Saturday, December 4, 2010

Picked last

Were you ever picked last?

Remember back in elementary school, and it was time to pick teams for kickball. There were always one or two kids who lingered; kids who, for whatever reason, weren't liked or weren't considered athletic enough or who were just....picked last.

Isaiah was that child just a few days ago.

Isaiah is one of hundreds of orphans listed on Reece's Rainbow, which is a ministry that advocates for orphans all over the world who have Down syndrome and other special needs (see button on the sidebar).

Every Christmas season, Reece's Rainbow hosts an Angel Tree and asks for people to be a Christmas Warrior for an orphan, praying for them and raising funds toward their adoption expenses. I learned on Tuesday that only a few kids didn't have warriors, and by the time I e-mailed the coordinator, Isaiah was the one child left. (Since then, I believe there have been more kids added to the Reece's Rainbow site.)

The last one. How could I not act? Isaiah is four, the same age as my middle child. He is four, which means he will be leaving the orphanage soon, leaving the only "home" he has ever known for the harsh reality of a mental institution (where most children with Down syndrome die, as they are unable to handle the harsh conditions). Isaiah has Down syndrome, just like my precious little boy. That extra chromosome has been such a blessing to our family, but around the world, that "little bit extra" is equated with shame and abandonment.

So today my prayer is for Isaiah, that he feel a sense of love and hope. And I pray for so many others like him, who are "precious in His sight." Finally, I pray for people like you and me, who have families, friends, toys, homes, and love. We are so blessed. How can we avoid complacency and nonchalance? How can we step up? How can we act in a way that acknowledges that we live in an imperfect world, but yet we can still make a difference in the lives of people near and far?

How can we help those who are picked last?

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