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

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.

Foggy Thoughts on My Monkey Face

1011702_370993829689677_151010753_nSo what’d you do today after the alarm woke you up? Made coffee, made plans, picked up yesterday’s TO DO list? I drank the coffee, read the list, was super psyched to have a terrific day, then my foot started to swell so I thought I’d sit and elevate it. Then I fell asleep. Then I woke up and it was 5pm. What??

I burnt my hand and foot nearly two weeks ago now, I’m nearly all fixed up, and now actually getting off the pain meds. I get how people accidentally become addicted to those. Once my body got used to them, skipping gave me quite the quakes! Having only taken pain meds a matter of ten days or so I hope to bounce back to normal without any trouble. So drank coffee, napped and I guess it’s time to feed my family and bathe them all. If you’re reaching my blog through Reece’s Rainbow’s Angel Tree page, off of Kolya’s FSP, THANK YOU. We are on our way to $200 now. I’d actually like to ask you to donate to the children at the bottom of the tree. For a donation of $35 or more, in addition to a holiday ornament with their picture and the name of the country that they are from you will receive a gorgeous wall calendar from Reece’s Rainbow for 2015. This is a terrific way to share the Reece’s Rainbow love all year around with your family and friends and coworkers.

While I’ve been bed and chair ridden recovering from burns that were completely my fault I have not have had the presence of mind to write and just have been with half comprehension reading. My interest is always how I can further help families and waiting orphans. Direct sales. No one attends my parties, but if I were a representative myself I could give another edge. So I have been writing in search words like, “Direct sales” in and finding Initials, Inc., LinenWorld and Gardenuity, the list goes on and on, just like the hours of my recovery from accidental burns gained while trying to make an awesome meal. Am I the guy who always trips up good efforts gone bad? These business are all cool for something unique they bring, and it has to be that way to be a success in the multilevel marketing world, which is what these things are. Just a portion of the proceeds go to the guy or gal sticking her neck out for the business, usually starting at 20%. I like LinenWorld because they already are geared toward fundraising which is what I’m into.

Earlier this year my kids and I did door to door sales for CelebratingHome. Everyone who bought from us has said how much they loved the product. That company is offering a November sign up special of $39 for full paper supplies required to be an official consultant for their company. Aside from it having a good quality product, I’d have the opportunity to sign up under a wonderful mom who already sells with them, so by registering I would be helping her out to.

My husband has always been my wonderful voice of reason. I had these websites lined out to show him this morning. His first words were, “Well first off, it has to be better crap than what people can just pick up at Walmart.” He added that second I have to make sure I’m not being taken advantage of. Isn’t that life’s big balance. Help out, provide quality, and don’t be the sap who gets cut the shortest stick.

Anyway. I love this graphic of the fuzzy primate. It fits my name, and the text is excellent too. So there. Again, if you’re here through Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree, thank you for visiting there. It’s absolutely the best thing happening this holiday season. Saving money for waiting children is something wonderful that I’m so glad is in your life now.




Can I do a Party for You?

steeped teaActually, yes! You could.


I have a Tastefully Simple, Steeped Tea, Pampered Chef, Origami Owl (jewelry), Ava Anderson (non-toxic products), and Damsel in Defense, Scentsy, all running until Dec 12. I’m also selling outgrown but in good condition clothing, and have just gotten in a small mountain of knit caps and baby booties to sell. It’s a little overwhelming!

The question is if I can get people to actually attend and buy.

With a co-warrior now I am so temped to just bow out. Would my house be cleaner? Would I be more energetic and less moody? My co-warrior’s brother is doing a country western concert proceeds to Kolya. Her son’s class is hosting a bake sale and each of his 3rd grade friends are doing a personal coin drive and selling candy door to door.

Yesterday I just found out that there is a Craft and Vendor fair with two open tables on Friday. I would need my sister to go with me. She’s been a barista so she can handle money, I would also need a baby sitter! Why can I not know about these things months in advance? Its been in the works since September, but I just learned of it through a friend’s Facebook “share”. Arg! How can I come up with a sales buddy, a baby sitter and an organized table set up in two days? With determination, stick-to-itiveness and a willingness to fall flat on my face in complete humiliation for lack of preparation.

Last year I switched off two Angel Tree children. Mickey was mine, so was Dylan. I ended up with little Mikey, who is now home with an adoptive family. This year Dylan’s warrior does not have a blog, last year he had one that had met him. Mickey is rocking a warrior that has adopted from his country and has a well organized up to date writings on her plans and progress on her personal site: Faith, Hope, Love & Family

Not having a blog does not mean not making money! One of the FSPs last year hung out at the bottom with $0.00 nearly all season then shot up to the full goal.

Happy Angel Tree time, warriors and those who surf the auctions and sales and receive Christmas ornaments for spending over $35 on any one child on Angel Tree 2014.

Team Kolya

It begins ANGEL TREE 2014 is up!

Here’s the tree: All the kids pretty much at zero on the first day. Clicking each face brings you to their personal profile. The number that you will see there is there point of credit toward $1,000. They have until December 31 to meet that goal. The Angel Tree logo on that profile, if it’s clickable, leads you to their Warrior’s blog. Which for Kolya is this site, which is why I’m pausing my morning to write this blog post.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Laura. I’m 29 and from Washington state, I’m a Christian mom to four kids and have been married nine years to my love. We met over the Internet 10 years ago and have been coast to coast in our jobs and travels, eventually for now settling in the beautiful pacific northwest 2 miles from my childhood home.

So, this year is our second year “Warrioring” for a child on Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree. Last years child was a baby from Ukraine who has since been adopted by a wonderful family with another child from the same orphanage.

We are joined by a class of 3rd graders from Ohio last minute! They contacted me and asked if they could help raise the funds for 10-year-old Kolya. I am so thankful for this, not even about the money, but about the fact that a whole group of eight year olds would spend their last couple months of the year giving attention to a child that they have never met across the ocean. So far they’re going to do a coin drive–send home letters to their families and create little jars to keep at home for pennies, dimes and quarters around the house. I encourage anyone to do this! Submit it at $35 for an ornament.

What to expect: We’re launching a children’s clothing auction. I have to estimate shipping and take photos of what I have before I list. I also have hats and scarves and baby knit sets to list for buy-it-now sale.

143_28_10_2008_KolyoWe have an Origami Owl fundraiser, Tastefully Simple, and a Damsel Defense sale also currently running. These give a 35 to 40% to Kolya, which means a $100 purchase would get you an ornament. I will also be start a Steeped Tea to run the duration of AT, if the consultant approves that idea. The usual running time of a party is two weeks. By the end of the day I will add clickable links to all of these. If you are local, please ask me for a physical catalog and order form.

Welcome to Team Kolya. Join us in the next few weeks to get Kolya to $1,000.

The Facebook page is Kolya’s Angel Tree Party Stop please come by and LIKE the page, I have direct links to my parties there and will promptly cross post images of any all items for sale to Kolya’s credit. There are over 200 kids on Reece’s Rainbow’s Angel Tree. Wonder why I picked Kolya? Please read my blog post Kindness Keeps. Each warrior has a special story and most of them have blogged those reasons for their choice. This is absolutely my favorite time of the year for orphan adoption advocacy.

Why Angel Tree?

Reece’s Rainbow was all new to me in 2012. I was hook and line stuck from moment one when I came on to Newly Listed and saw the gorgeous face of Yana a child in Russia. That was in May. I emailed the New Family Liaison who quickly connected me with further photos of the young child and a blurb of information beyond the paragraph on the Reece’s Rainbow website. Daily I checked Yana’s FSP to look for changes. This little girl captivated me. I found her in my dreams and would cry for her as I fed my three month old. Somehow her existence far across the ocean in a world very apart from mine, she was part of me. How could I help? I’d never asked for money or deposited money anywhere that wouldn’t render me an item in the mail in three to five days, such as an order or what not.

Alaric1What a strange idea: Giving money to a child who has no adoptive parent. Money that goes nowhere. It just sits and waits, for a family not of my choosing. Someone will commit to a child that I feel close to and use my money to bring her to their house.

One day. I realized I wanted her on My Family Found Me. I looked there as well as checking and giving to her FSP. Days turned into weeks, those blurred into months. September. The Reece’s Rainbow website was ablaze with talk of this thing called Angel Tree Season. The website was covered with advertisements so bright that the viewers attention wasn’t on Child of the Month.

September came. By the middle of the month Yana had a Angel Tree Warrior badge on her profile. I really didn’t know how it got there because I had not investigated the process having little to no confidence in my ability to do more than pray my heart out for this one child.

November. The face of the website changed. In rows the children’s faces from all the countries that Reece’s Rainbow works with were lined side by side, each with a big blue $0.00 underneath. The emotion looking at them all was a big wave washing over me as it would with anyone that I could possibly imagine. All of these months I had seen no one but Yana. Hers was the name that I searched. A total of two or three minutes on the website, a prayer of thankfulness and one of petition that Jesus would see fit for her family to come then on with my day.

December 31st. Within the very last 24 hours of Angel Tree 2012 that gorgeous girl had a family. Her sweet mama to be contacted me right away having read though a prominent blogger my very first orphan advocacy entry. The season was extended through the first week of the New Year in honor of Russia’s late celebration of the new year. In that very time frame, Putin closed Russia sealing children like Yana and so many others in country. Her commitment to the family in the USA was now broken.

Advocating will never end. As long as there will be orphans who need families, there will be cause to celebrate their chance of leaving poverty. I choose to do that largely in part by donating to waiting children’s funds for their future adoption.

Angel Tree is the season that we really put on our party hats, thinking caps, and pool together all the confidence, patience, determination and those strong bonds of fellow orphan advocates while we pull off the biggest fundraiser of the year!! Don’t be shy. Register to be an Angel Tree Warrior to honor my Yana or of any other that we were left not know the end of that season how they would ever know a family. God knew and for that I can celebrate.

Party hats! When you start off. Know God’s got this. He’s going to help you make the money towards your financial goal. Starting is better than never trying! Have a great attitude, a beautiful smile and just make that orphan loving contagious.

Thinking caps! Collaborate. I love the Official Facebook Group. When you sign up to be an Angel Tree Warrior you will also be invited to join a group exclusively for people who have taken on the Raise $1,000 between Nov 1st and December 31st, 2014 goal. Get on the group and ask who sells. I just did. I got 36! Know what? They’d all contribute their profits. That’s awesome. So you’ve asked. Get their information. They’ll guide you through the process of collecting interest and pulling off sales.

Confidence, patience, determination. You could contribute $1,000 out of your pocket. Really, you could. Or.. you could talk, vend and vent to the world about the crisis overseas and get some education out there about what can be done while growing these kids chance of going home.

Strong bonds. Over 100 children still need personal advocates. These people, and the wonderful people who have already signed up are your very best friends for the next few weeks–you will have an encouraging word, suggestions and experience to share, new bright ideas. The one who are not connected to their kids yet: Find Them!!

Talk about Angel Tree 2014 and why everyone should be apart of it. Power yourself up with all the reasons that orphans abroad should come home and why this is a great way to get them closer.

We no longer have the waiting children from Russia, but we do have other countries. Children in orphanages who need redemption. Children who will be as much a missing piece in someone’s family as they need that future family to support them and pick up the slack on medical and nutritional care that the orphanages and institutions have not been able to meet.

Angel Tree: Too Much to Ask?

Today I am sitting down wanting to motivate you to sign up while feeling shaky myself. In order to really be the uncertain, weakening the undecided I have gone to the discussion boards looking for support and suggestions. I have asked and gotten an overflow of answers and ideas. The question remains: Why are there over 100 children without sponsors with less than a month standing between now and the biggest fundraiser of the year in orphan adoption advocacy?
Motivational tool today: Pictures of children lacking Warriors. Visit the Official Reece’s Rainbow website to sign up and make one of these children one less in the number, and one more on their way to reaching $1,000 between November 1st and December 31st 2014.10696223_10152799957415561_821380478416269928_ndanielfeb2009November 1st through December 31st is the extent of the biggest fundraising event of Reece’s Rainbow, the online adoption advocacy website featuring children with Down Syndrome and other special needs that just celebrated 1200 children home in eight years.

This organization is not an adoption agency, rather it coordinates the connection between families seeking to adopt children with special needs internationally and those children in orphanages abroad who need parents.

WendyIn Twenty Three days Angel Tree starts and we are short by 103 Angel Tree Warriors. How it works:

You sign up to be coordinator of fundraising for one child listed on the Angel Tree children page, a badge is placed on their profile connecting to your blog so others interested in helping raise money for that child’s future adoption can read what you have to say about that girl or boy and participate in any fundraising activities that are being organized in honor of that child.

The goal is to raise One Thousand Dollars between November 1 and December 31. As I settled in to write this I questioned why I had hesitated to sign up. And how I can bust through those anxieties not only for myself, but for the future advocates of those over one hundred children who still need someone to speak for them

Dylan-144x300What were my anxieties and how could I break them down? First of all, I am not a marketer. Second, I’m not crafty. Third, how can I persuade people that my cause is worth supporting? To work on these questions I went online to ask who could craft, had stores, and would give a portions of proceeds to adoption support.

The response was wonderful. KayasLittleBoutique can be found on Etsy and Facebook, beautifully crocheted hats and scarves and anything else you may want she’s up for trying! This shop owner is also a Scentsy distributor. She has a blog full of crochet tutorials. There’s always room in life for learning! And who can say no to a face like Dylan‘s here, he is just one of the young children yet needing an Angel Tree Warrior this year. Last year I registered to be Dylan’s warrior. Someone else took my place who had met him, and I just know that there is another wonderful person out there to speak out and write for this 11-year-old.

DoloresAndCompany makes sweet little girls dresses, directly saying that they are helping others fund adoptions of children with special needs.

400211_323621384423698_220723702_nHooked on Hope design and make intricate afghans and smaller items such as hats, mats, baby booties.

Their orphan advocacy is genuinely immeasurable as they went above and beyond to aid in bring home a couple very dear children from Eastern Europe earlier last year and continue to speak out and donate proceeds to families working through the adoption journey.

Do you remember learning how to make hair bows in 4-H club back in fourth grade? I do! We found discount ribbon and had pretty much our first experience with hot glue guns. Those medal clasps that would bite your finger if you closed them wrong when you were pinching to secure the bow correctly on top while avoiding burning yourself? Well this mama is so far funding the beginnings of her sons adoption through the sales of what you forgot that you loved doing. Yes.

Meet McKenzieBethBows entrepreneur extraordinaire bow maker. Please visit her site, and by all means, crown the girly-girl in your life with one of her creations. This woman is the soon to be mama to a sweet boy in Eastern Europe named Cliff.

Rebecca Collier, who is adopting twin girls from Eastern Europe makes quiet books. I have seen pictures of them and know that she is doing proceeds to their adoption. These felt books are high quality and look time consuming to create, rather than putting her forward as a vendor I rather set her forward as an artist who deserves support as 100% proceeds are toward the redemption of two special girls from a life alone in a mental institution. She’s a motivation to pull together your own talented for your passion and to do your best for something and someone that you love.

This list started to promote resources to support Angel Tree confidence and has sprung into pride over how many talented people give up their profits to give to those who are going through something that they as artists are passionate about.

The Magenta Leopard, shares multifaceted interest supporting love of adoption open to special orders.
And the list goes on. I’ll add!

I also need to talk about vendors who lend commissions and ideas that former adoptive parents gave!


Real Men Wear Pink

Jeremy There are so many very serious reason why children should be adopted out of orphanages. And there is always a good reason and good time to talk about them and encourage others to become involved in what it takes to get these kids out of their cribs into homes. Today I want to talk about clothes, and Angel Trees! Before we get carried away rescuing kids! Remember thanksgiving! Without these kids caregivers, however sometimes very imperfect they are, without them these sons would not be alive. God has used limited hands and limited resources to keep beautiful faces living and waiting for families, who with your help and with my help will see home.


Alaric1ONE THING. Buy that boy some blue. Give him a high protein, whatever he needs snack and steady healthy nutrients in his life. In some countries children are drugged to get them to sleep, this becomes a tremendous stress at home. The list goes on. I want to see picture of blue jammies with stars and rocks on them. This little boy is Jeremy. His little blurb on Reece’s Rainbow says, “Boy, born 2012.  Microcephaly, spastic tetraparesis” You don’t know what you’re bringing home!

Many of the children featured on Reece’s Rainbow have Down Syndrome. You love one and bring him home.

A boy. With needs. A lot of needs, and you’ll figure it out.

Give him a reason to have light in his eyes.

Maybe it will be building from the very basics up. But how about those pink pajamas? Buy blue. Some toy trucks, even if he doesn’t have the small motor control to properly grasp and move it along, he can have it nearby and reach for it if vision is a part of his life. Maybe pair of Velcro sneakers with Avengers that have lights in the heals when he moves his feet. Get him a bed that does not have rails up to his armpits.

Free Jeremy or any other boy before he begins to think that pen and pink pajamas are home. Kent-273x300Do real men wear pink? I saw that in a magazine once. I think it was a dude in a pastel pink dress shirt tucked into tan trousers…was in a JC Penny curricular maybe. He was standing tall with a sports jacket slung over his shoulder with one arm and the other hand in his pocket. A man dressed to look like he had options and chose to honor breast cancer awareness month. Jeremy doesn’t have clothing options, but he is clothed.

There’s a shelf of clothes, whatever fits the child is put on the children. Orphanage institution sizes vary by region and country, and in this post are children from all over Asia and Eastern Europe. I’m happy to have side by side waiting children with those set free as it were, to be who they would like to be. When you adopt a child you give him the strength to have an option. Once he’s yours it’s your time to build him up. Some children will never reach their independence, that’s true, but others will and either way, find that uniqueness. They should be given every chance in the world to live beyond the confines of a crib, to be strong men whatever that takes. Share what’s little known of Jeremy. Donate, and just advocate for him and the other little men who are stuck in pink pajamas. Alaric needs an Angel Tree Warrior, so does Kent, so does Keagan again this year seen later on in this entry.

JoannaDon’t get me started on little babe blue, the doll called Joanna. Oh wait. She’s just gorgeous–I’m including her to show you that the orphanages do have blue, blue for girls I guess! Kent and this jewel are both on Newly Listed children. New to you, new to me, but seen and loved even before they were born by God. He saw them from the moment they were in their birth mama’s womb…actually, you know, he knew them before then. God knows these babies beginning and the end of each. Is it with you?

I asked on the Official Reece’s Rainbow Facebook group who has met their son in orphanage overseas and found him to be sporting pink clothing. Many mothers found their daughters dressed in blue like joyful Joanna above (who does not yet have an adoptive mother) but today I’m thinking of the boys in pink! Maybe the blues another day!

So I got a bundle of sweet stories, some wrapped up with pictures from mothers of their precious sons during visits. I just wish that I could capture all of the short stories right now, but it would just get to be too much. What I do have is permission to share  pictures!

Henry 10628107_10205005087236440_8803110371908968127_n1975206_860292143990356_7262209483847918895_n10696234_860291990657038_555526204210536272_n10659367_10204933750442565_8920531409374649331_n1014056_10152446789797901_6708203000231471818_n10676310_10152764150394017_8754751770516728454_n10154006_10152279869451793_5148000801904893965_n10619948_10152379107067727_3169753148457168930_o1016359_10204537476855494_3222660415173090988_n10689795_10204537481215603_2774739065825375660_n10509614_10152307807282511_934729764817670128_n10714079_10202727608620330_5355981482624769818_o

These boys made it home and into boys clothes!

Their images are clickable, you can learn their families names and with some read their continuing stories. 1492290_655700054546645_415324026424384457_o Adam here at the end has passed from not only his orphanage and into the arms of his mama, but on to eternity to be with Jesus. Henry is in the arms of the Lord also. You can see his image at the beginning of these gorgeous faces, his mama has framed in a heart with the word, “Forever” in white around him. 40929144247-251x300They have gone on to adopt again, praise God for the blessing of knowing their sons and continue to love their families here while looking forward to heaven where they will see these dear boys once again. We love our boys in pink–cherish their hugs and their ups and downs. And we go shopping to buy them blue. Today I just felt the draw to show these boys and just give a bit of a light to their face in the orphanage as is seen by their families and in the pictures given from the institutions to the agencies with the note, “This is a boy!” Pink stripes and a purple pacifier? His sheets look clean, his sleeper looks fluffy and his hair is short. Way to go, Ukra!ne with this sweetie. Clean, but sportin that pink. Aidan, you’d look good in blue too, buddy! Some day you’ll have a family that will give you more boy stuff than you could ever want. There are so many waiting children. Pray. Advocate. Donate. “You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14) Here’s my place to encourage you who care for orphans to join official advocating! We have the Family Warrior program, Prayer Warrior program, and Guardian Angel Project. I couldn’t recommend something I wasn’t a part of: I am Family Warrior for the Johnson family. Prayer Warrior for Boyd and Guardian Angel for Yana. TeaganMy life is busy, so is yours, but is there not a moment that you can think of a waiting child and take that time to say a prayer that God would continue to bless the hands that care for these babies that sometimes live and die in orphanage. The guys you see above are among the few that arrive to know family here or anywhere. Thank God daily for watching and leading help and compassion. Speaking of time, and the time you take. It’s late September and I am taking the time, the time to plan over fundraiser ideas for Angel Tree season. I’m advocating for a little boy named Kolya. Not wearing pink, as far as I can see, but doubtlessly could use some new duds. He’s 10 years old, and I imagine he hasn’t yet had his birthday celebrated quite like he will someday when he goes home. It’s Angel Tree season, and if you’re reading this, I hope you will be drawn to advocate for a child with Down Syndrome or another special need this holiday season. We have the goal to raise $1,000 between November 1st and December 31st. Keeping in the theme of this writing I would like to propose being an Angel Tree Warrior for Teagan. Seven years old! His little profile on Reece’s Rainbow says that he’s shy and loves music. His foster parents and institution have him in daily limb training and rehabilitative speech therapies. Olivier-2-222x300Sign up to be an Angel Tree Warrior today by visiting the website you will learn more about how it works and ideas on how to reach your goals. Take an active part in changing a child’s life! This is good stuff and you can be a huge part of it. Oliver is a boy in pink waiting for an Angel Tree Warrior too. Check out that beautiful smile, mamas and daddies! It should be a synch to raise money for this sweetheart, once you start talking about these children and educating people a little about who they are, you be blessed to meet so many who will share their talent in helping you reach all you can be for these kids. Each of these faces has a story, choose one to share over this years Angel Tree season. The leadership team is wonderful answering questions on the children listed, the children already home have families who often love to tell the story of their journey home. Connect and the road to advocating during the busy season of holidays and year round can be an exciting spirit lifting experience. Join Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree 2014. We have four new countries this year, all with at least one child included in the event. Over 100 children still need AT Warriors. Consider being one, and sign up listing your top three favorites.

Kindness Keeps

When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.

This is a piece of Proverbs 31. If you live with Scripture as your guide, you know that chapter of the bible well as being the guide for what a woman ought to be. She’s an unbelievably organized entrepreneur, committed to home and family not caging herself in home and family but reaching far into the world to bring in the very best to server and better her collective family. With each verse I knock off everything that I thought was awesome about myself, this doesn’t change as the years go by.

Today I love that God takes the time to say that through all this the renowned Proverbs 31 woman speaks her words and instruction with kindness. Is not that what keep her a remembered figure. All this could be do, and without kidness…no one would remember her with a fond spirit.

I carry that message into the season of raising awareness for waiting orphans. Why should people donate? Because of me. Yes. Because of YOU, warrior. As you knock on your neighbor’s door and smile and tell them that you’re selling candles and cookie dough, bring a child along to do the talking…that’s cute. Are you respectful. How’s the message conveyed? This is a whole new idea to so many people.

143_28_10_2008_KolyoA couple misconceptions that I didn’t learn about and was blown away by, unfortunately end of season last year. You mean that kid only costs One Thousand Dollars? or, I’m not from Ukraine, why should I pay them for their children?, “That’s all the kid costs? Doesn’t this tax deductible organization know how much it costs to raise a child? Who are they kidding?” That last question coming from someone looking at my child’s FSP.

Kindness keeps.

Answer questions, be open minded. Don’t let yourself get hurt emotionally. And, don’t give up. The Bible (Old and New Testament) is covered with verses about how awesome and unavoidably noteworthy good will is! Think on Matthew 5 for example:

“…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Back to that Proverbs 31 woman the New Living Translation sums her up just as nicely as all the other Bible translations available in your local book store.

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

Do you have to excel them all. I don’t. I do want to do well. I do want to raise $1,000. For a sweetheart who is named Kolya. He’s been waiting for so long. When you donate, you’re not paying for him. There is no buying involved. You are adding the amount of money waiting for his future family that they will have access to once they have committed to adopt him. Precious Kolya’s cost of adoption is around $32,000 which is a cost guestimate including travel, visa, lawyer fees. Your donations are not going to his government. By donating, you are not voicing support on political standings, you are only loving children and lifting one up a little closer to potentially reaching a family.

Consider kindness towards Kolya this Angel Tree 2014 season. He was on the Tree last year and his warrior, as the organizers of events and fundraiser are for each child are called, did make her way to the $1,000. It’s hard to see him back. I bought his ornament last year and plan to bring it along with me on any fundraising endeavors.

For giving $35 or more between November 1 and December 31 you’ll receive an ornament with his picture and the name of his country on it! If you believe yourself called to work towards bringing a child to the $1,000 goal and have not registered, please do at this link. There are 123 kids waiting for warriors yet.

There’s a very special reason I chose Kolya. If you’re interested to hear about it, ask me. Each child has a story, just begin for a moment to imagine what they could but possibly never will be able to express even to their future forever families about the only life they’ve known.

What will you do to bring this child closer to home? Remember, you don’t have to be the best to help, you don’t have to donate the full sum of money to make a difference. Giving does not count towards my goal until after November 1st. This really is the time that I’m encouraging you to be pumped about helping me help Kolya.

Monday I’m launching Jamberry nails, which is already open here and selling cookies and candles locally. So nervous! I wouldn’t mind if you took just a second to pray for my confidence and success! The nail stuff proceeds will go to Aurora, original Angel Tree child as that is who I told the consultant about. This precious child is now among the over 100 children yet needing warriors for the Angel Tree season that starts in less than one month. Giving proceeds to Aurora deters that feeling of abandoning her that I am left with by going for a different child and I hope helps, just even be that a little. In addition to following the link I provided above you may visit the Facebook party scheduled for October 17th.

Thank you for making your way through this whole blog post, I know it was a long one. And please do stay tuned as I keep a quick pace hopefully on helping my sweetie Kolya and other children too by noting their fundraising events hosted by other loving sponsors. Donations after November 1st count towards my goal. I will submit everything after that and before December 31st.