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.

Your Prints were found at the Scene

fingerprint-tattoo-designs-i18My husband and I gave talked about foster care on and off through the years. Last winter I went took the required 90hrs of training with my mom. It was fortunate that she was willing to go because the classes were only available at a time that my husband works. Being in public school education a lot of the information was not new to my mom, and for me having gone through school for Early Childhood Education and graduating with my Associates in Arts in Early Childhood Education in 2005, I wasn’t entirely outdated on information.

I’m not the only one to go through a process with my mother. That’s just what Anita Vantrease is up to right now. Since her mom lives with their family who is adopting Ian (Keegan) the same need for background checks are required as if she were the parent, being an adult over 18 living in the home. This has actually turned out to be quite a hassle in their particular story.

If you’re brought in to even a county jail on suspicion of committing a crime you are not charged a penny for digital fingerprinting. In fact, you’re forced to comply and dare not resist! Guess what?! Your prints are forever in the system. Stay out of trouble, dude, or your minor or major slip up will hold you down forever.

Keegan/IanHowever! If you’re a perfectly law abiding citizen wanting to apply for International adoption, printing will cost you about $25-30 for homestudy each. Then can be $50-100 for background checks each. Then $700 something for USCIS approval and prints. Sometimes, depending on where you go for it, they will do this expensive for you procedure with ink how it was done many years ago when the technology was first discovered.

It doesn’t come out clearly? You pay have to fight the system a little to get the digital prints without additional charge depending on how grouchy the clerk is. If you knew it was  going to be this expensive, why not just rob a bank on your way over to the court house.

1521930_10152095192948618_1220277243_nWith foster care printing I had to call ahead and go in on a Tuesday or Thursday between 9:30 and 11 and bring $12. I will have to renew my prints in three years when I reapply to be a foster parent. Obviously, that’s nothing compared to International adoption. But my prints expire?  For those of you who know my personal life, you know that I am not a foster parent. My paperwork is neatly in the envelope, my prints and my husbands prints perfectly enclosed with the extensive questionnaires answered diplomatically. Each page is signed by both of us, the signatures are all dated “May 2013”  As we were instructed, the paperwork is a copy and the prints are originals. Everything is there, the prepaid package is perfect but as unsent as ever it could be. The children enjoyed their babysitter (I probably should have paid her more) and I really believe my mom and I are closer having done this together.

+++++++We also took out a whole Saturday to do the First Aid/CPR that comes free for Foster Parents. I hadn’t been through one since my job at the YMCA ten years ago and she isn’t required to have it as a para-educator. I can’t really explain why God took it out of my husband and my hearts to do Foster Care. He wanted to do Respite care and I wanted to do Infant foster care which I knew would pacify my empty nest feeling for a baby although if you were to suggest that as a reason I would deny it.

A mom and daughter team who is driving forward is Anita and her beautiful mama who are stuck in the finger printing office.

On April 15 Keegan’s soon-to-be grandma was in for the offices third attempt at getting readable prints from her. While this has got to be quite frustrating for her, this wonderful woman whose husband was adopted as a child hasn’t given up and continues to come back with hopes that she will be accepted–that her prints will be found at the scene which is part of bringing the boy that she will know as Ian home where he belongs. A reschedule is made for Tuesday, the drive takes thirty minutes so they will leave at ten in the morning.

While these repeated activities that are so exhausting to live through trudge on, papers are being exchanged between Anita and the family’s social worker, each piece valuable as missing it would be like dropping a stitch in an intricate needlework.  Following the directions and having no deviations from the plan given by those who are set in authority over the process is crucial as the Vantreases know with this not being a first adoption for them. They move forward with determination, coveting your prayers knowing first hand the indescribable joy of bringing home and redeeming an orphan.

In an April 24 update Anita writes, “Update on our progress!!! We are just waiting on Mike’s fingerprint results. I also had a reference letter that was still out and really hoping that our homestudy agency has received it. I left our sw an e-mail to find out those results and just waiting on her response. Oh goodness, we are sooooooooo close to sending in the I-800A.” it’s not just remembering the satisfaction of bring home a child from over seas that keeps them going and a heart of constant prayer, it’s also the gift of new photographs of their son who unknowingly waits for them. With their permission I am honored to share those on my blog as their official Family Warrior.

Keegan-1-274x300Oh hey, it’s not just foster parents who have to put in hours of training before having children in their home. International adopting parents do too. Ahead of this family are a general Hague adoption required 10 hours and 12 for adoption from Keegan’s country. It isn’t a surprise to hear that this is not free of charge. This $200 piece will come in the home study phase of adoption which means that if Keegan’s family is not already signed up for these classes they will be soon, the good news is that these hours can be filled through an online course and only required by the parents, Mike and Anita.

Thanks for reading today. I hope you take a moment to pray for the Vantrease family, and if you are on Facebook, go ahead and like their adoption page. It is called, “Indescribable, On Our Way to Ian” another place to visit is the family blog: Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less where you can learn how to make a direct donation and buy items for which proceeds will go in full to the adoption.

link to children from Ian's country

link to children from Ian’s country

In each post I want to include information about another child from the same country. Today I have chosen a little girl named Gwynne who is two years and one month older than the boy who will be named Ian Michael. She has a beautiful smile and bright eyes and just such a need for a family. It’s not just her sweet face and aloneness in the world for which I want you to see her, it’s also that there is only $5.00 to her future adoption which would in full be approximately $25-30K.

I have had the objection to donating that, “The money just sits there and doesn’t do anything.” Yes, that $5 wont buy her a new tooth brush, and if you donate $30, you’re not getting her a fresh outfit. That money is, “Just sitting there” waiting for a family to use to bring this child home so that they can buy those things for her. There are such a bounty of programs that you can tap into to get donations of clothing and other life necessities sent to orphanages, this is not one of them.

This is a unique adoption advocacy and fundraising organization that has been utilized to save thousands of dollars and bring exposure to the faces and names of just a fraction of the orphans abroad who need you. It is not a waste!

Gwynne-277x300When you donate to Gwynne, that money is for her future adoption, it only leaves her if she dies or is adopted outside of Reece’s Rainbow, in either or those cases, that money would go to another waiting child’s grant.

This blog is not for the purpose of begging for money, only educating and advocating. I want you to know what’s going on with children, have you see their faces and rejoice in God’s watching over their lives just as he does for the child that you have at home, or if you do not have a child, your neighbors child, or the child that you were once. Click here to visit the list of countries that Reece’s Rainbow works with. Keep scrolling till you reach Chin@ and there you can read what is required to adopt from these two specific children’s countries.

Standards that Keegan’s family meets and yours might too. There is a waiver available for everything except the age limit which is 30 years old for adopting parents. Click here for a current complete list of children from that country who are waiting for families. I’ll come back with the name of the coordinator for this countries program to whom you would direct any questions.

Linking last of all to Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less.

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

All of the photos and images on my blog entries are linkable to somewhere special. Feel free to click and connect somewhere relevant. I want your time here to be worth your while!

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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Messing with your Mind: A Five Family Update

 Where’s your best place to write? I’d love to know where you crank your creativity and how you make it pour out through your fingertips on demand. I think best while going through my day, I especially love being out with my kids. A favorite past time for me has always been going to anywhere in walking distance, for my two year old and I yesterday that was to the park.

A.J (pictured here at 2 months old) went the whole block without taking a break. From time to time she’d slow her pace to look up at me, only to keep on a little quicker as so much as her little legs would allow.

We’re for sure putting up fences this year. This one would walk and walk without worrying where her people are. Though this blog post I’m using pictures of my own kids, as they are my motivation for the love that I extend to other families and their ministry to extend their lives and hearts abroad to grow their families through adoption. These are my little monsters, I love them more than life!

OK. I have to get down to it. Usually when I ask where you write I’m actually wondering why the heck I can’t turn on exactly what I want to say in this time limited segment that I have available.  Today I don’t think it’s going to happen for me, as it didn’t yesterday or the week before that.

Credit for the Claus Clan was my last blog post. The fundraiser that I mentioned for them brought in $65. They have a grant or something going on right now also to get friends to pour as much money as possible into the Claus adoption fund as big exciting times are coming up. Chelsea is traveling to meet her son in seven days. It will be a number of months before he is a USA citizen, but this is tremendous. At this point in my life I absolutely cannot imagine getting to live the incredible emotions that must whirl around as a mom counts down and fumbles to pack for what certainly may feel like the biggest trip of her life. Months of paperwork, social works telling you what you can handle and how your house should look, organization to be done and maintained through the process that feels like infinity.

IMG_0694Then finally that plane ride! It’ll feel like forever, and Chelsea’s time with her son will be over before she knows it. She’ll treasure every second and relive the moments of their time together of the next matter of months lapsing between this trip and the second during which Chelsea and her husband Josh will take Levi away from his orphanage forever.

For the Claus family March 21 is a very special day–the day Chelsea and her dad leave to meet Levi, who will join the family later this year. Chelsea will travel with her dad for the first trip, then for the final trip in a few months she and her husband will go together. Right now a $500 matching grant is being held–when their fund reaches “8040” every donation after that point for $500 is doubled. This family also has some puzzle pieces yet for purchase for Levi’s adoption. Families often have keep puzzle piece fundraisers in action through the entire duration of their adoption as a fun way of remembering the names of people who have contributed financially through their adoption journey. The Claus’s have some pieces left, for $5 one can have your name on it. This makes a great keepsake for the child’s room or to be displayed anywhere around the house.

IMG_0700Keegan’s family finished their fingerprinting  and has almost finished collecting their primary paperwork for this adoption homestudy. Anita’s 81 year old mom lives with their family so she gets to go through all of the background check series of events also. This week she got to go to the police station and have her finger prints taken for her grandson who on the other side of the world. Best grandma ever! Up next for this family is wellness checks at the doctors office. Smooth sailing so far for Ian (Keegan)’s family. Very cool surprise of earlier today is that someone dropped a good portion of money into this adoption fund bringing the number from $52 to $106. This is a sweet surprise!

Obenauf family! Stephani is bringing home Zola  from a country that is a new addition to the international programs that Reece’s Rainbow works with in bringing home kids internationally. Stephani has recently learned that it will be 12 months before her Dossier is to be submitted to the country, what a hard waiting game knowing that her daughter is doing just that…waiting. After it is finally submitted, she will get an invitation to travel in six months then can return to pick up her daughter in the time lapse of six more months.

IMG_0037When I asked Zola’s mama-to-be if she, knowing how slow this process is compared to other countries, would recommend it she said Absolutely yes and went on to suggest that I should adopt one of the little girls who is my daughter’s favorite in that country. Currently the Obenauf family have a clothing auction happening. For $5, you’re helping decorate Zola’s bedroom with your name in the color of your choice written on her wall. The infant clothes in Zola’s clothing sale are brand new, or are in very good condition and have me wanting to have another infant in the house! Visit Faith Hope Love to learn about the ongoing “Hearts for Zola” event to celebrate this sweet child and her journey home.

Jenks are keeping on. They have another matching grant in the works and a Norwex fundraiser is currently active for bringing home their girls, Veronika and Emilija. Shop Norwex Products Online and select Rebecca Jenks at check out. Find the catalog here. Glancing through the catalog I see that these are super quality of the microfiber products that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the grocery store cleaning isle and elsewhere. The website is easy to navigate. Lots of great stuff, value over the long haul and for a good cause. Mrs. Jenks says that a couple of her favorite items are the Window Cloth and the Envirotowel.

IMG_0664The Feinland family has been visited by the FSP fairy recently! The anonymous large donation to their adoption fund and an approval to add a second child to the plan has us all holding our breath, waiting to learn who the lucky kid is going to be. I want to make the statement here, that through adoption parents are being blessed as much as the kids are! I am allowed to be excited for the suspense of looking forward learning who is coming home for who.  Rachelle has recently put in a new entry on her blog, “Piecing Our Puzzle Together” which you should stop in and read, because I haven’t. Tell me what it says, if you make it there before I do. My computer time isn’t until 10pm which is not for a number of hours. That FSP fairy? He or she is welcome to visit me if I ever get a turn to adopt. Della’s family got $2500! Know what? God provides! Each and every one of these families knows that and somehow he carries them through. It’s amazing, and I hang around to watch. Simply brilliant.

Editors note: As of 9:20pm, the Claus family have $140 to go in order to get that $500 matching grant. FSP needs to read $15,541 ($8,040 for Matching a Grant!) FSP: http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=Claus Blog: http://insearchofpearls.blogspot.com

This is an amazing family who has come so far.

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

.

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!

Endevour of the Heart

8" long bracelet with cross charm.   $16.50 which includes shipping

8″ long bracelet with cross charm.
$16.50 which includes shipping

 

This is an opportunity for you to wear your orphan love on your sleeve! Check out the bracelets that Keegan’s future mom and sisters have been making to raise money for him to come home. Read on! For under $20 you’re making a big difference. Below you’re scrolling through a copy of what his adoptive mom has put on her blog except here in one post, redirected to what would be a lot of individual postings. This is for your ease of viewing!

The adoptive family for Keegan is having their first online fundraising sale. I’ve copied the images of the jewelry that they have made by hand, borrowed the descriptions and linked you back to their blog. $16.50 gets you a bracelet, shipping included. Click on the photo here and purchase the bracelet of your choice where the link takes you.

 Though the purchase of one or more of these bracelets designed and made by Keegan’s mama and sisters you are supporting his adoption to the United states. Click here to see him, if you have not already. I’m so excited to in a years time see photos of this young man home to the Vantrease’s place where he will be loved and cherished forever.

As I upload the pictures of these bracelets I know I’m missing three but can’t seem to place which ones.

Each is unique, many have glass beads and such beautiful patterns. These are super cute.

The hands that designed and assembled these bracelets also paint scripture onto canvas which the family will sell later in their fund raising process. Look forward to that, I certainly do!  This is a Buy It Now sale.

First to respond by clicking on the image and commenting where you are directed gets the item for $15.50 free shipping inside the USA. This is the beginning of many hours spent sisters working to bring a brother home.

“Believe” charm bracelet with glass beads. It is in lavender,
gold, greens with silver color spacers. 8″ length

Beaded & shell “believe” charm
bracelet.Shades of gold, yellow and black
8″ length

E5

White, pink, silver, beaded
bracelet with “believe” charm.
Love the glass beads on this one too!
7″ length

E6

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

E7

Grey glass beaded bracelet with”believe” charm.
8″ length

E9

Shades of blue/amber/red/yellow with silver color
spacers and “prayer box” charm.
8″ length

E10

Aqua/clear glass beaded >
8″ length

E11

Shades of pale green, browns and clear
glass beads with a “cross” charm.
8″ length

E12

White and clear glass beads on this
cute bracelet with a “Hope” charm.
8″ length

E13

Glass beaded bracelet in pretty
turquoise and brown tones with
a “believe” charm.
9″ length

E16

Mauve/pink/clear glass beaded
bracelet with “Faith” charm.
7″ length

E15

Black/silver/clear glass beaded
bracelet with “Faith” charm.
7″ length

E14

Turquoise/clear/pink glass beaded
bracelet with “Hope” charm.
9″ length

Endeavor

Here’s the logo for the Vantreases jewelry sales. I’ll have this sign on all of the sales related to the bracelets. Will we see some necklace and earing sets? That’d be really awesome also.