Sep 30, 2012

Take the first step

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
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Sometimes you just need to step.  You can't think about what you are doing.  You just have to do it.
The process might be hard.  But the end result will be as sweet as toddlers with kittens.

And believe me, that is very sweet.

Thankful for this opportunity to step.  
Thankful that God doesn't allow my fear to drown out my passion.

Sep 29, 2012

When kids are bored

You make them wash their toys.

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And sometimes the baby takes it upon herself to get the baked beans out of her hair.

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We had our first full day alone today.  Kudos to all you moms.  I'm exhausted!

Sep 28, 2012

Showing mommy

Stephan: I want to show mommy my tower!
Me: Oh honey.  Mommy just left.  She won't be back for a couple of weeks!

So we compromised and took a picture.  Just for Stephan's mommy.

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Sep 27, 2012

Taking a moment to breathe

I'm here.  I'm alive.  
And we're as ready as we'll ever be.

The flights out here were long.  Uneventful but long.  
If my math is right it was about 17 hours of travel (including time sitting in airports).  

I had a layover in Phoenix and got to visit with a sweet friend (and her beautiful and sweet little sister) for an hour before rushing off to catch my next flight.  It was awesome that it worked out so perfectly.  You should go check out Emma's blog (emonamission.blogspot.com) and read a bit about her story.  She is awesome and would love any prayer and support you can provide in the next coming months.  And hey, be kind and leave a comment for her on her blog. :)

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I arrived in PA to a van full of sleepy and adorable faces waiting outside the airport.  
We headed 'home' and crashed into bed.

Today was filled with hanging out and learning about all the little things that make a family work.  Every family is a little different and takes a bit to figure out.  The things that are important to one family aren't as important to the next family.  It's interesting to see the differences as I go from family to family.  So many different parenting styles and personalities.  I love it.

I'm going to be here for the next several weeks. The parents fly over to Eastern Europe tomorrow to complete the first steps of their adoption of sweet 'Carter'.  They are leaving their six kids behind and the goal here is to keep them alive.  Preferably kind of happy.  And maybe a little clean.  It should be crazy, exhausting and a great learning experience.  In the end it will be more then worth it, because there will be one less orphan in the world.  Which is exciting

Safety. Health.  Quickness with the adoption process.  Wisdom.  Calmness.  Peace among the kids.
All things that would be amazing to pray for the next several weeks.  Add them to your list! ;)

I'll keep you posted!

Sep 24, 2012

Flying away

Plane tickets are booked for early (early!) on the 26th.
And my suitcase is packed sitting empty in the middle of my room.

Hello Pennsylvania.  I am more then ready to see you again!

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Pray for health, safety and a smooth journey for everyone involved!

Sep 22, 2012

Family time (+ 2 extra)

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Weekends are precious in our family.  It's the only time that we can all be together and we try to fit in some family time whenever possible.  Today we ran away to the lake for the afternoon.  Fall has arrived and all the trees are turning colors so it was the perfect time to go.  We hiked a bit and the kids played on the playground.  But really we spent the majority of our time just hanging out on the grass reading books and talking.  We brought along 2 extra boys from our town, but these boys are already with us so much that it really isn't a big deal to include them in family outings.  They are awesome boys and our little girls just adore them.  After the kids had their fill of forest exploring, we stuffed ourselves full of hot dogs and smores.  And then we headed home.

It's days like today that I miss the most when I'm away.

Sep 19, 2012

Two pirate girls

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Today our local library had a program for the kids that was pirate themed.  The little girls love all the programs the library puts on so they were excited to go to this one.  The usual programs are fun, but this one was extra special because it was pirate themed!  And all good pirate themed days need to include a pirate costume.  Is it just me, or do they make a cute pair of pirates?  Oh they kill me with their cuteness.

Love the costumes.  Loves these girls.  
Love the three hours of peace we got while they were gone.

Sep 16, 2012

Where are they now?

Sometimes all the need in this world is overwhelming.  So, so overwhelming.  I don't feel like I can ever make a difference.  There are too many children waiting for families (just take a look at my last post to know what I mean. Thank you to everyone who prayed and shared those children!).  What's the point in even trying?  It's just all to much.  On days like that I really need to focus on the one.  The one child who found a family.  The one child who was saved from life in a mental institute. The one child who is now home with their family.  Because if one is all that can be saved, it is worth it.

So after some re-focusing I want to share with you some updates on several of the 'ones' that have come home.  It's amazing to see where these children are now. Worth it. Worth it. Worth it.

Alex. (See: The boy with the million dollar smile.)

One of my first loves.  He has been HOME for several months now.  All the prayers.  All the advocating.  The fundraiser we put on for him last fall.  This is the result of all the work.  A little boy playing and learning.  Loved in a family.  Medical care.  Learning about God.  Not a mental institute for the rest of his life.



Alex is worth it.

Read more about Alex's adjustment (and see many cute pictures and movies) on his family's blog:


Saved, literally, at the last minute from transfer to a mental institute.
Home almost a year.  Going to school.   Having her first 7th birthday party (in June).
Basically being all around awesome and adorable.





Julia is worth it.

Erin and Bethany. (See: Two Sisters.)

This is one update I am very happy to write.  Do you remember the two sisters?  They were dangerously close to aging out of their baby home.  Erin being transferred to an older child orphanage.  Bethany being transferred to a mental institute.  They would be separated forever.  We all screamed for them and a family quickly stepped up to adopt them.  God is good!  The family sped through their paperwork and officially adopted Erin and Bethany.  They are now named Leana(Erin) and Dasha(Bethany).  Leana and Dasha have now been home in America for 11 days and are loving it!  They are so very loved in their new family and best of all, they are together.  They are hoping to soon put a plan together to help Dasha to learn to walk.  Something that would never of been possible if she had been transferred to the mental institute.

And yes, they already know how to use their charm to get what they want.  They took a trip to the store with mama to get essentials and came out with new toys!  Making up for lost time. :)


Leana and Dasha are worth it.

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Thank you so much to everyone who shares these children, donates when you can and prays.  You truly are helping make a difference.  These children are real children.  If you don't believe me just take another look at the pictures above.  They are worth the effort.

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Updates on children who are not home yet

Pray for speed in their adoption process and that God would provide the funds needed to finish the process.

Jacob (See: Team Jacob gets Pied.).
His grant is now at $4,327!  Where is a family for Jacob? http://reecesrainbow.org/40596/jacob

Shannon (See: Sometimes.).
After almost a year Shannon's grant fund was re-opend to donations.  
She now has $1,694 in her grant fund! http://reecesrainbow.org/19013/shannon-14g

Aiden's grant fund hasn't moved in months.  It is sitting at $1,160.  If you have facebook could you please go like his facebook group(linked above)?  My biggest goal right now is to get as many likes as possible on his facebook page.  We have been stuck under 150 likes for a long time now! Super simple, easy and FREE.  http://reecesrainbow.org/17687/aiden1401

Kanani (See: This Girl.).
Kanani's grant is at an awesome $2,176!  This is amazing because she has only been listed a few months.  She could use all the help she can get though.  She has a very slim chance of getting adopted because of her special needs and age.  She is facing transfer any day now if she has not already been!  http://reecesrainbow.org/40592/kanani

Felicia (See: Do you see What I see.).
Felicia has a family and is days away from flying home!  I am so in love with this girl and am so happy she will soon be home.  http://reecesrainbow.org/31973/sponsorcooper-2

I've said it before and will say it again: Worth it.

Sep 12, 2012

The post I didn't want to write

Edit: The families are stepping forward.  Bring it on!

Sometimes I look into the face of an orphan and just know there is something special about that child.  They are so perfectly made in God's image and through no fault of their own, they are living in orphanages...alone.  Each of these children are so special and I am so confused by why they have not been chosen yet.

I keep telling myself,  "Someone will come for them. They won't wait long."

But the reality of the matter is that these children have been waiting for a very.long.time.  Years.  I have literally watched them grow up through pictures.  I have not advocated for them because I figured someone would be coming for them soon.  I was in denial. But I have finally come to realize the fact that...

NO ONE IS COMING FOR THEM.

None.  They are alone.  They are slipping through the cracks.  They are growing up with out the support of a family. Without the love of hugs and kisses.  They are growing up with out Jesus.  I didn't want to write about them on my blog.  I wanted them to have families.  But the families are not coming, so I need to write.  I need to beg you to pray for these children.  In Eastern Europe a child 'ages out' of the orphanage (and is no longer available for adoption) at age 16.  Their future is so very grim.  10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen.  60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.   This is the future awaiting these children.  This is why I need to blog about them.

Please donate if you can.  Share their pictures.  PRAY.  And maybe, just maybe, you will fall in love with these children like I have?  Maybe you could take the leap of faith for one of these children?  Maybe one of your friends is willing?  Maybe together, we can find the families they have been waiting so long for.  Maybe.


Weston.
Sweet, sweet boy.  I can't stand the thought of him alone.  I would take him in a heart beat. From the moment I first saw his picture I was captivated.  There is something about him people, he is special and I'm thinking God has big plans for him. Plus he is just super cute!  Weston was born in October 2009 (turning 3 this October).  He has a whole pile of medical diagnosis that make most people skip over him.  But when you take the time to actually understand what you are reading you would be surprised with how do-able his needs are.  He clearly will flourish with some good medical care and attention.  Here is what he is listed as having...

-Hyperplasia of the thymus. Which means his thymus (The thymus is a part of the immune system involved in 'training' white blood cells to recognize specific viruses or bacteria.) has an overgrowth. This is a typical diagnosis in Eastern Europe and is 'Of no clinical significance'. 

-Background of rethinopathy and retinal vascular deconditioning.  Eye problems.  


-Atrial Septal Defect.  A hole in the wall between the top two chambers of the heart.  Very common and pretty easy to fix.


-Exposed to HIV.  If he still just had the antibodies from his birth mom when he was tested or has the virus himself is not certain.  He most likely does have HIV though.  And if HIV makes you feel a little nervous, watch this movie.  It's NOT a big deal.


But despite all of that, Weston is more then a medical diagnosis.  He needs a family NOW.




PLEASE.
Share.  Pray.  Donate. Adopt.

Avery.
Avery has been listed for so long.  He is almost never mentioned.  His grant fund is only at $53 after being listed for years.  He is precious and I hate watching him grow older without a family.  Every year that passes is a year of his childhood gone.  He is no longer the little preschooler but instead is a 7 year old boy.  No one wants a 7 year old boy.  And that just hurts.  

There isn't much info on Avery but this is what there is:
Born April 2005
"Avery is a handsome little boy with brown hair and brown eyes.  He is also HIV + positive, with an RNA of 400. More photos available. He does not have any siblings. He is described as having a calm demeanor."
Again, if HIV scares you go watch the above movie. 



PLEASE.
Share. Pray. Donate. Adopt.

Daniel. Daniel has a family!
I have no words to express how I feel for this child.  I know I have said this before, but there is something special about this boy.  Why has no one picked him yet?  He has been listed since we started our own adoption process summer of 2010.  We scrolled past his picture many times.  At the time he was just one of the many preschool aged boys listed.  The other boys have all been adopted, but Daniel still waits.  Why?  He is going to be such a blessing to the family that steps up for him.  Why are people not fighting over who gets to parent Daniel?  I don't understand.

From a missionary who visited in this orphanage in March 2010:   This kiddo was lots of fun, too. He was so inquisitive and curious. He has lots of energy and he’s very mobile. I have lots of pictures of him jumping on the couch. He seems like a very sweet little boy.
Update fall 2011:  He is a wonderful boy, and wants to be adopted!

Did you read that.  He wants to be adopted.  He wants a family.  Can you imagine a 7 year old boy wanting a family?  He doesn't want a bike or a computer.  He wants a family.  Several adoptive families have met him and said he was a great kid.  He's killing me.



Daniel was born in 2005.    
He has a $2,500 grant towards his adoption.

Please help Daniel.  He doesn't need a perfect family.  He just needs a family!
PLEASE.
Share. Pray. Donate. Adopt.



Britta. Britta has a family!

Born May 2004
 An adoptive family reported in May 2011 that she was in a regular group at the orphanage. The family interacted with her on the playground and she seems like a normal, happy, playful child. She appeared to be of normal height and weight for her age.  Additional adorable photo(s) available.  
Several families have also met Britta and they all have good things to say about her.  I have seen more pictures of her and she is just the cutest little thing.  She is taller then the other girls in her group.



PLEASE.
Share. Pray. Donate. Adopt.
-link to profile removed.-


Eric.
Eric has been listed for so long as well.  There is no information on him besides his birthday (Born May 15, 2003), his medical diagnosis (HIV+) and these two pictures.  Because of that he has been overlooked so, so many times!  He is an 'older child' at the age of 9 and his chances of being adopted are very slim.

PLEASE.
Share. Pray. Donate. Adopt.
{Available to Canadian!}


Devon.
Devon was born  on October 15, 2001.  Like Eric, Devon has very little information available on him.  He is HIV+ and is turning 11 this October.  He is in the same orphanage as Eric and the two boys could be adopted together.  Precious, precious boys!

PLEASE.
Share. Pray. Donate. Adopt.
{Available to Canadians!}


I didn't want to write this post.  But I did.  And now all that is left for me to do is to pray families see their faces and decide to act.  Pray that other people will pick one of these children to pray regularly for.  Pray that someone would drop a few more dollars in their grant funds.  Pray. Pray. Pray.  Will you pray with me?

If you would like more information on adoption or any of these children please email Sarah (sarah@reecesrainbow.org) or contact me.  I would be happy to talk with anyone interested!

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." 
Prov. 24:12
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