Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shameless advertising!

Did you get an Amazon gift certificate this Christmas season? If so, CLICK HERE to see some amazing year end deals! And the best part, if you go to Amazon through this link, we get a small percentage of the sale for our adoption. You get to buy whatever you want and help Carolina come home without doing anything extra. Now that's a great deal!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas...

My husband's family has a tradition of Santa Clause. I know, most people in the U.S. do, but this is a little bit different. It all started with my husband's grandfather, Fred. Fred was a young boy during the Great Depression. People were struggling everywhere and his family was no exception. In fact, they had lost their farm and been forced to live in a neighbor's chicken coop, which they built into a small shack of a house. It was a very ugly year. Fred's father would forage for food so that he didn't take any of the meager meals from his family. He spent his days working wherever he could find work, leaving his wife to build the house. It had no windows, and a leaky roof. The children would wake up to find the blankets frozen to the beds.

Fred's father did some farming work for a man who noticed he never brought lunch. This kind boss sent him home with a bag of flour, realizing they probably had no food. The large family was overcome with gratitude. The young kids were so hungry, they tried to eat the flour raw.

One day, Santa Clause came to town and all the children went to the fire station to see him. As they were standing in line, Fred's older brother told him, "Now you be sure to save whatever treat Santa gives you because that will be the only Christmas we have this year." Someone overheard this. They knew the situation this family was in and they felt moved to help. 

That night was Christmas Eve, and of course, a blizzard rolled in. The children were getting ready for bed after singing hymns of the Savior's birth. Great Grandpa proclaimed, "Well, kids, I think Santa must have forgotten us this year." Then there was a knock at the door.  When the door was opened, there stood Santa Clause. Santa had arrived not in a sleigh, but in a pick up truck filled with food....which was stuck in the snow. Santa had been trying to get out the farm all afternoon and had hiked the last mile or so with the sack of provisions and a few toys on his back. The family was overjoyed. Their children had been trying to eat raw flour, they were so hungry....truly Santa brought with him a Christmas miracle. Literally, their Bread of Life.

In honor of that Christmas miracle, Fred dressed up as Santa every year for his 13 children, and the story was retold. It was a sweet tradition that reminded everyone of the year when Santa had been a godsend. Fred's children grew into adults. One of them is my husband's father, Brent. Each year, when they heard the bells, all the kids would hurry into their beds and do their best to look "asleep." Santa would come and bring oranges and promise to return when everyone was really asleep. Now Brent's children are grown with children of their own. Each of them carries on the Santa tradition. On Christmas Eve, I will take the kids upstairs and tuck them in bed, while my husband slips away. Then we will hear it...the bells. "Quick! Turn out the lights! Santa is coming!" Then up the stairs he comes as the kids try to contain their excitement and pretend to be asleep. "Ho!Ho!Ho!" he says. He visits each child and gives them an orange or a candy cane and then he leaves promising to return when everyone is asleep. At that point I flip on the lights and the little ones squeal with delight that they have just seen Santa. It's very real for them. I manage to distract them just long enough for hubby to make a mad dash to change his clothes and then come out of the bathroom or somewhere else wondering what he "missed." 

It's a fun tradition that we hope our children will carry into their families. One act of kindness can have an impact greater than anyone could ever expect. At last count, Fred had  15 children (13 living), 86 grand childrent and 170 great grandchildren (our little Ethan is #170)  that are all being taught this story of love and charity. I wonder if "Santa" ever knew what an impact his act of charity and love had on this family? 






We would like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas!








Saturday, December 8, 2012

What we know...

I have been asked by several people for more information on Carolina. I am sure it seems strange, but I actually don't have much information on her. In her country, information is not shared with adoptive parents prior to their arrival. This is done to protect the privacy of the children and their families as many children listed in Eastern European orphanages are not available to be adopted. Many also age out of the system (usually at age 16) and have enough discrimination against them without people being able to look up their names and pictures on the internet and find out they were raised in institutions. The "orphan status" is often a source of discrimination against these kids when they grow up and try to find jobs. The government does photo list the children available for adoption (though it is hardly a comprehensive list as many regions do not update the database). Some adoption agencies and advocacy groups get special permission from the government to list *certain* children who have disabilities and/or need urgent medical care. This is how many American families find these children. Often, families who have traveled to a particular region will get to see other children who are available for adoption and can give personal accounts of the children's personalities to potential adoptive parents. And that is how extra photos and information about some children gets around cyberspace. Real names are not generally used. All children listed with Reece's Rainbow (and most other organizations) are referred to by pseudonyms. So, Carolina was not actually given the name of 2 American states by her birth mother.

Now that I have explained how this works a little bit, I will share what I know. I know that Carolina spent her first nearly 4 years in an excellent orphanage. Although it was not a family, she was loved by her caregivers and by her director. She was well-nourished and hydrated, as you can see by her picture, taken when she was 3 years old. Her description on Reece's Rainbow says that she wore AFO braces on both legs and that she could walk. We also know and can see in her picture that she has strabismus (crossed eyes). I was blessed to receive a document from a blog reader with a narrative from another adopted mother who met Carolina while adopting her son. This is what she wrote:

"...I was only able to see Carolina once. It was during one of our visits with our girls. It was raining outside so we had to visit with them in a play area inside. Our baby house has a big brother/big sister program and Carolina was with a "big sister" in the play area. She was swinging on one of those big glider swings and singing. She was a total doll...and so beautiful. She has gorgeous olive skin...curly hair...and one of those mischievous smiles...like I'm about to get into something. She was wearing afo's...but I'm not sure how well she walked. She was a charmer...that's for sure!"

There are no other pictures aside from her baby picture. As you can see, it's not a lot of information. But every detail is exciting to us. We pray that she is well and loved at her new facility. We know she has endured 2 transfers since the above photo was taken. Transfers are brutal for these children. I cannot imagine never having had a family, and being torn from the only caregivers I had ever known and sent to another facility with older children and an established "pecking order." Being a newly transferred child has to be frightening.

I am aware that adoption will mean she is taken from her facility and her country. She will certainly be scared. She will grieve. There is nothing I can do about that fact, But I can ensure that this will be the last time she has to leave everything she knows. We will give her love, proper nourishment, proper medical care and therapies for her cerebral palsy as well as her emotional needs. We will spend every day making sure she knows she is loved, wanted and of infinite worth to our family and to her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She will have two brothers and 2 sisters, a mom, a dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles. She will have a church family that will welcome and accept her. She will get to go to school. She will one day have the opportunity to go to college if she so desires. She will not be limited by her disability. She will be adored just like our biological kids.

I wish I had more information to share. I wish I had more pictures. But I waited 9 months to see anything more than grainy ultrasound images of my other 4 kids. I will be patient and wait a few more months to see my newest addition.

If you feel so led, even the smallest donation to our chip in or FSP account gets us closer to our daughter.We also have an Amazon Associates link at the top right of the blog as well as HERE. This costs you nothing extra, but we get a small portion of the sale as an advertising fee. Every cent helps. Sharing our cause helps more than you may know and we are incredibly grateful and humbled by your support. 




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Honor of Henry...

Today the world lost a little light. Today a precious heart stopped and a family was left behind to grieve. Precious Henry Dobrovits passed away today at the age of two. His family fought long and hard to bring him home just last year.

Henry had a very rare condition called Larsen Syndrome and was doing very well in his loving family. A few weeks ago, Henry had VEPTR rods placed. He developed an infection around the rods and was readmitted earlier this week. Today, sweet Henry suddenly crashed, was revived, and crashed again. This time, there was nothing that could be done. Henry's mother, Carla helped me press on when we were struggling with everything breaking during our commitment process. I do not think she realizes how influential she has been and how much her story inspires those around her. To read about Henry and his family's journey to rescue him, check out Bringing Henry Home.

Right now, the Dobrovits family needs prayer and lots of it. Please say a quick prayer for their comfort and healing at this time. They know Henry is in a perfect place, but their hearts are broken because he could not stay here with them.

The Reece's Rainbow community is obviously very heartbroken for the Dobrovits family. Everyone is praying, yet wishing there was something tangible we could do to honor Henry. One lady suggested donating to another Reece's Rainbow child with Larsen Syndrome in honor of Henry. I love this idea. There is one child listed who has Larsen Syndrome, and the family is in country right now and still in need of funds. The Basas Family is adopting sweet Delilah who has Larsen Syndrome like Henry and while there, they added Brett who has Cerebral Palsy. Please consider donating to the Basas Family in honor of Henry. We can't do much to ease the pain of the Dobrovits family, but we can do this.


I have just started a local fundraiser for our adoption of Carolina, but I would like to help the Basas family in honor of Henry. As incentive for my blog followers, the first 5 people to donate $10 or more to the Basas Family FSP and email me their receipt, will receive a dozen chocolate Buckeyes from me. Lower 48 U.S. States only.

(Image from Google)
Give $10, help honor the memory of a child, help bring another 2 children home, and indulge in chocolatey peanut butter goodness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving...

Here in the United States, today is a holiday. It is a day we set aside to eat large amounts of delicious, homemade foods and give thanks to our Lord and Creator for the abundance in our lives.  My family will be loading up and driving to my grandmother's house where we will feast with her, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters, parents and cousins. Grandma's basement will have several tables lined up into one long table. In recent years, Grandma has decided she doesn't enjoy the turkey leftovers and has just made ham and chicken and noodles. Not this year. I will be bringing a turkey breast because it's just not Thanksgiving without turkey! We will feast on homemade rolls, baked macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, chicken & noodles, deviled eggs, salads, sugar cream pie and pumpkin pie....with sorghum on it! I know some people feel whipped cream is the topper of choice for pumpkin pie, but I am here to assure you that sorghum is better! (Think molasses only sweeter and without the bitter bite.)

After scarfing down their plates of food, the men will head upstairs to watch the football game on television. Actually, that is what they say they will do, but most of them will be asleep within ten minutes. The kids will hurry and eat so they can get back to playing with all the cool toys Grandma keeps (many of which my brothers and I played with as children when we went there). The boys will surely have a "battle" going with the wooden guns my late grandfather made for my brothers. The girls will likely join in for a bit and then move on to their own "house" style games. And the women...we have the best time. We stay at the table talking for hours, and of course, continue eating those lovely pies and desserts. It's a wonderful time. We are spread across 4 states and don't get to see each other often, so the Holidays are all the more special to us. 

I am thankful for the land in which I live. I am thankful for my faith and the freedom I have to practice it. I am thankful for my immediate and extended family. I am thankful for the friends I have all over this great nation and the world. I am thankful for a home that keeps us sheltered from the elements. I am thankful for wonderful medical care that is readily available. I did nothing to deserve all of these things, yet I have them because I was born here. Not everyone is so fortunate. 

Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a six year old girl is going about her day. Just the same as any other day. Her meager meals are the same as they are any other day. Perhaps a watery porridge for breakfast, maybe a potato soup for lunch and dinner...maybe with a tiny bit of bread if she is lucky. Perhaps she is able to walk...perhaps she cannot and must rely on others to help her. And there she sits and waits, day in and day out. I wonder, what are her dreams? Does she dare to have any? Does she get to go outside of the institution walls? Do her caretakers treat her as a person or as an inanimate object? Does she want a family? Does she dare to hope? Is she warm? Is she sick? Does she get proper care if she is?

Little "Carolina" has no idea that a family is coming for her. She has no idea how many people have prayed for her over the years. How I long for the day I can wrap my arms around her and tell her she is loved by so many! I desperately desire to show her that she is of infinite worth and importance. And next year - God willing - she will spend Thanksgiving eating turkey, ham, chicken & noodles, rolls, veggies, mashed potatoes and pie...and being adored by her family

Remember to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Whether your gathering is large or small, at home or far away, we are all blessed beyond measure.

In Gratitude,
Michelle

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some thoughts...

The past couple of weeks have been quite interesting around here. Obviously, committing to Carolina has started some major rearranging of the house. We are still bouncing ideas around, but the plan is coming into place rather well.

It's hard to explain the feelings associated with the adoption process. I suppose, in many ways, it is not unlike being pregnant. Each time I have realized I was pregnant, there was an initial shock. This time there was sort of an, "Oh my goodness, here we go!" kind of feeling. Like the start of a roller coaster. It's scary and thrilling and so wonderful all rolled into one. But there is another feeling that I hadn't expected. When I am pregnant, I have the little "mantra" going in the back of my mind, no matter what else I happen to be doing. This mantra says, "I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant." There is no time when that baby is not somewhere on my mind and so I make all decisions with his/her best interest in mind. I am not carrying a child inside of me right now, but I am feeling those same feelings. All future plans have our new daughter in them. I think of her as we're preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. My heart aches that she has never known either.

Someone once said "Being a mother is making a choice to allow your heart to walk around outside of your body." This is very true. I feel like an invisible force binds my heart to each of my kids. This week, that force stretched an ocean. Though we've never met, Carolina is in my heart. I wonder as I am going to bed at night whether she is up for the day. I wonder if she is talked to, or if anyone notices her at all. I wonder if she can get around on her own. I wonder if she's being fed and if she has warm clothes and blankets and heat. These are not guarantees in Eastern Europe the way they are here.

With all of these new feelings and emotions, it is hard to answer questions objectively, but it is even harder to take criticism of our decision. Thus far, I have done well, but it isn't easy...hence the reason I am up writing at 3am and not in bed.

Last week, my husband spoke at church. He doesn't enjoy being asked to speak in front of the entire congregation, but he did it. He spoke about our experience that led us to commit to Carolina. This was the first time that most of our church heard of our plans to adopt. To say people were shocked was an understatement, but we have another adoptive family who has been a wonderful example, so most were pretty excited for us.
 But our closest friends were not.
 My family is not.
 It makes life very hard because the people we are closest to in the world are pulling away from us. I do not believe any of this will be permanent. We continue to spend time with our friends and we talk about it. They ask questions, we answer. As for my family, they will come around. But I guess I was having a really hard time this week with my family and friends avoiding normal, non-adoption conversation with me because of our decision. Why are they being this way? Here are some reasons I have come up with....come....psychoanalyze with me;)

1.) Fear for our safety. This is a big one. Friends and especially family fear us heading to an Eastern European nation where we know no one and do not speak the language.

Why are we not afraid? Because we are not truly "alone." There are people in country ready to assist us 24/7. They make the arrangements for our lodging and ensure it is a safe place. They help us get from place to place. It is their job and they are quite good at it according to the other families who have used them...so why worry? Will it be tough to communicate? Yes. But that is not an impossible hurdle and will give us a little first-hand experience of what our daughter will feel like when she first comes home.

2.) Feeling guilty or judged.

This is probably the biggest issue. If there was one thing I could say to people who do not feel called to adopt, it would be, "That's ok!" I think sometimes people feel that those who adopt look down on those who don't. That could not be further from the truth, at least for me. Everyone in our faith is called to "care for the widows and the orphans" but NOT everyone is called to adopt. Not everyone can adopt due to rules and regulations. Not everyone SHOULD adopt due to dynamics and other reasons. It does not make your personal mission any less valuable just because OURS is different. We all find ways to serve and do good in the world (all who want to anyway) and one person's good is not better than another person's good. There are plenty of ways to serve our fellow man and to ease human suffering besides adoption. We all are to do what WE can do. Our best is not measured against someone else's. What is good for me might be terrible for your family, so please, don't think that an excited adoptive family is somehow looking down on you for not adopting...we're not.

3.) Worry for our biological kids.

All I can say here is that my biological kids have adjusted just fine to each new sibling. I have no reason to suspect that they will not again rise to the occasion and welcome their new sister. They will miss us while we are in country, but I know they will be in good hands. Daddy will not stay the entire time, so he can be back with the kids and keep them in their routine as much as possible. My biological kids are quite excited about this. Of course, one wishes he could travel with us and that just won't be possible, but he'll get over that. As for issues once home, there is just no way to know what it will bring. But we are well-researched on the topic and we have many resources available to help aid us in the transition.

4.) Different viewpoints

This is kind of vague so let me just put it this way. When I explained the way children were left to starve...or nearly starve for years on end in cribs simply because they had an extra chromosome or other difference that made them "undesirable" in their country, I related a story. The story was of a little boy who died waiting for a family. The medical treatments available in the U.S. would have saved his life, but his orphanage director would not let him be adopted unless someone who was the "right" denomination adopted him. 1 Catholic Family, 1 LDS family and 2 non-Christian families wanted this child, but they were not deemed good enough, and the child died. I found that to be horrible. I find it horrible when kids waste away in cribs...teenagers who still look like babies from lack of nourishment. And when I relate these stories with all the passion I have, I am met with a blank stare and a shrug. And what comes next just blows my mind, "Well, better for the child to die and be with the Savior. They have a straight shot to heaven."
WOW! REALLY?! I agree that yes, the child is in heaven and will not suffer anymore, but how awful to think it better to let a child die that way...slowly, painfully, alone and unwanted. It won't affect where the child's soul goes, but what will that attitude do to our souls? Think about it. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these...ye have done it unto me." These are the words of Jesus Christ, whom these people and I worship as Lord and Savior.
Do we forget that the Savior expects His people to care for "the least of these" as we would for Him? And do we forget that NOT doing those things is as though Christ came before us and we did NOT help Him?
 No, not everyone should adopt. But everyone CAN do something. Christians of all denominations not only CAN but are COMMANDED to do something. Adoption is ONE thing people can do. Helping those in process is another thing people CAN do. Donating to charities that aid orphans is also something people CAN do. Aiding people who are down-trodden in ANY way is something people CAN do.
Being anything less than supportive of any of these efforts is a great way to land on the wrong side of "ye have done it unto me."

And thus concludes my late night thoughts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holy Paperwork Batman!

Today we received all the paperwork and instructions for our dossier. It took 3 email attachments to get it all to us...eek! Not that I didn't know this was going to happen, but something about actually seeing it all drives home just how in-depth a process this will really be. But never fear! We are on top of it. It WILL get completed. How? One form, one notary at a time.

We are also in the middle of a home study and should have our first visit in the next couple of days. And of course, that means even more paper chasing...fun! It also means we have to begin "the great migration." O.k. so that may be a bit of an overstatement, but moving bedrooms when kids are involved can sure feel like a cross-country move.

So how are my bio kids handling everything?
I am glad you asked! They are hilarious about it all. M asks constantly when "the girl in the pony shirt is going to come?" and she is beyond thrilled at getting a bunk bed to share with E. This means they are big like their brothers you know. M is still trying to figure out how this 6 year old is going to come out of my stomach....she hasn't figured out adoption versus birth. And find it all quite endearing.
 A is pretty laid back about the whole thing and has taken to calling Carolina "California." It reminds me of the Jodee Messina song, "Heads, Carolina Tails California." He has a hard time understanding the orphan situation and why parents would not choose to raise their special needs children. I get a kick out of hearing him say, "Awwww...so cute!" over and over as he looks at the RR site. Don't let his tough, macho 11 year old going on 20 facade fool you. He's a softee.
 R is a bit different. He is a spectrum kid and he had it in his head that we were adopting a little brother for him (which was our original intent, but we were led to a girl). He has finally started coming around about it and he understands that we feel Heavenly Father led us to this child....but he's now lobbying for us to bring home a boy too. We only intend to adopt one, but his determination is priceless. This is the kid who claimed he would not love our now 2 year old if she was not a boy. Right....he loves that child more than I ever thought possible for a little boy of his age. She is HIS baby you know;)
 And that brings us to little E. She isn't quite sure what adoption means, but she likes the idea of picking out a new child to come live here...a GIRL of course. She wants to like everything sister M likes. In all likelihood, she really won't remember a time when C was not with us and that will be a very special thing.

And now you know a little bit about the dynamics in our household. Pretty normal in a crazy, zany, off the wall kind of way.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In awe..

We are finally able to announce that we are Carolina's family! We are thrilled to be bringing this sweet girl home to be loved, receive an education, receive therapy, and all the other things she is missing out on by living in an orphanage. This is an exciting day for us, though it marks the beginning of a TON of paperwork...but we are up to the challenge! She is absolutely worth it.

This day would not be possible without the support of some very special anonymous donors who helped us raise the funds we needed to get started. We are forever grateful for those wonderful people who look for ways to help others. It's a very humbling experience to have to fundraise, but I know that God is in control and this experience will be for our benefit. I cannot count how many times I prayed to know what we should do and was granted peace. I cried tears of joy and gratitude when I received a large donation just at the point when we thought we would have to release commitment. There are truly angels among us.

To quote Toy Story 3...."And we are eternally grateful."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Angel Tree season!

For those of you who may not know, November and December are very special over at Reece's Rainbow. During these two months, hundreds of advocates work like crazy to raise funds for the children listed on the Angel Tree. The children listed on Angel Tree are typically ones who have little money in their grant funds or those who have been listed for a long time but whose disabilities or country regulations make it difficult to find families for them. Each child listed on Angel Tree has at least one "Angel Tree Warrior" who advocates for that one child and tries to raise $1,000 for him/her by Christmas. It's a tall order to be sure, but these Warriors work selflessly to get it done for these precious, forgotten children.

One such warrior is Randi over at What is My Life Worth? Randi is raising money for little Lene. And check out the picture on her page! Sweet Lene is holding her hands out as if to say, "Mama! Hold me!" She is a beautiful 2 year old little girl with Down Syndrome. Lene is from a Latin American country and is available for adoption by married couples, single women and large families. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Lene's family found her during Angel Tree? Three little Angels have been so blessed already, and it has only been one week. But if you donate a few dollars to Lene's grant, Randi will enter you into her giveaway which has lots of great prizes including Christmas wreaths, hairbows, and many others.

To view all the children listed on the Angel Tree, click on the button on my right sidebar. Be prepared for a cuteness overload. If you donate $35 or more to a child through their Angel Tree button, you can have an ornament sent to you with that child's picture on it to hang on your tree. What a special way to celebrate the Holiday Season.  Why not start a family tradition this year of donating to a child? Little children are particularly sensitive to the needs of other children. It is a precious thing to see them caring for others and hanging those special ornaments on the tree. So involve the whole family and make a difference in the life of an orphan child...and make a forever impression on your family's heart.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Why's"

I imagine that every adoptive family is hit with the question of "why?" at some point or another. If that family already has children and chooses international adoption, well, the "Why?" quickly turns into "WHY ON EARTH?!" This is an understandable reaction, so I will attempt to break down the one big "WHY?" Into smaller "why's" in order to shed some light on our thought process.

 Why would you adopt when you already have kids?

 While adoption is a beautiful way to become first-time parents, the reality is that there are far more children who need families than there are child-less couples who want to adopt them. When a child is over four and/or has special needs, the odds of a child being chosen by first-time parents, drops significantly. After four children, we have learned that the true bond between parent and child is cemented in the home through daily care and interaction. There really are three options for kids who are waiting in orphanages. Number one is to wait until they are chosen by a child-less couple. Number two is to be adopted by families who have other children. Number three is to remain exactly where they are without the love of a family. Those really are the options. For us, adoption is not about feeling we don't have enough. It is about realizing we are truly blessed beyond measure and desiring to do what we believe our Father in Heaven would want us to do to aid HIS children. We don't think it is what EVERYONE should do, but we feel it is what WE need to do.

 Why not wait until your kids are older?

 Very good question. In fact, that was sort of "the plan." We figured we would wait until later to adopt when we were hopefully a two income family and maybe even living in a bigger house with acreage. It was a good plan. It was a righteous plan. But something just kept tugging at my heart. It was actually my husband who said one day that we could look into adoption. This really surprised me. Not that I hadn't thought about it many times before, but that HE would bring it up. As I thought about it, I was reminded of all the years I have served in the nursery and Primary programs at church. I once asked why they saw fit to always ask the women with young kids at home to do those jobs? The answer made quite an impact on me and my attitude. It was simply, "Because women who no longer have little kids tend to forget just how to come down to their level and teach them." As I thought on our adoption, that answer was brought to my remembrance and I realized that it would not take long after my kids got older for me to "move on" mentally and forget the details of raising little ones.
 In addition, siblings are some of the best friends and gifts a child can ever have. I could raise an adopted child when my others kids were grown, but he/she would miss out on the experiences that only siblings bring. And my biological children would miss out on the opportunity to learn about service, sacrifice, and true Christ-like love that they are experiencing now.

 Why don't you just adopt here in the United States from Foster Care?

 The short answer to this is, "Because the Lord sent us elsewhere." But the answer is a bit deeper. I have friends who have fostered and some who have been able to grow their families through foster to adopt. I admire these people very much. We considered this program as well. I am quite sure I could not abide by the ridiculous levels of "privacy" that are rigged into the system to protect the birth families. I would not fare well with raising children and having them taken away at any time...possibly returned to the deplorable conditions from which they were removed.
Fostering and adoption are really two different things. I heard it phrased once, "do foster care to foster and adoption to adopt." If a family intends to ADOPT a child, then they need to be pursuing ADOPTION, not foster care as the ideal end-game of foster care is to place the child back with the birth family or a biological relative. There are many amazing families who love foster care and have adopted from the system, but it is not for everyone, just as international adoption is not for everyone. 

Why aren't you concerned with all the needy kids here in the U.S.? 

 I am concerned with them. I have a goal to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate one day for children "in the system" here. But as for the idea that kids here are somehow more deserving of a loving home and family than those overseas? I can only say that I am certainly grateful that my Savior, Jesus Christ didn't feel that way. Otherwise perhaps He would only have sacrificed himself for the people from Nazareth. Think about that. As an American and and Army veteran, I am fiercely patriotic. But as a Christian, I know that God is no respecter of persons and I should not be either. I'll go where He tells me to go.

 Why are you fundraising? 

 It seems a lot of people have this idea that needing to raise funds to adopt means a family cannot afford to have more children. These people likely don't know how much adoption actually costs. Depending on the country, adopting one child can run from about $12,000 to over $60,000. Not many families have that kind of cash sitting around. In the adoption community, the fees required to save a child are often referred to as "raising a ransom." And that is exactly how it feels. The hurdles can seem insurmountable.
There are people who feel, "If you can't afford it, then maybe you shouldn't adopt." To those people I say, "If you cannot buy your house or your car outright, perhaps you should not have one." The fact is, most families who step out in faith to adopt an orphan CAN afford to raise them. It's just getting them through all the red tape and home that presents a barrier. For instance, one requirement for an international adoption is fingerprinting of every adult in the home. This costs $50/person or so. But then there is the form that must be sent in with said fingerprints. That form that goes to USCIS costs $800. FOR ONE FORM. And that is just what goes into the U.S. side of things. There are generally agency fees which run around $24,000 and then in-country fees for drivers, lodging, food, airfare, medical evals, court fees, embassy and passport paperwork, and I am sure I am forgetting a bunch. So yeah, if only those "who could afford it" adopted these kids, it's doubtful that ANY of them would know the love of a family.

 Why are you always posting stuff about orphans on Facebook? 

 The only answer I can give here is that once your eyes are opened to a need, it's hard to be quiet about it. You want to shout it from the rooftops. You want others to care even though they'd rather look away. And that is what happened to me. I couldn't look away anymore. I may not be able to get anyone else to take up the cause of advocacy, but I cannot be silent. If something I post gets a waiting child just a little more exposure so his/her family can find them, it's worthwhile. If it makes just one person look at their life and re-evaluate "needs" then it is worthwhile. If one person contributes to an adoption fund for one child, it is worthwhile. Surely these children are some of "the least of these" spoken of by Jesus Christ. How can I turn my back on them?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

When it rains...trees fall!

I have been pretty quiet on here about our own adoption progress. This is because there wasn't much I could share. I am excited to announce that we have selected a child to pursue from Reece's Rainbow. When I think of this sweet child being denied a family, an education, love, affection and all the typical experiences of childhood, I am heartbroken. So we had many discussions and prayed countless prayers. One child remained in our hearts. We knew that this was our child.
And so we sent our paperwork in to commit. It involved moving some money around. We got things moving quickly and then....One of our vehicles started to die. It was severe engine trouble in a 15 year old vehicle. Most people would have scrapped it at that point, but we believe in making things work for as long as possible, so we were babying it along and it seemed like it just might make a come-back...and then...a windstorm blew through here and a giant tree limb fell on said car, thus finishing it off and necessitating the removal of said tree. $$ But we were not deterred. We continued with the paperwork and the payments and then...the furnace died. Yep, quit lighting up and started blowing cold air. Great. Just great. We know that when something good is in the works, Satan tries his best to stop it. We are in a real bind now. We still wish to move forward, but we need just a little help to get the fees so that we can get our paperwork submitted. We are tightening our belts and selling all that we can to try and make the ransom for one precious child.

If you feel led, we would appreciate any help on our chip in. Every single dollar helps. I don't have any great prizes to offer, but if you make a donation in any amount, you may submit a name in the comments for us to vote on....who knows? You may end up naming our girl! Obviously, inappropriate names or names that would subject her to ridicule will be vetoed.

If my local friends wish to hire Ammon for any of their plumbing/home improvement projects, I am renting him out to help raise funds. We have local references who will attest to the great job he does.

If any local friends wish to have home-cooked meals delivered for their family in lieu of pizza, I am also starting a page where you can order main dishes, sides and desserts to be delivered hot at dinner time or freezer-ready for future quick meals. You all know I love to cook and I take requests for all special diets as well.

And finally, my friend Valerie over at From The Trenches of Adoption has come up with a DELICIOUS Holiday Chocolate fundraiser and recruited some other ladies from our church to help, so we have LOTS in the works to raise the rest of the ransom for our child, we just need a little help over this hurdle. The question mark at the top of my page, will be replaced with our child's picture as soon as we are able to announce....I promise, you will find her adorable, just as we do. We welcome you to follow our journey. Cheer with us, cry with us, and please do pray for us. We ask for your prayers most of all. It is a lot to do and it's quite akin to jumping off of a cliff, but her life is worth it.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Help the Morse Family!

In the relatively short time that I have been involved with Reece's Rainbow Advocacy, I have seen several families travel and come home with lovely new children. During this time, I have seen Priscilla Morse auction off more hairbows than I could possibly count. She is persistent, relentless even, about getting her sweet daughter home. I have seen her become fully funded, only to end up having to throw several thousand dollars down the drain for extra medical exams for a lung nodule that had already been deemed benign. After she paid that and got the paperwork in country, someone contacted her saying that a doctor over there would need to examine her...at a cost of $1,000 of course. She did it. On this trip, Priscilla and her husband were named the legal parents of their daughter. Sweet Kenzi has a heart condition that needs immediate medical attention. Priscilla made sure that her little girl was already scheduled to see the best cardiologist in their area. The 30 day wait was waved for them so that she could get the care to save her life. And then, the bottom fell out again. The adoption agency had not bothered to submit the paperwork to the bureau of vital statistics to allow Priscilla and Dave to get her new birth certificate. The agency felt that since no one has ever had the wait waved before, it wasn't worth trying. This not only means that there will be a third trip to pay for, but also that their previous flights had to be cancelled and rescheduled. As if this wasn't enough of a nightmare, a hurricane forced the cancellation of their new flight home. Again, completely nonrefundable. Now they are struggling to get home and for Priscilla to return later in November to finally bring their daughter home.

There is nothing we can do about the poor service from the adoption agency. There is nothing we can do to change the amount of hoops that this family has had and still has to jump through on this journey. But we can help relieve their burden. Priscilla is sick right now. She has picked up a parasite or something in country and is very ill on top of all the worry and stress. Please, above all else, Pray. Pray for her physical strength. Pray for her husband, David, as he tries to be strong for her but also feels helpless in all of this. Pray for the funds to come through for Priscilla to get Kenzi home without further delay. And if you fell led, even the smallest donation would relieve some of their stress and let them know that people care.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Morse family, you can do so through their Reece's Rainbow FSP.
http://reecesrainbow.org/29701/sponsormorse

If you would like to make a Chip In contribution that will be available for their immediate use, you can click on the link located on the right hand side of their blog.
http://love--conquers--all.blogspot.com/

 Priscilla is doing another auction when they get home, so if you have any items that you would like to donate to that, please comment here on on the Morse blog.
I know that Priscilla and Dave will be grateful for any help you can give, ESPECIALLY PRAYERS.




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Oh!...uhhhh....hmmm...REALLY?

This is about the reaction I get when I mention adopting a special needs child from overseas. It's not an unexpected reaction. After all, anyone who knows me knows my four kids certainly keep me busy. That's an understatement. They are four exceptionally strong spirits. I don't have any who will sit quietly and color or look at a quiet book in church. I don't have any who shape up their behavior with a simple look from Mom. I don't have any who are particularly quiet (don't let M fool you, she's the loudest one). And it's not for lack of trying. We've read the books and tried all the tricks, bribes, etc and it only made our kids think that every act of kindness and benevolence deserves a reward. We don't want our kids to think that way. And so, every trip to the grocery store and every Sunday church service are exhausting.

So why would we even consider adoption? Don't we have enough going on in our lives? Aren't our kids enough? Isn't our house full? Don't we know how "messed up" those adopted kids will be? Are we crazy?

The short answer to most of the above questions is, "Yes!" 

We have plenty going on in our lives...but so does everyone else I know, including single people. Everyone, regardless of family size, ensures they are as busy as they feel comfortable being. This is a very fluid thing. Some people feel their life is full and busy if they go to work and come home to an empty house. Others feel their life is full and busy if they are driving to three different sporting events in a week. Still others feel their life is full and busy if they are loading up twelve kids for sports, drama club, band and doctor's appointments. So this is really all a matter of perspective. Everyone is busy and needs breaks every now and again, but most would find time for more if the "more" really mattered to them.

Our kids are most certainly "enough." More than enough. I am absolutely fulfilled as a mother with the four children God has seen fit to send to me. And interestingly enough, I have felt completely fulfilled after each and every one of them. I was happy with one and could not imagine loving another child as much....then I had number two and felt the same...then three...then four. They have all been "enough" for me. They have all challenged me and made me look at life a little differently. They are all worth every sacrifice, every embarrassing grocery trip and every sleepless night. Our adopted child (whenever he/she is made known to us) will be as well. I didn't fall in love with my kids during pregnancy. I cared for them, but I didn't have the overwhelming love for them until I started caring for them after birth. I had to figure out what each child liked and how to soothe them. I had to get to know them. But within twenty-four hours, it happened. I fell deeply an madly in love with each of them. I expect it will take longer with an adopted child, but I also feel that it will happen through meeting his/her needs. After all, we love those whom we serve. We serve our children most of all and that is true whether we give birth to them or not.

Our house is definitely full. We have two people in each room. But we can make room. One of my sons said the most profound thing one day when I was looking at photolistings. He saw two brothers who needed a home and asked, "Are they orphans?" I said they were. He said, "Let's adopt them." I told him it was a little more complicated than that and he replied, "Look, they need a home and we have plenty of room." Right then, I looked at my home with different eyes. The only reason we couldn't fit more children into this home is if we value "stuff" more than them. We can certainly do without some of the "stuff" that is cluttering up the place.

We are aware that adopting a child, particularly past the infant/toddler age will involve new challenges. We are aware of Reactive Attachment Disorder. We are very aware that our adopted child will have suffered the trauma of being abandoned by his/her birth parents, raised in an orphanage setting, and then taken away to a family of people who are strangers and do not speak his/her language. We know that this will be a challenge like no other. We do not think it will be easy. We know our adopted child will have issues...but tell me one person you know who doesn't? They will be different issues from our biological children, but that doesn't mean we will care any less. We have access to wonderful medical care for physical special needs and we believe in utilizing mental health professionals as needed. It's a fair bet that any child we adopt will need some counseling and we are ready and willing to ensure they (as well as the rest of the family) get it.

Yes, we are crazy, but we don't think that is such a bad thing. We know how to have fun. Impromptu dance party anyone?

 We know that we aren't what most people think of when they imagine an adoptive family, but we feel we can make room at our table and in our hearts for one more child. With all we enjoy in our lives, how could we say no?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Piper...a little princess!

Today I would like to share with you a little girl named Piper. Another adoptive family was able to meet her during their recent trip to her orphanage. Here is what they had to say.



Last month, my husband and I traveled to Eastern Europe to visit the child we’re hoping to adopt.  It was a fantastic experience.  Plus, we got the opportunity to meet another potential adoptee along the way.

This is Piper:



Piper is a very sweet three and a half year old that lives in a fantastic baby house in a rural area of her country.  Piper’s baby house has 43 children, with 11 in her groupa.  Piper was only recently transferred into this (the oldest) groupa due to her special need, microencephalopathy.   Basically Piper is small.  Although she is nearly four years old, she’s roughly the size of a two year old.  She is easily the smallest child in the group.



The baby house Piper lives in is ran by a fantastic medical doctor who was very patient and kind to us.  Unlike many other adopters we’ve spoken to, we were encouraged to see all aspects of the orphanage including meal times, snack times, indoor play areas, the outdoor playground, cribs and beds, the baby rooms – everything.  We were even allowed to give our child a bath.  We were amazed at the openness and the patience the entire staff gave us.  Here’s Piper eating a peeled apple during snack time:



Piper’s doctor related that Piper was kept with the younger children for longer than necessary, in hindsight.  With the older group, she’s coming out of her shell, speaking in complete sentences and enjoys playing with the other children.  She has some orphanage behaviors, including rocking and self soothing, but accepts redirection.  Piper was excited to see us.  She was friendly with us, the other adults and children.  She seems quite smart and was always in a great mood when we interacted.  In fact, while I was attempting to take a picture of another Reece’s Rainbow child, Piper hopped right in and gave me a big smile!



The baby house itself is a large building in a rural town.  We found it to be very well staffed, with adequate supplies and plenty of food.  The children were very well taken care of and their love for the orphanage director was evident every time she walked into the room.

Time is limited for Piper.  She turns four in October, at which point she will be transferred to either an orphanage or an adult mental institution.  It’s likely she won’t fair well there.  The two things standing in the way of Piper living a better life is a family and funds for them to adopt her.

Please consider passing along the link to this blog post.  Share it on Facebook.  Visit Piper’s page on Reece’s Rainbow (http://reecesrainbow.org/40845/piper-1g).  Consider making a donation.  Every dollar gets her one step closer to finding the family that will improve her life tremendously.

What a sweet child! Piper would make a lovely daughter and would love to have a family to call her own. Are you Piper's family? Could you take a moment to click "Share" to help them find her? Thank you all. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joyful news!

I have great news to share with you all today! Two of the boys I featured in this post have been found! Hooray! Congratulation to  Everett and Olson! They have been moved to the "My Family Found Me" section of Reece's Rainbow. I am excited to find out who their Mama is and to follow their journey home. 
Olson                                                           Everett


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Plea for a Little Girl

Today the Reece's Rainbow community is again coming together for a blogging blitz. This time, on behalf of a sweet, adorable little girl named, Carolina. 


This precious child is six years old. She should be learning to ride a bike, going on family outings to the park, watching fireworks, going to drive-in movies (yes, we still have one of those close-by and it's ideal for taking kids to see a first-run movie).  Carolina should be getting ready to start first grade this month. She should be picking out a backpack and lunch box and cool printed folders for her first year of "all-day" school. She should have a Mama who is excited for her as she is growing up into such a big and wonderful girl......

But Carolina's life is very different from all that.

Carolina is an orphan in Eastern Europe. As if that weren't hard enough, this girl has special needs. Carolina has a relatively mild case of cerebral palsy. While this disease has a wide spectrum of effects, for Carolina, it affects mostly her lower legs.

While living in her previous orphanage, Carolina was a favorite. She was well cared for and loved. But, the years passed and sweet Carolina was not adopted. And so, in 2011 she "aged out" of her baby house. Her orphanage director wanted her to go to a boarding school where she could at least get an education. It seemed that - while not ideal - Carolina had been given the best chance that an orphan with special needs could be given in her country. 

But this was not to be.

The boarding school where Carolina was sent has been closed. As Carolina is deemed "disabled," or "defective" or "delayed" she was sent to the only other option for children of her age who carry a label next to their names. 

Carolina is in a mental institution.

You read that right. And in Eastern Europe, a mental institution is not a place one goes to get psychiatric treatment and then leave. It is a prison. For life. She will never get to go to school. She will not get the AFO's she needs for her legs in order to walk. She will spend her days doing basically nothing. Day in, day out. 

Unless....

Someone has the courage to take a leap of faith. Carolina needs a Mom and Dad to cross an ocean for her. She needs parents who will go through the tedious process of international adoption, walk into that place and be strong enough to take the broken little girl in there home. She will be behind emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically. Her Mom and Dad need to see past that and see the beautiful daughter she is....and help her to see it too. 

Are you Carolina's parents? 

If not, can you help her anyway? Carolina has a matching grant of $1,000. This will be given when her grant fund reaches $4,300.  Right now she has $4,107.75.  She is SO CLOSE! Can you help? 

Every. Single. Dollar. Matters! 
Truly it does. 

Please consider donating and sharing Carolina's listing. Her parents are out there....they just haven't found her yet.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday...Kurt

Welcome to my first Teamwork Tuesday post. This is where bloggers from all over the web come together to spread the word on one waiting child. Today, that child is sweet little Kurt.
Kurt is an adorable little boy who has spent his entire life in an Eastern European orphanage with no mother or father to read to him, tuck him in at night, take him to the park or to the zoo.


Why has this sweet boy been dealt this fate? Quite simply because he is labelled as "defective." In his home country, children with disabilities are viewed as burdens. Perhaps his birth mother simply felt she could not afford to care for him? Whatever the reason, this adorable boy with big, brown, puppy dog eyes and dark brown hair is running out of time. You see, Kurt is still residing in what is known as a "baby house." But sometime in the next year, Kurt will be transferred to an older child "internat" at best or at worst, a mental institution. Kurt has mild cerebral palsy. Despite this, he can walk. You can see full-length pictures of Kurt standing and even running here on Daneille's blog.
Sweet little Kurt will blossom in a family where he can receive the therapy needed for his cerebral palsy. This boy has stolen my heart. Please consider donating to his grant fund, sharing his profile on your blog or social networking site, and of course, please consider if Kurt is your son. 
Let's plaster the internet with this boy's photo and help his Mama and Papa find him! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Moment...

I knew when I began this journey and this blog that this moment would come. I didn't know when, but I knew that one day, the weight and urgency of the orphan crisis would hit me and bring me to my knees. This is that moment. The moment where it all seems too big and too much. The moment where my soul is rent in pieces because I cannot save them all. This is the moment that I cry unto God once again to guide me where He would have me go....and to strengthen me. But for right now, right this moment, my heart is torn in pieces because I can only rescue one. How does one choose only ONE precious angel to ransom when they are all so deserving? How can I ask God to direct me to one child when it means saying, "No" to so many others? I knew this day would come, but I didn't know just how much it would hurt.

Jesus left the ninety and nine to reclaim the one. But what do you do when the ninety and nine are lost? I humbly ask for anyone who reads this to pray for us to be led to the child that God has planned for our family. Pray for us to be able to receive those promptings and recognize them, even though our hearts are heavy with the needs of many.







Thursday, August 9, 2012

Calling "Search and Rescue"

Two little boys are lost. They are forgotten and alone. Two sweet boys who have relatively minor special needs have been locked away from their society with no one to hear their cries. I am rallying all of the Prayer Warriors and adoption advocates out there to please, please, share the information on these two sweet boys so their mother(s) can find them.

First we have "Everett"


Look at that sweet little face! Everett is a 7 year old boy who deserves to be in school making friends and playing as young boys do. He does not deserve to be in an orphanage. He does not deserve to miss out on education because he has special needs.  Everett has a minor VSD which stands for Ventricular Septal Defect. This is commonly referred to as a "hole in the heart." This condition can resolve on its own, be corrected with surgery, or be left if the hole is not big enough to cause problems. There is no way to know how severe Everette's hole is, but one thing is clear: it is treatable and curable! 
Having spent his life in an institution (3 in fact) he likely has some moderate institutional delays, but this is normal for kids coming from this environment and CAN be overcome. Everett would blossom in a family. Can't you see him as a little brother? Or an older brother? Maybe a sweet only child? I can see so much potential for this little one. All Everett wants is to have a Mama. 
A fellow blogging Mama, Renee, is in country right now and has met little Everett. She posted about the experience here. Please read her account of her visit. Have tissues handy.



But we aren't stopping there! At the same facility waits ANOTHER sweet angel from Reece's Rainbow. Please allow me to introduce you to Olson.


Olson is also 7 years old and has some special needs. From his medical records, it states he had extrophia of the bladder. This is where part of the bladder develops through the wall of the abdomen and is exposed. This condition is quite fixable with surgery and it appears from Renee's post that he has had this corrected as he showed her his scars. She also describes his sweet little lisp which I think sounds adorable! This boy deserves to be playing and enjoying life, not relegated to a life in a facility. He should be in school, not being reminded every day that he is "defective." He is a child. A precious child of God. 

Now my dear Search and Rescue team members, let's share these boys' faces all over the web. Pray, donate, share, whatever you can do. We can ALL do something.  Let's search the world over to find their Mama, so she can rescue them from a life of shame and sadness and bring them into the light of a home and family.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh Carolina!

PLEASE HELP!



This beautiful little girl is Carolina. She is 6 years old and she has cerebral palsy and mild mental delay. It is unclear whether the delay is from the CP or from being in an orphanage her entire life. She does wear AFO's which are special braces on her ankles that help her legs bear her weight and allow her to walk. Carolina was fortunate to spend her early years in a very good "baby house" orphanage where she was well cared-for and quite loved. But, upon aging out of that baby house, she was sent to a boarding school. Though nothing can take the place of a loving family, at least little Carolina was not wasting away in an institution. It seemed she had more time. Well, time has run out. Carolina's "Guardian Angel" has been informed that the boarding school where she is currently living is being shut down. This means all the children residing there must be transferred elsewhere and, as Carolina has a disability, she has now been sent to an institution. Let me clarify this. The boarding school was not ideal, but it was at least a school. An institution is merely a place to sit and waste away. Sometimes the children are cared for relatively well and sometimes they are left in deplorable conditions, malnourished, and hidden from sight. Life in an Eastern European institution is hardly living. It is merely existing. 
But Carolina can still be rescued! Please consider a donation to her adoption grant
There is currently a very generous donor who has offered to give $1,000 to Carolina's grant when it reaches $4,300
Carolina already has $3793.25 toward the cost of her adoption. If we can get her up to $4300 and get the extra $1000, that is $5300 that her family can use toward the expense of adopting her. What a help that would be!
Carolina is in a region which welcomes large families and older parents. A family would be such a blessing for her, but I have a feeling she will be an even bigger blessing to them. Please share Carolina's information anywhere you can. You never know who will see it and realize they are seeing their daughter. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Say what?!

I know, the title sounds snarky, but this is exactly what my husband said when I read him the descriptions of Jude and Beckett.

Sweet Jude turned 8 in April. Is he handsome or what! Look at that gorgeous smile!


 Jude is described as "active, cheerful, friendly and inquisitive." So why on earth is Jude an orphan? Because he has hearing loss in both ears. Yes, you read that right. It is unclear how much hearing Jude has or whether he is completely deaf, but it is noted that he urgently needs a "hearing apparatus." This may be a cochlear implant or something else, but it certainly does NOT mean that Jude cannot live a healthy, happy, exciting childhood! Jude only has $28 in his adoption grant. He is a male, he is over 5, he is disabled but not something that is visible. All too often it is easy to forget that though Jude can get around and has no noted mental delays, he will not be given the care and therapies he needs in order to be successful in his home country. He will be locked away forever simply because he cannot hear. I have stated here before that it is hard to imagine life through the eyes of another culture, but this is Jude's reality.

Say it with me now, "Say what?!"

Now for adorable little Beckett.  This handsome, bright-eyed boy is 3 years old and considered "calm." It is also noted that he "loves to caress." Sounds like this boy needs time on his Mama's lap reading books and singing songs and getting lots of hugs and kisses.

Beckett is diagnosed with "some vision loss in one eye and some hearing loss in one ear." Yes, that is all that is listed.
 Loud as we can now, "SAY WHAT?!"

It really is hard to wrap our 21's century American minds around this reality. But in countries where there are few treatment options and even fewer people with means to finance them, orphans like Beckett are a common reality.

 Beckett has $139.95 in his adoption grant. Can we get him up to $150? 

Both Beckett and Jude live in regions which require adoptive families to make 3 trips and the expenses are in the 35K-40K range. 

"But how can I help?" 

Good question! I'm glad you asked. You can SHARE these boys' faces on every social media site you use. You can donate to their adoption grants....EVERY PENNY helps. So many families wish to adopt these precious children, but awareness and money are the things that stop them. So click "share" and help Jude and Beckett's families find them. Donate any amount to their adoption grants to help relieve one of the biggest burdens of international adoption. And of course, pray for these little guys. Pray they are uplifted and that their spirits remain strong and unbroken. Pray for their parents to find them and take the leap of faith to bring them home. Prayer is amazing. It works. And it's free. I hope to see these two sweet boys on the My Family Found Me section of Reece's Rainbow very soon. 

~ Michelle


Monday, July 23, 2012

Oh how I want this child!

Hello! Today I would like to share with you a little boy named, Kurt.

 Kurt is a beautiful boy who is about to turn five. Look at those sweet brown eyes just pleading for his Mama to come and take him home. Kurt has very mild cerebral palsy and can walk. Imagine how he will thrive in a family of his own!

Kurt tugs at the heartstrings...or rather, my heartstrings. I check his profile on Reece's Rainbow every day. I fell for this little boy the first time I saw his face. I want to be his Mama so much! BUT I hope that someone paper ready will see this sweet face and decide to make Kurt their little boy so he won't have to wait. Kurt currently has $61 in his adoption grant. Please help little Kurt by sharing his profile, donating to his adoption grant, and of course, considering if Kurt has a place in your own family.

PS Have I mentioned how smitten I am with this boy? O.k. that's it, I promise!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So close!!!

I have a plea for you today. Not for myself, but for a dear friend. Valerie at "From the Trenches" is set to leave next Friday to bring her two sweet boys home from Bulgaria. They have budgeted and saved and managed to do this adoption without fundraising. BUT, they were given travel dates not only in the summer, but during the Olympics! This means prices are abnormally high and though they have exhausted their savings, they are $1500 short. They desperately need this money for their hotel stay, food and medical exams for the boys.

I ask my readers to please visit Valerie's blog and donate what you can. Please share this on your blogs and social networking sites. I know that God can and does work miracles on behalf of those who help His children...but often those miracles are worked through other, average humans like you and me.

Valerie is such a special woman. There really aren't enough good things to say about her. Benjamin and Thomas are so blessed to be part of such a beautiful family. As a thank you for helping get her boys home, Valerie is including the names of all donors on quilts that she has made to hang in the boys' bedroom. She is also offering a drawing for 4 Amazon gift cards and some delicious Bulgarian chocolate to be shipped upon their arrival home. They have come so far. Let's all band together and get them the rest of the way.

This is Valerie last week telling the guests about her new little boys, Benjamin and Thomas.