweet little face is enough. But, due to the nature of international adoptions, it’s going to take a pile of money for someone to rescue her. And,