Our social worker called tonight to remind me about a request she had made of me at her last visit. The social worker who did the placement for Rafael with our family is moving on to another position after many years doing this work. We were asked to send a picture and note for the placement social worker; they will be making a book from as many children that she placed as possible.
It was late when I remembered about this but luckily dh hadn’t yet gone to sleep for the night. Rafael was just waking up so even though the timing wasn’t ideal since he was drowsy, we managed to get a few quick pics. Rafael (now 8 months old) is such a good sport – it doesn’t matter how tired he is or if he’s just opening his eyes from a nap – if someone he loves is giving him attention, he’s a happy baby!
I haven’t really written much about our little treasure. I don’t know if you could find many babies who get as much love and attention as this cutie – our kids don’t get tired of telling me how much cuter he’s gotten since the day before- and he returns their love in full with his heartfelt smiles and laughter.
Two blog readers sent me the following clip of a couple who adopted a baby girl with Trisomy 21 and have made it their mission to convince parents considering giving up babies with T21 to keep them. I was in touch with the husband both with Baby M last September and with Rafael seven months ago. With Baby M, he was the direct liason with her birth parents; with Rafael, to access some of his connections to help cut through the legal paperwork that Rafael had been caught in.
The clip is in Hebrew, but for those of you who understand this, it’s very moving. I watched it several times and felt choked up each time, especially when the woman describes going to the hospital for this abandoned baby they had heard about who was going to be having major surgery. With no legal standing, nothing but a desire to help this baby who had no one, she told the staff she was the mother, and then as soon as she held the baby told her, “Tamar, Tamar, Mommy is here, and and Mommy promises that she’s never going to leave you. ”
Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out how to link the video directly, so you’ll have to click this link and then click on the video. Moving video of couple that adopted baby with T21
The reality remains that too many babies with Down syndrome are given up every year. Not because the parents aren’t capable of raising them but because of advice or suggestions they are given, the fears they have, the stigmas they may feel…. Accurate information goes a long way in encouraging parents and dispelling the fears that lead to giving babies up.
After Yirmi was born five years ago, I anticipated that I would go to hospitals and speak to parents who had gotten the diagnosis of T21, particularly those who were considering giving up their babies. Despite my willingness and even signing up to be on the roster of parents called in this situation, I was never contacted. Though I’ve spoken to parents of infants and children with T21 and supported them in different ways, reaching out to parents in the hospital obviously wasn’t meant to be my focus. It’s touching to see the passion and commitment of this couple for whom this is their mission.