Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ten Ten Ten

Tomorrow is Dima's 10th Birthday!  It is hard to believe that our sassy, chubby, happy, clever, little man has been with us for almost three years.  The day I met Dima he was a tiny, sickly, clever (but in a survival sort of way),  hurting inside 7-year-old.  The difference has been night and day.  Around this time of year, between Mother's Day and Dima's birthday, I also think of Dima's birth mother.  I wonder how she is doing and if she is thinking of her little boy.  Does she miss him?  Does she understand what she lost?  Deep down inside I must believe that she loved Dima as well as his older brother.

In the past two and a half years Dima has thrived.  He has overcome quite a bit of hurt.  He loves life like no other; a child that has had every reason in the world to hate life.  Dima is the life of the party anywhere he goes, especially at school.  School!  He has been in school for two years and is learning to read, write, add, subtract, life skills, and most importantly (to Dima), how to go through a cafeteria line.  That boy can eat!

It is amazing to watch a child with special needs learn and overcome hurdles in their lives.  It breaks my heart to think, however, that Grace is now 11 1/2 and she has not had many of the opportunities that Dima has had.  When Dima came home to us he was 7.  While he was still consider an "older" child, he still had time to catch up developmentally in some of the areas in which is was lacking.  Grace, who is certainly even older, has lived her entire life in an orphanage.  It was only two years ago at age 9 that she began to even attend a special school for orphans with special needs.  I also think of her physical development and how she could have benefitted from receiving services from the time she was an infant.  While I know that her orphanage has done the best that they could, and she has indeed progressed some, it certainly could have been better.  No matter how you look at, growing up in an orphanage, particularly with special needs, is just not ideal.

Here, with us, she will have the opportunity to receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, be evaluated by our local Shriner's Hospital (a mere 45 minutes away!), attend a school that is specialized in helping her in the areas in which she will need the most help, and ultimately, a family that will love and support her.  She will have a mother who is patient, unafraid, and determined.  A father who is not only trained to work with children and adults with have special needs, but a father who is also patient, kind, and able to lead her into a productive adulthood.  Eric and I desire independence for Dima and Grace.  A productive life where they are contributing to our community in some way.  They will both have the assistance of the Key Training Center.  The Key is a unique organization that will greatly enrich their lives.  Families from all over the United States move to our small town in order to utilize their services and the clients of the Key are most welcomed into our community.  It is ideal for both Dima and Grace.

So in honor of Dima's 10th Birthday and the fact that we need to clear a $10,000 hurdle, would you prayerfully consider making a $10 donation to our adoption grant with Reece's Rainbow?  It is tax-deductible and that money will be transferred directly to our agency in order to cover the remaining expenses.  We have three other fundraisers going on and more in the works, but this is simple.  Meaningful.  $10 in honor of Dima's 10th Birthday to help erase a $10,000 hurdle.

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