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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!

Wish upon a Starr

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Like these?  (Don’t you dare click away just yet… Give it a chance.)PhotoGrid_1467768092651

Why am I asking?  Well…

She is three and a half years old.  She sits everyday with all the other children.   She has nothing of her own. Her clothes aren’t hers, her toys aren’t hers, her shoes aren’t hers.   Abandoned at just 6 months old, little Daisy spends each day in an orphanage.   No mom to comfort her when she’s scared.  No hugs for her tears.  She’s a beautiful little girl.

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Across the globe, a mama sits, waiting.  She waits and longs to hold this precious little daughter she’s never met.  She aches to kiss her bruised knees, dry her tiny tears, and tell her she is loved.  This mama works hard everyday trying to raise the randsom.  But it’s seemingly insurmountable.   She only has a couple weeks left to raise an incredible amount.  So she continues to work her fingers to the bone, fundraising, selling anything she can, praying for a miracle.

This mama’s name is Starr.  She was born to be a mom!  For 16 years she’s been loving on her children, providing for them, nurturing them, all on her own.   She’s been a mom a whole lot longer than 16 years, but you see 16 years ago she lost her husband and since then devotes her life to giving love to children who otherwise have had none.   received_1214842788539891

Now, back to the cute jewelry and such.  There’s a wonderful lady, Tori who has an online shop.  Soooo many cute things.  From now until July 19th, 15% of anything you purchase will be donated to help Starr bring home Daisy!   If you’d like to check out this shop go here:   bit.ly/bringhomedaisy

There’s more!

Ever heard of Lularoe?   The fun prints, the incredibly buttery soft leggings, the clothes that make sizing simple, easily working with all body types making it a snap to shop online without stressing.  They are THE MOST ADDICTIVE clothing line ever!   How do I feel in my Lularoe?  Uh… 2016-06-25 19.12.29

Sooo, I also have a Lularoe event hosted by two lovely gals both in home for my local gals, where you can come try on and take home, AND an online event as well!  THAT event will be July 17th for the in home, and 18th for online.  They will also donate part of the proceeds to help this family!  Eeeek!

Please join THIS PAGE, no it isn’t a cult, but it might get ADDICTIVE!   On this page our hostesses will post about the upcoming event, and you can learn a bit about Lularoe too.  Trust me, this is not just another “party”,you don’t want to miss this!

I would like to thank Cathy and Mike, Kelly, Staci and Tori!  You guys all worked and are still working so hard to make this happen for this family.  I seriously am floored at how you all pulled this together for me at such short notice. Much love!  I know Starr feels the same.

To read more about Starr and her journey or to donate directly go here: http://reecesrainbow.org/102812/sponsorpelc

 

 

 

 

3 Sisters

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Somewhere in the world there are three beautiful little girls- sisters.   These sisters have no mom or dad, and long for a family of their own.  They want to be adopted together, but in many cases there is just nobody willing to adopt a sibling group.

Elsewhere in the world there is a family- a mom, a dad, and children.  This family already loves these girls from afar and wants nothing more than to give them the home, love and stability they have never had.

Generally, when you follow your heart there is no roadmap.  There is not usually time to make plans or “wait till it’s more convenient timing”.   The fact is, when you know you need to move forward, you just have to start walking, putting one foot infront of the other.  You might not even know exactly how to get to your destination.  Nevertheless you walk forward.  Trusting.  Hoping it’ll all come together.

This family, is doing just that.  They are walking forward, trusting, and doing everything they can to prepare along the way.

If you would like to support this family, I have a super fun online auction open right now through April 19th.  Come bid on some neat stuff and help this family along their  way.

 

The Big Reveal!

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Not many words need to go in this post, a picture is worth a thousand words!

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Thank you again, all of you who helped us by supporting us with donations, joining us for breakfast,volunteering to serve meals and more (Kelly Lee for being my cohort),  purchasing a t-shirt, raffle ticket, or bracelet, for helping make bracelets, folding brochures, or even helping building Athen’s booth (Ahem..Papa and Oma).    Thank you to our church for supporting us so much!  Thank you, thank you,  thank you everyone!

 

Because of your help, these sweet Ukrainian orphans will have help getting what they need!

 

So proud of my son and his heart for orphans!  Well, his heart for all people really.  He is an amazing kid!  He worked so hard on this and look how it’s paid off.  Wide Awake International, hope it helps!

 

If you would like to know how you can help, visit Wide Awake International.

Today Was a Good Day!

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Since April, my 13 year old son Athen has been trying to raise awareness, trying to make a difference in the lives of disabled kids in Ukraine.  It all came together last Saturday…

Let me rewind.

Athen has always had a tender heart.  I have always tried to be as real as I can be with him.  Even when it is uncomfortable.  I wanted him to see from a very young age that people make mistakes, they are all different, they are all important.  I taught him that if someone is mean to you, you forgive them and understand that they are that way because they are hurting in some way.  I taught him that he should not care what others think and to always be the one guy to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Even if that means people make fun of you.  And as the years have gone by, I have been rewarded for this lesson.  I have seen time and time again, my son being the only kid to go and ask a much younger kid to be his friend, I have seen him ask kids who are mentally and/or physically disabled if they want to play with him.  He has always done this with no regard for his peers and the possible judgment he may face for “befriending the outcast” as other kids might see it.

Athen has never cared about labels.  He has never cared what color someone is.  He has never cared where someone came from, or what your differences may be.  As a mother, this makes me proud.  He is the first kid to stop and pray for someone, again, not caring if others judge.  I love this about him.

So when Athen wanted to know about Heart of the Young and what I blog about, naturally I was eager to share.  However, with it all being so heavy, I was skeptical if he could handle the reality.  I made a call, and decided to share.

 

Naturally his heart broke. But then he stood up and said “Mom, I have to do something to help”.

 

We began to pray.

 

Then, I read a post about our friends at Wide Awake International and how they wanted to take the kids outside but only had enough coats and shoes for seven of them to go.  I told Athen about it and that is when he knew…

Athen had decided to get approval from school to begin fundraising every day at lunch.  He prepared by making bracelets to sell (his Oma and Mom helped too), getting help from his Papa to build a booth, drawing a logo, and making a t-shirt so he could represent well.  He began in April at the school fair, and continued to sell until school got out mid June.  He was so dedicated.

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Then, we decided that we wanted to do more…  We really wanted to bless Kim and Jed Jonhnson, founders of Wide Awake Int. with money to make a real difference.   So we paired up with a dear friend of mine who is currently adopting two kiddos from China and decided to hold a pancake breakfast benefit at our local Applebees.  We all posted fliers, blew up Facebook, shared with local businesses, collected donations for our raffle, and even shared at church.  When I say shared at church I mean, Athen got up and spoke to a few hundred middle and high school students at church about what he was doing and how they could help.  It was epic!  Takes a lot of guts to do that!

So the day came and we got up at the crack of dawn, kids in tow and headed to Applebee’s.  We had not sold our minumum 100 tickets so Applbee’s gave us a special deal and so with 54 tickets sold online, we held it anyway.  Well, all I can say is we are so blessed.  All the people who came to serve, help and just support us, we could not be more happy!   We did not sell many at the door tickets, but all in all we did well.  Athen stood at his booth selling t-shirts and bracelets.  The raffle was a hit too!

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Athen selling his t-shirts!

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My little 3 year old feeling too big for her britches!

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My husband and some amazing helpers!

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More amazing helpers!!!

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Trying…

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My cohort and her little…

 

We are excited to share how much we raised from all efforts, but not quite yet.   Why?   Well…

 

Athen T-shirt sign 10483991_1448430162077883_6415593516739779025_n

We are hoping for some more t-shirt orders.  Proceeds go to Wide Awake International to help orphans in need! We are trying to fill orders so that we can get a final tally on the amount that Athen (pictured) raised for them through school fundraising, the pancake breakfast and t-shirt sales. Anyone interested in buying a t-shirt to support Athen’s cause?  For $25 you can choose white or black shirt, men or women’s (women’s are v-neck) All have a solid red logo and the small letters H.O.T.Y. horizontal on the arm (If we can get them to do it for us! Otherwise it will be on the back.). Either way it will look cool! And H.O.T.Y. is a conversation starter! Heart of the Young! Wear your support for kids with disabilities and the message of Heart of the Young!  To order, go here http://mkt.com/heartoftheyoung

 

Stay tuned for the final number which we will be donating to Wide Awake!!!

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.

No Words – Part 2

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On the heels of this very disturbing video which I posted in my blog titled No Words, I was met with understandable outrage from my readers.  In fact, I had close to 10,000 readers visit my blog due to that one post. Many of you had things to say and I love that you all got so involved.  It was truly shocking.    It was one kind reader who brought to my attention, some follow up on this sickening display of abuse.  I thought all of you may be interested as well so I am posting it HERE.

Outside our generally comfy lives we must open or eyes to more than just our first world problems.  Don’t think I am not guilty of complaining about first world problem either.   It is known to happen on occasion and I catch myself, and feel guilty for a while.  But really, there is so much more going on out there than we realize.   And even if you don’t believe it, God sees, cares, weeps and wants to see change… from us, by us.

 

If you would like to know more about what you can do to help, go HERE.

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