Every few months I am overcome by the enormity of chance. I know people have different views on the concept of “why” one happens to have a medical condition (or any other defining life event)… but for me to conceptualize it, it’s just chance. Genetic fluke. Environmental. All of the above. Who knows!
It was simply chance that I was born with Moebius syndrome, and it was chance that I was born where and when and to whom I was born. For me, those chance occurrences allowed me to have access to access to amazing healthcare and educational resources, a supportive family and community, and the opportunity to be successful. I know that was mainly just good luck and chance, and I am grateful.
But even more shocking for me, and I think for a lot of us “sheltered” people in first-world countries is that – depending on socioeconomic status and cultural norms – many children are not given that chance. Families aren’t able to pay for healthcare. It isn’t socially-acceptable to have a child with visible disabilities. They can’t access necessary resources. So they abandon these children to state care or the foster system.
Really, really unfathomable. But it happens. It wasn’t that long ago when Western countries did the same (for a heartbreaking perspective, Google “state developmental centers/schools and/or eugenics”).
This post is motivated by a child I just became aware of, “David”. He lives in China and looks so much like so many other boys with Moebius syndrome I know. He is apparently smart and able to succeed if given the chance. But not living in the US and being in a large foster home, he does not have access to the same resources and tools that will allow him to succeed. The chances of him being adopted in China are slim, so he is available internationally. Taking the chance that someone a world away might see something in him.
I hope someone takes that chance.
(If you are interested in learning more about “David” or other waiting children, see http://www.madisonadoption.com)