Our soon-to-be Axel has survived conditions even worse. Born in Eastern Europe with Down syndrome, like all the other babies born there with DS, he was immediately placed in an orphanage where he stayed until somewhere around the age of 4 when he was transferred to an institution, where most spend their days TIED in cribs, often dying from starvation, dehydration and hypothermia. The life expectancy of a child with DS in Eastern Europe is 6 years old. Axel had already beat the odds. He stayed there until he was 7. Unloved and alone. At that time he was supposed to be moved to yet another facility, probably just as bad, if not worse.
But Axel got lucky. God opened a door, and Axel was moved to a foster home where he has been ever since. Even though he was in a foster home, with foster parents who cared for him, he has never been allowed to attend school. Kids "like that" don't go to school there. He's never been taught how to read, or write, or anything else. After all, Axel has Down syndrome, and kids "like him" can't learn. He doesn't go out in public freely like my Angela does. You don't see "those kids" walking the streets of Eastern Europe. You don't see them anywhere! They're gone...shut away so everyone can forget they exist.
Last April I visited some of the orphans of Eastern Europe, and this foster home is where Axel was when I met him. His foster mother is very nice, and obviously cares for him, and he has foster siblings who he is attached to. But his social worker pleaded with us to find a family for him. He was going to be turning 10 in August, and his time in foster care was up. The Government has limits to what they will pay for, and age 10 is it. Sadly the foster family was not in a position to adopt. (and rarely in this country does a foster family actually adopt the child.) The resources for Axel had been exhausted, and he was going to be moved to an institution. The life expectancy there is short. Being the size of an average American 5 year old, he would quickly be victimized, hungry, cold and would soon loose his will to live.
I held Axel. I played with Axel. I looked into the eyes of this smiling child so full of life. Look at his face in this picture.
I could not imagine this lively, vibrant child, being put into such a facility and facing his death sentence. I had to do SOMETHING about it! Like Ianna, I vowed to find him a family. When Dean and I decided that we would adopt two children, (remember the man who dropped me off at the airport saying he would never adopt, and now here he was agreeing to TWO????? God does crazy things like that!) because of our ages we knew that we would not be adopting the "little and cute" toddlers who everyone else was bringing home. We would be adopting the older, very hard to place children. Ianna was a given. She was ours from the beginning.
But who else? I never forgot about Axel. But what about Dean? We discussed who the second child would be. Dean said, "Who is in the most danger?" Well, Axel, of course! And so, the first week of December we will be on our way to bring Axel home!
You can help Axel to NOT become an Eastern European statistic by entering to win an
Apple® - iPad™ with Wi-Fi - 16GB
How to enter: $25 per entry, and of course you can enter as many times as you like! But, as an added bonus, any donation of $100 will give you FIVE entries!!! All donations are 100% tax deductible to Reece's Rainbow, which is a 501c3 non profit organization.
Give away ends November 7th, and the winner will be announced November 9th. Please help us get Axel home by posting this on your facebook pages and blogs, and help us get Axel home!
Remember $25 per entry, just click below to get to Axel's donation page. When you get there, click the "donate" button. Ready?????
Drawing is now closed, but if you'd still like to donate to help get Axel home, every dollar helps!