Tag Archives: Reece’s Rainbow

5/5/5 for Families

555forfamilies

We have received our first grant!

5/5/5 for Families is a really cool program established by adoptive parents who understand how a small commitment goes a long way!

The premise is simple: On the 5th of each month, 5 new families are announced to be recipients of all giving for the rest of the month. At the end of the monthly period, the grant amount is divided equally among the five selected families. So, if many supporters commit to give $5.00 or more, many children help get home to their forever families!

We are blessed to be recipients this month, and we have a challenge for our friends, family members, and supporters:

Would at least 10 of you consider a one-time or recurring monthly donation of at least $5.00 to help children into their forever homes?

We would be honored to know that our story and our sweet Ladybug has raised awareness of the immense need that exists and has motivated our loved ones into action. It is said that our hearts follow our money and visa versa. Would you give a piece of your heart and your income in this way?

If you are willing to join in on this opportunity to help other adoptive families follow God’s call on their lives, would you please leave a comment on this blog post or contact us at forgoodblog @ hotmail.com?

Follow this link to donate or learn more!

We can’t wait to see what a good few can do!

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Ladybug for Chris and Kami

If you’ve followed our adoption decision at all, you likely know the role that Reece’s Rainbow has had in growing our love for sweet kiddos all over the world who need families. And even though we did not “find” Ladybug on Reece’s Rainbow, we were delighted to learn that we could still be a part of the RR family by creating a Family Sponsorship Page on their website.

Reece’s Rainbow advocates for waiting children and families pursuing adoption in many ways. One big way is their grant-making ministry. They build grants for each child through donations to help families be able to afford the costs of international adoptions. Generally speaking, the larger a child’s grant becomes, the easier it may be for a family to bring that child home forever.

Aside from raising grants for waiting children, they also allow families in the adoption process (like us!) to create Family Sponsorship Pages where friends, relatives, and even strangers passionate about helping children find forever homes can make tax deductible donations to raise a grant that the family can use for adoption expenses! They’re the bee’s knees, if you ask me.

Our FSP went live on our 4th anniversary, and it was just a really special moment to me. It’s probably quite silly, and I don’t know if anyone can understand, but… Sigh.

So if you’d like to join with us in bringing home our sweet girl, please consider a gift to our FSP! Even better if you can mail a check to RR designated for us so that we can avoid the 3% Paypal fees.

Here’s the page! Thanks folks.

Ladybug for Chris and Kami

Feels so real!

To the outsider, it’s hard to see the progress we’re making in our adoption process. But to us, we are sure taking some solid baby steps!

Most exciting is this: after following Reece’s Rainbow nearly daily for two years, we have a family sponsorship page! You can check us out here. Also very cool is that within the first evening that we showed up under “New Commitments,” some gracious soul had already “zeroed our zero” by making a donation to support Ladybug and her adoption! We are so grateful for the support of others. Seriously.

Additionally, Chris and I each have answered multiple pages of questions comprising our autobiographies, completed state-mandated questionnaires, and are beginning the background checks associated with completing our home study. We have been trained on the rest of the documents we will need to procure for the home study, have the dossier checklist, and our wonderful friends and family who have served us as references are working on those letters!

When one considers the adoption process, it feels like a whole lot of waiting. And as daunting as all the paperwork is, I appreciate the small steps I can take each week to make progress. I know the harder waiting periods are coming.

Please continue to pray for us and for Ladybug!

Orphan Sunday Recap

This year, Orphan Sunday was acknowledged November 4th. In fact, the whole month of November is recognized as Adoption Awareness month.

My dear cousin worked with her pastor to organize a series of presentations to their congregation to raise awareness about adoption and the overwhelming needs of orphans worldwide. Because I have been learning so much lately about international adoption, my cousin asked me to present on that topic one Sunday.

Here’s a basic recap of what I’ve learned and what I shared about a month ago:

Over the past six months or so, my husband and I have begun discerning our calling in this area, and I’m thrilled to share with you some of what I’ve learned.

A Big Question

I figure I might as well jump in and address a very important and common consideration regarding international adoption:

Why pursue international adoption and/or orphan care when there are so many children in our own country needing forever homes?

If you have had this question, I ask that you genuinely seek God’s heart and His word for your answer. Perhaps, too, some of what I’ve learned can be of some help.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” Philippians 3:20

First, I believe that a believer’s primary citizenship is of Heaven and primary allegiance is to the things of God. To be a Christian is to care about what God cares about, which includes orphans in all countries. The Church – the collective body of believers – is to be about the care of orphans. Period. This certainly includes orphans in our nation and in others.

We have a dual calling as a body. As a body loving like Christ loves, there is enough love to multiply and go around. God calls each of us in different ways. I might discern my own calling by reflecting upon three things: the need, my skills and competencies, and my desire that God has given.

As believers, I feel that we are biblically mandated to orphan care, of all kinds. However, the way I respond to that mandate versus the way you do should stem from our own callings.

We should also remember that God is big enough to write each of our stories as He sees fit – we must not all walk the same path in order to function as a body.

Our World’s Orphan Crisis

The reality is that it’s practically impossible to number the children needing forever families in our world. However, we know that the number is devastatingly large. Each orphan has his or her own story, and regardless of the immensity and gravity of our worldwide orphan crisis, God knows each child by name.

When we speak of orphans, we nearly always mean both true and social orphans. A true orphan is a child with neither parent living. A social orphan denotes a child living without care due to a variety of causes, regardless of one or both parents still being alive:

  •   Homelessness
  •   Alcoholism/Drug addictions
  •   Poverty
  •   Abuse
  •   Rejection by parents due to disabilities
  •   and more

International Adoption

International adoption can be quite complicated and overwhelming. There are many steps involved, and countries can open and close periodically. Laws change. Truck loads of paperwork must be submitted. The financial demands can be huge mountains that God alone moves. It’s a big deal; but it’s worth it. 

When a family decides to adopt internationally, they may choose to put preferences forth to a country and wait for the referral of a child. A family may have lengthy waits for referrals but can possible be matched with some of the youngest and healthiest children available. 

Alternately, a family may choose to pursue a specific waiting child. My understanding is that at least the majority of countries and agencies have waiting children lists. Often, you can view a picture and profile of these children before you commit to pursue them.

Waiting children have been difficult to place into adoptive homes due to their age, health needs, or if they are a part of a sibling group. Some countries or some regions within countries may make allowances to expedite the adoption of a waiting child; there may also be reduced fees.

Much like that statistics concerning American children needing homes, international orphans are fighting a losing battle. Of adoptions completed in 2010, the most adoptees originated from the following three countries:

China (3,401 adoptions in 2010)

  • 500,000-700,000+ orphans
  • “One-Child” policy discriminates against girls and children with special needs

Ethiopia (2,513 adoptions in 2010)

  • Estimated 5 million orphans – 2 million due to HIV/AIDS crisis
  • Among those surviving childbirth, 1 in 6 will not live to see their 5th birthday

Russia (1,082 adoptions in 2010)

  • 700,000+ orphans being cared for in government institutions
  • Conditions of orphanages range wildly – the worst are considered places of torture and even the best cannot replicate the love and sense of belonging that a family provides
  • Orphans “age out” with dire prospects of a safe future

In Russia, for example, “graduation day” is to be dreaded. If an orphan is relatively healthy, they are sent away from their orphanage or institution, left to make it on their own. The sad truth is that almost none actually do “make it.” Suicide claims many lives, as does poverty, prostitution, and a life of crime. Their future without a family is not promising, to say the least.

Alert: As of this writing, Russia is in the process of voting on a ban on adoptions to the US. Please pray for the orphans in Russia and for the families who are already in the process of an adoption. 

Update 12/28/12: Russia’s President Putin has signed into law a ban on adoptions by American citizens. Please pray for pipeline families, for the waiting children in Russia, and that the United States and Russia could come to some agreement, if only to keep adoption possible for Russia’s children with special needs. 

The Difference of Family

So what difference does a family make? Uncountable differences, for sure. Aside from the love of a family and hope for a better future, these children get their physical needs cared for in a way that is difficult to achieve in an orphanage.

Orphans, especially those with special needs, are often very literally “set free” and given the chance to eat and grow and learn as normally as possible, catching up for months or years spent simply trying to survive.

This blog, The Blessing of Verity, has a “before and after” post showing the tangible difference a family makes in the life of their new child. I implore you to visit this post.

These pictures both break my heart and give me such a sense of redeeming love. I’m sure you agree.

What Can I Do?

One ministry I follow closely is Reece’s Rainbow, an advocacy ministry serving children with Down syndrome and other special needs. (See my inaugural post about RR here). Children are listed on their site from many countries around the world with the hope of finding these children forever homes and raising what is often referred to as the “ransom” needed for these children. Please consider visiting this site and praying for God’s leading about how you can help.

Another ministry is Project Hopeful – a ministry very similar to RR but with a much greater emphasis on finding homes for children with HIV/AIDS and other special needs. The HIV/AIDS crisis has been so utterly destructive leaving, as we saw on a previous slide, an estimated 2 million orphans in Ethiopia alone.

  • Adopt
  • Pray for orphans
  • Pray for adoptive families: arduous process, large financial commitment, 6-18+ months of waiting
  • Support political and social changes and initiatives that impact orphans worldwide
  • Advocate and raise awareness
  • Give financially to both organizations caring for orphans and to build specific waiting children’s grants
  • Support adopting families

Closing

I pray that our eyes have been opened a bit wider to the plight of orphans worldwide, the Church’s calling in orphan care, and ways you and your family may be able to show love to those our world sees as “the least of these.”

Reece’s Rainbow

If you’ve never heard of Reece’s Rainbow, you’re missing out.

Seriously.

Reece’s Rainbow is a Down syndrome adoption ministry raising adoption grants and advocacy for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs. I’m hooked, line and sinker. I visit their website a few times per day, and I have so many of these precious kiddos’ faces engraved in my heart and my mind.

The orphan crisis in our world is huge. Frankly, Christians should view it as completely unacceptable heartbreaking and utterly devastating.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27

The love and care of orphans is close to the Lord’s heart. And, if there’s something that the Lord makes much of, I want to be about making much of it, too. That’s why I can really get behind Reece’s Rainbow. I’ve read the blogs (here, here, and here for starters); I have seen kiddos move to the thrilling “My Family Found Me” page; and I have seen the undeniable, deep-seeded joy that adoption has brought to orphans and adopting families, alike.

So, what should you do about Reece’s Rainbow? Well, who knows, frankly. I mean, God knows, but it’s not for me to say. Some of the things you might be interested in considering are as follows:

  • Adopt 
  • Look at these precious children’s faces and pray over them
  • Donate to a specific child’s grant fund
  • Talk about Reece’s Rainbow to friends and family
  • Follow RR on Twitter or like them on Facebook
  • Check out more ways of involvement here

So. Now you’re not missing out; you’re “in the know.” Consider yourself blessed!