He was part of a hosting program.
One child out of many available to spend the summer with a willing family.
He was one of many but he was unique. He sported an extra chromosome.
He was one of many available to spend the summer with a willing family.
But as the days went by and the deadline for being chosen loomed, no willing family stepped forward. While all the other children were finding families, he was being left behind.
Whether it was because he was special needs, or was a boy, or was a bit older... for whatever reason, he was running out of time.
They had just finished an adoption.
They had brought home a precious little Reece's Rainbow treasure from across the ocean.
She was their fourth Reece's Rainbow babe...
Their eighth adoption.
From four different countries.
Most families would have looked at his picture wearily, nodded and passed right on by.
But the Boroughs are not most families.
I know, I've met Amy.
She's a total nutcase when it comes to orphans.
And when day after day passed and no one picked the sweet little boy waving "Hello!" in the picture.... A sweet little boy who also happened to be listed as available for adoption on Reece's Rainbow...
She couldn't turn away.
On the very last day... in the last hour... Amy and Adam looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and opened their home to a precious little boy for the summer.
They said they were ONLY going to host him.
They said they were going to do whatever it took to find him a family.
I was not born yesterday.
I've been in Amy's house and I've watched her with her kids. I've spend hours and hours talking to her and listening to her heart. There was NO WAY she was going to JUST host him. As soon as he stepped off that plane last summer he completely stole their hearts.
As soon as he walked into their lives Amy became a total weeping mess.
Every moment he was there she spent agonizing over the coming moment when he would have to leave.
Putting him back on the plane was the absolute hardest thing they have ever done.
His country is HARD. The requirements are HARD. Where he lives, the cost is HIGH. Their chances of adopting him based on the country's income requirements and their family size .... slim. But he is special needs, and older, and a boy.... And because of all of these strikes against him, a few weeks ago... the Boroughs were finally and officially approved to adopt him! This came only after months and months of jumping through all the hoops, biting every single nail off their fingers, praying, crying and praying some more. I know how much crying Amy has done. We are part of a tiny little prayer group together and we have spent a lot of time wading through her tears over that one little boy.
But there's more to this story.
More than just the adoption of one little boy.
Last fall I had the pleasure of introducing Amy to my dear cancer-fighting, not-gonna-quit, orphan-advocating, sock-sewing, Jesus-loving friend Elizabeth.
Who found out last September that her cancer had come back.
Elizabeth, who takes each sucker punch that cancer sends her and uses it as an opportunity to BLESS someone.
I introduced the two, shared Luke's story, and that was all it took. Elizabeth decided right then and there that Luke was officially on her
bucket list Make a Wish list. She was not going to rest until Luke was fully funded and home with the Boroughs.
And that was that!
Who's going to argue with someone who's fighting for her life so hard and so well-- whose every breath and thought reminds us that life is a good gift from God, worth living, worth fighting for?
There was one small hitch in the plan. The Boroughs couldn't announce that they were the ones adopting Luke until they were officially matched. But that didn't stop Elizabeth. She rallied her forces and had a good friend, Kelle Hampton, raise money for Luke without sharing who was getting him. I also joined in the fun and shared a post called THE DEHORITY DISTRACTION. Others joined in. Other friends of Elizabeth who care deeply about her.
And that helped. In a HUGE way.
In fact, it chipped the 38,000 dollar price tag for Luke's adoption down to $14,000.
DID YOU READ THAT?
And while Elizabeth waited for the official piece of paper that sealed Luke to the Boroughs, she busied herself getting me funded for my trip last December and taking a trip to England in the midst of horrific chemo treatments ... yes she did.... She was in England while I was in Aaron's country.
And donating here and there and everywhere. On New Year's Eve after an awful week of chemo, she was seen dropping money in the accounts of child after child after child after child on the Angel Tree. We were all watching with tears sliding down our cheeks as she happily gave.
Every single time cancer has slammed her to the floor she has faced it with grace and wit and a love for those who need it the most. On Wednesday she was hit with the worst kind of news. I write this with tears streaming. Her news included words like cancer and bones. Not good.
So Wednesday night... she came in the Reece's Rainbow group looking for adopting families who needed a boost. Families who are staying the course and keeping positive. And we watched with more tears streaming as she donated little bits here and there to encourage those families even as the news of her cancer pressed heavy on her heart.
You see where this is going?
We have to get the Boroughs funded.
Not just for the Boroughs.
A friend of Elizabeth's who is choosing to be anonymous but who feels strongly about grace and gifts and being thankful in the ordinary... and who loves Elizabeth with a deep love.. She has donated some prizes for our BIG GIVEAWAY (name compliments of George Dehority)!
1ST PLACE, 2ND PLACE AND 3RD PLACE
Michelle Howell, Karen Leak and Renee Tam
YOU GET YOUR CHOICE OF EITHER AN IPAD MINI, A KITCHEN AID MIXER OR A NIKON DIGITAL CAMERA!!!!
Sandra Yoong Chia
You get to PICK A CHILD on Reece's Rainbow and 250.00 will be deposited into that child's grant account!
You get an Aaron Nalle ORIGINAL Paper Clouds T-shirt!!
All winners need to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and address and what they won/choose!!
A Kitchen Aid KSM150PSAQ Stand Mixer, Martha Stewart Blue Collection Artisan 5 Qt. Aqua Sky
A Nikon COOLPIX L820 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 30x Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)
Plus... (Saturday additions... TWO NEW prizes have been added...)
An Apple Mini - 16 GB
A $250.00 PICK A CHILD prize. The winner of this prize gets to pick any waiting child on Reece's Rainbow.
An Aaron shirt has been donated...
A women's size XL (but is more like a Medium).
Donate. Any amount. Leave a comment (first/last name and amount- I will not post if you ask me not to post) and you are entered to win one of three prizes. Every five dollar gets you one entry. Every share gets you an entry. The more you give, the more you share, the greater your chances of winning a prize.
The first AND second place AND third place winners get to choose which gift they want (camera or mixer or ipad).
The goal - Fully Funded.
Two weeks. This ends March 14th.
Elizabeth wants this task checked off her Wish list. She has better things to do like knitting socks to bless people.
And spending quality time with her sweet children.
I want this off her Wish List too.
It means more than words can convey.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!
THE BOROUGHS ARE OFFICIALLY FULLY FUNDED!!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING AND SHARING!!
I AM SPEECHLESS!
CLICK HERE to get to the Boroughs blog.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
P.S. - Winners will be announced later in the day!!