Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Photos of Our Little Guy

Another family visited "Robert's" orphanage a few weeks ago and was able to send us these new pics of him. Yaaaay! (yeah, he kind of has that "deer in the headlights" look, but we still think he is pretty darn cute!). We are currently waiting on our approval from U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Please keep your fingers crossed that it will come quickly. Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Do I Make a Donation?

Hello! I've had some people ask how they can make a donation.  There are several ways - whatever works best for you!

If you want to make a donation that is tax deductible, use one of these 4 ways:
1. Send a check to Reece's Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885 (make the check out to Reece's Rainbow and specify in the note section of your check: for Robert for the Clarks (#2))

2. Make a check out to Reece's Rainbow and mail it to our house (just email us at GrantandBobbie@gmail.com if you need our address)

3. Here on our blog, click on the "Donate" button on the right side of the page, and this will take you directly to a secure PayPal site where you can either use your PayPal account, or a credit card without signing up for PayPal.  All donations will go directly to Robert's adoption fund.

4. Here on our blog, you can get to Robert's Reece's Rainbow donation page by clicking on the "Sponsor" leaf above in the title of our blog, or click on Robert's "button" to the right (it is the tiny framed photo with the clothespins that hold the sign "Help us bring him home!").  Once you are on Robert's Reece's Rainbow page, there is a "DONATE" button at the bottom of the page, on the left hand side. This will take you to PayPal's secure site where you can either use your PayPal account, or just a credit card if you don't want to sign up for PayPal. These donations will go directly into Robert's adoption fund.

If you don't care if your donation is tax deductible:
1. Make your check out to either of us and send it to our home (email us at GrantandBobbie@gmail.com if you need our address), hand it to us, or give it to our parents - we'll all make sure it gets into our adoption fund. : )

2. If you have extra gift cards, or something else that you think we could raffle off to raise money, we would GREATLY appreciate these items, too!

Hope this helps, and thank you! If you have any other questions, just call, email, or holler!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guess What We Got in the Mail Today?

Our notarized copies of our homestudy and Illinois Department of Children and Family endorsement letter!!!
Now we can apply for approval from U.S. Customs and Immigration. The journey continues!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Coffee Fundraiser is Working!! Thank you!!

I was so excited last night to find a check waiting in the mail for our adoption fund from Just Love Coffee!  It really works!! Thank you everyone who is supporting us by buying your coffee through our link! So if you love coffee, and want to help little Robert, check out our "Drink Coffee" button on the right, (or click on the "Fundraisers" leaf above. Thanks again!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You've Gotta See This Baby!

Oh my gosh - another Reece's Rainbow family got to meet their son (also with dwarfism) this week. He is so adorable. And only about 6 weeks apart in age from Robert. Their blog is: http://www.adozenreasonsandmore.blogspot.com/
Hopefully only a few more months and we'll get to hold our little guy. I can hardly wait!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Home Study Report is Headed to IL DCFS!

Yay!!! We heard back from our social worker and our home study report will be sent to Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on Monday, October 25!! (A home study involves visits to our home from a social worker and lots and lots of paperwork, classes/trainings/research/readings, state and federal background checks, reference letters, medical evaluations, financial evaluations, parenting evaluations, personality evaluations, marriage evaluations - you name it and  we've been evaluated regarding it! We had our first home study visit on July 6, just to give you an idea of how long it takes.)  Now we wait for approval from the state of Illinois in order to move forward to the next step - approval from U.S. Customs and Immigration.  We are hope, hope, hoping that DCFS will give us their stamp of approval quickly, and not in 6-8 weeks like it was taking this summer! Why can't we just go get him??? Sometimes rules and regulations just plain stink. Please keep our little one in your thoughts and prayers as we "hurry up and wait."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our World Will Never Be The Same Again

So what is this all about you might ask. Why is this blog so important? Why are we swallowing our pride and humbly asking for donations from friends, family, and strangers to help us bring a little boy named “Robert” home? Why are we running around like maniacs trying to jump through hoops for homestudy approvals from agencies in Illinois, U.S. Customs and Immigration, and a foreign country?  Why do I stay up at night reading about the stories of the orphans listed on Reece’s Rainbow; crying tears of joy when a family is able to commit to them and bring them home; crying tears of sorrow when obstacles prevent them from being rescued before it is too late?  It is a simple answer: it is about children who don’t have a chance at life. It is about preschoolers who will be sent to mental institutions when they turn four years old because there is nowhere else for them to go. It is about babies and children who are miserable and who will die. We just found out yesterday that another little girl died this week - all alone with no family to comfort her.  Her name was Anya (“Anne Marie) and she loved to blow kisses and was only four years old.  Her photos are on this family’s blog: http://ready4ross.blogspot.com/
So who are these children you might ask.  First and foremost, they are kids – just kids.  But they are orphans who live in orphanages without Moms or Dads, without enough food or clothes, without needed medical care, without anything to call their own, without the chance to snuggle on the couch, and without backrubs when their tummies hurt, and . . . . without a future.
Why are they there you might ask? 
In many countries, including Eastern Europe where “Robert” is living, babies who are born with disabilities or special needs, such as dwarfism, club feet, cleft lip, Down syndrome, spina bifida, or joint disorders, are left in orphanages because their families don’t have the resources to take care of them, and “being different” is not accepted (much like the U.S. a few decades ago).  Many of the orphanage caregivers do their best to care for the children, but often it is not enough and it is definitely not the same as a family.  And the one thing the caregivers can’t do, even though they might try to stall, is keep the kids from the mental institutions.  I can’t imagine how the caregivers could let themselves care too much – knowing that someday soon they’ll have to walk or wheel a child to the door – knowing what is in store.
So what are Grant and I doing about this and why?  It is about making a difference for as many of these little ones as possible.  These kiddos need homes and parents, right?  And we want to be parents and are able to provide a home, right?  Grant and I are only able to bring one little boy home (this time!), but this is our chance to tell you and show you what needs to be done.  We’re not special; we’re not saints – we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to get handed a brochure telling us about Reece’s Rainbow and all of these children.  Take a look at this family’s blog – they just “busted out” their four-year-old daughter from an orphanage (a very nice one, by the way) – she would have been transferred soon to a mental institution (not nice AT ALL) because she couldn’t walk – very possibly tied to a crib and dead in less than a year.  http://adoption.adeanthing.com/
So how did we find out about Robert and the other kids again?  It’s called Reece’s Rainbow, a non-profit organization started by a mom who saw the need for these kids four years ago.  Reece’s Rainbow helps find the kids who can be adopted and gets their photos out there for as many people to see as possible.  There are also lots of volunteers – most are families who have adopted, all are people who love children – to help new families get through the process and paperwork, and help with fundraising and emotional support.  One volunteer, Lu (bless her heart), helps with blog designs (thanks Lu!).  Other volunteers have gone overseas to teach about setting up services in the countries so that birth families feel like they have a chance to keep their children.  Still other volunteers make it their mission to tell the world about these little ones.  And let me stress the word “volunteers” – yes, all of the help from Reece’s Rainbow is free!! Believe me, there are enough costs involved in an international adoption (I’m working on making a list to show the breakdown), but this group of volunteers spends hours upon hours advocating for all of the children – hoping to make saving a child a little more affordable.  The founder of Reece’s Rainbow, Andrea Roberts (a mom of a little boy with Down syndrome), is even in the running for People Magazine’s “Hero of the Year” award.  So definitely check out my most favorite website of all times: http://www.reecesrainbow.org/
So what is next you might ask.
I know there are so many stories to tell, and so much more info that you’re wondering about – heck, Grant and I learn something new every day about this process and still have lots of questions!  But I promise I’ll do my best to keep you posted.  And I can’t wait to give you updates on little Robert.  I like to call that his stage name!! For confidentiality reasons, this is the name that he has on Reece’s Rainbow.  And in order to not jeopardize our adoption, we can’t share his birth name or birth country yet.  I know that not everyone is able to adopt right now, or able to donate money, but there are lots of other ways to support us and the other families – and ultimately these children. Even just reading our blog and sending us comments or emails lets us know that you are thinking of us and our little guy - that means the world to us.  This is not an easy road to navigate, but I have a feeling that it is well worth the struggles we’ll encounter – don’t you!?  Love you all!  Ok, I have to just say this – isn’t he cute?!?!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Up and Running - It's a Start!

The most important writing of our lives will soon take place - the story of the journey to our son - a little boy with dwarfism in an Eastern European orphanage. Can you believe it?! Our son . . . a child . . . we're going to be a mom and a dad in a few short months. I'm somewhat speechless when I really stop and think about it. Something I've wanted ever since I can remember - to be a mom - is really going to happen. And I get to share our amazing story with friends and family all over the world. All I can say is welcome, and as you go on this wild ride with us, be prepared to be amazed, inspired, touched, and saddened - just as we have been since we started this journey.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


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