Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh Carolina!


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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm havin' a bad bad day (sing along with me)

O.k. so maybe you think I am off my rocker about now. You would be right, I am, but that's a whole different topic. Today I would like to introduce you to Callum.  This sweet little boy, reminds me so much of one of the minions in Pixar's movie, "Despicable Me." I know that sounds awful, but truly, it's a beloved movie of my four children.

Callum is 7 years old and still waiting for a family. He was born at 25 weeks gestation and has some special needs as a result. Callum has vision issues as a result of his prematurity. Obviously, he has been able to get glasses to help correct this issue and they only make him more adorable! Callum has good self-care abilities and is toilet trained. He needs someone to work with him and see he gets the needed therapies to overcome his delays caused by prematurity and being raised in an orphanage. Imagine this sweet boy sitting on his Mama or Papa's lap enjoying a bedtime story. Picture his joy as he begins to learn to read himself. Imagine his face beaming with pride as his speech therapy helps him to speak better. Think of all the possibilities which are open to Callum if he can just be given a chance. Callum currently only has $10 in his adoption grant. Let's help get this number higher! Don't forget to share Callum's photo. If you are able, please consider a tax deductible donation to his adoption grant. And never underestimate the power of prayer. Pray Callum's family are inspired to look for him. Pray for their eyes to be opened to see him and know he is their son. Callum's  Mama and Papa are out there somewhere, they just haven't found him yet!


The word is innocuous enough...."transferred." But what does that mean to an orphan boy in Eastern Europe? Moved? Certainly that is part of it, but to an orphan, "transferred" means "given up on; cast out to make room for younger, more desirable children; hidden out of sight...forever." This is the fate of little Nolan.

Nolan is a 7 year old boy who will turn 8 in October. He is described as "very physically active." In a mental institution, he is likely wasting away. Day in and day out, his routine likely never changes. He is with much older boys and the "pecking order" is likely in full force. Look at Nolan's innocent face. Look at his sweet smile. I wonder if anyone sees this smile anymore? I wonder if Nolan has begun rocking to self-stimulate...or worse. Many institutionalized children bang their heads or in other ways self-harm for stimulation. The future is bleak and unchanging for children who are "transferred." 

Why was Nolan dealt this fate? Quite simply, because he is deemed "defective." Nolan's records indicate that he has a slight mental delay as a result of "early trauma." We cannot know from this description whether this was birth trauma or whether this sweet, innocent boy was subjected to physical abuse. Nolan is also flat-footed and far-sighted. Add to this list that Nolan is a boy and his odds of being adopted anywhere drop considerably. Now that he is over 5 years old and already transferred, there is zero chance for him in his home country. Even with international adoption, the majority of families choose girls. Nolan's odds of being found and selected by a family are next to zero. BUT, I have always loved an under dog! I have faith that there is a family out there who will see Nolan's face and see his potential. Somebody somewhere will see his smile (and adorable dimple!) and look into those innocent, shining eyes.... and they will see their son.
 He has fine motor skills, which is excellent for his future development. He speaks, though it is hard to understand him. Imagine what some speech therapy could do for this little guy! Nolan is described as "happy, cooperative, and friends with other children." What potential he has!

For the life of me, I cannot understand why this precious child is sentenced to life in a mental institution. He has already suffered some sort of trauma and now has been ripped away from the orphanage where he had friends and was able to run and play. Orphanages are not the ideal. They are not a family, but they are worlds better than the mental institutions of Eastern Europe. Nolan currently has $2532.50 in his adoption grant. This is a wonderful start! Please help rescue little Nolan. Share his photo on your blog or social networking site. Perhaps you could spare a donation of any amount to his adoption grant. Every single bit helps. Do you know someone who is pursuing international adoption? Share Nolan's photo! And of course, please consider whether Nolan could be your son.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Culture shock

I am well aware of cultural differences around the globe and of the tendency to judge other cultures against one's own. Though I try hard not to do this, I know I am as guilty as the next person. That said, I just cannot understand why a boy like Beau is facing life in an orphanage. Beau has mild cerebral palsy. He is described as "communicative, polite, kind and friendly." Beau is a smart 7 year old boy who reads and entertains himself with puzzles and mosaics. He is also very interested in technology. Beau reminds me of my own 7 year old boy. What is so wrong with him that he would be refused at birth? He has a spastic gait. That's it. He walks unassisted, though his stride is not typical. Beau is from a culture where imperfection is frowned upon. Add to that his age and the fact that he is a boy, and his odds of finding a family become astronomically low. I just can't let this happen to Beau. I am not alone in this thinking as he has a Guardian Angel advocating for him as well! This is great! Beau currently has $317 in his adoption grant, but in his region, adoptions run about $35-40K. Beau's family is going to need all the help they can get in order to reach him quickly and bring him home where he can reach his full potential. Just imagine how this boy would thrive in a loving home with parents and maybe even siblings to encourage and love him. Imagine what simple stretching exercises and physical therapy could do for his legs and most of all, for his self-confidence. In a home with a family, Beau's possibilities are endless. Please consider donating to Beau's adoption grant, share his photo on your blog and/or social networking site, and of course, consider whether Beau could be your son. Let's help Beau's family find him. Join me in sharing his sweet smile with the world....Ready...Go!

Ryan's family found him!

Well...that sure didn't take long. Ryan has been officially moved to the "My Family Found Me" section of Reece's Rainbow. This is excellent news! Ryan currently has $167 in his adoption grant, but his new family is going to need much more before they bring him home, so if you can, please still donate to Ryan's adoption grant. Let's help get this little guy's family to him ASAP! I am incredibly excited for this precious boy and his new family!

Meet Ryan!

Please allow me to introduce you to Ryan. Isn't he adorable? This strikingly cute boy is only 21 months old. What a great age to come into a family!  Ryan has Down Syndrome and as a result, he has a heart condition for which he has had surgery. His description says he is doing well post-surgery.
 Little Ryan has the most beautiful eyes. Imagine the feeling in his Mama's heart when he looks at her with those big, bright, blue eyes. This little guy will melt hearts everywhere. He needs a Mama to scoop him up, nuzzle that soft blonde baby hair, and kiss those adorable cheeks. Ryan looks to be only slightly smaller than my own 23 month old (and this picture could be a few months old). This is a great sign that he has been well cared for....though only a family can give him the kind of love and attention he needs and deserves. Could Ryan be your boy? 
You can help Ryan by clicking on his name and donating to his adoption grant. You can also share Ryan's photolisting on your own blog or social networking page. Help Ryan's Mama and Papa find him! And of course, if you are considering adoption, please consider whether Ryan is your child.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jumping right in...

Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you're here! Come on in and join me as I advocate for orphans world-wide and chronicle our process of becoming an adoptive family. If you read my bio and look at my profile picture, you will notice that we are not a childless couple. In fact, we have 4 biological children ranging in age from 10 to almost 2. But, guess what? Adoption is not just for people who can't have "their own" kids. Adoption is not just for people who are wealthy (although, money does help as it is expensive). Adoption is not just for people who are "amazing." To a child who has spent his/her life in an institution, a family with brothers and sisters, tight quarters, shopping on a budget, and hand-me-downs is a dream come true. And so it is with that in mind that I begin this journey and I have chosen to share it publicly so that others can follow along and cheer with us as we reach each milestone...and cry and pray with us as we encounter discouragement and frustration. So here we go, from the ground up. 

Current Status: Saving for home study. 
Cost: $1400 
Plan in place: Simple belt tightening for now. Monthly grocery shopping has so far proven not only to save us money, but to make life easier. Fast food is my weakness, so trying to remain strong there.

Amount saved: Not much YET, but it's only week 1.

And that about wraps it up for today. Please feel free to post or contact me with any questions or comments you may have about our journey. I look forward to sharing this with all of you.