Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet AnnaMarie's Family

Unfortunately, they don't have a public blog (at least, not one they've listed on their RR profile page), but that profile page does give us a little information. I hope they will, at some point in the future, add a blog link.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Meet" Ivey's Family -- and AnnaMarie has a family too!

Ivey's family is now listed on Reece's Rainbow -- you can "meet" them here.

And -- AnnaMarie's matching grant was more than met, and she has a family, too! (More details on that when they become available.)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ivey Has a Family . . . and AnnaMarie Needs a Family

Ivey has a family coming for her! 

I don't know who her family is yet, but Ivey is on the "My Family Found Me" page over at Reece's Rainbow. At this point, you'll have to scroll down a bit to find her, as other children have been added to the top of the page since she was added.

In a nutshell, after a certain amount of paperwork has been completed (you can read about that here and here), a child can be "claimed," and he or she appears on the "My Family Found Me" page, though there is no information there about the adopting family.

After a bit more paperwork is completed, a brief biography of the adopting family appears on Reece's Rainbow's New Commitment Page. Sometimes the adopting family posts a link to their blog on their biographical post, sometimes not. When (and if) Ivey's family post a blog link, I'll share it.

And now -- Meet AnnaMarie . . . 

AnnaMarie has less than 3 months
 (until sometime in December)
 to have a family commit to adopt her. 

This does not mean the process must be completed by her 16th birthday, only that certain paper work must be filed with the US government before her birthday. Things do need to move as fast as possible, because there is a window of time after her birthday during which the process must be completed, or she becomes unavailable.

I don't have time right now to post a lot about her; I just wanted to get her picture and situation out here for people to see. However, Chelsea has written three posts about her: AnnaMarie,  College vs. Trade School, and Matching Grant.

She does have a $5,000 matching grant available to help cover the cost of her adoption; when it is met, approximately half of the cost of her adoption will be met. Travel (multiple international plane tickets, purchased on very short notice), in-country living (food, housing, facilitator fees, etc) is expensive, but who can put a "price tag" the value of a child! (By way of comparison, consider that Christ gave up everything for us.) As I understand it, the adopting family does not receive any of this money until they have been accepted by AnnaMarie's home country, and have an appointment with the appropriate government officials. The length of time between receiving the appointment and the actual appointment date is usually pretty short, which does not allow the time necessary to "shop" for really good ticket prices!

If you aren't in a position to adopt her, could you at least spread her story on whatever social media sites are available to you? Her time clock is ticking down fast . . . can someone please rescue this girl?

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:31-40

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Chelsea Pearce's "Do You Know the Difference Between an Orphan and a Potato Salad" post popped up on my Blogger Dashboard when I refreshed it earlier today, and the picture below immediately grabbed my attention.

This is Ivey. She is 12 or 13, depending on when her birthday is. (All I know is that she was born in 2001) Here is a link to another post about her. (You really should read this post -- Alexis has a lot more information about Ivey than I've posted here.)

When I looked at her picture, my mind immediately went back to my friend, Marilyn Schmalz.

(You can read more about Marilyn here. When you get to the page, do a search for "Marilyn" and you'll find her. The above picture came from this website.)

Born in 1948, "LONG before rehab knew what to do with people like me," Marilyn was apparently higher functioning (physically) in the years before I knew her. By the time I met her in about 1985, she was more like Ivey than the way she describes herself in the linked article above -- except that she lived in the US, and had a lot of adaptive equipment to help her.

We were living in Alabama when we first met her through a mutual friend. She was a Senior Occupational Therapist at the "Independent Living Program at the Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia," about 50 miles from our home. We enjoyed her company in our home over many weekends, and, when we moved away, she drove herself the 200+ miles to our new home at least twice. 

Yes, you read that right -- she drove herself. Her van was specially equipped so she could use her mouth stick to help her drive it.

Looking at Ivey's picture, and remembering Marilyn, I see no reason why Ivey couldn't develop close the same level of functionality Marilyn had. She lived alone much of her adult life, with the assistance of personal care assistants who helped her several hours a day.

I wish I could talk to her now, and refer prospective adoptive families to her. Unfortunately, her life came to an end in 2003 or 2004. In talking to the friend who was with her when she died, I learned that, in attempting to roll over in bed one night, Marilyn apparently twisted part of her small intestines. By the time the doctors figured out (through surgery) what was causing her severe abdominal pain, the part of her intestines that had become twisted had died, gangrene had set in, and there was nothing they could do for her except to keep her comfortable for the last few hours of her life.

My oldest daughter, Pam (who graduates with a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy on August 3, 2014) visited her in her adapted home in Columbus, GA (the one Marilyn refers to in the article linked to above). Pam and I were just reminiscing about her yesterday, and Pam was telling me how much she enjoyed visiting Marilyn in her home in the fall of 2000, and seeing all the "inventions" she'd come up with. She even had a brush rigged so she could brush her own hair without assistance. (Our friendship with Marilyn is part of what propelled Pam into starting her PT training in 2011 -- 11 years after finishing college.)

Here is Pam's blog post about her memories of Marilyn (Forget-Me-Not-Friday -- Institution Worthy?), written in March of 2012. You'll notice she used the same picture I did.

What does all this have to do with Ivey? While I don't know all of her medical details, just from looking at her picture and reading what little information is available to me, it seems to me that, with proper medical treatment, she could, in her own way, make the same positive impact on others that Marilyn did. She only has a couple of years for a family to find her before she "ages out," and becomes a permanent resident of a mental institution due to her physical limitations. 

I don't have accounts on Facebook, or Twitter, or any of those other "social media" sites, and not very many people read my little blog. It doesn't take a lot of people to make Ivey part of their family, though -- only one Mom and Dad. Could you, whoever you are that is reading this, be her her Mom or Dad? If not, do you have a relative, friend, or acquaintance who might be able to be that "special someone" that can help Ivey reach her full potential? Would you be willing to help her find a family by sharing her on your own social media accounts? (Or, if you have a blog -- write a blog post about her?)

Don't know anything about International Special Needs Adoption? No problem. The folks at Reece's Rainbow (RR) will be more than happy to help you! You should start with their "Adoption Process" page, and then move on to their "New Family Info" page before actually calling them.

You'll also find a whole host of other families who are going through, or have already been through the process [some more than once] who will be more than happy to encourage you.
If you check out the families listed on RR's "Progress" pages, you'll find that many of them have links to their blogs about their adoption journey. I find them fascinating reading:
Concerned about adopting an older child? Check out Christi M's "Parenting that Heals" blog. She and her husband, Mike, raised 4 boys -- and then went on to adopt four older girls. Christi has a lot of good information on her blog to help you understand the challenges of adopting children from trauma backgrounds (living in an institution is, in and of itself, a major trauma!!), and how to help your child work through that background to become a well-adjusted individual.

If you don't feel you are in a position to adopt Ivey, there are still things you can do:
  1. Pray. Pray for Ivey, for her biological family (whoever and where ever they are), for her current caretakers, and for her adoptive family (whoever and where ever they are).
  2. Donate to her Reece's Rainbow (RR) adoption fund. International adoption is expensive, but many small donations over time add up, and every little bit eases the financial burden for the family who adopts her. (You can donate online through the PayPal button at the bottom of her profile page, or, to save PayPal fees, you can mail a check to Reece's Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885. Be sure to let RR know that the donation is for Ivey,
  3. Pray some more.
  4. Share her need through whatever social media outlets are available to you.
  5. Pray some more.
Thanks for "hearing me out," and for helping me find a family for Ivey!


P. S. All of the children with arthrogryposis Pam mentioned in her 2012 blog post (linked to above) are now home with families, but there are others on Reece's Rainbow -- like Ivey -- who still need families!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Unfortunately . . .

Colin, and 


(all the children that used to be on my left side be, and who are still young enough to be adopted) . . .

. . . have this dreaded note at the end of their Reece's Rainbow profile:

This child is in a region that is currently not open to adoptions.  We are no longer able to accept new donations for this child.  The current grant funds will remain with this child until the unrest is resolved or the children become permanently unavailable for adoption.

At this point, all any of us can do for them is to pray for them, for their regions (and that their regions will open up again to International adoption), and for all the other children caught in this situation . . . children who, at this point, have zero chance for a family outside their home region . . . and their adoption in their home region is highly unlikely.

In spite of this, there are still many children who need a family to call their own. Check out the "Waiting Children" link at the top of the Reece's Rainbow home page.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adoption Perspectives

Having two adopted nephews and an adopted granddaughter, I've been interested in adoption issues for a number of years.

Beth O'Malley, an adult adoptee, adoptive mother -- and foster care / adoption social worker, is the author of Adoption Lifebooks. I have found her monthly newsletters, which I've been receiving for I-don't-know-how-many years (since way before my granddaughter was born in 2011), inspiring and educational.

When I learned, in the late fall of 2010, that my oldest daughter was advocating for International Special Needs adoption (see "Pam's Sparrows" on the left sidebar), I became even more interested, and started following a lot of adoption blogs. All of these blogs are written from the perspective of the adoptive parent. As I've read, I've thought, "This is great -- but what about those who were adopted as children, and who are now adults? What is their take on all this? What advice would they have for those 'in the trenches' right now?"

There are scads of informational "how to . . ." books and articles out there, written by all kinds of adoption "experts" (some of whom seem to be writing from a strictly "theoretical" perspective with zero personal experience), but precious little (that I've seen) written by those who have actually walked the road of being adopted themselves, with all the challenges that brings, and who have now reached adulthood.

Recently, I've started stumbling on blogs written by adult adoptees. Here is one by Lynn Steinburg (A Decision to Search) that I found this morning. Lynn writes as a now-married adoptee who, with her husband, recently completed an international adoption themselves -- which gave Lynn the "push" she needed to actively pursue finding her own biological roots. (At the moment, she's only written "part 1"; I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the story as she writes it.)

I'd like to include one other resource, for "whatever it's worth." Christi M, at Parenting that Heals, was not adopted herself, but she and her husband have adopted 4 older girls (after raising 4 boys). Christie speaks from the perspective of what seems to be really working with her girls, especially in helping them understand and deal with the hurts of the past, recognizing the reality of what they've been through, yet helping them to grow beyond their past without letting it define their future. I have read all of her posts, and have been blessed by them.

While no two situations are the same (as Lynn learned), it is my hope that these links will be beneficial to those who are raising adopted children, to those who are in the adoption process, to those who are contemplating adoption -- and even to those who know an adoptee (of any age), or who are just interested for whatever reason.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thoughts on Trials

Adapted from a post on 12/30/2012 in the Sermon on the Mount memory club for Matthew 5:10-12, and reposted in my Online Journal there, as memory club posts tend to "disappear" (get bumped off) into cyberspace after about 10 additional posts.

Matthew 5:10  -- 
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Matthew 5:11 -- 
Blessed are ye, 
when men shall revile you, 
and persecute you, 
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, 
for my sake. 
Matthew 5:12 -- 
and be exceeding glad: 
for great is your reward in heaven: 
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Note: You'll have to join the FAST Online Bible School and then the Sermon on the Mount Memory Club in order to read the original post. It's free to join, has been a blessing to me -- and I know the founder personally; he's even stayed in our home.

The original post was a response to an online friend who was really struggling with trying to do right and getting a lot of flack for it:

I think it is common for those who are honestly trying to do right to feel alone and persecuted. I know I struggle with those feelings at times. When Satan tempts me that way, though, the Holy Spirit reminds me that Christ, too, must have often felt that way, and it makes life easier.
I also have to examine myself closely at times like those, to make sure I'm really doing what is right, and not being buffeted for genuine faults (I Peter 2:20). 

1 Peter 2:20 -- 
"For what glory is it, 
when ye be buffeted for your faults, 
ye shall take it patiently? 
but if, 
when ye do well, 
and suffer for it, 
ye take it patiently, 
this is acceptable with God." 

If I'm in the wrong, then I can't complain about troubles. Instead, I need to ask God for strength, and a willing heart, to change. If, after comparing my course with Scripture, I am doing the best I can to follow the principles laid out in the word of God, I still can't complain about troubles, as Matthew 5:10-12 points out.
When I originally wrote this, we were visiting our oldest son and his wife and our little granddaughter. We were nearly finished putting a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle together, and it reached the point where all that was left was a pile of (seemingly) "nondescript" pieces, pieces that all looked about the same.
After I went to bed, I started thinking about those pieces. They seemed like my life at times -- a jumble of "pieces" that don't seem to fit anywhere. I realized that, just as all those pieces have a place in the puzzle, and that, without them, the puzzle would be incomplete, so the (apparently) random troubles and trials I face are all part of God's big picture for my life. When He is through with me, I'll see how they all fit into one beautiful picture, just as our puzzle was a beautiful picture when I got up the next morning, and our children (we have four, plus one daughter-in-law) had finished it. (I went to bed before it was done last night.)
Keep your courage up when things go wrong. God has an exquisite picture for your life, one you won't see in it's fullness until the earth made new, but one which He can see now. His all-knowing hand is carefully fitting each piece into its proper place!

Friday, January 31, 2014


Girl, Born Jan 17, 2002


Chrystyna is a beautiful, brown haired, brown eyed girl
who deserves a chance at a better life!  

This is one of the two pictures on her profile when I first "met" her in December, 2010.

Her official orphanage papers say she has 
developmental delays/difficulties from birth,
 but nothing more specific than that.  

It is possible she has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). 

"Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Problems that may be caused by fetal alcohol syndrome include physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties and behavioral problems.
"The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible."
(This could be the cause of the "developmental delays" at the beginning of her profile.)

Yes, this sounds a bit "scary" -- but, really, in God's sight,
and in the light of Romans 3:23
("For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God.")
don't all of us have (spiritual) "developmental delays / difficulties from birth"?

Sin was not "our fault."
We were born into it,
and yet --
Christ left heaven and came to rescue us!
He knew we were worth it!

These things are not Chrystyna's fault, either.
She was born with them.
Is someone willing to rescue her?
She's worth it!

Her biological mother was deprived her parental rights in December 2004.

This means she probably lived with at least her mother until just before her third birthday in January, 2005.

Chrystyna has at least one biological sister (whether full of half is not stated), Karen

Unfortunately, Karen turned 18 in January, and is no longer available for adoption. 
However, she was in the same region as Chrystyna before she aged out, 
which means that an adoptive family could possibly connect with her 
while adopting  Chrystyna, 
and (hopefully) establish some kind of permanent contact.

What kind of memories (if any) does Chrystyna have of her mother? 
Her sister, Karen?
 any other siblings that might be out there? 
Extended family -- Grandparents? aunts? uncles? cousins?

Was it alcohol that split her family, 
caused her mother to loose parental rights, 
and separated her from her mother and sister ?

and the biological father is not known. 

This is sad -- but it doesn't make Chrystyna any less valuable.
She still has a heavenly Father Who loves her more than she knows,
It is just one more reason why she needs an adoptive family!

At some point, not too long after I first "met" her, (probably 2011?), she was moved from the institution back to a much better facility, with better care -- and her condition improved somewhat.
In 2012, her condition seemed to be improving.
By 2013, it was starting back downhill.
(Below is an updated picture from 2013)

You can read the rest of Chrystyna's profile
(including more details on the updates mentioned above)

Is it possible that your family,
or another family you know,
would have a spot at your table for this young lady?

Would you be willing to pray about it before you say a flat out, "No"?

You can read about the adoption process HERE.

International adoption is expensive. 
nearly half of the in-country costs for her country have already been raised!

Chrystyna has
$10,617.28 (1/31/14)
$10,628.98 (2/4/14)
$10,646.98 (3/16/14)
$10,754.98 (5/6/14)
in a grant fund
to help cover the cost of her adoption.

If your cannot adopt her 
(and there are many valid reasons why families are not in a position to adopt!)

Could you share her picture and her need --
On social media?
On your blog?
With your friends?
At church?

Could you donate to her adoption fund
to make it easier for another family to adopt her?
(No donation is too small, and even small donations add up!!)

Could you pray for her?

I have been praying for both Karen and Chrystyna for over 3 years,
sporadically at first,
 but daily for over a year.

Would you join me?

And, while you're at it, could you please pray for Julie, too?
(5/6/14 update): Julie has passed her 16th birthday now, 
making her "too old" to be adopted, 
but she's still a special, struggling teen, and still needs our prayers.

If you're concerned about adopting an "older child," 

you might find this blog

(by a mother of 4 adopted "older girls")


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Julie: An Urgent Situation

(Note: If some of my facts are skewed, please let me know, by either posting a comment or by using the “contact” form on the right sidebar, and I will make appropriate corrections.)

This situation is a dilemma for us poor humans, but it is NOT a dilemma for GOD!!

Michelle, who blogs from the perspective of a very recent older-child adoption, agreed to help me "spread the word" about Julie. (She has a lot more blog readers than I do.) She posted the first two paragraphs of this post here, along with a perspective that I can't come even close to matching.

If you came from her site, skip the first two paragraphs below. If you didn't come from her site, please go read it first, before reading the rest of this post.

Julie lives in an orphanage in an Eastern European country.  Her Reece’s Rainbow profile says she “was placed in an orphanage a few years ago.” (“A few years ago” means “a few years before December of 2010," as her profile has not changed since I first read it then. She would have been no more than 12 when it was written, possibly younger).

That means she spent at least the first few years of her life living somewhere other than an orphanage. With her parents? With grandparents or some other family member? Were they happy years? Were they sad years? What traumatic event landed her in the orphanage? I really don’t know. One thing I do know: Transition to an orphanage = loss to the child. Loss of family. (Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and possibly older and / or younger siblings.) Loss of home. At the age she might have been, loss of friends. Loss of familiar surroundings. Loss of any kind of stability.

I also know that her orphanage days are rapidly nearing their end. Adopted or not, she will soon leave the orphanage behind forever. If she isn't adopted, her days there are numbered. It might be as soon as her birthday in April, or she might be allowed to finish out the school year, and remain there until summer – orphanage “graduation.”

If she has done well in school, she could “graduate” to a “trade school,” which does have a “dorm” for the students to live in – but (if I have my facts straight), those “dorms” are rife with alcohol, drugs, and sex. Given that she was “about 3 years behind her agemates” in school 3 years ago (which has probably not improved since then) she might not “qualify” for trade school.

As I understand it, “not qualifying” for trade school puts her out on the streets. No job (and an “orphan” label that makes it hard to get one, even if she had the appropriate skills, which she probably doesn’t.) No money. No place to live. (It gets very cold in her country in the winter!!) No way to buy food. No one to turn to for help or advice. Sound bleak? It is. A very high percentage of young people who “graduate” from the orphanage do not live to the age of 20. The majority of them turn to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and / or crime, in a desperate attempt to survive. (I've read these statistics somewhere; I'd link to them if I could find a source. If you know one, please let me know. Thanks!)

Julie does have a window of hope, albeit a small (and, at this point, rapidly shrinking) one: International adoption. Parents who are willing to take a leap of faith, and invite this teen to be part of their family. Her clock (see the countdown ticker at the top of this page) is rapidly ticking towards “doomsday,” so the process needs to be started ASAP. Like, NOW. (After you take time to pray about it, that is.)

While there is still time for a family brand new to adoption to rescue her, the sooner you can get the process started, the smoother it will be. There is a "best order" for doing things, and making sure nothing is overlooked.

The full adoption process for her country can take 6-8 months, or longer, from the first contact with your social worker until the plane with her on board touches down on US soil. Obviously there isn't that much time left between now and April first. (Not knowing which day in April she was born, the only “safe” assumption is April 1.) Fortunately, the entire process doesn't need to be finished by her birthday. Since it is a US law (not a law of her country) that sets the “age 16 cutoff date,” the adoption can be finalized after her birthday, as long as appropriate paperwork is filed with the USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Service) before then. The folks at Reece’s Rainbow (RR) can walk you through the process. (Please read this page carefully  before you contact them, though.)

Finances. Yes, International Adoption is expensive. Like around $25,000 (yes, that’s 25 grand) from Julie’s country. And that’s just airfare and “in country” costs (housing, transportation, food, facilitator fees. That kind of stuff.) Even families who are fully capable of financially supporting a child once the child is home rarely have that kind of cash just hanging around in their closet collecting dust.

Remember, though, that unwilling human hearts are a far bigger problem to the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills than a few pieces of human currency.

Before you read farther, please go back to the top of this post and re-read that sentence in red and green type. Remember that God is not bound by what looks impossible to us.

This is where the “dilemma” comes in. If you look at different children’s profiles on the RR website, you’ll notice that most of them have an adoption grant fund at the bottom. Julie’s does not, and there is a reason: It has been a long time since RR has had any kind of updated information on Julie. Like (probably) none since whatever was written when she was first listed, at least three years ago. The assumption is that she is still there, and still available, but RR doesn't know for sure. Because of this, they are not comfortable raising funds for her until they either get updated information or a family steps forward to adopt her. (This last bit of info is based on recent direct communication between me and an RR staff member, specifically discussing Julie’s lack of a grant fund.) 

RR may not have any “up-to-date” information on Julie, but GOD does!!!! He has the hairs on her head numbered, and monitors every breath she takes.  HE has a thousand ways of figuring this situation out that we poor mortals have never even thought of

Before you start throwing stones at RR for not keeping their records up-to-date, though, please consider that none of the US-based RR office staff (the ones who post updates to a child’s online profile) actually live in Julie’s country. I don’t know how many, if any, of them have ever even visited it before.
  •  They have little or no direct access to any kind of (official) records, other than what they received when the child was first listed, and getting additional information can be next to impossible in some situations. (Some institutional directors are very anti-adoption, and deliberately sit on unfinished paperwork, to keep the children in their care from being adopted.)
  •  For the most part, RR office staff has to depend on in-country facilitators (local people who work with adopting families while they are physically there), missionaries, and / or families who are adopting another child out of the same orphanage, for any additional information.
  • Sometimes adopting families get to mingle with other children in an orphanage, sometimes not.  Some orphanages confine prospective families to a small area with only the child they are adopting, and give them little or no access to any of the other children living there. (This would prevent them from having additional information about other RR-listed children in that institution to forward on to the home office.)
  •  Facilitators probably keep so busy working with currently-in-country adopting families that they don’t have time (or finances) to go running around the country keeping up with all the kids listed on RR’s site.
  •  Many of these orphanages are in very remote locations, and I can tell you from seven months (2004-2005, and I doubt it's improved) in an Eastern European country not too far from Julie’s that gas is outrageously expensive in that part of the world. Expensive enough to make our highest US prices look (to them) like 99 cents a gallon would look to us.
  •  Not all facilities have missionaries close enough to work with them. Some directors want no part of missionaries or anyone else entering “their” institution, and refuse to grant them access even if they are close enough. 
Again, this presents a real dilemma to us humans. A dilemma that could easily send a potential family looking for “easier” kids – kids with frequently (or at least recently) updated information in their profiles, and lots of money in their grant funds. (I am sure there are people “out there” who would be glad to chip into Julie’s fund, once it is established.)

But then – none of this is Julie’s fault. None of this halts the clock, or puts one extra second of time between now and her 16th birthday. None of this changes her desperate need for a family to take a (larger-than-normal) leap of faith, and step forward immediately.

We do need to keep in mind that God sees a bigger picture than we do, and He may have reasons that go beyond our limited comprehension for keeping Julie’s information unavailable to RR, reasons we will never understand this side of heaven.

Is this is a complicated situation? Yes. (As I suspect dozens of adoptive families will testify, any International adoption is complicated!) Is it an impossible situation? NO. Is Julie worth whatever it takes to bring her home (or to at least give her the opportunity to come home)? Absolutely! We need to go forward on our knees, and, with every “roadblock,” first submitting our wills to God, and second, checking our lives against the blessing of His written word, to make sure there is nothing in us that would prevent Him from working in our behalf. After we have done this, we can rest in His wisdom, trusting Him to work things out however He sees is best. 

 God is bigger than this problem!

A family would also need to keep in mind, and be mentally and emotionally prepared for, the possibility that Julie might not be still available (for any one of many reasons outside Reece's Rainbow's control or knowledge), and that she might (as other older children have done), say "No" to adoption after a family does everything they can do, and actually meets her.

If you are even remotely considering inviting Julie, or any other "older child" to become part of your family, I would like to encourage you to visit Christie at Parenting that Heals. Christie and her husband, Mike have four adult sons. They have also adopted 4 older girls, one from US foster care (if I remember right), one directly from Eastern Europe, and two already in the US from disrupted International adoptions, one of whom was disrupted twice. I have read Christie's entire blog, start to finish, and I have been blessed. While every situation is different (and, with no personal adoption experience, I am definitely "on the outside looking in"), I believe she offers insights into the "whys" of behaviors that so often crop up in International adoptions, as well as some very practical "how to's" for dealing with them, to help you see that, with God's help, this is "doable."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Julie -- a bit more information

I've added this information to the bottom of the post I made yesterday about Julie, but am also putting it in this new post, for those who have already read the earlier post, and might not go back to it.

Families with even the slightest interest in adopting Julie should start at the Reece's Rainbow Adoption Process webpage -- and they should start IMMEDIATELY! Even though the adoption process doesn't need to be completed before Julie's birthday, there IS a certain amount of paperwork that needs to be in place before she turns 16.

(I've never been down the adoption road personally, but I've read this in other blogs posts advocating for "about-to-age-out" children.)

If you can't adopt her, but you could help spread the word, I would really appreciate it -- and, I'm sure, Julie would appreciate it too . . . if she only knew . . . !.

I've contacted RR about a donation button for her, and will post those details (in another blog post, so check back) as soon as I can. In the meantime, the more people who see her face, the better chance she has of a family finding her before it is forever too late.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


This picture has been posted ever since I first saw your sweet face . . . over 3 years ago.

That means you were no more than 12 when it was taken -- maybe younger.

About all I know about you is what is written in your Reece's Rainbow profile:

Julie (That's a pseudonym, to protect your real identity)
Girl, Born April 1998 (I don't even know what day your birthday is -- April 1 . . . or April 30 . . . I hope April 30, as it gives you a few days longer for your family to find you.
That means that, in roughly 4 months (depending on when in April your birthday is), you will turn 16. In the US, kids look forward to turning 16 -- they can get a driver's license. In your country, "16" has a totally different connotation, especially for "orphans"! It means that you will be forever unavailable for a US family. I don't know if other countries allow young people over 16 to be adopted or not.

Here's what your Reece's Rainbow profile says:
Love this beautiful Pippi Longstocking!    Julie is a sweet, quiet, but energetic, redhead with big blue eyes and freckles.  When she was placed in an orphanage a few years ago, she did not want to speak.  Now she expresses herself reasonably well, with an occasional stutter.    She studies and recites well in her orphanage, but she is about 3 years behind her agemates.  She controls her actions well, is calm, likes to work, draw and play with toys.  She came to a 3-week summer camp in America and lived with a family, who thought she might have brain damage.  Julie was very patient in adult company, played nicely by herself or with other kids, showed determination and stamina in learning how to ice skate mostly by herself, and loved the water park, descending the steepest, scariest slide with gusto.  Julie has a sense of humor and a hearty laugh.  With a good ear for language, she should be able to learn English just fine, once a loving family gives her that opportunity.  She wants a family of her own.

I just committed to being your Reece's Rainbow ("RR") "Guardian Angel." That means I'm supposed to try to raise money for your grant fund, and I'm supposed to try to find an adoptive family for you. 

The only problem is -- RR doesn't seem to be accepting grant funds for you right now -- something about your paperwork? Does that mean you can't even be adopted if a family steps forward for you? I really don't know. I've e-mailed them to find out.

Since I don't have any "social media" accounts (no FB, no twitter, no . . . ), and this is a brand-new blog, which very few people read, where do I even start? On my knees, I guess. I've been praying for you off and on since the fall of 2010, and seriously (every morning and evening) for over a year. 

God knows all about you. He loves you, even though you probably feel like He's forgotten you, if you even know about Him.

I guess I can ask any of the few people who might read this if they would help me out . . . share where ever and however they can. Maybe do a feature post on their blog, which probably has a lot more readers than mine does? (And then leave a link to their blog post in the comments below, so I can thank them -- and read what they wrote?) Advocate for you on FB, twitter, and whatever other sites they're on? Whatever other creative ideas they have?

Maybe I can ask some of the bloggers I regularly follow (who don't know me, or anything about my little blog) if they would shout for you?

Ultimately, it only takes one family to really see you, and decide that you belong in their family.

Since it's my bedtime, I guess I'll have to put this problem in God's capable hands, and see what else I can do . . . tomorrow.

Good night, sweet Julie.

Additional note, added Thursday, January 16:
Families with even the slightest interest in adopting Julie should start at the Reece's Rainbow Adoption Process webpage -- and they should start IMMEDIATELY! Even though the adoption process doesn't need to be completed before Julie's birthday, there IS a certain amount of paperwork that needs to be in place before she turns 16.

I've never been down the adoption road personally, but I've read this in other blogs posts advocating for "about-to-age-out" children.

If you can't adopt her, but you could help spread the word, I would really appreciate it -- and, I'm sure, Julie would appreciate it too . . . if she only knew . . . !.

I've contacted RR about a donation button for her, and will post those details (in another blog post, so check back) as soon as I can. In the meantime, the more people who see her face, the better chance she has of a family finding her before it is forever too late.