We have passed court for Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Keep an eye out soon for their photos to pop up on the posts about meeting them, and for longer descriptions of their court days! It will be January before they can come home due to a waiting period after court and extra paperwork time due to the holidays, but they are our newest sons and daughters!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
She CAN be adopted. Her paperwork is being prepared now.
As soon as we learned this information we approached our social worker and our facilitation team. We have rushed through updates and paperwork that typically take months in only a couple weeks.
While we were starting that process, a shocking photo was shared publicly. It spread quickly. It is horrifying. It is almost too much to look at, but it is her life right now, and it has been for quite some time.
If you would like to help us and help her, there are several different ways you can do so.
Her orphanage IS beginning to allow some help, including some added nutrition for her and other children, and two new caretakers. You can make a tax-deductible donation HERE to help provide those things. Because of her current condition, the orphanage doctor and charity worker monitoring the orphanage are keeping an eye on her as her calorie levels are increased. Refeeding syndrome can be a real risk. For now the best we can do while she is in the orphanage is pray she stays stable and that they monitor her closely.
We have a tax-deductible account for fundraising our adoption expenses HERE. We can access those funds once we receive travel dates from her country.
We have a non tax-deductible account HERE, currently only listing the expenses we have had in rushing to prepare our dossier. This money is available to us immediately.
If you would prefer to wait until her paperwork is closer to completion, Keshia Melton is tracking pledged donations toward the adoption. You can contact her by emailing email@example.com and she will also update donors as we receive more paperwork information.
We want to be very clear that at this point our very special girl has not yet been cleared for adoption, but we will be ready as soon as she has. We are completely committed to adopting her. However, because of her current level of malnutrition and her legal status, there is no guarantee that we will be able to get to her in time. We are praying and hoping that we can get her home to love and medical care before it is too late.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
In the meantime, I have some VERY exciting news about Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! We have court dates for all of them! They will be the week after Thanksgiving in America. The first date is the 28th, and the other two will be in following two or three days. My husband hasn't had time to get ready to fly out though, because we have been so busy with this other incredible thing!
We don't expect the kids to be home by Christmas. That is a bit disappointing. Some courts will waive the wait for court decrees to be finalized for kids with special needs and some don't. Some courts count ten days, some ten business days and also add a couple days at the beginning and end. We knew going into this that Amos's court probably would not waive it, so we weren't surprised by that. Plus we have a shorter delay to change Amos's state ID before he can be issued a passport. BUT my husband will fly back after all of their paperwork is ready to get them out! That is assuming things go smoothly and we really hope they do!
While we wait for that, we have ONE FINAL MATCHING GRANT for these four wonderful kids. It will get us fully funded to bring them all home! And with our new adventure already on the horizon, we are really excited to be able to knock out these final costs right now! When our FSP HERE reads $33,765, a donation will be made to fully fund us!
Thank you all so much for your support getting these amazing kids home! I can't wait to share the rest of our excitement with you also!
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
We have another great update. We have this brand new photo of Posey grinning for the camera! These new photos of her are amazing. We are very lucky to be able to get photos and updates right now. Typically they are very rare for the bedridden kids. These updates are going to make a huge difference and help Posey find her family!
I love that her new photos show her smiling! They show how alive she is! People asked if she ever smiled based on her baby photos. She was a beautiful girl with a very solemn face. Now we know that she certainly does smile!
The only thing that could make her smile more would be a family. She loved having someone play with her when she was sitting out in her chair during my husband's visit. The kids aren't usually out like that though. There aren't usually visitors to chatter away and tell her how precious she is. Usually there is day after day spent laying down in a crib.
Posey has SO much potential. She could be so happy in a family. She has been transferred, but she is still so young! She would thrive in a family. The sooner they get there, the better she will do. We have adopted older kids. The years of waiting take a toll on them. I am so thankful to be their mother, but I wish someone could have brought them home sooner. I don't want Posey to have to wait as long as my kids did. Where is her family?
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Right now there are 12 remaining older child grants for children with special needs other than Down syndrome. If you would like to donate to that older child grant fund you can click on the donate button on their page HERE.
There are also 50 remaining older child grants for children with Down syndrome. You can donate to that fund by clicking on the donate button on their page HERE.
Vance http://reecesrainbow.org/56885/vance paperwork and fees need to be filed before he turns 16 at some point in 2017
I had hoped to include a new description of Vance, but my husband was unable to meet with him during all of the chaos of the visit to his orphanage. Vance did have a committed family, but they were unfortunately not able to adopt him. I am very happy that he has been relisted! The facilitator said that paperwork is not an issue right now, so hopefully he will have a new family soon!
We love him! My husband spent a lot of time with him, living on his orphanage grounds for about half of our last adoption. I will write a longer update when my husband has seen him again. We are hoping to include current photos and videos to show how awesome he is and any behaviors he might have. I know another family was recently at the orphanage as well. They had their young children with them. He sat and played a card game with one of their kids.
Vance's country requires married couples with one parent at least 15 years older than him. He will need a family to turn in paperwork and fees before he turns 16 in 2017. We are waiting to receive his exact birthdate. Vance is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant!
Dixon http://reecesrainbow.org/1128/dixon-b-304 paperwork and fees need to be filed before he turns 16 in March 2017
I am hoping Dixon will be one of the kids to receive an updated photo and profile description! Based on his current description he sounds like a very sweet kid with Down syndrome who can do a lot of things considering how long he has lived in an institution. He can walk and understands simple directions! He was learning how to feed himself. I wonder if he can now? He can make some sounds and was learning to talk. He knows his name! Would you believe me if I told you that a lot of kids in institutions never learn their names because they are never called by them? Dixon knows his name.
He likes attention even though he typically plays alone. It sounds like a lot of his play behaviors are very simple and might include a bit of stimming. Stimming is repetitive behavior that children in institutions typically acquire due to sensory needs and a lack of appropriate input. It can seem unusual if you aren't used to it, but it is a way for kids in institutions to help their brains trigger pathways that are rewarding in the absence of the stimuli most kids encounter.
Dixon has been listed for more than six years! He needs a family to file paperwork and fees before he ages out in March 2017. Dixon's country is open to adoption by both married couples and single mothers or fathers. Dixon is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant!
Dean http://reecesrainbow.org/59152/dean adoption needs to be completed before he turns 14 in September 2017
Dean is a quiet boy with delays. He seems like he has taken a bit longer to reach milestones, but he has made consistent progress. His profile says he is able to perform self-care. He can run and use stairs. He entered the orphanage when he was found at 5 years old. He is described as a shy and quiet boy who gets alone well with the other children and adults where he lives.
Friday, November 4, 2016
My husband has selected the file, met, and accepted the referral for our fourth and final child of this adoption, Amos.
Amos was very excited to hear he was going to be adopted! The staff described him as one of the most physically capable kids in his part of the orphanage. They said he is very cooperative and a great helper.
They also described him as uncomfortable being in front of people. They said he spends most of his time in his room. They said he is restless.
Amos is significantly more institutionalized than he was a few years ago before being transferred to this institution. He spent most of the first visit stimming violently, unaware of his surroundings while he was stimming.
He was able to answer questions and talk when he wasn't stimming. He had calmed down by the second visit when my husband returned from signing paperwork. He had fun catching a ball and looking through his photo book.
We are 100% still bringing Amos home, even though we are anticipating his transition may be more difficult than the transition of our other kids. Amos still needs a family, now more than ever. And it is still going to be us.
I will be adding photos to this post after we pass court!
Thursday, November 3, 2016
This beautiful little girl is Posey.
Posey needs a mama and a papa. We are going to help her find them.
It has been at least a year since Posey was transferred to the older child institution. Posey caught my eye during our last adoption. She reminds me of a girl we met named T. I will come back to her also!
Posey is a tiny, dainty little girl. She sometimes seems a bit cautious of her surroundings due to her vision impairment. Orphanages can be scary places. Posey is in the bedridden wing of her institution.
My husband was able to see and play with her during his recent visit there! So exciting!
He was able to glean some information based on the fact that she was out in the open in a group of a few of the healthiest looking children. Sometimes when there are visitors to the orphanage this group is taken out of their beds and cribs. They are placed in wheelchairs in front of a TV in a main room. Since Posey was in this group I am REALLY hoping it will mean she is getting some extra food and attention. It doesn't help the other kids who are never out of their beds, like our Lee, but I am glad for Posey's sake.
My husband had a great time playing with her. She smiled and interacted with him. She seems to be completely blind, but she does turn her head to follow the sound of your voice. She held onto his fingers with her hands. I don't know how much she can move in general because she is always laying down or rarely out in a chair like that. She would benefit SO much from therapy and medication to keep her muscles loose. He said she is absolutely beautiful, but we already knew that.
So now let's talk about what Posey's life might be like if she stays in the orphanage. She reminds me so much of the girl I mentioned earlier, T. T has spent her life in state care. This is a photo of T back when the charities were first beginning their involvement at the old orphanage.
Due to years spent without interaction or sensory input, T touches and pushes on her eyes a lot. This is a very common stimming behavior among blind children and adults in institutions. During a recent visit to the current institution T had a bad infection from doing this.
T will never have a life outside of the bed that she is in right now. T never goes outside. She will spend the rest of her life laying down in a room with no stimulation. I had hoped that Posey would be spared that dull and stifling room. Unfortunately since she was transferred from the baby house, her crib is now in the same room as T's bed. The cycle is continuing. Children are transferred from baby houses to adult institutions. They slowly deteriorate because they are never given the opportunity to develop. T will NEVER be free of that bedridden room. Posey can still escape.
Now on to our job here! We are going to help Posey find a family. We are going to tell everyone all about her! We are going to raise her grant by $1000 between now and New Years Eve! It will be awesome! Anyone who wants to help, feel free! We are going to be a little bit busy with our own adoption and travel during this time, but we didn't want Posey to go unnoticed, so we jumped in!
There is a change in the name of Reece's Rainbow's Christmas campaign. In the past it has been called Angel Tree. The new name is the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign. You can see all of the kids on the page HERE. You can search for her on the page with Ctrl F, or just scroll through looking at all the kids! If you donate $35 to a child, you get an ornament ($5 of the donation goes toward this) and the child's grant goes up by $30. I love these ornaments. The ones I have purchased in past years are very, very special to me. I love seeing how many of those kids have come home to families now!
We will also be running fundraisers for this, including Superman Was Adopted shirts! I am hoping to have the ordering process for those set up soon, so that they can be ordered, printed, and shipped in time for holiday shopping! I will keep everyone up to date on how that is going and what else we have to offer to raise that $1000 for Posey. Please share this and our other posts for Posey to help us make this a success!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
My husband has now selected her file, met Daisy, and accepted her referral! This orphanage visit was quite an adventure!
It started out with my husband and the facilitator picking up the regional social worker. They headed to the orphanage, but the social worker was car sick many, many times. It took them so much longer to get there than they had planned that the orphanage staff didn't think they were coming! The orphanage director had to be called back when they finally arrived. He remembered my husband from our last adoption and everyone was thrilled to hear how our kids are doing now.
Then they went over to meet Daisy. I have some absolutely precious videos to share after we pass court! She was a little surprised to be taken out of her crib to play after her bedtime, but she loved the chance to shake her toy and make noise with it without anyone else to take it from her.
It was after lights out for the rest of the orphanage by the time they were done, so he wasn't able to visit the boys. He did get to see and spend a little time with the girls while he was meeting Daisy though!
Since it was so late they traveled back with the social worker, still sick, and ended up driving her home because her parking lot was already locked. Today they finished the paperwork for this region, so we are just waiting on a court date for this orphanage as well.
My husband still has to meet Amos, and then he will be headed back home to wait for court. We have been given a few tentative timelines, but we won't know our exact court dates for a few weeks. We are hoping everything will coordinate smoothly for the timing with all three courts and my husband's work schedule. He already had to move things around when our travel dates were changed twice, so I don't think he has any more favors left to ask for!
We are also hoping the kids will be safe and healthy until we can get them home. They have all been wonderful so far, and we can't wait to have them here with us!
Monday, October 31, 2016
Those older child grants are pretty amazing. The funds were pooled for the older children to allow the grant money to help any older child with special needs listed on Reece's Rainbow have available funding. It is already harder to find families for older kids, and having funds available to help families who feel prepared to adopt these kids is a huge help! Right now there are 15 remaining older child grants for children with special needs other than Down syndrome. If you would like to donate to that older child grant fund you can click on the donate button on their page HERE. There are also 50 remaining older child grants for children with Down syndrome. You can donate to that fund by clicking on the donate button on their page HERE.
Solomon is the first child this week. I will be writing a more detailed update about Vance later this week after my husband has seen and spent time with him.
Solomon http://reecesrainbow.org/59316/solomon-2 needs paperwork and fees sent in by March 2017
Solomon also used to live at the same institution as some of my boys. He was moved with other boys in 2013 to the facility where he is now. They are also a more closed facility where it is difficult to get updated photos and videos of the children.
Solomon is a quiet boy. He seems sad and scared a lot of the time. His life is probably scary for him. He has been seen with bruising in the past. He usually sits and rocks by himself. He loves to have his head gently rubbed. It makes him smile. Gentle touch like that is rare in his typical day.
A family was recently adopting from Solomon's orphanage. They saw him while they were there. They were surprised to hear how old he is. They said he looks like he is only 6 years old. But he isn't 6. He will actually be 16 in March 2017.
He is a very tiny boy. In his older photos he was even smaller and thinner. There are a lot of reasons why children don't grow while they are living in orphanages. Sometimes there are medical conditions. More often it is lack of nutrition. Usually the budget for food is provided by the state, but it assumes each child will need the same amount of food. Food offered is typically what is available and easy to prepare in large quantities and inexpensive. At one point these kids were being fed semolina porridge exclusively. A lot of the kids were having trouble digesting it due to previous malnutrition. It also clearly isn't a balanced diet. But it is what the orphanage can afford to provide. The amount of food allocated by the state also doesn't take into account that kids with special needs might need more calories. Everyone gets what it is allotted in most places, and that is it.
Lack of human contact and interaction can also keep kids from growing. It is called psychosocial short stature or psychosocial dwarfism. It can occur in kids who are in stressful environments without loving care. Even when appropriate food IS provided, these kids can't grow because of hormone levels and stress responses.
Solomon has cerebral palsy. From what I have heard and what his profile says, he was born without special needs, but was very ill as a small child. The illness caused the cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Sadly I assume that means he lived with his family before he got sick, but was not able to return home afterward. Solomon needs a family who will take him home and love him even if he isn't the same child he was before that illness.
Solomon's orphanage is pro-adoption even though they are closed to charities and visitors. A few families have adopted there over the last few years. There are many available kids who could be adopted at the same time. Many of them are also older and close to aging out. Some are younger and were recently transferred from the baby house. Mario, Morris, Elijah, Jason, Jonathon, Fabio, Athens, Wylie, and Vijay are all there. There are other adoptable kids not listed on Reece's Rainbow also.
Solomon is eligible for a $10,000 older child grant to assist with adoption expenses. You can view his profile HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Friday, October 28, 2016
My husband has selected files, visited, and accepted referrals for our two children in the first orphanage. They are absolutely perfect.
He was able to visit Lee first. His condition is about the same as in the recent photos we had seen. He now cries softly anytime he is touched, another new development from a couple years ago.
He is never out of his crib, so being placed laying down in a stroller and wheeled out into the main room took him a little time to recover from. He did give one smile, when my husband kissed his forehead. He grabbed my husband's finger tightly in his hand.
Medically we are waiting to get more information. We are cautiously optimistic about what we have heard so far, but we don't know much until he has seen doctors here.
Then my husband met Violet. She is amazing. She is absolutely incredible. She is sweet and gentle. She is breathtakingly beautiful. She was so happy to meet her new papa, even though she called him mama the whole time. (Heehee.)
They looked through the photo book together. He brought a Masha doll that plays music, and she had a great time playing with that. They did a puzzle together and played games on a tablet he brought.
We are both so surprised that she waited for so long. And we cannot wait to get both her and Lee home! Documents for this orphanage have all been notarized, so now we are just waiting to get a court date for these two.
I will be updating these posts with photos after we pass court. I cannot wait to share them with you all! We are still $3626 from fully funded.