Sunday, April 29, 2012

God's son

Artem is a cute, smiley little boy who it is easy to fall for... but Boris is not smiling. His picture is dark and unflattering. It looks like he cannot sit up on his own. He will be 3 around the time my baby is born (he is just a month younger than Artem.

Boris is listed as "moderately excitable." :)

Why the difference? Does Artem get more help or attention? Is it just genetics, or differing ability for no known reason? I don't know.

I do know that Boris is a precious son of God, made in the image of his Father. I know that this little boy has worth and potential. I know there is a family for him.

I know he's worth it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

something to smile about

Look at this adorable boy! How could anyone resist a smile like that?

Artem is almost 3 and is described as calm.

He deserves a reason to smile... a family. A forever home.

Can you give him that reason?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Quick break to see some other precious children....

Remember Owen?

Click here to see some more pictures of him, including a sweet baby picture.

Remember sweet Kacey with Apert Syndrome?

Here is a post from a mom who met her... she would do so well in a family.

I don't think I'd mentioned Tamara before... but she seems so sweet.

She had a family coming but they are not able to complete the adoption. She doesn't deserve to be sent to a mental institution. No child does... but Tamara is facing this only because she looks different. Could she be your daughter?
There is a mom who has met Tamara as well; if you contact Reece's Rainbow they could put you in touch with her.

Keegan is a sweet little boy with Down Syndrome.

He has a heart defect for which surgery is not recommended and a bit of strabismus but nothing too serious... and at the ripe old age of 1 is facing the institution because his baby house is closing.
If a family were interested, he could be adopted with Ollie, who is also under 2. Ollie has a heart defect which is more serious and will need attention when he comes home. He is not in the baby house that is closing, so he is not in immediate danger of transfer.

And Genesis is now officially adopted! She has a mommy, a daddy, three brothers, and a sister. Her new name is Sarah Joy.

In a few weeks they will all be together at home.
Yvonne (Sarah's mom) is pleading for a family for Angela, who she sponsors through Life 2 Orphans and was able to hold at the orphanage.

From her RR profile:
"Diagnosis: severe grade of the mental delay, hydrocephalus, fibrosis of hyaloid, secondary glaucoma, exfoliation/detachment of retina, congenital defect of the heart partition"
I don't know what all of that means, but it sounds like she has blindness, hydrocephalus, and a heart defect....

Ivan is also still in desperate need of a family.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Worth it

Believe it or not, this is a little girl too. And she just turned 3 (though the picture is quite likely out of date). Valeria is smiling and sociable.

To adopt Valeria (or another child from her region), 3 trips would be required. Both of her parents (single moms are not accepted) would travel for a week to meet her and be officially referred. They would wait 2 or 3 months for a court date. Then, they'd take another week-long trip which would include their court date (when Valeria would officially become their daughter). There would be a month-long waiting period, in case one of Valeria's biological relatives wanted to step back into the picture and bring her home. Finally, at least one of her parents would go back to finally bring her home (also a week-long trip).

Valeria's parents would need to be under 48 (no more than 45 years older than her, and under 50 for older children). They could not have more than 3 children at home. They would need a completely clear criminal and mental health background (no depression, bipolar disorder, etc.). They could not adopt more than one child at the same time.

It would cost around $33,000 to adopt her. And her parents might not know her needs until they met her (and even then the information they received could be wrong).

Why would anyone do that?

Well, wouldn't you do that for your daughter? It's that simple.

If you don't feel "called" to adopt, that doesn't mean you can't. If you don't fall in love with a sweet face on a photolisting, it doesn't mean you don't have a son or daughter out there. Don't let it stop you if God isn't sending you a neon sign emblazoned with "Go adopt Valeria now!"

But sometimes people say they do know. They say they looked at a certain little girl or boy and just knew that one was one of theirs. And they'd do anything for their daughter or son. And even if that's not you, at the end of the process you will have a son or daughter, and it all would have been for him or her.

Either way, once Valeria's family brings her home, she will be worth it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

passed over

I don't quite know why I am doing this project... posting about each of the additional kids in this region. Oh, there is one I've blogged about before because he caught my interest. And a lot of them are cute. But for some reason I didn't just post a few of the cutest, or the ones that caught my attention. For some reason--and I do think it was God's leading--I decided each of these children deserved their own post. And they do. More than that, they each deserve their own families.

Even a little girl I might pass over if I hadn't decided to do this. Even a little girl whose haircut looks like a boy's and whose clothes don't match.

Anna is just two years old. I don't know how much stimulation or attention she gets, but she's certainly sitting independently here, which is a great sign. She didn't grab me, and my thoughts about her were more along the lines of "That's a girl?" than "What a gorgeous child!"

But God doesn't see what man sees. God looks at the heart.
If Anna were my daughter, I would love her. And she is God's daughter. And she deserves a mommy. And she is pretty--if you don't let the hair and the crazy cloths throw you.

So today, don't pass over Anna. There's not much we can do for additional children. We can't donate. We can't share information other than a picture. But there is one thing we can always do. Let's pray for her together.

Dear God, we pray knowing that You love Anna and knew about her when You laid the foundations of the earth. You had a plan for her life. You planned for her to be born. You planned for her mommy to love her... but where she was born, even if her mother wanted to bring her home, the odds were stacked against it.

But You knew that people who call themselves Yours would be everywhere in the world--in Anna's country and in mine. You knew that You would give out more than enough love and money for another family to step in and do what Anna's birth family could not or would not--show this little girl Your love and all the best life has to offer. You planned another family for Anna.

God, I don't know if her family has felt Your call or not. I don't know if they even know You yet. I don't know if they are held back waiting for Your perfect timing, or held back by their own concerns when You are urging them to go to Eastern Europe and adopt a daughter with Down Syndrome.

I know Anna is precious in Your sight and You have a great plan for her. Please bless Anna, her family, and each person You have placed in her life or intend to. Bless those who will donate to her adoption, and bless those who pray for her, and bless those who would bring her home but can't. But most of all, bless Anna's family with her, their daughter. Make it clear what a blessing she will be, how much joy and love she will bring. And bring her home.

In the name of Your Son Jesus, who paid the price for our adoption. Amen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Look at this pretty girl's big blue eyes! Elizabeth is 2 and she needs a family badly. She doesn't look mistreated but the sores around her mouth are likely a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Even when orphans get enough food it may not be the most nourishing...

Many little girls and boys are fed little other than a porridge-like food. This is often not cruelty or uncaring but simple poverty... in a country where many families can't provide for their children well it isn't surprising that orphans are worse off. I read about orphans who when they first come home eat everything, sometimes more than is healthy... or orphans who will eat everything but oatmeal.

I am not big on variety, but I will tell you I would get tired of an oatmeal diet pretty quickly. I am sure you have family members who would complain if they got the same food two nights in a row... or for some foods, two nights in a month. Imagine eating the exact same food every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even if it's your favorite food, I bet you'd get tired of it before a week was out.

I don't know if this is true for Elizabeth... but some orphans get the same food every single day. Often it is not as much as they really need. Even if the serving size is reasonable, think about your toddlers... don't they cycle in how much they eat? Don't they sometimes eat as much as a grown man when going through a growth spurt? It is probably rare for allowances to be made for that in the orphanage. If Elizabeth is lucky, she may have different meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She may get the occasional piece of fruit on a special occasion. If Elizabeth is not so lucky, she may not have ever even had someone try to teach her how to eat. Her meals may be porridge in a bottle with a nipple that has a big hole in it. Just because orphanages are poor and understaffed and no one can spare the time and effort to spoonfeed 20 kids or teach them to eat or clean them after they try it. Again, I don't know what Elizabeth's home is like... either end of the spectrum is a possibility. But it is common for kids who are raised in orphanages, especially if they have special needs, to be undersized due to chronic undernourishment.

Because if your daughter is hungry, you feed her. If your son is going through a growth spurt, you feed him more. But if you are responsible for 20 or more babies and toddlers, and they are all screaming and moaning and wandering off, all desperately in need of attention and stimulation, you may not know one is extra-hungry today. And even if you did, you have so much to do--change diapers occasionally. Feed them all, simultaneously. If the orphanage is a good one, they may go to different rooms for therapies. They may go to play outside. They may need to be cleaned a little. And they all desperately need love and attention--and being human you may have a few favorites you try to give that to, or you might try to spread it out a little more and give each one a little bit, but you just can't be mommy to 20 toddlers all at once. The quiet ones--Elizabeth is "calm"--may just be ignored.

Remember these words?
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Orphans are hungry. They are thirsty. (Even in better orphanages sometimes their liquid is very limited because diapers are so expensive.) They are strangers, but we can make them family. They may wear only one or two outfits for over a year, and never even own those--or they may be designed for a child of a different gender. They do not likely get special treatment when they are sick, and if they do, it is isolation and perhaps medicine, not chicken soup, cuddling, and favorite cartoons. They may or may not be allowed outside, and certainly not off the property.
And then a family comes. They feed their child, give her juiceboxes, find her a pretty new dress and bows for her hair, love on that little one even when she's in a bad mood. And they call her daughter and bring her home, as God does for us.

That's what Elizabeth needs.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Smiling, emotional, sociable

Julia is 2 and only a couple months older than my son. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and is really gorgeous. And she has Down Syndrome.

She has a lot of information for an "additional child" in her region: "smiling, emotional, sociable." Someone likes this little girl. Someone thinks she has potential. Hopefully she is getting the love and nourishment (emotional and physical) that she needs. (FWIW emotional may well be a positive, in that she expresses emotions well... remember these descriptions are usually translations done by a computer, not a human translator.)

Not everything is in Julia's favor, though. She does have a special need. She doesn't have her own page on RR. She can't have a grant. Her medical status and any other special needs she might have are unknown.

But maybe she's so sweet someone will take a chance and do what it takes to bring her home.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Summed up

Two years old.
Down Syndrome.

Some day each of us will be summed up with a name, an age, and a few quick words.
Dedicated Christ-follower. Loving mother. Devoted daughter. Creative engineer. Inspiring teacher. 1983-2067.

Dmitry didn't pick the words that are used to sum him up. They don't speak to his strengths.

But this little summation of Dmitry's life isn't to memorialize its ending--it gives him a chance, however slim, at a new beginning. Dmitry's life is just beginning, and you could be part of it. Some day, when his full life is summed up, there may be words like "son," "brother," and "Christian." And it's likely that no one will point out his difficulties in a quick phrase about his life.

If all we have is the dash, as they say--if all we have is that short time--how are we using it? Is God glorified? Because that is eternal.

If Dmitry is not adopted there may be no one to remember him. He may never have someone who loves him as he is.

Imagine if all anyone ever bothered to write about you was "tranquil"--a word that said more about your opportunities than your true personality.

But for Dmitry, in this picture and one-word description, there is hope. Can someone bring him home?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Isn't she beautiful?

Vasilisa will be 3 this summer. She might or might not be allowed to even play outside in the sun. She won't have brothers or sisters to chase around. She won't have a mommy to comfort her if she falls down and gets hurt. She almost certainly won't get to go swimming or run through a sprinkler.

But if she were your daughter, she could experience all the things God meant her to, all the things a childhood summer means to you.

She seems like just a picture and a name on a list. A word of description ("sociable").

But Vasilisa is a real little girl, a human being. She gets hungry and thirsty and lonely and hurt--and hopefully she also knows what it is to be happy and to love and be loved. She looks and sounds like she knows what it is to play, to laugh, to get attention, to talk to a friend or caregiver.

This little girl could really snuggle in your arms or chase you around growling like a monster or cheer when her daddy comes home or beg to have ice cream for dinner but settle for macaroni and cheese when you said no.

Yes, there are hundreds of little girls just like her on Reece's Rainbow. And every one of them is special. Vasilisa is special too. She's made in God's image. She's his daughter.
And she deserves to be someone else's too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This little guy is a cutie

Have I ever mentioned I'm a sucker for little boys named Peter?

"Peter P." is just 5 months younger than my Peter and almost exactly 2 years younger than my eldest. He is described as tranquil. Soon he will be two.

This little guy would do great to come home at this age. Looks like he's doing pretty well. Is he your son?

Monday, April 16, 2012


What a sweet, smiley little boy. Carlton is 2 and likely has Down Syndrome. He deserves a chance at a home, a mommy and daddy, a life outside an institution.

Wouldn't it be neat if this smile was for you?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

to be known

Isn't Ariana an adorable baby? Unfortunately, she is now 2 and has no family, and not even an updated picture. Her only chance is that someone scrolling through the additional children sees her and wants to know more.

That desire we have, which comes from God--to know and to be known--for Ariana it would make a world of difference.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

praying for this little boy

Artyom is unusual for an additional child is that he has a prayer warrior who blogs specifically for his adoption.

I am not a prayer warrior, but I do pray for children on RR... and if you want to and you are on Facebook you should "friend" Connie Clark Lindquist (adopting Ethan), who posts a child to pray for every day.

Prayer is a powerful thing. I would ask you all to pray for Artyom today.

Dear Father, I pray that Artyom would soon be blessed with a family who falls in love with him, who wants him whatever challenges he may have, who will be blessed by him. Please touch hearts for this sweet boy, only 2 years old. Please bring him a family. In the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sweet child who needs a family

This little one will turn 3 in May. The name is listed as "Nick B." but the gender is listed as female... I'll call this one Nicky I guess. Nicky probably has Down Syndrome. Nicky definitely needs a family, and Nicky's family will be blessed to have Nicky as a member.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another beautiful "additional" girl

Antonina will be 3 this month... isn't she gorgeous? She is described as 3. She needs a mommy and daddy to give her kisses and hugs, to teach her all she needs to know that she's been missing out on... what a blessing to be her parent! I can't help but think if this sweetie had her own page (instead of being an additional child) she would have been adopted by now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Additional child

Look at this adorable guy... Artem T. is 3. He needs a mommy and daddy... a big brother... and at least one cheek-squeezing great aunt. He is an additional child... but most importantly, he's a child.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Valery is an additional child.

But our God says no sparrow falls from the sky without his notice. And he feeds the birds.
Valery is worth far more than a bird.

Somewhere, he has a family planned for Valery. And he will provide for her family. He may not make it easy, but she will make it worthwhile.

Valery is about 3, and "calm."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Her hope

This is a bad, fuzzy picture of a "calm" little girl who is now 3. Not only is she an additional child, she has an out-of-date picture that doesn't show her best.

But she has a beautiful name: Hope.
(This may or may not be a translation of her real name.)
Hope has hope because she is listed at all, and thus probably available.
Hope has Hope because God loves her--and he is the Hope of the hopeless.
She lives in a country where people with intellectual disabilities are not valued, where their parents are encouraged to give them up at birth (not too different from our own country a few decades ago). She doesn't have parents or grandparents who take care of her. But our mighty God has a plan for her... and He wants her to know a family so that she can know Him.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

God will provide a way if He tells you to get her

Svetlana is turning 3. She is "moderately excitable." There must be a family for whom this little girl is perfect.

And here's an adorable baby picture:

If you are interested in Svetlana, Reece's Rainbow has more photos available.
Many families are able to fully fund their adoption with RR's help. Grants can help with adopting special needs children too. God blesses those who step out in faith to do His will... if He says you are Svetlana's mommy, he can make a way.

I will give $10 to each family who commits to a little one from "Region 23"'s additional children... yeah, it's not a lot, but that's what I can promise.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Just 3 years old, Alexandra looks like everything an adoptive parent is supposedly looking for: Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Just 3 years old. Such a beautiful girl.
(Alexandra's description says her eyes are brown, but they sure look blue to me... could be a photo mix up.)

Except she has Down Syndrome.

She's a blessing anyway, a treasure hidden on a list of treasures. She deserves a home and a family. She deserves to be a daughter, not just an "additional child."

Monday, April 2, 2012

I believe there is a family for Artem.

I can't save them all.
I can't even really advocate or pray for them all individually--there are just so many.
But we can do a little bit.

Maybe you are actually in a position to adopt right now... and Artem is your son...

Probably you aren't. Or if you are, and you are reading this blog, you are already in process.

But maybe, just maybe, someone will stumble across this post and realize sweet Artem is their son.

And I believe God wants these little ones in families... which means He can and will call Artem's parents to adoption. Even though he's an additional child. Even though he lives in a country where having Down Syndrome means life in an institution. Even though adopting Artem will cost over $30,000 and his medical history isn't available... God is bigger than all of that. This boy was born 3 years ago to be a son, and God chose him for a family who did not see what a gift they'd been given. But He's not giving up yet. Somewhere out there are a mommy and daddy who are called to bring Artem home.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Another little guy

Two pics of this sweet little boy. He is (yup, you guessed it) quiet. The second, smaller picture is more recent.

Boris needs a mommy and daddy and maybe some sisters and brothers... to make him smile. To give him a reason to laugh and play and learn to do little boy things. He's only 3--not "too old" to learn and experience new things!