A few weeks ago we had a bumping bonus going on with Reece’s Rainbow. Children under $100 would receive donations, once they made it over that 100, a child under $500 would be boosted over the 500 wall. We have these bump bonuses every year as Angel Tree season comes near closing. Here’s the chart that I immediately assumed to be written in stone: if someone raised Bree to $100, Kolya would go to $500, despite his being well under $400. These boosts were not deserved, yet when I made the donation to Bree that I thought would shoot Kolya over and what I thought would happen did not, the level of disappointment I experienced was tremendous. Shortly after I felt such shame. My Kolya was had been sitting steady for almost at week in the $350 range, his bump depending on a little girl from Ch!na being moved over the $100 wall. I have seen no fundraising for her, no one asking for donations on a private or public page for her so I wondered how likely it was that the bump would happen. There has been a lot of spending on my part this month, and I felt like giving would really be a financial stretch.
It was a Sunday, I was pressing refresh as often as the page allows and praying my heart out that someone was looking at Bree. This was a twist in my fundraising, all season, which is November 1st to December 31st I had been hoping and praying, speaking out and laboring over growing the fund of a boy in Bulgar!a, now all of the sudden I’m aching over a girl of the same age and need in Ch!na. I wrote about her on my Facebook and told my co-warrior of the amount that it would take to Bree‘s account to boost Kolya over $500. If you’re new to my blog, I created this blog to use it as a space to advocate for children waiting for adoptive homes living in orphanages in Eastern Europe, Africa and through Asia. Specifically children with special needs, primarily Down Syndrome, but ranging from cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness, limb difference, HIV+, and the list goes on. I write about sibling sets, babies, older kids, and of course the families who are adopting.
Angel Tree season is the ten weeks that I pick a specific child to raise $1,000 for. The rest of the year I have a specific family that I gear my fundraisers for. My Angel Tree child last year was a baby from Ukraine who shortly after having $1,000 raised went home to live with a beautiful family in the Midwest along with another young boy from the same orphanage. I find that advocating for orphans is spiritually rewarding for my children as well, as many of the kids listed for adoption are their ages. We talk about the needs kids have, the value of giving and the appreciating that we can have for the gifts that God gives us and how he provides for the needs of his children. There are over 200 children on Angel Tree this year, the 8th year that Reece’s Rainbow has held an annual time of holding up individual kids for a $1,000 goal with personal sponsors.
Only 40 have made the goal, with ten days to go. Kolya has met his Angel Tree goal, now it’s Bree’s turn. Let me tell you what I know about Bree. To set the scene. Where were you in 2001? I was beginning community college, on my way to an associates in Early Childhood Education. I signed up for English 101, college study skills, and Intro to ECE. Somewhere in China a mother was giving birth an infant who had Down Syndrome. The little baby had sweet little hands and feet, an adorable round face and perhaps a full head of hair and loving eyes for her mother. But to this mother it was not a moment of pure illation, it may have been a moment of fear and even sadness. In a culture where boys are preferred, she had birthed a girl. Down Syndrome had happened. Was Bree’s mama in love with her despite the Down Syndrome? Bree was kept until age 1, according to her file. The words that have been sitting on Bree’s file on Reece’s Rainbow for at least two years, the paragraph that go with her photo to describe who she is: Girl, born December 2001 PRC Down syndrome Bree has normal limb development. Upon admission, she was 1 year old. After growing accustomed to life in the social welfare center, she began to understand how things worked, She was polite and could get along well with people. At the age of 10 years, she could go up and down stairs, could put on clothes and shoes independently, and could help adults. Now she cannot speak, but she can make sounds of “yiyiyaya”. She can count 1-10, can recognize big and small, but cannot concentrate in the special education class. Bree is open, can get along well with others, likes playing with kids in the playground, and likes playing on the slide and swing.
Everyone likes staying with her and sharing joy with her. Bree has been waiting for a long time for her family to find her.
Meeting a family is not impossible. Meeting her fundraising goal is not impossible either. There’s a deadline, obviously Bree has until she’s 14 to be adopted, and she has until December 31st to have her 2014 Angel Tree goal met. Hope is never lost. The day that I put $46.80 in Bree’s fund to boost Kolya and saw hers go over $100 through my donation and his not move within the next day I cried, only hours later to see him move to $500 realizing the boost had worked and feeling a complete wash over of shame for caring so much about the money in one child’s fund and giving to another just for growth in the other’s.
Each of the little people on this Angel Tree are sleeping and waking without parents participating in their lives.
Visit the Angel Tree 2014 HERE and for a donation of $35 or more to any child you will receive an ornament with their photo on it and the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in their future. Every dollar counts, but get ornaments while they’re still available!
Donations year around are appreciated for all of these children, waiting and for the families who go to adopt but it’s between November 1st and December 31st that we gather the names of a few of the children with Down Syndrome and other special needs, line them up with sponsors and aim for $1,000 each. Five children have been committed to this year’s Angel Tree. Andrea, Dillon, Emma Grace, Darah, and Alan are all going home, found through Angel Tree.
Through the Bump that I found Bree among the around 200 faces all have made over $100 at least. That’s $100 that they did not have before Nov 1st. Congratulations to the sponsors who have worked so hard, to those especially who have gotten their children over the goal some WAY over. This year Tyler’s fund has grown by $6561.00, which puts the 12 year old boy from Bulgar!a at $11,571.80 in funds waiting for his future adoption. Have you been rallying for a child who has met their goal? Please come back for Bree with me, or for another one of the many children under $1,000 this holiday season. Bree has until the day she turns 14 to be adopted. I wonder if her birth mama knows that. That’s far more serious than not meeting Angel Tree goal. I want to keep rallying for Bree, I’m glad I got her ornament, I am sitting here now thanking God that I just happened to believe that donating to her would help Kolya, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen that face. I’d love to see her in person too, and wonder if I will some day. In the photo that Reece’s Rainbow has she looks so directly into the camera as if to say, “What if you were my forever?” How much her mom has missed out on. Will she come back right before her daughter ages out? Click HERE to donate. Earlier I said that I had not seen fundraising efforts being made for Bree, that doesn’t mean that there were none. Sponors all utilize different mediums. Sometimes the goal in full turns up right at then of the season’s closing as the sponsor has done all local events. No matter how you raise money, donations are tax deductible if that’s important to you. Bree ages out at age 14 of opportunity for adoption. At age 14, I was all but ready to age out of needing parents! The time to scream and cry for a family to see Bree is NOW. Her birthday is December 2001, which means that this year is her final chance.