Frank's Freedom

Meet Frank. He’s 13 years old, and is curious, busy, fun happy and bright. He has a mental delay, but that doesn’t stop him from being friendly, engaging and kind. He’s also an orphan in Eastern Europe. This means he is in an institution. If he is not adopted by age 16, he will be thrown out on the street with nothing but the clothes on his back and his “disabled orphan” status. Let me tell you more about Frank.

He’s little, about the size of a 7 year old. And he’s smart. He is in a group with teenage boys ages 16-24. He does puzzles and he does his chores diligently. He is very kind to the younger children. Frank is friendly and engaging. He likes being with the boys, but is happy being alone too. He plays appropriately with toys and is “all boy”. He could very easily function in a family. Frank is curious, smart, fun and sweet. He likes to play in the dirt and jump on the trampoline. Frank is independent, a good eater, is happy and content. Frank is physically healthy. He walks, runs, feeds himself, speaks, does puzzles and interacts with others well. He's a sweet boy who seems rather unaffected by his surroundings. He has no future where he's at, and without help, he's never getting out. Institutions are a one way ticket to nowhere. And this little boy deserves a future. This little boy will be a blessing to any family.

The Baker family has committed to adopt Frank and another boy, Emmitt. But international adoption is pretty expensive. The adoption would cost about $30,000. Reece’s Rainbow is an organization that helps with this cost. They set up grants for children in 25 countries around the world, and any money that is donated to these funds is given to the families to help with adoption fees. With Reece's Rainbow's help, the Baker family only needs about $10,000 to bring home both boys!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sam and Duncan

This is a re-post from Renee's Post today! My notes are at the end.


Sam and Duncan

One day, in a country far away in Eastern Europe, a couple showed up to meet the daughter that was referred to them by the EE government. They went to their first meeting at the orphanage dreading what they might find, scared by the stories they had heard from other families who had adopted from EE.

But when they arrived, they were happily surprised to find a great orphanage, a place very similar to the schools for the deaf and blind in the United States, except this boarding school and orphanage was for kids with physical disabilities like cerebral palsy, arthrogryposis, dwarfism, spina bifida and missing limbs. They found out that the kids here are happy, fun-loving, smart and in most ways live a normal life- except many of them don't have families.

The first week the couple was at the orphanage, many visitors came in. One of them was a young woman who taught several classes at the school including English. She politely asked the couple if they'd be willing to come speak to her English class to help encourage them to study and work hard to learn the language. The couple agreed.

One day, the couple entered the classroom. They had prepared a slideshow of pictures of people with disabilities in the US living a normal life. They shared those pictures- of people in wheelchairs, and using walkers, getting married, going to prom, driving cars, riding buses, being attorneys, going to amusement parks, skateboarding and performing on stage. The kids were amazed- the ones in wheelchairs especially. They asked lots of questions to the couple and discussed what they saw amongst themselves. The girls oooed and ahhhed over the romantic pictures, and the boys cheered when they saw the wheelchair basketball pictures. There was good conversation and shared snacks.

But one boy's angst stood out in stark contrast. Where some of the children were entertained and even encouraged, this young man was very persistent in his questioning. He was direct, and determined as he queried the couple about their knowledge of the opportunities available in America for people with disabilities. The couple figured he must have been in a wheelchair, although they couldn't see past the desk top, so they shared what they knew. The boy in the red shirt was very curious about the couple's soon-to-be daughter, of how she would be treated and what she would get to do. He asked to see pictures of the couple's home and wanted to understand if they lived in an apartment.

The couple was open and honest with him- because there was something about him, this charm, this honesty, this realness about him that drew them to him. He was funny but serious. It was obvious from talking with him that he was intelligent, and that the wheels were turning in his head as they chatted.

The couple enjoyed their conversation with the kids, and left the classroom to go visit their daughter. They couldn't get the boy in the red shirt off their minds though, and asked their facilitator about him. She didn't know him and she reiterated that the director had already pointed out the kids that were available and he wasn't in them.

But the couple still couldn't get the boy off their minds. They prayed, and he still kept coming up. So they asked again, this time to see what could be found out. They prayed for him, and bought him a soccer ball, since he had talked of his futbol passion. Actually, he asked the couple lots of questions about sports, specifically soccer, and was a bit disappointed that the couple wasn't so into sports as he was.

One day, they passed the boy in the hallway- walking. He had a very athletic build and appeared very much like any other normal teenage boy. His only apparent disability was in the shape and presence of his fingers.

Then, on the last day, the facilitator came back and said she had found out more info about the boy. The couple went into the director's office and she shared more- that this boy was very special to her, and that she had arranged for him to go a soccer camp in Poland, and that he was very good at soccer. The psychologist visited as well, and the staff shared that the boy had been very sad several months ago because he did not have a family. He wanted adults to care about him- ones that personally would help him and talk to him and encourage and support him, parents to share his dreams with and his hurts. He wanted to be understood. He felt like a misfit here, because he walked while others rode. Others struggled to care for themselves, and he had no such struggles. He wasn't disabled in the same way as the others, and he felt different. He knew the outside world in EE would make no place for him because his fingers were different, and he just felt so alone.

The staff told him to be happy, that he was in a good place for now and that he had many friends.

But he felt alone and different.

He knew his 16th birthday was coming up soon, and he stressed about what would become of him. Jobs were scarce for able-bodied citizens, and those with disabilities would lack even the most basic of opportunities. At 16, he would be sent out, unable to rely on the support of family, as they had rejected him already.


Alone, but with a burning desire to be a part of a family.

On that last day, the family got to see him again.

We are that family. The boy is Sam. On that last day we were there at the orphanage 39, we met with Sam. I stood upstairs, waiting for his computer class to end so I could see him. He came out and smiled and gave me a huge hug. I gave him the soccer ball, and he thanked me very much.

And our facilitator talked to him, with the psychologist. He talked of wanting to go to America to come visit us, to see the world, to experience life. He has no worries about leaving EE- he recognizes the lack of opportunity he will have. He wants to go to college. He wants to play futbol. He shared of his feelings of isolation, of not being where he feels he should be. He shares that he has developed good coping skills- that he doesn't do bad activities, but when he feels stressed, he goes and practices futbol/soccer to help him deal with his stress. He relies on his faith. He would love to be a part of a family that would support him in his faith, help him grow, and help him grow in his soccer skills. He was humble in his wishes- he just wants to be loved and to have a chance to be something. He is willing to work hard, but just needs a chance.

And as we talked, other kids came up. One is waiting for her adoptive family to get approval to come over and get her- she was hosted and these are friends of her host family that have decided to adopt her. Another girl is her friend. Another boy just came and was standing by, after the psychologist spoke to him for a minute. That boy is Duncan.

Duncan is a funny, charming young man. Like Sam, he is months away from turning 16 and being too old to find a family. Unlike Sam, who is confident in his abilities if he could just catch a break and be somewhere that could see past his fingers, Duncan has felt the rejection of his country and family more. When I went to take pictures, Duncan slid down, trying to hide and not be in the picture. Duncan worried that if a family saw him, they wouldn't want him, because he has believed the lies of his country that a physical disability like CP makes you unattractive. Duncan wants a family- Duncan needs a family- Duncan is a loving, caring kid, he just needs someone to want him.

There has been a lot of interest in Sam, but not so much in Duncan. And neither boy has a committed family yet despite the inquiries. So today, despite having 6 suitcases full of clothes to be washed and a daughter to play with and dogs to pick up from the kennel, I want to tell you about Sam and Duncan, and share what I have about them.

Sam needs a family that enjoys sports, preferably one that is athletic themselves. If you follow European futbol, even better! He wants a family strong in their faith. Sam is intelligent. He likes to have conversations. He knows some English and will likely learn more very quickly. He understands and has been taught about English grammar and the alphabet, and can read and write English and understand it better than he can speak it. From my perspective, if I were making the placement, I would be looking for a family that takes pride in their appearance, and dresses well, and that is successful in their achievements, willing to work around obstacles in order to achieve their goals. Sam has a lot of inner motivation to succeed. As with any older child adoption, Sam will likely need ESL classes and will need to transition to the different curriculum. I don't see any sensory issues with Sam. He is eager for a family. Because he is older, he will need time to bond with them and get to know them, but you can see the desire to be loved in his eyes. He was very responsive to jokes and hugs. He is a sensitive child, eager to please those that care about him, but at the same time, has the desire for some independence as is normal for a young teen. I would hope that his future family has good experience with teenagers, either as parents who have maintained a good relationship with their kids through the teen years or as people who have worked with teens as teachers or youth leaders in their church. His family would be great if they could appreciate and support a teen's desire to succeed while giving guidance and love and acceptance.

Duncan is also used to being pretty independent and self-sufficient, as that is part of the upbringing here at 39. Duncan would do great in a family that has friends or family members or other children who have Cerebral Palsy or physical disabilities but have thrived. He needs to see that acceptance and witness firsthand that a person's worth is in no way determined by the way you look when you walk. Duncan is a laidback, easygoing kid. Unlike Sam, who exudes energy and drive, Duncan is the kind of kid that will hang out with you, and enjoy just "being". He's also a smart kid, and quite social. Duncan would easily blend in a large family, and gets along well with younger and older kids as well as adults. I could easily see Duncan homeschooled as well, although he'd do fine in a school system as well provided there were kids there who also have physical disabilities. Duncan is comfortable and well liked at the orphanage, but the staff really worries for him since he is so close to 16 (early this summer) and he has no future in EE. Because he could not easily navigate many stairs, he could not live in an apartment in EE. If you can't do well in an apartment, and you can't get a job (he would not be able to), then the other option is transfer to an adult mental institution. It is unfathomable that a kid like Duncan, normal in intelligence, social and friendly, eager and willing to work, would be sent to a mental institution. He is an optimistic kid, but just doesn't see his own worth physically thanks to the country that has encouraged that mentality.

However, I want to point out- this isn't about finding the "perfect" family. This is about finding a family. I've never been much like my family- they like activities I can't stand, I like to read and play musical instruments and none of them feel the same way. We're as different as daylight and dark. But they are MY family. The love comes from the acceptance, not from being identical. Several have asked me what the personalities of Sam and Duncan are like, and I've described them and what I can see happening. God knows best- if God is putting these boys on your heart, then go for it. Maybe you want to adopt them both- maybe the mom in your family is outgoing and the dad is more introspective. Maybe your family is a big blended one or a small one with no kids at home. Regardless, if you are able and willing to support these boys, to encourage and love them, to teach them and stand by them, then you are able to be their family.

As you look through the pictures, please remember- these aren't vacation pictures. They aren't pictures taken at the local high school. They aren't just reminders of fun memories with friends of our family.

These pictures were taken, intiated by the kids, because they believe we can find their families.

These pictures represent the hopes and dreams of two boys who realize their time of safety in Orphanage 39 is rapidly coming to a close, and the future for them after than is grim.

These pictures may be your first glimpse of your future son, and I pray if you look at these and see your son, that you will contact RR at or or me at and ask for more info. There is no time to waste.


I have to be honest, looking at these pictures brings me so much joy- I loved meeting and getting to know Sam and Duncan and the other kids.

But they also bring me sadness. Sam has 63 days to find a family. 63 days.

Duncan has about 100 days.

I remember when we found out my dad had stage IV colon cancer. He was diagnosed and they gave him 2-3 weeks to live. We were stunned- shocked- horrified. He had been healthy and suddenly, that was it.

It is hard to meet someone you know is so healthy and thriving, like Sam and Duncan, and know that they, like my dad, are forecast only a few weeks.

My dad made it 2.5 years after that fateful diagnosis, before the cancer won.

There's no extra window of time after Sam and Duncan turn 16. At 16, if they didn't have a family committed, it's over.

It's like the last Christmas I saw my dad, the one where the cancer had taken its toll, his body ravaged and weak, when I knew I probably wouldn't see him again this side of heaven.

I keep thinking, will I see Sam and Duncan again, this side of heaven? If they get adopted by an American family, hubby and I have already decided if the family is willing, we plan to see them again. We'll travel wherever they are, just to say hello and hug them.

If they don't get a family in the next few weeks, so there is time to do the paperwork, it's over. They'll be transferred, and I won't see them again. Not this side of heaven.

Will they even go to heaven? Will they have a chance to hear the gospel? I don't know if they are Christians now, if they understand what Jesus did for them. If they aren't adopted, and are sent to a mental institution or turned out on the street, will they meet someone who will share the gospel with them?

I may never seen Sam and Duncan again, on either side of heaven.


Sam has 63 days.

Duncan has approximately 100 days.

The family needs to be committed and get USCIS approval before their 16th birthdays.

There are many on RR who have committed to helping fundraise.

They just need someone for sure to commit to them.


Many of you have commented and emailed me thanking me for blogging this adventure. I'll admit it's been hard at times. I'm by nature a very private person. This has taken me way out of my comfort zone.

But seeing Alexis get a committed family made it worth it for me.

Seeing the others, especially Sam and Duncan and Bernadette, get families asap will be even better.


This was taken after the English class. That's Sam in the red shirt. The other kids are his friends but not available. Many in this class have families who stay involved in their life. The girl with the black hair to Sam's right is my good friend- she has CP, but knows English very well. At this time, she is not available.

In this picture, Duncan halfway smiled. He tried to look his best, hoping a family would think he looked good enough to be their son. Can you imagine how "on pins and needles" he must feel? Knowing we took his picture, fearing he's too ugly to get a family, and seeing every day go by without the psychologist telling him someone is coming for him? It's worse than being matched on a blind date. Can you imagine how badly he will feel if no one chooses him? I think back to my childhood, of being picked last for kickball (I was a clumsy, 4 eyed little girl) and feeling like a loser. I cannot imagine the way Duncan feels- hoping for a family, but wondering every day if I was right, that I was too ugly, too deformed, to be chosen.
He's laughing his tailfeathers off here- we told him he was a goodlooking young man who any family would be proud to have as their son, and I cheesed it up, taking pictures like the papparazzi.
Sam- with the soccer ball we gave him. See the look on his face? This was taken not long after I had the facilitator tell him that I was appointing him the soccer coach of 39. See Duncan hiding behind him?

Sam, reading the ball's writing (in English). You can see his fingers here. It's hard to understand why he was sent to a school for kids with disabilities. In the US, his fingers wouldn't be an issue at all.
Two of the finest young 15 year old guys I've ever had the privilege to meet. Do yourself a favor- hold up your most recent family photo next to the computer screen. Are either one of these boys missing from it?
Yesterday, we ate at Cracker Barrel on our way home from the city we flew into. We were there with the after church crowd, all dressed up in their finery. Hubby brought up how weird it was to be back in the US, where your table at the PECTOBAN (Cyrillic for restaurant) was yours and yours alone. In EE, you can be sitting at a McD's table and folks will come sit right with you! We looked around the Cracker Barrel and saw all the church people, dressed in their fancy clothes, all dudded up with their hair done, wearing designer fashions and such.
And I thought, you know, if 3 churches had 50 families commit to not eating out for one month after church on Sundays (at an average of $40 per Sunday per family), in that one month, $24,000 could be raised. Enough to ransom one child from this particular EE country.
Where are our priorities, American church? Julia over at posted about it the other day, while we were traveling.
When I was a teenager, I got a bank account. Oh I was so proud of myself, depositing my earnings from waiting tables at Shoney's and babysitting every week! What was less fun was having to give an account of my spending to my mom on the weekend. I had a bit of trouble with the balancing, shall we say. I tended to just spend and not think about what was in the account or what I would need it for later. I hated that "reckoning moment".
I wonder what it's going to be like in heaven, at the big reckoning moment. Like the parable of the talents, are we going to be giving an account of the money God blessed us with and how we spent it? How am I going to explain that I thought I needed 9 pairs of black heels and 22 sweaters and all the things I've bought over the years?
Am I a good steward? Am I using the talents God has blessed us with to further the work for His kingdom?
Can I really enjoy spending money frivolously knowing Sam has 63 days? If his grant was full, it would be easy for a family to go get him in time.
Duncan has about 100 days, with the same scenario.
Bernadette has about 200 days, with the same scenario.
Six weeks in EE.
I'll never see life the same again.
Life versus death, necessity versus luxury, hope versus depression.
Sam, Duncan and Bernadette, their futures lie in our hands.

Wow. Please re-post. Sam and Duncan need families! Help Duncan know that he is handsome! As Renee said, Duncan was HIDING from the camera, because he thought he was too ugly to get adopted. If you can't adopt, re-post. Raise money. Raise awareness.
The link to Sam's page. He has $339 in his account. Let's make it $25,000 and bring him home!
The link to Duncan's page. He has $148 in his account. Let's make it $25,000 and bring him home!Link

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm actually quite amazed. First Sullivan/ Sam B. Then Dmitriy/ Seth. Now Alexis. MAke Tyler next!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

:) awesome blog post! Check her out!

I found this on a blog I follow!

This post is not going to be the prettiest, nor the most eloquent. I'll be lucky if I manage to run spell check!

You heard me mention earlier this week about the kids in the middle school grades in the English class, right? And how they were amazing and hilarious and wonderful?

Well, I just can't get this one boy- I'm going to call him "Sam"- out of my head. I keep getting this feeling that this child is supposed to be in someone's family. I just can't shake it. It's on my mind all the time.

So I talked to the facilitator, and this morning, we met with the Director. She LOVES Sam- and was more than happy to fill us in all about him. She figured he was too old for anyone to want, but he IS available for adoption- it just has to happen fast. Like NOW.

We need a family, one either finishing their homestudy, or who can update a prior homestudy, and get it into USCIS before May 1st for approval for a boy up to age 16 at time of referral. He will be 16 in May.

Ya'll, this boy faces transfer here- because there is nothing for him here- and you will literally fall out of your seat when you hear why.

His fingers have banding on them. He has little nubs for some fingers, and others are partly formed and then twisted together.

So below you're going to see my report on him and I'm going to hover precariously out the window to get satellite internet to upload one of the pics I have. (If someone is interested email me and I'll try to send you another one!) I WANT THIS BOY IN A FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I have about 24 hours to get some kind of confirmation from someone that they are interested and want to pursue him, so I can officially go ask him if he really does want to go to America with a family. We're leaving here tomorrow a week earlier than we planned, and I'll see him one last time then.

He has a friend adopted into Washington state- he knows about adoption. He is very supportive of adoption. He was so happy for Emma and pleased that she would have a chance. He has a name that is used in both the US and EE. He is friendly, very intelligent, doing very well in school, is loved by his classmates, and respected. The director managed to get him sent to a futbol (ie soccer) camp in Poland a couple of years ago- he is VERY good at soccer, and loves it. He quizzed us quite well on our knowledge of it hahaha! His English is good enough that we had several conversations, and I think within getting him home to the US, he'll be fluent in no time.

He is an adorable teen- would make a perfect big brother or little brother or only child. He is very easygoing, very athletic and the teacher says he is very easy to work with in class.

Fingers, people. The kid, who when you see him walking down the hall would NEVER appear to belong at a special needs orphanage for kids with physical disabilities, could be sent to an institution or kicked into the streets by the government, for having a few finger issues.

Sam needs a home NOW. Please repost this link- please share it, please shout it from the rooftops. Call your neighbors, your church friends, your aunt and uncle. If anyone has a spare bed and a seat at the table, and is willing to adopt a great son- one that is thriving and just needs a chance- I've got him, right here.

I don't have pics of his whole head-to-toe self, but he is about 5'8" to 5"9". He is built like an athlete. He looks like a soccer player. He grins so quickly and laughs very easily, is respectful, very polite and was so curious about America he could barely contain it.

THIS boy, Samuel, is the one that had all the questions about what people with disabilites can do in America- this is the curious one that was in the class. He wants to go to college, he would love to play college soccer, and honestly, he could do it. He's good.

Here, in EE- no future.

There, in the USA, the world is his oyster.

Please, this boy needs an immediate commitment- delve in your hearts- see if you have room for him in your home. It's an easy region, 1 day passports are available, the director rocks! and you'll love your trip.

The director gave me special permission today to see if I could get him a family. Please- help me!!!!! If someone commits asap, we have permission to list him with RR- so the family could use an FSP there to help fundraise- and I will raise the roof hollering for you to get him some help. I'll even do some real life fundraisers- I'm open to suggestions. And my prior offer goes for him as well- the minute he has a family committed with RR, hubby and I will be putting money into his fund!!!!

Sam is pictured below.

Isn't he adorable? Seriously- he's just a sweetheart. Please- help me get the word out- if anyone has questions, email me!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Sorry, I've been busy.
So, you're probably wondering "Well, I know who that handsome boy and dark haired girl are in the above picture, but who is the blond?"
Well, let me introduce you to Alexis! From her Reece's Rainbow Page:
"Girl, Born March 2000

What a sweet girl! Alexis is already 11 years old and confined to a wheelchair. She was born with arthrogryposis, and all of her limbs are affected. She is described as friendly and social, and she really wants a family of her own. She is blessed to be in an institution where she is loved and has access to outside aid organization help. MORE PHOTOS AVAILABLE, MARRIED COUPLES ONLY.

From her medical records: F 70; Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Q 74.3; tetraparesis; Mild mental delay F 70

More photos and videos available.

From an adoptive family who visited with her in January 2012: "We have GOT to help Alexis get a family- she was there (I talked to her) she's so sweet and funny and played so nicely with the other kids, even the younger ones. But she watched us with …sad eyes- she was so longing for a family of her own, you could see it all over her face.

This would make a great place to adopt from- it is an amazing orphanage IMO. The kids were playing, toys were out and being used (we sat with about 12 Barbies on a couch lol) and the kids are so happy. Hubby and I both said- out of all the kids we met,/saw, we saw no noticeable attachment issues, even though they're all older kids. We saw several that are listed. If you want me to write a little blurb update, I will. We were really impressed with the level of care the staff had too. They were very nice and very glad to see our daughter getting a family.

I watched her today at lunch (we were invited in to feed our daughter). She is of short stature- probably no taller than the average 8 yr old, and I'm not sure if this is due to the arthrogryposis or not, because she shares some features that I have seen in dwarfism as well (proportion, etc). But, her hands and feet are affected, however, she fed herself and even drank from her cup unassisted. She is very talented with adapting her physical structure to the task at hand and seems quite able to do so easily. She even rolls her own wheelchair down the hall some, but loves playing with the nanny to push her and let her go fast. She's very easygoing and quick to laugh and I really think she'd thrive having a family of her own."

INTERESTED FAMILIES MUST BE HOME STUDY APPROVED prior to a commitment for Alexis. Married couples only, larger families and older parents ok, travel required.
$100.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!"
There is so much from Renee about Alexis...:
"But I would take any of the older kids listed by RR for Orphanage #39 into my home without reservation. Tyler. Alexis. Erin. Patti. Marcus. Pryce. Bernadette. Mabel. Carter. Why? Because I see them. I see the way they act, the way they respond even under pressure, their kindness, their respectfulness. Their actions, demonstrated when there are no adult staff members around to influence them, reflect the code of ethics of this orphanage.
"I stumbled into the main room- and couldn’t cry, not with 6 little girls grinning massive smiles at me. Alexis grinned and bumped towards me in her wheelchair a bit, Lindsey hollered out a huge hello, Tara grinned and waved and the others all turned to speak, a muddled chorus of Russian telling me all about their days and adventures.
"Patti doesn’t want candy.
Alexis doesn’t want jewelry.
Erin doesn’t want a rose.
Tyler doesn’t want a valentine card.
Carter doesn’t want a stuffed bear.
Marcus doesn’t want someone wishing him a happy day.
Pryce doesn’t care if you wear red.
Bernadette doesn’t care if you wear pink.
Mabel doesn’t care if you wear red and pink together.
"But Patti doesn’t have a Mama and Daddy. Neither does Alexis, or Tyler, or Bernadette, or Marcus, or Carter, or Erin, or Pryce, or Mabel. Day after day goes by, the minutes ticking away unstoppable, and no one has claimed them.
"I can see Alexis, laughing in a Christmas picture, with her siblings around a tree, the shimmering Christmas lights reflected in her eyes filled with joy.
I can see Tyler, confidently acting in the school play, glancing out into the audience to see the proud faces of his family, laughing as he earns a standing ovation.
"And Alexis- oh my goodness. Girlie is so much fun- she was singing something that reminded me of a Veggie Tales song (it might have been just in Russian idk) at the top of her lungs rolling down the hallway in a wheelchair version of bumper cars. I got to laughing and almost choked. And she wiggled her eyebrows at me when she saw me laughing. She propels herself everywhere, even though her hands are turned backwards. Her right leg swings to and fro, so she apparently has some movement in her right knee, but her left knee is always positioned the same in a bent position. Her elbows don't exactly move much, but she's so quick at rolling those wheels of her chair that you can't see exactly what's moving- her whole arms or just the lower half. And when the teacher came to get her for her next class, she was hanging out with some friends and she begged "please please" in Russian, laughingly as she was rolled away. Zero bad attitude even though she clearly wanted to stay put. It's interesting, I pray that God lets me see as much as I can of these kids, so I can carry the word back home to you guys, and today, we had plenty of time to observe. I hadn't heard Alexis do much talking in great quantity before today, but I was thrilled to see that she has excellent enunciation and clearly communicates well. She is very social as well, with her peers and those slightly older. I have seen her with the younger ones many times, but this was the first time I saw her with the much older ones too.
"Alexis wanted to play so badly- but her hands prevented her from doing much. She can write with her mouth, but the angle that her hands are turned in keep her from having much use of them. She can curl her fingers, I noticed that today. I can't wait to see her get adopted and see the CHOP doctor that treats the other kids with arthrogryposis! She is going to absolutely thrive.
Our facilitator shared a little story about Alexis today. Yesterday, the "13th", we saw Alexis and another girl in the hallway, jokingly playing tug-o-war with a piece of paper. Our facilitator went and talked to her, and the other girl told our facilitator that anytime Alexis wants to get someone's attention, she "shines"- loud, boisterous, joking, teasing, playing. The facilitator asked Alexis, and she laughed and said "yes yes, it's me, it's me". Turns out she was trying to get OUR attention. Why? Because she wanted us to notice her.
She wanted, needed, to feel appreciated and loved."
I think I would post her entire blog if I could. Read her blog: But By Grace
If you go to Alexis' Page, you will see she has a button: "I have A Guardian Angel". Tyler does too. You want to know who their Guardian Angels are?
But I can't do it alone! Help me with raising money for them, and finding their families!
Tyler is 12 and a half. Alexis is about to turn 12. They can be adopted with each other, or separate. The page above is the requirements to adopt Tyler and/ or Alexis, nicely written by Renee.
Let me know if you have questions!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Hey, its spud, haven't heard from me in a while, I've been busy. I thot I should update you on Noel. The amount in her fund gone up! She now has $10 in her fund! Thank you anonymous donor! Prayer and monotary donations are welcomed for her! Well that's pretty much it for this cutey pie! Till next time, chow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Open the Eyes of my Heart"

An amazing Singer. He starts at about 3:00, but his father tells his story before that so don't skip it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Guardian Angel Project

This is the Guardian Angel Project on Reece's Rainbow.
"The Guardian Angel Project is a new effort to increase awareness and raise additional grant donations for our "Other Angels", those children with other special needs (not Down syndrome)who are also waiting for their forever families to find them.
There many “Other Angels” on our website in need of grant donations and adoptive families. They include such diagnoses as CP, spina bifida, blindness, hearing impaired, FAS, HIV+, craniofacial syndromes, arthrogryposis, dwarfism, and other genetic conditions.
Not only does your gift add to your child's adoption grant fund, 10% of your donation will also be shared with our Voice of Hope Fund, ensuring that Reece's Rainbow can continue advocating for all of these precious little ones for many years to come! Please share this special project with others you know in your family and special needs community!"
Why am I mentioning this?
Because I signed up. I'm now the official 'Guardian Angel' for Tyler.

From his Reece's Rainbow Page:
"Boy, Born October 1999
Tyler is one of our oldest waiting children. SO handsome!
From his medical records: organic impact of damage of spinal cord; (spina bifida) Damage of functions of pelvic organs; Lower paraplegia

From his caregivers: The boy is very friendly, communicative. He is very artistically talented. He likes to dance and sing. He takes a part in the concerts. He wants be taken to the family. Tyler normally wears glasses, and when he has his glasses on, his eye barely crosses at all. He took them off for the pictures, but he wears them all the time.

From an adoptive family who visited with him in February 2012: "We have really enjoyed getting to know Tyler. He is such an incredible kid! You just have no idea how impressed we are with him. He is very neat and organized, and takes good care of his things. I thought at first he was quite serious, because when I met him, he was posing for his photograph. Now, we've been able to chat with him using an interpreter. He LOVES to read- carries a book with him and uses the library here a lot. His favorite thing are fiction stories. Here, they have a lot of fairy tales, and he enjoys those, but I can so easily see him flying through any of the popular Christian fiction series for boys. He's very smart, and everyone here really likes him. We've seen him with the younger kids, they all treat him like a big brother and he is so kind and gentle with them. Like the others we've met here, he seems very emotionally healthy- it's just his legs that aren't working, not his heart, mind and soul. He would just thrive in a family! The hardest part about today came at the end. He asked how long it will be before his family comes to get him from America. I don't know what to say- he's been listed for nearly a year, and no one has asked about him. He's so hopeful and trusting that he has a family and he doesn't have much time left. I don't know why he has gotten passed over- he'd be an amazing son!"
More photos available, married couples only."
He has $259 available for his adoption.
From the family, adopting from that orphanage right now. Renee has so many good things to say about Tyler:
"It was the excitement and anticipation you see when someone believes they’ve found their family.
There was my facilitator, knelt down in the floor, taking picture after picture of boys lined up in wheelchairs, hoping that this would be their “passport foto” into the mysterious, miraculous world of “having a forever family”.
They weren’t excited over toys.
Or cookies.
Or anything money could buy.
They were thrilled because they understood- our Emma Grace had her photo taken by this same blond woman in the brown leather coat last spring. And today, she has a family.
The photo is the first step- in their minds, you take the photo, your family sees you and comes. And you leave on the train and a car and a plane and you go to your home in America. With. Your. Family......
"For the next 30 minutes, she went around, with the director, as the director singled out children that were available- kids whose parents are dead, unable or unwilling to care for them, or just gone. Kids who were so eager to be seen “just perfect” that they took off their glasses and tucked them away and put on their best smiles... When I returned, our facilitator was in the playroom, making the picture of another boy, one I had hoped to meet.
"And today, I met him. He’s tiny, by the way. He’s 13 and physically, he’s not much different in size than an 8 year old. He sat in his wheelchair, and I saw him laugh with the facilitator a bit. They chatted while she was photographing him. But when it was time to take the picture, he stiffened up, sitting up straight and tall in the wheelchair. He lifted his chin, in the universal manner of one trying to put forward their best face, and gave a hopeful, but not overly optimistic, smile. A conservative “I want this, but I’m scared to show how much because it will hurt more when my dreams don’t come true” smile. If I hadn’t been watching carefully, I wouldn’t have seen it. He looked nervous, but so hopeful.
"And then she brought him the camera, so he could review his pictures. Carefully, with the maturity and responsibility you only see in well-behaved young teens, he withdrew his glasses from his wheelchair bag, and put them on. He peered into the camera and before he could control it, a huge smile lit up his face. He quickly schooled his emotions (teen boys are so funny that way lol) and nodded his approval. He glanced over at Emma Grace, and she said something to him. He laughed- and gently, on his way out the door, reached over and took her frail, tiny little hand and gave it a squeeze. She clearly knew him- spoke his name and chattered away. He took the time to talk to her- the way good big brothers do- looking into her face, and responding so kindly. His legs may not work but his arms, mind, and heart clearly do. His gentleness with Emma Grace, respectful manner with the facilitator and overall attitude blew me away.
"And inside, I cried again. I cried because this tender hearted, smart, responsible young man, this amazing kid, is probably going to go his entire life without a family- maybe sent to a mental institution for adults in 3 short years all because he cannot walk. PLEASE GOD HEAR MY PRAYER- please send families to this orphanage!!! Please. If I could adopt them all, I would, but I cannot.
And as though Tyler knew- as though he could hear the weeping inside my soul, he looked up at me. With eyes somber and serious, he blinked at me through his glasses. He speaks Russian, I speak English- but at that moment- we spoke the same language. “I need a family, do you know them? Do you know how to find them? I cannot, I’m here, stuck in this chair, but you, you have the access. Please, tell them I’m here. Tell them how to find me. Please.”
"And he let go of my daughter’s hand and broke eye contact with me, and rolled out into the hall.
"Because see, that’s why “Tyler’s” eyes were different than the younger kids. I think he knows. I think he realizes that even though several kids got their photos taken last spring by the blonde haired lady, only one of those kids got chosen.
"But for Tyler, he knows the odds. He, and Alexis, have just a couple of years before the government decides where their future will be. Will they have a chance at living a normal life? Doubtful. What normalcy can a child with nonfunctioning legs (or hands and legs for Alexis) have in a country that doesn’t acknowledge the disabled? How can you climb the stairs to an apartment, or travel the ice-covered, broken concrete streets and sidewalks in a wheelchair? How can you work when the few existing jobs are taken by able-bodied workers? Tyler, like those on death row, is just trying to enjoy the little time he has left, before his transfer, which will be the end of “life”.
"He is a “Dead Man Walking”. And he knows it. And no 13 yr old boy, smart, funny, kind, compassionate- no “Tyler” should ever have to know what he knows. A 13 yr old boy should be looking forward to learning to drive, to prom, to graduation and college and a career and a family. Not wondering where he’ll be sent to spend out the rest of his days in isolation and misery.
"Tyler knows the odds. I’m asking you, readers of my blog, to please fight the evil in this world- fight it where we can fight it- please help me find these kids their families. They deserve it- but more than that- they NEED it. It’s life or death for these kids.
"We chatted for a few minutes and then the door opened again- and in he rolled. Tyler. Amazing Tyler. And he was such a happy guy today- laughing and smiling and very eager to “come make our acquaintance” as we were told. He shook my hand, so polite and respectful. He had his glasses on today and through the interpreter we chatted. He loves to read- loves it- and especially fiction books. They have a lot of very nice fairy tales there in the school library down the hall and he visits it often. He’s an artist, and as my hubby said, if anyone ever looked like and had the perfect personality to be a teacher, it’s this kid! He again spoke to Emma Grace, joking with her and making her laugh. He was very easy to chat with, eager for the translator to interpret for us. So there we sat, us, EG who’s 5, the older girl who’s almost 16, and Tyler. He didn’t monopolize the conversation- nope, he just chatted and listened to us chat. His eyes rarely left our faces- he is the type of young man who gives you his full attention when you’re speaking to him. See, Tyler thought that because his picture was taken last spring when EG’s picture was taken, and we were here for her, then his family must be coming soon.
"He asked her “Is my family on their way to get me?”
"What could she say? She had to tell the truth. So she said no, not yet. She said she didn’t want to give him false hope, so she just told him she’s working on it.
"But he didn’t let it get him down. He asked to meet us. Why? Because like the older girl, there is this assumption that all of us families in the USA must know each other. Of course he’s wanted, right? It just must be that his family doesn’t know he’s waiting yet. Right? Right?!?
"So they let him come talk to us. For a little bit, he got to feel what having a family is like, even if they weren’t his family. He got to see a mom and a dad talk to each other, got to see them cuddle their child and kiss her head. Had I known, I would have hugged him too. But I didn’t know. I thought he was just another kid, curious about the foreigners who can’t speak Russian worth a flip. I didn’t realize that he was like a child frozen from the snow, easing as close as he could to the fire to feel its warmth. I didn’t know he was “borrowing” us for a little bit.
"But I know it now.
"He asked us something at one point- in Russian- and began pointing. We think he was trying to negotiate for us to help get him adopted too. He pointed at Emma and then me and hubby. Then he leaned over to Emma and pointed back and forth to them and then to us, then a questioning shoulder shrug and point to the door. He did it over and over, while we searched through the Russian/English dictionary trying to find a clue. Only after he left for lunch a few minutes later did we realize what he was probably trying to tell us: Emma had us, he wanted a mama and papa too, and would we help? Either that or he was inviting us to lunch, but that’s highly unlikely because EG doesn’t go until 1 and it was only 12. He and the little girl rolled out around 12 and said “eat byebye”.
"Cute Tyler moment for today: Emma Grace wanted to wear her sunglasses. Again. So we did. But she bumped them off her nose. Before I could get them back on, Tyler was cooing to her, and reaching down and hooking it behind her ear and explaining something to her about it, pointing to his own glasses at the same time. She must have appreciated it because she smiled and said “Spaseeba” and his name. He’s so gentle with her. And when he brought his little friend in, the little girl from Emma’s groupa, he introduced her to me like such a gentleman.
"We were leaving, out in the hall, and suddenly Tyler’s wheelchair rounded the corner at breakneck speed. He rolled up to us, despite the fact that the facilitator wasn’t near us, and we had already determined the Russian/English dictionary wasn’t sufficient.
"He just smiled at us. He wanted to talk so badly- you could see it, but we’re just not fluent enough in the language to make it possible. So there he sat. Hopeful. With great anticipation. A big grin. We all kind of nodded (it’s impossible not to smile when you’re with Tyler!) and stood there. Finally, the facilitator reappeared and he rolled down to the hallway with her and had a conversation. He never lost his enthusiasm. But I watched her shoulders curve more and more to the ground. Her head drooped. Her entire posture was that of defeat.
But Tyler didn’t see it. With the faith of a child- that amazing God given faith- he continues to smile and said “goodbye!” in his delightful Russian accent as we walked out of the building.
Down our walk down the long driveway, covered in snow and ice, she explained what they had discussed. And we all cried.
He wanted to know when his family is coming. Not “if”, but WHEN.
Will it be long, he asked.
Because his picture was taken at the same time as Emma Grace’s and her family is here.
When, he asked.
Is it much longer, he asked.
And she couldn’t answer him.
"They aren’t just pictures on a website. They aren’t just made up biographies. They aren’t just intimidating medical diagnoses.
They’re kids. Flesh and blood, breathing, eating, sleeping, laughing, joking, reading, playing kids.
They aren’t just characters in an online drama, where you can just close the website and pretend they don’t exist.
Whether you click on the “other angels, 6 and older” categories or not, they’re still here. Sitting in their orphanage wheelchairs, waiting for the families they believe will come.
Will you come?
Please, will you come?"

Wow, I didn't realize how much she actually has on him. Pray for Tyler. See if you can find your own child to sponsor, they need them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tyler A Lost Boy

This is Tyler. This picture was taken less than a week ago. He's 13 years old, and really wants a family
This is his Reece's Rainbow page.
The part at the end is by this family:
They are in country right now, and have met Tyler, and others at his orphanage. They say:

From his caregivers:  The boy is very friendly, communicative. He is very artistically talented. He likes to dance and sing. He takes a part in the concerts. He wants be taken to the family.  Tyler normally wears glasses, and when he has his glasses on, his eye barely crosses at all.  He took them off for the pictures, but he wears them all the time. 


From an adoptive family who visited with him in February 2012:  "We have really enjoyed getting to know Tyler.  He is such an incredible kid!  You just have no idea how impressed we are with him.  He is very neat and organized, and takes good care of his things.  I thought at first he was quite serious, because when I met him, he was posing for his photograph.  Now, we've been able to chat with him using an interpreter.  He LOVES to read- carries a book with him and uses the library here a lot.  His favorite thing are fiction stories.  Here, they have a lot of fairy tales, and he enjoys those, but I can so easily see him flying through any of the popular Christian fiction series for boys.  He's very smart, and everyone here really likes him.  We've seen him with the younger kids, they all treat him like a big brother and he is so kind and gentle with them.   Like the others we've met here, he seems very emotionally healthy- it's just his legs that aren't working, not his heart, mind and soul.  He would just thrive in a family!  The hardest part about today came at the end.  He asked how long it will be before his family comes to get him from America.  I don't know what to say- he's been listed for nearly a year, and no one has asked about him.  He's so hopeful and trusting that he has a family and he doesn't have much time left.  I don't know why he has gotten passed over- he'd be an amazing son!"

He's gonna be a lost boy now ;) Please help him find a family. 

He is risen

Friday, February 3, 2012


What is Autism? AutismSpeaks.Com says "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art."
Autism affects 1 in about 110 kids, about 1 in every 70 boys. So, you've probably met someone with Autism.
Some people with autism seem 'normal'. Some people with autism, you know, as soon as you meet them, you can tell somethings 'different' about them. says: "Autism is a developmental disorder that some people are born with — it's not something you can catch or pass along to someone else. Autism affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people difficult."
Mercury Rising (autistic child)
Change of Habit
The Boy who Could Fly
Darryl McAllister from A Wizard Alone
Rules -I personally read this and enjoyed it!
There are also some kids on Reece's Rainbow, though I don't know if it is truly autism or autistic behaviors due to orphanage life.
Now you know about autism. God bless, have a great day!