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We are thrilled to be adopting again! Our tax-deductible fundraising page is HERE! Our current expenses are expected to be $27,500. We are thankful for any support you can offer!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Saul, Barry and Winnie Are Aging Out! Plus June's Aging Out Recap!

This is my newest aging out child post. Did you know that due to rules in other countries and the US, kids eventually "age out" and are no longer available for adoption? These are kids who are getting very close to that cutoff and need committed families immediately. There are more kids in danger of aging out listed HERE at Reece's Rainbow. If you're interested in any of these kids, don't delay. Email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org ASAP to see if you are eligible to adopt from this country and get connected with their listing agency!

Today we are talking about Saul, Barry and Winnie. Their country requires adoptions to be completed before the child turns 14. The country does move quickly for aging out kids! There should be enough time for a family willing to move quickly to start an adoption for one of these kids from scratch and finish in time. A family already in process would be great too! Single parents and older parents can adopt from this country. They also waive some of their typical requirements for kids with special needs and aging out kids. The only requirements I have not heard of them waiving are the requirements that the parent or parents are at least 30 years old and the adoption deadline of the 14th birthday.

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Saul http://reecesrainbow.org/64947/saul-2  December

Saul is a very outgoing and happy boy! He has nephritic syndrome (According to google, that's "A kidney disorder that causes the body to excrete too much protein in the urine.") and a cleft lip and palate that have been operated on in his country. He loves to go fishing! He is attending a special education school within the orphanage. He gets along well with his peers. Saul's adoption must be completed before he turns 14 in December. He is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant for his adoption expenses through Reece's Rainbow. He also has a $5000 agency grant available and his orphanage donation has been reduced. It may be possible for it to be waived completely. All of those grants and reductions would make his adoption much easier to afford!



Please go look at the rest of Saul's profile HERE and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information!

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Barry http://reecesrainbow.org/96447/barry December

Barry is a very smart boy! He has cerebral palsy. He is very determined and dedicated. He worked hard to practice and perform a song at his New Year celebration. He tries very hard to improve upon his current abilities to stand and use a walker. He needs a family where he can receive more therapy and continue to progress! According to his profile he was raised in a home environment for his first 4.5 years and is very respectful and helpful. He sounds like a great, hard-working kid who deserves a chance to have a family! Barry's adoption must be completed before he turns 14 in December. Barry is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to help with his adoption expenses.


Please go look at the rest of Barry's profile HERE and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information!

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Winnie http://reecesrainbow.org/37547/winnie December 27

Winnie has been listed for more than 4 years! She is very sweet and helpful. She sounds like she would be an absolute joy to have in a family. Her listed special need is a mild humpback, but it is described on her profile as not too serious. She can walk and talk well. There are many jobs at the orphanage that she enjoys helping with, including feeding the younger kids. I would be so happy to see her find a family! She sounds amazing! Winnie's adoption must be completed before she turns 14 on December 27th. She is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to help with her adoption expenses.

UPDATE: I was also informed of this page with tons more photos and videos and information about Winnie. Guys, she sounds amazing. Go check it out. http://twentyless.com/winnie/








Please go look at the rest of Winnie's profile HERE and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information.

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Now onto our recap of all of the aging out children I have posted this month! As you look over the children, you will see that we don't have any kids who have found families. That sounds really depressing. On the other hand, we have had a tremendous amount of interest generated in aging out kids! So many more people have viewed them on these blog posts, viewed their profiles, and shared the kids and their need to be adopted. We've started with the kids who had the least amount of time left. These were the kids who would need miracles to be adopted. Many of these kids still have time to be adopted! We've learned that it is too late for some of them, but we've also learned how to advocate better in the future, to give more kids a chance! I'm very hopeful looking to the future that we will get ahead of the emergency needs and have more success finding families for kids while there is more time for a family to jump in and complete the process. Thank you all so much for helping these kids be seen! If you haven't yet, I hope you will join in!



Marshall still does not have a family that I am aware of. His adoption must be completed by July, so unless there is a family who is not connected to Reece's Rainbow pursuing him, he will likely age out without a family.




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Leonard still does not have a family that I am aware of. His adoption must be completed by July 26th. There may still be time for a family further along in the process to add him on, but they would need to act right now. If that might be you or someone you know, please consider Leonard!


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Flynn still does not have a family that I am aware of. His adoption must be completed by August. There may still be time for a family further along in the process to add him on! If that might be you or someone you know, please consider Flynn!


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Tara still does not have a family that I am aware of. Her adoption must be completed by September. That is plenty of time for a family in process to add her on! Please share Tara with anyone who might be in the position to add her on to their adoption!



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Ashley still does not have a family that I am aware of. There is someone who met her and would talk to interested families about her! They have said she wants to be adopted. Her adoption needs to be completed by October. A family in process would definitely have enough time to add her to their adoption! A family racing through the process might also have enough time to start an adoption from scratch! Ashley has really touched my heart and I would be so thrilled to see her find a family! Please share her!


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Toni still does not have a family that I am aware of. Her adoption needs to be completed by October. A family in process would definitely have enough time to add her to their adoption! A family racing through the process might also have enough time to start an adoption from scratch. Please share and consider Toni!


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Frankie does not have a family. Her country has a very small program and it is unlikely that there is anyone in process who can add her to their adoption. Because it is such a small program, adoption of aging out children is rare and the aging out process is a bit uncertain. We have learned that adoption of aging out kids needs to begin far before their birthday. Because of this, we will be advocating for Michael to find a family. He has a year and a half until he turns 16, but he needs a family to begin the process soon in order to complete his adoption in time. Please help share Michael so that he doesn't age out without a family like Frankie.

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I did not write a blog post for Brandon because we were informed that his country would require an I-800 instead of an I-800A before he turns 16. That requires a family to be further in the process and there weren't any known eligible families. If you do know someone adopting from his country who could file an I-800 before his birthday and is interested in adopting him, PLEASE have them contact their agency ASAP to make that happen. We don't know the exact process for aging out children from this country, but we have now been told that an I-800 is required. We will begin advocating sooner for other aging out children from this country.





You can see the other posts from this month here:
Marshall, Leonard and Flynn Are Aging Out!
Tara, Ashley and Toni Are Aging Out!
Frankie is Aging Out!



Auction!

We will be running an auction to raise funds for this adoption like we did with our last. We will open up bidding on July 11th! Head to our facebook page HERE and LIKE the page now so you don't miss out! If anyone is interested in donating items for the auction, please send me an email at kayleighbloom@gmail.com to let me know. Your support is so appreciated. Thank you all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pottery Barn Gift Card Auction

UPDATE: Current high bid is $110!

We are auctioning off a $150 gift card to Pottery Barn! Yay! I love Pottery Barn!


Here is what we are doing:

Starting bid is $90! Auction runs from now (Ready, set, go!) until Saturday 6/25 at 11 PM EST. I will be keeping track of bids both on the comments on this blogpost AND on Facebook. If you would like to bid just comment here, on the post in the Reece's Rainbow Facebook group, or on the post on my personal Facebook page! I will make sure the correct current high bid is displayed in all three places. Since we are bidding in different places, I will extend the bidding for five minutes for each bid placed at the deadline to give bidders on the blog and on Facebook the chance to defend their bids! 

Why should you bid? For those who don't know our family, we adopted four older boys from Eastern Europe in 2014. We are heading back again!


Amos has already turned 16. His future if not adopted is an adult facility where both stronger and weaker residents are locked into a caged shed. He is a gentle and helpful boy who was good friends with Barton, who we adopted in 2014 after he had already aged out. 



Daisy and Lee were both in the same bedridden room as our son Evan. Daisy was moved into a group home, but was going to lose her chance for a family and be unadoptable due to changes in the legal status of that group home. At 18 she would have been returned to the same life she had lived before. We are adopting her instead. Lee was moved to a different facility for bedridden children where he has been deteriorating. He potentially has a very complicated medical condition that is not being treated at all where he is.



Violet is a very sweet girl who was friends with two of our boys. She has been listed for a very long time, and we are very excited to be adopting her as well! She is going be an amazing sister and daughter!


Thank you so much for all of your support! Feel free to share this blog post with any of your friends who might be interested in bidding!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Frankie Is Aging Out!

UPDATE: We have some unfortunate information about the aging out process in this country. Because of the length of time the adoption process takes, the agency says it is too late for a family to adopt Frankie unless they are already approved by her country and ready for a match. As a small program with between 7 and 30 kids adopted per year over the last five years, it is unlikely but not impossible that there is a family out there who could adopt her. If you know a family that might be at that stage and approved to adopt a child her age with her needs, please share her with them. Based on the new information about children aging out in her country Michael needs a committed family urgently. We need to find him a family in time so that he doesn't age out too!

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This is the next post advocating for kids who are aging out. This is a cause very near to my heart. Our own son, Barton, had already aged out when we adopted him. He is a treasure! I am posting for other kids who will be aging out soon. If you are interested in adopting one of these children, don't hesitate! Contact childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org right away to ask for more information! You can find the aging out children HERE on the Reece's Rainbow site if you would like to help advocate too! Sharing on social media and writing blog posts is a great way to help kids be seen by possible families.

Frankie http://reecesrainbow.org/40616/frankie Aging out in July!

Today we are talking about Frankie! Her country has removed listing photos of children, but I have seen photos of her from the past. She looks great! She has a very warm, welcoming smile! Frankie has Down Syndrome. Her profile says she has moderate delays. Her most recent report is from 2009, 7 years ago. She plays games and likes dancing. She could use a pencil and scissors. She can kick and throw a ball. She has likely progressed since her last update, but it is difficult to guess how much. She is also described as self-sufficient and confident. Her photos really reflect that! She looks like a very confident, capable girl!

We don't know when in July Frankie's birthday is. It is also unknown if anyone has completed an aging out adoption in her country, where the process is typically longer. She needs a family willing to take the chance and find out more to try and bring her home! Her grant to assist with adoption expenses is over $10,300! Her country is open to single moms or married families who have been together at least 2.5 years. There is no set limit on family size. Two unrelated children in the same orphanage can be adopted together. Contact childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org with more questions!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Papas Wanted

This is a guest post written by my husband for Father's Day. He wanted to share his experiences and he hopes he can encourage other papas to step forward and adopt as well.

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Two years ago my wife and I began the process that culminated in my Bizarro version of a European vacation.  Cincinnati to Washington DC to Frankfurt Germany and on to Eastern Europe........check.  Cincinnati to Washington DC to Munich Germany to Eastern Europe.............check.  Cincinnati to Washington DC to Berlin Germany to Eastern Europe ........check.  Cincinnati to Newark NJ to Vienna Austria to Eastern Europe.........check.  It was almost like a Cyrillic version of the movie Groundhog Day.  In my four months in Eastern Europe I learned many things.  Some expected.  Some unexpected.  Expected things like always carry toilet paper with you, never drink the water and sleep whenever you can.  Unexpected things like foreign service agents travel by bus and malls have pay-to-use squattie potties.  The one truly unexpected thing that I learned took almost two years for me to truly understand.

I had four wonderful biological children before my trip.  I was a very good dad and in some instances (like when I brought home popsicles) I was labeled the best dad in the world by some small children.  However, it took the herculean effort of bringing home Orion, Evan, Theo and Barton to realize what it means to be a papa.

Now dad and papa mean two different things.  Anybody who has traveled to Eastern Europe knows that.  But for me the true meaning took some time to reveal itself.  These boys never heard the terms dad or father but they were always told that a papa might come along some day and take them away to live in a home and have a family.  But what was a papa?  What would he look like?  When would he come?  The answer to all three questions comes in one word..........Hope.  A papa brings hope.  No matter what shape or size.  No matter if he came tomorrow or next week.  A papa comes with shirts and shoes and lots of hope.  He brings ice cream cones and bananas and hope.

When I first met Barton I never even knew that he could speak.  I almost had a heart attack when he began answering questions that he was asked.  He was asked if he wanted to have a family.  He said yes.  He was asked if he wanted to go live with a family and have a mama and a papa.  He answered yes.  But could I be that papa for him?  I wasn't sure until I was sitting in a courtroom five months later.  The judge asked Barton who was sitting next to him.  He calmly said "My papa".

The day I first met Evan he screamed like a horror movie queen the moment I touched him.  I knew that his special needs were fairly extreme and I was frightened.  Frightened of the long term needs of this frail little boy.  Frightened every time I touched him and he screamed.  Frightened that I could never be the papa that he needs.  In time he screamed less and I discovered his tickle spots. (He loves to be tickled behind his jaw!)  Mainly I was frightened that I was adopting a child that I felt would never be able to reciprocate affection or make his needs known.  What a fool I was wasting so much time being afraid.  What a fool I was for not seeing the glow of God's love in this child.  Most of all I was being selfish.  What would a child who may need a lifetime of care do to my marriage and my family?  I will tell you what this child did.  He completed our family and showed me that extraordinary things come from the most unexpected places.  Evan filled a hole in my heart that I never even knew existed and holding that little boy today brings me closer to God than I ever thought I could reach.

When I first met Orion and Theo, Theo played it cool while Orion prostrated himself on the ground and proclaimed that he had always known that a papa would come for him some day.  But what did papa mean to each of these boys?  For Theo, papa meant somebody who would stay with him and his wheelchair while the other children ran ahead and played.  For Orion, papa meant somebody who would spoil him with treats and let him be mischievous.  In time I came to learn that what Theo really wanted in a papa was somebody who would help him achieve his dream of walking (halfway there Buddy!) Somebody who would watch Paw Patrol with him, scan the streets for fire trucks with him and make pancakes for him.  Astonishingly I came to learn that what Orion truly wanted in a papa was the requisite mama that came along with me.  It certainly hasn't been an easy road with Orion, but seeing him and my wife meet for the first time was truly incredible.  A boy on the verge of becoming a man, fully knowing that his birth mother had abandoned him at the hospital when he was three days old, meeting a strange woman who flew one third of the way around the world to show him that he would no longer be alone.  My wife has always inspired me and that was one of those moments that left me speechless (Very rare occasion.).  How I could I possibly be four different papas to four different boys at four very different developmental stages?  Would I lose my mind trying?

The answer was both complicated and simple.  I simply had to be myself.  Each boy needed a papa and I was available.  Knowing the future (or lack thereof) that each of these boys faced has made the decision to adopt them the most rewarding and fulfilling yet challenging scenario that I could have faced.  Children in orphanages do not need perfect parents. They need real mamas and real papas. They need somebody who will help them realize that life no longer has any limits.  They need somebody who will tell them that they can do anything or be anything they want.  They need somebody to tell them that no matter what happens, they will always be loved.  They will never be alone.  The world will no longer be dark for them.  The world will no longer be a wheelchair sitting in a grassy field.  Or a crib with bars.

As I look forward to adding to our family this year and with Father's Day fast approaching, I am reaching out to all the potential and future "papas" out there.  For all of you I have one thing to say......You can do this.  I have always believed that if somebody can do a good deed, they should.  If somebody has the capacity for good they should act on it.  As I approach middle age I have had a true moment of insight.  At 39 years old I will probably never change the world.  I will never cure cancer.  I will never win an Academy Award or a Pulitzer Prize.  But for four young boys I changed their world.  I cured them of hopelessness and loneliness.  They are the prize that I won.  And for that I will be forever grateful.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tara, Ashley and Toni Are Aging Out!

UPDATE: There is a family who has met Ashley. Ashley WANTS to be adopted! Please share to help Ashley find a family of her own! The person who met Ashley will talk with anyone who is interested! 

Today we are talking about Tara, Ashley and Toni who are aging out soon! Last time I posted Marshall, Leonard and Flynn. They still need families ASAP who can complete their adoptions before each boy turns 14. If you know someone who is in process for this country and may be able to add one of them onto a current adoption, please share these children with them! The three girls I am posting today are from the same country with the same aging out cut-off of 14. And again, unlike other countries where immigration paperwork only needs to be submitted in time, these children need their adoptions finalized before their aging out date!

These girls have birthdays in a few months. Their best chance for families are still families already in process for their country, but there might be a chance for a family to reuse a dossier or start from scratch and move very, very quickly. I have heard of aging out adoptions being completed in 4 months start to finish, but it requires everything to work out perfectly. The family can't have delays, the agency must expedite, and immigration needs to as well. A family willing to try might get there in time though!  Send an email to childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information about international adoption of these and other children with special needs.

Please consider joining in and helping advocate for these kids who are about to age out. It is challenging, but it is worthwhile. Learning about these children and their need to be adopted in this short amount of time truly changes you. Every child is different, but they all need the same thing. And who knows, you might find the child you advocate for is one who is supposed to be in your own home.

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Tara will turn 14 in September. It is very sad to look at her profile and realize she has been listed for almost six years. She is on the verge of aging out and still waiting for a family. She has a very large grant of $15,743 to assist a family with adoption expenses. Single parents can adopt from her country! Tara has Down Syndrome. Her profile says she can take care of her daily needs and communicate with sign language. She can jump and climb and enjoys bike riding! She is described as outgoing. Her profile says she is very good at communicating her emotions. She sounds like a girl who would thrive in an active household. She needs a family. Please go HERE to see the rest of her profile, and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information about adopting her!





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UPDATE: There is a family who has met Ashley. Ashley WANTS to be adopted! Please share to help Ashley find a family of her own! The person who met Ashley will talk with anyone who is interested! 

Ashley will be turning 14 in October. Ashley has Down Syndrome. She has really great self-care and communication skills! She can speak in sentences and follow directions. She can take of her own needs and assist in the foster home where she is currently living. Foster homes and the way they are run vary in different countries. In her country, they often provide good care for the children, but the children are not able to stay there as adults. Children in foster homes can still be adopted in her country. (This is unlike the foster home change I have posted about in Eastern Europe.) Foster homes can provide a great foundation for children to build attachment skills that will help them transition into a new family. Ashley's profile says she is affectionate and shows affection toward her foster mother. That is a great sign! Ashley sounds like a very loveable girl who would do really well in a family. She loves to dress in pretty clothes and have her hair in pigtails. I would be so happy to see her adopted before she ages out! She is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to assist with adoption expenses! Single parents can adopt from this country. Where is her family?? Please go HERE to see the rest of her profile, and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information about adopting her!





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Toni will also be turning 14 in October. Her profile says that she is very serious and concerned about aging out without a family. I can't even begin to imagine how scary it must be to realize that your next birthday signifies the loss of your chance to be adopted. Toni has vision loss in one eye and some hearing loss. She now wears hearing aides and is learning to speak. She needs a family to help her continue the progress she has been making. She can follow spoken directions, write her name, do addition, perform daily self-care and assist in her foster home. She even helps care for the younger children in the foster home. She enjoys playing outdoors and doing crafts. She sounds like an absolutely amazing girl who would really benefit from a family. She is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to assist with her adoption expenses. Single parents can adopt from this country. Please go HERE to see the rest of her profile, and email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information about adopting her!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Marshall, Leonard And Flynn Are Aging Out!

I posted recently about increasing the exposure of kids who are about to age out, in the hopes that more children will find families in time. Here are a few children who are in immediate danger of aging out.

These three boys are all in the same country. Each boy will forever lose his chance for a family on his 14th birthday. In this country the adoption must be finalized before that date. A family in process would be their best chance to be adopted in time. Most agencies are willing to move quickly for aging out children. Some also allow waivers for requirements based on the needs of the child. The two requirements that can't be waived are the minimum age of 30 and the need for the adoption to be completed by the child's 14th birthday. Single parents can adopt from this country! You can email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information on these and other children with special needs available for international adoption!

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Marshall has hydrocephalus that has been treated. In 2006 he received a shunt to drain fluid from his brain. It was revised in 2009. He sounds like a very capable boy who takes care of his own daily needs. He is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant! His exact birthday is not listed, but he will age out in July. A family currently in process for his country may be able to race and add him onto their adoption. That is really his only chance so close to his birthday. I'm hoping his birthday is toward the end of the month and he has time for a miracle! 
Go to his profile HERE to read more about him. You can email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information. 


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We know the date of Leonard's birthday! He has until July 26th to be adopted. A family currently in process may be able to add him on and expedite his adoption in the next 6 weeks. They would have to move very, very fast. Leonard has cerebral palsy. I would describe it as mild from his profile. He is able to take care of his needs, walk and run, use stairs, and communicate well. 
His profile describes him as a child who enjoys the company of others. He is also eligible for a $10,000 older child grant for his adoption expenses! Go to his profile HERE to read more about him. You can email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information. 


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Flynn will turn 14 in August. Again, a family already in process is his best chance for being adopted in time. Flynn also has cerebral palsy. His needs also sound relatively mild, and his profile says he is able to do his own self-care, walk and run, and climb stairs. He is described as very intelligent. He even knows some English! His profile also lists hepatitis B. I have a few friends who have adopted children with hepatitis B. They have all described it as very manageable within their families. Flynn sounds like a really great kid! He is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant, and he also has a $3,500 agency grant to assist with his adoption expenses. $13,500 is a huge amount and would be very helpful to an adopting family! Go to his profile HERE to read more about him. You can email childinquiry@reecesrainbow.org for more information. 


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Evan, Two Years Later. Plus the Beginning of the Bedridden Project!

I've been working on a bit of a project for the bedridden kids recently. It has grown much bigger than I expected. It isn't finished yet, but I'm going to start sharing it in pieces now. There is more coming, but this is the start!

Today is two years that Theo, Orion and Evan have been home. It is also Evan's 13th birthday. He has changed so much in the last two years. More than anything, I want people to see how much Evan has grown and changed. I want people to see how different his life is and how much better he has made our lives.

The birthday boy is very happy with all of the attention being on him for his special day.

He has grown and changed so much over the last two years. He has made our lives so much better.


This was Evan's referral photo. This was the photo in his file to identify him and for possible parents to see. It is, frankly, very intimidating compared to the child in front of us today.

Two years ago, Evan was scared. Everything was new to him. Even being lifted from his crib was terrifying. He was so rarely taken out, and if he was it was for something most likely painful or uncomfortable. Being upright was a sudden and startling change from constantly laying horizontal in a crib.

Evan stayed in his crib during many of our visits because taking him out was so scary and painful for him.

He was so thin, starving. He would barely eat for the nannies. With so many children to feed, if a kid fussed and refused to eat the nannies moved on to the next crib. Sometimes they came back around and tried again. Sometimes a more eager eater was given their bottle instead. When he turned 11 he wore the same size diaper as my 1 year old.

Even eating was exhausting because he was so small. He fell asleep as soon as he finished eating in our apartment waiting for passports.

This photo is from his birthday exactly 2 years ago. We were traveling home. Do you see how that shirt hangs off of him?

Here is a photo from the following year. Do you see his younger brother filling out the same shirt as a 2 year old? 

He was also in pain very often. Without the regular stretching necessary for kids with cerebral palsy, his muscles would get very tight. He had extreme stomach discomfort from the techniques used to manage bowel movements within the orphanage. He had bone degeneration from constantly laying down. You need to bear weight and receive proper nutrition for bone growth, especially if you have spasticity from cerebral palsy. His hips suffered greatly without those things.

But we brought him home. And he grew. He grew in so many ways. He put on weight. We spent a year and a half slowly learning to eat. He had laid flat on his back drinking thin liquids from a cut open nipple in the orphanage. That's a huge risk for aspiration. We started moving him more and more inclined during feedings. We moved onto slightly thickening his liquids, but he would still only drink juice or vanilla flavored formula. We were able to gradually add more flavors and textures from a bottle, until Evan started eating from a spoon practically overnight. Now he can eat all all sorts of foods from a spoon. Chewier things still get puréed, but he can eat all sorts of foods right off the table with our family now!

Evan was just starting to fill in here.

Growing more! Look at that tummy and those legs!

He learned what it was like to have the freedom to roll all the way over instead of from side to side. He seemed completely baffled in the beginning to find he could keep rolling and not hit the side of a crib. He is not only used to being upright, he can now sit independently for short periods of time!

This crib was Evan's entire world. 

Evan can now sit all by himself!

Most importantly, he is happy and loved. He loves to snuggle on the couch. He loves to play with his favorite toys. He has a mama and papa, plus lots of brothers and sisters, who dote on him. He laughs and smiles when he is picked up these days, because he knows something great is always about to happen. He has grown from the scared and confused child we met into a son who knows he is loved.

His first day out of the crib at the orphanage.

One of his early medical appointments.

Home a few months.

Here is Evan playing with one of his favorite toys a few weeks ago.


Evan is very, very special. But he isn't unusual or unique. There are many other kids out there, just waiting for their own family to bring them home. Some of them still have their smile and sparkle in their crib. Some of them need help to feel safe in the world, like Evan did. They all need families. That is why we are going back again. Daisy and Lee were next to Evan in the bedridden ward. I'm going to start introducing some of the other bedridden children who also need families. All of these children are worthy of families and love. They just need someone to come forward. 

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Leilani's need is urgent. She was recently transferred from the baby house to the same bedridden ward as Denzel, Phoenix and others. She will die very quickly there. These photos show her getting older before she was transferred. The cold truth is that she was wasting away in the better equipped baby house. The baby house has more medical staff and equipment. Her needs are too great for the lesser care in the facility for older children. She needs a family who can act immediately. She has a grant of over $10,000 toward her adoption.




http://reecesrainbow.org/53187/leilani

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There is very little information available for Stanley.  It is clear his life would be much better in a family. He looks very thin in his photo, but he also looks alert and aware. He was born in 2009. Someone needs to bring him home!




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Lydia has the best smile! Look at how happy she is! She would be such a blessing to a family. I would guess she has been transferred since her last update 3 years ago. She needs a family. She has an adoption grant of nearly $1500.



http://reecesrainbow.org/56784/lydia-2

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I have spoken about Denzel many times. He was in Evan's room. We spent a lot of time with him! He will turn 16 and age out in 6 months. He will die in a crib unless he is adopted. He would thrive in a family. His life could be amazing. But it won't happen unless some steps forward and brings him home. He is now eligible for a $10,000 grant from the older child grant pool.



http://reecesrainbow.org/65205/denzel

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You can do this. We didn't do anything earth shattering with Evan. We brought him home and took care of him. That's it. Any family could have done that. These kids need families to make that leap too. It can seem scary, but they are just kids who need families. Adoption changes lives.

Friday, June 10, 2016

What Can We Do Better?

Does anyone remember two years ago when almost every aging out child ended up with a committed family? Casey and Iggy were saved, we adopted Barton, Sophie (listed as Salome) was adopted, Gene was adopted, I know there were a few others too. Last year Svetlana and Ruby were adopted after they aged out. This last fall and winter, a ton of kids were lost. We planned to adopt Amos and sent in our paperwork to immigration, but we couldn't commit until we moved and started our homestudy. 

I counted at least 9 other kids who aged out around that time without families. 9 kids. Other kids who need families urgently are being left behind as well. The kids moving to foster homes at orphanage 50 are SO loved by SO many people. But where are the families? Frail bedridden kids are being transferred to die. I want ALL the kids to have families. I cheer for every single kid who makes it home. Go adopt the sweet squishy babies too. But where is the rallying?

What has changed within the community? I know *I* feel a personal failing in this regard. I don't have as much time to blog and post because I am busier here at home with the kids we have already brought home. There are still awesome families stepping up for kids who are about to age out. Ricky and Elizabeth's family! Look at that awesomeness! How do we find more families? How do we better support the families who do come forward? How do we save more kids? There are so many kids on the verge of aging out right now. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2 More!

If you've seen our fundraising page lately, you might have noticed something new. We wanted to wait until we had our homestudy draft to be sure we had four approvals. Now that we have that, we have some very exciting news. We are adding both Lee and Violet to our adoption! They each get their own post! Go check them out! Here is Lee's, and here is Violet's. We are so happy to add them to our adoption plans!

Lee

Now that we know how many kids we are planning to adopt and we can guess where we will be heading, we can make some cost estimates. Lee and Violet are both over 10 and eligible for the new $10,000 grants. That is hugely helpful and was a very unexpected surprise! These numbers are all estimates, but they give us a much better ballpark to shoot for.


Violet

Costs for Amos $20,000
Costs for Daisy in another region $15,000
Costs for Lee at the same orphanage $5000
Costs for Violet at the same orphanage $5000
Extra flights between trips $2500

Amos

That would bring our total to approximately $47,500. The two grants take off $20,000. That means our FSP needs to read $27,500. Right now we are at about $1500, but our account will soon read $3000, thanks to our amazing matching grant and everyone's support. We have quite a ways to go. We still have a few shirts for sale, and I can run another printing if we have enough interest. We are doing some local fundraisers in the meantime. As we post new fundraisers, feel free to share them far and wide!

Daisy