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Daisy is with her mama!!
I Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone of you who shared, shopped, and bought from the amazing Kelly and Staci and their fabulous Lularoe fundraiser event they hosted for me!

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I also have to sneak in a thank you to Tori of Noonday for her tandem fundraiser which, btw has drop dead gorgeous stuff! Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Noonday, they have a heart for helping and really gorgeous merch, so do it!  Here’s some photos from our event!

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Because of all your support, and both companies graciously matching the money from items sold, a total of $625 was raised from both events!   And BECAUSE OF YOU, My friend Starr is now holding her precious new daughter Daisy!

 

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I have to let you know, that this mama and daughter are a match made in heaven! Starr says little Daisy is absolutely amazing and she couldn’t be happier!  Here is a direct quote from Starr: “Something about Daisy…
What can I say? This child is magic. She is calm, sweet and peaceful. She is gorging herself with hugs and kisses, she can’t get enough! She is loving and nurturing as she loves on her stuffed ladybug. She LOVES music and dancing. She loves reading books and loves to read them to me as she turns the book so I can see the pictures pointing to them like a teacher would. I showed her 3 signs…please, eat and drink. She immediately repeated them. She is so incredibly smart. She LOVES to be tickled silly!
She also chucks food when she’s done and bites her sister. Haha!
She is an escape artist and can scale the crib with bars on it. I still don’t know how she does it! She loves to run away while she laughs.
Some things to work on :).”

I just love that Starr is being real here!  Daisy sounds like an incredible cute little stinker and I can’t wait to meet her!

P.s. These fabulous ladies from Lularoe and Noonday can run fundraisers so if you’re interested contact either myself or see below for links to their pages.   OR just had head over to their pages to shop!

#ToriRaskNooday
Tori:   torirask.noondaycollection.com

I mean LOOK!  Such good stuff AND they are socially minded!

Also don’t forget…

#LularoeKellyandStaciVIPs
Lularoe Kelly and Staci’s VIP’s- Their shop is open 24/7 online! New inventory regularly, no tax and low shipping!: https://fb.com/groups/lularoekellyandstacivips/?fth=1

One more thank you to Mike and Cathy Novak for helping orchestrate this with Kelly and Staci!  It would not have happened without you!  Who are Mike and a Cathy?  They have an amazing little Lularoe shop as well… No tax, free shipping, new inventory all the time, and they are a dream to work with!  Their shop is also open 24/7!   Go check them out at : https://fb.com/groups/CathyandMikeNovakLularoe/?fth=1

I love my Lularoe!  You will too! No, really you will… I realize that sounded like an advertisement, haha!

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Unlimited Potential

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Medically fragile…  Trapped inside their tiny neglected bodies, half the size they should be, and by some miracle their hearts still beat.  Bones protruding, barely surviving, unbathed, unchanged, starving slowly.

This isn’t the case for all children in orphanages across the globe but it is reality for far too many.  Have you thought about it?  Have you seen how love and care of a family can save them?

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Precious Hasya, 14 years old and the only life she had ever known was her crib.  The size of an infant at just 14 pounds.

HASYA APRIL

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Now thriving and loved.  She is so beautiful…

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Little blessing, Katie.  9 years old in this photo and the size of an infant.   Starved too long.

Katie 9 years

She weighed just 10 pounds 9 ounces…

Her adoptive mama said this of Katie’s orphanage; “The children received one diaper change a day, if any, and sometimes were not changed or fed over the weekend.  Many of the children had terrible diaper rash, sometimes suffering from one raw, open wound in their whole diaper area.” (you can read more about Katie’s story here)

 Can you imagine?

But today, Katie is thriving, growing and developing into a strong and lovely young lady.

katie today

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Sweet Sophia was skin and bones, the size of a three month old when she came home.  3 years old and weighing just 10 pounds, she was slowly dying.

Sophia before*

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Now, blossomed into this gorgeous creature!

Sophia After

It is beautiful to see the potential isn’t it?

Children like Hasya, Katie and Sophia are starved and malnourished to such a degree that suddenly feeding them too well can actually kill them as well.   So they must be hospitalized and very carefully re-introduced to nutrition while being closely monitored.  Really, I am not joking.  It is so sad isn’t it?

What about those who aren’t rescued, who aren’t listed available for adoption (as only a small percentage are listed) and never have a chance?  They fade away and become nothing more than an unmarked grave.  They become a memory for us, for those fighting to help them.  We love them, we miss them and think of what could have been.

Like precious Zoey.  She just could not hold on till her mom and dad came to get her.

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She had a few precious days with her new parents.  She felt love for the first time.  She smiled true happy smiles for the first time in her sweet life.  But her parents had to leave her behind since the government would not rush her case due to medical necessity.  I bet Zoey’s mama asked the orphanage if she could pay for formula so that Zoey could get the nutrition she so desperately needed, until they could return to get her.  But I bet she was told that they would not give it to her even if she did provide it.  I say this because this has been the case with other parents who were adopting medically fragile children in the past.  The orphanages just will not allow you to help, even if you pay.  Doesn’t make much sense to me?  They would rather let a child die, then agree to it.  Sigh  

This post especially goes out to those out there who verbally attack families who have adopted or are trying to adopt, trolls we call you.   Do you see what we are all working for here?    Please stop using your harsh words of contempt and start opening your eyes to see the real picture.  It is so much bigger.  And really, what are YOU doing to help others?   I thought so.  Maybe you should consider doing something good with your own time and energy rather than wasting it telling everyone else that their advocating or even that their loving, raising and providing for a child that needs a family isn’t good enough, or better yet, offends you.

Moving on…

Would all of you join me in praying for the families in the throes of the adoption process.  Pray for the kiddos who still wait to be chosen.  Pray for the little ones who didn’t make it, who couldn’t hold on any longer.  And for those who are already home, that they will grow, thrive and blossom into everything we know they can be.

This post is dedicated to Zoey and all the little ones in the world who are in bad situations.

I leave you with this video as food for thought.  It hit my heart so I wanted to share it.

Treasures, Not Trash

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First off I must say a big WOW!  Wow, wow, wow, wow!  I am overwhelmed by all of the support I have received from you all, my readers!  Over the course of the last few days I have had almost 8,000 visitors to my blog and I am truly shocked and overwhelmed!  So thank you all for your support!

In light of my most recent post  No Words,  many of you were so very understandably angry at how something like this could happen.  The answer is simple, God gave us free will.  He allows us to choose, without intervening.   And when evil takes hold on someone and they act in an evil way towards someone else, God cannot do anything to stop it even though His heart is breaking.  That was a really hard lesson for me to learn and accept.  But I too was so angry once, still am, but now I get it.  It isn’t God’s fault, it’s ours (as people). So WE must rise up to change it.  I truly believe He will bless us and guide us step by step, as I have seen Him do in my own quest.  His love for these sweet kids, in every situation around the globe is so immeasurable.  He has not forgotten them.  Every hair on their head is irreplaceable to Him.

My real agenda here is to answer one big question that I got from so many of you and that question is;  “How can I help?”

Truly at first I did not have an answer.  I myself have  been waiting for God to point me in the next direction, an action direction.   But then I started thinking about it and I think I have the answer, or at least an answer for now.

Folks there is so much you can do to help.  The need is so overwhelming and the feeling of not being able to do enough to make a difference is common.    So I am going to give a simple list that may point those wanting to help in the right direction.

  • First off,  prayer is HUGE!  I cannot stress this enough!  God sees every one of these children and cares for them deeply and passionately.  They are His children.  He loves them the same way I love my own children.  They are of His heart and I know it aches for them and their plight.  When you pray for them, He hears you, every time.  So pray fervently and trust that He is listening, loving and helping.
  • Secondly, Educating yourself and sharing what you know can help.  We are power in numbers and can reach so very many closed minds with this knowledge.  I have spent so much time and tears writing the information contained on my blog and encourage you to read read read.  Then, share what moves you.  Don’t be afraid of those who say they “can’t or “won’t” look at it, just share without fear.  When you share, it could save a life.  You could be playing a pivotal role in an orphaned child finding their forever family.  Helping to open ones heart to a world they may never have known otherwise, and finding their child who has been lost in the system.  Or perhaps find their true calling.  All because YOU shared.
  •  Advocate, blog, share your love of children with the world.  I am here if you need advice on that 😉
  • Check out:  http://reecesrainbow.org/waystohelp   . Reece’s Rainbow is a huge and amazing organization who loves these kids greatly.  This adoption site has all kinds of ways you can help these kiddos.
  • My wonderful friends Kim and Jed recently moved their whole family to Ukraine to DO something to help make a difference and let me tell you how awesomely God has blessed them and what they do.  Please check it out, it’s truly phenomenal.  They are all about improving the quality of life for these kids.  http://wideawakeinternational.org/vision/
  • Pleven is known as one of the worst orphanages there is.  So many children perished there from pure neglect and starvation.  I have had the privileged of talking with adoptive parents whose children barely made it out of there with their lives and are now thriving and loved to peices!  Luckily the condition of one of these kids made it to the spotlight and changes have begun!  You can read about that lovely child, little Katie who came from Pleven, here : http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/god-won/  .  Pleven has now launched a new program as a way to let others help them meet the great need in this place, which you can see here:  http://www.plevenproject.org/  .  You can also read about it here: http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/the-p-l-e-v-e-n-project/  .
Little Katie at 9 years old

Little Katie at 9 years old

Well folks I hope that this helped to answer some of your questions.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more!  Thank you all once again!  I truly believe that if we are willing to step out in faith and do something, anything, we can make a difference to even just one child.  All of these abandoned, abused, neglected children who are seen by those responsible as trash, are really precious treasures just waiting for a chance.

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
― Mother Teresa

Well, It’s Official!

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Well it’s official, I am the worlds WORST blogger/advocate ever!  Ha!   I know it has been so very long and all I can say is that it would seem that God wanted me to back up and take some time off.  There are so many reasons that I have gone missing in action.  But the biggest one is well, let me just show you…

Our Newest Addition

Our Newest Addition

Meet Emira (em-EEr-uh)!  She was born a month early on April 19th after a very difficult pregnancy which included 2 months of strict bed rest.  I was not allowed to change my toddlers diapers, get her meals, bather her, or anything else.  I was told to sit or lay down, and that was it!  So there I was pregnant, sitting day in and day out with all this time on my hands, yet for some reason I could not seem to formulate a complete thought in my head concerning my blog.  I blame baby brain!  It happens every time I am pregnant, my intelligence and ability to think clearly goes out the window!  I am of course glad to lend my brainpower for the sake of my little one, but it nonetheless sucks a bit.

This pregnancy was one of the hardest times in my life, and that is saying a lot considering I was a single mom for 7 years!    I have never felt so isolated and helpless.  God definitely used it to teach me about being patient, gracious and humble.  He also used it to help me let go of my very uptight and uh, “particular” ways.  Okay okay, I am controlling.

In all seriousness, we were shown such love from the folks around us during that time.  We had sooo many meals brought to our family, our house was cleaned by strangers, errands were run for us, our kids were cared for by others.  So utterly and completely covered by Gods hand during that time, and we are so thankful to all who stood by us.

Before bed rest

Before bed rest

It proved very difficult trying to make sure someone was with Ari and I everyday to take care of us.   The doctor recommended that due to my history of fast labor, she did not want me to be alone, ever.  So here’s the breakdown;  I was put into the hospital at 28 weeks and stayed for a week, then my Mother -in -law came to take care of Ari and I for 2 weeks ( flew all the way from Indiana!), then my cousin came to stay with us.  For 5 weeks she took care of us as many days as she could while still having a full time job and a life of her own, somewhat.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week.  My kidlets are so awesome!

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week. My kidlets are so awesome!

If I needed to make something, this was the way to do it.

If I needed to make something, this was the only way I was allowed do it.

Well, the day came and my water broke at 4:45am and 30 min later we were out the door.  I was already in full blown labor at this point and we still had a 20 min drive to the hospital ahead of us.  Lets just say, thank the Lord I went into labor before rush hour because I gave birth to Emira 12 minutes after arriving at the hospital.  In total my whole labor was just over an hour!   Yeah, fast! I have to say that typically when a baby is born, it’s a big adjustment and can equal stress and anxiety followed by a whole lot of uncertainty.  For us, it was a huge relief!  We could breathe again and stop worrying about the pregnancy and focus on this new little one.  Such a blessing! Needless to say, we are IN LOVE!!!  Emira Joy Marion Low is a precious little sweetheart baby.  We are now the proud parents of an almost 13 year old, a two and a half year old, and a two and a half month old!   Busy busy life, but one I would not trade for the world.

Family of 5!

Family of 5!

DSC01258 DSC01018 Having an infant again reminds me of when Ari was born, as that was the time that God opened my eyes to the plight of the orphan and rampant child abuse in our world.  I am remembering a time when I went to get Ari from her crib and felt God touch my heart and say, “Ari is no different than any child stuck in a crib in an orphanage, no different than that child whose been abused”.   I just lost it at that point and cried while hugging my infant. Emira is putting me back in that place when this whole journey began.  When that passion was stirred in my spirit, that love for the little ones who cannot choose, who have nobody to love them, and those who cannot defend themselves against abuse.   Earlier in this post I said that I had never felt so isolated and helpless which makes me wonder, how isolated and helpless do all those children feel?  When they are dumped into a crib and never held, how isolated do they feel?  When they are transferred to a mental institution, how helpless do they feel?  How helpless do they feel when they are tied to their crib for days on end?  When a child is shaken so hard he is mentally and physically impaired for the rest of his life, how helpless does he feel? My point is this:  How many times do we look at our own lives and think of how hard we might have it, how isolated and utterly alone we may feel.  But really, no matter what we are feeling, those kids are feeling it ten fold.  Because our worst is not even their best, ever.  They are UTTERLY HELPLESS and ALONE. Like sweet Sophia. Sophia before Did she feel so isolated and helpless when she was starved in her crib for four years of her life?  I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia, and she was the size of a 6 month old baby at 4 years old.   When I met her she had been home a month and had already gained 5 pounds, yet she was still so tiny.  She has become a valued and cherished member of her new family, and no longer has to suffer the way she had for so very long.  Look at her just a few months after coming home!

Sophia just a few months later.

Sophia just a few months later.

No longer isolated, No longer helpless.  Just look at the beauty that can come from despair…

New Endeavors!

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What a blessing it has been to be so embraced by fellow like minded people in this new world I have entered.   This was such a blind path that I embarked on over seven months ago, I had no clue how things would turn out.  I just knew that I needed to tell people what I had discovered about these precious kids in orphanages all over the world that have been tossed away like trash.  I needed to try to spread awareness about child abuse and how rampant it really is in our society.  To really make people think about how they can help make a difference and stop it.   I haven’t even had a chance to write about some of the other things that are on my heart, because to be honest, they are so heavy and quite hard to absorb.   This said, I have set a goal that I must just force myself to get it out there within the next few posts, so more to come on that later.

Back to the first thought here…

I have been graciously invited into an incredible group of folks who all have a passion for the children.  Some have adopted, some are in the process now, some are advocating and fundraising for families in need, and some are just there to be supportive to said families in any way they can be.  I am telling you, these people are amazing!

A few weeks ago my husband and I had the pleasure of attending an intimate group gathering at a church in Salem, OR.  This would be my first time ever really meeting any of these people and even though I had had many chats via Facebook or email with some of them, I just felt as if I were meeting pen pals or celebrities even.  I was so nervous!   Yet I knew that God had placed this path and these people in my life for a reason.

On our way there my husband jokingly says we should have a “safe word” in case I end up feeling really uncomfortable.  We had just watched New Girl on TV the night before and they had a safe word, “apricots”.  So we laughingly agree on apricots.

We arrive and there isn’t really anyone there besides a few cars.  We walk in and right away we are welcomed by Kim (who invited us).  From there on it was a whirlwind of constant good conversation with people.  I was so excited to finally meet Becki who I instantly hit it off with as well.  I knew I belonged the moment Becki and I were chatting and I confessed Grant and I had established a safe word and before I got the chance to go any farther she busts out laughing and says “Oh my gosh, do you guys watch New Girl?”  and in unison we both said, “Apricots!”   The laughter was uncontrollable!  Especially when I told her it really was apricots!

RR Group

Everyone only got blurry cell phone pictures. That is all we got too! Most of the kids are missing from this pic too, they were too busy playing.

What a wonderful time we had.  Good food, good people and the biggest treat was getting to see the kids playing together so carefree.  Many of these children came from adoption, and some from the very orphanages we all so desperately want to get children out of halfway across the world.  One sweet little angel was 4 year old Sophia.  At 4 years old, she weighed only 10 pounds.   This is not a rare occurrence, sadly in Eastern Europe this child’s physical condition is one that is seen far too often.  Severely malnourished and neglected for years in a crib with little human contact.  Sophia has been home for two months and has already gained 5 pounds!!!   She is still super tiny and is the size of an infant, but that is major progress!   That goes to show that it isn’t her “condition” that makes her so tiny.  Which is what so much of the staff at these orphanages claims to believe.   If a child has down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy or anything else the starvation/undernourishment of these babies is claimed not to be the issue, but the child’s condition.  They don’t see an issue with what or how much they feed the kids.  I know that not all orphanages are like this, but too many are.  My prayers continue to go out to Sophia and her family and all others in similar situations out there.  More on Sophia in my next post so stay tuned!!

We also had the privilege to meet a sweet couple and their darling baby girl.  Darrell and Haley are newly in the process of adopting a sweet little love named Copeland.  He is cute as can be, but is waiting for a family to call his own.   Darrell and Haley have a long road ahead of them and they need all the support they can get.  Please consider going to their blog page to follow them on their journey  http://thebuhmanbunch.blogspot.com.

Meet little Copeland!

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I guess that is all for now!  Take care all!

Beautiful Things

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Today will not be a day of many words (for once!).   I am just here to share with you all some beautiful things!

Today we had our doctors appointment and God granted us the gift of being able to hear that beautiful sound of our tiny baby’s heartbeat.   What’s even cooler, we saw our little tiny baby nugget’s tiny arms waving at us!  So amazing!  I am so grateful that we are receiving another blessing from God.

So, number one on the list of beautiful things.

Baby nugget! Doctor said the baby is very curled up right now for some reason so it’s really hard to make out details.

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Next, my beautiful son.  12 years old and such an amazing kid!  On the verge of turning 20 on me in the blink of an eye, I know God has some incredible plans for this one.

Athen

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And, my beautiful daughter Ari.   Every time I look at her, I feel like I’ve just taken a breath of fresh air.  What a blessing she is!   She is so smart and absolutely hilarious.  I love this little ray of sunshine!

Sweet Ari

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This beautiful man is more than I could ever ask for!  My husband.  The most amazing husband, incredible father, and best friend.  God is so good.

Oldie, but one of my favorites!

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This last one is just as beautiful as the others, I love him!  Pray his family sees his beauty as well and that they find him soon!

Owen

 http://reecesrainbow.org/1585/owen-egxb-3

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