Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Usually I do my Bible reading from the New International Version but at Christmas time I love the familiar reading of the King James Version from Luke Chapter 2 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree, from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. . . . And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." And with that birth the history of mankind was slashed into two parts. God moved into our neighborhood. And now even I can have a personal relationship with him. And so can you. That is Christmas.

Today Nastya tried and tried and tried and tried to call the court. She said she had 3 different phone numbers and was calling about every 5 minutes but no one was answering the phone so we decided to just go to the court and take the chance of meeting the judge. We met her in the metro station and rode several stops way out on the red line. From there we rode a bus with her to the court. There we were told that the judge was not in today at all but would be in all day tomorrow. So we'll try again tomorrow.

Back at Independence Square we went with Nastya to a gallery on the street that heads up toward St. Michaels. She has been telling us since the day we arrived about an up-coming exhibition showcasing children with Down syndrome. This was the coolest thing. If I got the story straight there is a group of families here in Ukraine who have chosen to keep their children with DS and are working on a way to set up education for them since they cannot be admitted to the regular schools. So SEVERAL people who are very famous here in Ukraine--singers, a heavy-weight boxer, radio announcer, rock band, soccer player Schevchenko, etc. had pictures taken with these adorable children in an effort to raise funds for this charitable cause. It is called "Ukrainian Stars for Children with Down Syndrome" and a slogan is "They are just children, only with Down Syndrome." We purchased a calendar that has 12 of the pictures on it. Here is a quote from the calendar: "Every year in Ukraine up to 400 babies are born with Down Syndrome. Only one third of them stay with their families. Parents abandon most of those babies due to a lack of complete and truthful information about their children's potentials. Making a decision to give up one's child with Down Syndrome is often based on erroneous and out-of-date information which continues to be wide spread in our society. The birth of baby with Down Syndrome is a genetic accident. Probability of a birth of such a baby does not depend on the parents' way of life, their health, bad habits, nourishment, prosperity, education, skin color or nationality. In many countries around the world people with Down Syndrome are rightful members of a society: they can attend regular kindergartens, study at school or in college, find a job and get married. Let us together build a happy future for children with Down Syndrome in Ukraine." The calendar also gives two addresses which I haven't checked out but which might be interesting: downsyndrome@ukr.net and http://www.downsyndrome.com.ua/ Personally I am very excited to hear about this organization. I am delighted that people right here in Ukraine are seeing the value of children with DS and realizing their potential.

I know that by this time our children have opened their presents and are enjoying a day with my parents. We love you all soooooooo much and will see you next week.

10 comments:

MamaPoRuski said...

How encouraging on the grassroots efforts by the parents! Merry Christmas! Praying you get an audience with the judge!

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

Joy, this is thrilling news, and I am going to write to them right now!---Andrea Roberts, Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry

Linda said...

Kevin & Joy - Merry Christmas in the Ukraine! We are praying that all doors will be opened and you will come home to us quickly. Can't wait to meet Steven!!!!
Love you!

AZmomto8 said...

I am praying that the organization grows and parents begin to have the courage to keep their children with them. I always feel some sadness that Kara and Amanda's parents will not see their daughters grow up. I am grateful to them for releasing the girls for international adoption, and cherish my special girls.

Charissa said...

That is so wonderful news, Joy!! Thanks for sharing it!

Tania said...

Merry Christmas! I'm a member of that Ukrainian Charity Down Syndrome Organization. We're just a group of parents trying to give our special kids a chance for a future life which looks rather gloomy at the moment. We're doing our best here and are looking for any cooperation. I'm particularly glad to read your comments as I was the one to insist on having our Calendar of Love printed in two languages and translated the text into English. You may see it at http://www.downsyndrome.com.ua/files/calendar2009.pdf/ A December boy with the World Boxing Champion is my son.
Good luck with the adoption, it's much needed here.

Shelley said...

Oh my goodness....I'm so excited to hear about this group of parents! I'm going to check out the website now. Oh how I wish there was something we could do to help them. Maybe there is??? I'm off to find the site!

PS. Still praying you find that judge and get a court date!

Tania said...

Dear Joy! I don't know how to contact you other then through this web page. We'd be very happy to meet with you and Kevin. I think that you may tell us quite a few interesting thing. You could encourage a group of Ukrainian parents of children with Down Syndrome in their efforts to improve those kids' life.
Please call me at 8-066-4875703 (mob) or 044-5188186 (landline)

Kathy and Matt said...

Merry Christmas!

The news about the grassroots effort is very exciting!

Hope you are doing well and I look forward to following your future posts!

Carson's Mom said...

That sounds great that people are advocating for our children there. Hopefully people will start being educated about what our kids really can do.

Kayla