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A Horrible Place & Hope

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This sweet little nugget is just 3 years old. He can’t walk, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t aware of what his life looks like.

The orphanage has a reputation, a bad one. Small children fill the building but it’s silent halls would never give up that secret. Bruises, sedation, loneliness… It’s all these children know.

But there’s hope for one. He has a mom working very hard to bring him home. She is walking one foot in front of the other on sheer faith because she saw his face and she can’t walk away, she cannot leave him to suffer.

Without adoption he will be transferred to an adult mental facility, just because he can’t walk. Can you imagine how scary a place like that might be for a small immobile child? Between age 4 and 6 is when he’ll go. For most children with special needs, it’s a death sentence.

Alone, subjected to abuse and torment from other, bigger mentally handicapped patients and even the staff. Children in this situation do not do well. Many die.

So I decided to help where I could.

I’m running an auction! I’ve done many over the years as you’ve seen and have helped to raise over $18,000 for adopting families. You can help by bidding! I have tons of items and lots more to add!

I’m running a giveaway too!

The next 25 bids on ITEMS WITHOUT BIDS already, will be entered to win FREE SHIPPING on your entire order at the end of the auction!

40 bids – I’ll draw another winner for free shipping!

60 bids – I’ll draw THREE MORE WINNERS!
One will win FREE SHIPPING!
One will win a set of 3 Etee reusable organic food wraps!
One will win the mini cutting board with kitchenaid curved knife and chocolate!

I will assign a number to each bid as they come in and use those to randomly draw via random or excell.

Auction ALBUM link here!

My page link

Bid for sweet little Eugene! Tell your friends!

*US shipments only! If outside the US you will will win up to $15 in shipping credit. You are eligible for the other prizes as well.

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The Difference

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Ever noticed how people avoid others who are “different”? Yeah, I know I’m a big fan of this topic lately. Humor me!

They look away, pretend they didn’t see, yank their child away by the arm and say, “we don’t stare”. It teaches children to avoid those who look different. That’s no bueno. It’s horrifying when you really think about it isn’t it?

We pass along from generation to generation to avoid those who are differently-abled. But why? What are we afraid of?

I’ll tell you, it starts young. “Kids are cruel”, we’ve all heard that. But where do they learn it? Is it preprogrammed in – to shy away? Is it learned from others? Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Society STILL says that being differently-abled is something to avoid. Guys, it’s 2018 here – CAN WE STOP? Can we correct our children when we see them shy away? Can we teach them to think to themselves, “Hey, I’m not going to stare because that IS rude. I’m going to go introduce myself and make a friend”.

We should be giving our kids the proper tools so that when they choose to play with a child on the playground, they learn how to teach as well – to those peers who might say, “why are you playing with THAT kid?” Guide them on how to bridge that gap so that it’s not just the adults doing the teaching, but children teaching each other how to embrace those differences and focus on caring about the person. This goes for so many more areas of life -there’s too much hate and judgement in the world! Love and acceptance! You with me?

Like our friend Kim-Lan. She’s one amazing lady – she’s a mother, a wife, she’s incredibly intelligent, she’s funny, uh and the obvious – Super gorgeous! She also happens to be differently-abled and a major chain breaker. Which you can read about it here. Looks like we’re both people and have lots in common. Hmmm? Interesting. Okay, you’ll see my point if you keep reading.

We should be teaching our children to see the person, and embrace the difference.

Arm them with knowledge! I for one, want my children to know that it doesn’t matter what others (could) say if they befriend someone that might otherwise be treated differently because of their difference. I’m going to be a broken record here, we’re all different.

When my oldest was little, I tried. We had an ongoing dialogue for years about such things. You see I wanted him to be a chain breaker. I wanted him to not be held back by social stigmas, and bridge the gap. Yup, there it is again…

We watched a lot of shows, documentaries, read books and had many talks about differences. We talked about how special those differences are and how boring it would be if we were all the same. We made friends with many “strangers” over the years. No, not the dangerous kind.

And as I watched him grow up I wondered if what I’d taught him stuck. All the documentaries, all the discussions preparing him for when “it” would happen. Then, “it” did!

As I sat on the playground with him and saw another boy, avoided by ALL the other children, because he walked “weird” (some kid said) and talked like a “loud baby” (said another). I looked at my son, who’s friends had run away, and watched as he walked up to the boy and asked if he’d like to play. I felt bad because as this beautiful thing was happening, the boys grandmother jumped over to me and began profusely excusing and explaining her grandsons “issues” and how he was cognitively much younger than he looked, etc. Almost saying, “He’s contagious -his disability. Are you sure you want your son paying with him? He could catch it!”

This broke my heart. You see she had been conditioned by society to be ashamed of her grandbaby. To “excuse” him for being differently-abled.

Those boys played and laughed, and my son loved every second of it. He did not care when his other friends teased him about his new friend. He responded with, “Well, you’re missing out” And ignored them.

You see, I also taught my son that we don’t feed bullies, figuratively speaking, and we don’t want unkind friends. He knew that if those friends gave him hard time and were mean to him about playing with his new friend, that those were not friends he wanted in his life.

At 9 years old that’s pretty profound.

Meet Joseph.

This awesome young man likes to swim, play, do martial arts and loves to help his mom out around the house. Okay, like a superhero helper from what his mama says!

He is has facial paralysis and was blessed with very special arms. He loves helping with chores, riding horses, and doing head stands! He’s a person, unique and dynamic like we all are. He enjoys many things, feels feelings, and bleeds the same red blood as you or I. He has hopes and dreams, fears, and he’s a beloved member of his family. He’s just a downright amazing kiddo. That sounds like we’re pretty similar right?

It’s not as scary as you think – opening a dialogue. Kids are much more accepting of others if YOU as the parent/teacher speak about others with love and positivity. It’s not “shocking” if you don’t make it shocking. If you act normal about it, they’ll see it that way. BECAUSE IT IS NORMAL!

They may be inquisitive, a little “wow”… But let’s help it to be a “wow neat”, not a “wow yikes”.

This is my sweet little friend Guyana.

She’s 6 years old and she’s a spitfire who will steal your heart in 1.2 seconds flat! She is differently abled and proud. She’s everyone’s little mama as you can see – she figured I needed help feeding myself which hey, I have three kids, I’m tired, of course you can feed me! Haha! She doesn’t let the fact that she can’t walk stop her, she climbs and scoots like nobody’s business. She’s got a lot to say in the tiniest voice you’ve ever heard, and she’s one smart cookie! Perhaps the most amazing thing about this little treasure is her spirit – always smiling and oozing inner strength.

Fast forward. My son is almost 18. I couldn’t be more proud. His compassion for others, the way he treats people, incredible. It started with one mom who wanted her son to live and love with arms wide open.

My point? Different isn’t and shouldn’t be scary. In fact I’ll let you in on an even bigger secret… PEOPLE ARE JUST PEOPLE! We are all extremely unique, yet we are the same. Teach it! BE a chain breaker! This world is so full of hate and prejudice, we have to change it. We have to be the ones who choose better. Pass it on.

As always, thank you for reading! Don’t forget to like/follow!

Say “Thank You”!

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Thank you. When you hear those words, one thinks of it as a positive thing. Maybe someone gave a gift, provided assistance, a courteous gesture, or paid someone a nice compliment. Thank you is associated with goodness and gratitude.

It might surprise some to hear that “thank you” can be used as a shield for some negative things. In fact, it’s an extremely valuable tool. How?

I teach my kids that when someone says something mean, look right at them, smile a really obnoxiously authentic smile, say a really enthusiastic “THANK YOU!”, and walk away. If someone on the playground says, “You can’t play with us!”, smile and say an enthusiastic, “okay, thanks!”, walk away and find something else to do. We don’t need unkind people as friends. Pray for them, don’t play with them.

If they still get their little hearts broken and need some support have them hug it out when they come home. Tell them to go take a breath somewhere else, talk to a friend, teacher or go talk to the school counselor if needed to vent. When it comes to bullies, tears are fuel.

It’s really important that we don’t teach kids to bottle up their feelings which can have a whole mess of consequences. Openness is of huge importance here.

When my son was little, there were so many tears. Kids that didn’t want him to play with them, someone saying mean things… Once I taught him “thank you”, and he tried it, AND IT WORKED – he gained a new confidence. No more tears. He was so happy and free from the hurt of those things. He no longer worried what would happen if he was rejected, he no longer cared if someone teased him. It was a marvelous thing.

Unfortunately much of our world is not kind and we need to show bullies their games don’t work! Let’s teach our kids to say “thank you”.

If you ever find yourself on the flip side of this, and discover your child has done the bullying. Yes, your sweet little one is human after all. Trying to fit in and find his/her way in the social world. What to do?

You can start by create a never-ending dialog. Constantly ask them what kind of person they want to be in life and always remind them who God created them to be. Find out how they’d feel in someone else’s position if they were being made fun of. Talk, talk, talk and every time there’s a teaching moment – take it!

Parenting isn’t easy, life isn’t easy, but we can do our best to teach and model love, tolerance, respect, kindness and strength. GO FORTH AND SAY THANK YOU!

Check out this little kiddos story which inspired my post today.

Blessing NOT Curse

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For far too long entire societies and cultures have seen Down Syndrome as a curse.  Parents give up their babies to orphanages or have abortions based on a very inaccurate stigma.  The first time I heard the term “Mongoloid child” I wanted to vomit.  Why would anyone place such a cruel sounding label on another?  Like they’re an outcast to be feared.   Why “Down” Syndrome?  Why not call it “Up” Syndrome?  Can we be positive as a society, as a world, about our friends with differences?

Individuals born with Downs is often seen as someone who cannot learn, who can’t be productive as a member of society,  no true knowledge of life or reality, a waste, someone who should have been aborted.   This is a very widespread mentality and a prime culprit for why orphanages round the globe are so full.  It’s why “Handicap Accessible” is not recognized by many many countries.  Why, in those countries there just aren’t programs in place to support families who give birth to a special needs child.  Which ultimately lead to parents giving up their child to be cared for in an orphanage, which truly is a death sentence.

I wish we ALL could see value in difference of all kinds!   The face of Down syndrome for instance, shouldn’t be a stigma but instead be what it really truly IS.   Business owners, actors, actresses, parents, teachers, employees, volunteers, students, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, friends, and more!   

All these things are true!  Just like the rest of us, they have goals and dreams and aren’t afraid to work hard to achieve their goals.  

Spread love!  Teach tolerance!

And the Winner Is…

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You guys are constantly amazing me with your outpouring of support.  $1,831 was raised for the Adair family!  Seriously, blown away, every time.  Thank you!

We had a bit of unfinished business to take care of – the Nintendo 3DS XL drawing!

 

Nintendo 3DS XL Giveaway!

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As most of you know, I like to help families in the adoption process.   That’s fairly clear at this stage in the game right?   Many times families head into adoption process without being funded simply because time is of the essence.  In many cases, the children cannot wait.  Maybe they are at risk for transfer to a larger adult institution – in which case their safety and survival are in grave danger.  Medically fragile kiddos are almost always in that group.  A family may learn of a child who’s literally starving to death or medically fragile and they reach for their running shoes – cause it’s time to run!!!  The Adair’s situation is this – God said go!  So here they are trusting that every effort will bring them their babies.  They are doing everything they can to raise the funds just short of selling the shirts on their backs to get their girls home, but there is A LOT left to be done.

Adairs

Currently I have an active auction going via Facebook for the Adair family who are bringing home two precious sisters. But we thought it needed to be kicked up a notch!

A GIVEAWAY!!

UPDATE 7/22:   We have reached our goal everyone!!!

SOOOOO now, until 10pm PST tonight, EACH and EVERY bid gets counted into the drawing for the Nintendo 3DS XL!

Even if you are bidding on an item that already has bids! If you bid up twice, that’s two entries. Three, four, five… You get it. See all the details below!

A bit over 4 hours to get those entries in!!!
Ends tonight at 10pm PST!! Bids marked at 10:01pm or later are void.

We only have 27 entries thus far so GO GO GO!!!

So…
#1 Find any item in the auction.

#2 Place you bid!

You’re entered!
You get one free entry for sharing this auction (outside the RR group page) which must be set to public! Sharing in other groups is great too! You must PM me a copy/screenshot of your share in order for it to count so don’t forget!!

Auction album link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1521205457949926.1073741843.661910380546109&type=1&l=3a77e8c32b

All Proceeds to benefit the Adair family adopting two little girls. Winner will be drawn/ Prize will be sent to winner after all accounting is closed and settled following the auction. Meaning all items must be paid for first.

Whats the prize?

******A BRAND NEW Nintendo 3DS XL!!! *****
nintendo-3ds-xl-set-console-blue-9733-brand-sealed-9733-cuteburger1699-1405-14-cuteburger1699@2

Aura Lee

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This sweet child is Aura Lee.

She lived in an orphanage for the first 6 years of her life.  Lonely perhaps, neglected – probably, but her most basic needs are met.

She’s a beautiful child.

 Then the day came.  The awful, inevitable day of transfer.  For many children this is a death sentence – that’s the horrible truth so many kids face.   She was transferred to an adult mental institution.  This is her shortly after transfer.   

7 years old and tiny as a toddler.  Starved.  Restrained. Vulnerable. 

Little Aura Lee just had her 8th birthday.  Life for her is not life at all.  Now, she’s literally hanging on by a thread.  If you watch the video below carefully, you can see her collar bone protruding and bruises.  

Click to watch – Video of Aura Lee

The good news is she has an incredible family fighting to get her out and bring her home.  The bad part is the harsh reality little Aura Lee may not survive long enough.  This family is in a big hurry!  They are doing everything they can but they can’t do it alone.    Please check out their bio to lean more about their journey and consider how you can help this little girl survive.   Pray, donate, share?  Heck, reach out to the family and ask how you can support them!  I want to see this sweetheart come home. I want to meet her someday since she’ll be so close to me!  I want to see her survive and thrive!

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