Friday, August 27, 2010

"Iron Dragons"

these children have all found their forever families
I can't get thoughts of our Iron Children out of my mind. The courage I have seen.  The will to live I have witnessed. I am speaking tonight as a parent, not as an adoption worker.

Running through my mind over and over tonight are the testaments to the human spirit I know about because I know these children and their parents. Some of whom I even am the parent. I marvel at the children who never let go. Who would not give up when they were:

Left IN a toilet after birth

Put on a coal train bound for the outer border of western China as a

newborn to be discovered at the first stop 2 days later

Thrown down a mine shaft after a premature birth

Found toddling abandoned next to an ice filled rapid moving river

Discovered in a dumpster or the local dump

Found with toes and/or fingers frostbitten and needing amputation from

being left in the freezing night

Scalded on 50% of their body and forsaken in a field at two days old

Required plastic surgery because their nose was bitten off by rats in

the night while waiting to be found

Having their throat slit and face slashed on their 7th birthday

Beaten to the point of losing an eye

Locked in a closet for hours or days

Left on a train when the parent went to "buy some candy" and never

returned and sat alone for a full day before the conductor or anyone noticed

Tied to a chair for so long the wrists and ankles were raw and now

permanently scarred with rope burns

this child has found his forever family
And you know what? These are not children with Reactive Attachment Disorder, unmanaged rage, mental illness or emotional distress. Each one of these children seems to be more calm, more compassionate, more wise than their peers. How can this be? Truly, how? I am in no way dismissing that these situations could cause lifelong emotional and physical damage and that some kids just don't rebound when faced with these horrors. But in THESE cases THESE children survived and now flourish. WHY? The human spirit is an amazing thing.

Stefani Ellison
China Waiting Child Advocate/Resource Coordinator

following is a repost from the CHIKids yahoo group:
this child has found her forever family
"Thank you for posting my "Iron Dragon" (as you so aptly called her, Stefani!) on the homepage. :) She is our "Good Earth" Xiaoxian, Anhui girl, Aeren Renae, who just recently turned 6 years old. She truly is a miracle, and never ceases to amaze us with her joy, observational skills, musical ability, and intelligence. Oh, and her will of "iron". She is the most strong willed of my 4 children from China, and my 4 bio kids put together, but that is what got her through her beginning, and first 3 years of life.

While we were waiting to travel to adopt her, and our son Trent, she was given a dire prognosis as "unadoptable" by some visiting American physicians. We were not swayed in our pursuit of adding her to our family, and now, a little over 3 years later, she is the thriving, gorgeous little girl pictured on the homepage, and is most certainly meant to be in our family. She may not be able to walk (YET) without her walker, but she is a child that has a true gift of laughter and joy. From a mother of some very musically talented children, I can honestly say that she shows more natural gifting in music than any of them. She also has "supersonic" hearing, and an almost photographic memory, with which she can recall almost verbatim a conversation that she has had (or overheard, YIKES!) with someone, even weeks later. However, she only uses it when she wants to, and not when I ask her to repeat something. lol She can tell me exaclty where to find almost anything in the house that I am searching for, and when I am on the phone with a friend, she can tell me who I am talking to just by hearing my onesided conversation, with no names ever mentioned on my part, just by the subject of what I am discussing.

So, in saying all of this (besides being a proud mom and wanting to brag on my amazing daughter), I want to encourage families to consdider the waiting children who have CP. By making them a part of a loving family, they have the ability to blossom into the creative, unique, and talented people that they are created to be, with no fear of an uncertain future outside of orphanage walls, on the streets of China, if they even make it that long. Cerebral Palsy is something that these children are born with, but it doesn't define who they are, or what they can achieve. With a loving, supportive family, there are no limits. "

 Kim Rutherford

1 comment:

  1. Eloquent, as always, Stefani. I am forever grateful to my children for sharing their joy for living life.