Friday, October 29, 2010


I plan on shouting.  I plan on being a broken record.  I don't plan on stopping.  Sorry.  I can't.  We saw too much.  We know too much.  We are learning even more as the days go by.  So I have to keep advocating.  I have to keep praying that a family or two will step forward and rescue Brady and Heath.  It is pure and simple rescue.  They need to get out of there.  They need families.  The DOOR NEEDS TO STAY OPEN.

Why?  Why am I shouting so loud?   Because on the Reece's Rainbow website there are other boys - little ones who are not going to be rescued out of the baby houses in time.  Some of them may end up in that institute in that village.  Those boys desperately need that door to stay open.  Yes we opened it a little, but much more needs to be done.  Look at these boys:

     All of them are currently at baby houses.  All of them are close to being transferred.  If they are not adopted in time, they may end up with Brady and Heath.  These are just a few of the many who are close to transfer.  Boys who need to run, climb, jump and play.  Boys who need toys and books and the opportunity to go to school.  Boys who need Mama's to tuck them in bed at night and Papa's to toss them in the air. Boys who need life-changing medical care.  Boys. 

I can't remain quiet.  Just yesterday the news came that TWO Reece's Rainbow children WERE TRANSFERRED.  One of them has a family who is coming for him.  They were within days of their paperwork being submitted and now have no idea where he is and if he is still available.  They are on their knees before the throne praying that God will protect him and that the door will remain open.  If you want to encourage them (and they definitely could use some major encouragement) - click HERE.  Transfer is a terrible thing.  If these children are sent to closed-door institutes, then they lose any hope for a family.

That is why we are shouting and praying.  Please shout and pray with us.  Help us find Brady and Heath families.  Not just for them but for the other boys, the ones who will be ripped from their baby houses, taken from their toys and the caretakers who raised them, removed from their playgrounds and cribs and placed in that institute.  We can't let it become a place of no return.  Please.

P.S. - Since writing this post I have learned the amazingly wonderful news that both Sullivan and Jordan NOW have families!
Neither of these boys have to spend a minute at an institute if their families get them in time. 
Praise the Lord.  I need to take a minute to shed a few happy tears....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mine's the Best

     Some of you buy your Christmas ornaments from Hallmark or Belk.  Others buy them from Walmart or Target.  Some order them on-line or through catalogues.  Some get them at little curiosity shops or in antique stores.   Wherever you buy them, I bet out of all your ornaments, you didn't get what I got when mine came in the mail today.  I bet you didn't get a personalized letter from the creator of your ornament. 

     I've been blessed.  Yep - Blessed.  My ornament was hand-made by a six year old girl, Amaya, with a heart that has already been broken by the need in our world. 

     She made my ornament for the unbelievably LOW price of only 5.00 (plus shipping).  That's all I had to pay to get a hand-made ornament and a hand-written thank you letter.  That five dollars isn't going in her wallet either.  Nope.  She is taking my 5.00 measly dollars and she is going shopping.  Not for earrings or pretty clothes for herself.  Not at all.  She is going shopping to fill up boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  (One of my favorite Christmas-time ministries).  Amaya wanted to raise the money herself.  So one ornament at a time this precious child of God is earning money so that she can buy pencils and gum and small toys and other items for a few needy children so that they can experience Christmas and maybe, just maybe, learn about their Savior and fall in love with Him. 

     I have been blessed.  By a little girl with a heart for Jesus.  I am hanging my ornament in center-stage on our Christmas tree this year.  I don't know where you bought your ornaments this year, but I have the best Christmas ornament of all.  Mine came packaged in love.

P.S. -  This is a HOT LINK for those interested in finding out more about Amaya's project!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's All About Aaron...

     Yep - I have been reprimanded again that there just have NOT been enough posts about the star of this blog.  Dearest Aaron!  Well for all of you Aaron fans, let me tell you the little guy is blossoming and our love for him deepens as the days pass.  He is beyond precious.  All four of us are now sufficiently wrapped so tightly around his little finger that there is no question who rules this household.

     Is it perfect?  Of course not.  We are all still adjusting to our new normal but each day is better than the one before.  His English vocabulary is increasing by the day.  We love to hear him pronouncing English words with his cute little accent.  Of course 90% of what he says is still completely lost on us but who's counting! 
     He is learning to count in English, knows some of his letters (M for Mama, P for Papa, E for Elijah etc.) and is working on his color words.  It is going to take time for him to master all of these basic concepts.  Coming out of institutional living for the past 6 years definitely set him back and it is going to take him a while to catch up with his peers. We were told that he was 'severely mentally delayed' by the director. We doubt the 'severe' part of that diagnosis, but because of the language barrier we really can't judge where Aaron will come out in the long run. It doesn't really matter to us where he lands although we think he will eventually prove the director quite wrong in her diagnosis.

     On some levels Aaron is mature beyond his age. He has an incredible attention span, is extremely creative in his play, is calm, quiet and well-behaved in public (partly because he is so overwhelmed in public) and is very quick at figuring out what is happening around him.
     He also has an uncanny sense of direction. This was evident the very first day we had him in the capital of his country. He knew where we were in relationship to our apartment every single time we went walking. It came as a quite a surprise to us considering that he had never walked streets before.   When we went into the underground parts of that city and he always knew which way to turn to lead us out we were even more amazed.  Since being home, he has memorized the country roads around our house and gets so excited when he figures out where we are going.  He happily directs our paths with loud shouts and a lot of foot pointing. We now have a very loud backseat driver.

     Though he is mature on some levels, in many ways we have a toddler in the house. He takes delight in the simplest of things, explores every single drawer, cabinet and closet he can open and has to be watched in case he gets into something that isn't for little boys. He sleeps with Pooh bear next to his pillow, loves looking at baby books and is happy watching Blues Clues and Thomas the Tank Engine. His conversations still tend to center around trucks and cars and other things that go. Our little toddler loves to be tickled and teased and he is beyond happy when the boys wrestle with him or hold him on their laps.  

We are enjoying him.  Our six year old toddler. We have no idea how we managed life before he came. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Surprise E-mail

Christmas in October...

Guess what came in our e-mail today? 

A precious picture of our son when he was four years old.  The picture was taken by a French family who adopted one of those sweet little guys in the picture.  Their son and my son were buddies. 

Do you see my happy little guy surrounded by friends and toys?  That's my son.  I am the proud Mama of that adorable little four year old boy. 

I can't help but want to laugh and cry and grieve over this picture.  A year after it was taken, Aaron left this room, these children, those toys.  He left every single thing that he ever knew and was transferred to a place of no return.   Oh how I wish that I was the Mama sitting on that floor.  I wish I had adopted him from this place.  I wish we had spent our time playing on this floor, surrounded by these children. 

Do you understand a little of why I can't just walk away from advocating for Tori and Brady and Heath and all the others who are lost in the institutions?  Do you realize the shock these children face when they move from the orphanages into the institutions just because they are disabled?   Do you see? 

That is all I am going to say.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recalled to Life

Heath is a nine year old boy with Down Syndrome.  Unlike Brady who was listed on Reece's Rainbow before he was transferred and 're-discovered' after we arrived at Aaron's internat, Heath was unknown to the outside world.  Sadly, we still know very little about him.  All we know is that for some reason, his file was not dumped in the 'unadoptable' file and when Brady's file was re-discovered, Heath's file also surfaced.  The director agreed to list him on Reece's Rainbow.  She doubts anyone would want him.  We pray with all our hearts that she is wrong.

He is a tiny little guy in stature.  His feet barely make it to the edge of his shared wheelchair.  He is in the lowest functioning group.  The age range of boys is 6 to 18 with only 2 caretakers to minister to the needs of 20 very needy boys.  Since Heath is so little and quiet, he is easily lost in the chaos that constantly surrounds him.

Rob wrote this tribute to Heath.  It touched me deeply when I read it.  It says everything that needs to be said for this little lost boy. 

(Rob writing)

If you've ever read A Tale of Two Cities, written by that master craftsman of the English sentence, Charles Dickens, then you might remember that Book the First was entitled "Recalled to Life." As the story opens, an English banker named Jarvis Lorry is on his way to bring home an old client, Dr. Manette. Manette has just been released from the Bastille, a well-known prison in Paris. His supposed "crime" was knowing too much about the misdeeds of a French aristocrat. For this, he was confined to a prison cell and isolated from all human contact for eighteen years, losing his wife, his daughter, his friends, his medical practice, and everything else he had.

As Lorry rides the mail coach from London toward the ferryboat at Dover, he wonders what renewed freedom will be like for Manette after so many long, empty years in prison. Lorry imagines himself asking Manette, "You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?"

"Long ago," Manette replies.

"I hope you care to live?" Lorry wonders.

Manette responds, "I can't say."

When I think of Heath, the little Reece's Rainbow boy whom we saw at Aaron's internat, I'm reminded of  "Recalled to Life." Unlike Aaron and Brady, Heath is not a recent transfer. He is nine years old. Like Dr. Manette, Heath has lived in captivity for a long time. Aaron and Brady both retain the vivacity of life at the baby houses. Heath has lost his. He has lived for at least three years in the stifling boredom of institution life. In all of that time, he has been given nothing of his own. He has not seen a book or a toy. He has never been gathered into anyone's loving arms. Given his utter lack of stimulation, it is not surprising that he lives an unstimulated life. He sits in a daze. He stares at the walls. His eyes still hold the light of life, but they appear to have lost all interest in what they see.

When Mr. Lorry finally reaches Dr. Manette, he finds his client in an even worse state than he expected. Manette doesn't remember anything about his past or where he has been, and has become obsessively involved in a craft he has learned as an escape from drudgery-- shoemaking. He is so obsessed with making shoes that he can't be bothered to meet his daughter, born just after he went into prison, now a beautiful young woman of eighteen. His voice is so weak from disuse that he is difficult to hear. Lorry and the daughter take him back to England and begin the long, difficult task of  "recalling him to life." Soon, Manette begins to recover and accepts the affection of his daughter.

I see Heath in the same way. I think that Heath's rescuers will probably find his condition to be worse than they hoped. They, too, will have a long, difficult task. They will have to stimulate him over and over, and for a long time they may receive little or no response. Eventually, I hope, they will be able to recall Heath to life, and he will be able to give and receive the love that he's been denied.

For a time, things appear to be going fine for Dr. Manette and his daughter. Then, suddenly, he is confronted with something from his past, and he suffers a relapse. His daughter awakens one morning to find that he has returned to his shoemaking, and is once again obsessed with it to the exclusion of all else. The patient, devoted Mr. Lorry has to take away Manette's shoemaking tools and destroy them in order to break his self-destructive obsession.

Will Heath, too, be subject to relapses? I think it's possible. It's hard to erase so many days and months of damaging inactivity. Heath's rescuers will probably have to look on, heartbroken, as he takes two steps forward and then one step back on his path to recovery. They may have to take desperate measures to cut him off from reminders of his miserable past.

Whoever rescues Heath will need love that is like God's love. Fatherhood changed my understanding of God's love. When I became a father, I began to understand why God's word compares God's love to fatherly love over and over. It is because the love that parents feel for their children is the most unselfish form of love that unredeemed humanity can ever experience. Even the ungodly manage to want good things for their children. God's love is better. God loves us not because we earn His love with our good deeds, but because we are His children. Godly parents love their children not for what they do or accomplish, but simply because they are who they are-- our children. Heath's rescuers will be heroic examples of God's self-sacrificing love.

I will say one more thing about Heath's rescuers: I believe that when they go to get Heath, they will be doing more than recalling him to life. They will literally be saving his life. There is such a thing as the will to live, and it is as important a vital medical statistic as heart rate and blood oxygen level. Based on my very limited observations, I think it's possible that Heath is losing his will to live, and that if no one rescues him soon, he will one day leave that internat on a stretcher on his way to death in a hospital bed. He is a heartbreaking case, one of the world's very poorest and neediest children. I pray that the Lord will send the right people for him soon. Then, someday, they may ask poor Heath:

"I hope you care to live?"

And he may one day answer, "With all of my heart."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Great Bradini

Brady is a tiny six year old boy with Down Syndrome who lives at Aaron's internat. He is a very active and energetic little fellow. His DS has given him a tongue thrust that makes it difficult for him to swallow, but he manages.

Brady is part of the highest functioning group of boys at his internat.  The boys range in age from 6 to 18, and Brady is the youngest in his group. There are only 2 workers to take care of the 26 boys in his group. He is not free to run, play, jump or climb.  There are no swing sets, toys or books for him to enjoy.  Brady spends much of his time trying to escape the confines of his world.   Sadly, he never succeeds.

This is my husband Rob's tribute to Brady.

(Rob writing)

The Great Houdini was a famous Hungarian-American escape artist born in 1874.

The Great Bradini is an unknown Ukrainian escape artist born in 2004.

The Great Houdini, a.k.a. Erik Weisz, was famous for his ability to free himself from seemingly impossible situtations. He could usually unlock handcuffs without using a key. He could dislocate his shoulder joints so that he could wriggle out of straitjackets. He could free himself even when he had been locked in handcuffs and leg irons, boxed up in a crate weighted down with 200 pounds of lead, and then thrown into a river.

The Great Bradini, a.k.a. Brady from Reece's Rainbow, also takes every opportunity to free himself from his desperate situation. He will duck under the outstretched arm of a caretaker to get away from the dull existence she imposes upon him. He will dodge the grasping hands of the older boys in his group in order to make a run for the door. He will climb from his chair up onto the table trying to reach a visiting mother. Instinctively or cognitively, the Great Bradini knows that he wants a mother, and he's ready to climb every mountain in his path until he finds one.

The Great Houdini was an entertainer who liked to be the center of everyone's attention. He spent his life dreaming up and promoting ever more daring stunts in order to keep himself in the public eye.

The Great Bradini is also an entertainer, the center of attention for boys and caretakers alike in his group. He is always on the move, full of life and energy. As the other boys in his group sit quietly and watch, the Great Bradini bounces from one side of the room to the other, usually on his way to the door. The older boys catch him by the hand and spin him back into the common room a hundred times a day. The Great Bradini brings light and life to the otherwise dull existence of his group.

The Great Houdini had a loving wife of many years who helped him with his escape act. During one famous escape, she waited patiently for hours while he tried and failed to work his usual magic. Then she worked a miracle for him: she concealed a handcuff key in her mouth and slipped it to him secretly as she kissed him.

The Great Bradini also needs a loving person to help him with his escape. He needs someone to wade patiently through a sticky bog of paperwork. Then he needs that person to work a miracle for him by going to his town and passing him the keys that will unlock his handcuffs. The reward for this courageous, battleready soul will be love, immeasurable love-- "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over." The Great Bradini is not one to play "hard to get." He will quickly and completely devote his little heart to the first mama and papa who offer him theirs.

The Great Houdini had loving parents who brought him to America so that he could live in freedom.

The Great Bradini also needs loving parents to take him somewhere, anywhere, where he too can live in freedom.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lighten Up, Mom

Friday night Popcorn and Movie fun...

I've been told by Elijah that my posts this week are just too depressing... I agree.... I'm weary to the bone of depressing....

So today, Saturday, I will try to lighten up... Here goes....

TORI HAS A FAMILY!!  Yep - you read that correctly... She has a family.  This dear family had been praying and praying for days and weeks and the Lord had been beating on their quaking hearts but that old price tag was just making it really difficult for them to jump off that cliff BECAUSE THEY JUST BROUGHT BACK THREE TREASURES FROM TORI'S COUNTRY ONLY A FEW MONTHS AGO.  The insanity!  But when they gave it all to the Lord.... money issues and everything.... when they committed in their hearts to follow Him - let Him lead.... when they got up off their knees.....Ready to jump off the cliff with no idea where the money was going to come from.... They discovered that Tori had a full grant.  He made a way.  Willing hearts - faith - Loving God.  How can you go wrong??

Praise God!  Praise God and PRAISE GOD!!  This treasure is going to get a NEW name: 

Reagan Faith Burman


Ever try to get three boys to cooperate for just ONE good picture so that you can thank your friend for getting these cool India shirts for them??  The India shirts are special because 3 years ago I traveled to India to help my friend bring back a precious India treasure.  In January she got her second India treasure.  So now she has three treasures (her first treasure was from China).  She was one of those who pushed us off the cliff to get our Ukrainian treasure.  So I wanted to get a GOOD picture of the boys to say THANK YOU KAREN!!  But those three boys would not behave.  After 25+ pictures... I am left with a bunch of goofiness!  But you have to love all the goofiness my three treasures bring!! 

     Sorry...The Dog is not included on my treasure list.  For all you dog lovers who think I love that dog.... 2 years ago she flipped me over backwards and my upper arm snapped in half plus I broke a bone in my hand.  Three surgeries later the cute stupid looking dog in the picture doesn't happen to be my best friend in the world.  Ben ADORES her though so she gets to stay. 


My 'Lighten Up, Mom' son has a way of bringing laughter to our household just when we need it.  He cracks us up.  He has more inventions, projects and brainy ideas floating around in that ever-active brain of his that we just can't keep up most days.  He's been working on building a gyro-copter.  He has studied extensively and understands the mechanics behind how they fly though I have honestly no idea what he is telling me when he tries to explain.  My brain is just not that advanced.  He has built part of it but getting the expensive materials for his gyro-copter has defeated him.  We don't have 5,000 dollar engines hanging around in our garage so he has had to put that project on hold. 

In the meantime he decided that building a cannon would be fun.  Yep - a cannon.  A little cannon so never fear.  He doesn't want to blow up the world.  He's a good kid.  He wants to build one that will shoot ping pong balls at old art projects.  So a few nights ago we stood outside to watch the first firing of his cannon.  It didn't go exactly as planned...  all he got for his efforts was a puff of smoke and a lot of fun laughter.  But the boy is not giving up.  He is already planning his next attempt! 

Did I say how much he cracks me up??

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brady and Heath

This post is pure agony.  Plain and simple.  It is the post I wanted to write when our plane first touched down in Virginia 3 weeks ago.  I fully expected to start advocating for Brady and Heath as soon as we arrived home.  The urgency is real.  The reality that the door will not stay open long for them to find families made my zeal to write about them my number one goal.  I intended to begin yelling from the rooftops about these boys within days of arrival.  I tried.  I prayed.  I couldn't do it.  The words died each time I sat in front of the computer.  At night I would lay awake and think about them, especially Brady.  Words would formulate in my mind, thoughts would begin flow.  But when I sat down to try to to capture those thoughts, they would flee and I would be left gasping for breath.  My heart ached deep within me each time I would remember them.  It still does.  Writing about it hurts.  What makes the hurt worse is that we never got a chance to say goodbye.  We just left. 

I didn't know that the last time I saw Brady that it was for the last time.  I thought I had more time.  It rained on our last visits.  When it rained they brought Aaron to us in the infirmary and they kept the rest of the boys inside the buildings.  So we missed watching the daily parade.  On Gotcha Day, they refused to let us visit Aaron's bedroom or his building.  We were cut off from seeing the caretakers or nurses one last time.  It was a bitter ending.  We had to walk out without a goodbye.  We never saw the Lost Boys again.  If I had known, I would have reacted differently the last time I saw Brady.  I would have picked him up.  I would have hugged and kissed him.  I didn't get the chance.

He was always trying to run away.   His tiny little legs pumping just as fast as he could go whenever someone accidently let go of his arm.  The nurse on duty on the last day that we saw him was the least experienced.  She was a jolly woman, who dearly loved the boys and they were always happy under her care.  Brady was in rare form.  Happy, laughing.  She fed him snack and laughed with me over him.  Aaron finished his drink, I gathered his hated cookies and we left the shed.  When Brady's group came out a few minutes later, I was standing in the driveway, watching from a distance as I always did.  The nurse had hold of him and the other precious little DS boy who was Brady's best buddy.  Somehow Brady got away.  He came flying up the driveway, straight for me.  The other little guy took off down the opposite lane.  It was comical and fun.  I wasn't allowed to pick Brady up though I wanted to so badly it made me want to scream.  I could only catch him, turn him around and lead him back to the nurse who was rounding up the other runner. 

If  I had known that was the last time I would see him I would have picked him up.  I wouldn't have cared.  Just one time I wanted the opportunity to give that child a kiss and a hug.  I didn't know it was our goodbye and because of that, I have shed many tears.  I never got to hold him in my arms.  So many times he tried to get to me.  So many times I had to turn him away.  That rips my heart out. 

Brady. What can I say about him as the tears flow down my face.  Just thinking about him reduces me to a weeping puddle on the floor. You can't help but laugh when you are around his tiny little self. The ultimate escape artist. Always trying to run and climb and get away. Brady. Dragged along by the bigger boys lest he take off. Precious, filthy, in desperate need of a bath, Brady.

He just plain wants a Mama. So many times he would reach for me, climb across the table for me, long to be held by me and all I could do was push him away. It was so hard to follow the rules of 'don't touch', 'don't look', and 'don't talk'. I had to pretend he wasn't there. I was reprimanded often for watching him too closely, for helping him with his drink, for quick attempts to pat him on the head.

He was in Aaron's group.  He slept in Aaron's room. He ate at Aaron's table. How could I not watch him? How could I not want to reach over and pick him up? It was so incredibly hard. He was so quick to laugh when the caretakers were loving and took the time to help him with his food and his drink. His little tongue makes it so hard for him to swallow. But with gentle help, he could swallow his bits of food and drink. Oh what joy!

On days when he knew he would not be fed, he came to the snack shed weeping. He'd grab for the cup only to have it taken away. No bits of candy or cookies on those days.

Brady. In tattered clothes, girly white leather shoes that constantly fell off his feet and hats that fell down over his eyes. There is no way he deserves to spend his days as a lost boy. He is a funny little monkey with so much life in him. He is the tinest boy of all the 65 boys who are brought outside. Yet he is beating the odds and is surviving.

Some of the caretakers care deeply for him. They will hold him, play with him and keep him occupied. To see him crack up laughing when they give him a bit of attention is precious. But they have so many who demand so much. Brady needs so much more than five minutes a day of a harried caretaker's time. He needs a family. He needs a Mommy who wears tennis shoes and is willing to chase him across the yard. He needs to climb and jump and play. He needs to be held and kissed. He needs to sit in a bathtub surrounded with bubbles. Dear precious Brady.

Then there is Heath.
Heath was more elusive. We saw him only from a distance. It took us weeks to be certain it was actually Heath we were watching. He looked so small for his age, just plain tiny.  He shared a wheelchair with another boy. Never did we see him walk. Off in his own little world as he rode by on his little two-seater throne. I couldn't help but smile sadly at Heath. I called him the little Burger King. Chubby cheeked, dirty, neglected little lost boy. Each day they took his group to a shed or a shady area and the boys were put on pieces of carpet on the ground. Heath sat. Nobody spoke to him. He sat hour after hour playing with the dirt or a piece of string or trash. Occasionally he would laugh at his own well-kept secret, but most of the time he was just plain lost in his own world. He needs so much. His group of boys was one of the lowest functioning. They just sat, rocked themselves for comfort, hit themselves in the head and groaned.

Brady and Heath. Two precious little ones among the 100+ Lost Boys at Aaron's institute. Two of many needy, desperately, lonely boys. But they are unique. They are the only two who are available for adoption at that institute. Just two little boys out of so many.

I do not know why only these two are available.  I don't understand why the other precious children at that institute face a lifetime behind those walls. Some have families. A pitiful few even get visits. Most are completely alone, abandoned years ago but because of their disability, their age or their behavior, they are deemed unworthy. Most of them never had a voice when they were young, living at the baby orphanages. They never had a chance for adoption. Their files sat in dust heaps on the floor. There wasn't a Reece's Rainbow around for them when they were little. They were lost from the beginning. They will live out their days institutionalized. No longer little, cute or worthy of a family. It hurts deeply to face that reality.

Only Brady and Heath have hope for a family. The door is open for them but Rob and I both know the reality of that open door. After having been there and after walking those paths, we know it will only be open for a short time. Unless someone steps up and gets those boys, they will lose their chance.

I can't forget. Brady, Heath and the rest of them. I can't forget because I fell in love with those boys. All of them. My heart is broken deep within me. Honestly, I don't want to forget. I am trying to figure out where we go from here. In the meantime, I pray. Rob and I both pray. We pray for a family or two to take a huge leap of faith, cross an ocean and rescue these two lost boys who have a chance of escape. THEY ARE SO WORTH SAVING.  Their time is running short. 

We also pray that somehow, in some way, it would work out for God to make a way for His church to move into that institute in order to minister Christ's love to the rest of those Lost Boys and to all the weary workers who care for them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Do you see that number??  That is how much precious Tori has in her Reece's Rainbow account.  Oh my goodness - that is an amazing number.  TWENTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!  I came home tonight tired from a meeting.  Discouraged about our own financial issues.  Weary and heavy laden about the blogs I am trying to write.  Rob told me to check out Tori's account on the RR website.  Unbelievable.   Amazing love.  I am completely in awe of God.  He has moved in so many hearts for this one little girl.  I am so grateful to be a part of something so precious as the rescuing of one little lonely, but not forgotten girl.  I know right now there is a family out there who is struggling deeply tonight.  We need to pray for them.  We need to pray that they will step out in boldness and faith and answer the call they are hearing in their hearts.  We need to pray that God will fill them with His perfect peace.   God is moving in their hearts.  Pray that they answer His call.  I can't wait for the announcement!!



Grieving for the Lost Boys

Life would be so much easier if I could just forget.  If I could just erase the images from my mind.  If I could walk away without looking back - Oh the bliss.  It would be so nice to just slip back into our old lifestyle, worrying about the worries of our 'past life', stepping in time with the flow of our schedules from a year ago. 

But I can't forget.  I can't walk away from what we saw.  I can't stop the memories.  I wake up and think of the boys.  I walk through my day and remember the nurses. I see their faces.  I hear their words.  I drive in the car and am caught up in thoughts of the workers - the buildings - the gardens.  I am reminded about life in that institute wherever I turn.  I can't rid myself of the pictures in my mind.  Because pictures were forbidden, we have few pictures on our camera that drag up the heartache that plagues me, but I don't need to see physical reminders.  I acquired a lifetime of pictures in my mind from the six weeks of twice a day visits to Aaron's former home.  I cannot forget. 

I struggle with what I remember and I struggle knowing how to respond.  I don't know how to communicate what we saw to those who weren't there.  What do we do with our knowledge?  How do we go on from here?  I know that unless we become a voice for those Lost Boys in that village, in that forsaken institute, that they may become lost again. 

I shudder, knowing that Aaron's little bed, in that lonely place, has a new boy sleeping in it.  Beds are never empty for long.  I grieve for that new little lost boy.  I grieve knowing that he arrived from some orphanage in some other part of that country.  Scared.  Oh so scared.  The noises, the smell, the chaos.  Nothing like what he has known all his life.  My heart aches for that unknown little boy.  I ache for all the little boys.  For the older boys.  They don't get to stay there.  They will be moved again.  Though it is harsh there, where they will be transferred is a much darker place.  An empty bed in the adult institute will open and they will be moved.   For life.  My heart grieves deep within me.  I cry out at the process. 

We couldn't help but fall in love with those boys.  They scared us at first but in the end - they were our Lost Boys.  Each one that we saw day after day.  Sixty-five boys.  We fell in love.  Dirty, grimy, smelly, crazy boys.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  We were not supposed to notice them.  We were told to look away.  We couldn't.  They became our Lost Boys.  I cannot rid my mind of them.  Their smiles, their waves, their groans.  The ones who hit themselves in the head.  The ones who had to be restrained lest they flee.  Dear ones who came over and shook our hands.  I miss them.  And so I struggle.

Only two of those lost boys have any hope of getting out.  Only two have a chance at a life outside those gates.  Brady and Heath.  Over the course of the next weeks I want to share some of what we saw, what we experienced.  Not to sensationalize but to educate, to encourage and to be a voice of hope and life for all the little ones in the orphanges and in the institutes across Eastern Europe who are waiting, day after lonely day for a family. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

We Do Play

Lest you think that all we do around here is make Aaron work, here's proof that we do know how to play...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Working Man

A beautiful Saturday gave us the chance to do some much needed clean-up work around our house.

We were getting rid of old rotten wood that we can't use in our fireplace.

Aaron was beyond excited.

Rob and the boys figured out how he could help. 

One little boy... one yellow wagon... one very willing heart...

Pulling that wagon with his little hands is unbelievably hard work but our little guy was up for the challenge.

I'll say it again... this boy is DEFINITELY a keeper!