Real Men Wear Pink

Jeremy There are so many very serious reason why children should be adopted out of orphanages. And there is always a good reason and good time to talk about them and encourage others to become involved in what it takes to get these kids out of their cribs into homes. Today I want to talk about clothes, and Angel Trees! Before we get carried away rescuing kids! Remember thanksgiving! Without these kids caregivers, however sometimes very imperfect they are, without them these sons would not be alive. God has used limited hands and limited resources to keep beautiful faces living and waiting for families, who with your help and with my help will see home.

 

Alaric1ONE THING. Buy that boy some blue. Give him a high protein, whatever he needs snack and steady healthy nutrients in his life. In some countries children are drugged to get them to sleep, this becomes a tremendous stress at home. The list goes on. I want to see picture of blue jammies with stars and rocks on them. This little boy is Jeremy. His little blurb on Reece’s Rainbow says, “Boy, born 2012.  Microcephaly, spastic tetraparesis” You don’t know what you’re bringing home!

Many of the children featured on Reece’s Rainbow have Down Syndrome. You love one and bring him home.

A boy. With needs. A lot of needs, and you’ll figure it out.

Give him a reason to have light in his eyes.

Maybe it will be building from the very basics up. But how about those pink pajamas? Buy blue. Some toy trucks, even if he doesn’t have the small motor control to properly grasp and move it along, he can have it nearby and reach for it if vision is a part of his life. Maybe pair of Velcro sneakers with Avengers that have lights in the heals when he moves his feet. Get him a bed that does not have rails up to his armpits.

Free Jeremy or any other boy before he begins to think that pen and pink pajamas are home. Kent-273x300Do real men wear pink? I saw that in a magazine once. I think it was a dude in a pastel pink dress shirt tucked into tan trousers…was in a JC Penny curricular maybe. He was standing tall with a sports jacket slung over his shoulder with one arm and the other hand in his pocket. A man dressed to look like he had options and chose to honor breast cancer awareness month. Jeremy doesn’t have clothing options, but he is clothed.

There’s a shelf of clothes, whatever fits the child is put on the children. Orphanage institution sizes vary by region and country, and in this post are children from all over Asia and Eastern Europe. I’m happy to have side by side waiting children with those set free as it were, to be who they would like to be. When you adopt a child you give him the strength to have an option. Once he’s yours it’s your time to build him up. Some children will never reach their independence, that’s true, but others will and either way, find that uniqueness. They should be given every chance in the world to live beyond the confines of a crib, to be strong men whatever that takes. Share what’s little known of Jeremy. Donate, and just advocate for him and the other little men who are stuck in pink pajamas. Alaric needs an Angel Tree Warrior, so does Kent, so does Keagan again this year seen later on in this entry.

JoannaDon’t get me started on little babe blue, the doll called Joanna. Oh wait. She’s just gorgeous–I’m including her to show you that the orphanages do have blue, blue for girls I guess! Kent and this jewel are both on Newly Listed children. New to you, new to me, but seen and loved even before they were born by God. He saw them from the moment they were in their birth mama’s womb…actually, you know, he knew them before then. God knows these babies beginning and the end of each. Is it with you?

I asked on the Official Reece’s Rainbow Facebook group who has met their son in orphanage overseas and found him to be sporting pink clothing. Many mothers found their daughters dressed in blue like joyful Joanna above (who does not yet have an adoptive mother) but today I’m thinking of the boys in pink! Maybe the blues another day!

So I got a bundle of sweet stories, some wrapped up with pictures from mothers of their precious sons during visits. I just wish that I could capture all of the short stories right now, but it would just get to be too much. What I do have is permission to share  pictures!

Henry 10628107_10205005087236440_8803110371908968127_n1975206_860292143990356_7262209483847918895_n10696234_860291990657038_555526204210536272_n10659367_10204933750442565_8920531409374649331_n1014056_10152446789797901_6708203000231471818_n10676310_10152764150394017_8754751770516728454_n10154006_10152279869451793_5148000801904893965_n10619948_10152379107067727_3169753148457168930_o1016359_10204537476855494_3222660415173090988_n10689795_10204537481215603_2774739065825375660_n10509614_10152307807282511_934729764817670128_n10714079_10202727608620330_5355981482624769818_o

These boys made it home and into boys clothes!

Their images are clickable, you can learn their families names and with some read their continuing stories. 1492290_655700054546645_415324026424384457_o Adam here at the end has passed from not only his orphanage and into the arms of his mama, but on to eternity to be with Jesus. Henry is in the arms of the Lord also. You can see his image at the beginning of these gorgeous faces, his mama has framed in a heart with the word, “Forever” in white around him. 40929144247-251x300They have gone on to adopt again, praise God for the blessing of knowing their sons and continue to love their families here while looking forward to heaven where they will see these dear boys once again. We love our boys in pink–cherish their hugs and their ups and downs. And we go shopping to buy them blue. Today I just felt the draw to show these boys and just give a bit of a light to their face in the orphanage as is seen by their families and in the pictures given from the institutions to the agencies with the note, “This is a boy!” Pink stripes and a purple pacifier? His sheets look clean, his sleeper looks fluffy and his hair is short. Way to go, Ukra!ne with this sweetie. Clean, but sportin that pink. Aidan, you’d look good in blue too, buddy! Some day you’ll have a family that will give you more boy stuff than you could ever want. There are so many waiting children. Pray. Advocate. Donate. “You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14) Here’s my place to encourage you who care for orphans to join official advocating! We have the Family Warrior program, Prayer Warrior program, and Guardian Angel Project. I couldn’t recommend something I wasn’t a part of: I am Family Warrior for the Johnson family. Prayer Warrior for Boyd and Guardian Angel for Yana. TeaganMy life is busy, so is yours, but is there not a moment that you can think of a waiting child and take that time to say a prayer that God would continue to bless the hands that care for these babies that sometimes live and die in orphanage. The guys you see above are among the few that arrive to know family here or anywhere. Thank God daily for watching and leading help and compassion. Speaking of time, and the time you take. It’s late September and I am taking the time, the time to plan over fundraiser ideas for Angel Tree season. I’m advocating for a little boy named Kolya. Not wearing pink, as far as I can see, but doubtlessly could use some new duds. He’s 10 years old, and I imagine he hasn’t yet had his birthday celebrated quite like he will someday when he goes home. It’s Angel Tree season, and if you’re reading this, I hope you will be drawn to advocate for a child with Down Syndrome or another special need this holiday season. We have the goal to raise $1,000 between November 1st and December 31st. Keeping in the theme of this writing I would like to propose being an Angel Tree Warrior for Teagan. Seven years old! His little profile on Reece’s Rainbow says that he’s shy and loves music. His foster parents and institution have him in daily limb training and rehabilitative speech therapies. Olivier-2-222x300Sign up to be an Angel Tree Warrior today by visiting the website you will learn more about how it works and ideas on how to reach your goals. Take an active part in changing a child’s life! This is good stuff and you can be a huge part of it. Oliver is a boy in pink waiting for an Angel Tree Warrior too. Check out that beautiful smile, mamas and daddies! It should be a synch to raise money for this sweetheart, once you start talking about these children and educating people a little about who they are, you be blessed to meet so many who will share their talent in helping you reach all you can be for these kids. Each of these faces has a story, choose one to share over this years Angel Tree season. The leadership team is wonderful answering questions on the children listed, the children already home have families who often love to tell the story of their journey home. Connect and the road to advocating during the busy season of holidays and year round can be an exciting spirit lifting experience. Join Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree 2014. We have four new countries this year, all with at least one child included in the event. Over 100 children still need AT Warriors. Consider being one, and sign up listing your top three favorites.

Kindness Keeps

When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.

This is a piece of Proverbs 31. If you live with Scripture as your guide, you know that chapter of the bible well as being the guide for what a woman ought to be. She’s an unbelievably organized entrepreneur, committed to home and family not caging herself in home and family but reaching far into the world to bring in the very best to server and better her collective family. With each verse I knock off everything that I thought was awesome about myself, this doesn’t change as the years go by.

Today I love that God takes the time to say that through all this the renowned Proverbs 31 woman speaks her words and instruction with kindness. Is not that what keep her a remembered figure. All this could be do, and without kidness…no one would remember her with a fond spirit.

I carry that message into the season of raising awareness for waiting orphans. Why should people donate? Because of me. Yes. Because of YOU, warrior. As you knock on your neighbor’s door and smile and tell them that you’re selling candles and cookie dough, bring a child along to do the talking…that’s cute. Are you respectful. How’s the message conveyed? This is a whole new idea to so many people.

143_28_10_2008_KolyoA couple misconceptions that I didn’t learn about and was blown away by, unfortunately end of season last year. You mean that kid only costs One Thousand Dollars? or, I’m not from Ukraine, why should I pay them for their children?, “That’s all the kid costs? Doesn’t this tax deductible organization know how much it costs to raise a child? Who are they kidding?” That last question coming from someone looking at my child’s FSP.

Kindness keeps.

Answer questions, be open minded. Don’t let yourself get hurt emotionally. And, don’t give up. The Bible (Old and New Testament) is covered with verses about how awesome and unavoidably noteworthy good will is! Think on Matthew 5 for example:

“…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Back to that Proverbs 31 woman the New Living Translation sums her up just as nicely as all the other Bible translations available in your local book store.

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

Do you have to excel them all. I don’t. I do want to do well. I do want to raise $1,000. For a sweetheart who is named Kolya. He’s been waiting for so long. When you donate, you’re not paying for him. There is no buying involved. You are adding the amount of money waiting for his future family that they will have access to once they have committed to adopt him. Precious Kolya’s cost of adoption is around $32,000 which is a cost guestimate including travel, visa, lawyer fees. Your donations are not going to his government. By donating, you are not voicing support on political standings, you are only loving children and lifting one up a little closer to potentially reaching a family.

Consider kindness towards Kolya this Angel Tree 2014 season. He was on the Tree last year and his warrior, as the organizers of events and fundraiser are for each child are called, did make her way to the $1,000. It’s hard to see him back. I bought his ornament last year and plan to bring it along with me on any fundraising endeavors.

For giving $35 or more between November 1 and December 31 you’ll receive an ornament with his picture and the name of his country on it! If you believe yourself called to work towards bringing a child to the $1,000 goal and have not registered, please do at this link. There are 123 kids waiting for warriors yet.

There’s a very special reason I chose Kolya. If you’re interested to hear about it, ask me. Each child has a story, just begin for a moment to imagine what they could but possibly never will be able to express even to their future forever families about the only life they’ve known.

What will you do to bring this child closer to home? Remember, you don’t have to be the best to help, you don’t have to donate the full sum of money to make a difference. Giving does not count towards my goal until after November 1st. This really is the time that I’m encouraging you to be pumped about helping me help Kolya.

Monday I’m launching Jamberry nails, which is already open here and selling cookies and candles locally. So nervous! I wouldn’t mind if you took just a second to pray for my confidence and success! The nail stuff proceeds will go to Aurora, original Angel Tree child as that is who I told the consultant about. This precious child is now among the over 100 children yet needing warriors for the Angel Tree season that starts in less than one month. Giving proceeds to Aurora deters that feeling of abandoning her that I am left with by going for a different child and I hope helps, just even be that a little. In addition to following the link I provided above you may visit the Facebook party scheduled for October 17th.

Thank you for making your way through this whole blog post, I know it was a long one. And please do stay tuned as I keep a quick pace hopefully on helping my sweetie Kolya and other children too by noting their fundraising events hosted by other loving sponsors. Donations after November 1st count towards my goal. I will submit everything after that and before December 31st.

NEWS FLASH: I signed up.

AuroraI’ve filled out the all too easy application, friends, to be an Angel Tree warrior. My picks are Aurora who I’ve never really hoved over, she’s been in an orphanage since 2005 and sounds a lot like my personality. You could find little girls who look just like her in my family photo albums. She seems like a good fit for me to advocate for!

SilviaMy next choice is a little girl from a small country that is tipping the scales on high cost with low time to raise the funds. Meet Silvia. She’s on my heart because her program looks daunting and her photo isn’t fine. This girl’s fund is going to sky rocket, God has a way of showing that anything can be achieved! Some family will look at that image and see their daughter and that will just be an amazing day for her and those who are planned somewhere in the greater plan as her parents. That’s what Angel Tree season is about, advocating, raising and finding forever.

NE138b-Fernando-250x300Fernando! He’s my third choice. Born the same month as my second son, the same year as my first in a country that we love. The files from his country come all in Spanish and are volumes long. Travel is easy and the agency is great. Who will be this little man’s family? Will I be the sponsor to help him to the Angel Tree goal?

Waiting for my email telling me who I get to sponsor. I’m giddy with excitement! Tomorrow I’m going to overhaul my blog to be Angel Tree ready, tracking other Angel Tree warriors blog posts as they begin their journey’s soon setting up shop to race to $1,000. There are so many more children who need someone to knit scarves or whatever special talent you have. Sign up and show everyone in your world just how amazing you can be when you love an orphan and how much can be done when you set your heart to such a meaningful purpose.

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

UPDATE: I’ve switched to Kolya, please click here to read about that.

Angel Tree 2014’s Coming up!

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September 15 sign ups began, and so far 61 children as of yesterday afternoon had advocates who will work between November 1st and December 31st to raise money for these children’s adoption funds with the minimum goal of $1,000. Some warriors have done it many years in a row and plan for months ahead, even racing for the goal. Last year I signed up last minute with no plans. I’m not crafty or a sales person. I have not adopted, or any kind of amazing stage presence that would win over generous donors. I can’t put on a spaghetti or sell plasma. My goal was met and exceeded, I don’t know how or by who only that God orchestrated it and that I’m so excited to see this years children reach that 1K also.

When an advocate signs up to sponsor a child they often write a blog post to announce to their readers that there is this mission in their life for these matter of weeks, hopefully with a piece of information about the child and a plan on how friends have support that effort. If you want to help, be creative and make it fun. Early day enthusiasm is precious! Warriors tumbling out of bed the morning of sign ups to make sure they get the child that they have been praying would be their’s for the season. Designing necklaces and constructing a Facebook page where they invite all their friends to throw in a “like” as the season wears on we start storming heaven is the saying, for funds if the necklaces haven’t been enough.

Potlucks at church? I don’t have the confidence, but perhaps you do. There’s an online group that you may join after signing up to be a warrior where ideas are exchanged. Some people send news letters to friends and family about the child asking them to collect spare change and instruction where and when to deposit it. If the money is given before November 1st it does not go towards the Angel Tree goal of $1,000. The little boy that I sponsored last year has been home for months now. Not everyone has been found and this year many of the children are back again for the biggest fundraiser of the year on Reece’s Rainbow.

Click this link to see the children who have advocates and yet need “Angel Tree Warriors” sign up is easy and free.

Getting Ready!

Angel Tree sign up starts today!

brochure to print:

And this year I am going to apply for three children, from different countries and be randomly selected for one.

I want Fernando from Peru, he was born in Oct 2006 but already has over $6K in his fund.
Ryan from Latvia has over $1K in his fund since he was in Angel Tree last year and met his goal.

Joey or Nels from Bulgaria.

Wait Your Turn: Kimberley’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Wait Your Turn: Kimberley’s Story

This little love has been listed for two years minimum.

NE-208-foto-203x300Hers was the second face that I saw on Reeces Rainbow in 2012. I reached RR in the same way many testify to: seeing a link thru social media to a child’s adoption fund where there’s a little blurb about who the child is. I didn’t stop on Kimberley, instead I went past that link to the Newly Listed category where I found a little Russian girl who looked strikingly like the baby that I had just given birth to. I was hooked. I prayed for Yana at least every time I sat down to feed my baby, often crying thinking of her in a full orphanage without parents coming to visit her. At least daily I checked to see if donations were coming in, and if ultimately anyone was placing inquires toward her adoption.

I never turned back to look at Kimberley or even once researched her country or the need for adoption there. For the first time in my life I put my life on hold to organize a fundraiser to bring awareness and money to an orphan in Russia. I made under $100 and felt complete shame for spending a whole month doing something that had no positive impact on my family. My house was messy because I’d been busy with an auction, then it was clean because I was  going to have a home décor party. No one showed up for the party and a good percent of the items from the auction did not go for much over their retail value. Still I waited and prayed. Dec 2012 a family from AZ committed to Yana. Before they could even begin Russia closed down to adoption to US families. God worked miracles in this sweet orphans life, and fueled my drive to speak out for the work of adoption from overseas.

Quite by accident I learned of a little girl, born in Bulgaria who was an orphan of the state, which means that despite her parents being living she lived in a government run orphanage right along side children who had lost their parents to untimely death.

Not only did I get this little girl’s information and life timeline, I got two videos of her which I may have watched dozen of times. The important dates in her life coincided with so many meaningful times in my life, every detail seemed more and more a signed that this child was certainly meant to be a part of my life. I actually wrote a letter about why “Marnie” should be our daughter to my husband and took him out to dinner to talk about it. He was blown away, if he already knew his wife was crazy, this was a new level. Adopt?! He’d imagined us to be the couple who has a dog, and lives pretty much carefree…perhaps doing travel jobs, maybe buying an acreage someday where we raise or grow whatever we want.

Hardly needful to mention, my husband said no. I cry when I’m disappointed, or actually feel anything strongly for that matter, and that evening he said, “Well I do owe you an explanation and someday I’ll give you one.” I love my husband tremendously and was quiet all the way home, with that Bulgarian princess’s face in my mind and her video replaying in my consciousness due to my overwatching it.

Again, I never looked back at that initial face that I saw on Reece’s Rainbow. That cute, ready to take on the world needing a mother to take her to the greatest heights of potential face which only this week I have returned to.

After dinner with my husband I framed a 5×5 picture of the Eastern European girl that we’d talked about. Life’s busy at our house with four kids, we have little to no time to talk of anything other than getting through the day and maybe tomorrow’s schedule. I placed her beautiful image on the window sill above the kitchen sink where he washes his hands after coming home from work and before cooking. He asked me to take it down saying that he felt our relationship was strained with her peering into our world like that. Unbeknownst to me, God had something new planned for me. I wasn’t wanting to see her on My Family Found Me, I had allowed myself to want to be the mother to put her on MFFM. When I would hear that a family was looking at her country for adoption, I’d hope God would show them someone else.

NE-208-foto-203x300Who was watching Kimberley? No one was asking questions about her to her agency. There are hundreds of children with Down Syndrome and other diagnosis  listed for international adoption on Reece’s Rainbow, so among all of those, why choose the little girl who turned 7 on February 15th? Her photo is years old and her update publically available was written 4 years ago.

There are children listed for a limited time, there are children who are listed in countries that take less than a year to bring children home from and for each child there is such a special story on why and how they came to be seen by the family that they’re meant to be with. Kimberley sits up straight and tall in the, “criss-cross-applesauce” pose that teachers direct their kids to sit in at circle time in school. Behind her are other people, It’s hard to tell the ages–looking directly I consider the two behind her to be adult women, perhaps caregivers, and in the foreground, partially pictured is another child. This is a crowded place where she’s sitting who knows how long ago. Where is she at this moment? She’s alive and in care, waiting yet to be noticed. I see her and want to see her home.

That girl from Bulgaria? She’s home with a family in the Pacific Northwest, the parents have the same initials as my husband and I! They have a terrific family and I can say that I am 100% content and thrilled to have her their daughter. She’s right where God wanted her to be even from before the beginning of time he knew that was exactly where she was supposed to be. Guess what? I met her, I held her for a few minutes and felt her breath on my face and her weight in my arms. I saw her in new clothes bought for her, I saw her fed by a mother who will be with her unconditionally. Welcome to the rest of your forever to that beautiful child. After meeting her two weeks ago I took down the picture that has sat in my kitchen window for two years. She’s no longer in an orphanage over the sea, and I’ve gotten the closest to best gift I can ever get: a picture capturing the moment that I held her.

How is this Kimberley’s story? She’s waiting, just like me. Me for a daughter, her for a mom. Her life’s full of people around her, children and adults, noise day and night as is mine as a mother to four kids keeping up with a busy house–mortgage, bills to pay, laundry to fold and put away, a house that keeps getting messy. Dinner to prepare. Day and night, day and night. The orphan that I doted on and prayed for in Russia has the best destiny realized and the girl from Bulgaria has been given the best gift: a new life with a second chance to be the person that she deserves to be. In a whole other part of the world Kimberley waits. The mama that posted her story exposing me to Reece’s Rainbow May 2012 has brought home a child from another country recently, that little girl will turns 4 soon. I advocate for many children, a change from the days when I prayed exclusively for the little girl in Russia, I also have enjoyed seeing my children join in caring for the plight of orphans overseas. Kimberley has been on Angel Tree two years in a row and now has $4,819.05 toward her future adoption. I bought 17 ornaments during 2013 season and I don’t think any one of them were for her. If you are not familiar with Angle Tree, please do educate yourself! This last year $2084.43 was donated to her fund through the very hard work of a dedicated supporter and advocate who unfortunately isn’t able right now to step forward as a mama for Kimberley

There are no shortage of people around this little girl, but what are they to her? I don’t know about the environment or quality of care in her country nor do I know

Sweet Ernie

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This is Ernie. He is 3 years old and completely adorable. If I told you he was being sent to a mental institution with adults would that bother you? That is exactly what will happen if he is not adopted by the time he turns 4. Children sent to mental institutions often die due to neglect, malnutrition and abuse. It makes me sick that this could happen to a child but that is the way it works in his country.The good news is that it isn’t to late for you or someone you know to adopt him. Is money a factor? There are grants available to make his adoption less costly and possible. Please help find his parents. Pray that someone will see his photo and fall in love with this cute little buddy. No child should be without parents and certainly no child belongs in a mental asylum.

My Summer Reading List

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Once in awhile I read a blog called “A Holy Experience” www.aholyexperience.com . I usually find it by accident when someone else posts a link that catches my attention. I am always surprised when I find myself back at the same blog. Today, by accident, the link trail once again caused me to stumble across it. The most recent post was written by a guest blogger named Kristen Welch. She wrote about her experience in Kenya when she traveled there with Compassion international to write about poverty in the slums. Several things that she said caught my attention, but none more that this…

“And so, I had to ask myself the two questions every Christian in North America must ask (according to KP Yohannan) :

1. Why was I born in one of the richest countries in the world and blessed with so much material and spiritual abundance?

2. In light of this superabundance I enjoy, what is my minimal responsibility to the untold millions of lost and suffering in this world? ”

Kristen’s experience caused her to question God and set out on a new journey of radical obedience to the call of Christ on her life. The result was her starting an organization called  Mercy House. http://mercyhousekenya.org/.

I am captivated by her journey and her change of heart since her first Kenya experience so I’m putting her new book Rhinestone Jesus at the top of my summer reading list. Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 12.32.55 AM

Three other books on my summer reading list are:

Wish You Happy Forever http://halfthesky.org/en/book

In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21458429-in-pursuit-of-orphan-excellence

Kisses from Katie. http://www.amazima.org/katiesbook.html I have already read Kisses from Katie (several times) but I just can’t get enough of her. The passion that flows from this young woman is amazing.

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What will you be reading this summer?

 

 

Answers for Ashley

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