Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Find My Family Friday... on Tuesday???
I know, it’s not Friday but something happened yesterday that was just too exciting to wait ‘till Friday to share… the last of “my angels”, Liza, was listed on Reece’s Rainbow!!! (stay tuned later this week for the amazing, “Wow God” story of how that all came to be) On top of that, today is a very special day… today is Liza’s birthday! So you see, I just couldn’t help it, I had to do Liza’s “Find My Family Friday” post today.
From what I’ve been told, Liza was born a healthy baby until one day her father took her in what should have been his safe and loving hands and shook her so hard that it resulted in a lesion in her brain. I do not know whether her parents abandoned her at the hospital because they did not want to care for a “disabled” child or if their rights were terminated as a result of the abuse that she suffered. All I know is that when Liza was discharged from the hospital, she was sent to a baby orphanage as opposed to the loving home that she deserved.
To say that Liza had a rough start would be a huge understatement however you would never know it to look at her. I believe that Liza may be the most content, happy, joyful little girl I have ever met. I saw her nearly every day for months and I could count on one hand the number of times I have seen her without a smile on her face. Unlike many of the children around her, Liza is unable to stand at the side of the playpen or even sit without support yet she doesn’t let that get her down. Whether lying flat on her back or propped up in a walker, Liza finds such joy in observing the other kids around her. Many evenings I would sit on the floor amongst a half a dozen rambunctious toddlers tickling them, tossing the over my shoulder, dancing with them and teaching them to play ring-around-the-rosie. I couldn’t bring Liza on the floor with me as she would have been trampled by the other kids. I felt sad for her but she certainly didn’t feel sorry for herself. She would simply watch, smiling and laughing away, entertained by our antics and happy to see her friends having fun.
Liza has significant physical limitations but I sometimes think that cognitively, she may not be “disabled” at all. Like I said, Liza loves to laugh and she has a great little sense of humour. I remember the first time I took her outside, before I had gotten to know her very well. She kept moving her head in such a way that her hat would fall over eyes and every few minutes I would have to stop pushing her stroller to bend down and adjust her hat. At first I thought that it was an accident, that maybe the way her head was moving up and down was out of her control. It took me a few laps of the building before I caught on to her little game. You see, whenever I bent over the strings on my sweater would dangle in front of her and she was mustering all her determination to reach out and grab them! At only four-years-old at the time, I’d say this little girl is smart as a whip!
God taught me so much through Liza and her pure, unconditional joy in spite of the numerous injustices she has faced in her short life. Whenever I was feeling discouraged I would look at Liza’s beautiful smile and listen to her infectious laugh and know that if Liza could find something to rejoice about then so could I. Unfortunately, another injustice lies around the corner for Liza and just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. Sometime within the next year, Liza will be transferred to an orphanage for older children with special needs. Because of her physical disabilities, she will likely be classified as “bedridden” and forced to spend her days lying alone in her bed. It kills me to think of what will happen to this precious, social little girl whose greatest joy is people watching when all of that is stripped away from her. How long will her spirit, now so full of life, be able to survive such an existence? I, for one, do not want to find out.
Today Liza turns five-years-old. There will be no party, no cake, no presents. In fact, it is unlikely that there will be any acknowledgment of this day whatsoever. Will you help me to make sure that Liza’s birthday does not go unnoticed? While other five-year-olds are getting ready to start kindergarten, Liza is about to be transferred to a place where she will never leave her bed. This precious birthday girl is not asking for Barbies, a tea set or a sparkly princess dress. What she needs is a mommy and daddy who will love and cherish her the way she should have been loved and cherished right from the start. I can think of no better gift for Liza on her birthday than a chance at a family. Because Liza is already 5-years-old she does not have a grant of her own but if you are reading this and wondering if Liza is your daughter, I promise that I will rally behind you and do everything I can to help you raise the money you need to bring her home so please don’t let that stand in your way. In the meantime, I am asking everyone who’s reading this to please help me celebrate Liza’s birthday by sharing her story with everyone you talk to today/this week and joining me in praying that this time next year, Liza will be celebrating her birthday with her forever family. For more information, click here.
Liza is listed as “Molly” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect her identity, when sharing about her on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use her Reece’s Rainbow name