Monday, April 30, 2012

Some GOOD NEWS, plus help for Declan


First, the good news! Another orphan has been removed from my rows of tabs on the top of this blog, because he has found a family!




Justin is one very blessed little boy! Praise God for this blessing of a home for such a wee one with a heart condition!

Dear Andrew has taken his spot in the tabs above. Let's find Andrew a home, too.

+++++++

Also, Declan was featured on this blog very recently, and his new Guardian Angel is trying to help build up his adoption fund. Please check out this great giveaway:










Thank you all for your beautiful and generous hearts. 






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Nicholas needs a Guardian Angel (updated: whoops!)


***Correction to the title and everything else: I completely spaced and didn't remember that kids with Down Syndrome, like Nicholas, do not get "Guardian Angels" on RR, but they can have Prayer Warriors. So, Nicholas needs a Prayer Warrior, not a GA. Sorry for being such a flake, ack!!

That simply means that Nicholas needs someone officially praying for and advocating for him, until he finds a family. He cries in his sleep, and he is getting close to being sent to the institution. Anyone want to be his advocate? You really would be his angel.


(He already has a big grant! Where is his mama?)


More info on Guardian Angels, here.




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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Declan, where's your mama??



Declan is developing perfectly normally. He's not even three years old yet. Where is his mama? Let's find him his mama and daddy! Spread the word! Share, share, share!






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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meet Andrew, a five-year-old prisoner of his crib -- simply because he's blind


Andrew is blind. That's all. He is a little boy stuck in this crib, all day, every day, in an Eastern European orphanage with no family, because he is blind.

Please, spread the word, and let's find a family to adopt Andrew and get him out of this damn crib…. Watch below to see how he spends all of his time:






(Thankfully, large families and older parents are eligible to adopt Andrew -- as well as smaller families and younger parents, of course. Click on the image above to get to Reece's Rainbow and get more information on Andrew.)



Sorry, but this makes me angry.

:(

Please, share this link with others. His family has got to be out there somewhere! And we have many people ready to assist in any fundraising that may be needed to complete the adoption.

God bless you!



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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Diane Sawyer made her famous, now she just needs a home.




**UPDATE!! Masha found a family!! Hooray!!




Precious Masha was not available for adoption until this ABC News piece made her famous:

(Keep in mind, Masha is not the featured girl in the story; she is the exuberant  
girl at the institution who approaches the pretty young reporter 
and throws her arms around her, calling "Mama?", at 1:38-1:50.)



Unfortunately, that 15 seconds of fame has not yet brought a family to save her. How I hope someone will see this and decide they cannot live without her.

Please, spread the word about Masha.







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If you don't have much money, but still want to help...

…there are some excellent ways to do so.


Spread the word via social media

First, never underestimate the power of simply spreading the word. God has given us the technology to make these children known to the world. Twitter, facebook, email, blogs. Just find a beautiful face on Reece's Rainbow (think of becoming a Guardian Angel) and spread the word!

I know this works, because I've seen it happen in just the few short months I've been advocating. In fact, just this morning I received a message from an internet friend. One of her coworkers had seen my friend's facebook post about RR, and fell in love with a little girl she saw on the site. She has begun the process to adopt that girl! My friend's message to me ended with this: "I felt I couldn't do anything and here I made a difference after all!"

That just made my day.

And, I know that Malcolm has a family committed to him today simply because of a video they saw posted on the blog and facebook of a friend.


Donate when there are matching grants offered

Another excellent way to help, even if you have very little means, is to find "matching grant" opportunities for the orphans and families on RR.

Matching grants are so satisfying, because every donation, no matter how small, is automatically doubled by another donor.

So, if you can give only one dollar, the donation instantly becomes two dollars. If you can only spare $5, then you have actually just provided $10. And if you can give $10, you have actually given the gift of $20.

You get the point, and believe me, these little donations add up quickly!

I will frequently publicize matching grant opportunities, including one that is available today. The family linked below has been offered a matching grant that will run for 28 hours. It begins now, at 8:00pm EST (Thursday), running till midnight tomorrow. Every dollar you donate will be matched, up to $800, and this family will be able to get over the final hump and be fully funded, ready to fly off and claim their children (yes, this family is adopting TWO orphans).

Sometimes, those last one or two thousand dollars are the hardest to raise, because all resources -- mental, emotional, physical, and monetary -- appear to be exhausted. That's where God's little helpers* sometimes come in, to push them over that final hill. ;)

Here is the link to that matching grant challenge, if you are able to help:

UPDATE: Well that was quick!! They are now fully funded!! Yee-haw!!

Bottom line, please don't think that you're helpless just because you can't adopt or don't have much money. You have much power to change these orphans' lives!



*Word on the street is that these anonymous helpers are known as "The Finishers"!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Delilah -- two years ago



Oh my goodness. I recently saw this baby picture of Delilah:



It was taken two years ago.

She's been waiting a ridiculously long time.


Look at her now:



I am her Guardian Angel on Reece's Rainbow (I actually think she accidentally has two GA's, lucky girl!), and it just kills me to see that she has no smile. A little three-year-old girl should be smiling.

I hope someone passes this along via email, or posts it on facebook, and I pray that she doesn't have to spend one more year in an orphanage, without a family of her own.

Sweet Delilah.





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Monday, April 23, 2012

Imagine her with long curls and a smile…. (UPDATE with new photo!)

Maybe a big bow, too?

Can you see this beautiful child with joy on her face, knowing the love of a family?

I can see it, but I don't know when poor, forlorn Carina will finally have that chance. I am so worried because she faces the institution so soon, and we all know that she will go downhill from there.

So many people have advocated for her, her fund is large, older parents and single moms welcome, and still she waits. I don't get it!




Someone claim her before my head explodes!!!

PS: Just saw another picture of Carina! Still not smiling, but what a beauty!


If you'd like the chance to win something when you donate or share info about Carina, go to Carina's giveaway, here.


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Simeon is an outcast in his orphanage...BUT! Wait'll you see what you can do to help!!












A wonderful guest post from Meg today! Please, help Simeon. He is pretty much ignored in his orphanage and an outcast because of his darker skin, but let's give him the attention he deserves!


Thank you, Leila for letting me write a post on Orphan Report!

Since discovering Reece's Rainbow toward the end of February, my heart has truly been touched by the stories of so many children, but one stood out in particular. Simeon's sweet little face and the reality of his life in an orphanage struck a chord with me. I mean, how could you not love this little guy?


               


Seriously.

So, having to do something I signed up to pray, advocate and fundraise for Simeon through the Guardian Angel Project.  And since then, I've gotten in touch with two amazing Etsy shop owners who are also generously rallying behind Simeon!  Check out their promotions below-so many great gift ideas so take  look, buy here, and help Simeon get home!


The first shop owner is...



When I came across Maranda's shop, I quickly realized I loved literally everything she created. These bags (and clutches, and change purses, and more!) would make such great gifts for that stylish friend, new mom needing a diaper bag or your own mom! Or you know, just as a treat for yourself. I especially love the coordinating fabric she uses on the inside and the strap. Here are a few of my favorites:


      




Maranda is donating 20% of all sales using the code 

"Save Simeon" 

at checkout between Sunday April 22 and Sunday May 6!  

Due to time constraints, this offer can't be applied to custom orders, but "made to order" is just fine!




And our second wonderful and enthusiastic Etsy shop owner is...




Debbie has such a large variety of items at her shop-she is definitely the "go-to" place for religious items, in my opinion! Lots of great items for Mom (if she's into that type of thing), First Communicants and Confirmandi. She has items designed specifically for certain Sacraments, patron saint necklaces, Rosaries and even more masculine items for the men.  She also has a celtic themed section.

 




Debbie is donating 10% of all sales to Simeon from 
Sunday April 22 to Sunday May 6, no code required!



But Debbie was so touched by Simeon's story, she wanted to do even more, so she created a necklace in his honor!  




Purposefully designed with simplicity, Simeon's necklace features a sterling silver plated angel wing pendant paired with a glass pearl to call to mind this sweet child's innocence.  


If you purchase Simeon's necklace, priced at only $10, 100% of the sale will be donated to his grant fund to help bring him home!!

Shipping not included.



So please, please, please spread the word every way you know how about these amazing promotions meant to help an adorable orphan find his family. And if you are looking to buy any gifts in the near future or are in the market for a cute new bag or a beaded bracelet, consider purchasing from The Original Hot Mama Bag and The Cherished Bead -- you won't regret it and Simeon will be thankful!




Thank you, Meg!!




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Saturday, April 21, 2012

URGENT: Sarah only has two weeks! UPDATE: Family found!!!

Remember the "Bad Place"? Well, that's where Sarah resides. Apparently, she has only two more weeks left before her file is removed from consideration and she will no longer be listed for adoption.

Please read more about it, here, and please consider spreading the word to your family and friends. Networking works! I've seen it happen.




UPDATE: A family has found Sarah and she will be adopted!! Praise God!




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Friday, April 20, 2012

Have you seen the "additional children"? Oh, my.



Well, here's why we need to get the word out to more and more and more people.

Aside from those children in "sizeable grants" (who have lots of money available in their adoption funds), and aside from those children who have Guardian Angels, and aside from those children who are available to single moms, and aside from those wonderful boys I recently profiled (girls to come soon, don't worry!), and aside from all those children who have their own pages on Reece's Rainbow with detailed information, there are also the...




And those are just the "additional children" from Russia's Region 23.

Like I said, it's about exposure. The more people know about them, the more families will step forward to adopt them.

It may seem daunting, but this is a job for the Body of Christ!

Get to work, friends!




Update: Here are kids from Russia's Region 42:


Aren't they beautiful? There are many, many more as well….






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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Favorite Boys" post!

Well, now, of course it's almost impossible to say we have "favorite" orphans, since every single one of these precious children are worthy of a loving family. But after linking some of the boys we love on the RR facebook thread, someone on the RR facebook page suggested that we use this Wednesday to showcase those little guys that have stolen our hearts.

+++++++



The first angel for whom I aggressively advocated. With matching funds, we got him from $13 to $3432.30. But still he waits, and no one has come to get him out of that crib. Oliver faces the institution very soon. I worry about his ability to survive. Click on the link and just look into those brown eyes! He needs a mama to come swoop in and save him.


+++++++



I have a son Beau's age. It kills me to think he has no family. I am officially his Guardian Angel, although the icon is not on his site yet. Won't someone come for this boy?


+++++++


I have no words! This little guy is four years old and needs a family! He has cerebral palsy which does not affect his cognitive abilities, and which can be treated her in the U.S. Look at that face! And he is so proud to be standing! I can't believe someone has not snatched him up yet. He only has $42.50 in his account. Someone, come get this cutie!

+++++++


I've already talked about Emilio. I just think his picture speaks for itself, don't you? I could eat him up right this minute!



+++++++


"Nobody is visiting him in the orphanage"?! How can it be? And how can it be that he has zero dollars in his fund? He is simply precious. Mama and Daddy, are you out there?


+++++++


Nicholas, who cries in his sleep. He has haunted me for months, this little cherub. He has a good amount of money in his fund! Spread the word about Nicholas! I wish I could see a smile on his face. He's getting set for the institution. :(



+++++++

Please check out the other boys at the top of my blog, namely Elias, Stefan, Nico, Parker, Asa, Simeon, Vlad and Justin. All so precious, all have captured my heart. 

And I'll leave you with this adorable video of two boys already in the institution (and with "sizeable grants"!), Brent and Maxim. Their smiles are infectious. Click here to watch.

Okay. There you have it. Some of my "favorite" RR boys.

Pray, pray, pray and please share, share, share. Families can't adopt them if they don't know they exist….



PS: And don't forget sweet Kurt:



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Monday, April 16, 2012

Available to single moms!

So many of the orphans on Reece's Rainbow are available for adoption by single moms. If you are a single woman, there's an easy way to check for those children. Look at the bottom of a child's profile, where there are "categories" listed in blue type. As with Danila, below, some will include the link entitled: "Available to Single Moms"


If you click on that specific category link, it will bring up a whole listing of such children, and you can scroll through the waiting orphans, one or more of whom may one day call you "Mama"! Click to see:



Aren't they beautiful?

Send this blog post to any single woman you know (above the age of 25, I believe?) who is longing to be a mother to a lost orphan. You could change someone's life.
















Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yay! The iPad giveaway for Malcolm!! Don't miss your chance!



I am so happy to link to the much-anticipated iPad giveaway to help bring Malcolm home to the Smith Family!

Go to their blog immediately for the details and rules. No donation necessary, but any donation would be most welcome, and spreading the word to oodles of new people is just as important:




Good luck! And God bless you!!

Hang in there, buddy, your parents are getting closer!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

My RR children, and what is a "Guardian Angel"? *UPDATE

I am officially a "Guardian Angel" for two RR children!!


Here is seven-year-old Beau:




And here is three-year-old Delilah:



Any day now, they should have the following icon added to their profiles:




I can't wait!

So, what does it mean to be a Guardian Angel? Well, it does not require anything more than prayer and advocacy (getting the word out about your child). A Guardian Angel is not required to donate any funds (though it's certainly allowed!), but the prayer and advocacy should continue until the child finds his forever family. You may request up to two children. (Believe me, I asked about having three; Brett, I hope someone else grabs you quick!! How is it possible he has only $20 in his fund? Ugh! Someone, help him get some funds!)

If you are interested, go to this page and email Laurie with your requested child's name. I admit to being a little confused about whether or not one can be a Guardian Angel for a child with Down Syndrome, as the GA program seems only to apply to those children without Downs, I think? Not totally clear on what the program is for the Downs babies. Does anyone have info on that?

Then, get the word out! Blogs, pictures of the child on your sidebar, twitter, facebook, contacting family and friends (email appeals to your personal contacts, if not overdone, work wonders for fundraising!), etc. Prayer is paramount, and exposure, exposure, exposure. A child cannot be found if no one knows he exists!

Are any of you already part of the Guardian Angel program? If so, who's your GA child? If you aren't yet part of it, do you plan to be? And if so, do you have a child in mind? I'd love to hear it!



*UPDATE: Please think of helping this family. They are traveling soon to get their girls, but they are still VERY short of their funds, which could put the adoptions in jeopardy. Even a dollar will help. Click here.




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Friday, April 13, 2012

Heidi's birthday!

Few people have done as much to help the orphans than Heidi Czerkes. Not only has she helped others fundraise and organize, and not only has she generously donated to help those other families and children, but she has done all this while her own international adoption of sweet baby Peter is still ongoing and not completely funded.

Today is Heidi's birthday. Let's show love to this dear woman by donating to Peter's adoption fund, even $5 or $10, to help bring her son home.

And, thanks to a generous donor, each dollar you give will be matched! Your $5 will instantly turn into $10, or your $10 suddenly becomes $20.

Happy Birthday, Heidi!! I am blessed to call you a friend!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bling on the Blog for the Babies

What has blown my mind since Carla* introduced me to Reece's Rainbow is the way that our little cadre of Catholic bloggers and facebookers have come together in the past two months to support (and adopt!) the orphans. It's been such a community effort, a time of grace.

So imagine my delight when Rebecca at Shoved to Them announced that her friend at Simply You jewelry offered to host a major fundraiser for the RR orphans! It runs for two weeks (until April 26), with 20% - 30% of all proceeds going to Reece's Rainbow! The quality of the pieces is amazing, as you'll see when you check it out.

The great thing is that Mother's Day is just around the corner. So you know what to do -- get something here for your mom (or mother-in-law), your grandma, or yourself (I like to tell my husband what to get me for gifts, ha ha!). Then, use the party code below when checking out:

6861

You've gotta shop anyway, so why not simultaneously help those orphans with which we are all obsessed? Go to Rebecca's blog if you'd like more info:



And, as is the mantra around here, spread the word!!



*Please pray that Carla's Henry, who has been in the hospital for too long now, will be able to get home soon.




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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I'm sorry, but have you seen Emilio??? *Update!



(Click the image to get to his RR page.)

Oh, be still my heart.

Also, please notice that I have added some tabs under the blog header, which will take you right to some children's pages. I hope to change them out often, as one or more of them find families! That is my prayer, at least. I am becoming a "Guardian Angel" for the first two. More on that later.

Also, if you read my last post, you will be amazed to know that one day later, as I type this, the family has raised over $19,000 (76% of the goal) for Faith's ransom from the "Bad Place"! Unreal! Check out the $10,000 worth of prizes if you haven't yet, and make sure you have Kleenex for when you read the story….


*Update, for another child:


Please read and spread the word about Harmony, whose time is quickly running out. God bless you.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

She's 14 years old, and weighs 14 pounds. Welcome to the "Bad Place".



If you have not been reading about what has happened in Bulgaria, in the "Bad Place" (the Pleven orphanage), then you need to know. It's good news, finally, after all the bad:


This has been months in the making, thanks to the most amazing adoptive moms who shoved aside their fears and have done what most of us would consider unthinkable. They are heroes.

And today, I saw the Mother of all Giveaways, from a family who is adopting one of the Pleven orphans, a 14-year-old girl who weighs 14 pounds. You read that right. 

You will not believe the story, nor will you believe the quality of the giveaway items to follow, donated by generous folks who want to see this starving girl come home to be loved and cared for -- finally. Please consider reading this post:


I don't think anyone who reads about Pleven will ever be the same. 

Lord have mercy. And thank God for the Body of Christ on the move.




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Please look at the "10 over $10,000"!


[Be sure to check the comments below to enter an incredible giveaway for little Carina.]


I love how this blog is a collaborative effort.

I received an email the other day, from a reader named Sara:
Hi Leila!

I am a Catholic mama to five homegrown kiddos and am in the process of adopting a sixth little one from Russia (Martin 14G on Reece's Rainbow). I found your blog through Conversion Diary via One More Smith and am hoping and praying you will help me with something.

The five sweet little boys below are all 5 and 6 years old and will each have over $10,000 in grants in the next week or so (the checks are literally in the mail for the ones who aren’t quite there). These little guys should be digging for worms and playing t-ball and falling in love with dinosaurs and trains - not being sent to mental institutions! They are so well funded (some of them could come home for a few thousand dollars) that I really think they just need to be SEEN and their families will find them, but I have only this week started to blog (ie no one is reading what I write yet) and I'm not on FB so it's hard for me to spread the word effectively. I know you have mentioned Brent before, but would you please, please, pretty please consider joining me in featuring all their sweet faces on your blog sometime in the next few weeks?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
In Him,
Sara
[Sara blogs about her family's adoption of Martin at Foxberry Farm Almanac.]

Thanks to Sara, I am thrilled to introduce you to the "5 over $10,000" (and one who is so close), plus the four others who exceed that amount, for a total of "10 over (or just shy of) $10,000"! So many potential parents worry about the finances of international adoption (and rightly so), so here are some little ones with major funds already! Please, send this link to friends, family, acquaintances. Link it to your blogs and facebooks. Tweet it to your followers. These kids need to be seen!




Elden is a "very lively, cheerful and naughty boy. Loves games and jokes. Loved by kids and educators." He is in a region that requires 4 trips, but the trips are all short (a week or less) and the region is a near a major city so the in-country travel is not difficult.

There are twenty-three more photos available here and oh my goodness is he cute!











Brent is healthy and active and badly needs a family as he has recently been transferred to an institution.















Preston is smart, active, social and in a great region to adopt from.

















Alexander is affectionate and social and in the same region as Preston.















Sergei is a sweet little blondie who needs his mama.


















And there is also Yegor. He doesn't quite have $10,000, but he's very close and in another great, low-cost region from which to adopt. There are a few more pictures of him here.










 +++++++ 

Thank you so much, Sara!


I noticed that Nicky also has over $10,000 in his fund now! Hooray!
















And I just want to put in one more plug for Megan, who is almost fully funded at $24,000. She has already been transferred. :(














Danila G. has over $10,000, too, and a beautiful smile!
















And sweet Laurel, of course, who is in dire straits and only has about three months to be adopted. She has well over $10,000 available also. **UPDATE: Laurel has a family now!! Praise God!                                                                                                                                        














A blessed Easter to all of you! He is Risen!



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Friday, April 6, 2012

Updates! Hooray!

Just a Good Friday update to thank whichever angels were busy this week helping two special boys:

Malcolm reached his $15,000 Easter goal and then some!

He also has been moved to the Family Sponsorship Page, and there you will find some more details provided by his adoptive parents, about how it all came to be. Now it's about sponsoring the family, not just an orphan in need of a family, which is why the numbers went back to zero (well, now it's at $50) on this page. Slow and steady, we will get Malcolm home.

Also, once Meg's matching funds get counted, sweet Justin has enough money to move him to the Sizeable Grants page (also called the Moving Mountains page)! This will give him tons more visibility -- although we do hope that ultimately he can come home to Meg's family. ;)

I think the key for anyone who is doing matching grants -- as Meg did with Justin and as I did with Oliver -- is to send out emails to friends and family. Facebook and blogs are helpful, too, but it's those whom know you personally, who may not read facebook and blogs, who will respond to your appeals most readily.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone chose an RR orphan and advocated on his or her behalf, by offering matching funds (no matter how small)? Think about it! Meg and I can help you with the details! It's quite easy, and quite fruitful.

Have a most blessed Holy Week, and be sure to pray for the orphans during this grace-filled weekend.




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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rome wasn't built in a day...

…and Malcolm won't be fully funded that soon, either. But if we could reach the Easter goal of $15,000, it would mean so much to the little boy who is set to be transferred to the institution if he can't get home to Mommy Eli and Daddy Charles.

We only have $572.74 left to meet that Easter goal. If you have thought about donating to Malcolm, but just haven't gotten around to it yet, this would be the perfect time!

This Holy Week, let's give that bit of hope to Malcolm (and his new family, the Smiths!), and get his fund pushed up to the $15,000 mark.

Blessed Holy Week!

Click to donate, here:




PS: Thanks to Heidi for her advocacy for Malcolm this day, too, even as she fundraises to bring her own Peter home!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

If you're even pondering international adoption, read this.


I asked wonderful Heidi, who is working to bring home Peter from oversees, if she would outline the basics that one would need to know if one is beginning to think about international adoption. Here is her primer! I am learning so much, and I hope you are, too:

+++++++


Have you been reading a ton of orphan posts and blogs recently?

Have you found yourself wondering if you are being called to adopt one of these precious faces?

Are you positive that you are going to adopt -- someday -- but know that today is not the right time?

That’s where we were, until this past fall. We’d experienced a very scary pregnancy and delivery of our third child. During this pregnancy (and the two previous ones), my body had given us a reason for concern: My blood pressure did not behave like it was supposed to.  The third time around involved bed rest after delivering our beautiful baby boy (yes, after delivery), panicked trips to the emergency room, medication cocktails for weeks -- and a near certainty that it would happen again, very possibly much worse. Let’s just say science and statistics were not on our side at this point.

But one thing was clear to us: Our family was not complete. Up until this point, we’d never really considered adoption as a means of growing our family, but now we knew that adoption would most likely be in our future. I started researching – asking friends (adoptive and non-adoptive families), surfing the internet, reading books, etc. That’s when I was told about Reece’s Rainbow…and promptly fell in love.

We knew that we might be moving between states within a few years, due to my husband’s job, so we held off contacting adoption agencies; however, on the advice of a very brilliant friend (also an adoptive mother), we decided to get ourselves ready to adopt…some day….

So what does that mean, anyway?

Different regions and countries require different things, different home studies, different fees. How can you possibly get yourself ready for something if you don’t know what is going to be required of you?

Well, believe it or not, there are some common requirements in most home studies, things which most countries require of adoptive parents, so why not go ahead and do those things now? Getting it done now will help speed the process along once you fall in love with your child’s picture and don’t want to delay the process in any way. Early preparation has the added benefit of spreading some costs out over time. Adoption is a costly process, and every little requirement has a fee attached. Spreading out some of these fees over time (and maybe over tax refund seasons!) really helped us.

Our wise friend walked us through the items that we could prepare in advance, and here's what we learned:

You’ll want to collect any and all official documents that you have been issued. Our agency recommended that we have three official copies of these documents. Start ordering those now: You’ll want three copies of birth certificates for anyone in your house, marriage licenses, divorce licenses (if applicable), and previous adoption decrees. We also had to produce official college transcripts for those of us who had attended college, as well as recent tax returns. Start a file with important documents, and make sure you put it somewhere safe (not so safe that you lose it, though!).

Go through your house. Part of your home study will require an inspection of your home.  When the social worker inspects your home, she’ll have a specific list of requirements from your child's region, but there are still some basics that you can prepare for. Make sure pools have fences around them, windows and doors have safety locks, medications are in a locked container (ours had to have an actual lock on it – a medicine cabinet wasn’t good enough). There must be fire extinguishers and working smoke detectors are on every level of the house, and if you have firearms, make sure they are in a gun safe with a place to lock ammunition, separate from that gun safe.

Everyone in your house will need to be up-to-date on vaccinations and physicals. Believe me, you don’t want to find out that something is wrong with your health when you are in the midst of a home study. Make sure you have that relationship with a physician before your home study begins.

This also includes all of your four-legged family members – they will need a veterinarian’s clearance and proof of their vaccinations. It’d be best to have these relationships established before the massive amount of paperwork begins.

You’ll need to be able to produce every address where you’ve lived after the age of 18. This was a question that stumped both my husband and me. We were typical college students,  moving from rental to rental every year in college. Trying to recall addresses was a challenge!

With international adoption, you will need a passport to travel to your child. Why not get it now? When you are able to move forward with an adoption, the last thing you want to do is wait around for your passport to come in the mail! Get it done now!

I know, I know, these things that I’ve listed seem silly, almost mundane, really. But believe me, when it is time for you to make that phone call and set up your home study, you will be thankful that you had this all prepared! You’ll be able to pull out your “adoption file” (or in our case, adoption BOX) when you first meet with your social worker, and have the immense pleasure of checking off one item on the list after another.

That satisfaction will be worth it. I promise!!


*Update: There are more helpful questions and answers in the comment section, about immunizations, how to find your past addresses, etc. Check it out!


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Thank you, Heidi! And don't forget to check our her month-long daily silent auction to help bring Peter home

One more item. I just found out that Meg at True, Good, and Beautiful is doing a matching grant drive for Justin!

Justin

Here's what Meg said:
Ryan and I just love little Justin! We are praying about him for our own family, but in the meantime, we want to do something during Holy Week to help him, especially if we are not meant to be his mom and dad. So, following suit with some amazing bloggers, we are starting a...
Holy Week Almsgiving Challenge! 
We are going to match each donation that Justin receives in his Reece's Rainbow account.  We have a limit, but it is enough to get him well into to the sizeable grants page.  He is starting out with $1205.50 (some folks out there already love him just like we do!)  Let's get him over $2500!  
Can you spare him $5? Or even $3? Five dollars will turn into ten dollars, just like that! And three dollars will turn into six! I donated some of my birthday money, and I hope you might be moved to throw in a few bucks as well. Or, share Meg's link on your own blog or facebook. That's how we save these children, one at a time.




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Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Journey to reunite two angels"


What a story! You will want to follow this. I know I will be. Here's the background:

My name is Sylvia. My husband and I adopted a 21 month year old baby girl with down syndrome from Eastern Europe in 2010. From that point on our lives would never be the same. She has been the greatest blessing we could have ever wished for. She is now three and is doing unbelievable. In 2010, after returning with Gabby, we learned of another little girl with down syndrome that was in Gabby's orphanage. Not only was she in Gabby's orphanage but she was in Gabby's very groupa room. This little girl lived with our Gabby every day for their whole lives. We are now on a journey to bring these two precious angels back together again. Any prayers or assistance you can provide to us would be greatly appreciated and much needed. GOD BLESS!




These babies even slept in the same crib! Read more of the story to reunite these girls:

Journey To Reunite Two Angels: On a mission: I still remember so vividly the day we met our sweet Gabriana "Gabby". Pale faced and with a limp body, the orphanage workers placed her in …

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And I am still praying that little Delilah's family will see her and come rescue her….

Look at those eyes!

Maybe it's you? Maybe it's someone you know? Let's get her out of this crib and into her mommy's arms! 


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*Please note the clarification regarding international home studies on the previous post.


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