Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meet Lyle

It's that time of year again...Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree begins November 1 and runs through December 31. I wish I could say I feel like a pro this year having one Angel Tree under my belt but I feel just as nervous as last year. This year in addition to my goal of raising $1000 for my Angel,  I am also raising funds for our own adoption. We have been working very hard the last couple of months to raise the money for our son, Daniel's, adoption, who waits for us in China and suffers from untreated hydrocephalus. We stepped forward with his adoption in faith, even though he had no grant offered towards his adoption. Oh how I wish he had even a little grant to get us started. This is why I really wanted to be involved with Angel Tree again this year. Even a grant of $1000 can make a huge difference to a family considering adoption. Polls have shown over and over that children with grants are more likely to be chosen and families often say the biggest hurdle preventing them from adopting is finances. Depending on the country, an international adoption typically costs between $15-40K+! Many, if not most families don't have that kind of money sitting around in their bank accounts. This is why Angel Tree is so important. So without further delay I would like to introduce you to my Angel for 2013. His name is Lyle (his Reece's Rainbow alias). He is six years old, and was born with Down Syndrome. Lyle waits in an Eastern Asian orphanage for his forever family.

Click to donate  All donations are tax deductible.

Isn't he adorable? If you aren't smitten yet, get ready to be...Lyle was found in the waiting room of a train station when he was 3 years old. While he can only speak a few words, he understands what is said to him by adults. He is very protective of his friends and will go to their rescue if they are being bullied. He likes to dance and is very good at imitating dances he sees. He is able to dress himself, take care of his own toileting needs and feeds himself. His caretakers feel that he is a bright little guy although intellectually delayed compared to his peers.
He likes to be kissed on the cheek and will respond back with multiple kisses. Lyle is waiting for a family that will cover his little cheeks with kisses and shower him with love.

He sounds amazing to me and I know his forever family will agree as well. Can you help build his grant in anticipation we find his family. No amount is too small. Even a small donation can help when pooled together with others. If you donate $35, you can receive an Angel Tree ornament with Lyle's picture. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time...

Monday, December 17, 2012

T-shirts that make a difference!

Reece's Rainbow has been working hard to let others outside of the adoption community know about these orphans. People magazine has done several articles. Diane Sawyer reported on ABC news about a Reece's Rainbow adoptive family. I can't tell you how important it is to share what this wonderful ministry is doing for orphans and families who seek to adopt them. We have until December 31 to get all 200+ children on the angel tree to their $1000 goal. As of this blog post 163 children are not at their goal yet, including my angel, Garrett. This morning we learned that Sevenly, an organization that chooses one charity a week to promote, has picked Reece's Rainbow! They design cool and hip looking t-shirts and hoodies that promote not only that week's organization but the message that charity hopes to convey as well. For every purchase made, Sevenly gives Reece's Rainbow $7.00! All the angels could get bumped up to their goal if we raise enough. These T-shirts can really make a difference to these children and are awesome looking too.

Womens Dolman
 Mens Hoodie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It has been a while since my last post...It is a busy time of year for everyone and our family is not exception.  Well, sweet Garrett's grant fund has grown ever so slowly. I worry a bit that he will not get to his $1000 goal by December 31. There is so much competition this time of year for your pocketbook. I am well aware that people are busy Christmas shopping for all their loved ones, attending lovely, festive parties, and making last minute travel plans to gather with those they love. I am guilty of these pleasures as well...Please consider for one moment this child, Garrett, who has no loved ones.


 No one buys him Christmas one takes him to Christmas parties. No one travels to visit him. No one. It is hard to fathom having no one. I have parents, a wonderful husband, five great kids, two grandbabies, and lots of extended family. I have a great church family both here in CA and from our last home in TX. I know very few people who are truly alone, especially this time of year. For 147 million plus children in this world that is their reality. Little Garrett also has his third birthday sometime this month. No one has ever celebrated it with him though. No birthday presents or birthday cake. No bouncy house or streamers. Can we make a difference for this child?  Please pray for him. Share his story and my blog. Donate toward his adoption grant. Maybe you can picture this little blondie running around in your home. If God is tugging on your heart to be Garrett's family, be bold and take that next step. He deserves to have a family.  Please let this Christmas be his last Christmas alone.

Click to donate All donations are tax deductible

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prayer of a Christmas Warrior

Dear Lord, please bless my works as I try to raise funds for Garrett. Please help me to speak clearly to people so they understand my passion. Let me be your hands and feet, guide me in the way I should go. Help me to stay strong for Garrett when I feel weak or discouraged, and remind me constantly that your plan is always perfect.
And even though he is far away, please let him feel my love, my hugs and my kisses. Please let Garrett be comforted while he waits for his forever family, and may angels whisper to him, "you are loved".
In Jesus' name,

        All donations are tax deductible.
You can make a difference in the life of this child.
 Could you be Garrett's family? click.
For more information on Reece's Rainbow or adoption, click
Will you join me in praying for Garrett ?

Friday, November 9, 2012

He needs a story...with a happy ending!

I think my little guy, Garrett needs a story. You see many of the kiddos listed on Reece's Rainbow have nicely written narratives. Either the staff was more thorough in their description of the child, or another adoptive family may have met them when traveling to receive their child. Occasionally, I have seen that missionaries had the opportunity to visit with the children and will pass on information about the children they have met. In regards to Garrett's description, none of this has been done for this little guy. The entire summary of who he is has been reduced to this, "This blonde-haired, gray-eyed boy is social, active, curious. He vocalizes, holds a toy for a while." We also know he was born with Downs Syndrome. His picture isn't the best and doesn't even show his face looking at the camera. I so wish that someone will look past his bashful avoidance of the camera and see him for who he is. In the meantime I have decided since he has no story that we should take what few clues we do have and create a story for him.  His description says "social, active, curious." Let's imagine him being social, active and curious. Can't you see him getting the opportunity to go to preschool. I see him playing with a group of boys with the blocks and dinosaurs. He stacks the blocks into a criss-crossed pile and places his dinosaur atop it roaring, "rooarrr!" with his stegosaurus. His dinosaur tramples the pile and the blocks all topple over.  He laughs and builds a new stack for his dinosaur to conquer...Later, on the playground he busily moves from one end to the other trying to engage in each activity. Swings are fun. He like swinging on his belly. He laughs heartily with delight as his stomach gets fluttery with the swinging motion. "Weee!" But then something catches his eye. Oh my, what is going on over there? The class bunny is out of her cage!  He runs over to catch a peek at her. He reaches his hand out to pet her soft fur but, then pulls it back quickly as the bunny sniffs his hands.Oh that tickles! One of the adults has brought out some vegetables to feed the bunny. She asks if Garrett wants to hold the carrot for the bunny. He would love to do that...of course not before he taste the carrot himself.  Can you see it? He vocalizes, holds a toy for a while. It's the end of a busy day. Garrett rubs his eyes as his Momma rocks him in the rocking chair. This is his favorite time of day. He smells of the lavendar bath wash from his most recent bath and his PJs are so soft and cozy. He snuggles in close to Momma and squeezes his very own Teddy. Since he has been home, he has dragged Teddy along everywhere he went.  He can't let go of it. He doesn't know that Teddy is all his. He no longer has to share Teddy with all the other children. Teddy belongs to Garrett. The best part though is while Momma rocks, they sing together. Can you hear him? "Jesus, loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but, He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so." He drifts off to sleep in the safety of his Momma's arms. 

I know it may seem silly to make up this elaborate story but the truth is not many are advocating for this boy or we would already have a detailed narrative of who he is. My hope is that one day this story could be Garrett's reality. That he would have a family, a home, people who love him and someone to teach him that he matters and is worthy. Please consider how you can help Garrett. There are many ways to help...Pray for Garrett and for his forever family to find him. There is much power in our prayers...You can advocate for him. Feel free to share my blog with others. The more people that know about Garrett, the better our chances of changing his life. You can give toward his adoption grant. International adoptions are very expensive so even a little bit can be multiplied to help these families bring home their kiddos. Of course, my heart would soar if you felt called to adopt him. Will you join me in helping this one?
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday 2012

How then shall we treat this day? It isn't a holiday, although most folks are enjoying the day off this Sunday. There are no festive parties to dress up for and partake of another excuse for gluttony. The day passes without most people realizing it ever even happened. Orphan Sunday... It's the day that sets us back on the right path to do what God has commanded us. Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father, means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles and refuse to let the world corrupt us. (James 1:27). Notice James writes the word lasting? As in continuing, remaining and constant...Our faith walk, our worship should not only be reserved for Sunday mornings but should be continuous, everyday. This means that everyday, not just Orphan Sunday should be a time to serve our most vulnerable. James knew how hard this would be because the second half of that verse challenges us to not let the world corrupt us.  It is too easy to forget our most vulnerable. Orphans are hidden away in orphanages; our elderly are warehoused in nursing homes; unborn are ripped from the safety of their mother's womb behind closed doors. The 'least of these' are easy to overlook because unless you go out of your way to serve them, you'll never see them. Today we look at ourselves and ask, am I doing enough? Am I doing what the Lord has asked of me? For most the answer is a resounding "no!" It's the day when you remind yourself that the Lord may not say "well done, my good and faithful servant"(Matt 25:21a), but rather, "when you refused to help the least of these brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me."  (Matt 25:45)  Ouch! So back to my question...what shall I do with Orphan Sunday? Well, the bake sales and feel-good pep rallies are good but when Sunday is over what do we do? My hope and prayer is that we would consider serving these vulnerables as our act of worship to our Father each day. Why can't everyday be Orphan Sunday? Don't let the world mislead you, causing you to forget these children until next year's Orphan Sunday.  For some this might mean you adopt one of these children into your own family. For others it might mean you pray for them daily. Some people are able to give money and support orphan care or adoptions. Others are really good at getting the word out and advocating for these kids and their adoptions. No one usually does it all but everyone can do something.

My Angel Tree child is Garrett.  He is not even three years old and has yet to know the love of a family. Can you imagine being born into this world with no one to rely on. No one to cuddle you when you're scared or hurting. No one to stay up with you half the night as your body rages with the flu. I cannot imagine his life...All I know is that I want to give him the chance to experience unconditional love and a family. My hope is to raise $1000 to help his family complete their adoption. Please consider partnering with me to help Garrett!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

143 Million...Minus 1?

For those of you unfamiliar with the worldwide orphan crisis, this may be a shocking post for y'all.  In the last eight years as I have entered the world of international adoption, I have witnessed the orphan population climb. Contributing factors include wars, the HIV/AIDs crisis, drug and alcohol abuse, famine and drought as well as poverty.  Today the orphan population hovers around 143 million to as high as 210 million. These numbers do not include children sold into slavery or trafficked. I don't know about you but 143 million is a number I can't wrap my brain around. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million) I'm sure many folks would reply with "why bother?" We know we can't save them all. We know we can't find homes for every child. We know that in this world we will always have famine, disease and injustices toward our most vulnerable...So why bother?  

This reminds me of a famous story.  I'm sure many of you have heard it but it is one of my favorites...

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. 
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, ”Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

I challenge you, don't give up on all the starfish.  We may not be able to save 143 million but we can make a difference for one

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