Friday, December 10, 2010


Dearest Lily,

The other day we showed your brothers and sisters a video of what happens to children with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe when they turn five. They go to a mental institution, their heads are shaved...and they are placed in a metal crib. And if they keep climbing out? They're chained to that metal crib.


I know some people would wonder why we would allow your siblings to see a video so disturbing as that. I know some would say that is too much to show children.

I bet those children in that institution would agree.

IT IS too much.

Too much for one little girl to take. Too much to leave the only home you ever knew- even if it was an orphanage- and be left in a dirty, cold, foul smelling, scream filled insane asylum.


It. is. too. much.


Your sister Abbi turned to me with tears in her eyes and asked me that.

"Why, Mama? Why would anyone do that to little kids?"

You know what, Lily? I don't have answers for that.

I don't know how anyone could do that to a little boy, a little girl...just like you.

But what I DO know is...

This past week has been FILLED with good things- amazing things. People who we have never met, might never meet- giving to save one little girl from that destiny. Some are giving when they don't have it. They're giving when they're wondering how they're going to make ends meet. Because no matter how tight things are here, no matter how "small" we think our Christmas might be, no matter how hard we think our future might be...

Hers is far worse.

So right now, Lily, you might be wondering...why Olga?

On Saturday night I wrote a letter to you called "Just One." .

I read that poem on Lisa Peele's blog, Living in the Light, and it so helped me, Lily. Because it gave me hope- that even if I can't go rescue all those babies who have no mama to love them...I can rescue ONE. And I can make a difference in her life.
And just as I was writing that post, and praying and crying...there was a little prayer meeting going on.
I heard about this yesterday, when Molly, Olga's Christmas Warrior left a comment on your blog..

Hi Patti!!! I am Olga's Christmas Warrior!!! Obviously I am overjoyed about all this and am SO GRATEFUL for your compassion. We had a fundraising party for her DEC 4th and prayed before it that ultimately someone would see Olga (and Nicholas) and adopt them!!! GOD IS MIGHTY TO SAVE- look fwd to seeing who the lucky parents will be!! Peace and Joy, Molly Auble

Why? That's why. God used those prayers to put just one little girl on Mama's heart. Because although I had been praying for Olga, and gave to her fund (because of my blogging friend Stephanie's post)...I wasn't consumed like I am now.

Because I am consumed, dear Lily.

Every day I hold you a little tighter, stare into your beautiful almond eyes, and thank God that you are here and safe, and that God gave me you. And that has also had me thinking....



Why did God give us you, dearest Lily? When I prayed for a baby without Down syndrome?

Maybe Olga is why.

Maybe God knew that having you would open my eyes to just one.

Loving you more than ever,

Mama oxox


Dear friends,

I am so thrilled to say that in 3 days you have raised $10,964for Olga...and that is still growing.

But I really need your help. At some point, those who have given, will not be able to give any more. At some point, they will have run out of people to tell.

I don't want this to stop. It can't stop.

Can you help me find ways to spread the word? If you know anyone in the media, or can make a call to your local radio station..if you are involved in any online forums like or a parenting community online, or if you have a group your children are involved in that you could do a fundraiser with...can you do so?

My husband called the Dr.Laura show yesterday.

If you know my will be dying laughing in about two seconds. (Kris- this one's for you.)

He got on after the first call. The call screener answered, and said, "What's your question?"

Sam froze- and hung up. He couldn't believe he got through that easily!

So he called back....she asked, "What's your question?"

and he hung up.

He didn't really have a question!! He just called on a whim while he was driving to see if he could get some publicity for Olga:)

So he called a THIRD time- after mentally scrambling, and thinking he was going to MAKE UP an argument we had- to ask Dr.Laura what to do. I am not kidding.

He said he thought maybe he could say, "My wife and I are fighting because she is just CONSUMED with this fundraising thing for a little girl with Down syndrome stuck in an orphanage in Eastern Europe who is about to be transferred to a mental insitution for the rest of her life and she blogged about it at and WHADDYA THINK? Dr. Laura?!!"

Friends, I know this is going to sound terribly uncouth here on Lily's blog- but I almost peed my pants laughing so hard when he told me that.

Because that is SO my husband. If you don't believe me, go read my friend Kris's comments in the comment section on my most-important-post-i-have-ever-written below.:)

What Sam really told the call screener is that we have a cause we would like Dr.Laura to look into, and perhaps give attention to...the screener was very kind and gave us an email to write to, and she said they DO read those emails every day.

So will you please be praying they read that email and get stirred to read it on air??

And if you have any wild ideas...perhaps they might be crazy like my husband's;)...can you go for it?

I do believe we can do this.

I was praying last night and crying and asking God WHAT can I do?

I read this...

Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Please pray, and please spread the word. It is working!!!!

P.S. New prizes in the original post!!!!!


Rochelle said...

So true Patti! Glad to see this continue to grow.

CKopp said...

I don't think the pee comment was very cuth.

Stephanie said...

I'm dying about the Dr. Laura question!! i don't want it to stop either and it won't!

My hubby was just in touch with another friend who was just "educated" by my hubs on what is going on. He's getting in touch with people who he thinks can help out. We'll see! Everything is in Gods very capable hands!! Did you see the good news about Gavin from RR. He got a forever family!

Rachel Bretbunner said...

Patti could you call KLOVE or Hope 107.9? See if you could post something on there websites. Call the GT. Post about this somewhere on craigslist. I am not sure where you would post it but somewher on craigslist you could post it.

Anonymous said...

Patti, I just donated for Olga. I hope the goal will be reached soon.

Good luck!
Jennifer and Kinsleigh

nicole said...

Patti ~ I thought the same thing last night about the blessing of Lily's life and that one of her purposes was to help save others. I'm pretty sure one of her other purposes is to be too cute to handle!

Katya said...

Sadly there is nothing we can do with these people in my country. (Russia). I mean....sad to say they cannot take care of themselves or contribute to society. is all we can do. Maybe the conditions should be better, but many of them are violent and mentally unstable. So we have no other choice. Sorry :( It is sad...but one day I hope they will all find peace with God.

Virginia Revoir said...

I am doing everything I can. I did email Dr. Laura, facebook it, and blog about it. I spread it through email. Trying everything I can think of. Hope it helps. :)

Mrs. K said...

Miss Patricia, peeing in your pants is so uncoth to talk about in public let alone blog about it. I thought I raised you better. ;>)

I just try to console myself thinking that those in the institutuions will be streamlined to heaven, no questions asked.

We do what we can do and leave the rest in His precious hands.

As for Sam, "many a true words are said in jest."

Patti said...

Katya- I am SO SAD that you have been so misinformed. People with Down syndrome are NOT violent and mentally unstable. Have you ever met an adult with Down syndrome? They are the sweetest, most gentle people you will ever meet. would not know.

Because in your society- they are hidden away. I do not doubt that there are violent, unstable people who need help. If you believe Down syndrome produces this condition- become educated. Read blogs about children like my Lily. Read blogs about grown men and women who ARE productive, mentally stable individuals, who DO contribute to society. Have you been to America? I do hope you have a chance to some day.

By that reasoning, I could also say that Stalin was Russian, and therefore all Russians are violent & unstable. But that's not fair, and neither is it true.

I will pray for your eyes to be opened, Katya. Because you just answered my 8 year old daughter's question- WHY?

Kris Altringer said...

If the people that God blessed these babies with would keep and love them, which is what God intended, then we wouldn't have to be doing this. DS people are the most loving and caring people I have seen, and only want to be loved back, I have seen many a more "healthy people" who have done far worse to this society that a child with Down syndrome could ever dream up. Babies like Lily will conribute to this society more than most of us ever will!

Race Bannon said...

Katya, that is the difference between America, and your society. Come on over, we've been working on this place for 234 years. The conditions are better, and we've created the a place of unlimited choices.

Why do millions of people from around the world try to come to America. Why do Americans donate money to save your children? Think about that.

Mrs. K said...

I just added Katya to my prayer list.

Callie said...


A good work has begun in you and it is amazing to see your growth and watch your Lily bloom. I just saw that you commented on my blog. I am such a rookie I didn't even know I some comments. I am continually amazed at your stamina, a larger family, homeschooling, dealing with DS and all that follows a diagnosis and blogging & fundraising. How on earth do you do it?I don't know but you are and doing very well.

Lori said...

Katya, You are the perfect example of the uneducated person that fell for Hitler's "racial cleansing" jargon. I am sure that there were plenty of "violent" and "unstable" jewish people after they were locked up, told they were worthless, and their lives taken from them. But I wouldn't label the whole jewish population "violent" and "unstable". I challenge you to spend one day in the orphanages where these children are cared for and experience who these children really are, and then I challenge you to spend one day in the mental institutions where many of these children end up, and tell me you don't feel "violent" or "unstable".

Elissa said...

I am very sad for Katya's response. I spoke again today to the most lovely young woman with Down Syndrome who works in my community. She was so caring and sweet. I had no fears of handing Abbie over to her so they could "meet". No violence. No instability. Just two beautiful ladies with Doen Syndrome, one young, one older, just hanging out.

I am seeing first hand with Abbie how much a little early intervention, and a lot of stimulation and even more love can do. Abbie is currently developing on target in every area and ahead in some. This may or may not be the case forever, but what I do know is that her possibilities are endless. Her potential will be forever growing and her impact forever felt with those who are lucky enough to know her.

Katya, I feel sad for you and others like you. I know you know nothing different in Russia right now. The US used to be similar. I praise God every single day for the two beautiful blessings and answers to all of my prayers, my two daughters ( one with Down Syndrome and one with out). I am so glad that most countries are recognizing that people with DS are more and can be and are productive members of society and really so much more than that! I will pray that soon countries like yours will realize this too.

Sarah said...

You are right, Patti, Katya is misinformed. They believe those misnomers in Russia and that is why they put these children in an orphanage. Maybe Katya can help change things by reading your blog, Patti, which give me an idea...that is where the true change can happen there so people can see NOT to throw these kids away to an institution.

I lived in Russia and they are wonderful people, lovely, honest, caring. They are just misinformed on this issue. If their hearts could be change, I believe that all their children could be loved the way I know we do here.

Katya, do you live close to these orphanages? Go visit those babies. I visited one and wrote about it in my blog here:

Deanna said...

I am going go out on a limb here and say that Katya is bravely expressing what many people stereotypically think about children/individuals with Down syndrome. Yes, she was the one who typed it on the comment section, but I have a feeling that she represents a whole population of people who have sadly been led astray because of ignorance and inexposure to having a "different" child.

Those of us who have been richly blessed by a child with an extra chromosome have been blessed in not only the joy that this child brings to our lives, but also because our eyes are now opened to the truth. The truth that people like Katya have unfortunately not yet been exposed to.

The truth is that an individual's life with Down syndrome holds as much promise and hope as any other person's life and should be given the same opportunities and chances so that they can thrive. Even the most normal person in the world could be considered violent and mentally unstable after being exposed to the same conditions that these mental institutions offer.

That is one of the big reasons that we blog. It is a wonderful emotional outlet, yes. But also, it gives us the opportunity to help the misinformed still view these labeled children as PEOPLE who were made perfectly by God.

Yes, Patti, your post today focused on saving just this one child- but I think also that if your post even just changes one person's perspective towards Down syndrome, it will also have been a huge success.

Because our children are the most amazing things to ever happen to us, and I pray every day that the world in which we are raising them will change to be more accepting and see them for the happy, contributing to society blessings that they really are.

Katya, sadly there is nothing we can do to convince you that what we say is true- it is up to you to open your heart and mind with love to every baby- not just the ones that live up to your standards of perfection. Try it. I dare you.

cathy said...

Oh Patti,
I am so very upset about Katya's remarks.......
What do I do, except pray for her????
I find that even difficult to do, but I must because I am so INCREDIBLY upset about what she posted.

We will focus on getting these blessed souls out of Russia. These children do not stand a chance with people thinking like Katya......

I need help with this...

teal915 said...

I was heart broken to read the commenter from Russia. It makes me fire up inside and want to do something. I just can't believe that people actually still think that. You can take a perfectly normal child, lock them up and treat them like an animal, and they will act like an animal. Oh my, tears, tears, tears.... I love what you are doing!!! You inspire me. I'm doing another post later, and I'll put something up again. I'll put something on facebook again too. I think people are so gaurded these days becaus of all the scams out there, they can be reluctant to even look. I'll be praying.

Unknown said...

Patti, I just wanted to let you know I have e-mailed NDSS about what you are doing for Olga and Reece's Rainbow. :-)

Mrs. K said...

Last night when Hope took the girls and me to see the Nutcracker at the PHX Convention Center we saw a DS little boy on the stage. He was performing along with the other boys and doing a wonderful job. I think he is about 8 years old and the only reason Hope and I noticed he was a DS child was we are so atuned to Lily and now to Olga. His preformance was flawless. I remember while you children were growing up there was a series about a DS boy and his family. It was on for several years. Wish they would do reruns of it.

Unknown said...

fckopp~ the name of the show you are referring to is/was called Life goes on. It was my favorite show growing up. If anyone would like to see high functioning DS at it's best, looks up the show on the internet. I even saw some clips on youtube. Such a great show....

Patti said...

thank you for the great suggestions and help!!

and katya, if you come back here to read...keep coming back. we'll show you what LOVE can do for our children.

Race Bannon said...


Don't fall for the hype. Patti is not a real person, though we all wish she was. She is a compilation of several fictional characters, and some real. For a dose of reality, the "Patti" suffers from poor posture, and has dirty dishes and showers throughout her 'house.' If you see the stage show, you will see what is known as a 'mechanical' puppet, controlled by 'short people.'

Amy Quinn said...

Sad to say, but we cannot be mad at Katya. She has given us a glimpse of what people in these countries are taught to think. She has given us a glimpse into the reason that these orphanages and institutions exsist. It actually gives me a little bit of hope that someday we can teach them differently, that they are not just monsters who don't care. They truly think they are protecting their society and families by sending these children away. I have not read up on it too much, but the other day I was reading the "connecting the rainbow" section on the RR website and they are doing exactly what needs to be done. They are working on educating people and parents of these children. I wonder if there wouldn't be a way for RR to put together a video of stories about about children at all ages--stories of their lives and successes. That is the info we need to get out. I thank Katya for being brave enough to show us what is really happening there. By her own words...she is sad about this, but sees no other way. We have to show them the other way...Sincerely, Amy Quinn
PS. If I can help in a couple weeks with Olga, I surely will! Budget is so tight right now before Christmas! Best wishes!!!

Amy said...

PS. I am a mom to 3 almost 4 year old Abby who has DS and is the light of my life. Also, I am a Christmas Warrior for Anna from the Ukraine. Our local DS support group gave $100 for her adoption fund. That might be somewhere you can look into for donations...not sure if you already did that, but just thought I would share. A friend of mine did a bake sale at her place of work and made $372 for her Christmas Warrior child. Her business will match that too!! Some ideas!

Unknown said...

I absolutely do not believe that Patti has ANY dirty dishes in her house. I DO believe that she is controlled by short people, because I'm pretty certain that's what the term "mom" means. ;-)

Anonymous said...

As I read Katya's comment calling them "these people," my heart broke and I was again filled with a dose of reality. People actually believe this about my son, all of our sons and daughters with DS. I thought the same thing you thought, Patti, that possibly a reason we are given these precious babies is to help save others. These special blessings are knitted together perfectly by God in our wombs. I know you know what I mean, and I do not know how to describe it, but there is something extra special about our children with DS. I am praying for Katya's eyes to be opened and for the veil to be lifted all eyes that do not understand the gift these people are!!

Katya- if you are reading, please, please find a way to visit an orphanage and bond with a child with DS. They will melt your heart. I have no anger at you because you also are created by God and He loves you so much. I pray that you will search for truth on this matter and help raise awareness about this in your country so that these special blessings from God will be treated with His love. I pray that you know Him through His Son Jesus that came to give you life and more than that, even eternal life, if you believe on Him. He will lead you into all truth. Seek out truth on this matter. I realize that people are very misinformed and people in the institutions may be acting violent and unstable because they have been treated like animals being chained to a crib and left alone. We all would be acting that way if we were treated this way from the time we were young children. The people with DS were not born acting that way. They would be a blessing to your society. Please keep reading Patti's blog and follow her precious Lily. What a gift she is! You will watch her turn into a beautiful young girl that loves life and serves in her community with love. This could also happen in your community. It takes love.

Patti- you are doing an awesome job and I love your heart!! All I can continue to say is thank you, thank you. It takes us to stand up and change things with the love of God. This post brought me to tears again. I think it is good that you are drawing this to your kid's attention in their youth. They will grow up informed ready to overcome with the strength of God. And I am so glad you have ten precious children- that is how we bring people to Christ, by raising up warriors for Him that are discipled in Him. And truth can be revealed. Praying for you all. Cara

Patti said...

Jenny- thank you!!

Katy- thank you too!! you girls rock!

Race-I have a picture of you carvign a turkey with an apron on...slouching. I can post it if you keep leaving these kinds of comments. Get back to work rounding up terrorists. Better yet, come to Corvallis and get appears we are good at growing them here:/

Stephanie said...

WHOA! Patti I just read all your comments! i came in before Katya yesterday, probably a good thing. Your comment was eloquent and right on target, you represented all of our children beautifully. Thank you!
It amazes me what we are up against.

I'm just sayin... said...

How do you carvig a turkey?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!???!!!

Patti said...

I dunno, but he did it!

Meriah said...

I keep thinking about the Katya comment... and agree with you all in that she's just one expressing what many in Russia most likely feel.

50 years ago in the US, this was also the norm. To institutionalize our precious children with Ds. Society and doctors said it was for the best, that "they"'d be better off. People with Ds have suffered incredibly at the hands of all. They have been abused, starved, malnurished, neglected. Deprived of loved ones, opportunity, education, sustenance. Even God! They have been denied the right to pray.

In the US, it was through fierce parental advocacy and the passing of the ADA that has changed things. The fight is not over. While we have an immeasurably better situation, our cause is still alive, because society has yet to fully include our beloveds with Down syndrome.


Russia is notorious for their overall attitude regarding disability. 'Access' is a concept whose time has definitely come. As 'inclusion'. As 'diversity'. As 'love thy neighbour'