Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Medical Update on Dima

Last week Dima had his first appointment with his new pediatrician.  It went well, though I had hoped to see the actual pediatrician.  The pediatrician speaks Russian and would have been able to get so much more information on Dima and maybe even learn more about what kind of medical care Dima has had in the past (if any).  Rather we saw a nurse practitioner who was not terribly familiar with Down Syndrome,  so the appointment could have gone better.  On the bright side, however, we were able to have some blood work done to see if Dima has any allergies, especially food allergies.  I knew that the chances of him having Celiacs Disease were fairly high since it is common in Eastern Europeans and those with Down Syndrome; two strikes against him right there.  Thankfully Dima has no food allergies and his only allergy was to ragweed (just like his brothers and his daddy)!  That would explain the watery eyes, coughing, runny nose, and itchy nose.  We also had an x-ray done in his neck but have yet to receive the results of that.  The nurse practitioner also sent some referrals to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville to set up appointments with an ENT, a pediatric surgeon, and a geneticist.  Poor Dima's tonsils are the size of large grapes and he has trouble swallowing solid food.  His adenoids are huge, making it difficult to breathe.  It is also seems that Dima has sleep apnea and he sure does snore.  Dima also has two hernias, one in his abdomen and one in his groin, both of which need to be fixed.  And finally, we need to have a geneticist test Dima for a more formal diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

We have also taken Dima to the eye doctor.  The poor child is farsighted and has been focusing on things with one eye.  What is truly amazing is how all of this time he has compensated and has become very adept at closing one eye and using the other to see.  I thought he was just being silly.  So in about a week and a half Dima will be sporting some very adorable Miraflex frames and will be just like so many of his Reece's Rainbow buddies!  

And finally we have an appointment set up with a pediatric dentist here in Ocala.  Dima has a bit of a mess in his mouth and desperately needs it all taken care of.  It is possible that Dima needs a tooth or two pulled and one of those teeth is in really sad shape.  It looks as though it had been filled and the tooth just rotted around the filling.  Over the past few weeks pieces of it have been breaking off.  The there is also a mysterious "hole" in Dima's mouth.  I think he had a tooth pulled not too long before we went over to the Ukraine because the day we met him he kept pointing to it and telling us all about it in Russian.  So that would have been about 6 months ago- it still bleeds when Dima brushes and I have noticed that he is always sticking his tongue in there.  Poor little guy!

Unfortunately with all of the medical comes some trauma for Dima.  He knows what a doctor is, but he is very fearful (understandably!) and freaks out at each appointment.  When we went to have his blood drawn he cried so hard but it was really pathetic.  When he really cries, I mean REALLY REALLY cries, it does not sound like a normal 7 year old.  It sounds like a newborn baby and it is heartbreaking to hear.  These appointments have also caused Dima to regress in his behavior.  He is usually a very happy, easygoing and obedient little guy but all that has changed.  We have gone back to him acting out, hitting people (even complete strangers),  and blatant disobedience and defiance.  Our family was prepared for that all to happen so we have not been surprised, but it is sad to see.  These next few months may be some of the most difficult we will face with him, but it is only a season.  Would you please keep Dima in prayer?  Pray for peace, comfort, and an understanding as to what is happening to him?  Also please pray for Eric and I as we nurse Dima back to health after his surgeries.  We could use all of the prayer we can get!

Finally, Dima has been steadily gaining weight and getting taller.  He weighed a little over 34 pounds when he came home.  As of last week he weighed 43 pounds!  I can tell that he is getting taller since quite a bit of his clothing is beginning to like too small for him.  He is growing like a weed!

On a non-medical note, I am in the process of getting Dima signed up for ASL classes through Citrus Hearing Impaired Services.  We do not know if the classes will work for him, but at the very least we can try, right?  Dima has been breezing through all of his Signing Time videos and he is certainly capable of learning.  He is crazy smart!  I should add that Dima is not hearing impaired, but he is still learning how to speak English and his speech is not very clear.  He will need speech therapy but this will help him communicate with ease.  Many people with Down Syndrome learn sign language and communicate quite well.

Again, as I have said many times, the adoption of a special needs child is not easy, but is is doable.  You need patience, understanding, and solid support network.  I am so grateful for my fellow Reece's Rainbow mommas who "get it".  Without them I would feel pretty inept and lost.  Most of all I am grateful that Dima is home where he belongs.  This time last year we were still in the process of committing to him.  So much can happen in a year's time!  Just think how well Dima will be doing this time next year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Morning Miss Oksana

Meet Oksana.

Just look at this sweet, sweet girl!  She will be turning 6 on the 29th of this month.  But sadly, I doubt she will be having a princess birthday party, rather she will be "celebrating" in an orphanage.  Alone.  But one of you can change that.  Maybe you are her mother or father?

Miss Oksana is a beautiful carrot top girl with blue eyes.  Thankfully she is healthy and has no heart condition.  She does have hard astigmatism in both eyes and needs glasses (wouldn't she look adorable in some pink Miraflex frames?!).  Oksana is described as active, happy, affectionate, and playful.  Her full medical information is available and there is $10,388.90 in her grant available for her adoption!  She is available to older parents and single moms.

This beautiful little love lost her family.  This means that there was a family committed to her and for whatever reason they were unable to move forward in the process.  But YOU can change that!  

You can pray for her.

You can advocate for her.

You can adopt her.

For more information on Oksana, please click here.

And you know what I am going to say next, right?  How can YOU be a Monday Morning Christian on a Tuesday morning?  

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  John 14:18

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meet Kolya

This morning I would be honored to introduce you to a very special little man.  His name is Kolya.  This little man has captured the hearts of many Reece's Rainbow advocates and many of us are praying in earnest that that his family would find him.  

This is a recent picture of Kolya.  How old does he look to you?  4?  5?  6?  Maybe 7?  This little guy smiley was born in July of 2000 - he will be 12 years old this summer and in desperate need of a family. Kolya would be the oldest child with Down Syndrome ever adopted from Reece's Rainbow!

From Kolya's advocate and friends:  "Kolya is a very delicate and sensitive child who catches every touch, every word or smile.  He may long to sit next to someone and just hold hands, enjoying the warmth.  Kolya is a very special child in every sense of the word.  He will never be like other children, but this does not negate his ability to enjoy the outside world and bring joy to others.  Kolya is quite helpful as he helps the nannies to collect clothes and toys.  He helps to clean the room.  He does not say much but he certainly understands and has a good memory.  Kolya knows the names of geometric shapes, animals, plants, likes listening to someone read a book,  and works puzzles.  Any family that would adopt Kolya would need to care for him throughout his life, but they can absolutely count on the sincere affection from a very good and loyal little man."

Are you Kolya's mother?  Are you his father?  Are you his aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, or sister?  Are you that family that will be blessed for your obedience to God's desire for this little one to have a family? 

So it is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones perish.  
Matthew 18:14

I am going to be blunt.  It would not be easy to adopt an 11 year old with special needs who has spent most of his life in an orphanage or institution, but Kolya is worth it.  He is worth taking that step out of your comfort zone so that he may be rescued.  Redeemed.  Sometimes the greatest blessing comes from allowing ourselves to be uncomfortable; stepping out in faith.  How can you literally be a Monday Morning Christian today?  How can you help Kolya's story of redemption come to pass?

As always, pray.  It costs nothing other than your time.  You can donate to Kolya's grant.  He currently has $1055.00 in his grant which would be a blessing to any family willing to take that step of faith.  Share Kolya's face and information on your Facebook and blog.  Share his need.  Finally, YOU can be Kolya's family.  Take that step of faith and be prepared to be blessed!  

It is a Monday are you going to walk out being a Monday Morning Christian today?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sanctity of Human Life

This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  Our family firmly believes that ALL human life is a sacred creation of a Holy God.  Because of Christ's love for us, we are compelled to love others, especially the least of these.  Dima was one such person.  In his country he was not valued, he was not considered worthy.  I saw it with my own eyes and experienced that painful reality until our plane landed in Amsterdam.  And to be perfectly honest, Eric and I pray that someday we will again be able to rescue another precious human life and show them the love of a real family.  Eric and I have also learned that you never say, "Never" to God!

I pray that as you watch this video you are moved with compassion towards the least of these, be it orphans, widows, the disabled, the imprisoned, the impoverished, or the hurting.  May God grant you vision on how you yourself can serve the least of these in their time of need.  After all, God gave His one and only Son for you that you may have eternal life.  The LEAST we can do, is share that sort of love with our fellow man.

Hope For Laurel

Today I would like to introduce to a young lady named Laurel.

This smiling girl is 15 years old and has arthrogryposis.  As you can see she is in a wheelchair and her hands are turned inward.  Laurel is in need of some medical care.  Even more importantly, Laurel needs a family.  When she turns 16 she will no longer be eligible for adoption and will most likely live out her years in an institution, never really having the chance to just live her life in freedom.  Can you imagine living your entire life in the confines of an institution, never leaving the grounds, never going out for a walk on a warm, spring day, or going to out to eat a meal?  Never going to school?  Never knowing the love of a family?  Personally, it breaks my heart and brings me to me knees for this sweet girl.  

But there is something that you and I can do for Laurel.  We can pray.  We can donate to her grant which currently has $113.00.  If her grant were larger a family would be more inclined to commit to her and rescue her.  We can advocate for her.  Share this blog entry so others will see her.  So her mama can find her!  Finally, YOU can commit to her.  Rescue her, love her, get her the medical care that she needs.  So many opportunities to be a Monday Morning Christian on a Wednesday morning!

I know a few families who have adopted little ones with arthrogryposis.  If you are interested or have any questions, I would be happy to put you in touch with these families.  Remember, International adoption of children with special needs is not easy, but doable!  Laurel deserves the chance at a family!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet The Booth Family

I've been sharing specific children listed on Reece's Rainbow over the past several entries.  It is my prayer that these little loves would be found by their family.  If ever you see a little one that has grabbed your heart, please feel free to ask me any questions.

But today I would like to share an actual family with you.  A family that has committed to rescue an orphan in a far off land.  As I was scrolling through the families on Reece's Rainbow, a particular family caught my eye.  Meet the Booth Family.  They are in the process of adopting a little girl, Makayla.  I wanted to share this family with you because the picture of Makayla just grabbed my heart and as a fellow Reece's Rainbow mama, my heart went out to Makayla's mama.

This is the only picture they have of their little girl- look at the sadness and desperation in this sweet girl's face.  It is as though she is in a prison or a bad dream.  Makayla has no idea that she does indeed have a family that loves her and will rescue her in the coming months.  If I were her mama this picture would haunt me and make me desperate to get to her.  This picture would also transform, in my mind, into the future.  What Makayla's life will be like- dresses, dolls, smiles, hug, kisses, bedtime stories, etc...

The Booth family are more than able to care for Makayla since their own biological daughter has similar health needs as this little love.  What a perfect fit!  You can learn about the Booths here and donate to Makayla's grant.  Sadly, at this time, there is only $10.00 in her grant.  If you would like to follow the Booth's adoption journey, click here.

How can you be a Monday Morning Christian on a Tuesday morning?  You could pray for Makayla and her new family, donate to Makayla's grant, and if you know the Booth's personally, help them as they do paper work for their adoption and encourage them.  No prayer will fall on deaf ears, no amount of money would be too small, and just a few words of encouragement can give a family a great deal of strength.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  John 14:18

Monday, January 16, 2012

World, Meet Spencer

This evening I would like to introduce you to Spencer.  This sweet little man will be 6 this summer and has already been transferred to an adult mental institution.  A MENTAL INSTITUTION!  No, this little boy should be in a family going to kindergarten, not a mental institution.

Spencer is described as healthy with no noted heart conditions.  He is physically capable, active, and will regress if in the institution too long.  Currently there is $7,543.50 in this little man's grant- that is A LOT of money to have in a grant as you commit to a child through Reece's Rainbow!

Speaking form experience, Spencer seems a lot like our Dima.  Capable, high-functioing, and would do well in a family.  If you are considering adopt a little boy and have not had any previous experience with adoption, Spencer might be an ideal child for you.  As I've said before in this blog, an International adoption of a child with special needs is not easy, but it IS doable.  It is certainly always in one's best interest to do their  "homework" before committing to a child, but do not let that scare you.  The more informed you are going into an International adoption of a child with special needs, the more comfortable you will be.

Spencer deserves to be in a family (who am I kidding- they ALL deserve to be in a family!) and at one time he had a family committed to him.  For whatever reason that family was unable to follow through, but a sizable grant remains.  Would you please do something for Spencer?  Pray for him?  Donate to his grant so another family can step forward and adopt him?  Or maybe you are looking at his picture right now and feeling a little tug at your heart...a he your son?  Should this little boy really be residing in an adult mental institution?  I've been IN an institution and it is not a place for any child.  But to think of a child like Dima or Spencer in one of those places, well....I could only imagine the damage that could be done if left in an institution for too long.  Spencer needs to be rescued.

How can YOU be a Monday Morning Christian on a Monday evening?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Introducing Dana

This morning it is my pleasure to introduce you all to Dana.

This princess of a little girl is 6 years old and has Treacher Collins Syndrome.  She is described as very smart, calm, and good-natured.  Dana always goes out of her way to help the younger children in her group and is an orphanage favorite.  Sadly, however, Dana was left in the orphanage the day after her birth due to her facial deformities, underdeveloped ears, and cleft lip.  Dana wears a hearing aid but can hear without it.

The orphanage's administration is very interested in finding parents for Dana and will cooperate with the family that steps out in faith to adopt this little princess.  The adoptive family will need to make sure that Dana receives facial reconstruction surgery as well as speech and hearing corrections.

The only restrictions on adopting Dana are there can be no more than 3 children in the home and it must be a married couple.  Travel is required and there are more photos available of this pretty princess.

Dana deserves every opportunity to have a family of her own.  She deserves to be treated like the princess she is and to be loved unconditionally.  How can you be a Monday Morning Christian on this Friday morning?  Can you pray for Dana?  Donate to her grant?  Step out in faith and be her family?

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act...  Proverbs 3:27

Thursday, January 12, 2012

P.S. Dima's Language Development - Proof!

This video was taken this afternoon.

Four Months

Four months ago today a certain little Ukrainian boy landed in Orlando, FL eager to meet his new brothers.  Four months ago today three very special little boys eagerly waited for their momma and new brother to walk around a corner.  Four months.

In a mere four months Dima has come such a long way from the rambunctious little boy that we met in Kremenchuk.  I am amazed and in awe of all that Dima has overcome and has learned to do.  His biggest accomplishment thus far has been his language skills.  Every day I hear him speak a new phrase; not just words but whole phrases!

"I see you!"

"Gotcha Momma!"

"I need juice please!"

"Heeeeey Sammy!  NOOOOO!"

"I love you more, buh bye!"

I could go on and on.  Dima is just a little sponge absorbing his new language and wanting to speak nothing but English.  Just last Thursday Dima informed us that he no longer wants us to speak any Russian to him.  English only, please.  A woman who visited our church this past Sunday spoke fluent Russian and wanted to converse with Dima.  Unfortunately for her Dima was not impressed, put his hand up, and said, "Engleski, please.  No Ruskie!".

Dima is also learning American Sign Language (ASL) and doing quite well.  In fact he knows way more than any of us and sometimes we do not know what it is he is "saying" to us!  He also truly believes that Rachel Coleman (awesome gal from the show Signing Time) is his best friend.  He loves Alex and Leah, too.  We are attempting to get him signed up for some actual classes, but have not yet been able to get anything locked in for him.  We are eager to get him going on his ASL!

Another area in which Dima is excelling is knowing his boundaries.  It took several weeks of intense "training" (i.e. lots of time in his time out corner) but he now knows that it is not O.K. to jump our fence and go for a walk without an adult, it is not O.K. to go out for a walk with the dog in his underwear at 3:00 a.m., we do not take baths at 1:30 a.m., and we do not take electronics from mommy and daddy.  What is amazing, however, is seeing Dima WANT boundaries.  He wants to know what he can and cannot do.  What is socially acceptable and what is not.  That is not to say, however, that he still doesn't disobey and give his momma a hard time.  He can be so darn stubborn!

Dima has also really come out of his shell and is SO friendly to most everyone at church.  He still has his moments if someone approaches him in a way that he dislikes, but he loves to greet everyone and give out friendly hugs.  Eric and I are secure in our attachment with Dima to allow him to give "bro hugs" to people.  If we hug people not in our family, why not allow Dima?  He also loves to say, "I love you!" to everyone and we allow that as well.  He truly does love people.  He will even say to us, "Dima go church?  See people?  Love people!".  He is a people person for sure.

Fears from his past are slowly disappearing, too.  Dima used to have an intense fear of fire, a fear of showers, a fear of the dark, and a fear of men.  I can proudly say that he has overcome each of them and now adores fires in the fireplace, loves to take showers rather than baths, LOVES to play in the dark with a flashlight, and LOVES to be with his daddy.  Dima actually prefers to be with Eric over me now which is huge.  Yes, it makes me a little sad, but I am so glad that Dima loves his daddy.

Yet Dima is not the only person who has grown or changed in the past four months.  Each of us have grown or changed, too.  Dima is teaching us so much about life- so much more than we could have ever imagined.  The best is brought out in each of us and we have a renewed appreciation of life.  I would like to also take a moment to brag on my oldest son, Jeremiah.  When we first began the process to adopt Dima he was a little uncertain about it all.  Sure, he was all for us adopting a little boy who needed a family, but Jeremiah did not know what it would mean for him.  How would it affect his life?  Eric and I prayed in earnest for Jeremiah over the months and I prayed A LOT while I was in the Ukraine.  I wanted Jeremiah to be happy and love his new brother.  Would you believe that Jeremiah is not only happy, but loves to help Dima?  Eric and I are seeing a side of Jeremiah that we never even knew existed!  Jeremiah's patience for his new brother sometimes puts us to shame.  The tenderness, the love, the encouragement, and delight that Jeremiah has for Dima is just commendable.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful son in Jeremiah.

Elijah and Sammy are also excellent brothers.  Elijah accompanies Dima and I to various doctor appointments and he reassures Dima each and ever time.  Elijah is also very good at keeping Dima accountable with boundaries and is always the first to tell me about the slightest infraction.  But Elijah also loves to sit down and share his faith in Jesus Christ with Dima and every day sets time aside to do so.  Elijah would love nothing more than to see his new brother come to know Jesus Christ and be baptized.  That shows spiritual maturity on Elijah's part.

Sammy is our baby.  Out of all 3 boys Dima's appearance has been the most difficult for Sammy, but it is something that will make Sammy a better person in the long run.  Our sweet little Sammy has been so accustomed to getting his own way and now he is having to learn how to share and be patient.  It has taken time, and there is still so much that Sammy has to work on in those areas, but when those two get along, they are best buddies.  The other evening Sammy and Dima were off in their own little world playing pretend that I really hated to have to break it up for bedtime.

As for Eric and I, well, patience and humor has been our biggest lesson from Dima.  Eric and I always thought we were pretty patient people, but apparently we thought a little too highly of ourselves there.  Dima loves to test and when the testing gets to be really...well....testy, I've had to pull out all of the patience I can possibly find.  That is also usually the time where I need to see the humor in even the most un-humorous situations.  For instance, Dima loves our dog, Jax.  So much so that they are always together.  One evening Dima thought it would be a swell idea to spit his supper out onto the floor so Jax could eat it.  Dima did not care for what had been put before him, so Jax was a logical solution to his problem.  We HAD to see the humor in that even though it really was not all that funny (Jax of course upchucked everything under the kitchen table while we were eating).

Is it always easy?  Nope.  I have my moments of discouragement, or moments when the realization that Dima is not like my other boys hits me.  Yesterday Eric had to take Dima to a psychologist to be evaluated on his intelligence.  Most anyone who meets Dima sees that Dima is very high-functioning and super smart.  And he truly is.  But yesterday afternoon the psychologist basically said that Dima was ineducable, just trainable.  It stung.  He doesn't see what Eric and I see.  We see all that Dima CAN do and know that his potential is great.  It was suggested to us that we send Dima to a "special school" where he will simply learn basic life skills.  My response?  No thank you!  I see that Dima has a desire to learn and the basic life skills will come through living in our home.  Dima will learn to read, write, do math, learn some history and science.  Dima will get to be as "normal" as he can possibly be.  Why?  Because Eric and I are going to do all that we possibly can to ensure that.  So Monday we are going to have Dima participate in Classical Conversations and see how that goes.  If it goes well, we may enroll him and let him participate as he can.  God has a great future for Dima (Jeremiah 29:11)!

So today as I sit and reflect on the past four months of our lives I realize this blog entry simply does not do it any justice.  You can, however, check out our Youtube channel and see for yourself just how well Dima is doing.  It is our desire as a family to show just how doable an International adoption of a special needs child is.  Not easy, but doable.  We desire for others to see what a blessing Dima is no matter his disability.  Dima is happy and loves life therefore we are happy for him.  More importantly we are over the moon happy that he is a part of our family and so glad that we listened to God's whisper in our ears.  We have been greatly blessed for our obedience.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet Sarah

Today I would like to introduce you to Sarah.  

This beautiful little girl was born in October of 2005 and will be turning 7 this year.

Sarah is described as a lively child, cheerful, and always in good spirits.  This girly girl loves playing dress-up and takes pride in her appearance (can you picture her in some princess dresses?).  Sarah also enjoys helping her nannies set the table for dinner, taking the job very seriously.  She wears a hat and apron, setting the table correctly - fork on the left, knife on the right.  Sarah also loves to draw and is said to be very artistic.  She particularly loves to draw a family: a mom, dad, house, and herself.  She prays that her dream comes true!

At this time the only health information on Sarah is that she has a "serious incurable disease".  She is listed with the HIV positive children, but may have some other health concerns.  But do not let the letters H I or V scare you away from this little love.  Having a child with HIV really not all that scary or different than having a child with diabetes!  For more information on raising a child with HIV please visit the website Project Hopeful.  Here you can find up to date information on raising a child with HIV as well as read stories from other families that have adopted children with HIV.

As of now Sarah has $960.55 in her grant.  How can YOU help her?  Donate?  Pray?  Adopt?  Help another family adopt?

How can YOU be a Monday Morning Christian for Sarah on a Wednesday morning?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beautiful Yasmine

Our Lilianna has found a family so my next crusade is to find a family for the beautiful Yasmine.  She currently lives at Dima's orphanage but is facing transfer any day or may have already been transferred.  I personally never met her, but I know a momma who has and fell in love with her.  Yasmine will be 8 in June and should not be in a mental institution, but in a home with a loving family.  Not an adult mental institution.

Are you her mother or father?  Are you going to be the family that rescues her from a life without a hope or a future?

Yasmine was born on June 19, 2004.  She is walking sunshine!  What a glorious smile and personality to match!  Yasmine was born with cerebral palsy and hydrocephaly.  Her feet and ankles are turned in but she is able to pull to stand and tries so hard to get around.  Surgery and therapy can make a world of difference for this darling little girl.


This picture is almost 2 years old.  Just look at that sweet smile!  You can see that she is full of life and happiness here.  That would not last long in a mental institution....
 Please pray for this precious girl, donate to her grant, share her picture with others...this girl deserves a family!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The BEST News!

Not only was sweet Tyler found, but LILIANNA has been found!!!!!!!!  Our family is rejoicing, the boys are running around the house yelling for joy!!!!!!  My heart is grateful!!!!!!!!  Eric rejoices with me!!!!!!!

This precious girl for whom we have prayed, advocated for, donated to, etc.... has been found by her Momma and Poppa!!!!!

Please keep Lilianna in your prayers as her new family works hard to get the paper work completed. As soon as we have her blog url we will happily share that with you all so you can follow along on their journey.


This handsome little man has been found!

His name was "Tyler" on Reece's Rainbow and had been in Dima's group.  I never saw him, however, but I always hoped that  someone would scoop him up.  He is so handsome and looks like he is probably a sweet little boy.  Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to these children!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dima Has a Twin!!!

Dima has a twin!  No, not a biological twin, not even related.  Just a little boy in another Eastern European location who just happens to look exactly like him and also has Down Syndrome!  This handsome little love is listed on Reece's Rainbow and available for adoption.  His "name" is Sylas.  Sylas will be 7 in June and should not spend it an orphan.  Sylas should be in school, in a family, loved, happy, spreading his seemingly infectious joy.  How could you resist such a smile?  Dima has a smile just like that and I PROMISE you that when you see that smile, you cannot help but smile, too.  Oh the joy that Sylas could bring to you!  Are you his family?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Amazing Grace

I have recently posted about a few little ones listed with Reece's Rainbow who desperately needed a family.  Needed.  Past tense!  They were once lost but now are found!

Remember Shane and Oleg?  The little ones who were about to be transferred to an adult mental institution 9 days before Christmas?  They have been FOUND!  I wanted to post their pictures but Blogger is not cooperating with me this morning.  The Patterson Family was providentially led to those boys in an amazing twist and turn of events.  To read their story, click here.  They will be leaving tomorrow to go rescue their new boys and I humbly ask that you keep them all in your prayers.

And then there is Valentin.  After much prayer, blog entries from many Reece's Rainbow Mommas, Facebook posts, etc....  Valentin has been found!  He will finally know the love of a family.  Unconditional love.  Amazing grace....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sweet Valentin - Can You Help?

This morning I would love to share with you and introduce you to one of God's holy creations.  A precious 5 year old little boy named Valentin.  This child is in dire need of a family.  A mother and a father to love him for who he is, to care for him, help him grow, and show him the love of Christ.  I would love to write my own entry, but another Reece's Rainbow momma wrote an entry in her blog as she met him.  I will use her words:

"I come to you today to ask for your help.

This is Valentin and he is in the laying room:

I got to spend a few moments with him when he was first transferred into the room.  He was healthy looking, sweet, responsive and aware.  He smiled for the camera and interacted with us.  They even put Yuri into his crib and he was kind and gentle.  That was a year ago.

If you ever wondered how bad that room is, well, here is the proof.  The pic above was Valentin after a couple of months in the room and this is Valentin now.

A family went to visit Valentin and reported his condition.  Friends.... the child they met is a completely different child than I met a year ago.  He is head banging.  Having screaming outburst for no reasons and has delayed terribly.  The child I met was delayed from lack of stimulation but seemed cognitively fine. Now.... ?

How can this happen?  In just under a year.  Its not fair!  Its maddening!!  I'm sad and angry!  No child should ever be in that confounded room especially not him!

This family that got to meet him is a great family that have adopted before and have a large family that Valentin a year ago would have fit into great.  However with all the new delays they felt that they couldn't give him what he needs so they are now focused on raising funds for him and finding him a family.

That is where you and I come in.


#1 Please pray for this family.  It is not an easy thing to go through all the paperwork, to fall in love with a picture only to get there and have everything be different than what you were told.  I can't imagine how hard it is for them right now.  Please continually keep them in your prayers

#2 Lets find a family for Valentin.  How do we do this?  Well first we pray and pray and pray our guts out.   Second we increase his grant fund. There are so many families that want to adopt but are held back by that little old annoying thing called money.

Won't you please consider giving to his grant fund?  Even just $10 will help.  We could easily raise thousands of dollars if everyone just gave $10.  Click here to donate. Plus any amount donated is tax deductible.

So what kind of family would be ideal?  Well as you know kiddos coming from this room have serious issues to overcome just from the room not to mention any ailments they were born with so it is my personal opinion that Valentin needs a family with time.  Time to help him recover.  Time to love on him.  Time to show him attention.  Time to focus on him to help him heal and get back to boy I met a year ago and then learn and grow.

Here he is recently trying to color without the ability to do so.

That sweet little boy is still in there. I know it!!  Won't you help him!  Valentin is 5 years old and facing the institution any day now.  There he will surely be gone in more ways than we can comprehend. This is a very serious situation!"

Please help if you can!  His eyes used to look happy and now they are so vacant. It breaks my heart!