Friday, December 30, 2011

Can You Be A Monday Morning Christian Today?

As most of you know our family is grateful and supports the tremendous work done by the ministry of Reece's Rainbow.  If it were not for them Dima would not be here right now.  He would most likely be residing in an adult mental institution wasting away and absolutely miserable.  Instead he is here in his brand new pajamas from Carol watching cartoons snuggled up with his little brother, Sammy.  He has a full belly and a smile on his face.

Each year from November 20 - December 31 Reece's Rainbow has the Angel Tree for their little ones with Down Syndrome up to age 5.  The goal is to raise $1,000 in that time for each of those children.  This has been an amazing year for the Angel Tree thanks to the coverage Reece's Rainbow received by ABC Nightly News!  So many little ones have reached their goal of $1,000 or exceeded it by so much more!

But there are 49 little ones who have not yet met their $1,000 goal.  The Angel Tree ends at midnight tomorrow night.  How can you help?  What can you do?  Can you donate $5.00?  $10.00?  $100.00?  More?  Can you help set in motion a way for these little ones to be adopted into a loving family?  Can you help be a part of an amazing story of redemption?

Here is a golden opportunity to be a Monday Morning Christian.

A Scripture verse that frequently comes to mind when I think of all of the children listed with Reece's Rainbow is Proverbs 24:12.  You will see the verse at the top of my blog under the title.  My favorite version of this verse comes from The Message:

"Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help.  If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook?  Someone is watching closely, you know-  Someone not impressed with weak excuses."

In this paraphrase it is pretty clear that if we have knowledge of someone in need God holds us responsible to DO something about it.  What are you going to do with the knowledge I just shared with you?

If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution to one of the 49 little ones who have not yet met their $1,000 mark, please click HERE.  That will take you directly to Reece's Rainbow's Angel Tree page.  Here is your chance to be a Monday Morning Christian on a Friday morning!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank You ABC News & Diane Sawyer!

Last night ABC Nightly News aired a fantastic story about a family that adopted a little girl from the Ukraine.  But what is extra special about this story is that it was another Reece's Rainbow family!  As a result of this broadcast so many people flocked to the Reece's Rainbow website that it literally crashed!  I am personally so grateful that ABC chose to share this story.  It is our family's pryer that more little ones would be found as a result of this broadcast.  Thank you ABC and Diane Sawyer!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today Eric came to me and said that he wanted to commit to adopt Dima.  One year ago today I received one of the most amazing Christmas gifts a mother could have ever hoped for.  A child.  A wonderful, precious, little boy who so desperately needed a home.  A boy who this time last year was just another face in a sea of many faces.  A boy who had been used and abused by a woman who legally had no right to be called his mother.  A boy for whom I wept as the clock struck midnight on Christmas Eve turning into Christmas Day.  I sat in my rocking chair where I have spent many a night nursing a baby, comforting a sick little one, reading stories, and I longed to have one more little one to rock in that chair.  And tonight I get to sit in that very chair and rock that precious little boy and whisper to him how much we love him.  Someday I hope he, too, will celebrate Christmas Eve with a little extra happiness and gratitude...someday.  In the meantime I will relish every moment of his first Christmas with us.  A redeemed child of God.

Monday, December 19, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

Is for more little ones to find their forever family........

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why Stop Now?

After last night's post I figured why stop with Shane and Oleg?  I am on a roll now and am going to fight for these little ones!

Meet Lilianna.  Is she not beautiful?  Look at those huge blue eyes!  This beauty is 2 years old yet this picture was taken this past week.  She is the size of a baby.

This sweet little love also resides at Orphanage 18, Dima's former residence.  I have seen this little one, too.  Dima had to use the bathroom one morning while we were outside so I took him in and waited in the hallway for him to finish.  As I was standing there a nurse was carrying a little one in her arms.  The little one looked sickly and pitiful.  Our eyes met and locked.  Our eyes were locked until she was out of sight and around the corner.  It was THIS little one with whom I had a moment.  It was as if Lilianna was saying, "HELP!  PLEASE!  I need you!".  A few days later I learned that this little one was in the process of being re-listed with Reece's Rainbow.  I cried after she rounded the corner.  I could see her pain.  I could FEEL her pain.  

Lilianna once had a family.  A family more than ready and able to rescue her, make her a part of their family.  But then this little one got so so so sick.  She was hospitalized and the family was told that she was not going to live.  And that was that.  The family was heartbroken and they ended up adopting another little one from the same country.

And then a miracle happened.  Lilianna, by the grace of GOD, survived!  Over the months she got stronger.  She is a little fighter.  Her life has a purpose!  But the purpose of her life does not include her laying in a crib for the rest of her life.  I truly believe that God has great things in store for her life!

I confess that I personally would very much like to be this little one's momma.  Eric and I put our house on the market so we could adopt a little girl and have the space to have a little girl in the family.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We actually made a REAL first step in rescuing this little one.  But there are so many other factors beyond our control that would play a part in us rescuing this little one, that I do not know if and when everything will fall into place to make a way for this to happen (details that I cannot share here in public).  Because I love this little girl so much I want for her to have a family ASAP.  She has some health concerns that need to be addressed sooner rather than later and if I cannot help her now, I plead for someone else that is able to do so.

So is there another momma out there willing to rescue this little one?  Another family willing and able to whisk her away from a life of loneliness and sadness?  A momma willing to tenderly care for this little one, a daddy willing to protect her?

Eight days until Christmas....where will Lilianna spend her next Christmas?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Unashamed Begging

Many past entries were for raising money to bring our Dima home.  Thanks to the generosity of so many people known and unknown we met our goal and Dima is here with us today.  He is happy, healthy, safe, secure, and loving life.  He is blessed.  He has a hope.  He has a future.

But what about the others?  At Dima's orphanage there are about 245 children (conservative estimate) in dire need of families.  I've seen their faces.  I've held them.  I've hugged them.  I've prayed over them.  Dima asks about his friends not as often as before, but he still thinks of them.  I have also been to the other place.  I have walked those halls.  The institution.  The place where children get warehoused when there is no other option.  An adult mental institution, by the way.  Children in dire need of medical care and treatment are left to just sit and exist; if you even want to call that existing.

See this adorable little boy above?  His name is Oleg.  How old do you think he is?  Take a guess....18 months, 1 year, 2 years?  No.  This sacred creation is SIX years old.  One year younger than our Dima and the size of a 2 year old.  Guess where he gets to go for Christmas?  

The institution.

No family.  No gifts.  No tree.  No church.  No cookies.  NOTHING.  HE GETS NOTHING!!!!

Does this upset you?  It should.  It should enrage you!!!  It should make you weep!!!!!  It should make you scream and cry!!!!!!!!  It should bring you to your knees and pray.  PRAY!!!!!!!!

If you could hear me saying these words you would hear that I am yelling and crying.  I feel sick at my stomach because to be honest, if this child does not get adopted the chances of his survival over the next 12 months is less than 30%.

What are you going to do about it?  I said, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?????!!!!!!!

And here is Shane.  I am not even going to play the guessing game with you now.  He is six and also getting transferred to the institution this week.  Nine days until Christmas and that is what is happening to Shane and Oleg.  What are you going to do about it?

I have seen Shane.  You see, he and Oleg were once residents at the orphanage where Dima lived.  I had no idea I had seen Shane until I saw this picture taken of him this past week.  Shane was being wheeled in a large, red, carriage with several other little ones.  I waved to him.  I smiled at him.  He is real.  A REAL little boy who desperately needs to be rescued.

Friends, I would personally get on the next flight to their country and bring these boys home myself if I had the money.  Who cares that I would have to squeeze 6 boys into two bedrooms.  Anything is better than what they have now.  TRUST ME- I have seen it!!!!!!  But I cannot rescue them.  Can YOU?! 

Can YOU rescue these little boys?

They have had two families commit to them and both times it has not worked out.  TWICE!!  

So yes.  I am BEGGING.  I am PLEADING for someone to rescue these boys.  At the very least donate to their grants with Reece's Rainbow so a family CAN rescue them.  At this time Oleg has $7302.75 in his grant and Shane has $2500.25.  That would be a huge help to any family brave enough to step out in faith.  

Are you that brave family?  Are you that family willing to make sacrifices to rescue these boys?  God made the ultimate sacrifice for easy it should be for us to make sacrifices for helpless little ones.

I am challenging my brothers and sisters in the Lord nine days before Christmas to show the world what it means to be a Monday Morning Christian.

Do you accept this challenge?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Months

As of the 12th Dima has been home for three months.  It is hard to believe.  It was this time last year that I first saw his picture and my heart stopped.  I knew.  I KNEW he was my son.  That smiling face.  Now I get to see that smiling face each and every day.  I get to kiss his sweet head, hug him, tuck him into bed.  He is indeed my son.  Forever.

So how has it been going?

Overall things continue to progress well for Dima.  His English is coming along as is his ASL.  He is able to communicate very well with all of us and can get his point across without too much trouble.  Dima is happy and loves to be the life of the party.  He is always saying, "C'mon!  C'mon!" asking everyone to go play with him outside.  Speaking of outside Dima LOVES to be outside all day.  The grandparents just got the boys a new swing set for Christmas and Dima is in absolute heaven.  About a month ago Dima learned how to swing all by himself!

There are days, however, where things are not all sunshine and roses.  Dima can be very stubborn and loves to push his momma's buttons.  But when he is put on the corner that dear boy stays put until he is "dismissed" and that alone is pretty amazing.  His disobedience has lessened quite a bit (we had a stretch of about 3 weeks where I wondered if I would survive!) and he is a quick learner.  But he is a normal child and children do get into some trouble every now and again.

As for his health everything had been put on hold since we had issues with the boys' insurance provider.  As of January 1 Dima will be fully covered and we will begin all of his evaluations and surgeries.  In the meantime I am a little relieved that there was a period of time where we did not have to take him to doctor after doctor so Dima could fully trust us and know that we have his best interest at heart.  I think it is safe to say that once he starts with all of his appointments he will feel more secure and it will all work out for the best.

And speaking of Dima trusting us, I think it is safe to say that he is attaching to Eric and I very well.  He knows that we are here to stay in his life and that he belongs with us.

Three months sure have gone by quickly, but it also seems as though Dima has been with us forever.  Not a day goes by that we are not grateful for the blessing of Dima in our lives.