I came across this poem back in High School and loved it then, but with a little more life experience it has come to mean a great deal to me. I think it can be applied both to us as we make this journey to Arnold, but also to him, in his few short years of life. He will be a strong tree!
Today we were fortunate to meet two wonderful families. The first found us through Reece's Rainbow, and when she saw that we were local, contacted us to tell us she wanted to donate some items for our yard sale. She also let us know that she had grown her own family through adoption, and had adopted two sisters from Ukraine just a few years ago. We spent several hours talking about many things, from travel tips, to cultural differences, and many things in between. It is easy to see how her heart has been touched by these children. I am just amazed and grateful for the people the Lord has brought into our lives through this process. Before leaving, this generous woman also made a monetary donation for Arnold. I have to say, my eyes well up with tears a lot lately! Thank you, my sweet new friend, for your love and support and offers of help. How grateful I am for you!
The second family is also local, and have a sweet 9-month-old little girl with Down syndrome, as well as three other adorable children. When Brian spoke a little at the last Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association meeting about Reece's Rainbow and our adoption, they found him after the meeting and talked for a while. They, too, offered some wonderful items to sell at the yard sale Saturday. Holy smokes! What incredible people we have in our community; I can't wait to get to know you guys better and hold that baby!!! For you to offer so much help for a family you didn't even know just speaks to your character and I will always be grateful.
We've had several other people in our church congregation drop some things off this week, and offer many words of support for our cause. I am thankful there are people who see our intentions as they truly are, not to raise money for "us" or "our adoption," but literally to raise money for a little boy's life. They are helping him avoid this fate:
Before instutionalization After being transferred
There is hope. There are many, many families out there who want to make these children their own, with money being the only obstacle. Here is what happens when they can overcome this obstacle: (images and info from www.nogreaterjoymom.com,)
"Meet beautiful Kori. Adopted at almost eight years old and weighing in at a mere 16 pounds! Lifeless, sad, circles under her eyes, and in very poor condition. But God could not leave her like that...He knew that her life had purpose and a destiny. And so He reached down from heaven and gave her a miracle....a family to call her own.
Today...a picture of health! Healthy, happy and growing in every way. Adorable!"
"I know that so many of you followed Katie's amazing journey home. Sweet, little, teeny-tiny Katie. Rescued just three months ago--hanging on by a thread in a faraway orphanage. God had big plans for this angel! Katie also went straight from the airport to the hospital--weighing a measly 10 pounds 9 ounces at nine years old!
Oh, but just LOOK what a difference family makes! Today...Katie is doing incredibly well. She is a healthy weight for her height and is growing before her family's eyes. She now weighs nearly 23 pounds! What an absolute JOY Katie is to her family!"
"And darling little Belle. Adopted at almost three years old and weighing only 15 pounds. Belle knew nothing but a life confined to a crib...until her family heard the call and said, "Here we are, Lord! Send us!"
Today...just 13 months later she is a happy, healthy little toddler who weighs 26 pounds."
"This is Dusty. Adopted from the same orphanage as our girls just nine months ago--weighing just 20 pounds when he came home and was admitted straight into hospital for malnutrition.
Today, only ten months later, Dusty weighs over 30 pounds! I have been so blessed to meet Dusty in person, and to watch him develop and grow. He is a little miracle boy for sure."
"And beautiful Carrington. Adopted in March 2011 and taken directly from the airport to the hospital. Carrington was nothing but skin and bones--weighing only ten pounds when she came home. Doctors told the family that Carrington's organs had already started shutting down and she had just 24 hours of life left in her.
But God...! Just look what He did! Today, almost one year after coming home, Carrington is healthy and thriving--weighing in at 27 pounds. Glory to God in the highest! Another little miracle."
So tonight I feel "filled up" with thankfulness and have been humbled once again by the generosity of others; it is easy to see that many people want to save these children from having to live a life inside an institution (which is no life at all). I am proud to say that Brian will be joining another wonderful cause, RODS Racing (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), a group of triathaletes who dedicate their races to raise awareness and funds for orphans with special needs. How amazing is it that this group happens to be based in Boise, and that Brian has only begun doing triathalons last year? Some pretty divine timing, I'd say. Brady Murray began this group after hearing about the plight of orphans with Down Syndrome in Eastern Europe. He too has a son with Down Syndrome and couldn't imagine his own son in a similar situation. Their goal is to raise funds for a particular orphan, which Reece's Rainbow then holds as a "grant" for that child, to be used by the adoptive family to help pay the enormous fees associated with international adoption. What an amazing organization, and I know Brian is wearing his RODS Racing tee with pride! Brian's next race is the Boise Ironman 70.3, so if you're out watching, look for him!
Whew! A long post, I know, but so much in my heart tonight. Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you feel a hope for these children as well. There is much you can do to help them, not only by donating towards an adoption, but by praying for these precious children as well. Just getting the word out about their dire situation can be a catalyst for change, which is what this is all about.