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?!?!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Bobbie...great post! I need to do a FAQ post for our blog, too. We also have had people think we are essentially "buying" our daughter. Sigh...Take care and good luck with the paperchase! I'll add y'all to my RR prayer list. :)
    adopting "Heather" (Caroline)



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