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.

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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!

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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.

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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 Reecesrainbow.org 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.

http://reecesrainbow.org/72331/lollie

http://reecesrainbow.org/72331/lollie

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

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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?

http://reecesrainbow.org/70107/bree

http://reecesrainbow.org/70107/bree

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.    

Twins! I have to admit it. I love twins. These two are no exception.

Meet Hadden and Hadley. They are not yet listed on Reece’s Rainbow, and have a very short description on the agency’s website where they are sourced through. Currently these boys live in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, waiting for their forever family.

The little boys were born in 2009. The same year that I gave birth to my second son, who as I write this is at preschool hearing a Bible story and working on his letters and numbers. In a few minutes his class of 15 kids at our local church will be having their little snack time for which they will pray a thanks to God and after another craft and music time each will be picked up by his or her mom or dad or gramma or grampa.

What do Hadden and Hadley do this time of day in their little world? They’re pictured wearing matching shirts and Hadley’s hand is being held by what looks like an adults. Are they enjoying an age appropriate group activity? I don’t know.

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All that you or I know is,

Boys, born 2009
Hearing impairment
Hadden and Hadley are two precious twin boys who need a family!

Not their month of birth, story of how or when they were placed in state care or the term of their pregnancy, or any hospital stays that have been involved in the care of either. What is known is that these boys are guys that need parents, maybe siblings and love and opportunity to be whoever God has set for them to become.

Hadden and Hadley are not yet listed on Reece’s Rainbow, so donations toward their future adoption cannot be made. However I have learned that the cost of their adoption will be considerably less since they are biological siblings.

This is not my first post about twins from their country. On my other blog I wrote about Nadia and Nancy who are going home to a wonderful family. My entry was called Two Twins. These girls are the same age as my oldest son. Whether I want to admit it or not, I must be drawn to children my children’s ages. Once I tried asking on the boards what families believe pulls them into the story of one child to go through the journey of adoption for. Seems to be teetering on the edge of taboo. That aside, my mission is always the same! Advocate, pray and hope that a family will come and be able to hold through the path to bring a child into a stable home that gives the opportunity to succeed and lead a fulfilling life in ways that they would not otherwise be able to do. So, join me in sharing Hadden and Hadley, and in cheering on in any way possible parents who have responded to the call to adopt.

“You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14)

UPDATE: The boys now have a FSP, which means they can receive donations (with a 10% deduction) through Reece’s Rainbow. See the place where donations be made and will be held for Hadden and Hadley by clicking on this link.

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 Amazon.com 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.

Wait Your Turn: Kimberley’s Story

NE-208-foto-203x300She’s been listed for at least two years and is a face that I’ve passed by and now there’s an end to that.

Kimberley is now the star of my attention as a Waiting Child in the category of children with DS. I don’t know why God sets my eye on girls. Perhaps because I believed that the child I miscarried seven years ago was a girl? I advocate for boys as well, but do find myself with the girls when I imagine myself talking to my husband about specific children.

In my upfront reality, “Lets adopt” is a laughable and dried up conversation. If I were to bring it up again he’d say, “Honey why are you still thinking about that?” Or, “I thought you were going to go off of Reece’s Rainbow, it’s not healthy to spend time looking at those kids.”

There’s been tremendous blessing in my life’s prayer and care for orphans.

I was blessed to know that the girl that I cared deeply for in a country that has been closed to adoption by US families has been adopted in country, not only has God given me that information but I have had the undeserved privilege to meet and hold a dear child that I’d hoped and believed was meant to be my own daughter.

Instead of leaving feeling empowered I left meeting that child feeling crushed that this is not something that I could do. The paperwork is beyond me, the organization required is astonishing.

Yet a life lived knowing of the orphan plight and that the world can be saved for one child through the gift of adoption–to not act on that seems like a waste of life.

My head was whirling with gratitude for both these darling girls, a fresh holding a child who had spent seven years in an orphanage, and the pounding sense inadequacy. All of this non-sense and reality easily topped for me then and now as I write, with an abundance of gratitude for those that God does set up to take on adoption and concur the boundaries in His name.

“Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5)

Kimberley is from a country that I have never considered, one in Latin America is all that I can disclose, where all the files come to our agency in Spanish. Often 40 pages or more. It may be that just a portion of this is translated and sent to those who request it as potential adoptive families.

When I found out that Kimberley’s birthday is February 14, 2007 I knew I had to at least write about her and put her story on the top of the stack of children who I will present to my husband if ever he tells me that he’s ready for International adoption to be a part of our story. Her file was last updated three years old at which point she was said to not be speaking beyond jesters and gurgles, unable to walk independently. She does not dress herself, feed herself or go to the toilet as the average child her age would be expected to. These behaviors label her as psychomotor delayed in all areas, she also carries the label of   congenital heart disease and hypothyroidism in addition to Down Syndrome with a full conclusion of “Mental Retardation” after noting that she does participate in social activities and enjoys eating as well as practicing healthy sleep habits. She is negative for Hepatitis B, HIV and nonreactive to VDRI.

Intimidated? God promises that taking on a venture like this is not to be passed by. My favorite verse is to be held on to when considering the children who continue to wait.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not hold them back.” Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth”  Isaiah 43:5-6

10378092_10154429560290425_7995603308368124240_nDo you see a waiting child that you believe God has called you to but have the little faith that I do? Stand back and watch Jesus work in other people’s life’s and grow.

 

So many who cross into that journey com out thankful and stronger for it, even if their child passes away they find gratefulness and strength. My mind has been blown away by the incredible women that I’ve met online, and three that I’ve met so far in person.

Do it in love for your family that is already here too, not driven exclusively by your desire–that’s my lesson, I’m not an independent agent, I have already been given and have to do what honors and works with other’s dreams.

If your husband or wife is not ready, pray for that and do all that you can to help them reach the security that God’s given them the need to encompass themselves with. This has to be done if you’re going to take on the world together in this incredible way.

If you are ready, get moving. There isn’t a moment to lose.

Contact Debbie@reecesrainbow.org for direction on which adoption program will best work for your family and she will set you up with whoever you need to know to get through this and make one more child an Orphan No More.

Kimberley is at the top of my list for children to talk to my husband about. Who are you going to talk about when it’s your turn? Or if you have been able to taken that incredible step, how did God lead you there?

Why February 2007? That’s when the daughter that I lost would have been born, that’s the birthday of the little girl from Bulgaria that I just met last month and meaningful to me also because my daughter who just turned two came on February 18th. I turned 29 in February of this year along with my twin and our dad had his 61’s birthday on the 5. While I’m listing excellent people born in February, I have another sister born on the 3rd of February, this year turning 26. It’s a good month! Always room for one more in the family!

NE-208-foto-203x300Kimberley needs a family, why couldn’t it be mine? There are so many kids in need, and thankfully parents with the gift to move through adoption so I do know better than to let myself fix on one child as one that I must home because that can end in selfish heart break. Trust God, be united with who you already have at home and move forward in what you’ve been called to do. Grow to be a stronger person, don’t settle for less than using your full potential to honor and please the Lord–save a life, make an orphan no more  if you can.

Kimberley’s my new passion, a girl who’s been waiting too long.

I’m going to learn more about orphanages in her country and talk to people working through the process to bring a child home from there. I will also feature more children from this Latin American country in upcoming entries which I hope to see plenty of.

This post is called Kimberley’s story, because I believe that every child is designed before the beginning of time for the family that they will be with. While this young lady has captured my attention, she may be your daughter. This post may be written for you to see her need and to move forward for her. Only God knows Kimberley‘s journey; She didn’t ask to be an orphan, nor does she know any other life, I can’t help but wonder if there’s something more for her.

 

 

Answers for Ashley

The satisfaction of an orphan set free is not completely breathed until that child is set  free into the arms of capable parents. Today though something amazing happened. Not an orphan home, yes…somewhere I’m sure there is an orphan who is seeing the doors of their waiting cell close behind them forever, but that isn’t Ashley’s story today. In Eastern Europe she still waits, a friend of hers is meeting their family for the first time and brought this preschooler something. It wont set her free, but it will set in her crib at night for her to snuggle with. I’m the one who bought that toy. Ashley-Photo-6-May-2013-2-236x300I wish I had taken a picture of the process of choosing it, or of us putting the toy horse into the smallest postal box that we could find to mail to Kentucky to have taken in a suitcase all the way over the ocean to a country where I have no way of knowing if I will ever go. We were given the opportunity to send a present to this little girl that my daughter particularly loves among the number of orphans that she’s seen online photo listings. When I explained as best I could on how we’d get a gift to Ashley she ran down to the playroom and quickly retrieved a favorite stuffed toy and pushed it into the box. I pulled it out to have a look and found that the stitching was thin in a few places and the face was quite faded. My daughter was quite sure that she wanted to send a toy of her own rather than buy one but came up with nothing that I thought was in good enough shape to send an orphanage that ought to have years of use out of. We agreed on a toy and went to the store where we had bought it a few months ago to see if we could find a double. It wasn’t there.  In the end, it was me and my youngest that chose a toy, bought the card and mailed the box because my 5 year old couldn’t decide. The chose was made based on the size of the box and between two toys which a two year old grabbed for 1st. And that was it. We bought a brown 9 inch tall stuffed horse with a tan mane and bead black eyes, it’s gorgeous, as far as stuffed animals go. I sent it right away because I knew the chances of my kids wanting to keep it were significant. My dream to adopt has been quieted. But there’s little ever that will matter more that believing that this is real, there is pain and there is a little piece of peace that can be had. Cath sang about going to sleep, now Ashley has a toy to hold when she has to be quieted too. She doesn’t know that she’s holding on waiting for a family, but hopefully the Lord has plans for her to receive a family some day. I hope that there will be answers for Ashley someday. Answers of a family who gives her more than a horse, perhaps a home for her and her horse.  If you don’t care about orphans enough to think that they’re people who should be reached out to in these little ways, I can’t convince you or defend myself if you’re going to tell me that I just sent a toy to make myself feel better. Looking at the face of that little girl who has only 1194.25 towards a $35K adoption, I do wish I could do more but this is something that she has to have and to hold until it’s stitches fall out…or until it gets lost in the laundry and another child gets it. Moral of the story for the moment, if you get the opportunity to give in the tiniest way it just might mean a lot to someone so if you can do it, certainly do.