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Tag Archives: Orphans

Little Ones Lost

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Heavy on the heart  is a common thread with me, which I feel I should apologize about.  But truly, there is no way to sugar coat the orphan crisis, child abuse, trafficking and just plain brokeness.  There is too much reality in what I blog about to be sweetly packaged with a pretty bow.

Over the months I have been so blessed to see so many beautiful children come home to their forever families, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Many I am still waiting to meet.  But then there are so very many I will never meet, never see them as they grow and never, never, never.  Why?

There is a side of this world that should never be.  The side that doesn’t get talked about aside from those in our closed little community of passionate advocating orphan lovers and adoptive parents.  Although we stand with torches blazing and lungs bellowing, screaming at the very tip tops of our voices for all to hear, begging for others to hear us out, to see what they have been blinded to.  Please, SEE THEM!  LOVE THEM! HELP THEM!  SPREAD THE WORD!  Although we stand, this is what is not heard…  They will be lost forever, aging out and put on the streets to fend for themselves.  They will be placed in mental institutions, be forgotten, caged like animals.  They will die.   If you dont listen, help, share, or see.  Really open your eyes and look at their faces.

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Walden

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Dayna

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Declan

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Kevin

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Kyle

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Myra

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Rosie

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Stacy

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Hanson

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Jacob

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Connor James

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Leif

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Will

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All of these precious, sweet babes have lost their battle waiting for a family.  They all passed away before they could know the love of a mother, before they knew what snuggles were.  They did not get the chance to live loved by the people they were with, but rather they were all so very loved by all those fighting to help them.  We loved them, I loved them.  I believe we will always love them, think of them, pray for their powerful legacy to live on.  My hope is their legacy will bring forth change and give hope to those still waiting.

These are just a handful of the children who died waiting.  In loving memory.

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It doesn’t have to be this way.  These babies did not have to die.

Please share.   Advocate.  Educate yourself despite the heartbreak.  Donate.  Help change the world.

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Alert The Media!

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Holy Moly I am publishing another post y’all!, can you believe it?!   Has it been six months yet?  Ha!  I keep saying I am going to keep up with this but alas I stink at juggling two little girls a teenager and a blog!  A girl can still try though!  Where has my mind been?  Let’s see…

Little Emi Roo…

Little Emira

Little Emira

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My Pookie girl, Ari…

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My new teenager…

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Notice a trend?  He calls Emira his baby.

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My Husband…

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The kidlets…

Like precious Hollis who just came home from Ukraine to be with his new mommy and daddy.

1005510_577601198963907_681898616_nHis parents, the Buhman’s are wonderful folks who I met recently and who helped me during my pregnancy/bedrest with Emi by bringing my family a meal.  They are super sweet and I couldn’t be happier that they live just minutes from me!!   Hollis is 2 and he was raised in a decent orphanage.  But even in a decent place, they still didn’t feed him anything but puree’d food so they could shovel it in his mouth at lightning speed.  He didn’t ever have time to chew, so he never learned.  Since gotcha day, his parents have been teaching him how to chew and sign and he is doing wonderfully.  He is adjusting very well and it is rumored he loves to snuggle with his mommy.  Isn’t he sweet?!    To read more about this amazing family and their journey, go here:  http://www.thebuhmanbunch.blogspot.com/

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Precious Reign…

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She is 14 years old, yes 14!  The extreme malnutrition and confinement to her crib has left her like this.  She is tiny!

Here is a short video of Reign.  You can see she seems drugged and the sad reality is she most likely is…  It is a common practice used to keep kids and even young babies “manageable”.  Sick I know, but the reality is there just aren’t enough hands to care for them all and so this is their solution even if it is wrong.   Poor Reign has possibly spent most or all of her life in a crib (her legs are probably stuck that way from laying), being fed this exact way, drugged and helpless.  My heart breaks…   You might also notice how she is intelligent by the way of her thinking twice about chewing in her shirt after being scolded a couple times.  These kids do have potential!

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Amazing little fighter Sophia!  Remember her before?

1003305_623799324305819_552575150_nJust look at her now!  This child has been home for around a year and look at how fabulous she looks!    Remember little Hollis from above?  Sophia had a little something to do with him finding his family.  It’s a pretty special story that  you can read here.   Go, read it!!!!

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And this precious child…  Keep in mind that this photo may be hard to look at, but it is reality.  The beautiful child shown on the left is Kyle, he is pure beauty, pure innocence, pure perfection…  Just look at those big brown eyes!   The neglected and starving child on the right is sweet Kyle just a couple of months after he was transferred to the mental institution.  This drastic transformation is not caused by disease or disability, but by mistreatment and neglect.  This child is literally dying in a mental institution in Russia…  There are thousands more just like this one.  Kyle has a family fighting to get him but with Putin’s ban on American adoptions, Kyle sits waiting and suffering.

UPDATE:  As I am writing this post, I have learned that sweet Kyle has passed away.  Rest in peace sweet one…  My heart is broken for this loss and for the family who wanted to make him their son.

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What will you do about it?  Share it or turn the other cheek?

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Finally, this guy…

OwenMany of you will recognize Owen, if you do not, please visit my beloved introduction of him on this page.  I have advocated for him many times and he holds a special place in my heart.    Everyday I wonder how he is doing.  You see he, like Precious Kyle picture above,  is in Russia.  I pray he has been found by a loving family in a “permitted” geographical location, that he is healthy, happy, and no longer waiting.  I dread learning that he has been transferred to a mental institution.  Please pray with me that this ban is lifted, that the children will be covered and safe and that changes will be made to improve the care they receive.  Love you sweet boy!

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So my brain has been all over the place and rightfully so, this isn’t even the half of it!  I do hope that some of you will be compelled to share and pray this blog, this post, really any part of my site you find moving enough to do so.  Sharing is really my main goal here.  The more people learn about all this, the more change can be made, the more prayers, the more good can be done!  God bless!

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!

Some Updates!

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Just a couple things today.  I am so blessed to announce that as I went through my list of kids on here that were still waiting for a family to come for them, I was able to move 5 of them over to the My Family Found Me section!!!  Praise God!  So happy to be able to do that.  For some of you, these kids getting families is probably old news (it has been longer than I would like to admit since I’ve gone through).  However it is still worthy of a big WHOO HOO!!!!  One life at a time right?!

 

Payton

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Penny*

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Zack

And…

Just a quick post to let you all know what I forgot to tell you earlier (oops!) about our little baby nugget.  We had our ultrasound some weeks ago but life has gotten the best of me again and I failed to let you all know the good news. (The photo is from our checkup the other day, got some 3D shots!) 

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Nugget 24 weeks

We are so happy to announce we are having another little girl!  She is just such a blessing to us already and we are so excited to meet her!

That’s all for now!

A Sour Return To Posting…

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I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

As most of you know, I have been taking a break from posting for a while due to health reasons.  I am 5 months along now and by the grace of God I have been feeling better for about two weeks now, yay!  It has been a tough road thus far but we are getting through it.  Thank you all who have been praying for us.

With my health improved so greatly, I felt it was time to make a return to the cause I love so much.  Sadly, what has moved me on this day is the sorrow of Russia’s new and crazy law.  I really cannot believe this is happening.  It seems the leader in charge of this movement in Russia is upset about America restricting entry to people who have been “accused “of human rights violations in Russia.   Although, it is also reported that he is siding with the common misconception in Russia that American parents are neglectful and abusive to their children.  Interestingly there is no evidence to back this up.  In fact it has been found that since 1998 after close to 50,000 adoptions of Russian children by American families, there have been 19 reported cases of child death.  However in the same length of time, 1,220 children died while in the care of their Russian adoptive parents.   So I believe this reason is completely unfounded and is quite honestly being used as a fabricated excuse.  Not that I think ANY child death is excusable, I just think that if we are going to play this game it should be fair and backed by facts.  If they are going to say that Americans are dangerous parents and they are going to bring in human rights mumbo jumbo, that they should actually look at the numbers and punish their own people.  1,220 children is a whole heap more than 19.  Still, shame on each and every person responsible for those 1,239 children who died, no matter what country they are from!

Human rights violations are what we advocates are all about, we are trying to stop human rights violations in all sorts of countries.  That is a main reason I started blogging in the first place.  We ALL want fair and good treatment of children, and disabled adults all over the world.  America may be leaving a huge gray area for this ban (accused instead of convicted), Yet I am happy about the statement we are making, “We won’t tolerate that kind of behavior folks”.  Still, really?   Punishing the children, with the main goal of pulling at our heart strings is a pretty sick tactic.

Let me get this straight Russian leader who’s name rhymes with tootin;  Let the children suffer, be abused, languish in a crib for years till they die of neglect and starvation in some orphanage or institution, which in turn will hopefully make us Americans change the law and allow the scumbags responsible for this treatment to be granted travel access into our country?  Would you like us to lay out a welcome mat too and maybe a big sign for them that says “we love abusers”?    We are not okay with human rights violations!   You are going to go and blatantly COMMIT human rights violations?   You are totally willing to sacrifice those precious lives purely for retaliation on us for not being “cool” with these people?  Yeah that makes a ton of sense, and it is sick!

Shall we look at the numbers? Shall we see how many children “could have” been rescued?  Are you ready?

An estimated 1,500 American families are now were in the process of adopting Russian children.

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46 families are were in the final stages of adopting Russian children.

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So folks that means around 1,550 children who thought they were finally getting out of their chains of bondage, some of who met and felt the love of their new families, will now get nothing!  Nothing but a life rotting away in an orphanage or mental institution.    They almost had the chance at a real life, but it has been taken away from them like everything else.  This makes me so sad…

I will never understand why people do what they do.  How in their minds such evil motives and actions are acceptable, how they go to bed at night warm and snug and actually live with themselves.  It is beyond my comprehension.  Things like this leave such an unsavory sour taste in my mouth and leave my stomach churning.

Satan and his demons roam this earth preying on people.  So many fall victim and end up doing terrible things.  God giving us the gift of choice has been manipulated by the dark forces of our world and is being used to harm so many who are so very innocent.   Please join me in praying for these lost people, for the helpless children, for the families who long to make a difference, for the country and it’s  leaders,  for our country and for our world.

Thank you all!  I have missed you!

Susanna’s Story

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Hello everyone!  I apologize for the lapse in posting, you can all just think of it as my giving you all some time to breath, I know my posts can be quite long.

With that said, I have a real treat for you today!  I have the extreme pleasure of sharing my friend Susanna’s story, thank you Susanna!  She has a wonderful  blog at http://theblessingofverity.com/.   Her story is one that absolutely MUST be read by everyone!  It offers a very real look into the dark world that some of these precious orphaned children live in.  Susanna’s story is heartbreaking but incredibly inspirational.  This is the story of Katie’s adoption.  It is long I will warn you, (it’s nice to know I am not the only one who has a lot to say) but there are a lot of photos and I promise you will not regret reading it all the way through.  I mean, you just can’t condense a story of this magnitude.    Mom’s, get ready to cry!  🙂

Introducing Susanna…

The story of Katie’s adoption

As requested long ago, here is a summary of the story of Katie’s adoption~

We are an ordinary homeschooling family of ordinary means with eleven children and an extraordinary God.

In February of 2010, halfway through my pregnancy with our tenth child, we found out that she would most likely be born with Down syndrome and a severe heart defect. I began blogging a few days later, compelled by God to write down the story as He would tell it. Before this, both my husband and I were nearly completely ignorant about people with special needs, including Down syndrome. But by the time our daughter Verity was born several months later, from all we had already learned, we were excited to have been hand-picked by God for this special child.

Having Verity was the first transformative doorway we walked through on this new journey.

I continued to blog after Verity was born in June of 2010, through her urgent open heart surgery at five weeks of age and beyond.  Now we added many photos of our sweet little one, who had completely charmed us with her bright-eyed spunky personality!

Incredibly, we began to hear from blog readers whose hearts were opened to adopt a child with Down syndrome through reading Verity’s story. When Verity was four months old, and I was questioning whether I should continue to put the time into blogging, I heard from a friend who said that she and her husband were considering domestic adoption of a child with Down syndrome. She asked me to recommend reading for her to prepare for the needs of an adopted child with Down syndrome.

That October night in 2010, I was researching online for that friend, never suspecting how God would use it to completely change the course of our family’s life. I came across a short Youtube clip called, “The Dark Side of Serbian Mental Institutions.”

That five minute video was the second transformative doorway we walked through.

My husband and I looked at one another after watching the video.  As our eyes met, we knew that we would adopt a child like that one day if God opened the door, and we knew that God could open the door, no matter how impossible it might look to humans.

We learned that all across Eastern Europe, children born with special needs are routinely put into orphanages at birth.  Then at some point, usually between the ages of 4 and 8 years old, depending on the child and the country, they are transferred to adult mental institutions.  These are places that aren’t fit for a dog, let alone an extra needy and vulnerable child. The youngest child we have heard of being transferred to an adult mental institution wasseventeen months old. We learned that about 80% of the children die within their first year of transfer to one of these grim institutions, and if their diagnosis is Down syndrome, that percentage rises as high as 95%.

We also learned that children who are severely neglected and deprived of human contact stop producing human growth hormone. They simply stop growing.

We learned that the children sent to adult mental institutions often spend all their time in their beds or if they are strong enough, they sit all day in one small room with nothing to do, a room crowded with others who are rocking and groaning.

They receive poor nourishment.

They often receive only one diaper change a day if that.

They learn not to cry, since nobody ever comes to help them.

They are sometimes drugged and/or tied to their beds to keep them easier to care for or to prevent them from harming themselves out of sheer insane boredom and attempting to make themselves feel something at all.

When they die, nobody mourns their death—just one less mouth to feed and diaper to change.

There was a little girl on the Serbia video who cut into our hearts. She was a little girl with Down syndrome, looking at us with her almond-shaped eyes through the bars of her crib.

Will I ever be able to see her in my mind’s eye and repeat these words without crying?

“Katerina is nine. She has Down syndrome,” the speaker said.

It was as if we were seeing our own flesh, our own little daughter Verity, lying there neglected and unloved. We couldn’t imagine our small, vulnerable, much-beloved daughter destined to life imprisonment in the nightmare of an Eastern European adult mental institution. Even the small care and comfort that children receive in a baby house, where oftentimes the staff really do care for the children as best they can, will all be gone the day they are placed in the back seat of a car, driven to the institution, have their heads shaved, and are put into their bed, nameless, voiceless, helpless, and hopeless.

Shortly after God opened our eyes to the fact that children with special needs just like Verity were being thrown out for the trash all across Eastern Europe, and that He was compelling His people to do something about it, He began doing a series of miracles before our eyes. Before two months had passed, He had placed us in a position that made us financially qualify to adopt. From that point on, He moved mountain after mountain to enable us to bring Katie home as our daughter.

Before this, God had made it clear that I was to pick up the pencil and write what He was doing. Now it seemed to us that He picked us up as though we were the pencils, and continued to tell the story using our lives.

When we began the adoption process, we understood that this was clearly God’s business, and we placed our complete trust in Him to bring it about if that was His will. We knew that no matter how it may appear to us, nothing is impossible with God. We were outside the box in many areas, including the size of our family, our income, our small house, and our membership in Samaritan Ministries International rather than carrying typical health insurance.

We knew that to get through the process, God would have to move, and that it would otherwise be impossible. In other words, there was no possible way we could adopt Katie if God didn’t want us to.  There are always myriads of ways for Him to close the adoption door, and for us, some of those possible ways were obvious.  He was literally our only hope.

And so the adoption proceeded, glory to God!  Every impossible obstacle toppled before Him, very often in dramatic, heart-stopping, last-minute ways.  We experienced the reality that finances, timing, and the decisions of man are all under His control.

Because of our large family, we were a good fit for a Bulgaria adoption, since they don’t have limitations on family size. We chose an agency with a Bulgaria program and found our daughter Katie on their waiting children listing.

Her file said that she was very small, still almost as small as a baby, and did not have any skills, although she was almost nine years old.  We understood that this meant that she had been neglected and deprived of the opportunity to bond and interact with anyone, or to learn from them. We knew that she might have feeding issues, very common in children with Down syndrome, but without someone to work with her and teach her to eat properly, she might not be getting enough food. We saw that her hair was thin, another sign of malnutrition.  We were told that her orphanage was in a poor area of Bulgaria.  We were aware that she could possibly have a heart condition which was impacting her ability to grow. We knew it was possible her photos and the information in her file were outdated, and that she may have grown and progressed since then.  We learned that internationally adopted children may have parasites which could cause a failure to thrive.

There was a lot we didn’t know.  But one thing we did know.  We as a family could give this baby bird what she had lacked for so many years and needed most–love, food, home, and family. We loved her as if she was already ours and committed to adopt her in February of 2011. We named her Katerina Hope. “Katerina” for the girl on the Serbia video, and “Hope” for the children she would leave behind her when she came home.

The next month, in March of 2011, through an amazing providence of God, we made contact with a missionary couple in Sofia, Bulgaria.  They were willing to help us by visiting Katie’s orphanage and taking a large donation from friends in the United States.  Through this missionary, we received photos and videos of Katie and some of the other children on her floor.

For me, this was the third transformative doorway.

As I looked through the photos, my heart was unexpectedly peaceful for Katie, knowing she had a family who loved her and was coming for her.

She appeared to be doing better since she had received a baba.  We found out later that this was true.  She weighed 7 pounds at age 7, before she received her baba, and was not expected to live.

But the other children!

How would I ever be able to walk out of the orphanage and leave the other children behind, alone, invisible, unwanted, helpless?

As a family, we began to pray that God would show us a way to help the rest of the children with special needs in Katie’s orphanage to be adopted.  We had no idea what this would mean.  Nevertheless, we knew that our God could do anything, so we continued to pray this for months, until He answered by showing us a way.

A Bulgaria adoption requires two trips of about a week each, normally separated by four to six months of legal process, during which time the adoption is finalized in court in Bulgaria in the parents’ absence.

I traveled alone to meet Katie in mid-August, 2011.

What we didn’t know until the day I arrived in Bulgaria was that our attorney had never been to this particular baby house.

When I held Katie in my arms for the first time, I knew the shock of holding a starving child.My baby was nine years old, but her body was tiny and frail, the size of a skeletal nine to twelve month old.

The staff’s casual explanation was that they fed the children well, but that it was their disabilities that caused their condition. It was obvious to me that this was not true.  I knew that Down syndrome and cerebral palsy do not cause ten and twelve year old children to be the size of babies and toddlers.  I knew that what we were seeing was the result of criminal profound neglect and deliberate underfeeding.

I was allowed to feed Katie every day with a heavy glass beer bottle with a huge hole cut into the nipple, causing the smelly liquid inside to run freely down her throat so fast she had to gulp to keep up with it.

The contents appeared to be a watered-down flour gravy with other ingredients occasionally added to it.  We were to find out later that many of the deaths were caused by this inhumane feeding method–the children’s bottles were propped, and they aspirated fluid and died by asphyxiation, alone in their beds.

Our attorney had been facilitating special needs adoption for many years.  She immediately saw the huge contrast between the Pleven baby house and so many others she had worked with.  She had met many directors who deeply cared about the children under their care and did their very best to stretch limited resources and make the caregivers do their job right.  In Bulgaria, orphanage directors must be either pediatricians or family practice physicians.  The Pleven orphanage was like an adult mental institution, our attorney told me.  The director was the coldest and most detached director she had ever met, and refused to meet our eyes.

That same day, our attorney called an international human rights organization to report the orphanage, and they promised to investigate. I continued to blog under our attorney’s oversight, and unbeknownst to me, God used that to quickly spread the word far and wide about what was happening.  Thousands of people began to pray, and God began moving hearts to want to adopt the other children there who were also in poor condition.

When I met with the director that Monday morning, just before meeting Katie for the first time, I told her that we cared about more of the children there than just our girl.  I asked her what needed to happen for the rest of the children with special needs to be made available for adoption.  I asked what we could do to help make that happen.  She coldly answered that it was impossible, that all had already been done that could be done, and she said it without meeting our eyes.

But two days later, with thousands of people now praying that God would break open the doors of the orphanage, the director came to our attorney and miraculously offered to give her the files of the rest of the children with Down syndrome in the orphanage.  After she walked away, we praised God with tears in our eyes!  Unbelievable!

The next day, the director came to our attorney again, and this time offered to give her the files of all the children with special needs in the whole orphanage.

The director had no idea that she was doing this unprecedented thing as a direct answer to thousands of fervent prayers.  But the doors were now breaking open.  The files began to be processed and children began to be made available, one, two, or three at a time, slowly over the next months, and families began to step forward to adopt them.

From the moment we reached our hotel after that first visit to the Pleven orphanage, Katie’s adoption began to be expedited.

The week we went to pick up Katie exactly three months later, we found out that the Pleven orphanage had been investigated by the human rights organization in September, the month after I had been there myself.

We began to hear more and more details about the wrongdoing of the Pleven orphanage staff.

The director, who had been in place since the Soviet era, and her daughter, who was the head social worker in the orphanage, had an arrangement set up that tidily benefited themselves.

They did not see to it that every child was properly registered for adoption, as should legally happen when they enter the orphanage.

The director solicited funds for improvements that did not benefit the children but did raise her own pension.

She was misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of funds and changing donation records to cover it up or failing to record donations at all.

The children were indeed being deliberately underfed, especially the children with disabilities, of whom there were many.  The children were kept small so that they would not be transferred along with their government stipend to other institutions.  This enabled the director to amass a large number of children, necessitating a large staff.  This baby house for children ages birth to three years old was housing children up to the age of adulthood, little like babies and toddlers.

Underfeeding the children also kept them conveniently tiny, lethargic, and easy to carry across the room by one arm.

Some of the children were never taken from their beds.  Many of them spent nearly all their time in bed, and were taken out for a few hours a week by one of the babas, or grannies, local older women who were paid a small sum to come in and hold the child they were matched with.  The baba program was begun just a few years earlier, so all the older children had spent most of their life trapped inside their bed.

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.

There were children like living skeletons on the top floor where Katie and the other very disabled children were kept.  She was the first child to be adopted from the top floor of the Pleven orphanage, the floor for children labeled, “Malformations.”

Katie was 9 1/2 years old, was 29 inches long, and weighed 10 pounds and 9 ounces when we took her out of the Pleven orphanage in mid-November of 2011.

A twelve month sleeper was too large on her, and she wore a size 1 diaper.

Katie with her new Mama, struck with wonder at the privilege of receiving this long-hoped-for child~

We picked her up on a Monday and reached the United States that Saturday night.  Katie had gained half a pound in five days, and weighed more than 11 pounds for the first time in her life.

The night we picked her up from the orphanage, however, and were now back in our hotel room in Sofia, Katie stopped eating.  Through various kind Providences, we ended up seeing the top pediatrician in Bulgaria in the best hospital in Bulgaria.  This specialist and the other medical staff of the Tokuda Hospital who saw Katie were profoundly shaken and ashamed that this had taken place in their country.  They gave Katie gentle, compassionate care and charged us very little.  Katie spent a day and a half there to receive IV fluids and a naso-gastric tube.

The best food we had available to give her was my own milk, as I was still pumping for Verity.

God had marvelously provided a nurse named Adam Boroughs to be Katie’s medical escort for our trip home.  He is the adoptive dad of ten, going on eleven children, many of whom have special needs, and he and his wife Amy have become our good friends.

Once we reached the United States with Katie that weekend, we took her to the hospital, where she was directly admitted to the PICU for nutritional rehabilitation as had been previously arranged by Dr. Friedman, our dedicated international adoption clinic doctor.

Here she is saying goodbye to Katie the day before we took her home.

The process of nutritional rehabilitation had to be accomplished carefully, as Katie was at high risk of developing something called re-feeding syndrome, which is a metabolic cascade leading to sudden death that can occur in people who are given too much good nutrition too quickly after being in starvation mode.

Katie came home with scurvy, severe anemia, atrophic skin, muscle wasting, severe osteoporosis, and multiple spinal compression fractures due to the severe protein-energy malnutrition she had suffered all her life.

She spent twelve days in the PICU, during which time I stayed by her side as much as possible.  We saw her progress on her long journey toward bonding with me.

In a few short months at home with us, she progressed from a being a lethargic, frightened, dehydrated, starving, 9 1/2 year old infant orphan at a 0-3 month old developmental level, who couldn’t hold her own head upright for more than a minute, had never touched a toy to her palm or borne her own weight on her feet…

Verity is 17 months old in this photo.

…to being a healing, thriving, growing, progressing, well-loved daughter and sister in our family.  Her family.

Katie is now over 34 inches long and weighs over 30 pounds.

She has learned to enjoy being touched, moved, and held.  She is now tolerating and even seeking out more eye contact than ever before.  She is bonding strongly to me and the rest of her family.

She has learned to say, “Mama,” and a few other functional words, and is currently expanding her vocalizations.

After wearing diapers for nearly ten years, Katie is almost completely toilet trained, although she is completely dependent on me to help her with the process.  She is able to tell me when she needs to use the toilet, and wait until I take her.

She has learned to move correctly from her belly to sitting, and can do a correct cross-pattern army crawl. She readily pulls up to her hands and knees.  She needs minimal prompting and support to pull herself up to standing.  She can stand upright with minimal support.  [NOTE:  A few hours after I wrote these words, Katie pulled herself up to standing without assistance, then proudly proceeded to do it again and again to the loud cheering and clapping of her family.]

She went from being irritated at the sight of toys and attempting to bat them away with the back of her hand to learning to interact appropriately with toys when given lots of prompting and encouragement.

She went from being unable to suck or chew to being able to drink thickened liquids from an open cup and lightly chew and eat a very wide variety of soft solid foods.  She can feed herself some types of finger foods.

When Katie had been home for three weeks, we heard the good news that the director of the Pleven orphanage had been fired.  Over the next weeks, all the children over the age of three years old who were sufficiently healthy were moved to smaller and better orphanages.  No new children were sent to the Pleven baby house. Previously there had been approximately 250 children in the orphanage, and now there were approximately 150 children there.

I contacted the wonderful pediatrician who had seen Katie in Bulgaria to appeal to her for help, very concerned that well-meaning people might go into the orphanage and begin to feed the children better. We knew that this could throw some of them into re-feeding syndrome.  I asked her if there was any way she could supervise the process, and she promised to arrange to take a team from the Tokuda Hospital to the orphanage to assess the children.

Less than a month later, we found out some bad news.  The director of the Pleven baby house had declared that she intended to fight her charges in court, and gotten herself another position at the orphanage–Head of Human Resources.  As a result, nothing had changed in the orphanage.

Then God intervened again.  We received word that one of the other tiny, malnourished children who was being adopted from the top floor had lost the will to live and was refusing to eat or drink.  We contacted the Tokuda pediatrician with another appeal for help.

After considerable resistance from the orphanage, the pediatrician took that little girl back to Tokuda, along with two more extremely malnourished children who were being adopted.  They were taken safely through the process of nutritional rehabilitation and given lots of love and affection.  All three gained some weight.

Not long afterward, this Tokuda pediatrician kept her promise and took a team into the Pleven orphanage and assessed every child there.  Rampant profound medical neglect was discovered. Large numbers of the children needed various tests, procedures, and surgeries. Three children at a time have been admitted to the Tokuda Hospital since early spring, and that is still ongoing.  Because of this intervention, none of the rest of the children adopted from Pleven will need to go through the process of nutritional rehabilitation that Katie did when we brought her home.

The government of Bulgaria had to become involved to get the orphanage to cooperate with all this.  They became angry when they found out that the conditions for the children had not changed because the former director was still in power. They sent the heads of the Ministry of Health and the Child Protection Agency to do a surprise investigation of the Pleven orphanage, and asked our attorney to cooperate in going public with the whole story, including Katie’s story.

So Katie ended up on the front page of all the major newspapers in Bulgaria, the only child in the world who could prove the orphanage staff wrong when they blamed the children’s extreme malnutrition on their inability to grow due to their disabilities.

The old director was completely removed shortly thereafter.  The new director who was named is an answer to thousands of prayers. Her task is monumentally difficult, but she cares about the children and is trying to change the way things are done in order to provide better care for them.

A few other children from Pleven are now all the way home with their families, growing and thriving.  More children are still in the process of being adopted.  Some of them are available for adoption, waiting for their families to step forward with love, faith, and courage to do whatever it takes to bring them home.  And there are some children still waiting to be made available for adoption.

From the time I first met Katie, over 134,000 individuals have read her story on our blog. We prayed that God would use Katie’s adoption to show Himself for who He really is, and He has answered that prayer. Many have given Him praise for the great things He has done! Some have trusted Christ for salvation after coming face to face with the reality of who He is. Many hundreds of people have written to tell us that God has used our family’s story to completely transform their way of thinking, and many of them have proceeded to adopt their own precious children with special needs from Eastern Europe, including children from Pleven.  People have prayed, given to funds for medical care at the Tokuda Hospital for the children and for more nurses and grannies for the orphanage, and have supported families who are adopting the children.

When we consider all God has done and is still doing through Katie’s story, we have such a strong and tangible sense that it doesn’t really have to do with us.  He could have chosen anybody to play the role He asked of us.  We pray, and act, and write, and love, but we have no ability to make the things happen that we have seen God do.  God is the One who is taking the prayer, the action, the writing, and the loving, and doing whatever He wants to do with it to accomplish His good purposes.  When we think about this, it’s too much to take in.  We are on our faces before Him!

God has shown Himself to be our great Provider by meeting every need that we have had for Katie, from thousands of dollars’ worth of adaptive equipment, to having every drop of her formula given to us, to a care fund started by a friend and given to by many to help us pay for extra expenses we have for Katie. The list goes on and on and on.

What we have seen during the past year and a half in our family as well as in other adoptive families who love the Lord shows that the following passage is just as true today as it was thousands of years ago when it was first written:

“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”

~Isaiah 58:6-12

[Disclaimer:  The conditions in the Pleven orphanage are the exception in Bulgaria.  The orphanages usually do their best to provide for the children and they are not like the one in Pleven.  The care is good compared to other Eastern European countries, as far as care in an orphanage can be good.  Not only did the Bulgarian governmental institutions not defend the personnel at the Pleven orphanage, but they took the appropriate steps to change things.]

Oh My Heart! – Guest Post

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Today’s post is courtesy of Adeye, who has a wonderful blog at:   http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/

Adeye has a huge heart for children, especially those with special needs who have otherwise been tossed away by society.  She has already adopted four children with special needs internationally and let me tell you how amazing these children are today.  They have blossomed and thrived and it has all been because Adeye and her family saw each child as a child in need instead of a child with special needs.  Adeye’s family is currently in the process of adopting two precious children from Eastern Europe.  Below is her personal account of the amazing experience she had meeting a special boy named Zack while in Europe.  Please take a few minutes to meet sweet Zack as well, he is a doll and will steal your heart!

Thanks for reading!

Without further delay, I have the pleasure to bring you Adeye’s story!

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This one too, Lord!

It was the last day of visits with our sweet daughters in the orphanage. My new friend and fellow adoptive mom, Susan, and I choked back tears as we headed out the door one final time. We had spent seven glorious days with our daughters.

And then it was time to leave.

Having adopted children from different countries, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty…

There is nothing like leaving your child behind in an orphanage!

There is nothing like knowing where you are leaving them—and walking OUT!

Because knowing changes everything!

As we drove out of the orphanage gates that Friday just a few weeks ago, we headed to a different orphanage on our way back to the capital city, Sofia. Our driver needed to get updated pictures and video of a little boy who had recently been listed for adoption.

We arrived at the institution, and both Susan and I knew that we just had to meet this little boy. Our driver agreed that we could come in with him.

We were greeted by many children as we entered the building that day.

Beautiful, precious, and amazing children all created by the Master Craftsman Himself.

Each one with many needs.

But mostly, the need for someone to come for them. The need to be loved. The need to be accepted for who they are—His beautiful creations–fearfully and wonderfully made just the way they are.

My heart was breaking before we even entered the front door.

We were ushered into a smaller room.

And within minutes…he came in.

The most darling little boy. I thought him to be maybe around eight years old. Later I found out that he is eleven.

His name is Zack.

Susan and I sat watching as our driver tried to interview Zack for a video for prospective parents. Neither of us understanding Bulgarian, we had no idea what he and the orphanage director were saying to the boy. He seemed to do okay for a few minutes and answered their questions politely.

Then, all of a sudden, tears started streaming down his little cheeks. He sobbed quietly—unable to get out a single word.

He was clearly heartbroken.

We both choked back tears—not wanting the little guy to see us all weepy. We did not know why in the world this sweet and tender little boy was so upset. It was very obvious though that he had such deep pain and that his heart was aching.

Sitting there and observing this dear little boy crying heart-wrenching sobs just about ripped my heart out! Everything in me wanted to rush over and hold him tightly—calming his anxious heart and assuring him that God had not forsaken him—that his Daddy in heaven knew what was tearing him apart.

Later that day, we heard Zack’s story….

And I knew instantly that I would go to the ends of the earth to help this little boy get the one thing in this life that he has never had, never known.

The one thing that made him cry until he literally could not stop!

I listened as my attorney shared Zack’s story with me.

It began with his best friend, Maria. They grew up in a very decent orphanage (as far as orphanages go) and spent the first eleven years bonding—being together. I am told that they are more than just best friends—but more like family. Until recently, the only family either of them had ever known. Zack and Maria shared a room (very normal for Eastern European orphanages) and spent every waking moment together—inseparable!

But everything was soon to change. Maria was blessed! Unbeknownst to her, she had been found, chosen by an amazing single mom who just knew that Maria was the daughter of her heart.

Maria was soon to know what it meant to be FAMILY.

I am so thankful that Katherine shared Maria and Zack’s story with me. She met Maria for the first time last December. The social worker at the orphanage informed Katherine that she would be meeting Maria’s best friend, telling her that they were extremely close. She got to know Zack pretty well during that first trip to his country.

Months passed and finally Katherine was able to return to Eastern Europe to complete the adoption process for Maria.

Here’s her account of that day—“Gotcha Day,” as it is known for adoptive parents.

My Gotcha Day was horrible, to say the least. We were asked to be at the orphanage by 11 am so that one staff member could say goodbye to Maria. I got there and did ask about Zack’s availability to be adopted. I wanted to help him find his mom. I was told that Zack was being moved that very same day to a new orphanage.  These days I understand why he had to be moved and I understand why it was easier to do it all at once….sort of rip the band aid off. 

My heart still weeps for the memory of that day. 

You see, the orphanage that Maria and Zack were at was for children birth through seven years. The orphanage had kept both Maria and Zack until they were 11 1/2, because they knew that the kids were special that they needed the additional care. So, on my pick up date I was looking through the photo album I was given of Maria by the orphanage. The director came in and told me I needed to be strong because the kids (Maria and Zack) were not handling the separation well. I quickly gathered my things and went to the lobby. 

I saw Zack first. He was in his chair wailing (it wasn’t just crying). I walked over to him and gave him the gift I had bought specially for him and tried to tell him that it would all be okay, that Maria would be taken care of. The whole time Maria was wailing over by the stairs while another adult spoke with her. Zack quickly rolled himself back to Maria. These two were hugging and kissing each other….truly like siblings…..weeping and crying the whole time. 

Finally a staff member rolled Zack outside in his wheelchair. Maria quickly followed. She no sooner got one step outside and was quickly scooped up by the director and taken to our car. It was only made more difficult by the fact that the two cars for the kids were facing each other. So, they could see each other the whole time we were getting everything into the cars and they never stopped crying. Sasha and the orphanage’s social worker were with Zack and took him to his new orphanage. Maria cried so much as we left and throughout the day for her friend.” 

Oh my goodness! I cannot even imagine being eleven years old and having to lose the one person in the world you love…and who loves you back!

AND be moved that very same day to an unfamiliar new home.

Excruciating!

And so, on the same day that Maria was adopted, Zack was transferred from his place of safety to an institutional-type facility for children and adults with special needs.

And there he has struggled to adjust to his new normal.

Loss.

Grief.

Katherine returned to the U.S with her new daughter and has done everything she possibly could to keep a promise she made Maria.

To find a family to adopt Zack!

Thankfully, with the help of the attorney we are using to adopt our children, God has moved mountains and Zack isfinally listed for adoption.

He has HOPE!

I have thought back to that day a few weeks ago when Susan and I fought back tears as we watched Zack weeping while sitting in his wheelchair.

And I thank God that I didn’t know at that very moment…

That he was crying inconsolably simply because the absolute desire of his heart is to have a family of his own too. And to come to America where he can, once again, have contact with the girl who is like a sister to him.

I just don’t think I would have been strong enough to hold it together.

And so today I come to you all, the amazing readers of my blog, pleading for your help. I KNOW there is a family out there for Zack. What a sweet blessing he would be to a family—he truly is just the most gentle, loving little boy. Zack has CP (which only seems to affect his lower limbs) and scoliosis. He is going GREAT mentally and I’m told that he is on target developmentally. His only “issue” is that he cannot walk. I have, however, seen a picture of him standing up while holding onto a chair. With good medical treatment, there is no telling how far Zack will go.

Would you share his story wherever you possibly can? I would appreciate that so much. Zack has about six weeks left to find a family! That’s it! 

Thank you for sharing Zack’s story! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus to this little lovie who wants nothing more in this life than to belong—to love and be loved.

Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
~Ephesians 3:20 

Anyone wanting more information about adopting Zack can contact Shelley at shele337@gmail.com.

Donations to Zack’s adoption fund can be made here

Life Matters

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Today’s post is a direct follow up to my previous post about Owen.  If you have not read it you can go here to catch up!  If you have never heard of Owen, please go to my very first post about him here.

You all know my heart has been on the many children of the world who are either orphaned, aborted, abandoned or abused.  For a long time, and even now, I still wonder how in the world I am going to be able to help or make a difference?  I just keep praying, and unfortunately I must be patient for the answers I seek.   Sometimes it’s hard to keep blogging because the enemy sometimes whispers into my ear that no one cares and no one is listening.  But then, I get that feeling that I can’t simply just give up on them can I?  I mean, I have waited many years to hear God tell me what in the heck I am supposed to do with my life?  What am I called to do?  What is my purpose?

Well, I do know that one of the answers is that I am meant to be a mother, that I KNOW I am called to do.  But why do you suppose that is?   Why has God given me such an incredible love for children?   The answer to that is all over this website!  I know that I have a TON of content on here in the numerous sections.  I know that it takes a hundred years to read through all of it, especially that pesky Research section.  But something I don’t know is, has my site done any good?  Has my hard work helped open any eyes?  Has it caused just one child to be helped?   Ugh, I wished I knew!!!

With all my questions, doubts and fears, that terrible feeling of wanting to give up creeps back in.  But then I see a sweet and familiar face in my mind, like this one…

Sweet baby Owen

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Toddler Owen

And then I think to myself, “HECK NO I CAN’T QUIT!”  What would happen to Owen?  Do you see a sweet smile and great potential in these photos, or do you see just a deformed child who you would rather scroll past?    You can guess which one I see!  I hope and pray you all see it too.

His life matters just as much as these lives…

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Owen’s life is as important as all of our children’s lives are.  So, as hard as it is to put myself out there and beg for other people to be generous and help me give this child a chance, I still HAVE to do it.  Because the real question is, if I don’t try to help Owen, who else will?   He will surely sit in an institution for the rest of his life.   he has already been discarded by his parents, by society and even those charged to care for him purely for being born “different”.  I cannot and will not pass the buck to someone else on ANY of these kids, and I certainly can’t forget about this precious little 5 year old gem, Owen.

Today, when my 12 year old son asked me how many people donated to Owen’s fund, I seriously broke his heart when I had to tell him that not even one donation came in.  Owen’s fund still sits untouched despite the over 50 readers I had visit.  My son, was so upset by this that he is deperately trying to come up with some way we can entice others to donate.  He genuinely loves Owen and wants to help him, so I understand his sadness.  He suggested a garage sale which may do something, but it certainly wont raise the thousands of dollars needed to really help this guy.   Plus I’m having a difficult pregnancy thus far, and am limited as to what I can do (fundraising and such) so at this point I am literally left just asking.  I know, lame huh?   I certainly am not trying to make excuses, but I am trying to let you all know how much I need your help right now.  I am open to suggestions of things I cant try to raise money for this boy, so please suggest away!  Of course if I come up with anything, I will keep you all posted!

For now, if you find it in your heart to spare a few bucks and donate to Owen’s fund please click on the following link:   “Owen’s Help Me Get Adopted Fund”

Don’t forget to leave me a comment that you donated and of course please pray hard for this sweet boy!  He needs a family!

God bless!

Time To Step Up!

Posted on

Many of you who read my blog may remember these sweet boys…

Heath

Heath has been waiting so incredibly long for his family to find him.  He has spent his entire life in institutions, never knowing the love of a mom and dad, never getting hugs and kisses, never being able to run and play like every child should.  Heath now lives in a cold, desolate, sad place that is the mental institution he calls home.  Heath is very tiny for his age and it is most likely a daily ritual for the older, bigger boys to bully him and steal his food.  These children are litterally left to fend for themselves.

The good part…

Last week folks all over the nation came together on what became “Heath Day”, holding fundraisers and events to raise money for Heath’s adoption fund.  Now, with the thousands of generous people who came together and donated funds, Heath is fully funded!!!  Yay!  How amazing is this news!?

I am one of the many people who believe that if he is fully funded, his family will have nothing holding them back from claiming their son.  Heath now has a chance to be rescued!  I know Heath has such a bright little light inside him, and am so excited to see what his future holds!

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Well folks, I would like to set the same type of goal for this little sweetheart below…

Do any of you remember this little guy?

Sweet baby Owen

This is Owen.

If this is the first time you are meeting Owen, please go to this link and read my story about this little love, then head on back over here and read on.

This precious boy has struggled his whole life, and to be honest, he has even less of a chance of getting a family because of his rare genetic disorder.  What I am really trying to say is, because most people are afraid of “different”, Owen has even greater odds to beat.  I pray with all my heart for the day I see his sweet face on the “My Family Found Me” page!  However, I also hope that a family in Oregon adopts him so I can visit!

when I learned about all those coming forward to help Heath’s family find him, I realized that Owen needs the same help!  Owen only has a little over $3,000 in his grant fund.  This amount is sadly a LONG way away from the goal of around $25,000-$30,000 that is needed to fund his adoption.

Owen

So friends, you don’t have to be rich you just have to be willing.  Would you be willing to donate $2, $4, $6 or $10 or more?   Would you be willing to sacrifice one day of Starbucks ($4) to help give this boy a chance at a family?  By taking five minutes to donate a few measly dollars, we could help Owen’s family find him and bring him home sooner without them having to shoulder the financial burden of the massive cost of adoption.   Owen desperately needs a family to love him.  I can’t imagine how he would blossom if he were in a loving family.

I feel connected to this little five year old as if he were my own son.  But I also know that at this time God has other plans for us, outside of adoption.  It breaks my heart as I am so attached to Owen, I can’t bear to see him waste away in some orphanage unloved for the rest of his life.  I certainly DO NOT want to see him get transferred to a mental institution

Will you please help me to reach my goal of at least 30 people donating?  If we could get more that would be amazing!  If each of my readers would donate something, anything, it would help so very much and I know I have more than 30 readers.   Click on this link to go to Owen’s donate page, there is a “donate” button towards the bottom.  It takes just a minute and could help give Owen a real life outside orphanage walls.

Please leave me a comment and let me know that you have donated!  I would be so pleased to know how many are supporting this little guy!

   Fellow bloggers, readers and friends, Please share this wherever you can!  Let’s see what we can do for Owen!

     Phase one of “Project Rescue Owen” initiated!  Let’s pray that God moves mountains here!

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