By Mila Brant.
We would like to share some stories about the children we support so that you can understand how unique and wonderful they are.
This story is about Diana.
She is an unusual child; a ‘sunny’ child, because there is so much sunshine in her personality.
World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated internationally on March 21st. We want to take this opportunity to remind you about this special occasion and the beauty of people who have Down Syndrome. We also hope that together we celebrate each other for our different qualities more than once a year.
I got to know Diana in the fall of 2018. Prior to meeting Diana, I had not had an opportunity to communicate with children who have Down Syndrome, which was of concern to me. I wasn’t sure I’d know how to behave, what to say, or what a child with Down Syndrome might need.
It turned out, all I needed to do was open my heart.
Diana joined us on our winter excursion to the Carpathian Mountains. It was during this trip that she impressed me. She has a lot of love and affection to share, and she enjoys social activities. She likes hugging, holding hands and just to be around people.
I am happy that the orphanage management and teachers allow Diana to be treated as equal and give her the choice to participate in events and excursions.
Sometimes it can be challenging for Diana to comprehend everything, however, she feels like she is part of our community. She has the same rights to have her feelings and emotions heard, her worries acknowledged and her skills and intellect developed. She is not judged for having Down Syndrome, she is accepted for being a person.
The last time I visited the Dovbysh orphanage, Diana came running towards me holding a note in her hand. On a small crumpled piece of paper, she had written ‘I love you’. I was touched. I know how much time and effort it took for her to write this note and how dedicated she is to her writing, practising for hours each day because it takes her time to think of the words she needs to express herself.
I am thankful to Diana for her kind heart and unique personality.