We are home with Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Meanwhile we have jumped in again for one last very special girl. If you would like to help with that, you can make a non-tax-deductible donation HERE that we can access immediately. You can also make a tax-deductible donation HERE that we can use once we receive travel dates. Or by donating HERE you can help provide her and other children at her orphanage the care and nutrition they desperately need. See all of our current fundraisers HERE. We are thankful for any support you can offer!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yes, You Can Do It.

"I could never do that. God bless you!"

Those well intentioned words, so frequently heard by adoptive parents. The truth is, you CAN do it. You can.

I am not a saint. I am a sorta crazy mom who loves her kids to pieces. I know tons of moms just like that. That's not unusual. I'm a mom. I love my kids. That's what moms are supposed to do. Some of my kids just happened to be born on the other side of the world.

Are you already a mom? A dad? Or not yet but you want to be? YOU can do this too.

It's really not that tough. I set another plate at the table. I do more laundry. (But yet never seem to get it folded. Again, I am not a saint.) I kiss another boo-boo. I sing another bedtime song. We go to another appointment. Can't do a dozen kids? That's cool. How about one? Do you have room for one more?

Your life might get a little crazier. If you already have kids, it's probably crazy already. Embrace it. A little extra crazy is a small price to pay for a child to live outside of an institution.

Okay, truth. Sometimes it is heartbreakingly hard, but that is being a mom. Every mom has had her heart broken for the kids she loves. That's because we love our kids. It's still worth it. You can still do it.

Mother's Day is coming up. I want all these kids to have a mom of their own before Mother's Day next year. These are only a few of the waiting children listed on Reece's Rainbow. Do you have room for one of them in your home, your family, your heart? Go HERE to ask for more information on any of these kids or adoption programs! You can do it!

This tiny boy is only a baby, born this year. UPDATE: 7/11/16: A family has committed to adopt Domenic!

Kids with spina bifida are often of typical intelligence, but are still sent to institutions because of their physical limitations. Kiara can recite poems! UPDATE 9/30/16: A family has committed to adopt Kiara!

LOOK  CLOSELY at how small his legs are. He is 14. He is eligible for a $10,000 grant. UPDATE: 4/19/17: Jayce has a committed family!

She is adorable and I don't know why she is still waiting! UPDATE 7/5/16: Penny is now being cared for by a family in her own country!

He is so cute! This country is open to adoption by single moms! Their process is also very stable and predictable.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hankie Fundraiser

This is a trial run to see how popular this fundraiser will be. You guys all know how many tearjerker stories you come across in the adoption world and on Reece's Rainbow. Sometimes you just need a hankie!

For any donation of $5 or more to our FSP HERE, we will send you a plain white handkerchief and a photo of your choice in a card. If you have your own favorite child listed on Reece's Rainbow we can include their photo. Even better, we can help you introduce a friend to the child who is meant for them! Tell us which child and where we should send their card! Or we could mail you a photo of one of the children we are adopting. After you have made your donation, please forward your receipt to me at and include your mailing address and any special instructions. If you are outside of the US, let me know ahead of time and we can try to work out a shipping arrangement.

We still have a $1500 matching grant in progress! Thank you for helping us adopt Amos and Daisy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Update On Theo And Our Homestudy

We still have a $1500 matching grant to meet for our adoption of Amos and Daisy! Donations are tax deductible!

What a busy week!

One of the best parts of our recent move has been getting things established with our new medical team in our new state. I am SO happy with them. Let's compare. Our last medical group was highly recommended. The surgeon had pioneered some of the techniques Theo might have had. Unfortunately we were stuck spinning our wheels in referrals from one area of the hospital to another, so he still hadn't even had a surgical consult. We started out in the international adoption clinic, who referred us to the rehab department. Theo's first doctor was very pessimistic about his ability to gain any functionality because of his age, before she had even examined him. We needed to wait for him to be transferred to the other doctor in the department who Evan had been seeing. We liked her and she was very positive about our boys. Unfortunately everyone else liked her too and it took a long time to switch Theo over to her. From there we needed a referral for the CP clinic, who would have referred us to surgery, but we are still on their waiting list to be seen! (Could you follow all that? Now imagine adding in treatment for other medical issues, and billing and insurance hassles.) 

In contrast, our new family doctor is highly recommended by United CP. She was able to get Theo a referral to an ortho surgeon with an appointment a couple weeks later, and surgery a couple weeks after that. They've been great. They're realistic but positive about what we might see with surgery and therapy.

Theo just had his first foot surgery and the results are amazing. We started out with his consult and the surgeon looked everything over. They decided to do one foot first and see how it responds, then use that information to decide what's best for his more complicated foot. We met everyone who would do the surgery, they prayed over Theo, and told us when to come back.

Ready for surgery!

Theo did a really great job going into surgery. Medical procedures can be very scary for kids, but especially kids who have been adopted. We had to calm a hysterical Orion before his first doctor appointment because he was terrified the doctor would hurt him or cut his legs off if he didn't listen. We explained everything to Theo ahead of time. He was nervous but he did great. 

The surgeon tightened and loosened different tendons and ligaments through Theo's lower leg. Seeing Theo's foot sit flat for the first time ever was amazing. They sent him home in a gauze bandage to rest. And rest he did, at first. Then he started waking up more and wanting to be able to move around. That part was tough for him. We've spent the last two years teaching him to get up and go do what he wants without asking permission. He's gotten much better at that! Now suddenly we didn't want him to move. Luckily we only needed to make it through one night.

Sleepy boy!

It was easier to keep his foot elevated while he was sleeping!

Flat-footed for the first time!

This morning Theo went back to get his surgical site checked out and to discuss casting. He is in a hard cast for six weeks, with recasting every other week to turn his foot closer to center. The cast is a big improvement because he has the freedom to move around again. The team was so impressed with how it came out that they told all the other doctors and nurses from the group to stop by his room and check out the results.

Look at the difference between those feet!

Theo is pretty impressed too. He is ready to be up and learning how to walk. He is allowed to bear weight on the cast as he can tolerate, but it will be a little while before he has healed enough for that. We also need to get his second foot straightened so that he isn't standing on that foot upside down, causing more damage. He keeps asking if they can start the other foot tomorrow. Soon, buddy!

Orion has had a couple appointments with this medical group as well. We've been tracking his thyroid since he came home, but his most recent values have spiked. If they are still elevated in a month they will need treatment. They are also trying to get to the bottom of some spinal issues he has. He was very excited when he got home from his most recent appointment and could tell everyone about his X-rays. He kept his wristband from the hospital as a bracelet for a couple days!

Barton and Evan have both had appointments with this group too. Barton is very shy in new settings and Evan can still get overwhelmed at appointments, but everyone was great with both of them. Again, we LOVE this medical group!

We are sending over all of our completed paperwork for our homestudy, then waiting on our draft. After that is checked over it will be sent on to our Hague agency for review and then forwarded to USCIS. We have been busy getting our dossier paperwork done in the meantime so that everything will be ready to go. Most of the dossier is still the same as last time, so that part of the process has been much easier the second time around. I knew to request our marriage certificates from the filing office, signed by the elected official, written in ink rather than stamped. (Guess how many tries that took to get right last time!) The homestudy felt much harder this time. Our social worker is really nice! But I have everything stuck in my head from our last homestudy which was done in a different state with a different agency. I think we made it through! Lots of work but it is worth it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Daisy Will Have Her Chance To Bloom

We are coming for Daisy. Her sunshiny, smiling personality is going to have a chance to shine and grow. Daisy is going to have a family. Her hair will grow out and we will buy her barrettes and bows. She will have pretty girly clothes. She will have a big girl bed of her very own, no more crib. She has sisters who are so, so happy to add another girl to the family. They've been feeling outnumbered! She has brothers who can't wait for her to get here. We are all so excited!

Daisy has been in our heart for a long time. She was still in the bedridden ward when we adopted Evan. Her crib was on one side. On the other side was a fishtank, then the child I've mentioned before as V. My husband would visit Evan, and play with them too while he was there. Daisy would watch my husband stroke Evan's hair, then smile and quietly pat her own head. She was taken out of her crib more often than Evan or V, taken to the playroom at the other end of the building when the caregivers hired by the charity were working. She would scoot around the playroom looking at toys, but she always had to come back to her crib.

There were other children and adults in the bedridden room too. A girl near the wall past Daisy's crib would stim very loudly, grunting and throwing her whole body against her crib over and over again. The sound would echo around the room and down the hall if the doors were open. She seemed to be one of the healthier children in the room, with her round belly and full cheeks. She was transferred with the other bedridden children. Based on the most recent photo I've seen, I don't think she will survive much longer. She is laying still and glassy eyed, possibly being medicated to keep her quiet. Her skin is stretched tight, just bone. Her full cheeks are gone. I didn't even recognize her at first. And sadly she can't be adopted. There was a blind young man laying in a bed by the door, sometimes sleeping and sometimes stimming. Two tiny, quiet boys with feeding tubes were against the wall across the room. Sometimes they were so silent you would watch to see of their chests were still rising, still breathing. Denzel was along that wall too, so full of life under the blanket where he was swaddled, tied to keep his hands from sneaking out and pulling out his feeding tube. His sounds and laughs and watchful eyes were a sharp contrast from the other boys over there. Please God, bring him a family. Sasha was near him, little Sasha who is 20 years old and the size of a toddler. He was a favorite, a playful imp who was sure to get at least a pat on the head from anyone who walked in the room. Lastly, there was Svetlana, now Amelia in her very own loving family. She had been in the corner past V, and would turn to the side where his head was and peer in at him.

Amidst all of that, sweet little Daisy sat in her crib. She was much more mobile than the other kids, so she was often tethered to the crib with a pair of tights. This is one of those realities people are sometimes unaware of, that I was unaware of until my eyes were opened. Not all children in laying down rooms are truly bedridden. In fact there are many children who are healthy and have some mobility, who just require too much attention for the limited staff. There are also many children whose condition has never progressed because they spend every moment in those cribs without any interaction or stimulation.

Daisy, lucky little Daisy, was chosen to move into the new group home for girls. She and two other girls, Miriam who needs a family and Kendall who has a family coming, were taken out of the bedridden ward and moved into the group home. Those three still sleep in cribs there. Their needs are truly higher than the homes were originally designed for, and I think it can be difficult for the caregivers to supervise them and the bigger girls at the same time. Still, this is a huge step up from the empty rooms in the bedridden ward.

Unfortunately, there are changes coming at the group homes. As I shared before, they will be turning into foster homes that the children can't be adopted from. Because the foster homes will be for children, not adults, at 18 everyone will be returned to the very institutions these group homes saved them from. Sweet Daisy would be spared that horror for a few years, but her eventual fate would be sealed with no chance of changing course. 

But not anymore. We are coming for her. We want her to be part of our family forever, not just until she turns 18. Her sisters-to-be are already saying how excited they are to help her learn new things, to play with her, to love her. I don't know how much sweet Evan understands, but he laughed and laughed when we told him that she is coming here. Maybe he just knows my voice is so happy, maybe he recognizes her name, maybe he remembers her climbing into his crib and sitting on top of him, Often that would be the most human touch he would have in a day. Our other children are excited too. My husband and I are excited. Her precious, sometimes noisy, little spirit is going to do so well in our home and in our family.

We are coming Daisy.

Now the financial side of things. She is in a different region than Amos. That will add another $13,000 to $15,000 to our expenses. We think her having a chance at a full life is worth much more than that. If you would like to help us with that expense, you can make a tax-deductible donation at . We still have a $1500 matching grant that we are almost halfway toward meeting! Thank you all so much for your support!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

URGENT, Kids Need Families NOW!


In an earlier post I started talking about the changes at Orphanage 50. I talked about the children who had been in the bedridden building who were moved to a different place. The bedridden wing at the new place includes Denzel ($5300 grant!), Phoenix, "V", and another unlisted but available boy with the same name. Posey, Piper, Quinn and Zoey were transferred to the same place from the region's baby house. Kristina, Waniya, Violet, Brenna, Kellsey and other girls are in a different wing of the same building. These kids could be adopted together!

Today I want to talk about the children at the group homes where Theo and Orion used to live. The group homes will be changing into foster homes. This comes with some good and some bad. I believe the kids will have more full-time caregivers in addition to the caregivers coming in for shifts. Possibly they will have more chances to do typical things like go shopping. Unfortunately the kids will no longer be available for adoption. Once they turn 18 they will be returned to the same institutions the group homes saved them from. Some of the current residents of the group homes are over 18 already and will be leaving.

I have put off this post because I thought we would have more time. The change from group homes to foster homes has been delayed a few times. Unfortunately I think our reprieve is over. It makes me sad that in all that time, only one more child has a committed family. (And that family rocks! They are adopting Vance! I LOVE them! Please show them support. They have adopted 4 other boys in the last few years and they are all thriving! I can't wait to see Vance home with them!) If a family is interested in any of the kids left in the group homes they will need to act immediately. I believe children with committed families can be moved and adopted, but there can be no delay.

The girls are Daisy, Miriam, Tania, Katrina and Emily.

Emily has only been listed for a short time. I wish she had been given more time for her family to find her. She has said that she is sad that other children have been adopted and she wonders if she will have a mama someday too. She is one of the higher-functioning girls in her group. She can't walk due to her feet, but she can get around on her own.

Katrina has a grant of $10,000! I love her spunky smile. She is learning to put clothes away and set the table, and she loves to do pretend play where she copies what you are doing. She would do so well in a family! She does need to be redirected when she is too rambunctious, but orphanages aren't good places for kids to learn what behaviors are and aren't appropriate. A family could help guide her and love her.

Tania also has a $10,000 grant. She has so much potential. It makes me so sad to think of everything she has lost in her years without a family. I won't say she can't be with younger children, but I think she would absolutely thrive in a family with lots of older kids to help redirect her and model good behavior. She really likes to play ball and practice helping around the group home. I've always hoped my son Theo would get to see her again one day in America because he is so fond of her. I hope he will still have that chance.

Miriam is just a bundle of sweetness in a busy little package! She loves to run everywhere! She is learning to talk. She is responding to her name and following some directions. Even though she can walk, she was at the bedridden ward before moving into the group home and she has a lot to catch up on. She would do so well with individual therapy in a family. I've always wanted to see her dancing around a living room with pigtails wearing a dress. She is still sleeping in a crib right now at the group home. She is one of the girls I worry about the most. There is an individual willing to support a family interested in adopting her!

UPDATE: DAISY HAS A FAMILY! (And it is US!Daisy is one of our favorite kids. Her crib was next to Evan's in the bedridden ward before she was moved into the group home. She had been tied into her crib to keep her from climbing out of hers and into Evan's. She has such a sunshiny personality. She has been learning to walk and she can now walk short distances without support.

Leroy is the last boy left in the group homes who is listed. He is very clever. In the past he has gone back and forth between wanting a family and wanting to stay where he is. I'm not sure what he wants right now, but he is very high-functioning and a family should know he may be given the choice whether or not to be adopted. He is doing an amazing job walking now. It's really incredible to see him walk after years of crawling across the ground.

If you are drawn to any of these children, please act now. They are out of time. We have had delays, but the time to act is now. I want them to have loving homes where they can learn and grow for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Amos Still Has Hope

UPDATE: We have a matching grant! The first $1500 donated to our FSP at will be doubled!

It has been more than 2 years since our son Barton aged out. 2 Decembers ago, his chance of having a family became incredibly small. He turned 16 and only families with immigration paperwork submitted before then could adopt him. There were a lot of people praying for him. He was a timid, quiet boy who couldn't see well. An institution for adult men in his region keeps both weaker and stronger men locked behind bars in outdoor sheds. That future was shocking and unthinkable for such a gentle boy.

We adopted Barton. We had mailed in immigration paperwork before his birthday, but the timing was a coincidence. Only later did we decide to add him to our adoption. He has thrived in our family. He has grown from a quiet, gentle boy into a thoughtful and generous young man. He is an absolute treasure and it shakes me to my core to imagine what his future held before we adopted him.

This December another boy turned 16. Amos was with Barton at the orphanage we adopted from but we never saw him during our time there. Another family did see him briefly. Remember, same orphanage and same future. Amos and Barton were friends. Barton saw his photo and told us that he was a good boy. Those words were spoken so kindly by our son whose story is so much like Amos's, our son who is an incredible blessing in our lives every day. 

This whole thing is crazy. Now, we do crazy around here. Lots of it, and we love it that way! But this? We were about to move across the country. We weren't even in our new house yet! We truly felt moved to act. So we did. 3 days before Amos's birthday, our paperwork arrived at immigration.

We found a social worker in our new state. We worked our fingers to the bone getting our house ready. We are willing to fly through this and finish in time, but we do need help funding it. We weren't planning to adopt again just yet. If we had waited another year we would have had more money in hand. But Amos would forever lose his chance for a family. Barton's friend would be left to that unthinkable future.

There have been children who aged out recently without hope of having a family. Please help us pull Amos back from that brink. We have already paid our immigration fees. We have paid our commitment fees. We have paid for our homestudy and oversight agency. We will be posting fundraisers soon. Please join us in praying that we are able to raise this the remaining money quickly in order to get to Amos quickly!