Archive for October, 2013


Thursday, October 31st, 2013


Confession! I picked Mickey as a second Angel Tree child off the list of kids who hadn’t been picked. Carly was in the room at that time and I asked her to, “Help me pick one.” We read through 12 profiles, yes my kids can have that level of patience over orphans! She picked Mickey. Because he looks like he’s on monkey bars and he’s cute.

The reason that I decided to take on another child is not because I have successful efforts to raise money on my record. It’s just the whole thing of being left behind.

Mickey is cute, and he does look like he’s hanging on monkey bars. The little description of this 8 year old sounds like a healthy well adjusted preschooler. The blurb talks about his behavior in the orphanage and how he is now in a foster home. In Mickey’s country kids age out of orphanages and are either on the streets living to their own devices, or taken into a foster home. Foster homes are on the outskirts of the city, at the homes of older women who have made it their purpose to give shelter and nurture to these kids who really have nowhere else to go.

In his country only one child is allowed per household. Mickey would be rejected and the couple would continue to chase after the chance of conceiving and giving birth to a perfect baby boy. There are the exception I suppose, but that is an easy sweep judgement to make on how he any child with DS or cerebral palsy or anything else that would be a change the physical appearance would bring a child to permanent residence outside of their birth family.

While his foster mom does show compassion and love to Mickey, the hope of international adoption into a nurturing environment is the ultimate goal for him. 8-years old.

A $35 donation to Mickey gets you a beautiful Christmas Tree ornament as part of the 10 week awareness campaign to build funds for children with special needs across the world. Click Mickey’s link on the sidebar to donate. Also here, to see this years Angel Tree children.

My other Angel Tree child is Mikey. He’s only 4 months old and lives in an orphanage in Ukraine. See his profile here and my blog post about him here and here. Most recently added party for Mikey is a one week long online Tupperware party. Since I just added Mickey today I do not have anything other than this blog post for him. I do plan on donating $35 as soon as I organize a party or an auction in his name.

Finding these little guys on the tree is incidentally very easy as their names are almost identical. Just look for the letter M! Things are alphabetized right now, but as the orphans funds increase over the next 10 weeks they will move up on financial brackets. Some of the children wont reach their goal by the end of the season. At that point all of us rally around those few to help them match where they are meant to be.

Go Mickey! Go Mikey!


This very sweet young boy has Down syndrome. He is well loved by his foster mother and father. He was a dancer in the orphanage performance. Whenever he hears music he starts dancing. He was cooperative and happy. He can wash his face if his foster mom gets the towel ready and can do other self help skills. He can feed himself and. He can pull his pants up and down. He has good speech and can say many words. He pulls his chair to the table when it is time to eat and he will clean his mouth after he eats. He is kind when he plays with other children and does not take their toys. He likes to run around and play with balls. He is very curious and likes to watch large machinery outside. He loves cars and will play with them and watch them out the window for long periods of time. He was described as a “happy, curious and lovely child.” He is healthy and energetic. He is friendly to others and sensible! He does not have any heart issues.

UPDATE: Someone came forward willing to take on Mickey as their Angel Tree Child. I was so thankful to give his case over to someone else. The woman who is caring him through, Lord willing, to meet his $1000 goal has adopted before so knows how to handle the pressure of fundraising.

Brave for Bolden

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

All that is told of this hunky baby boy is what’s on his profile: Boy, born May 2013. Blind. Oh sweet little muffin!

30929120018-Bolden-268x300 So who is he? In my world view, the answer is delightfully simple. This boy is fearfully and wonderfully made.

If you are a student of the Scriptures, or even just went to Sunday school as a kid and youth group as a teenager you probably remember John 8. That’s a monumental miracle, friends, that Jesus gives as a testament to his work on Earth, of the Father and of ministry to people who cannot help themselves.

That story, along with many other passages make me think of the physical state of blindness.

It’s always used to elude to Christ’s glory, or against God’s enemies loss of sight was used to confuse the bad guys so that the good could escape an otherwise seemingly extremely detrimental circumstance.

In the story in John 9 we have a young man being healed on the Sabbath day. Jesus says that it is no fault of the mother or of the father than this child is blind. After all sorts of confusion and questions the story concludes by some of the Pharisees questioning among themselves if they be blind.

Do you need to know all the details of Bolden’s life to be brave enough to bring him home?

As a kid I always thought being blind would be close to the scariest things ever one could live with. To never see the ocean, only feel the sand; to smell and touch Tempera paint but never see the completed picture dried on that glossy finger painting paper; to taste macaroni, but not see the shape of the elbow pasta pieces. Being blind would be a prison… Not that I’d asked anyone.

For kids like Bolden, there has never been life with sight. Would he accept a new life in a new world, or would he go crazy missing the pieces of his life in the orphanage that he’s come to depend on in his short life. I’ve read quite a bit about raising babies who are blind and have recently been warmly invited into a group of incredible moms and dads who are bringing home children of all ages who are blind and once home talking about how their kids are integrating into life here, often with parents who have no experience working with such needs.
They have videos and stories about their children.
It’s encouraging and just such a gift to witness the journey God is leading them on in their life as parents to young people who are visually impaired.

One family in the process of bringing home a child who is Visually Impaired are the Elkins.
I have only recently met JoLynn (the awesome mama) online and am enjoying her blog and appreciate her upbeat, can do attitude! Bringing two home is a really big deal. They also have other kids at home! Their adoption and family blog is here: Engulfed By the Swell

Adoption is a world of uncertainty. Research, but don’t be afraid. If you feel the pull toward a child, pray and follow the Lord. There is help, a whole new world of support.

Consider donating to Bolden’s chance of a family through lifting him up in prayer. Think too of families like the Elkins who are taking on the path of adoption with children like Bolden.

There are so many other families to mention, and children who need families.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

Could you hold a baby who couldn’t see you smiling at him? Instead of being excited and making noise when you come into the room, as I understand, the little one becomes silent listening attentively for you. It’s true that this child would be unlike any you have parented. He would also be an amazing blessing, you would say that you can’t imagine life without him, as you do with the children that you already have at home.

UPDATE: This morning I woke up and had to log on to my blog here and reread my post here. Often night writings come out a little strong. My intent was to say that adoption shouldn’t be pulled away from for fear of unknown. Instead, families should take on themselves opportunity to educate themselves and potentially add that child into their home. I wanted to elude to scripture and Christ’s example to love and care for orphans, that we ought to do the same in what measure we are prepared.

It Matters to this One

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Sunday I blogged about Keegan. This evening I met a woman who has more pictures of him, and also has been praying extensively for this guy. She first saw his picture labeled Keven. Her draw to him was her own experience as a burn victim turned. I’d love to be able to tell more of her story; scars are hard to see through and as I understand she knows this personally. It’s 1am now and I’m seriously beaming with joy over seeing pictures of Keegan.

With permission given to share, here’s Keegan.




I look at that young man and want to pull him close and never let him go. Maybe you have that too, but are able to bring him home.

Shriner’s in Oregon is all about pediatric burn victims. Keegan isn’t only a victim, he’s more…he lived, and given the change can thrive along side agemates. What could Shriners do for him? His body has adapted to his circumstances, he enjoys the same things your preschool does, has the same emotions.

It matters to this one. In the adoption community that’s a huge catch phrase. Aptly placed too. The idea is that yes, there are millions of orphans the world round. Domestic, international…stigmas for their limits, sideways glances for their differences. Labels and limited opportunity.

“What are you going to do? When is this going to end? You can’t rescue them all.” No. It matters to this one. I’ve told my husband that if there were one thing that I could do to call my life complete in those last days, beyond Lord willing my birth kids and husband saying “job well done” I would like to have God given me the opportunity seized to bring home an orphan into our home. If I could give and receive the ultimate gift, that would be it.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)

That picture of Keegan leaning in a doorway with a bowl of rice balanced on his burnt hand, using chopsticks with the right is so precious. Look at that young man! He wears a warm jacket in summer and has known nothing else. He makes me smile. I feel a deep assurance that his story does not end here.

I’m sticking this post under “Faith and Hope” because that’s what I’m full of this morning!

Update: I receive a message this evening from the lady I was mentioning who brought me the pictures that you see above. Having gone through what she has, there are some language modifications that she would have me add to the story that I brought you this morning. When I go back into my writing and change things I really screw myself over and end up trashing the piece that I’ve put out the second I click, “Publish”

That being the case, I’m just going to copy in Barb’s message to me. It is as follows:

Laura… I must educate you. I know you have a HUGE heart for Keven/Keegan. bcz he has burn injuries? but something definitely has you drawn to him.

I am THRILLED about that!

Two things… 1) I was NEVER a “victim” of my burn injuries… when I was burnED, it was explained to me the “victims” died.
2) I have SURVIVED a burn injury. This in turn makes me and Keven, Gregory Wade, and Zeke and Brandy all o my blog SURVIVORS>
the last term I need to correct is “burnt” I am burned… This term was also explained as “Mom BURNT the roast so it tasted like charcoal” Whereas “Barbara has scars because she was burned.” makes it less scary to people reading the blogs…

I am requesting if you will. to change the terms you have used referring to me. Will you do that for me?

Absolutely. If I write anything that needs correction. Do let me know. I appreciate the kind spirit that Barb used, as I do always come as a learner, not an educator. For me every moment is a new start in my life journey. That’s weird to say, but totally the truth. If I leave something out, jump in and pick that missed segment of information up to enrich what information I have.

The next child that I’m going to write about is BOLDEN.

Koen and Keegan

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

1379360_10153435361545425_1905920477_nKoen William is my second son. He’s only 17 months younger than his sister Carly, and came in a very busy time in our lives. We were just barely on our feet here in Washington. Koen was born on a chilly morning in October 2009. The day we brought him home it was windy and misty outdoors. I remember the kids being in their jammies with jam and toast crumbs all over. They had huge smiles on their faces and it was all we could do just to keep them sitting the drive home. Life has been a non-stop adventure since Koen joined our ranks.

4 years old this past Monday. Sometimes Darren describes this little guy as, “such a beautiful child” and he is just that. An ardent Curious George fan, this guy can fix or accomplish anything from pouring himself a cup of eggnog from a full carton to pounding nails outside. No help needed–this guy is innovative and independent. While those things, he’s also an old soul full of love. His smile melts my heart and his care for all creatures nearly warms my heart. Between ourselves Darren and I contemplate what our plans are for having Koen be friends with children his own age. His best friend is his little sister, Abegayle They’ve become close as the other two are in school full days, five days a week.

My subject is “Koen and Keegan because I want to tell you about a little boy listed for adoption from China. Keegan-1-274x300

One day when Koen was sitting on my lap at the computer I was looking through the faces on the Recently listed section on Reece’s Rainbow. Koen was captured by his age mate, Keegan. Instead of saying something negative about this little guy, Koen said,

“That little boy must really hurt”

From Keegan’s file:

“Boy, born July 2009
post-burn cicatricial contracture sotomy deformity of face, scar proliferation contracture deformity after empyrosis in right hand

Meet precious 4 year old, Keegan. When Keegan was a baby he was involved in an accident that resulted in his scalp, face and right hand/arm being severely burned. Some issues Keegan has include: the absence of most of his hair and missing fingers on his right hand. He has “nubbies.” He is also missing the outer right ear. Keegan has trouble closing his eyes and his nose has lost the sense of smell. While these issues seem large, they are manageable. Hats, sunscreen, garments, and masks can help Keegan with his burn injuries. Shriner’s in Cincinnati can help children with burn injuries at no out-of-pocket cost to the family.

Keegan can use his right hand in a limited way. He has become left handed as a result of his injuries. Keegan is smart and likes to help his foster mom with household tasks. He can help with holding his own bowl, goes to the bathroom on his own, and can climb a slide. Keegan is learning to count, sing children’s songs and say his ABC’s. He knows animals and sounds. He likes electronics, TV, DVD’s, CD’s, and the cell phone. He enjoys playing with other kids and is sad when they leave. He is affectionate with his foster mom.

Keegan is a SURVIVOR! Keegan can go far… he just needs a chance! Is Keegan your son?

Keegan has a Brighter Futures agency grant for $5,000 and his orphanage donation will be reduced by at least half, possibly more.”

Click here to learn more about the requirements to adopt from Keegan’s country. Scroll down until you see China

It’s a wonder that so many people bring home children from Keegan’s country! Could you do it? We certainly can not.

I read the whole couple paragraphs there about this four year old to my four year old. Now and again Koen still asks if he can please she the picture of his friend who can’t smell and lost his fingers. He always asks me if Keegan hurts and if Jesus can make his owies go away.

You may think it’s wrong of me to let my kids see, even know about other children who have had different lives. For me it’s a blessing to my kids to know that there is that difference out there, those youngsters have the same Lord that we do and can learn to pray to Him also. We read scripture about God’s love for little ones and ask that he provide all that is needed for health and wellbeing.

This Sunday night I wanted to share Koen’s friend who he’ll never meet this side of Heaven with you. Perhaps you’ll be blessed to see him too, as my son is. I smile when I see Keegan and rest in the promise that God holds children in his hand. There’s no safer place to be.

It’s so important to see these children as individuals. It’s important for your kids to pray for others by name, God knows who they are.

Angel Tree Warriors and their Children.

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

For my own purposes I wanted to copy in the list of people advocating for children during the next couple of months:

Tobi Ray (Marie Lauriette): Yule

Irene Onufrey: Collier (

Kimberly Dumlao: Igor (

Anjelica Rudolf: Dixon #2-3 (

Jennifer Rush: Lewis (

Shannon Rakoczy: Lyle (

Chris Fretwell: Shawna (

Jamie Lentz: Tessa (China) (

Beth Baird: Shari (

Leah Hardwick: Joshua (

Natalie Keller: Kimberley (

Jenny Pohl: Davian (

Brandee Spohr: Edgar (

Jessica Rudder: Clarice (

Jennie Camphouse: Tallulah (

Miranda Galvin: Susan (

Lisa Rowland: Jimmy and Sloan (

Stephani Obenauf: Leanne (

Alex Anderson: Salome (

Heather Hicks: Rosie (

Christina Scott: Orren (

Donna Jenkins: Katrina (

Molly Conley: Bobby (

Bonnie Branham: Temperance

Kayla Hackauf: Heinrich

Jennifer Pinard: Corbyn

Judy Tegtmeier: Blossom

Christina M. Poulsen: Reign (

Julia Nalle: Ruslan (

Stori Wann: Asher (

Annie Trenda: Felix (

Chelsea Justice: Delmar (

Lynn Albrecht: Wendy (

Erin Heller: Savannah

Lucille Brown: Megan (

Dolores Wynkoop: Dawn (

Dana Smith: Emmalyn

Stephanie Seraphine: Katie

Watkins Family: Leonard

Tanna Smith: Kaleb

Lisa Seeley: Evan

Debbie Marks: Emil

Miranda Lewis: Merry and Margaret

Lisa Smith: Randall

Kaitlyn Sizemore: Mick (

Sarah Birschbach/Rachel Gander: Maria (

Melissa Durbin: Tatiana

Christina and Shelby Schye: Tara (

Jamie Vanchura: Dunham (

Susan Anne: AnnaMarie (

Katie Zimmerman: Dylan

Laura Harr: Mikey (

Staci Bolton: Bryannah

So many kids left and less than a week to match children with sponsors. As of Saturday 61 children needed warriors.

Sign up here
Boys here
Girls here