PD: 2 children cuddle, & 1 has Down Syndrome. Text over the image reads: “reecesrainbow.org. Live simply so others may simply live. Mother Theresa. #downsyndrome #adoption #specialneeds #orphannomore”
*Donnie is Heath and Home’s Miracle of Adoption Christmas fundraising child. He is only four years old, yet wears 18 to 24 month-size clothing. it is estimated that he weighs about 20 pounds. A four year old, weighing 20 pounds. You can donate to his adoption fund by following the link in his name at the beginning of this post. Read H&H’s post about *Donnie here.
You can also read this recent post: Imagining Life With Donnie. There is a lot of good information about CP in general here. It does cover some medical points about Donnie and his conditions. It features 3 videos: 2 from Zach Anner, a comedian who has CP, and 1 TED talk from Maysoon Zayid, who also has CP. To learn more about CP, check out this link.
*Donnie can have a fantastic life; he has so much potential. All he needs is a family to get him there.
Fundraiser babas, part 1: Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign (baba bunch #1)
Fundraiser babas, part 2: Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign (baba bunch #2)
Fundraiser babas, part 3: Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign (baba bunch #3) (these babas were already pre-ordered!)
*Note: This fundraiser is now closed, but you can still give to Donnie’s general adoption fund here.
Donnie was in the same ‘groupa’ (group) as H&H’s son, Roman, in Eastern Europe. Roman (formerly *Travis on RR) and Angelina joined H&H’s family earlier this year. H&H also have two biological daughters. You can find the full Heath and Home blog here. This means that H&H has some experience with Donnie. Donnie has multiple medical needs. He is now receiving therapy, and the orphanage where he currently lives would be considered a good one.
But Donnie will not live in this orphanage forever. If he isn’t adopted soon, he will be transferred to an adult mental institution, where he will live the rest of his life in a ‘laying down room’ for children and adults who are bedridden due to being disabled. It appears Donnie is currently being fed via NG tube, a tube that goes from his nose into his stomach to deliver nutrients.
Update: Donnie is now eating by mouth and no longer requires an NG tube for nutrition! This is great news and is fantastic for his development.
Because Donnie has cerebral palsy, he has not often been out of his crib previously. This affects his weight, as well as his ability to support his own body. He is now receiving occasional therapy, has leg braces, and is getting out of his crib more; the director at the orphanage tries her best, but it just isn’t enough. She can’t provide what a family can provide to so many children.
Kids with CP to the degree Donnie most likely has need more than just occasional therapy; they need daily PT, OT, and multiple other services to help them thrive. His CP seems to affect his head control, but this could also be impacted by his tiny size. But Donnie is more than just the sum of his diagnoses. He is a child. A child who deserves a family, even though – no, despite – the fact that they may have special needs.
Children belong in families. They deserve families. They thrive in families. No matter what disabilities or special needs they may have, no matter the breadth of their ‘function’. Children have value. They are loved in families. They learn in families.
Can you help Donnie find his family?
I know they are out there, somewhere, looking for him, longing for him, waiting for him. If you aren’t his family, will you consider donating to his adoption fund? This fund could be the difference between Donnie finding his family or being moved to an adult institution, where he will most likely die young due to his disability relegating him to a ‘laying down room’ where his body will waste away and contract due to disuse.
If you can’t afford to give financially, would you please share Heath & Home’s blog posts about Donnie? This greatly increases his chances of finding his family, as visibility is so important for orphans waiting for homes. Your ‘share’ could be the difference for Donnie. Maybe you know someone who has been looking for Donnie all along. Or maybe a friend of a friend, a family member of a friend, a church fellow of a friend, a stranger on the internet – the possibilities are endless.
To read the blog of a teen who survived a laying down room and is now living in America with her family, follow this link.