Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Story to Share as we Remember Gwen & Marie

Lillian, Marie and Me with Gwen around 27 weeks.
I have two blog posts "in the wings" for Gwen's blog...and I do intend to share about Arthur and Lil on their blogs...but as the days seem to be consistently only 24 hours and it seems odd to neglect my children to blog about them, I'm just not finding the time and space. I will get to them at some point...but for today, an awful anniversary of huge losses in our life, I wanted to share something as I share Gwen's and Marie's memory. It's a completely heartbreaking and heart-lifting story at the very same time and I hope as you remember Gwen and Marie with us today that perhaps you will feel moved to action for one little CHD Warrior named Wilson from across the world. Read on...his story is below.

An over-the shoulder shot taken by Grammy (my mom)
Snuggled near me in the baby sling.
For me, my little Gwen's life means something if while through the sadness of today she can help bring attention to a place to direct love. Same goes for Marie. I remember how Marie once spoke to me about wanting to do something like her parents, be on the mission field. She wanted to be somewhere helping people in countries that experience the world in ways so different from our comfortable, squishy lives. Even Winship, whom we miss every day too, had a heart that was called towards helping others - he spoke to us about wanting to go into counseling and specifically help boys.

Myers napping with his little Gwen
Myers and Marie at Shenandoah National Park
Same day as the picuture above - enjoying Shenandoah National Park - Will, Henry, Lillian, Laura, Marie, and Lane. Our little Lil was 7 months which is how old Arthur is now. How I wish this group could do the same hike again with Arthur as the baby.
So, to the story I want to share; in short, there is a family (wonderful family) at my church who is hoping to adopt a child from Eastern Europe. These excerpts are from their blog:

"He’s an adorable six year old little boy.  Wilson is in an orphanage in Eastern Europe and has been his whole life (as far as we are aware.) Wilson was born with Down syndrome and a heart condition. He has had surgeries to repair his heart and he now uses a pacemaker. He’s said to be active and friendly.

Wilson is  just an innocent little guy who was made in the image of God and yet because of an extra chromosome was abandoned into a life no child deserves.  We hope to soon deny him of his orphan status and make him our son!  :)"


"If you’re unfamiliar with what life typically looks like for these precious children…children with disabilities, living in EE, I’ll try my best to paint the picture…having learned what I know from others.

When a baby is born with a disability such as Down Syndrome, the parents are typically told in the hospital that it is best for a child like that to be raised in an institution….that families are not capable of caring for these children. It’s just been an accepted fact in their society. So, babies are left in the hospital and sent to an orphanage or “Baby House” as they are called. Many Baby Houses have caring staff, some do not. But they are terribly understaffed and underpaid and even the best carers have little time to spend giving babies all that they need.

Around age 4-7yo, the children are transferred out of the Baby Houses and into institutions….mental asylums. This is a very traumatic change for them. They are moved from the only “home” they have known, from the only carers they have known, from a place that usually has a few toys and colorful pictures on the walls….into a mental institution. These institutions house children from age 4 on up to age 18, many with severe mental disorders. They are housed all together….with little to nothing to do. Kids often sit in empty rooms inside or in shacks outside (if they are lucky to get out). Most of them are not taught any skills, they are not given any toys to play with….they just sit or find other unproductive ways to pass the hours away…..rocking, making humming noises, head banging, hurting other children, etc. Not a life pretty to live."



"$10 from 2500 people adds up and will keep Wilson from aging out of his orphanage and being sent to a mental institution!"



Finally let me just say this also, for today - *Thank you* for surrounding us with love today:

"Sometimes, with the best of intentions, friends (and family), don't know how to help. They may feel that to bring up the subject of our loss is to risk making us feel worse, so they avoid it and talk of other things while the presence of the unspoken builds up to an almost intolerable pressure."  -Thank you to everyone in our life - we've been blessed to not have to feel this way, today and every day, and I thought I'd share the quote because it's a good one for all of us to keep in mind...

We can sometimes be flimsy when it comes to deep sadness and horribly sad things, yet so much of the world is of this "type" - so one way we can be less flimsy is to just "be" with those who are deeply pained and get comfortable with the depth of their pit - be there and know that you are being a comfort by just witnessing their walk through the labyrinth of heartache.

And...if you can and want - I encourage you today to join me in taking our personal awfulness of  today and acting against it; spend a moment to help Wilson's family bring him home!

Sleepy in her carseat
Stretching in her sleep

The Carpenter Girls

Fun. Marie and the word "fun" go together. Her laugh -  I can still hear it.

Ten years loom and as always seems to be the case, I find myself struggling the most in the days ahead of the anniversary  - be it her birt...