Wrayna

wraynaGirl,

PRC

Down syndrome

Wrayna is an 11-year old sweetheart, with tiny splashes of silly and spunk thrown in. This girl loves to sing children’s rhymes and recite poetry, and she says that her favorite activities are doing art and writing characters. Her love for creativity is evident, in fact, as she spent much of our ‘free time’ doing crafts or filling in coloring books that I had brought along! Wrayna loved to have me do her hair in hairclips and bows, but while she said her favorite colors were red or pink, she often chose comfortable sweatshirts over ‘cutesy’ outfits … and wouldn’t hesitate, at the park, to run at the head of the pack with the boys.

Wrayna is an affectionate and people-oriented girl. Though it took her a moment to warm up to me initially, she quickly became connected and wanted to spend every minute together! Wrayna knew her friends at the camp and was considerate of those at her weekend foster home, bringing treats home for them on our last day at the camp and taking initiative to share. Wrayna is highly relational, but also independent, and she can play by herself for extended periods of time.

Wrayna’s special need does not define her or significantly hold her back, which is why I wait until now to write about it. In fact, over the course of the week, I found myself occasionally forgetting that I was talking to someone whose file says that she has Downs Syndrome. Wrayna is extremely high-functioning, and at age 11 seemed only two or three years younger than her typical peers. Wrayna can carry on conversations and understand concepts accessible to a child in early elementary school. She attends fourth grade at the special education boarding school, where she has learned to recite classical poetry, write some characters (her reading skills seem weak), and is so good at problem solving!!! One day I could NOT figure out the electric lights in a room, although I was inserting a key card. Wrayna looked at me like, “How do you not get this?” and turned the key over so that the magnetic strip could register with the card reader. This girl is sharp!

Wrayna can care for herself as appropriate to the life skills level of an 8 or 9-year-old child. She could dress and feed herself, express her need to use the restroom, and take a bath without assistance. Wrayna knew to keep close when we were out and about and was very responsive to direction. There was only one time in five days together that I had to implement a ‘consequence’ for disobeying —- took away a toy that she had refused to put away. overall, throughout the whole course of our time together, she was obedient and responsive. I had a small infant with me, and even though Wrayna needed occasional reminders to be gentle, she was very quick to watch out for the baby’s welfare – even stopping a well-intentioned older child from feeding her solid food!

Per orphanage workers, Wrayna has no medical needs other than asthma. On the day before we all parted ways, Wrayna somehow seemed to tune in to an English conversation that another staff member and I were having about how difficult it is to place older children and their unfortunate prospects within the country. She became very subdued and started to shed quiet tears, which she did on and off for much of the afternoon. Later she asked me, “If I have my birthday, will I not get to go to America {and have a family?}” We assured her that we would try everything we could to find a mama.

When the nannies came to take her back to her foster home, Wrayna truly cried. She so much wants to have a mother and a father. When I shared this with another adoption professional, she commented on the reality — that while many people may express concern for Wrayna, her increased age means that many potential adoptive parents may not pull the trigger…and her pool for hope is small.  Would you be willing to be Wrayna’s forever family?

*** I am eligible for a $15,000 Older Child Grant! For more information, email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org ***