Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Child of The Month: Izahic

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

cotm4This child is one of my favorites. When I asked about him in October 2013 I was told that a family was considering adopting him and was asked if I would like to receive his file should they decide against accepting a referral for this young boy. The agency that is working Izahic’s file has him listed as Teddy, which I am allowed to note since this is not his full name. I learned by error about confidentiality issues. For example, I do know what country Izahic/Teddy is in, but cannot say what country in Africa he is. What I can tell you is that his case is with a very reputable agency that will facilitate well in country and through the adoption process of this child. The connection for his country and with his case is Jessica Shriner who can be contacted at jessica@adoptionadvocates.org

Here’s a little description of what you are against with his country by way of standards:

•Married couples must be married at least 2 years
•Single women permitted to adopt children with special needs
•Travel required – two trips, or one trip and an escort home
•The agency conducts rigorous background checks to confirm orphan status of the children
•Costs approximately $15,000 – $20,000, not including travel

I have 5 pictures and two videos of this little boy who is blind-deaf and let me tell you this is not what defines him. He is a vibrant, affectionate, cheerful and lively 2 year old (1 year old in the video). He has chubby little arms and thighs, a beautiful big smile and the cutest rosy cheeks.

It was my request to have Izahic as the Child of the Month for February as Feb is my birthday. There’s little that I would like more than donations and prayers for Izahic. He’s loved by his caregivers, obvious in the videos, but being a cherished baby can only last for so long. He needs home, and the sooner the better. This orphan I mention by the names that I can, and just want you to lift him up in your thoughts and in any other way that you can.

He was abandoned as a baby for what he does not have. Lets have someone redeem him for what he does have: the potential to be the best son in the world for someone. There are schools for the deaf, schools for the blind and programs all over than minister to the needs of people who have both so that they can lead active and fulfilling lives. Make Izahic’s time as Child of the Month worthwhile! He’s young and such a treasure.

Boy, born around May 31, 2012
Microcephaly, craniosynostosis, blind, and deaf, as well as undescended testes, and possible developmental delays.

He is developmentally delayed. He cannot support his head. He can hold an object in each hand and he feeds and sleeps well. He is a very cute baby boy! He needs a family to provide him with the love and care he lacked early in life so that he can flourish and reach his full potential.

Update 2013:
He cannot sit without support, but smiles when you play with him. He does not respond to light or moving objects, He kicks his legs and waves his arms. He does not have any history of seizures.

Video and additional photos available from the agency.

As I said, I have his photos and the two videos from when he is a year old. An updated video is in process and soon to be in transit with a travelling now family according to Jessica, as of two weeks ago. She is out of her office currently, but when in she is very prompt with emails and has extensive information on the cases that she manages. This agency is based out of Seattle but works throughout the US, coordinating with local social worker wherever you may be.

Click HERE to view the official Child of the Month page, it is seen directly on the Reece’s Rainbow homepage. Hoping with all my heart for attention for this precious child.

If you are interested in learning about with kids who are living with deaf blindness here’s a blog to check out: A Mom’s Musings. I confess that I have not explored the blog, but I will link it here as it of course is incredibly appropriate. With kids like Izahic who can not say he is cute, there is that fear of what if he doesn’t love me back, “What if we can’t connect?” that are scary. There are support groups online and in your local community for learning about needs like Izahics, all you have to do is research and you’ll be surprised to see what you find.

Just go a day without relying on your kids responding to your voice and seeing you beckon them to come to you; communicate effectively without those two things, it’s not possible because your relationship has never been without. You have never parented Izahic, but that does not mean that you could not.

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This month is also Valentines day! I wanted to add this little widget, even without reading what it was about! It’s just another way to get people to look at the Reece’s Rainbow kids. With 1000 children listed, the more neat ways to look around and learn about them the better.

Oraeley’s Adjustment

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

My online effort today was adjusting my sidebar on the blog. If you visit my site you’ll notice the changes when scrolling past the tracker that shows the location of people who are visiting oraeley.com Hopefully what is there makes sense.

The design alterations here are pretty comfortable and easy to look at for me, I love to know your thoughts also. The back drop is Psalm 91:2. It’s a wonderful spiritual message (not that you can see anything beyond half of the Celtic style cross) I love the parchment texture impression.

My next post is about the Claus family. I’ve put a widget in my sidebar for their adoption journey. Visit their family blog In Search of Pearls if you are interested in getting to know them a little and reading about current fundraising events. Thanks!

I have also modified my name a little. I am now “Oraeley: Mama and Orphan Advocate” The tag line is still “Life According to Laura” as it has been for many years.

Angel Tree 2013 Wrap Up.

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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Angel Tree 2013 had a grand total of $266,548.61 as far as money gone into individual children’s funds. Click the words Angel Tree above if you don’t remember the faces on the tree or want to see the total that they got in their goal to reach 1000 between November 1 and December 31st.

Checks were made payable to Reece’s Rainbow by mail at PO Box 4024 Gaithersburg, MD 20885. Memoing whichever child you wanted to receive a donation or by clicking on the child’s image on the Reece’s Rainbow website. Donations over $35 got you a Christmas Tree ornament with the picture of child you had supported along with the name of their country.

Darren and I let our children each pick a child to pray for they chose.

Abegayle chose Octavian who is one year old this month. He is a baby in Eastern Europe who has Down Syndrome. He unfortunately fell short of the 1K goal, reaching $590.00 which brings his adoption fund to $2776.00–It’s a case of better than nothing! The more money in these children’s adopt funds the great their chances of being adopted. There are so many families who say that they would adopt, were the funds there which is why we fundraise: the make that gap even the smallest bit narrower.

Koen chose Daniel, a 13 year old who looks likes maybe 6 or eight years old. If you click on his name, you can read a description of what he’s like. He sounds like a fun, quite young at heart little boy who desperately needs a mom and dad. Daniel’s warrior worked so hard to get him to $1000, and I believe actually took on a second child when there was a shortage of people sponsoring boys. He unfortunately did not make the goal. Every penny counts, and I do praise GOD that people gave to Daniel’s fund. After the completion of 2013’s Angel Tree season this guy has $571.00 more than he had before.

Carly chose Ashley who hung out at the half-way mark with days left of AT season, a donor came along and gave her a beautiful boost to $1057.25 throwing this 4 1/2 year old right over her goal, she’s still waiting for her forever family to come forward. Currently her adoption fund, almost one month later is at $1,194.25 Adoption from her country, total cost including travel is estimate is $31,000-36,000 extending beyond a year in length. It is one of the newest adoption programs working with Reece’s Rainbow, the international adoption advocacy program for children with Down Syndrome and other special needs.

Diederick chose Davian, a 13 year old who has spent his life in a stroller. His medical label is Down Syndrome. Davian met his goal and even exceeded it by a $3.46. He now has $1025.96 in his adoption fund. That money will wait un touched for the family who will Lord willing come for Davian, wherever they are. If he dies, or for another reason becomes unavailable for international adoption, that money will be awarded to another waiting child.

As a family we sponsored Mikey, a little guy from Eastern Europe who we can’t believe hasn’t been scooped up yet. By the end of Angel Tree 2013, he had $1015.35. His fund has grown since then and now has $1243.77

Through the season I got a number of interesting thoughts on where the money goes. From questions on if I’m giving money to the Ukraine government (???) These questions make full sense, because who has ever heard of setting aside money for specific children who do not have families committed to adopt them.

Another question was how do I know these children are REALLY orphans. For a child to be legally available for international adoption their family has to sign not only legal rights away, but that they permit for this child to be adopted away to another country. This child is not disappearing. There are, unfortunately, children who live and die in orphanages held from being taken into a loving home by biological family not giving permission for that child to go beyond the walls of the institution where that child has been confined.

Dylan and Kati
The boy laying down in this picture is such a child. He’s a teenager who will likely die of the natural effects of his hydrocephalous. The boy standing next to him is Dylan, a AT child who is in this picture with his sponsor. Dylan’s fund marched up $556.65 from where it was prior to November 1st. Ten year old Dylan now has $5429.45 toward his future adoption through Reece’s Rainbow.

I originally signed up to sponsor Dylan, but when I found out that Katie Zimmerman had spent time with him and gotten a chance to be his friend, I knew Jesus wanted her to do this for him. Thank you, Katie!

And thanks everyone who worked SO VERY HARD to push kids to 1K. Congratulations everyone. $266,548.61 is pennies worth being proud of. See you, warriors all back Angel Tree 2014, bring your friends!

Click HERE for a video of my daughter singing about Ashley. I can’t seem to get to the place on YouTube where I get HTML code to enter the video clip right into this post. Please do take a moment to follow the link.

Once again, THANK YOU! For participating.
If you bought an ornament, keep it up all year around and keep storming heavens gates with prayers for that sweet little (or big!) one. They are precious in His sight.

Hero’s Home

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

…in Heaven that is.

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She’s an 8 month old sweet baby girl with Down Syndrome born in Eastern Europe, to be adopted by an American family. News came just yesterday that Hero died due to a complication during heart surgery. Her time on Earth was done, and she’s in the arms of Jesus now.

Hero’s adoptive momma and daddy will never get to stroke her soft skin or look in to those beautiful blue eyes this side of eternity. But they love her so, and will miss that they never got to hold, dress, snuggle and nurture this daughter as they imagined that they would.

Every life is precious, and needs to be recognized where it can be.

Rest in peace, Hero, now that you are home.

Give your Reece’s Rainbow cousins who have gone before you a kiss!

You are held In Loving Memory, sweetie-pie.

My Chores Are Done!

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

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This could very easily be the chore list that I grew up with.
I remember “Dust Baseboards” being on the Do list for us kids, but my mom wouldn’t have had a 2-3 year old take the job.

Look over this list and let me know what your kids can do; and perhaps what your parents asked you to do that can be found here.

My kids can do up into their age category, but I’m not enough of a task master to MAKE them do these things. My favorite when trying to talk about chores and kids in the home is to tag on the ole Proverbs 22:6, so I might as well skip right to that!

Cleanliness and godliness start at home, which is why chores are so important. The thing is, my kids start off really wanting to be good helpers who will get praised by their parents and actually will be genuinely proud of a job well done, say on neatening a work space or putting a game away properly for the next time that it is used. Between that gung hoe-gusto moment to the final sigh of satisfaction someone comes along and irritates my valiant cleaner or messes up their project.

And so the issue is a bit bigger than having this one child working cheerfully along, I need to have the others also gainfully occupied. Plus there is that bit about them all loving one another, right. Everyone has to stay busy and feel appreciated.

We don’t have firewood to stack, and I haven’t thought to set aside the washcloths for my two year old to fold while I fold and put everything else away. Also, I am not going to let the kids vacuum, we’ve had some bad clogs! Their job can stay at pick things up before we vacuum level for awhile.
My 4-year-old loves peeling things. The list here recommends an older child doing it, I haven’t let Koen peel a potato, but he can do carrots and large apples.

Pro 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

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Tonight I actually had planned to write about a new program that Reece’s Rainbow is beginning to help along families who are adopting.

It is called Family Warrior Program.
What you do is choose a family who is adopting and come along side them through their entire adoption process to promote their fundraising events, just do anything needed to help along the way. I guess the word’s out that adoption does not happen over night…it actually takes easily up to a year or more. So fall in love with this family and hang on.

Like a maid of honor to a bride, since it’s usually how it seems to look. How about Moses and Aaron. Moses is the man with the mission, Aaron is given to him as a helper to speak to the people and support him in their journeying in the wilderness.

This is a call for campaign managers! We need YOU to make giving money to people who don’t have it and want it for a really good reason sound like a fun thing.

Families have paperwork to pour over I’ve been reading peoples stories for quite a while now and the ins and outs of the adoption paper trail is intricate and maddening, so far no one has said they keep going back for more kids just for kicks over the fun paperwork. It’s exhausting!

With this new Family Warrior program there will be less stress for that adopting family with this second person coming along to keep hold of events taking place to benefit the family. T-shirt fundraisers, Puzzle drives, garage sales, car washes, bake sales, there are so many other ideas. Valentines day is coming up, grab a family to Warrior for and organize a babysitting gig where you can have a pizza and movie night while parents go out for a date, have an age range that you’ll watch and donate whatever you charge to that family’s adoption fund. Just a thought. Great example: Keegan who I blogged about here is being adopted.

Since his file has not been moved to New Commitments donations are not accepted yet, but after that point fund raising is a for that special family and for anyone who wants to help them along in bringing Keegan home. Please click here to see the page for sign up for this new program.

You’ll see five categories to click on.
•New Commitments: The family is settling into getting initial work done on adopt for this child
Homestudy In Progress: A casework has been taken on domestically to inspect your home and learn about your lifestyle, this person is key to letting the other country know that you are safe for their child.
•Compiling Dossier: The paperworks! A Dossier is the papers that go overseas that say, well, who you are. The length and detail that this goes into depend on the country that you are adopting from.
•Almost There: You are in the closing phases of adoption this side of the sea.
•Traveling Now Travel dates have been issued! Some families are, unfortunately, still short on money at this point. Coming in to the Family Warrior program for Travelling Now families might be perfect for someone who knows how to make heavy money fast. In country costs can build up, especially if a stay is unexpectedly extended.

Many of these family you can find on Facebook. I recommend contacting them and learning more about them, reading their blog if they keep one. Honestly, to me this would be intimidating to sign up for! BUT it is free and just love that family, pray for their child(ren) and do all that you can to help get them home. There are so many personalities that would be stellar at this job, and I promise you, you are not wasting your time.

You are promising to help by doing this sponsorship, not promising to give a family $30K. The other sponsorship programs are Guardian Angel Project and Prayer Warriors. I do both of those.