Psalm 68:5-6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

I am Stepanie Nance. My family adopted two little boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine in 2010. I hope to educate and to inspire you. I hope to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Come along for the ride. It's a wild one!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hair

I was never a HUGE fan of his:

But there is a new rock star in my life. I love, love, LOVE this guy!

Theo's hair is getting to be ridiculous, I know. But, knowing that he lived 4 years with a shaved head, I cannot bring myself to cut it.

In the US, we spend a collective $19 billion on hair care services each year. Umm...wow! We must really care about good hair. It feels good to shake it. It feels good to run your fingers through it. It frames our faces, reflects our style, and helps make us uniquely identifiable.
Hair.
In Theo's baby house all the disabled children have their heads shaved regularly. Year round. Girls and boys alike. I'm sure there may be practical reasons for this, but still...it is dehumanizing and demeaning. You can actually tell which children are favored by the caregivers because they may have a little fringe of hair left untouched by the shears. It is as if, somehow, these imperfect creatures deserve to be stripped of this little piece of identity.
I've been thinking about suffering and what a universal experience it is. There are suffering, hungry, abandoned children all over the world. What is it about the disabled orphans of Eastern Europe that has so captured my heart?
Could it be that these children are set apart, hidden away, abused, neglected, and stripped of their humanity because of the very way that God made them? What a slap in the face to our Lord. What an impoverished mindset.
Hair.
I'm going to let Theo's hair grow as a form of protest against that mindset that would have kept him stripped of his humanity and identity for the rest of his life.
And because he is a rock star!
PS - don't forget Andrey. His fundraiser ends on World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st. See the chip-in at the top of the page.

6 comments:

  1. What a striking resemblance...cracks me up! And the rest makes me sad.Let it grow :)

    The Hartmans

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  2. He looks lovely. I nannied for a special little boys and we used to love to let his hair grow out. He deserves to have awesome hair :)
    Your post reminded me of this one over at Redneck Mommy: http://www.theredneckmommy.com/2010/06/15/a-boy-and-his-hair-and-his-mothers-remorse/

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  4. Having worked overseas at a children's home, it made me sad when they cut the kids' hair. I know they did it to keep lice under control, but I am not personally a fan of buzzing hair--although I know some people like that look. What made me really sad was that one of the little girls had her hair cut so short I could not do much with it. The older girls had a choice--but the little ones automatically had their hair cut. One little girl told me she wanted long hair (long enough to sit on). I did tell her that would be too long--but I would ask if she could grow it long enough for a ponytail. I definitely think that the kids should get a choice in the matter as much as possible.

    Your little guys are so precious!

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  5. Gosh what a gorgeous boy he is and he is rocking that hair!

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