Cameron

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Adopt me soon!

Please take a minute and watch this clip which you can access by clicking on sweet Cameron’s photo to see the intensity of the situation for this young man.

Reyana has no idea how she is going to tell Cameron that a family is not coming for him….She says he wants a family more than most the other kids…

We hope to catch someone on the way to China approved to adopt 2 and only matched with 1. Are you that family? Do you know that family? Cameron’s 14th birthday is June 8.

If he turns 14 (according to Chinese adoption law) he ages out and can never be adopted and never have a family. Please pray that a family is found for this boy. Every child needs a family.

This Little Monkey: Baby Boyt’s Story

All the names ages and health labels of the kids swim together. People design and sell adoption advocacy t-shirts advertising, or rather putting out the message that there are millions of orphans across the world who need a home and a family. After only two years for me, it does feel like an over preached message with little reception and yet I can’t stop and don’t want to ever feel limited or forced to do so.

It’s an out of this world ideology to imagine that everyone would open themselves up for noticing or caring that there are faces to the numbers or orphans and that there is help to be given. Don’t let anything stop you! Focus on what’s at home! If you have a passion, speak out, act out and find families that you can speak out for. Host events for them. Talk talk and talk. I have the opportunity to send a gift to an orphanage in Armenia, but perhaps that’s a subject for another day!

40402205812-275x300In my last post I mentioned receiving a heart hitting comment that I wouldn’t have the ability to have a passion if it weren’t for the internet. I want to introduce to you another face that I have because of the Internet. While I work out that one, I’m giving you another little guy while I still have the Internet as a platform from which to preach.

The face of a little boy who was born December 2012 whose health label is “Congenital pathology of the central nervous system, internal hydrocephalus”

Click on his picture to donate to his fund if you would like or to learn more about the adoption process or the standards to adopt from his country, visit this link. (it’s the one on the bottom)

He was listed just last week and is available for international adoption to the US, Canada and other countries as well. Children with high needs are often certain to be available when families travel to meet them five or so months into the adoption process while lower needs children are sometimes found to already been met and adopted by another family domestically or through another program.

Boyt is a baby boy living in an orphanage that is in a country that is in the midst of political upheaval which increases the urgency of his needing out! Even the most committed of staff can never replace parents. Please, think of such as these. Speak for him by way of sharing his picture in social media, or if you or a friend has ever thought of adopting a child with special needs from this country, prayerfully consider Boyt.  He just might be your boy!

Of the over 1000 kids on Reece’s Rainbow, why Boyt today?

It’s not his birthday month, nor do I have a child with his diagnosis in my life. He’s obviously not in the same life stage as my two year old who is running and doing her best to imitate jump roping. My two year old can climb up the play structure at the city park and move her body back and forth on the swing set. My two year old is potty training. Not Boyt. He’s laying on his back, not quite coordinating his hands to move his soother back into his mouth. Actually, I’ve been assigned Boyt’s little known story to advocate through the Prayer Warrior plan. Email laurie@reecesrainbow.org to be assigned a child to pray for and speak out for. Because as far as you can see and read, they are just a photo on the internet with few words to tell who they are. Look a little deeper. Learn who has their file and if anyone has met the child whole picking up a child from that orphanage. You can do that by joining the official Reece’s Rainbow Facebook group by permission of the RR leadership team.

If you have it in your heart to bust Boyt out of $0.00 please make a check payable to Reece’s Rainbow PO Box 4024

Gaithersburg, MD 20885. memo “Boyt” or donate by clicking “Donate” on his online profile.

Donations are tax deductible and go to the child’s future adoption, which for this child will be $22K varying by time of year and other details. This is a face among so many many others, but it is a child who is known by God and a son to someone and that’s why advocating is worth your and my while–because the minutes that it takes me to write this may just be all that are needed for a mother or father to see this child as their own.

 

Tupperware and Tantrums

1010852_229993460525296_972896605_nThanks for asking me if I was going to have time to blog this afternoon, you know who you are! You have my my tremendous thanks because there’s a lot that I’ve wanted to say and I’ve needed reassurance that I’m worth hearing.

This is a special day in the world beyond my world with the homestudy for Ian’s family beginning who I haven’t taken the time to write about in a long while. My heart and prayers are with them every day all day as Anita, Keegan (Ian when he is home)’s mama does a wonderful job posting little updates on her Facebook page as well as keeping up their blog beautifully. A homestudy is the piece of an adoption that is vital to whether or not you get to bring home a child at all. This piece involves a social worker coming into the home, meeting the family and seeing the house and makes that decision of whether or not this is a place that is safe and in the child’s best interest to be. Although this post is not full of details on Keegan (Ian) I have to stick in a recent photo that his family is so overjoyed to have just received. Their son outdoors with a smile on his face looking so handsome. What a delightful future he has ahead which he is now completely oblivious to. Doesn’t that just bring to mind how little we know of our own futures in the long term.

Writing is one of my very favorite things to do so it’s very special to me that my being here is noticed. Recently a conversation motivated me to step beyond my words and become active in bringing kids home more than I have before. I’ll get to that in a couple paragraphs here.

10003217_10202112281823649_8169605874330143253_nFor a long while I have been wanting to write a post called Side Effected about how a recent med has changed me but have such a fear over how that might be received with my already judged outlook and priorities. In short, I was expecting to be keener in my responses and quicker in, less tired and freer to act in situations. That sounds like a lot to ask of a medication for seizures. But the side effects that I deal with on the meds that I’ve been on for years I imaged to combat with another medication and that hasn’t happened as I thought it would so I am praying about going back to where I was.

Nothing like remembering to be content with blessings! There’s so much good that I have in life, so many talented people young and old that God has gifted into my life that to ask more or for something different ends up on the end of ridiculous. There’s a reason that there are negative connotations to the term “miracle drug” because everyone knows that there isn’t one. Always in life, there’s something to want more of, something to want to vanish and chains that look heavier than they are.

From someone that matters very much to me I got the comment that if there weren’t the internet I wouldn’t have the overwhelming press of the orphans crisis on my heart. When we were kids I remember my mom breaking down in audible tears when there would be news on the radio or articles in National Geographic about children suffering in the world–she was an incredible hard working dedicated mother with an unquenchable love for children the world around. Her ethic as a housewife and mother is a wonderful model for anyone who would desire to take on the role of stay-at-home parent.

The Internet was not around. This person who is very important in my life does have a point though. I would be spending this hour doing something else, probably napping or folding that 4th load of laundry. Instead I pressed as much work as possible into the morning so that I could have some quiet time to write since I do have and faces or names for a very few orphaned children across Eastern Europe and into Asia and beyond those borders that, yes, if it were not for the Internet I would have no awareness over.

What’s up with the horse tied to a plastic chair? It’s my mental obstacles, of course and yours if you’re human. Don’t laugh too often, but now is OK so long as you get back to working with what you have got which I try to remind myself of now and again.

40404202845-Aura-Lee-253x300Work comes before play? Finish up your house work then write or whatever you feel drawn to. Do your homework before you go out shopping with your friends. Don’t have money? Get a job first, then go out shopping with your friends after your paycheck comes. Tired of washing cloth diapers? Potty train your child before you sell all the diapers! YES. We are working on potty training at the Harr house.

I tell my kids that all the time that we need to work before play. They protest more than I remember ever doing, but in the end I know they appreciate and have pride in their cleaned up space.

The child I want to feature today is Aura Lee, and I’m just mentioning her briefly because I have to get on to telling you about my TUPPERWARE PARTY. I have no idea how her name was selected, because that name is in no name book that I know of. But here’s a darling girl who is someone’s daughter potentially, that only through the gift of adoption. Her natural parents are either dead or have given her over legally to her country’s custody and signed that she may be adopted internationally.

 

Speaking of biological parents I want to revere of their courage to believe that they are choosing a better life for their child rather than tagging on words like abandonment or unwanted where there isn’t proof of that. Reportedly, parents are sometimes given misleading empty promises of a better life “than ever you could ever give at home.” information by who they believe to be trust worthy doctors or other authority. When the reality very well could be that, were they educated about their child’s condition, family would be able to supply the child’s needs and give them that immeasurable essential piece of survival called love. If this situation fits, it’s far from abandonment, the parents are actually making what they believe to be the best most loving choice. Unfortunately, so many more kids are given up than are kept as parents. Some parents visit their child in orphanage, but too, this is not common in many areas in Aura Lee’s country as parents struggle to meet their own basic needs if they are of poverty level or if among the high class they may be ashamed to have a child who is by worldly standards imperfect.

When I’m asked, “So how are the orphans doing?” Which I often take as sarcasm, I’ve taken to responding with, “Hungry, sick and dying.” Some of the stories are incredibly sad and can put the coldest heart to tears, just look at the In Loving Memory page to feel a bit of the loss of children who have gone on before a family reached them. This little girl however does sound to be more of the exception.

Three months older than my second son, Aura Lee is doing quite nicely and other than being a bit of a baby it’s easy to wonder why she was left behind.

Oh, isn’t she lovely?

Aura Lee is doing very well.  She knows her nannies, smiles at familiar adults.  She can sit down and stand up with help.  She does not have mental delays.

Aura has developing speech — she can make separate sounds, and will repeat after an adult.

That is all that is said about her. Other than the diagnosis that her country has given her, “Microcephaly, spastic tetraparesis” She will not have a full physical exam until you are in country to meet her a few months after you have begun the adoption to bring her home which is hard because it is at that point that sometimes families decide that a child is indeed too much for them to manage in their life here in which case they come home and leave the orphan an orphan. It’s important for me to say here that this is a situation not always the case with all countries. Quite often a full medical report is available before commitment. All countries are different, all children are unique and there are no guarantees.

My tantrum is that you say you’re not ready to adopt? Never was there a child who said they were ready to be an orphan. I damper that tantrum by saying that not all are called to see and act on the need to bring home orphans, even be they children who sound to have minimal needs compared with others.

1622048_10202305298606448_356455705_nOn to TUPPERWARE. I went to a Tupperware party last Saturday and ended up scheduling one for the Cianciolo family at my house which I 100% did not intend to do when I left my house only an hour earlier.

This is good though. By next Thursday  I hopefully will have women in my house ordering Tupperware to honor the adoption of beautiful twin boys to a family in Vermont.

This is an awesome family who I wish all the best to as they start out their first adoption journey. They are already familiar with the world of developmental uncertainty as they have a camp for individuals with such challenges and do feel strong guidance from the Lord to step out on this journey to grow their family through international adoption.

Scott and Theresa gave me a list of thirty families who they knew that would be interested in ordering Tupperware in honor of bringing the beautiful twin boys home from Eastern Europe. Those families will receive catologs and 40% proceeds off all items pamphlets right to their homes for ordering convenience with reduced shipping costs as thanks for participating in this special event. It’s been two years since I had an event that involved having a consultant come and speak with about their product.

The reason it has been so long is that no one came to the event that I put weeks entirely devoted to. It was heartbreaking, embarrassing and so discouraging to have no profit whatsoever and people to know about it. The statement that I wrote about above someone giving me that if I had no internet my passion over the orphan crisis would die has motivated for me to  try again. We have our own home, what reason is there to not open it in hospitality and good will to others? This is good. I’m excited for the Cianciolo family, for the Vantrease family and of course for this little Aura Lee who by some weird coincidence has the same name as my root blog’s pronunciation, oraeley.com

Little Aura Lee has $0.00 as many kids do who were listed just yesterday. Hopefully it’ll fill up quickly, with a fully funded figure being $22,000 for her country. The thing about kids like Aura Lee is they are the exception to sick and dying. We all die someday, I realize but what I am saying is that children who have comparatively minimal health challenges are more likely to be adopted domestically than children who have Down Syndrome like the Cianciolo’s twin boys who are in the same country. In that country anyone can adopt the child that you are pursuing while you are in the process–they are not yours until you have passed court in that Eastern European country before a judge there, by their standards proving yourselves worthy. This is a unique to that particular country situation but what a heart break for families who live this disappointment.

they had not met their child yet but had purchased toys and clothing and fully prepared believing in their hearts that this was a future that God had for them with this one particularly. For my story, excitement, anticipation so quickly turned into unstoppable loss.

Jeremiah_verseThere are millions of children needing home and if adoption is on your heart, there is a child for you and God does know who that one is to be revealed in His time. As with all of God’s business, the thrill is to work in the path that he has shown moving forward in faith with openness to see his workings. That’s a whole lot harder than it sounds! All things through Christ, which is awesome.

Tupperware party. It’s a beginning. I’m shy about having people over, I’ll let you know that right now. I want you here more than I have anxiety about you being over so please come.

If you get a Facebook invite from me to join the Cianciolo Tupperware party that’s the one happening at my house next Thursday. Please come as you are, the consultant is awesome! She’s someone from back in the homeschool days. Yes, I’ve told my husband that people are potentially coming over!

Please visit the Vantrease family blog: Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less to grab the last bits of their bracelets and art work sale. There are seven bracelets and some art pieces left which I would love to see sold by tomorrow night! There are some expenses coming up in Ian’s adoption so it’d be wonderful to have a one of a kind bracelet made by his family on your arm and maybe a piece of their artwork on your wall as soon as possible. Thank you so much.

Peace! And thanks for wanting to see writing from me. My writing is divided between two countries here, I know, I know. There are more kids, and more stories. More writings everywhere, fundraisers and talented people doing everything they can to get children home. Remind me and remind me again to stay on task with what I have to do here in my own house.

The Jenks family who I’ve written about? They’re on day two with their two daughters abroad staying in an apartment together–language barrier perhaps, but family to be all the same. Teenage girls meeting their forever parents for the first time. Imagine that! The blog is set to invite only currently for privacy even that with the girls faces not shown as are the rules for that countries privacy until post adoption.

Time to move along in my day. Please click on the image below for a direct link to my Tupperware party online which is open now thru next Thursday.

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Fearfully and Wonderfully

1453507_10151714032586650_458559343_n Yesterday Jamie Vanchura wrote a wonderful blog entry for the family that she is participating in the Family Warrior Program for. The reason that she chose the Goochers is that they are adopting a girl that Jamie met and spent time with while adopting her own daughter from the same orphanage.seattle13 050

If you’re a lover of children you will appreciate this writing, but be captured in the beginning sentences where this could only come from a mother, perhaps only one who has given birth physically to her children.

When you read, you glean and add on to your personal experience for me, from this writing I follow in kind with the emotion of uncertainty when I head into an exam or decline to participate in fetal testing saying that I will love my child however they are.

Our medical world teaches women to fear imperfection, to be frightened of the pain of labor and delivery to accept drugs than we know little to nothing about to evade natural signals that our body gives during pregnancy and delivery. I believe in God.

In fact, my whole world from moment one has been 100% wrapped in a protective blanket of faith, and yet the medical world picks at the threads metaphorically speaking of the grace that I have been given through Christ Jesus to proceed through any circumstance with God on my side.
Imagine being a young woman in what we would call a 3rd world country, virtually alone in her time of pain with extremely minimal supplies for delivery of her child, perhaps she is even unattended.

When that baby is born with something not there or perhaps not breathing. The panic that must set upon her. If anyone comes to her attendance, the promise 148650_10152457178990425_1588433065_nmay be given that if she gives up the child the child will be better cared for than ever she could. She is made to sign a document that she is not read and she may or may not ever see that baby again. Some cultures teacher in deep superstition that a child born with Down Syndrome is an omen of a family’s ill fate in the afterlife, in which case they of course would want to get that child as far from them as possible. The orphanages are understaffed, ill stalked and overfilled in a number of provinces and countries all over Eastern Europe and across the world.

Children are found abandoned who have abnormalities in their health as their parents are desperate just to save their own lives in battle against hunger or other domestic circumstances. Some mothers already have children and make that heart wrenching choice to leave one behind, abandoning them at the hospital after they go in for doctors visit for testing. I have read of that in some children’s files and just want to hop on a plane and pick the child up who is worlds away. I’ve linked the image above to “Waiting Children” so that if my reader follows it they may find the categories of children who have yet to be ransomed.

This isn’t a sorrow for poor people who give up over there post. It’s a confession.

I’ve. Been. Scared. Too.

Doctors here flag me as “High Risk” before they even give me a pelvic exam. They taunt me with warnings of what anti epileptic medications could (gasp) give my child palate. Hearing the words, “is it worth your comfort over the baby’s well being” that cut at my moral core.

park13 017Each of my four pregnancies I have evened out the hurt full opinions well into the pregnancy. Then I get crazy people telling me at the birthing center that by nursing I’m continuing a drug addiction in my child’s newborn body.
My babies have all been over 6lbs, all over 35wks gestation and all under 8 hour all natural labor and delivery. Each one, two boys and two girls I breast fed until they were 12 months old and only one still needs the medication. They’re happy and as healthy as your kids. Guess what. I have a wonderful, educated nurse by my side as a husband and a mother who never stopped advocating for me since years before I was diagnosed.

My story is by God’s grace what it is. The thing is, God has ordained those other mama’s labor and deliveries also. He knows their children who are abandoned and the ones that are loved but placed in orphanages at the hands of deceitful state workers who lie to ill educated mothers. In our country we beg women who have, “unwanted pregnancies” that adoption is an option. We offer to pay for their prenatal care and housing if only they will allow their child to live and be adopted. Couples pay $35K for newborn babies right here in the USA while millions overseas die alone.

KThere is no justice in children being left without a voice. A child with special needs is a life too. There are horrible people and doctors who want to have mothers believe that these children are to be ashamed of. Yes, you will lead a different lifestyle than other mothers if you bring a child with extensive needs into your home. But if God give you the call, who is there to stand against that.

I had two children born in Vermont, a boy and a girl in a two year span (they are 22 months apart), then 17 months later I had another son after a move across the country in Washington. When he was 2 1/2 I have a 4th child (5th pregnancy) a daughter. Two of each. How perfect. I hate when people smile and say, “So she’s 4th and final” it’s my love for those who have stood up and said, “Yes, this child can be someone” that I have been blessed to meet here and there in my almost 30 years of life that keep me coming back to follow in families journeys to their children who are abroad. OK. It’s more than that.

It’s a deep spirituality, a sense of meaning beyond the laundry and dishes that I care about and take pleasure in knowing that some are able to act upon. Will there ever be an end to the orphan crisis? No. Well, yes, when Christ comes again at the last day. He says that for thus is the kingdom of Heaven.

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

The little health trouble that our family is working with right now is really pretty invisible. When people think seizure they are thinking what we call grand-mal. We are speaking for our child of absence spells and perhaps juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Look those up if you want. This post is full of images of my kids, but I want you to look at sweet 2 1/2 year old Susie.Susie-272x300 She looks perfect, right? All there, and all. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Susie has epilepsy, is blind, has no head control, and has significant developmental delays. She has been diagnosed with multiple malformations of the brain and a catheter and shunt have been placed to allow fluids to drain from Susie’s brain. I just realized that I mentioned Susie already in my entry about blindness. I guess she must really be on my heart. her fund has $0.00 It wouldn’t hurt for her to be on someone else’s heart too who perhaps could donate and get the ball rolling on a fund and a piece of awareness.
Tonight I’d also love to celebrate a Fully Funded and Almost there status for a family that I haven’t mentioned on here or on my Facebook before. They live in Texas and are bringing home Zach a boy who is HIV+ and have added a girl to their adoption named Pippa. The Haydon family I appreciate for their son specifically as we got his ornament for Angel Tree 2013 season. We are thrilled that this boy is going home–his mom to be is a nurse like our dad is. Pippa is a beautiful girl and her having a family is a tremendous blessing! They are both considered “older” children which lessens the likelihood of an adoption. Once again, as so many times over in the past, God shows himself to be above what look to be serious obstacles. Please visit the family’s blog here.

Editors note: All the thumbnail size photos are my children. The children in the collage are available for international adoption or already home through this means and the facilitation of Reece’s Rainbow. The little girl in this lower picture is one of them although not pictured there. Contact heather(at)hopscotchadoptions(dot)org for further information.

He’ll be Fine

 

Samson-200x300There are some faces that you look at and smile thinking that they look so filled out, clean and happy. No where is quite like home, never sigh relief until they are home. Pray until the knees in your jeans wear thin from kneeling before God asking for his mercy on these children. For years I’ve kicked back in comfort on “He defends the cause of the fatherless”  (Deuteronomy 10:18) Guess what! He does, and you can be the means that he uses to do that! Talk, pray, and do not stop doing either.

I am guilty of apathy for Samson. After all, your heart can only feel so much pain reach out so far before it snaps. From time there has to be a passing over of a child. The face of a beautiful child, yes needing a family, but on to pray for the child who is twisted and deformed…the chubby faced baby with a smile will doubtlessly be scooped up, for who can not love such a thing. But then, he’s not. Oh well, maybe he’s going through a growth spurt, yes that’s why he’s thinned down so much. It happens to American kids who have more than plenty to eat…as they get a little older they become lanky running about and playing.

A third photo. It’s time to pray.

 

Samson-Feb-2014-238x300Dear Lord, yet another child twisted with tightened muscles trapped in their own body. How did this cerebral palsy that was invisible before become such a warped knot consuming his formerly chubby self. his whole figure. Jesus, show mercy. Bring anyone. Bring love, kindness and someone to tenderly hold this frail body.

Samson has lost his strength and where is his earthly savior? I through out this jumble of words, unable to direct my reader to a mother who has met this toddler who cannot toddle. It is not because hearts do not bleed for his story and need but because he is kept in a secluded orphanage where no one has been who is coming forward in the plea for his life.

The women begging that someone take on his case have only read his file and seen these shocking photos. It is not that Samson is unable to travel overseas; it is that the right family has yet to feel the pull to commit to him. The image is frightening. I had to look at it sideways and rotate to get the picture.

This body is so twisted. The look of contentment is gone, look at him and tell me what you see. Tell someone new and perhaps they will tell someone too. Get these pictures out, and perhaps God will bring someone forward for Samson. His story does not have to end in this orphanage bed.

Samson-Aug-2013I cannot ask for your money for this young man and donations are not accepted until a family begins the adoption process. He’s on time limited availability.

In a matter of weeks Samson’s file will be gone, and who knows if ever it will return.

If you are mom, if you are touched by his pictures do not hesitate to pursue the possibility of making Samson your son. Remember, you once were lost and Jesus redeemed you. If you feel called, the Lord will provide all that you require and more.

Thank you for reading what I have to say today for Samson. I wrote with encouragement from the beautiful Melissa Schmitt who lived the “step out in faith” adoption life and now safely has home two sons who are making incredible strides to comfortable living and look amazing. This can be done, by the grace of God.

If he is not adopted, Samson will die. This really is all that I can write, because it’s all that I know of Samson. I know that I looked at a chubby face and passed on and that I looked at him the second time thinking that he must be developing some respiration challenges connected with a poor environment and that someone must be advocating for him and certainly going for him soon because they can’t handle seeing him like that. No one going for him. $28K is a lot of money, it’s also months of work and while worth it, everyone has children home, some who have extensive medical needs. They can’t go. They pray, write and think of this young boy but can do no more. Is there more for Samson? Look at the pictures and perhaps do more than feel sorrow.

 

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I passed this for inspection by Melissa who said, “I HAVE been to his orphanage, but they are very private and will not allow parents to see any part of the orphanage other than the “visiting room” and NEVER to see other children.” What a heart break to know that there are suffering children behind closed walls some never to make their way out in the arms of loving families. This is why organizations like Reece’s Rainbow are so important. They give the opportunity for their to be a face and a story for a child who cannot speak out or be seen on their own.

Whispers for Wendy

10149467_581551795270057_1187194219_nThere’s something about the closed eyes of a child who has blindness that quiet your soul. Wendy is a child whose fund has grown over the years, as she has been listed almost since the beginning. Little by little, the generous donor here and there and the stray Tupperware and candle party funds donated to a potential adopt builds up. The hopeful number would be around $22,000 to set Wendy free from the institution where she now lives and to bring her into yet another unseen world.

1017722_256973537806954_401163817_nThe sense that you think so critical for survival her having never known it is oblivious to it’s absence. What she does know is hunger, pain and loneliness. Love does not require sight, she does not need to see a smile to share your joy or experience your compassion.

Five years ago a wonderful family got to spend time with Wendy when they were at the orphanage where she used to live while they were in the process of adopting their daughter Laurel.

They have never forgotten Wendy’s beautiful face or her demeanor, they haven’t stopped praying for her and talk to their daughter about this girl who is still in Eastern Europe waiting for parents to set her free.

Wendy is waiting. The header image is clickable to the family’s family blog where a writing will be soon of their experience meeting this precious child of God. She’s a gift. Is she your family’s sweet girl? Jesus has preserved her. And that, for a purpose. The image of Wendy smiling and clapping her hands is from 2009, and links to her adoption fund. That money waits for her adoptive family. It will not leave until she does.

I will edit and add to this post with any additional information that I can glean about this little girl who should be in second grade reading braille, not behind the cold walls of a mental institution waiting to die. She could be integrated into a regular classroom enjoying math and P.E class potentially. Realistically, she has most likely suffered quite serious damage psychological damage from circumstances that she’s been forced to live in since her transfer from orphanage to institution.

Martha has put in her blog post about the experience of meeting Wendy 4 years ago. Wendy visibly had Cerebral Palsy and would fall over during play time and not get picked up again; visitors are not allowed to intrude upon caregivers interactions which rendered the family unable to help since they were not there to adopt this child. Their daughter is home and doing just beautifully. You absolutely would not know from pictures that she spent years in an orphanage. A child is quite significantly their environment, unfortunately in Wendy’s case. Please click here to read the entry that Martha has entitled Wendy Needs a Rescuer. And also here to visit her online store for which profits she is giving in full to Wendy’s future adoption fund through the month of April 2014. Remember that Wendy has been listed for years on Reece’s Rainbow now and has been moved to a mental institution a couple years ago after which point no one has seen her. This is absolutely a child for which I covet your prayers. She’s a child of God and deserves the best. If God has called you to adopt an older child without sight, consider Wendy. Her country has a fast paced program and a trusted team that will take you from beginning to end on your journey for her. All across America there are schools and wonderful centers for people with blindness. She could have such a full life, given the chance.

380-Autumn-199x300While sending out my message and plea for Wendy I also want you to know that there are so many other orphans locked in a world without sight. Martha’s daughter, Laurel slept with her hands over her eyes the first months when she got home as if she were used to doing this to block out unpleasant stimuli from her former environment–we just can’t entirely put ourselves in the existence of these kids, what it must be like for them why even imagine. Autumn is 11 and has never had sight; the older she gets, like Wendy, the lower her chances of adoption are. Today she’s been listed exactly one year with Reece’s Rainbow, and reading her little story it really sounds like she’s a lucky one. Walking, having the liberty to have food preferences, doesn’t sound like a half bad selection either. There is no “good” orphanage that can replace mom and dad. Blindness can certainly mean isolation and lack physical activity which is exactly the story for four year old Warren whose picture I am brought back to, with his cleft palate and other array of needs. He looks clean and cared for but alone in his own world. If Susie were in your church nursery I bet you’d pick her up and give her soft cheeks a kiss. She would feel you but not see you. Hear your adoring voice.  “Susie has epilepsy, is blind, has no head control, and has significant developmental delays, but she reacts when someone speaks to her and loves music.” A catheter and shunt have been placed to allow fluids to drain from her brain? Would you still hold and rock this baby knowing her tender needs; newly listed for adoption from a country that Reece’s Rainbow has just partnered with Susie waits her turn to be found by a family. If you’re thinking of donating today, consider Susie, as she has zero in her fund.

Do not leave with  the impression that children with visual impairments are the last children picked because that’s not true. This isn’t a game of most perfect first. In this adoption community I cherish the families attitude all around, and so many I have met who adopt an incredible wide range of needs into their home, they believe that each child is made in the image of God and deserves the love of a mother and father as we were so graciously given when we were adopted into the body of Christ upon salvation.

The Elkins are bringing home two daughter very soon, one of which has blindness. This mother is one of the strongest people that I know in believing that when you feel a call to a child that you should do all to bring that child into your home. Bolden is a little guy who is going home. Ryker is an older child who has no family and extensive needs, all of which of course can be met with a family equipped for what he will bring…or that’s what everyone was praying for until he passed away in October 2013. I can picture a smile on his face, given nutrition and some sunshine along with tending and therapy for his medical needs. These children need a chance.

Nellie going home and to a wonderful family who has been preparing for months to give her the environment that she needs to blow the roof off anyone’s expectations who ever doubted that she couldn’t be an incredible kid. Children of all ages and needs miss what your child has without even knowing it: A home and parents. I encourage you to not be intimidated. Research, grow and pray. If you aren’t called to bring a child home, you are at least called to raise them up in prayer. Ryker was taken home to Jesus and his fund given to another child passing along to that other child the hope of a family that was never had for the other boy. Today’s plea chiefly for Wendy as a mama who met her is offering profits from her store to Wendy’s future adoption fund where there is already $1629.87. Listed for many many years, it’s time that Wendy be found.  Share this through my newly installed share button selection, help speak out and shop through Martha’s shop if there’s something there that interests you.

Your Mama Is Coming: Gage’s Story

Gage-223x300She’s travelling soon and in her sons orphanage are children who are listed for adoption and desperately need out. Colleen Novit has cried out for four young children tonight who are in the same orphanage as her Gage. She will have the opportunity to speak to the kids, perhaps give them snuggles and just begs that someone would commit to adopt these children. If a family would come forward within the next few weeks before she goes overseas she could tell those children that their mom and dad were on their way.

Colleen and her husband Dan are bringing home Gage, and have just committed to Millie who so many have prayed for over the years. It’s a great match, but as an adoptive mom Colleen knows the pain of leaving other orphans behind and does her best to advocate for the children who do need families to cherish them as she does her four biological children and soon her two who she will travel to meet very soon.

Owen_Oct2012-180x300One of the orphans that Colleen speaks out for today is Owen who I first saw listed December before last. I saw him and didn’t want to look at his profile again, I avoided clicking on his name when I’d visit the Reece’s Rainbow website looking at his small body and his face looking up as his caregiver supports him in a standing position just pulled me into the frame if I dared glance. I would feel myself wanting to kneel down and outstretch my arms to catch an imagined few faltering steps.

When Colleen and Dan wanted to commit to Gage his file was not available. I knew this would happen to Owen which is why I couldn’t look because I know we can’t commit. In these guys country the children’s adoptive files are only available for a matter of weeks.

When a family does not come forward the files go back and are inaccessible. 18 months have passed and Owen is available again–his file is back, and so is another chance to be found. Gage’s family has been matched with him for five months and during that time have been raising funds to get him home, and funds it will take, around $28K. It’s hard, but never have I met an adoptive parent to say that it is not worth the time and energy.

1926926_660236587358507_1761125600_nThese kids need out. I wish that Colleen could tell Owen that his family is coming. I wish she could tell the others too, that they are found and loved that they have a lifetime of cherishing ahead in which all the comforts possibly will be theirs. But for him, and for these others there is no one right now who she can give that promise from.

I am writing this today hoping for a second of your time that you might know someone who could adopt a child from this orphanage in Eastern Europe. That they could commit soon and rescue a child from a fate that they do not deserve.

These children should be cherished and celebrated, not caged away and forgotten. What can be done? Step out in faith where I cannot. Be the person that I am not. Go for Owen. Or one of the other kids, they are precious in His sight and all need a family that is forever. They need medical help and the opportunity to thrive in freedom I know no other way to say this than that it is worth it–you could do no greater thing in al of your life than to save a life than to expand your love for children to include acting on a call to adopt.

I do not want this blog to be written in a tone of despair. My dream is to adopt, but that reality right now is not being the mama that is coming. My reality is asking you if you are the mama, dear reader. Are you Owen’s mom? Are you Tiya, Brandon, or Mikah ‘s parent? I know those folks are out there and even if they don’t know it, this is a child who is missing around the dining room table.

This week we witnessed that miracles do happen. An aging out girl named Salome who’s birthday was coming up had a family step forward in faith to bring her home.. The prayers that have gone up for this girl are countless. She is fully funded and despite all the money and all the love that orphan advocates had it just seemed like a family would never come forward. Miraculously, last night she reached the My Family Found Me place where her journey to redemption begins.

These children who are in orphanage with Colleen Novit’s son will some day see their family also. It would be an honor and true delight for her to tell those children that they had a mama coming. If that is not meant to be the play of events for this spring perhaps soon.

Gage is going home, to hugs and kisses from sisters and brothers. To his mama and daddy who God designed for him before the beginning of time. These other children at his orphanage are someone’s children too and like Gage there is someone who will love them. Talk about them, pray about them, dream about them, save them.

Gage’s story? His mom met him when she was in his country with her close friend to meet that friend’s 3 children who came home late last year (they brought home 5 the previous year). Colleen saw Gage and knew that he was her son and that she had to do everything that she could to get him with the rest of her children home in Wisconsin. The story of seeing a child and knowing that that child is yours is not unique to Gage, but makes him the luckiest most loved kid on earth as it does the next boy or girl who is redeemed through adoption.

millie2013-300x225Congratulations, Gage and to your sister Millie also on having a wonderful family coming for you. May your friends also have a message of Your Mama’s Coming for You in their lifetime.  Consider donating to the Novit family, and praying for the children who are without a family and thus cannot receive funds.

Colleen is up there in the ranks of highly awesome fundraising mamas, it’s an art and a joy to be a part of; if you are interested in seeing what Gage and Millie’s mom is up to, aside from and in addition to advocating for orphans from her kids centers, visit her blog I Will Come For You. I’m thrilled for Gage, and hope that his mom can give that special message to the other children who she is speaking out for that special promise that all these children should receive.

Today I was going to write about a little girl who has been in Ukraine for years. A gorgeous girl who cannot see. There’s a mother who met her and does not go a day without thinking about her. Sweet Wendy has a 10 thousand dollar fund with no family. I was going to write about her and share some of her angelic photos but today it is these kids who are time limited. That blog post is half done and will be out tomorrow. The mom who met her is also putting together a message to share the story of a seven year old without a mother who lives in a mental institution since the age of five without sight. For tonight though, Colleen’s message on orphans in Bulgaria:

We hope to travel next month and I’d love to be able to tell these four that they have mamas coming for them!

There was a point 2 years ago where everyone saw the urgent need and kids from their orphanage were being scooped up as quickly as they were listed….. unfortunately for these four, they have yet to be chosen

Tiya and Brandon are *NEWLY LISTED* we need to get their faces out there! Tiya is 8 (and yes that’s a current picture of her) and Brandon is 10 years old.

Mikah-300x275Mikah (bottom left) has my heart, I met him and loved on him last June. Amanda Unroe and I came home with a mission to get him listed and get him a family….Our agency was finally given his file and now we REALLY need a family for him. We are too young to qualify for him or we ABSOLUTELY would, without a shadow of a doubt, be going back for him!

Owen (bottom right) has been listed for over 18 MONTHS, UNCHOSEN.He is a child we wanted to add to our own adoption but were unable to be approved to do so. Our Program Coordinator has met him and says he’s an absolute doll. He has a blood disorder that is easy to manage and typical delays due to orphanage life…..even more so coming from *this* orphanage!

Darren-Jan-2014-1-300x181There’s a little guy who’s file goes back this week who I will miss very much. He is not in the same orphanage as the children mentioned above, but he is in the same country and under the same rules of files that are time limited availability. There is a chance that he may be seen again, and another than next Monday is the last that his face will be seen. I showed my husband this particular child’s file actually many months ago when it was first listed.

Each time I write, I am encouraging myself to keep advocating. When the kids are found, I am always astonished and when they are not and when they die, I am heart broken. Gage’s story is that he’s going home and has a wonderful family waiting for him, I want to celebrate that and advocate for the kids left behind that they will be chosen too and seen in their time.

 

Voice for Vantrease

Ian (Keegan)The Endeavors of the Heart event went really well. If you participated, thank you so much. If you did not have the opportunity, don’t miss out on what is coming next.

The event included the sale of 16 bracelets designed and assembled by the future sisters of Keegan (Ian when he’s home to KY) each one went for $16.50. Out all the gorgeous designs, there are two bracelets left. With free shipping to the USA, just click the image below and comment at your destination.

My favorite auctions or buy-it-now sales to participate in and support are those that involve children using their talents to help bring home their siblings through adoption. Each creation is such a gift. After the bracelet event has ended, we will all get to see the magical water color paintings that Ian’s sisters make!

Beaded bracelet, some glass in  shades of green (turquoise),   amber, and silver.   7" length

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Glass beaded bracelet in hues of  black, silver, and clear beads with  a "believe" charm. 8" in length

Tomorrow is Ian’s adoptive mama’s birthday, I would love to see a jump in their family fund as a birthday gift for her! This is an awesome mama, who has the sweetest “We knew we were meant to adopt” story that I will have to have her tell sometime.

I also want to draw attention to an event that I just learned of called Balloons for Babies which I would like you to follow the link for if you are on Facebook. It is another way to raise money waiting children. You could buy a balloon for Marni, a one year old in Ian’s country. She’s special to Ian’s mama, we would love to see this sweet girl’s fund grow for whoever her future family is. There are over 1000 kids to choose from and this event is this week!

Marni-295x300Voice for Vantrease! Ian’s mama just wrote on Facebook recently rejoicing in her daughter’s love for Jesus, a little girl who only a couple years ago had never heard his name. Why save orphans? Because Jesus first loved them. I’m so thrilled for this family as our family loved the young man that they are bringing home when he was first listed available for international adoption.

A lot of information here. Bracelets: sale was successful! Buy the last two remaining! Mama’s birthday’s tomorrow, and buy a balloon for the family’s favorite baby.

ALSO. Remember yesterday’s blog entry!

Visit KEEGAN for the Vantrease family — KY to make a birthday donation to Ian’s adoptive mama, Anita. Please!

Remember 21 Days of Hope

21dayskids

 

Amidst my messy kitchen and heart that is heavy over Ukraine’s upheavals I want to tell you about a cool event that includes the word Hope that is going through this month. It’s “March Miracles: 21 Days of Hope” a campaign in it’s first year that will play a crutial role in the maintained smooth operations of Reece’s Rainbow.

Koen William Mainly I can’t let this one go because one of the little boys included is my precious Koen William! OK. Not the one that I tuck into bed every night, but another one who is actually in the country that I mentioned above.

Why not the 31 Days of Hope? March does have 31 days, right? The reason for 21 is that March 21 is National Down Syndrome awareness day, Reece’s Rainbow originally operated for the international adoption first of children with Down Syndrome. They advocate for all special needs, but this is the meaning for the twenty one and I love it! These women are so creative and Day 1 was a smashing hit. The child of the day met her $1000 quota and it is on to child two, Brandon. Day 21 will be Koen William. The $37 in his fund right now is from the Harr famiy, from our $40 donation when he was listed. 10% of all donations go to the Voice of Hope fund (VoH) which is vital for keeping this operation up and um, operating.

Click on the banner link to learn about this exciting campaign. It’s bedtime here, which is my first importance in making tomorrow work in my real time.

Donate $21 during 21 Days of Hope, I hope to. 😉

On my sidebar is an automatically updating photo of the child of the day, compliments of our brilliant graphic design artist, Lucille Brown.

JeffersonThere are children on here who were also on Angel Tree 2013. Another family favorite at our house is Jefferson who the Harr kids call, “The boy who fell off a building and didn’t die.” There are a couple short videos available of him before he was transferred two years ago. He’s the same age as my oldest son. Jefferson is a very lucky boy, not only to be alive after falling off a three story building but to be attending school which very few orphans get to do.

All of these children have a story and a reason why they belong in a family, one may your son or daughter. Or your neighbors, seriously. Check these kids out…you don’t fall off a building and live for nothing.

 

Remember 21 Days of Hope.

And Bert and Ernie? They had their place on Angel Tree 2013, but no one knows how long they have together. The older they get the lower their chances of staying together.

Bert 30319113915-2-202x300

 

 

My Child

Rainbow ChildWhen you love a child you will do anything for that one. Or that four, as it is for me. When there is a little one in your life, that feeling is yours and it will never go away. Your care and compassion, your interest in their safety is a top priority explainable and comparable against nothing else.

God says bone of my bone flesh of my flesh about husband and wife, not of children.

Over the past two years since I have fallen into (completely without my permission) into a wonderful culture of women and men who adopt, I have learned that you can love a child like this who you have never met before–love is not born of blood, but born in the spirit. Sometimes a child is into adolescence when they come home to you, not understanding or having possibly ever heard your language. Yet from all eternity that life is your life. My child is my rainbow, my ray of light, even in the darkest storms.

I want to let you know today that you don’t have to adopt to help a family bring their ray of light home. Reece’s Rainbow has developed a simple system called The Family Warrior Program where you can sign up to follow a family through their adoption process from commitment to their child, through the day that their child is home at last. Sometimes that process is under a year, sometimes it extends well beyond 12 months.

You do not have to be an adoption expert–you don’t have to be anything other than an encouraging voice and a friend to talk to. Many of these families would love to know you as an advocate and coordinator, a person who takes the time to pray for their child and this process. My children mean more to me than anything in the world, I would go to measureless lengths for their safety. These moms and dads feel the same way about their children abroad. Please click on the image to learn about the Family Warrior Program and sign up with a family!

Editors note: I’m picking up this blog entry from yesterday to add some names of people going abroad to bring home their kids who would like to put their names out as specifically wanting to be involved in this program.

Pretty much, when you tell me you want a Family Warrior you are putting yourself out there as someone who doesn’t mind having a complete stranger quite potentially breath deeply down the back of your neck. That might sound inappropriate, but the fact is that the whole purpose is to get a second set of feelers in the finagelings of this process. Keep that Warrior at arms length, throw some fundraisers their way and say, “Here, coordinate this!” and hopefully they will bring in smashing revenue for free! Right?!

Click the link below will send you to my family’s blog. They’re nearly done compiling the documents required for their home study to be sent in. My knowledge of homestudies is limited to my training, which is education on the Washington state foster care requirements for home safety. If I wanted to know more about this I could talk to the family that I am sponsoring. This can be a learning experience for everyone!

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Xavier’s family in Georgia would like a family warrior. Once he’s home, he will have two brothers and a sister who was also adopted, actually from the same country where he is now. They’re “Traveling Soon” which means that this young boy will be united with his family soon. Visit Miracles and Mudpies to get to know the Gilreath’s story.

Kelly and Paul have been married 17 years and are bringing home their daughter Rita from Eastern Europe very shortly. The Mayr’s are awesome! I’ve gotten to know Kelly a bit over Facebook through the time that they have been moving through this adoption as they have stayed active in the foster system. She’s a hard working, creative and open minded woman who is always ready to help others. This would be a wonderful opportunity for you to learn, if you are the one looking to go a warrioring and for her, someone to talk to as she takes the last few leaps getting her girl home. “Court Passed” means that Rita is legally the Mayr’s daughter. Kelly is the one to tell you what’s next. All I know is that they have to go get her. Visit Welcome to the Mayr Madness! for more.

The dear Thorp family lost one of their daughters from a two girl sibling group to cancer which they were entirely unaware of even being part of the picture. This news came on February 13th, 2014 with an early morning photo call to their Texas home. If you are a pro-homeschooling, Christian individual who keeps a cluster of mustard seed with an apetite for adventure, this family is a fit for you, potential Family Warrior pal.