Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Disability Rights International

We Need Your Help to Protect the Rights of Children with Disabilities Around the World

Dear DRI Supporters,

Several weeks ago, I visited a baby house in Eastern Europe. It houses about 130 infants and small children, a third of whom are children with disabilities. Most babies are eventually returned to their birth parents, put into foster care or are adopted. But not the babies with disabilities. They have nowhere to go. Among children with disabilities, almost 30% died last year.

I walked with trepidation into each dark room. In the middle of the day, not a sound. Not one child crying. They learn quickly that no one comes. One room after another, children with disabilities lay dying. Hydrocephalus and spina bifida are left untreated, despite the fact that the country has the means to care for these conditions. I was told that doctors will not perform surgery on children with disabilities who "have no future." And many die from lack of touch and love, despite adequate food and heat.

One six month old baby with hydrocephalus still haunts my dreams. The condition (caused by a buildup of spinal fluid in the head) can easily be corrected by the insertion of a shunt. But instead, this little boy had a "burst" -his head blew a hole from the pressure. He lay in his crib dying an agonizing death.

6 month old in Tblisi Baby House
6 month old boy whose head recently burst due to untreated hydrocephalus. Doctors expect the boy to die "anytime."

Millions of babies and children around the world are suffering the same fate-left to grow up in institutions without the hope of having a family. Many are denied medical care and left to die. We need to stop this. Segregation from society - or leaving children to die - is a fundamental violation of international human rights law and must not be tolerated in any society. That is why DRI is working towards the end of the institutionalization of children with disabilities worldwide.

This can change: doctors and societies need to understand the value and human rights of every human being's life; governments need to support families to keep their children with disabilities at home by providing financial support, inclusive education and respite care; and international donors, including the US government and the European Union, need to stop funding segregated services and more institutions to shut away children with disabilities. Children with disabilities have the right to grow up with a family and live as part of society - just like other children.

It's that simple.

DRI is training disability activists, educating international donors, getting the word out to the media, and holding governments accountable for human rights abuses worldwide. Please click here to make a contribution to support our work. We need your help. We really do.

Warmest regards and much love.

Laurie Ahern signature
Laurie Ahern,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera Kit GIVEAWAY!!!

Want a chance of winning a Nikon D3100? Well then this is the place to go to enter to win one. The best part is you will also be helping bring a sweet little 7 year old boy home to his forever family!!! A little boy who sits in a not so nice place waiting. He has waited 7 years! Please check out this fundraiser and give so that a little boy can be home for Christmas with his forever family. It really is a win win for everyone!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Family Of 15!

And that is not counting our four legged kids!! Now who would have thought adding 2 teenagers to a house that already had 2 teenagers living in it would be anything but pure bliss????? I would have to say without a doubt that this has been the most challenging adoption adjustment period for all of us. As if adding a 16 year old girl who has lived in an orphanage for the past 9 years isn't enough for one to handle, we then bring along her 14 year brother who has lived in an orphanage since he was 5. It's been interesting to say the least.
It's the little things that I wasn't prepared for. The way neither of them want to wear warm cloths because they don't like them. I'm sure it's because they are not used to them coming from Colombia South America where it is summer all year long!!! They wont eat because they don't like the food. While in Colombia I told them that food was going to be a big adjustment for them because it really is different. Oh, just try bringing a 14 year old boy shopping for some cloths. I couldn't figure it out until I asked him if he EVER got to pick out cloths before?? Of course he hadnt, he lived in an orphanage where they just give you the cloths! I was just used to buying our newly adopted kids their cloths and putting food on the table and they ate it. Then to top it off I have Kaylee asking why she didnt just get to go pick out whatever she wanted to wear when she first came here! Really Kaylee??? You were 11! They are 14 and 16. Can't really dress them in Garanimals now can I! Oh, and by the way my dear Kaylee, I did bring you shopping and let YOU pick out what you liked!!! Ah, teenagers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Language, food, cloths, self esteem, rules, school, family, all of it is so much different when adopting an older child.
Other than all that I think things are going pretty well. If getting on the wrong bus after school, boys asking for phone numbers, thinking you don't have to do chores now that you have a mom, thinking one can play video games for hours on end and is the "American" thing to do, getting talked to by the assistant principle for not eating lunch and then when he is trying to explain to you why food is important you ignore him and he flips out, run in the bathroom crying because tata or mom try to explain rules, and sleeping on top of you covers so you don't have to make your bed in the morning are all considered things going well, then yes, things are going very well!!!!
All in all, they are home and this is where they want to be and where we want them to be. They are good kids and family is such a foreign thing to them. So sad. I just hope and pray that in the short time we have to raise them it will be enough. That they will "get" what a family is. That they will feel what a family is. That they will forever know that this family, their family, our family will be here for them always.

About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.