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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Donovan's life

Sometimes God picks a flower that's still in full bloom.
Sometimes the flower that is chosen, we feel He's picked too soon.
We're at peace knowing; in God's heavenly garden,
He has placed the ones we treasure.
You have changed our lives forever.


I do not think my song will end
While flowers, grass and trees
Abound with birds and butterflies
For I am one with these.

And I believe my voice will sound
Upon the whispering wind
So long as even one remains
Among those I call "friend."

I shall remain in hearts and minds
Of loved ones that I knew,
And in the rocks and hills and streams
Because I love those, too.

So long as love and hope and dreams
Abide in earth and sky,
Weep not for me, though I be gone.
I shall not really die.


God saw him getting tired, a cure was not to be.
He wrapped him in His loving arms and whispered ‘Come to Me.’
He suffered much in silence, his spirit did not bend,
He faced his pain with courage, until the very end.
He tried so hard to stay with us but his fight was not in vain,
God took him to His loving home and freed him of his pain.


Think of your child, then, not as dead, but as living; not as a flower that has withered, but as one that is transplanted, and touched by a Divine hand, is blooming in richer colors and sweeter shades than those of earth.

Ivan N.

"Donovan"

July 2004 - July 2014

Forever in our hearts.

Discouragement

It's so, so hard to advocate nowadays. I'm know I'm not alone but it sure feels like it.
You'd think that losing children would make you want to advocate more, but for some reason it's just taken the fight out of me. 
I look at the savings jar for adoption grants on my shelf, filled with cash and change, and I have no motivation to count it out and donate it. 
I see fundraising events happening on Facebook and I have no desire to join them.
I stare at the faces of the forgotten on Reece's Rainbow and I just feel completely defeated.
Why do I feel this way?

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This year has been really difficult. I went through a life-changing event (hosting a Chinese exchange student and then going over to China; I even visited a Chinese orphanage for kids with special needs), lost many, many people I knew or loved. Doors closed, new ones opened. There's been so much change lately and it's making my head swim.

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Two days ago was Dakota's 4 years in heaven. I went to the Grotto as usual, just walking in the gardens and remembering him. As I was walking, I kept imagining finding a baby bird along the path and nursing it back to health or calling the Audubon Society. I could not stop thinking about that little bird. All of a sudden, I looked off the path near a shrine and there was the most beautiful bird lying dead in a cluster of fallen leaves. It had died sometime early in the morning due to the cold. I saw this bird and just felt so sad, so angry, that I'd been picturing finding this sweet little bird, healthy and alive, and instead I find one that's dead. I covered its body with leaves and twigs and couldn't help scoff at how my intuition was close, but not quite right. That's the way of things, isn't it?

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Donovan never reappeared on the database and we never found out what happened. At this point, I don't think I need to know. I'm amazed that he managed to stay alive for as long as he did. An adoptive family met him in 2012 while on a trip for their child and got to hold him and love him for a few minutes. Here is what she said about him (summer 2012):

"Yes, I held him.  Not for very long, I was kicked out of the room.  (At least I think it was him--I wasn't told names).  He was very clingy, desperate for any attention.  Very, very delayed.  Super skinny.  I fear he is going to die. He can walk if you are holding his hand.  I think he would be able to walk if he wasn't so neglected and malnourished."

She also mentioned that he was "concentration camp victim skinny" and he was probably a size 2T. This was when he was eight years old.
He disappeared off the database in August and I just know. 
He's gone.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Angel Tree 2014

The sign ups for the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree 2014 have begun!

My child for this year is...


Marlowe!
He was born in August 2001 with Down syndrome in the "B" country and a few other medical conditions. 
This photo was taken in May 2009.
He currently has $2,103 in his adoption grant and I will work hard to raise that!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Oregon & Washington RR Reunion

On July 26th, we had our annual Oregon & Southwest Washington Reece's Rainbow Advocates & Adoptive Families reunion :) 
Here are some pictures...

Amanda and her little brother Jaxon (home 2013)

Elaina (Alyssa), home 2013

Sebastian (Linden), home 2013

Livetta, home 2013

Emily (Emilie), home 2012

Veronika (Sydney), home 2012

Ethan (Beacan), home 2013

Caitlin and Sebastian

Caitlin and Elaina

Me and Sebastian

Me and Ethan

Dasha (Abigail), home in 2012, and David

Reece's Rainbow kids - Bulgaria

Reece's Rainbow kid - China

Reece's Rainbow kids - Russia

Reece's Rainbow kids - Ukraine

Group picture!

I had so, so much fun this year, and I can't wait for the next one :)










Long time, no see

Well, hello again.

As you can see, it's been quite a while since I last posted.

To tell you the truth, my passion to advocate has seriously dropped. It's because of a combination of things: the ban on Russian adoptions, losing children, and feeling like nothing I can do will ever make a difference. It's difficult when you're in your late teens and everything is changing. I graduated high school and became a legal adult this year. This fall, I'm starting college. That alone could make your head spin. However, these excuses are just that...excuses. I'm going to try and be a better advocate this upcoming year.

A few things have happened since I've been away.

- A section of Ukraine has experienced Russian invasion, and the children in that section are currently unavailable for adoption. This includes every child in the institution where Dakota passed away. Valiant, Kiril and Araminta are all currently unavailable, but I have hope that the conflict will be resolved soon.

- We got an updated picture of Caiden last month. When I saw it, my heart sank. I still feel such grief over what's happened to this beautiful child. The abuse done to him is beyond horrific.


Yes, that is Caiden. God, please don't make him suffer. He doesn't deserve to hurt so badly. I wish more than anything that I could rush over there and bust him out of that institution, out of that country.

- Daniel died this month. He was eight years old. He had been in an institution, and his hydrocephalus was left untreated until it killed him.

January 2006 - August 2014

Soar with the angels, sweet child. You are so very loved.

- Reece's Rainbow lost seven other children while I wasn't posting. Three of those seven died from institutional neglect. 

I am angry.

- Donovan is no longer on the database. I don't know what happened to him. I am trying to see if we can find out. However, I think it's likely that he is dead as well. His two most recent pictures were heartbreaking. He was emaciated and lifeless. If God has ended his suffering, I am thankful, even though I don't want him to be gone. No child deserves a life of pain like Donovan's, or Daniel's, or Hanson's, or Dakota's. If I get an update, I'll write again.


That's all I can think of right now.

Please pray for these children.






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A last chance

My heart is breaking.

This beautiful boy...


...The one who is always helping out the other children...


...The one who is always smiling...


Is running out of time.

TODAY.

Today is his last chance to find a family before he is condemned to a life of pain in an adult mental institution, where he does not belong.

Today is his last chance to find a family that will give him all the love he deserves.

Today is his last chance at a long, happy life.

Today is his last. chance.


If a family doesn't fill out the I-1600a form by today and express it overnight to the Dallas Lockbock Facility, this beautiful boy will lose his chance at a family - FOREVER.

"Barton" (not his real name) was born on December 1st, 1997 in Eastern Europe with cerebral palsy. He is also mentally delayed and has vision issues. However, his cerebral palsy is not as severe as others'- he can walk, run and dance!


He is a quiet boy who loves to be outside. He enjoys watching the birds fly by, and loves feeling the wind on his skin. If there's a leaf on the ground and the wind blows it away, he will playfully run after it. He loves music and is a very enthusiastic dancer.

Sometimes it seems as if he lives in his own world. He doesn't make eye contact usually, but he definitely listens to anyone who speaks to him. He doesn't talk, but understands what others say, and does as he is told. If you tell him "well done", he will continue to do what he was doing before. If you ask him to do something, he will immediately do it and then come to you and stand by you for a moment.


This beautiful boy, if not rescued, will be sentenced to a horrific ordeal in an adult mental institution. He will be grouped together with much older, larger, stronger men. Abuse is very, very common in these institutions, both by the caretakers and the other inmates. If Barton is abused, whether verbally, physically or sexually, he won't be able to stand up for himself and tell anyone. He will be forced to live there until he dies.


It doesn't have to be this way! He CAN live a life filled with love and joy! The potential that this sweet boy holds is immeasurable!
In order for him to live a good life, he needs a family to do this one simple step: fill out the I-1600a form by today and express it overnight to the Dallas Lockbox Facility.

Here is the address for the facility:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

USCIS
P.O. Box 660088
Dallas, TX 75266
For Express mail and courier deliveries:
USCIS
ATTN: Adoption
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business,
Suite 400,
Lewisville, TX 75067

And here is the link to the I-1600a form:



Please, consider adding this beautiful boy to your family. If you even think it could be a yes, but you're waiting for a sign, THIS IS YOUR SIGN! This is his very last chance! Today is all he gets! He can't wait any longer!


Update 2014: Barton has a family and they've passed court :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Three years


I'm so sorry, sweetie. I love you so much.

5/1/2003-11/16/2010
 
Images by Freepik