The "Do Good, Feel Good" Game: Round XII
This is the most important part of my post today, because this part really helps the world. Today I am posting five children from Reece's Rainbow's Down Syndrome, Boys, 6-9 page. This is the group I think about most because it includes my "Jacob;" and yes, I am including him.
This is "Jacob." As well as Down syndrome, he has several heart conditions: congenital heart disease; and an interventricular septum membrane department tumor and defect. He is six years old and in country PRC.
This is "Stanley." As well as Down syndrome, he has three heart defects: VSD; ASD; and Pulmonary valve stenosis. He is either about to turn seven or just turned seven (his birthday is this month), and he is in country PRC.
This is "Tomas." As well as Down syndrome, he is diagnosed with severe mental delays and congenital cardiopathy. He is eight or nine years old and in Latin America.
This is "Nolan." As well as Down syndrome, he is diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He is six years old and in country EE-4.
This is "Heinrich." He has MANY diagnoses besides Down syndrome: "specific mixed developmental disorder;" "features of autism;" farsightedness; atopic dermatitis; functional heart murmur; and hydrocephalus. He was also born with pneumonia. He is seven or eight years old and in country EE-7.
Below are pictures of my "Chesed Collage!" "Chesed" is Hebrew for lovingkindness, and a collage is a collage. Any time I make or receive a memento from an organization to which I donated, I add to this ongoing project, hanging above my bed. That way I have a tangible reminder of the good I've done in the world, as well as a visible push to do more. You'll see how it works in a minute.
This is an overview of the entire thing. Left to Right: my newest piece, a post card from Heifer International, with a nice note on the back (the side against the wall) telling me my donation of honeybees is helping people in Honduras; printed-from-a-word-document photos of "my" Reece's Rainbow kids, the two for whom I am praying (I made this piece myself); three photos of their girls sent to me by Lev Lalev after I donated there.
And here is the first piece, the post card from Heifer. I almost hung it flipped over, with the nice note showing; however, the picture side is sufficiently cute that I hung it this way instead, and I am satisfied.
Up top is my more important Reece's Rainbow kid, the one to whom I am officially assigned: my "Jacob," nearly seven years old, diagnosed with Down syndrome, in PRC.
And down below is the Reece's Rainbow kid from whom I asked to be reassigned when her country outlawed American adoptions--and then I found I couldn't forget her: my "Rheann," who turned 15 years old this year, also diagnosed with Down syndrome, and in Eastern Europe.
And to the far right of the collage, the three photographs of Lev Lalev girls sent to me when I donated there. These are actually my favorite part of the collage.
Growing as a Jew
Finally, an update on my Jewish life. Every time I go through a bipolar episode, my Jewish life crumbles; now that I am feeling better, I am working on piecing it back together. I am finding it useful to have a mental image of my "ultimate Jew," to know which commandments I feel the need to keep and which ones I don't care about at all. For instance, at least for now, I am working my way up to ritual prayer three times daily and ritual handwashing in the mornings; I feel absolutely no need, however, to say the long grace after meals after eating bread.