So let's start with the good. Have you seen the miracle that was the Shadow Children Giveaway? This was a huge, earth-shaking, heart-moving two weeks. During the giveaway $11,956 was raised for our family. My hands shake just typing that! Otto's account has $4712! Otto still needs a family. Please help him find it! This surpassed even my wildest hopes and dreams. Go see if you won something! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who took part.
Right now we need $12,025 to be fully funded. We need this account HERE to read $26,849. We have another non-tax-deductible account HERE.
We will continue to have fundraisers. We have mug swap sign-ups going on right now! It is so much fun! It costs $5 to sign up. You fill out the form and will be assigned a partner to send a mug and goodies to. I love the community building aspect of this. Go HERE to read more about what a mug swap is, and go HERE to fill out your like/dislike form and sign up! If you have any questions I can put you in contact with the awesome organizer! Thank you for checking it out!
Now, a big piece of news! Our dossier is en route! Actually, most of it is already there and already translated, ready to go. As soon as this last envelope is translated it will be ready! We will be submitted and start the process of waiting for our travel dates. This is such a huge relief! It also means we can apply for a few grants that may or may not be able to assist us with our remaining fees. There are fewer grants we are eligible for, but we are applying to the ones we can!
There is such a great need for grants to assist with adoption funding and the process in this part of Eastern Europe is unique in that you do not receive a referral until you are in-country. We hope to adopt the children we have committed to, but there is no hold or guarantee that they will be eligible when we get there. This is more often a problem for families adopting babies or young children. It is extremely rare for older children with special needs like ours to be randomly chosen by a different adopting family, but for the purposes of receiving grants some foundations do require an approved referral. Others only ask that you have submitted your dossier. And we will be doing that very, very soon!
We also have a new photo of Daisy. She is outside in the sunshine! We love her so much and can't wait to get her home.
So that is a whole bunch of amazing news. Awesome, exciting, super thankful news. I am so grateful for all of those things, that I hate to need to share the news to follow. But that is the process of adoption. It is good and it is sad and you hang on as best you can! The same thing once you get home and start living your new life as a new family all together. It is great and it is hard and you hang on for the ride.
With all that said, there were recent visitors to the orphanage where Lee and the other bedridden kids have been moved to. Lee is hanging on, but I don't know how. When we brought Evan home 2 years ago he weighed 33 pounds at age 11. Lee was a similar size. Now Lee will soon be 13, and he has lost so much weight. I can't imagine how light he is or how he looks under that blanket. His ribs showed two years ago. What was left for him to lose?
Here is Lee two years ago when we said goodbye to him, and just a week ago. He should be growing and thriving. Instead he is getting smaller, so small I don't know what is left keeping him going.
Lee isn't the only one there. There are so many children waiting for families. I despair at how many children are waiting without families coming. I am worried about Lee surviving until we get there and until we can bring him home, but we are coming for him. Who is coming for Denzel or Leilani? Their needs are so urgent. And yes, there are many other children in other places in need of help, but these are the kids who have spent their lives with my own son. The responsibility to help them escape too weighs heavy on my heart.
Denzel. This boy was so alert and aware when I saw him in the first photo from two years ago. I believe some of the children were taken out of their cribs specifically for the observation visit when his new photo was taken. Denzel looks so small and listless now. He ages out in January. That is only a few months away. He could be that same smiling boy again if a family brought him home.
One of my favorite kids we spent time with was Phoenix. He was so happy when we spent time with him. He was crying in the last video I saw of him. I have no idea what is wrong with his wrist in this photo. He was not a complex kid when we spent time with him. When we met him he was a kid who would have been very easy to move into a family. He didn't have complicated medical needs like some of the other children. He just needed a family to take him out of a crib. He was learning how to walk!
Posey breaks my heart. I've shared before how much she reminds me of an older girl who is also blind named T. I hoped Posey would be adopted before she reached transfer age so that she would be spared the life T has lived and the toll it has taken on her. Posey and T have been transferred to the same place and are even in the same room, only a few beds apart. T has a terrible infection from touching her eyes with her hands. This is a common stim that blind children do in an institutional setting. Even though I remember seeing T do this at the old institution, I never saw her eye infected like this. It looks awful. And a few beds away is Posey laying in a crib. Posey can still be spared. T can't be adopted due to her age and will eventually die without leaving the bed she is in now. But Posey can. Posey CAN be adopted. But not until a family comes forward and says YES to this beautiful girl.
Zoey (Becky) is another child currently being fed by NG tube like Denzel and Leilani. She often seems to get lost in the shuffle, but she also needs a family very badly.
Before Lee was listed I called him V. This is the "other" V. He was also born in 2003 and he is also available for adoption. The perspective of this second photo makes him look many times bigger than he is. He is even smaller than Lee. He used to be awake at the old institution, but he spends a lot of time sleeping now, possibly medicated or possibly too exhausted to stay awake. He is sweet and dear. He knows his name and responds when people say nice things to him. The first photo is an older one of him, and the second is the recent photo where he is even smaller.
There are other waiting children whose photos weren't taken during this visit. Some of them are with these bedridden kids and some of them are in the section for other girls. Our Violet is at the same place, but the girls in her section are much easier for the institution to take care of and look like they are in much better condition.
I had hoped for this post to be a lot of exciting news about our progress forward. I'm so thankful for all of the help everyone has given our family over the last two weeks and since we began the adoption process. Now I'm going to ask something more of you though. Help these kids find families. Help the children in this bedridden group escape the orphanage before they die. Right now we are praying for the charity to be allowed in, but until then adoption is the only chance for these children to stay alive. Please help me. I feel like I am failing that so many of these children are still waiting to be adopted. I would bring home each and every one of them if I could, to love them and keep them safe. But I can't do that, so we are bringing home our 4 kids, and I need more families to come forward for the rest of these children.