October 1st marked the beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. And we are spending the entire month celebrating.
In so doing, we are using this dedicated month to feature as many of these very special children as we can. There are so many who wait – it has been estimated that 30% of waiting children in China have Down syndrome.
So be sure to come visit us every day this month and, after you read about each these cuties with a little something extra, please help us spread the word. Like and share these posts on FB – you never know whose heart just might be pricked.
Day 26 belongs to two sweet girls.
Meet sweet Esther.
Esther turned 7 years old in January and is in need of a family to call her own. She has a ready smile and big eyes. She is a girl who takes delight in everything she sees.
Esther was about 6 months old when she was found by police. Police searched for her parents but were unsuccessful so they took her to the local institute to be raised. After admission the doctor found Esther has Down syndrome and cardiac murmurs.
Esther is an outgoing little girl who filled the room with her own high-energy sunshine when our staff saw her on a trip. Everything she saw delighted her – the giant rolling balls, brightly colored pipe cleaners, blocks to stack.
Esther seems to have good motor skills; she can run and jump, but her verbal skills are currently limited to “mama,” “baba,” and some expressive syllables. However she will also use gestures to express herself, and understand directions from her nannies.
This curious little girl likes playing on the playground and enjoys all sorts of toys.
Esther’s nanny told agency staff she’s very good at imitating what others around her are doing. When they sit down to rest, she will pat their backs, and if other children are crying, she will comfort them with a cuddle.
Her self-care skills are good, she can feed and dress herself. She has had surgery for a heart condition, and the doctor with agency staff didn’t hear any murmurs. All she needs now is a family!
Updated information from May 2015:
During our visit, Esther’s caregivers reported that she does well playing with other children. She likes all the other kids in the orphanage and she also likes to engage with adults. Her caregivers advised that she also loves to dance.
Updated information from April 2016:
Esther is a very charming and expressive little girl, who entertained all of us with her enthusiastic piano playing. She loved the bubbles we brought and was very interactive.
She is diagnosed with Down syndrome and a heart condition. She has not had a recent ultrasound and is no longer on medication for pulmonary hypertension, though she was not retested.
At this time she speaks in single words, and has about 20-30 words in her vocabulary. She can answer simple questions, though her speech is not very clear.
She showed us how she can count to three. When we asked, she successfully pointed to several body parts, but doesn’t yet know colors. She gets along well with other kids and likes all different types of toys.
Esther is a little ham who will keep her family laughing!
An account for Esther has also been set up on Reece’s Rainbow. Esther’s file is currently on the shared list. There is a $4,000 grant available through WACAP for qualified families. Seriously interested families should contact WACAP for more information.
Meet precious Clara.
Born in April 2007, Clara was found when she was just 3 months old. But she was raised by a foster family for the first 5 years of her life. When she was around 5 or 6, she was moved to the orphanage where she has lived ever since. In addition to the orphanage, Clara also spent time at a Bring Me Hope camp in China.
Clara is described as an introverted girl who loves to draw. Her paintings are called abstract! She can feed herself, and is able and willing to assist with basic tasks with her nannies. Clara is currently not receiving formal schooling, her orphanage provides her with “play school” and she receives rehabilitation therapy.
Though she has Down syndrome, Clara has no other known medical conditions. She did have poor nutrition upon admittance to the orphanage, but was described as having normal development and a clear mind.
Clara has a Reece’s Rainbow account with a small grant. Her file is currently on the shared list. WACAP will still honor the original grant of $4,000 for a qualified family. Email WACAP for more information about using WACAP to bring her home.
For those considering adopting a child with Down syndrome, here are some great resources:
General overview of Down syndrome with additional resources
An excellent Q and A post on Down syndrome adoption
A dad’s perspective on Down syndrome adoption
More posts on NHBO about Down syndrome
National Down Syndrome Adoption Network Facebook Page
China Adoption Special Needs Information Facebook Group
The National Down Syndrome Society website