Monday, January 21, 2013

Matching grant met!!

Can you believe it! As of Sunday our matching grant was met! Over the next week or so you will see the matching $1,400 come trickling in.( Some of it is in checks that have to travel to reece's rainbow in Maryland) In fact some of it is being put in already! We are so thankful to the "Anonymous Angels" an amazing group of women who all pledge money towards offering families these matching grant opportunities  We have been so blessed by so many people along this journey is it amazing and overwhelming. I hope each and every person who has donated, shared, or prayed knows how very much we appreciate them.

I am happy to announce that we estimate we are about 2,500 away from being funded for Zadie's adoption! We are 12,000 from funded for Jeanette. We have some plans to hopefully grow Jeanette's funds very soon. For one we will be putting our whole tax return toward her adoption expenses. And i am trying to sell my wedding ring to cover another large chunk of it. I know a lot of people who have heard this have thought it is sad or awful to  "have to" sell my ring. Let me assure you Josh and I are both okay with this. Our children are a much bigger and better symbol of our love and commitment to each other and God. We agreed that it is worth selling the things that bring us material wealth  to gain those that bring us spiritual wealth. A ring in exchange for a life is a deal we don't hesitate to make. So if you know anyone thinking about getting engaged send them my way ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Jeanette"

Meet "Jeanette". This little knockout is going to be my daughter! 


"Jeanette" is almost 10 years old. She has spent most of her life in an orphanage. I was blessed enough to be able to get in contact with the woman who sponsors her. This mean that this woman sends her necessities  that her orphanage cannot always afford. Things like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste. And she gets to send her a present for Christmas. She also donates a set amount of money each year that goes toward buying fruit for the kids (a rare treat), books, and to buy birthday cakes for the kids. 
Yes you read that right my daughter lives in a place where there sometimes isn't toilet paper for her to use, soap to wash with, and my daughter eats a bland diet that does not give her the proper nutrition she needs to thrive. Break my mommy heart. This generous woman helps to fill in some of those needs. She also exchanges letters with "Jeanette" and gets photos sent to her. She has been so amazing and shared letters written by my little one with me and lots of photos. Such treasures to Josh and I!  I have to say from the pictures I've seen it looks like the caretakers in her orphanage really do care about the kids and they look to be very kind. 
Second from left
So i will share with you a little bit about her. She loves to dance, sing, draw and do puzzles. Her favorite color is pink. Sounds like your typical little girl right? until the next part. She says she can barely remember having parents. she says she has lived in orphanages (she has lived in at least 2) for many many years. 
It sounds as though as much as she wants to be adopted and longs for a family , that she has given up hope of that happening at her age. She has probably spent years watching families come and choose other children. Had to say good bye to friends, and wondered if it would ever be her turn. I have to share some ugly stats with you to help you understand her future without adoption. In her country children age out of the orphanage at 16 they leave with the clothes on their back and maybe a small amount of money. No job skills, not enough education, and no where to go . For the girls the stats show that 70% will be sold into human trafficking where they will become sex slaves, prostitution. 15% will commit suicide within 2 years of aging out. These kids are prime targets for traffickers because they have no family, there is no one to miss them. Outside of the orphanage gates the traffickers wait. They promise jobs as waitresses or working at hotels. They promise honest work and a new life. They are tricked into becoming slaves.
Back to her letters. While "Jeanette"  does not know about traffickers yet she understands she doesn't have  much chance of a career in the future or pursuing higher education. Do you know what this beautiful little girl full of potential dreams of becoming? She dreams of working in a laundromat. She says clean clothes bring people happiness and she wants to make people happy. Do you know why she feels clean clothes bring so much happiness? Because to her they do . Often times children in the orphanages have to wear the same clothes for days maybe even a week at a time. There aren't enough clothes and there aren't enough caregivers to be washing clothes every time a child wears them. Did you read that? Toilet paper and clean clothes are a luxury to her. Do you see the the picture below, with her hair short. Are you wondering why they would cut off her beautiful hair? Well here is the most likely answer, lice. Now if your little girl came home with lice you would run out to the store to buy treatment and painstakingly spend as long as you had to using the lice comb to remove them. Right now "Jeanette" has no mommy to do that for her. There aren't enough caretakers or time to deal with lice combs and long hair. And they cannot let it spread to all the children. With no money for lice treatments there is little choice but to shave her head.




It's ok though. Hair can be regrown. Her little body can be made healthy and strong with proper nutrition and the right amount of food. And i believe her heart can be made new, the hurts erased by love, both ours and God's. And new beautiful words written in her heart. We can give her the freedom to reach for the stars. to choose a bigger dream if she wants to. Or if she still wants to work at a laundromat that's fine , her family will be here to support her!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Crazy Beautiful

For me and Josh there seems to be a pattern to the way God works in our lives. He springs things quickly and unexpectedly on us. For example when God really started to pursue me it was fast and hard. He asked me to leave my life behind in California and to just trust him.... even though i didn't know him AT ALL (CRAZY). For some  reason I did. And the end result, BEAUTIFUL. A relationship with him, my sins forgiven , a chance to live a less selfish life. Then when josh and I started dating God made it abundantly clear that we were to marry.... after dating for 4 months (again CRAZY).  We trusted him and said "I Do"  the end result BEAUTIFUL. My husband is my best friend. He challenges me, comforts me, supports, me, and sometimes drives me insane. He is simply the love of my life. After being married for 6 months God once again made it known he had plans for us. This time he was telling us it was time to have a baby (CRAZY). We listened and soon became pregnant with Asher. And 2 1/2 years after Asher Levi arrived as well. The end result BEAUTIFUL. Becoming parents changed us. Forced us to become even less selfish. to have more grace, to love even harder, and gave us such a better understanding of God's love for us. Being parents to our boys is the best job ever. It is difficult, fun. challenging  exhausting, hilarious, and just plain amazing.

 Every one of these decisions was met with opposition. With someone if not multiple people telling us that what we were doing was a bad idea, was bad timing  was happening too fast, was too risky, we were too young, the list could go on forever. But they were all wrong and i think they were not fully considering the biggest factor in these decisions, God's will. Josh and i always want to follow God and choose his path for us and to others those decisions may seem "CRAZY" or risky. But what reason has he given us to not trust him? Because for us it has always led to BEAUTIFUL things, to blessing beyond measure, and of course hard work. God doesn't call us to be comfortable and to live lives that are easy. He calls us to trust him, to pick up our cross and follow him, to be his hands and feet to a hurting world.

So when God came knocking once again out of the blue this time with the CRAZIEST plan yet: To adopt a baby girl from Eastern Europe with Down Syndrome we once again said yes. Yes it is scary putting your heart on the line with no guarantees, yes it is uncomfortable to have to travel so far for so long, and yes it it hard work jumping through hoops to get everything in order, yes it is insanely expensive. But I already know what the end result will be. BEAUTIFUL! I know we will be blessed beyond measure, and that we will come out of this with our hearts transformed once again to be a little more like Christ's And of course it will involve hard work, discomfort, growing pains. Just like it always does when we follow him. There have been and still are those who are skeptical of our decision, scared of our decision, and uncomfortable with our decision. But that too we have come to expect as a road marker on God's path.

And true to his MO God once again came knocking on our hearts. This time he he brought to us another one of his precious daughters and begged us to trust him. I'm not going to lie we were scared, a lot more so than we were to say yes to baby girl . You see this beautiful little girl is almost 10 years old. "an older child" just that phrase seems to strike fear in others. Once again the words flash across our minds and hearts:  risky, scary, hard. But then God whispered to me . He said YOU were an older child when I adopted you. You were 20! YOU were risky, scary, and hard work to redeem. And do you know what it cost to adopt you? Jesus on the cross. It cost Jesus' life.

 So once again Josh and I prayed hard and long and came to the same realization as always. We trust God's path... period. And so we will be bringing home another daughter. For now we call her by her Reece's Rainbow name "Jeanette". She is beautiful. My heart feels ready to burst just looking at pictures of her sweet shy smile. We know far more about her than we do our baby girl but it will be a blog post all of its own there is so much to share. Please, be happy and be excited. We are gaining another daughter. Another one of God's precious and beloved children will be rescued from loneliness, neglect, and tragic prospects for a future. Rejoice! Because i know God is!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Matching grant!!

We have been offered a matching grant of $1,400 dollars!! This means that if raise $1,400 in our Reece's Rainbow account (so it would need to read $7,147) by next Tuesday the anonymous donors will match that with another 1,400 dollars! This is huge!! we will be brainstorming some raffle and quick auction stuff to try to raise the money needed for the matching grant. Once i sort it out i will post it. please if you feel led make a donation every dollar counts!!  Our donate button should appear the the right of this post  >

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter break is OVER!!!

      Winter break is OVER in Felicity's country!!! Do you know what this means? It means our dossier that has been waiting and ready with our adoption team could finally be turned in today!! And since her country is ten hours ahead of us that means this has already happened!!!

      So in about 4 weeks we can expect to get an email with our invitation to travel and travel dates! We will most likely get to travel in around 6 weeks!!. in case you couldn't tell by all my exclamation points i am very very excited!!!!! I cannot wait to hold my sweet baby girl and tell her how much i love her already and how perfect she is. I can't wait to tell her that her mommy is here to bring her home! 

      We still have around 5,000 left to raise to pay for her adoption . But we have been selected for a matching grant that will start soon. We don't know the amount yet but will keep everyone posted. A matching grant means that a group or a donor says that if we can raise say 500 dollars by x date then they will match that 500 dollars making our account go up by 1,000. With a matching grant every dollar helps because if we don't meet the amount we loose out on the money. As soon as i know details on the matching grant i will post it here!