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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meet Owen!



 This is Owen.

Unfortunately, Owen has grown up in pictures, so I'm able to show you a few.  I wish that wasn't the case.  I wish people could look beyond his picture, and see his soul.  I can.  I don't understand why others can't.


Owen has a genetic abnormality called Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome.  You can learn more about it here, but here's a short explination:


Saethre-Chotzen syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis). This early fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face. Most people with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome have prematurely fused skull bones along the coronal suture, the growth line that goes over the head from ear to ear. Other parts of the skull may be malformed as well. These changes can result in an abnormally shaped head, a high forehead, a low frontal hairline, droopy eyelids (ptosis), widely spaced eyes, and a broad nasal bridge. One side of the face may appear noticeably different from the other (facial asymmetry). Most people with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome also have small, unusually shaped ears.


Owen looks different.  He's always going to look different.  Maybe he can have some surgeries.  I would imagine he'll need them.  But he'll always look different. 

That's no reason to lock him away. 

It's no reason to hide him. 

It's. just. not. 



We don't know too much about Owen.  I wonder if it's because his caregivers don't believe anyone would want him.  But we know that's not true.  Don't we?
Don't we?? 

Owen has a significant grant.  His forever family will have over $3,000 taken care of.  It's not enough, but it's a start.  It's a lot mroe than a lot of kids have.  Every bit helps, and this is a good bit. 

And, as an added bonus, his region seems fairly flexible as far as adoptive parents go.  Here's a summery of their requirements:
3 trips


  • Both parents for 2 weeks
  • Wait 2-3 months for court
  • Both parents travel for 2nd trip
  • 30 day wait period after court, one parent returns
  • No family size restrictions
  • Both parents must be younger than 60 years
  • Total program fees under $25,000, plus travel expenses
  • Fee includes a $500 orphanage donation
  • Married couples and single mothers may apply
  • CANADIANS WELCOME! 

  • Fairly low cost.  No family size restrictions.  Single mothers welcome, and Canadians welcome!

    You can't get any better than that!! 

    So why is he still listed?  Is it because he looks different?  Are we really so barbaric?  So childish?

    Owen is 4.  He will turn 5 this year.  That's the magic number, remember?  The bad magic number.  The one where he'll be sent away.

    Now you know.  What will you do?

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Carter

    I'd like y'all to meet Carter. 




    Carter just turned 5.  Doesn't he have the SWEETEST puppy dog eyes?  Want to see them better?  Here ya go.


    These pictures are about a year old.  He looks so tiny!  He looks like he could just float away...  Maybe he will.

    See, in Carter's country, 5 is the magic number.  It's not good magic, though.  At 5 years old, you become eligible to be sent to the mental institution.  Carter has Down Syndrome.  He's not been adopted yet.  His government needs to make room in his baby house for more adoptable kids. 

    Let me tell you some about Carter from his Reece's Rainbow profile:

    Date of Birth: March 2007
    Gender: Male
    Eyes: Gray
    Hair: Dark
    Nature: Quiet

    Sweet Carter needs a family to thrive! At the last update, he was able to sit, crawl, and pull himself up. He was also learning to self-feed.
    Carter is described as strong and attentive, and has a lot of perseverence.

    Want to know why we requested Carter as our Christmas Angel last year?  Because I have a little boy born in March of 2007, too.  And I looked at Carter, and I look at my baby, and I can't imagine, I can't begin to fathom, my little boy in a mental institution, tied to a bed, for his entire life.  I can't do it.  No child should have to live like that.  Especially not 5 year old boys.  They're simply too full of life. 

    So, that's Carter.  He is the one who got me started in advocating.  He holds my heart.  I can't adopt him.  So, I work on finding his Mama and Daddy for him.

    Unfortunately, Carter lives in a rather expensive region.  Here's some information on where he lives:

    4 trips :(


  • 1st trip, Both parents for 5-7 days
  • Wait 2-3 months for court
  • 2nd trip, both parents for 5 days for court, both go home
  • 3rd and 4th trip are short, only one parent has to travel
  • No more than 5 children at home, experience with Down syndrome preferred
  • Both parents must be younger than 60 years
  • Total program fees under $25,000, plus travel expenses
  • Fee includes a $1000 orphanage donation
  • Married couples and single mothers may apply


  • See? Expensive. Part of what I do is raise money so that WHEN Carter's family finds him (because I have faith they will!), money doesn't stand in their way.  When we started advocating for Carter in November of 2011, he had $5 in his fund.  Now, he has over $1700!!  Praise God, it was one widow's mite at a time!!  But, we're not there yet.  Not nearly.  We have a long way to go. 

    Help us, and help Carter.  Pray about donating to his Reece's Rainbow fund.  I have this dream of all three of my Angels being fully funded.  It's a stretch, I know, but my God is pretty big!

    Share this blog.  Share about Carter.  Post him on Facebook, Twitter, Google +... wherever it is you hang out!  Put his face everywhere.  The more people who see him, the more likely we are to find his Mama and Daddy!

    If you're considering adoption, please consider Carter!  You can contact Reece's Rainbow to find out more information on how to adopt him.

    And finally, PRAY.  Pray for Carter.  Every day, from this point on, he's on borrowed time in his Baby House.  Pray for his family, as they search for him, and at some point, adopt him.  Pray for me as I search for his family!  Let's cover Carter in prayer from every angle!

    You've seen him now.  You know.  Let's not let him become one of the thousands of little boys lost in the system somewhere.  One child at a time.  Let's start with this one.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Teamwork Tuesday... Langley!!

    A couple of months ago, I got this brainstorm that if we (Reece's Rainbow Warriors) all blogged together, about the same child, on the same day, maybe we could increase awareness of that child, get him out there, get him seen, and get him home.  And so, Teamwork Tuesday was born!  I've been off for a month or so due to a major move, but this week, I'm back.  And this week, we've got...



    UPDATE!!  LANGLEY'S FAMILY HAS BEEN FOUND!  YOU CAN MEET THEM AND DONATE TO THEIR FSP HERE!!





     
    Langley!!!

    Langley is a sweet, gorgeous 5 year old boy with Down Syndrome.  Here's a bit about him from his Reece's Rainbow profile page:

    Birthdate: October 2007
    Gender: Male
    Eyes: Blue
    Hair: light brown
    Nature: Quiet
    From one of our adoptive families who met him in December 2011: " I saw him today. After days of scanning faces, I walked into Bella's groupa and SAW HIM!! He is a doll. He is so cute! He looks healthy and is walking. I had a banana for Bella (which they wouldn't let me give it to her) and he took it. He bit right through the peeling. If they would have let me, I would have given it to him. Oh sweet boy...you need a mama!!!"


    Friendly, emotional, affectionate boy. Active, social, friendly. Easy going. Eats well independently. Plays well with toys and likes to help others.






     

    He sounds like such a sweet, sweet boy!  Here is some information on Langley's region.  These are the requirements to adopt him:






  • MULTIPLE UNRELATED CHILDREN CAN BE ADOPTED TOGETHER (with adequate income level)
  • 3 trips
  • 1st trip, Both parents for 7 days
  • Wait 2-3 months for court
  • Both parents travel for 2nd trip for court hearing, 10 days
  • This region does not waive the 30 day wait
  • Only one parent has to make third trip of 2 weeks
  • No more than 6 children at home
  • Applicants should be no more than 45 years older than the child
  • Total program and travel fees under $35k
  • Married couples and single mothers may apply
  • No criminal background
  • No history of mental health concerns (depression, bipolar, or other mental health issues)


  • Did you notice that number?  $35K?  That's approximately what his family will need to adopt him.
    So, here you are.  You've met Langley.  You've got a few choices. 

    You can share this blog post around.  Put it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog (or write your own about Langley), Google +... wherever it is that you and your people hang out.  Get him out there.  Show him to everyone. 

    You can donate to his fund.  There is over $4,000 in there now.  His family will need $31K more to be fully funded.  You might not be able to give a lot, just a few dollars, but a widow's mite is the difference between life or death to these kids.  I've seen miracles happen with $5 at a time.  Absolute miracles.

    If you're looking into adoption, you can inquire at Reece's Rainbow about Langley.  (This is my personal preference... I don't want to ever do another Teamwork Tuesday on him.  I want him home!)

    You could ignore this.  You could look at it, say, "Cute kid.  So sad."  And then close the page and forget you ever saw it.  You could do that.  Many, many people will do that. 

    Those are your choices.  What will YOU do?



    One Child, One Voice

    Welcome to One Child, One Voice. This blog is where I plan on shouting from the rooftops about the orphan crisis worldwide. I have a particular heart for special needs orphans. Let me show you some statistics. I'm going to be brutally honest here. It might not be pleasant, but it's reality.

    There are over 143,000,000 orphans worldwide. 143,000,000 children with no one who loves them enough or is able enough to call them "my child." 143,000,000. (Some estimates have gone as high as 210,000,000.) Yeah. That's a lot.

    Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an orphan due to AIDS.

    Every 2.2 seconds, another orphan ages out of their system, with no where to go, and no one to turn to. When a child ages out of the system, what do you think they do? They become street kids, vulnerable to crimes of every sort, prostitution, trafficing, drugs, alcoholism, disease, and, of course, suicide. They become sex slaves, they become criminals, or they die. Or any combination of the above.

    That's reality. For a healthy orphan. For special needs orphans, they end up in places like this.

      



    They go to those places at about 5 years old.   They are adult mental institutions. They stay there until they die. For many, it doesn't take too long.

    But... there is hope. There are wonderful organizations working to help orphans worldwide. I have a heart for special needs. That's my focus. So here are my resources:

    Life 2 Orphans is a wonderful organization that provides sponsorships to orphans in Ukraine. They have been able to get one on one caregivers, update orphanages (some in unbelievably bad condition), and give hope to the hopeless. They do amazing work.

    Project Hopeful works to educate people about adopting HIV+ orphans.

    Reece's Rainbow profiles special needs orphans around the world.  They raise grant money to help these kids' forever families with the cost of adoption (which can be upwards of $55K in some places). 

    I am the Guardian Angel to two beautiful children on Reece's Rainbow (one of whom is also profiled on Project Hopeful), and prayer warrior to three.  These kids need to come home.  They need grant money TO come home.  They need their families to see them, and to realize that adoption isn't nearly as scary as they think. 

    They need to come home.

    I hope this blog helps get them home.  That's my prayer.

    I'll be showing you other kids, as well.  Worthy kids, kids who, many times, have been passed over so much, they're close to giving up hope.  Kids who hang onto that sliver of hope that there might be life outside the orphanage.  Outside the insitutions.  That someone loves them enough to call them "my son."  "My daughter."  "Mine." 

    Stick with me.  There will be tears, and there will be laughter, and there will be heartache, and there will be celebration.  It will be a bumpy ride, but you'll be blessed.

    I'm only one voice.  But I can help save one child.