My story is hard to tell and at times very hurtful. I was born three months premature from my mother’s belly in South Korea and weighed only 2.5 pounds. It was here that my birth parents determined to give me up for adoption in fear of me dying at a young age. I was in a foster home for some time until my family now, Connie and Joseph Pavlovsky, decided to adopt me when I was only eight months old.
My parents have told me stories of how they were told by Holt, my adoption agency, that many families thought of adopting me, but when they saw me in person, they always had an excuse for why they couldn’t or wouldn’t adopt me. Many had said I was too small, or that I would have too many health defects and that they wanted a “normal child”.
I do have a birth defect although many people do not know about it. To most people I seem like a normal person with a few quirks like anyone else. Since I was born so early, my brain was unable to develop to the fullest capacity, and I therefore have something called Gerstmann’s syndrome. My parents like to call my defect a limitation, as it does not sound as severe as the term birth defect.
However, I am proud to say that my parents are the best parents I could ask for and the most loving parents I know. They supported me and raised me since I was eight months old and for that I am very thankful and glad to be a part of the Pavlovsky family. When I think of the great times and sacrifices my parents have made I can’t help but smile and be glad that they chose me, a little eight-month-old child, who was born three months early. Through all of this I learned that unfortunately not all premature babies are as lucky as I am.
Premature birth is the leading cause of death for newborn babies, and according to the March of Dimes website, birth defects in premature babies are at an alarming rate.
Just last year alone, annual hospitalization of the infants cost $13.6 billion.
The March of Dimes is a special voluntary health agency for premature babies. Their mission is attempting to make babies stay in their mother’s bellies for the full 9-month term and improve health of babies to prevent birth defects, premature births, and infant mortality. It was founded in 1938 and the campaign for premature babies was launched in 2003 to raise awareness of the increasing rate of premature births. (www.marchofdimes.com).
WalkAmerica is the number one way to save premature babies’ lives. In different states, the walk is held in different months throughout the year. It requires you to walk any amount of time and to earn money so it can be donated to hospitals all over the U.S. to help fund research being done for premature babies (www.WalkAmerica org). For every $1 that you earn during the walk, 76 cents is given to a hospital for medical research, health care, parent education, and community services.
Here’s how you the reader can help. Spread the word about premature births and about the walks that can be done in your hometown to earn money to save these tiny infants’ lives.