This morning I need to wipe a few tears from my eyes and take a moment to just say thank you.
In 2002 a little boy was born to a family. He was not what they expected and at first they grieved what they thought they had lost. But as time passed they began to see that the Lord had blessed them with a very special blessing. He changed their world. He gave them a different perspective. He opened their eyes. They could not be silent. As that one little boy altered their world, they were compelled, they were called to give hope to other families, other little boys and girls. Little Reece became a rainbow of hope around the world.
Through one little boy, Reece's Rainbow was born.
I met Andrea and Reece in person in October 2010. By that point about 300 children had crossed the ocean into loving families.
Andrea had helped advocate for all 300 of those children but except for a board member's children, she had yet to hold in her arms any of the children she had been fighting to bring home.
He was only a few weeks home. A scared little boy from a Level 4 mental institute.
He had no idea who she was and how hard she was fighting to get children like him out.
At first he wouldn't even make eye contact.
So we waited. We walked in the Buddy Walk. We ate lunch together. And just before we left... he let her hold him. He let her hug him.
It is one my most precious pictures.
He wouldn't be here without her.
He wouldn't be sitting at our table.
I can never say thank you enough.
She's fought long. She's fought hard. I've been honored and blessed over the years to have fought beside her. I count her as a dear friend.
This morning she announced that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of Reece's Rainbow.
The Lord has called her in a different direction. With 1,700 children home or almost home, many of the families are struggling to help their children heal from the trauma of their past. The end of the rainbow is often hard as families find themselves down in the trenches with their newly adopted ones. It's in those trenches where Andrea has found her next calling. Her desire is to create a place where families can find respite and fellowship while they battle in the trenches.
It is a worthy calling. It is a needed ministry. She has my blessing and support. She has the blessing and support of the Reece's Rainbow board.
I am sad. I told her that earlier this week when we chatted. I don't like change.
I'm going to miss her but I understand her heart.
I'm going to miss her.
Thank you, Andrea.