Archive for the ‘Angel Tree’ Category

Angel Tree: 2018

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Today is the day to sign up to sponor the holiday season fundraising for an orphan living overseas to the goal of raising $1,000 to the adoption costs of bringing that child home to a family in either the USA or Canada. I have participated in this fundraiser since 2012, which is quite a long while now. The event is held by Reece’s Rainbow, a non-for-profit program that supports the advocacy and pairing of special needs children overseas with families here. Reece’s Rainbow has a very comprehensive website through which families can find a child of particular interest to them and pursue adoption of that specific child, this is a piece of the adoption journey that I’d never heard of before: not just knowing which country you’d like to adopt from, but knowing the face of a child. Adoption is expensive, the wait is long from signing of initial papers, to visiting and bringing the child home and all the stages in between.

It’s this financial bit that Angel Tree is meant to help with, but I’d like to think that equally is the advocacy…we’re putting forward the faces of these young children which makes them seem so much more real. On sign up day, we usually pick three child that we’re interested in seeing on the Angel Tree and working toward that 1,000 additional funding boost in the money banks available for their future families.

The child I raised funds for (and met my goal) is Scarlet. My draw to her is that, like me, she has a seizure disorder and an older brother. I’m also Scarlet’s, “Prayer Warrior” that means I’m supposed to talk about and pray for her all year. I have her picture up in my room and look at her often. My heart really only feels sadness anymore as I do wonder how she is, while really knowing that there isn’t anything I can do. Truthfully, her face is so familiar that it’s part of my room the environment private to me and indeed I rarely speak of her at all.

Miracle Makers

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

It’s time for MACC (Miracles of Adoption Christmas Campaign) which was originally called Angel Tree when I started following it back in 2012.

The premise is that waiting children are sponsored over the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, ending new years day to bring individual attention to little in overseas orphanages who can easily become such an ambiguous cause if not talked about specifically. There is of course always much debate over if the young children in orphanages should even have photo listings before adoption commitment, some countries absolutely prohibit showing children’s photos which can make raising funds for their future adoptions quite a bit of a challenge.
Sponsoring a child comes in all forms with a universal goal among those who commit to sponsoring, which this year we’re calling being a “Miracle Maker”

The goal is to raise upwards from $1,000 for That Child. Two years in a row I sponsored a little boy named Kolya. The third year I intended to signed up for raising 1K, he’d died and his fund had been gifted to another boy with Down Syndrome waiting in the same country. My heart was torn into so many pieces and I really was brought to the brink of wondering if raising a thousand meant any more than donating a dollar to that child’s “future adoption” Kolya never knew anyone knew about him, it could be he wasn’t even able to see beyond his day to day minimal care or reason anything as there was nothing else to compare in his perceptions any other reality to that which he lived and died in.
While I cried over the loss of Kolya, I knew too that it was because of him that I needed to sponsor another child. Last year I picked a boy and girl sibling set. This year that set has been split up, I’ll apply to be Miracle Maker for the remaining child who has severe epilepsy and just really is not doing well.

When I say that there are many ways of being a sponor I mean this: Some warriors go all out, setting up an awareness fundraising table at the mall selling baby booties and washcloths to profit their MACC child to organizing a spaghetti feed while others get their church to pray and share on FB a few times. Online auctions is another way pull in a bit of money for building adoption funds.

The questions I get asked is, “If this is so great, why haven’t you adopted?!” Simple answer is that God’s plan doesn’t include that for me now, maybe ever, but He sure can use me to bring awareness to the need of orphans even aid in finding the perfect placement for a little one near to my heart.

Through all the changing tides that my life has taken, either written or not, adoption is one that I forever come back to here. My hands are always comfortable typing out words on this subject, I can have the balance of peace, plea, grief and sorrow safely and come out with a smile knowing that God sees all these little kids and takes care of them in his own timing and perfect plan.

I’ll announce shortly which child on Reece’s Rainbow I’ll be participating in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign (MACC) with.

National month for a lot

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Today I posted an epilepsy awareness graphic on my personal Facebook page. Someone commented that November sure is “National Month” for a lot of things. And so it is, as if a lot of causes saw the end of the year was coming and hadn’t gotten their space in on the calendar!

For me, it’s the month that marks the scar on my hands and feet, still mostly visible on my right hand. The moments seem so long ago, yesterday at the same time. The fire was my accident, my fault and overwhelmed a peaceful evening. It was a mistake that I couldn’t cover up. As time wore on, the pain was deeper, pressing into my hands and feet, burning beneath the skin after I’d been given the all clear by the fire paramedics that came to my house. My face stung when hair burned, I was sure that there must be some singed skin, but there wasn’t on my face, just my hands and feet which made what I’d done obvious. My kitchen was blackened beyond what I could explain. There was no way I could paint over the damage. The icepacks ran out, the pain meds from the paramedics was soon gone and I had no choice left but to call my mom who in tern called my husband home to help me get to the hospital for proper burn care. It was a crazy experience that I just wished I could take away and wondered what the purpose was. Someone commented that this would just be a hard year. And it’s been a year. A year of twists, learning and growing. November is: National adoption month, national Alzheimer’s month, and Lung Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, that’s a lot of awareness! My favorite way of marking November is to call it No Shave November, a movement that a lot of people seem to be following. Second year of trying to persuade my husband to participate, but no luck so far! The idea is to hold off shaving for a whole month and to donate the money that would be spent grooming in normal routine to a cause.

I remember the shrug of a comment last November that my burns might be a sign that I’d have a hard year and hope that another November coming around is the folding up of the wrinkles of the past months.

Epilepsy awareness also has a National Day, which is in March. In an effort to close up the past year I’ve set up some goals for myself, I guess sort of like what people traditionally do for January 1. My neurologist wrote in my file on Thursday, “Wishes to lose 20lbs.” Goal! I want to keep up with my kids and husband as they grow, get organized and that feel healthier about myself. Come on, November!

Oh, also Angel Tree with Reece’s Rainbow. There’s that whole goal to raise $1,000 for children waiting for adoptive families. It’s wonderful to participate in that. This year I’ve signed up to sponsor a 14 year old with Down Syndrome waiting for a family; she lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, bringing her hope will take a pretty special family, but every child sure deserves a loving home. Her name is Paige. The guy from last year who we managed to raise over $1,000 for didn’t get a donation the whole year between and is on Angel Tree again, his name is Kolya and he’s also waiting in an Eastern European orphanage (different country though) where no one visits. He’s 11 now and really deserves a chance.

November. It’s grey and begins the shorter darker days, but every day is a new day and that’s just that much more of a chance to change someone’s life for the better, or to cut them down. I guess when I go to bed, I try to seek God and find peace to have peace.

As November is national month for a lot, so every life has a purpose and is worth lifting up and honoring.

November 2005 I announced that I was pregnant at a Thanksgiving table in New England to a family who I haven’t seen in 7 years. It’s OK, because there’s no saying good bye to awesome people, just pretty much saying thank you. I hope that anyone who is reading this marks events and holds appreciation even for things that might feel really dark and embarrassing, like my burns. I want to begin and end with thankfulness.