That Time Again: Angel Tree

Note: I see my links broke with change of theme. I’ll fix that soon!



I’m thrilled to be participating in <a href=””>Angel Tree Twenty Fifteen</a>.

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The past couple years I held back on signing up, but this being the 3rd year I’ve watched this wonderful fundraiser the more eager I am to jump in and get planning. Just now I put in my little application, which includes the top choices of children that I’d like to participate for.

Angel Tree is the name of Reece’s Rainbow’s biggest fundraiser project of the year. It extends between October 1st and December 31st, in which time “warriors” seek to raise $1,000. How that money is raised is to be done according to the means and creativity of each who takes on the challenge.

Usually it involves community help by way of some fundraiser, social media, auctions, dinners. Or, obviously just a large personal donation! Everything is tax deductible, made through Reece’s Rainbow, after October 1st. Donations toward the Angel Tree project accumulated before that date could go into a GoFundMe or kept personally by the warrior, to be deposited in the child’s adoption fund between October 1st and Dec 31st in order to count towards the 1K goal.

This afternoon I just wanted to introduce the children who I’ve applied to advocate for through that time frame. After sending in my email application I’ll get a notice back notifying me which child I’ll be pushing for. The event will begin in 44 days, sign ups close Oct 28–any children without a sponsor signed up for them will be taken off the list and not be in the running to gain $1,000. Of course, donations are accepted year round to grow children’s funds giving adoptive families that much less of a financial burden once they commit to a child.

There is always need to advocate, for any and all children who are available for adoption. Angel Tree just happens to be a terrific chance to celebrate fundraising and bring attention to the need of orphans abroad. What better way to celebrate Christ’s death and rising again than in giving to the need of children without mothers and fathers? This is a project absolutely worthy of my time, as well as yours.
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Callie Girl

Her name is Callie.

callieShe’s cuter than any button that you ever could buy. She’s quite possibly in an orphanage, signed by her biological mother to be available for international adoption because of a deep rooted superstition that Down Syndrome is a sign of the parents confirmation of a place reserved in perpetual darkness in the afterlife. Can you imagine? Yes. You can. You’ve experienced devastating fear, gripping pain and complete aloneness over something. It doesn’t have to be over a child. It could be over a part lost in a play because you got food poisoning and can’t be there for the audition that you believe might turn your life around, thus giving that chance to someone who you believe absolutely doesn’t deserve it. Maybe the favorite color of lipstick you’ve always worn has been discontinued or a finals test that makes or breaks your desired career doesn’t work out, missing by just one question that you think of the moment after you have no second chance. That’s devastation. That’s the moment that you’ll cry inside, at least a part of, for what in that moment seems like a forever.

Callie’s birth mom? She may have dreamed of a, “perfect child” endured a hard delivery, bordered on the brink of death, carried through only by the love of a child that she’d bonded with over nine months of inside butterflies that turned to little kicks and caused her uterus to swell and that magic moment of delivery. After painful moments that turned into hours she held what initially appeared to be a perfect baby, perhaps she was told by her grandmother standing nearby that this baby looked like a family.

Very little information is given about “Callie” but easily we can imagine that isn’t wasn’t long after bringing this little girl home, her mother began to notice that her baby was unique in some incredibly undesirable ways. Perhaps it was that she was floppy, or maybe it was her flatter facial features as she progressed through that six week period in which babies begin to really look as they will as children and adults. Callie’s mother would doubtlessly been taught that Down Syndrome would shame her family. Her daughter either could be hidden forever, or institutionalized before word even got out that a child had been born. Judging by Callie’s young age, it looks like the second option was taken.

If you’ve read articles of advocating for fundraising of adoption from other countries you’ll hear about heartless abandonment. As a mother of four young children I refuse to write with that tone unless I explicitly read in a government document file translated into English by a social worker in that country that the child was found in a plastic bag near a drainage pipe or obvious form of disregard for life. Look at our society. Woman of all ages and across all levels of society and education are scared out of going full term in their pregnancy finding birth defect in their child in utero. While their child probably is not based on a fear of their place in the afterlife, it’s a life changing choice. Some of these woman come forward to write their story of guilt–of how they wish a million times over that they could take that moment back.

This is a post of hope.

Coming, baby girl.

Callie's familyThere is a family in Washington state that sees perfection. They’ve prayed and looked to the Lord for guidance. They believe that they’ve heard a resounding, “Yes” from the Lord and savior who says of Callie, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Wonderfully made. This beautiful girl is gorgeous in the eye of GOD.

She’s made in perfection, she’s strong, she’s a testimony of his magnificent will and her life is a gift.

When Callie’s mom signed a form saying that this precious girl could travel overseas she granted the Henry family a chance to know and raise this precious child of God to His glory for as long as she shall live. I plan to continue to write about her story as it develops, bringing you the opportunity to help bring her home.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psa 139:14

This family is Jacqueline and Michael Henry along with their children Rhianon (16 and born in Ukraine), Tyler age 10 and sweet little Pyper is 3 who is soon to be a big sister.

Adoption from Callie’s country where soon-to-be big sister Rhianon was also born and grew up for a number of years, can easily be under a year from beginning to completion of process to the USA. Which means, if all goes smoothly, this baby could be celebrating her birthday a little late as a Henry in Washington state. Can you imagine? Yes, you can, because at some point in your life you had an opportunity that blew you away. A chance that changed your life, that came so unexpectedly that could have been yesterday or many years back that just turned everything around. Maybe, maybe even adoption.

Here is a little more about the Henry family.

Mama and Daddy:

They were first loves. Jaqueline attests to loving Michael from age 14. The two love birds have been married since 1983, considering themselves together for 37 years. How magnificent!

Michael is manager at a Napa store, while Jaqueline stays at home with their children as a full time mother, feeling that there is room in her heart and home for little Callie who they will give a new name upon her arrival.

Fundraisers tentatively planned.
An auction to launch in October. It will have teas from my online store that I already have in stalk at home and will personally ship. The auction will also have Pampered Chef products from Jaqueline’s direct sales line. We’ll have coats and baby hats available as well. Everything will have a base bid that includes shipping costs and run for two weeks.

We also want to have a shoe fundraiser and have details forth coming.

For Callie, being a child with special needs we’d like to honor her in a Super Hero Cape Fundraiser. Please click those words to learn about how that works. A date has yet to be picked, we’re open to the idea of having it open through the whole of this process as it’s a wonderful way to bring awareness.

Current financial needs. There is no mercy with adoption waiting periods. When it’s time to pay, it’s time to pay. Good intentions don’t win the race. Here’s what the Henry family is up against right now: The complete charge for commitment, $500, which will closely be followed by the $1500 for the homestudy, which is a social worker coming in to check out the Henry’s home for safety and preparedness to give proper care for a baby, showing that they have space and facilities to have a child of Callie’s age. If you’re interested in contributing the beginning of this journey, please visit Gofundme through this link: Adopting Down Syndrome Pureness

As I’ve been writing this piece I’ve been in conversation with the wonderful woman who God has give then heart to be Callie’s mother. She welcomes questions from you as well, my reader. Please reach Jacqueline through her email:
or the regularly checked address:

Again, congratulations to the Henry family and many blessings as they follow God’s bidding to travel overseas to gain a daughter.

Baby Boys

March. Sunshine peaking out from behind the bleak grey overcast skies that have hovered partially promising yet never bringing snow (in WA) and tulips along with the other Spring bulbs popping their heads through the morning frost covered garden beds where they’ve silently lived on unseen waiting for their time to declare that life is still coming full circle again. Soon buds on the forsythia bush will open in their full yellow forcing color on dark, dirty melt around. That brilliance is unavoidably eye catching as it will refuse to be defeated by even the chilliest of last minute dips in temperature. Soon all the spring colors are out, and as soon as the winter darkness came, the sunshine is back. Green buds are out on the fire bushes and the oak tree is ready to show forth the wonder of it’s beauty next to every other sign of life in the front yard. When all chance of frost coming back are gone, we’ll be out planting annuals and mowing the lawns and it will be like winter never was, until the leaves turn color and the winds come again and we’ll remember and proceed back into those cooler seasons.

In March we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, in October we celebrate National Down Syndrome Awareness day. This month I want to celebrate young children with Down Syndrome who are waiting for adoption, those who are in the adoption process and notice too the victory of children home with so much time ahead of them to spend with their new families.

Today I want to start with Truman

I’m starting with boys since they tend to be the last picked. Not only that, but Truman because of Truman’s mama. She’s a wonderful person in the midst of the busy life of a stay at home mama and strong adoption advocate. Kara’s story started like mine and grew so far beyond. She loves and was able to commit to adopt a precious boy in Russ!a, but was stopped short by the ban against adoptions to the USA in 2013. The McIntee’s story did not end in grief. Kara and Kyle still felt God’s call pushing them forward and were given the heart for a little guy who they would name Maks. He’s now a vivacious fun loving piece of their family that his sisters cannot imagine life without. He has a baby brother named Sammy and just is the picture of a boy born overseas meant to be here. He’s home.

Two months ago I asked Kara if she thought that they’d adopt again someday and she said, “I think this is about it for us.” She loves kids, especially with a heart for little boys, and I know would love to go again. She continues to pray her little boy in Russ!a and is blessed to still receive pictures of him growing up. I imagine she must cry a little inside, knowing that he should be here.

When Truman was listed, I thought I was looking at  porcelain doll.

Families who adopting during the time that the McIntees were going for Maks were now committing again, planning to go back for another run to the country that their other child(ren) were from. Honestly, with all of the advocating that Kara was doing for Truman I believed she would be thinking of possibly being his mama and giving Maks another brother. You know what? It’s true. Truman’s going home.

I want to invite you to like their Facebook page. It’s Bringing Truman Home and updated often with pictures and plans. Since Kara and Kyle have been overseas before to this country, they have a better idea of what they are in for than someone such as myself would who never got beyond being an advocate.

For my advocate piece of this blog entry I want to feature little Mark.

His details are as limited as little Truman’s blurb. We’ve learned that the length of information does not hider or increase the child’s likelihood of going home. I know God has a place for this baby boy. From his country, the same country that both Maks and Truman are from, has a mom and dad to be here in the USA. His adoption process could be as short as just under 1 year, the cost around 22K.


Opportunity, Reece’s Rainbow family!

10427217_10204512276638310_6203026995230421685_nTonight I was talking with a strong adoption advocate and mama about ways to raise money for waiting children and families. I was half there and half in the midst of making before bed snacks for my children. I mentioned to her that I’ve joined Jewelry in Candles and that I could also these awesome tarts and candles into giveaway events. The conversation went on to mention that we do a lot of giveaways. I also rep for Endless Xpressions. We sell Floating lockets, Charms, western / bling style handbags & wallets, personalized totes, totes & bags, leggings, snap jewelry, scarves, leg warmers, arm warmers. I thought of offering month proceeds to chosen families. People who shop in that pay period would be guaranteed that their purchase would go to profit the adoptive family or waiting child that I’ve announced. I’d love to do that! 690474bea8f902e3233662661b8dac03As I’m logging on to my shop I see that we’ve extended our Join for 1 Dollar rep recruit period that was running through the holiday. That offer is active for January 15th, 2015. PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING MY TEAM! It’s affordable, pays right into your Paypal and there are no monthly fees to keep your back office open. You do have to make an order of at least $20 monthly and log in once to your page. Easy! Purchasing a kit is optional. I suggest doing it for vendor events, or adoption drives of any kind that you could incorporate the products into. This is so much easier than keeping around auction items for me! If you have any questions, email me at and please look around my Endless Xpressions page and do consider joining my team. I really don’t think you’d regret it! One thing though, you can’t already be a rep for anyone that sells floating lockets, bags, scarves, flip flops, or leggings. So really, if you have a $1, and don’t rep for Thirty One or Origami Owl, etc SO do this.  The products are so reasonably priced. This is an amazing opportunity! Also, thanks for the rainbow “Help Wanted” graphic, Jennifer Quinn. Jewelry in Candles also had a $1 to Join offer has extended. You can see it when you enter my site and go to Become a Rep. The kit is usually $29.95, and for a limited time just one dollar. The comp is super generous: 40%. This totally could be utilized for adoption fundraising. We love the concept behind Jewelry in Candles. You just burn your candle or tart down until you reach a little triple wrapped baggie, open it and find your ring or necklace. At check out you select if you want a necklace or a ring. If you’re wanting a ring, you can specify what size: between 6 and 9. Some of our candles even have earings inside! My family’s first experience with Jewlery in Candles was winning a tart. The scent was just delightful! Soy candles are our favorite. It was pecan pie scent. If you’d come to the front door, you’d have believed I’ve finally learned to bake, it was that good! 2532028b0ccc1aa7eda422709f2d78eaPretty much I’m thrilled to be part of both these companies, I think the teams I’ve joined are terrific and hope to stay in both for a very long while. Endless Xpressions: Wonderful alternative to auctions, paid weekly into your paypal account. Generous compensation, no back office charge. Jewelry in Candles: Nice product, long lasting scent, although on the off set, looks expensive, consider there’s a ring or other jewelry that could be worth a lot! These are fun items to have in give-aways, or sell at events. You could even try to get a salon hooked on the product and get long term regular sales. PS: That’s not my hand! I’ll post photos of our necklace find soon. After Carly found her necklace she was determined that we join this company. It’s like the toy in a cereal box, except so much better. Well, you don’t get to eat the candle as you do the cereal, but you do all of the sudden know exactly what you’re in the mood to eat and get a gorgeous piece of jewelry to make you even more beautiful when you go out to eat! Anyway, terrific business opportunity, and please visit my shops! Jewelry in Candles and Endless Xpressions. I currently have 15% off leggings with coupon code HAPPY2015 with EX.

All Mamas Wrap


Hey friends. b836c44eaafdb1fb4a14b40786708d1431021225321-Mikey-214x300Last year this time I had tears pouring down my face and prayers bursting from my heart for the children on Angel Tree to make their goals. Not all of them did, and it was hard to take. The truth was, they had more in their funds than they did when the drive to elevate all those waiting children overseas adoption funds by $1000 each by December 31 beginning at November 1st began. A good number of those children are home with their families now, some of those families had never heard of Reece’s Rainbow before.  One of the reasons that Angel Tree gets so hard is that it’s an idea that so many people have not heard of. This is not an adoption agency. It’s an advocacy network and support website that works together to raise money for individual children. As the season was winding down last year I got questions from people who had been viewing my posts all those weeks without speaking up. All of the sudden I was flooded with questions that I had no idea were out there, such as people wondering why I’d give money to Ukraine. Money to Ukraine? This is money for a child waiting to be adopted. Just because the child lives in Ukraine does not mean the Ukraine government ever touches it, or even knows that your donation is there. Sadly, these questions came after December 31st had come and gone. 

143_28_10_2008_KolyoWhat questions do you have that I can help with? I reached my goal for the older boy from Eastern Europe who I’ve been advocating for. Due to some pretty dang awesome people working together, and being armed with more awareness on what questions are on peoples hearts. I have to know where the skepticism is in order to hit it. One step is showing people that there is something in their life that is in common with what you want them to look at, then the reality strikes. Or it goes the other way, and that individual is gone to the cause. Surprisingly, next year they may be back with curiosity about the annual cause and remembering the year before can give willingness to participate. I believe in God and know that he works in amazing ways. I’ll forever advocate for orphans waiting for adoptive families. Today is DECEMBER 31st 2014. New Years is a mere hours away. I want to make the new year more than last year. I’ve just signed up for something completely different, but really it’s a revolutionary idea that’s been right under my nose. Over this weekend an announcement came out that the signature product of It Works  will be at a 2 for 1 deal. THATS A $140 SAVINGS. The Ultimate Body Applicator changes your body by shrinking saggy skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks and blemishes and can be applied from the neck down. Just a matter of days ago I signed with It Works Global as a distributor after learning about their entirely different line of products.

I shrugged at the idea of everything being too good to be true and dove right in. It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. Yesterday I believed that being 25lbs heavier than my goal weight, having a saggy belly was part of having four children and that this was just what I have to love. It Works says that I can apply a strip to my belly for 45 minutes 4 times, and have a flatter belly with renewed tightness. I got my box of wraps (Ultimate Body Applicator) and was so nervous to try them, certain that I would be the one person that it would not work for. I measured myself before, put it on and set the timer for 45 minutes. I took the wrap off after that period of time had come to a close. I lost 1/2 an inch. I was so disappointed. However I kept nicely hydrated, and as the instructions suggest, 72 hours later I’d lost 2 more inches through my middle. 4 wraps is a complete treatment, just imagine the difference 8 wraps would make. This offer is only good until midnight.10888732_687948301304073_2467043008395984691_n In order to get this amazing deal, you have to sign to be a Loyal Customer. That means 3 month commitment to buy one product from my store. I’m looking for 3 more Loyal Customers, ideally I’d love if all of my friends could realize this ridiculously awesome product. Men wrap too, it’s not mamas. When I first saw these I really realized how many wraps I’ve owned. Gaining the first trimester weight  gain, I wore a band around where the top of my pants ended and my belly swelled, further into the second and third trimester I bought a back and belly support band. All the mothering magazines in the waiting room at the OB/GYN’s office tell you that you need these. 17855_412063000424_949646_nAfter the baby was born I got the first wrap out again, to hide my postpartum belly that I was so embarrassed of. As soon as I had permission I got to the crunches and sit ups to flatten out my belly. Staying active helped the lbs come off, but I did find myself left with extra skin after each pregnancy, more noticeable to me after each child.  IT WORKS takes that away, it’s astonishing. I promise, your friends will notice the difference, maybe even before you see it yourself. You’re told you’re glowing when you’re pregnant. What’s next? The baby’s adorable! My baby’s almost three, and now that I’ve discovered It Works I have those pre-all pregnancies clothes within my scope of possibility. I guess at that point I’ll realize trends have changed over the past 9 years, right? The word wraps keeps coming on as babies grow. People start asking if you’re, “baby wearing” and what wrap you’re using. I used the Moby Wrap. It involved all kinds of proper placement, knotting and adjusting. It held my baby securely and kept me pinned in too. I had back support and ab coverage. Win! When I heard about It Works, I obviously had to try it myself. I also wanted to know if it was safe for pregnant mamas. It is! All those wraps that are marketed to mom’s and I have never heard of this one. Thousands of people across the US, Canada and beyond are taking advantage of the It Works product line. People of all lifestyles. It really does work. Here’s what I recommend! Go to my website: Select the BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Ultimate Body Applicator, at check out choose to be a Loyal Customer. This order will count as your first of three months. You can select any item per month. We have items ranging in cost! Registration is free. Our fat fighter is only $23 for Loyal Customers, for example. This is not a bad deal! You’ll love the Ultimate Body Applicator, I absolutely believe you’ll see a difference. Don’t forget to measure yourself and take a picture before wrapping, because you really wont believe your eyes. Here’s the product line, so you can see for yourself just what a price cut Loyal Customers receive.  How will this change your future? Well, the wraps that you’re getting a 2 for 1 on tonight wont make you lose weight, they will tighten and firm your abs though without your doing anything beyond applying the Ultimate Body Applicator as directed, drinking water and reapplying every three days until you’ve finished the four wrap set. You could set your next month to receive the Advanced Formula Fat Fighter, or something from our amazing Greens line. I’m going to try the Hair Skin and Nails formula! It’s up to you, decide how It Works is going to work in your life! 51682eb8fce5a1c7c7f756a97b2df817You are only required one item to get your Loyal Customer discount, you pay what I pay! Friends can order through your log in too and receive the discount that you get as a Loyal Customer. When you renew your Loyal Customer status after three months you get more points on the perk point program. No enrollment fee, no minimum purchase, free shipping after 3rd auto ship. 10% back in perk points, you get points when friends order too. I mentioned that, right?

1782064_10205195053867000_4960198860754628683_n10868228_10203635935285455_98531510421739121_nIf you’ve been to my blog before, it’s been for my adoption advocacy. Because of that, I have to turn around my success in It Works to work not just for my physical health and for yours, but also to fundraise for waiting orphans and adopting families. When I sign four Loyal Customers in my first weeks as a distributor I get $120 in It Works products free to me. I can combine a couple to be a giveaway entry, profits to an adoption fund, the winner of the drawing could decide which family or child would benefit.


Do all mamas wrap? No. Not with It Works Global. But with some kind of cloth or other material. Our culture is always telling us that we have something to hide. Why hide it?

I want to look like this, and eat the cake too. I can do that with the Ultimate Fat burner while I get going on getting myself in shape! 76220_10152216688295425_1893787250_nDespite having looked like this four times over. It Works has a wonderful line of Greens to keep energy boosted and those veggies intake where they should be even when your fridge isn’t full of fresh cut colors fresh from the ground. On the go? Grab some chews.407495_10151221779690425_1557155699_n

Today I’ve gained two Loyal Customers, could you and one friend be the two that bump me to my four that get me over $100 in products compliments of It Works Global? If you’re skeptical, I understand. I was too. Ask on your mom’s group, and you’ll have mamas saying that it’s a gimmick because they tried it once and didn’t get flat abs. Most of those people didn’t even finish the set of four Ultimate Body Applicators that come in one box. Don’t ask them to mail you the left overs, because these do expire.

If you want to try the It Works Ultimate Body Applicator, please buy it from a distributor, that way you’re guaranteed it’s freshness and optimum performance. Follow the instructions and be amazed by the results! Make 2015 just an incredible year!! Maybe you’ll even want to join my team. Love your body, take time for yourself and remember that you’re worth it. Lets rock 2015.

Knowing the Story, Seeing the Faces


Romeo’s is going home!

It’s personal when there’s a face to the name and even just a few words to describe that face. It’s this connection that makes families born not of blood but or what seems somehow to be much more, it’s a spirit that is magic to watch unfold though at times seems one sided as the child may have grown up in an environment with instability not knowing who to trust. This morning I included the picture of a girl full body embracing a woman who was at the young girl’s orphanage in Eastern Europe to adopt another child. The photo of this connection was so powerful that it had to be kept and made public for those who might come by Greta’s publically available profile. I’m sure that I am not the only advocate who has watched her grow up in pictures sporting boys clothes, underweight, with a shaved head and despite that just has the biggest smile in so many of her pictures that have come through the adoption boards as individuals spend time with her appreciating her friendly welcoming attitude and wishing her all the best.


Greta’s 16 and finally going home!

While Greta has spent so very many years waiting her heart is prepared for a family, a wonderful family that God has prepared to receive her. In only a matter of weeks they’ll be together.

Felix is 11 and going home!

Felix is 11 and going home!

On January 19th Stephanie Barnett will be leaving to adopt Greta, Felix and little Romeo from Eastern Europe. Orphans no more, in such a short while!

Stephanie is not new to adoption, in fact she’s brought home other children from overseas who were also listed on Reece’s Rainbow. In 2011 the Barnett family brought home 3 children who were listed as Trenton, Leeza and Igor. They’re thriving and loving life with their Texas born siblings and are so excited for the arrival of Greta, Felix and Romeo. Felix has been listed a while, but not quite as long as Greta. He also has a winner of a smile, at 11 years old, it’s about time this guy start his adventures as a son and beloved brother that he’s always meant to be. All happens in God’s perfect family, and I just so rejoice that this family is coming together.


Clarice needs a family, soon!

This morning I wrote focusing on the advocating programs that Reece’s Rainbow has to organize adoption enthusiasts who cannot for personal reasons step forward in adoption personally. I said that all sorts of people apply to be Prayer Warriors, Guardian Angels, Family Warriors, and Angel Tree Warriors. The Barnett family have Carol Miller as their Family Warrior, and express their deep gratitude for her participation in moving along efforts to organize matching grants and fundraisers along the way.

Her day job is special education teacher at a community school in North Carolina. A beautiful part of this adoption community is that there are no bounds. Sometimes as I’m telling my husband stories of different families he’ll ask what state, and I’ll stop and realize that I don’t even know. Everyone is a dear friend when caring for orphans is what we have in common. When I wrote this morning I was having a momentary confusion between Greta and her age-mate Clarice. Stephanie Barnett brought to my attention an important detail that I did not know about Clarice’s story: A donor has stepped up and said that she will fully fund Clarice’s adoption, if this girl is found by adoption before she ages out of eligibility for international adoption from her country which she is quickly approaching.

If Clarice does age out, the $15,378.80 in her adoption fund will be gifted to another child.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)


Little Lollie (and an introduction to advocating)

gretasep2012-3-cropped-244x300Advocates write, repost and share children for personal reasons. In the image that I’m beginning this post with is Greta who waited for many years, but has now been found by a wonderful family who is bringing home two other children from the same country and will travel soon for them. Advocates play a part in keeping the stories of children alive as they wait for family to find them. This is why hearts ready to pray are so needed, mouths ready to speak and just a team of individuals keeping chances alive while hope is still present for children all over the world who have stories have become to seem hopeless. The levels of medical need vary, the need for love is there and always someone whose heart reaches for that story wherever and whatever it may be. What story touches you? There are so many that it can become an overwhelming fog. Behind the sadness of children living without parents and some in quite poor health, there is the glimmering hope that they see redemption through adoption. Greta’s been seen, as have her future brother, Felix and baby Romeo who will be coming home soon too to this Texas family. If you want to learn more about the Barnett’s, please visit their family blog Obedient 2 His Command.

It’s that way across the boards of all interests. If you like fashions, it’s because someone in your life had a passion for fashion, if it’s business someone in your life also loved organization and had an entrepreneur spirit. Or perhaps they had the opposite and you’re determined to pursue what you believed was missing.

Families who adopt bring home special needs with a pretty amazing story of why that has become part of their personal journey. If you can find the right way to ask, please do, you’ll be the richer for it. I have loved getting to know the amazing stories and incredible testimonies of individuals and large family units too that go across the ocean as well as make a difference in their own communities helping children that society has deemed unworthy. While all of this goes on, there are some that do somehow go without much notice, last to be claimed despite lacking overwhelming extra needs. One of those children is Lollie from Latin America. I’ve picked her to be my Guardian Angel child.

First I want to explain the Guardian Angel project with Reece’s Rainbow, then detail a bit on why for me Lollie a child that stands out.


The Guardian Angel project. It’s quite simple. I’ve lost count how many children are listed on Reece’s Rainbow, to help bring attention to each individually we have two programs for waiting children. One is the Guardian Angel project, and the other is other is the Prayer Warriors program. When you go to Waiting Children they are divided into the categories of Other Angels, HIV+ and Down Syndrome. From there the categories are broken down by gender and age. The Other Angels and children who are HIV + are advocated for under the Guardian Angel project, while the children with Down Syndrome are under the Prayer Warrior program. Both have the same goal: Bring attention to the individual. Advocates are welcome to contact the agencies that the children are with, often learn about the countries that the children live in and if so inclined, organize fundraisers to grow the child’s potential financially of being adopted.


I’ve been Guardian Angel for Yana from Ch!na for two years, and she’s finally been claimed which brings me to move on to reaching out to another child. Today, pleased to announce that child will be Lollie, a child who has listed needs that sound like my own and has a donation total below $100, a far cry from her fully funded which will be around $25,000. She needs some attention!


After an adoption commitment is reached, a new advocating program is available, that one is called the Family Warrior program, for which I advocate for the Johnson family and the Vantrease family. I formerly was listed as Family Warrior with Cianciolo family, who brought home twin boys from Ukra!ne.

With the Prayer Warriors, I have baby Boyd who I blogged about here when my prayer warrior child was closed into her country by the ban against Russian to US adoption I asked for a random assignment for PW, and got Boyd. He’s a beautiful baby, so short of funds and full of potential when placed with the right family.

I’ve made these banners clickable, if you’re interested in any of the opportunities to speak out, or really just to make an extra moment in your day to think of an individual child learn more by reading further and sign up. It’s been worth my while and I bet you’d appreciate participating too.


I began this post saying that advocates have stories, just like adoptive families. Here’s mine for Lollie. Here blurb reads:

Lollie is learning how to sit; when you put her in a sitting position, she can now sit for several seconds. She has an epileptic syndrome and is on medication for seizures, but has not had any seizures since being admitted to our care. She has a vision impairment, but with glasses is able to see much more of her world. Lollie is nonverbal, but she will make contented noises to express herself.

Lollie was born May 2011, that’s my oldest daughter’s birth month, the year before my youngest daughter’s birth year. Lollie’s epilepsy sounds a bit like my sons. He struggles sometimes to connect with people, he’s verbal and doesn’t have vision problems, although he was shortly suspected of such but it was determined that blurred vision was a temporary side effect to medication that controls small seizures which effect his learning process. It’s these small life similarities that make one child stand out in the over 1000. Life doesn’t stand still, and that’s why advocates are needed. I want every child to have an advocate. You don’t have to be an extravert to be an advocate, you don’t have to have your own blog, or be on a huge social media outlet. You do have to believe that there’s hope and opportunity to grow, opportunity to be more than what you are now and have a place in your heart to remember and pray for a child You don’t have to adopt to make a difference.

2015 is right around the corner. Visit Reece’s Rainbow and find out how you can reach beyond yourself just a little to speak out in your way for a child available for international adoption. Visit and click the drop down bar, “How to Help”


We are winding down Angel Tree season, which is a not to be missed opportunity to help in the growing opportunity to bring a child closer to home. This has gotten so big over the past seven years. I also encourage you to visit, “Already Home

Lollie doesn’t have a photo listed, but I’m going to find out if I can get it. And even if not, I wont let that deter me from fundraising and speaking for her even with what little information I have. She’s real as are her chances to go home.

Yana’s going to a family in Washington, the state where I live, which means I may have the opportunity to meet her, obviously depending on the wishes of her family who I have yet to be contacted by. She’s being brought home with a little boy from the same country.

In this blog post I’ve brought attention to all the advocating programs that we have through Reece’s Rainbow. I want you to notice that I messed with the spelling of the children’s countries. It was probably pretty obvious what countries I was talking about still, and I suppose I meant it that way. The reason I have to do this is that part of advocating is respecting privacy and the agencies want that to include keeping private the children’s specific location.

For example, for my Angel Tree child’s introduction I would say that he’s from Eastern Europe rather than specifying what country in Eastern Europe. Those details can be given out by the agency when a seriously interested family places a formal inquire notice. Direct families interested in any of the children listed on Reece’s Rainbow to Debbie Hannon, RR’s New Family Liaison.

Why bother? We’ve got hungry kids who need homes here in America? Even if you’re convinced kids abroad are worth remembering and praying for and not just someone else problem, you’re going to meet that harsh throw back and it’s rough. If you care about anything, there’s someone there to say it’s not worth it. And another to help you along. Be part of a community of helpers, commit yourself to building someone’s opportunity to have a better life where they cannot help themselves.

Bree: The girl who needs you


Bree needs a forever family! Please share her story!

Bree is a young lady in Ch!na who turned 13 this month. If she were in a family this might be an exciting time, in the US it would be. She’d have a group of friends from school over, talking and laughing, maybe they’d have a favorite game to share or something that had made them giggle about yesterday to retell and live over. That reality is far from what is soon to come to Bree, should no adoptive family come forward. In just one year Bree, “ages out” of orphan care. She will be turned lose from the controlled environment where she has been since age 1 when her family signed her care away legally and wrote in their free will that their daughter should be available for international adoption. On the day that Bree turns 14 she will, at best, go to live with an elderly person with the expectation that she will run errands and perform household chores. Displaced orphans sometimes are forced into a life of prostitution, and having always depended on adults for care they have no option but to follow what they’re told. If Bree is no adopted, she joins a terrifying cycle of helplessness. This is such a gorgeous picture of Bree. It’s fundraising season for orphans of special needs who are available for international adoption, and Bree’s running short in fund.


The mission was to raise upwards from $1,000. The amount raised is $141.46 I have not been in touch with what fundraising efforts have or have not happened for Bree aside from a matching grant that happened a couple weeks back that prompted me to donate $40 to her fund. My motivation for doing that was to boost the amount of money in the child’s fund that I was spending the last few weeks advocating for who has met and exceeded the expectation. So many children are not yet to the hoped for $1,000 increase personal funds. This is money that does not help them sleep warmer at night, or replenish the art center in their playroom. The money stays and grows with further donations waiting for that child’s future parents to use through the adoption journey. If the child ages out while their waiting for a family, the money goes to another available child either in full or divided between two children if it is a large sum of money. Bree has one year to be found by an adoptive family,  and while we’re counting down, she has less than a week to gain the rest of that $1,000 for this year’s Angel Tree goal. The idea of meeting $1,000 seems teeny, and as unbelievable is the idea that she’s been waiting for a family so many years.  At age 10 when an update was last written for Bree, she was not speaking very audibly. What does her future hold?

Bree has normal limb development. Upon admission, she was 1 year old. After growing accustomed to life in the social welfare center, she began to understand how things worked, She was polite and could get along well with people. At the age of 10 years, she could go up and down stairs, could put on clothes and shoes independently, and could help adults. Now she cannot speak, but she can make sounds of “yiyiyaya”. She can count 1-10, can recognize big and small, but cannot concentrate in the special education class. Bree is open, can get along well with others, likes playing with kids in the playground, and likes playing on the slide and swing. Everyone likes staying with her and sharing joy with her. Bree has been waiting for a long time for her family to find her.

Today’s the day that people traditionally have a tree in their home, hang beautiful memories on it and open gifts early in the morning around with their loved ones. This is the day that the Angel Tree ornaments are marketed for, but I keep mine around all year. It’s not too late to order one with Bree’s face on it, keep it around all year like I do. Remember, this is a big year for Bree. Not because she’s an eighth grader going to junior high and has a crush on one of the basketball players (that’s far from her reality) but because it’s her last year to be adopted. I’m going to keep her ornament on my kitchen window sill all year, perhaps beyond if she doesn’t find a family and then it will be to remind me to continue to advocate so that children do not slip away unseen.

I want to thank everyone who did donate. The money raised is money that was not there before. And for that, if not for Bree, it’s a chance for someone else to be closer to home. Bree has Down Syndrome, and is an orphan who can barely speak even her native language, that does not go in her favor living life outside of an orphanage without a family.

Requirements to adopt from Bree’s country:

(Typically one trip of 10-14 days, only one parent needs to travel)

  • Married couples and single mothers may apply
  • One parent must be US citizen
  • Both parents must be between 30-54 years old (a waiver is possible for up to age 65)
  • Married at least 2 years
  • Previous experience with Down syndrome preferred, if adopting a child with DS
  • Minimum of $10,000 of annual income per family member, including the new child you hope to adopt
  • A minimum of $80,000 net worth (a waiver is possible)
  • Health good, no history of cancer. No medication for depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) must be under 40 (a waiver is possible)
  • No criminal record or alcohol within the past 10 years
  • Total estimated costs approximately $25-30K depending on agency and location

Coming for Carrie Ann

There once was a little girl born in a far away land to a mama, maybe a papa and grandparents were around when she was delivered, perhaps there were brothers or sisters, those facts aren’t known from this distance. What is to be seen in this little child in a long sleeved jump suit laying in a blanket with her head turned to the side and her mouth open just a bit. There are little choo choo trains on her outfit and if you’re a mother, you may just wish you could reach out and take her up in your arms. If it weren’t for the distance you’d feel those little hands and talk to her, perhaps get a smile and some sounds of happiness for your attention. 40402200842-Carrie-Ann-204x300Carrie Ann was born in November 2012. Her medical diagnosis is, “Lumbar spina bifida (myelocele) (post-surgery)” beyond that her description only lists her birth date and that she is developing normally. My youngest was born February 2012 and is walking, imitating reading, drawing and playing with household pets, not laying in a baby sleeper so I assume that Carrie Ann’s photo is simply outdated maybe by at least a year. Today is the day that Carrie Ann is relisted as available for adoption. Last week she was to have gone home to a wonderful family in the USA. You see, in Carrie Ann’s country, a child’s specific location isn’t quite known until the family is just about to go to meet their future family members. Carrie Ann’s sister to be from the same country lives in a region far away, and the cost was beyond what they had. While this family will miss their dream of having Carrie Ann grow up in their home, they know that God sees her and lead the mom and dad to adopt her that she was born to be with.

This little girl has spent her mornings, noons and nights in an orphanage, it’s the family’s prayer who thought they’d spend Christmas with her, to have you donate and pray that someone would feel the need to have this doll as they did. Adoption is complicated, dreams are worth following, and Carrie Ann is someone’s little daughter. Jeremiah_verseIf you’re meant to be her mom, you’ll have so many people rallying around you. Actually, I’m going to push this a little further and say, “If you’ve ever thought of adoption, why not Carrie Ann?” She’s a beautiful baby just waiting for life to happen. If you would like to start off Carrie Ann’s adoption fund, money to go to any future family who may commit to bring her home. Please click HERE.    

Back for Bree

imagesVJUTL3IZA few weeks ago we had a bumping bonus going on with Reece’s Rainbow. Children under $100 would receive donations, once they made it over that 100, a child under $500 would be boosted over the 500 wall. We have these bump bonuses every year as Angel Tree season comes near closing. Here’s the chart that I immediately assumed to be written in stone: if someone raised Bree to $100, Kolya would go to $500, despite his being well under $400. These boosts were not deserved, yet when I made the donation to Bree that I thought would shoot Kolya over and what I thought would happen did not, the level of disappointment I experienced was tremendous. Shortly after I felt such shame. 10411832_10105764522362854_2914897482316100651_n   My Kolya was had been sitting steady for almost at week in the $350 range, his bump depending on a little girl from Ch!na being moved over the $100 wall. I have seen no fundraising for her, no one asking for donations on a private or public page for her so I wondered how likely it was that the bump would happen. There has been a lot of spending on my part this month, and I felt like giving would really be a financial stretch.

It was a Sunday, I was pressing refresh as often as the page allows and praying my heart out that someone was looking at Bree. This was a twist in my fundraising, all season, which is November 1st to December 31st I had been hoping and praying, speaking out and laboring over growing the fund of a boy in Bulgar!a, now all of the sudden I’m aching over a girl of the same age and need in Ch!na. I wrote about her on my Facebook and told my co-warrior of the amount that it would take to Bree‘s account to boost Kolya over $500. If you’re new to my blog, I created this blog to use it as a space to advocate for children waiting for adoptive homes living in orphanages in Eastern Europe, Africa and through Asia. Specifically children with special needs, primarily Down Syndrome, but ranging from cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness, limb difference, HIV+, and the list goes on. I write about sibling sets, babies, older kids, and of course the families who are adopting.




octagonalangeltree14Angel Tree season is the ten weeks that I pick a specific child to raise $1,000 for. The rest of the year I have a specific family that I gear my fundraisers for. My Angel Tree child last year was a baby from Ukraine who shortly after having $1,000 raised went home to live with a beautiful family in the Midwest along with another young boy from the same orphanage. I find that advocating for orphans is spiritually rewarding for my children as well, as many of the kids listed for adoption are their ages. We talk about the needs kids have, the value of giving and the appreciating that we can have for the gifts that God gives us and how he provides for the needs of his children. There are over 200 children on Angel Tree this year, the 8th year that Reece’s Rainbow has held an annual time of holding up individual kids for a $1,000 goal with personal sponsors.


Only 40 have made the goal, with ten days to go. Kolya has met his Angel Tree goal, now it’s Bree’s turn. Let me tell you what I know about Bree. To set the scene. Where were you in 2001? I was beginning community college, on my way to an associates in Early Childhood Education. I signed up for English 101, college study skills, and Intro to ECE. Somewhere in China a mother was giving birth an infant who had Down Syndrome. The little baby had sweet little hands and feet, an adorable round face and perhaps a full head of hair and loving eyes for her mother. But to this mother it was not a moment of pure illation, it may have been a moment of fear and even sadness. In a culture where boys are preferred, she had birthed a girl. Down Syndrome had happened. Was Bree’s mama in love with her despite the Down Syndrome? Bree was kept until age 1, according to her file. The words that have been sitting on Bree’s file on Reece’s Rainbow for at least two years, the paragraph that go with her photo to describe who she is: Girl, born December 2001 PRC Down syndrome Bree has normal limb development. Upon admission, she was 1 year old. After growing accustomed to life in the social welfare center, she began to understand how things worked, She was polite and could get along well with people. At the age of 10 years, she could go up and down stairs, could put on clothes and shoes independently, and could help adults. Now she cannot speak, but she can make sounds of “yiyiyaya”. She can count 1-10, can recognize big and small, but cannot concentrate in the special education class. Bree is open, can get along well with others, likes playing with kids in the playground, and likes playing on the slide and swing.


Everyone likes staying with her and sharing joy with her. Bree has been waiting for a long time for her family to find her.

Meeting a family is not impossible. Meeting her fundraising goal is not impossible either. There’s a deadline, obviously Bree has until she’s 14 to be adopted, and she has until December 31st to have her 2014 Angel Tree goal met. Hope is never lost. The day that I put $46.80 in Bree’s fund to boost Kolya and saw hers go over $100 through my donation and his not move within the next day I cried, only hours later to see him move to $500 realizing the boost had worked and feeling a complete wash over of shame for caring so much about the money in one child’s fund and giving to another just for growth in the other’s.

Each of the little people on this Angel Tree are sleeping and waking without parents participating in their lives.

Visit the Angel Tree 2014 HERE and for a donation of $35 or more to any child you will receive an ornament with their photo on it and the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in their future. Every dollar counts, but get ornaments while they’re still available!

Donations year around are appreciated for all of these children, waiting and for the families who go to adopt but it’s between November 1st and December 31st that we gather the names of a few of the children with Down Syndrome and other special needs, line them up with sponsors and aim for $1,000 each. Five children have been committed to this year’s Angel Tree. Andrea, Dillon, Emma Grace, Darah, and Alan are all going home, found through Angel Tree.


Bree’s $890 short of her goal!!

Through the Bump that I found Bree among the around 200 faces all have made over $100 at least. That’s $100 that they did not have before Nov 1st. Congratulations to the sponsors who have worked so hard, to those especially who have gotten their children over the goal some WAY over. This year Tyler’s fund has grown by $6561.00, which puts the 12 year old boy from Bulgar!a at $11,571.80 in funds waiting for his future adoption. Have you been rallying for a child who has met their goal? Please come back for Bree with me, or for another one of the many children under $1,000 this holiday season. Bree has until the day she turns 14 to be adopted. I wonder if her birth mama knows that. That’s far more serious than not meeting Angel Tree goal. I want to keep rallying for Bree, I’m glad I got her ornament, I am sitting here now thanking God that I just happened to believe that donating to her would help Kolya, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen that face. I’d love to see her in person too, and wonder if I will some day. In the photo that Reece’s Rainbow has she looks so directly into the camera as if to say, “What if you were my forever?” How much her mom has missed out on. Will she come back right before her daughter ages out? Click HERE to donate. Earlier I said that I had not seen fundraising efforts being made for Bree, that doesn’t mean that there were none. Sponors all utilize different mediums. Sometimes the goal in full turns up right at then of the season’s closing as the sponsor has done all local events. No matter how you raise money, donations are tax deductible if that’s important to you. Bree ages out at age 14 of opportunity for adoption. At age 14, I was all but ready to age out of needing parents! The time to scream and cry for a family to see Bree is NOW. Her birthday is December 2001, which means that this year is her final chance.