Reece’s Rainbow was all new to me in 2012. I was hook and line stuck from moment one when I came on to Newly Listed and saw the gorgeous face of Yana a child in Russia. That was in May. I emailed the New Family Liaison who quickly connected me with further photos of the young child and a blurb of information beyond the paragraph on the Reece’s Rainbow website. Daily I checked Yana’s FSP to look for changes. This little girl captivated me. I found her in my dreams and would cry for her as I fed my three month old. Somehow her existence far across the ocean in a world very apart from mine, she was part of me. How could I help? I’d never asked for money or deposited money anywhere that wouldn’t render me an item in the mail in three to five days, such as an Amazon.com order or what not.
What a strange idea: Giving money to a child who has no adoptive parent. Money that goes nowhere. It just sits and waits, for a family not of my choosing. Someone will commit to a child that I feel close to and use my money to bring her to their house.
One day. I realized I wanted her on My Family Found Me. I looked there as well as checking and giving to her FSP. Days turned into weeks, those blurred into months. September. The Reece’s Rainbow website was ablaze with talk of this thing called Angel Tree Season. The website was covered with advertisements so bright that the viewers attention wasn’t on Child of the Month.
September came. By the middle of the month Yana had a Angel Tree Warrior badge on her profile. I really didn’t know how it got there because I had not investigated the process having little to no confidence in my ability to do more than pray my heart out for this one child.
November. The face of the website changed. In rows the children’s faces from all the countries that Reece’s Rainbow works with were lined side by side, each with a big blue $0.00 underneath. The emotion looking at them all was a big wave washing over me as it would with anyone that I could possibly imagine. All of these months I had seen no one but Yana. Hers was the name that I searched. A total of two or three minutes on the website, a prayer of thankfulness and one of petition that Jesus would see fit for her family to come then on with my day.
December 31st. Within the very last 24 hours of Angel Tree 2012 that gorgeous girl had a family. Her sweet mama to be contacted me right away having read though a prominent blogger my very first orphan advocacy entry. The season was extended through the first week of the New Year in honor of Russia’s late celebration of the new year. In that very time frame, Putin closed Russia sealing children like Yana and so many others in country. Her commitment to the family in the USA was now broken.
Advocating will never end. As long as there will be orphans who need families, there will be cause to celebrate their chance of leaving poverty. I choose to do that largely in part by donating to waiting children’s funds for their future adoption.
Angel Tree is the season that we really put on our party hats, thinking caps, and pool together all the confidence, patience, determination and those strong bonds of fellow orphan advocates while we pull off the biggest fundraiser of the year!! Don’t be shy. Register to be an Angel Tree Warrior to honor my Yana or of any other that we were left not know the end of that season how they would ever know a family. God knew and for that I can celebrate.
Party hats! When you start off. Know God’s got this. He’s going to help you make the money towards your financial goal. Starting is better than never trying! Have a great attitude, a beautiful smile and just make that orphan loving contagious.
Thinking caps! Collaborate. I love the Official Facebook Group. When you sign up to be an Angel Tree Warrior you will also be invited to join a group exclusively for people who have taken on the Raise $1,000 between Nov 1st and December 31st, 2014 goal. Get on the group and ask who sells. I just did. I got 36! Know what? They’d all contribute their profits. That’s awesome. So you’ve asked. Get their information. They’ll guide you through the process of collecting interest and pulling off sales.
Confidence, patience, determination. You could contribute $1,000 out of your pocket. Really, you could. Or.. you could talk, vend and vent to the world about the crisis overseas and get some education out there about what can be done while growing these kids chance of going home.
Strong bonds. Over 100 children still need personal advocates. These people, and the wonderful people who have already signed up are your very best friends for the next few weeks–you will have an encouraging word, suggestions and experience to share, new bright ideas. The one who are not connected to their kids yet: Find Them!!
Talk about Angel Tree 2014 and why everyone should be apart of it. Power yourself up with all the reasons that orphans abroad should come home and why this is a great way to get them closer.
We no longer have the waiting children from Russia, but we do have other countries. Children in orphanages who need redemption. Children who will be as much a missing piece in someone’s family as they need that future family to support them and pick up the slack on medical and nutritional care that the orphanages and institutions have not been able to meet.