Friday, February 17, 2012

Just Children

 Last Thursday I was spinning.  My heart was heavy and burdened in several different directions and I didn't know which way to go.  So I wrote this...

I'm spinning.

I have much on my heart.

Too much on my mind.

I don't know which way to go.

I have unwritten blog posts in draft mode and even more in my head.

I am a jumbled mess.

Struggling with what to say and how to say it.  The need is so great.  In so many areas. 

Praying that clarity will come.

Praying for the words to convey.

Praying that God will take my jumbled heart and direct me in His Way and not mine.


He did.

I woke up on Friday night with a deep desire to write Millie's story.  I believe that wake-up call was from the Lord.  I climbed out of bed and the words began to spill out onto the page.  I didn't write it alone.  Rob came alongside me as I shared my heart with him.  We spent hours last weekend agonizing over every word.  I whispered prayers as we wrote because I knew that her story was God's answer to My Prayer.

My Spinning.

You see, God has been stirring in my heart that I need to be speaking out boldly for the older children in the institutes and orphanages.  He has been burdening my heart.  They are so easily written off.  I know this because I am as guilty as the next person.  I always check the age of a child when I see a new listing.  I am definitely drawn to the younger ones.  I shy away from thinking I could adopt an older child.  I am being honest.

But then I am confronted with Jack.

His deep desire to have a Mom and a Dad.

And Laurel.  Aging out in only a few months.

And I am ashamed of my reluctance.  I am ashamed that I am so quick to write them off.  To say it is too late.  To assume that they are too institutionalized or too disabled to make it in the outside world.

They want families.

They do not consider themselves too old to call someone Mom.  Or too disabled to need a Dad.


And in that reality - with that before me I know that I need to be bold for their sakes.  To do whatever I can to give them a voice.

If My Millie can survive for 30 years in a mental institute and come out and live a rich and full life...  If God can take an orphaned and abandoned little girl and REDEEM her life so that in the end she is a BLESSING to people.... Then He can take Jack and Laurel and all the other kids in those institutes and He can Redeem them too.  They are not hopeless, lost cases.


I don't know how to put it any more plainly.

They are just children.

Yes they are disabled in some way or another.  Yes they have spent much or all of their lives in an institution.  Yes some are terribly damaged.  Yes Yes Yes.

But they are children.

And they need families.

They need families who will care for them and watch over them.  They need Moms and Dads who will fight to get them the treatments they need.  They need the security of knowing that they are not alone in this world.  They need most of all to know the God who made them and loves them.  They need to hear and come to love and believe the stories of Jesus.  They need this above all else.

They don't need a big house or their own bedroom.  They don't need fine clothes or expensive toys.  They have NOTHING now so anything you give them is better than what they have ever ever had.  They don't need the perfect family.  They just need someone to cross the ocean for THEM.  They need parents.  They need to know that for the rest of their lives they will be firmly planted in a family.  Surrounded.  Protected.  Loved.

This week My Spencer appeared on the My Family Found Me Page on Reece's Rainbow.   HE HAS A FAMILY!  He is going to be rescued soon.  I PRAISE GOD for that news. My eyes leak tears at the thought.  I cannot wait to see Spencer safely in their arms.

But Jack still needs a family.

A family to make sure he gets the medicine he needs.  Right now he is being taken care but in just a few short years, Jack is going to be out on the streets.  He is one of the 'lucky' ones who will not be institutionalized.  Instead he will age out of the internat where he lives and he will be on his own.  At the very very young age of 15 or 16.  Without any skills.  Without any knowledge of the outside world.  Without any idea how to take care of himself.  Without any way to get the medicine that he needs.  Friendless.  Penniless.  At the age when kids here are at the end of their high school years, enjoying their friends, going to the prom, learning independence yet always under the watchful care of their parents - Jack will be out.on.the.streets.

I can't imagine.

This is the cry of his heart:

"What do I need to do for a Mom to come?  Do you know where she is?  Is she looking for me?"

He doesn't care about the perfect family.  He just wants to be loved.

And Laurel.

She has less than 5 months before her chances of a family are GONE.

I wish I had a ton of pictures to show you of Laurel but all I have is this one picture of a beautiful girl in a wheelchair.

She is in a good place now but not for long.  Not for long.  Laurel is destined to spend the in the mental institute because she is physically disabled.

Those who met her recently described her as very smart and very friendly.  She is disabled in body but not in mind.  Not in spirit.  She has Aaron's condition (arthrogryposis) and it is TREATABLE.  It is not life-threatening.  It does not get any worse than it is now.  It only gets better.  I would venture to say that Aaron's doctor in Philly would move heaven and earth to get Laurel walking.

Please.  I know that God has been moving in hearts for these two precious children.  Please.  Consider.  Pray.

And Give.  Laurel's adoption costs are going to be around $24,000.00.  Jack's around $35,000.00.  Every single dollar into their accounts helps ease the terror as families stand on the edge of the cliff and count the cost.  You may not be able to adopt these two treasures but you can take part in helping someone else do it.

UNDERSTAND THIS - LAUREL IS JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME.  Her grant account needs to go up NOW.

Please give. Please pray. Please consider.

You can donate to JACK here and LAUREL here.  I would love to see both of their grant accounts rise significantly.  Money should NOT be the reason why either of these kids can't find homes!!

If not these two kids then consider the hundreds of other older kids who are LOST and ALONE and helpless without you.

Brent                                                                     Hanson






They are just children.  They don't care if they are older.  They don't care.  They just want Mamas and Papas to call their own.

They are Just Children.

P.S.  - I'm adding one more precious treasure onto this post.......

Her name is Bernadette

Be Still My Heart.

Like Laurel - She ages out in only a FEW MONTHS.

She has been BLESSED with an extra chromosome!!! 

This is what her description says about her...

She’s a lovely little girl in appearance. Despite being 15, she looks about 8 years old, and a petite 8 at that. She is a sweet little girl with plenty of energy. She likes what most 8 year olds would like- dolls, playing with toys, watching cartoons.

Like all the others - She is just a child in desperate need of a home.  If she doesn't find one then she will spend the entire rest of her days in a mental institution!!!



  1. My heart has been heavy with Bernadette this week, Julia. She only has til November and then she will be locked away in a mental institution, forever. My heart breaks for these "older" children. Just children, waiting to be chosen, loved, adopted into a family. Believing for God to move mountains for each of them. Thank you for continually sharing your heart.

  2. I was so happy I cried to see Spencer chosen and knew your next post would include that info. I am praying for these children and for the hearts of the fathers especially to be turned towards bringing them home. Also I loved the story of Millie, I had a Grandma Millie who got pregnant with my father when she was not married. The man also fathered a child with another woman and chose to marry her instead of my Grandma. My Grandma went to an unwed mothers home to have my Dad and at a time when you just didn't keep your child, my Grandmas brothers encouraged her to keep her baby, which she did. A friend went to visit my Grandma when she was in that home and brought another friend. The friend he brought fell in love with my Grandma and married her, she with a child not his. That man, my Grandpa, one of my most favorite people in the world, he died about 5 years ago. God is good, it was good that my Grandma did not marry the father of her child, he was an alcaholic. I can't imagine my life without my Grandpa and although he did not become a christian until later in life he honored his vows and he and my Grandma had 7 more children. He also took care of my Grandma through kidney removal surgery, 5 bypass surgery, and years and years of alzheimers care. He was told many times to just put her in a home but he could not, some think the stress from her care is what killed him. My Grandpa cared for his wife well into his 80s and when he died she was put in a nursing home, my heart broke, could not one of the 8 children have tried to keep her? I had to give that to God. My Grandma died a few years ago, I will never forget her or my Grandpa they were the only stable thing in my life growing up, I could always count on them to love me unconditionally and always be there for me. I am praying for God to send me a Millie.

  3. Julia,

    You know I think about Brent and Heath every day, multiple times a day. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders when I saw my third little favority guy, Spencer, on the MFFM page.

    The condensed version of Jeremiah 29:11 helped me get through a difficult pregnancy last year where I was expected to have a stillbirth, or a baby with many significant medical issues. I think this applies to Brent, Heath, Jack, Laurel and all the older children.

    "I know the plans I have for you. A future and a hope."

    It's UP TO US to help them uncover the plans for them.

    P.S. As you know, my sweet preemie daughter stopped growing 10 weeks before her due date. There were over 30 medical professionals of many specialties at the birth, anticipating all sorts of crises, prepared for many outcomes. Nothing. She had no significant medical issues and was just super tiny (still is!). The doctors were stunned and so were we. We braced for the worst and received the best. How often does that happen?! Does that ever really happen? The baby across from us in the NICU was a mirror image of what our baby was "supposed to be." She died the day after we were discharged.

    This experience is what sent me into the world of T21 and Reeces Rainbow.

    Why do I repeat this - you already know my story. I want to remind all of your readers that this showed me there is hope for every child and you just never know their destiny. It may not be what you expect or the experts tell you will happen. It may be worse, but it may be so, so, so much better.

    Your friend

  4. Thanking God for inspiring your words, friend. Love seeing Him work through you even though I know it's not east.


  5. That is the first picture I have ever seen of Victoria not smiling. :(

  6. Does anyone know if Jack is with an agency/region that would allow him to be hosted?

    1. Because of Jack's HIV status I believe he is not eligible for hosting from what I understand. I could be wrong.

  7. Julia ~ You are crying out for the Lost Ones and your voice is being heard. Please continue to cry out for them. How much does the evil one want to discourage or even silence you? he knows the stories you tell and the pictures you share are saving lives, and he does not like it. Please do NOT stop. The troops are rallying. This is our Call. Thank you, thank you for your courage! ~ Jennifer H.

  8. Your posts of the past few days are heartbreaking...amazing...haunting. There is a girl listed on RR "Lorie". She will age out in just a few months & be institutionalized. She has CP,strabismus, doesn't speak. I can't forget this child and feel helpless that she slips closer and closer to a fate that frightens me & may well be a place of lost hope for her. Giving to her RR account is one thing I CAN do. But she needs parents. She needs them now. You have a voice that is heard across cyberspace. Please advocate for this child. I would be willing to donate something as a fundraiser if that would help gain interest in her file. Please contact me if you're willing to feature her in one of your posts. She's a couple of months away from transfer.........

    is a blog from mother adopting from the orphanage where Laurel, Bernadette and Tyler and several other older kids are, and she has such wonderful things to say about them. They seem like amazing, kind kids.It's heartbreaking to think that they'll end up waiting for death in mental institutions.

  10. Oh, Julia, I totally understand what you are saying. I've always looked at the younger ones, too. Then the Lord changed my heart. Mark and I have learned a lot this last year about the older ones aging out and how no one wants them. That's why we are adopting Jonathan. I can't tell you the excitement Mark and I feel about having him be our son! There are still so many more older ones out there that nobody wants. Another beautiful,, heartfelt post from you! Thank you!

  11. O.K., swear I'm not stalking the blog but we're in love w/ Jack! Is he with a specific agency? Country? Same one I'm guessing we spoke of earlier this week?? How do you know so much about him? I'd love to know! E-mail if you can...

  12. Thank you so much for this post Julia. My heart is with all of the older children in the institutions. I know God must love them so much more and will move heaven and earth for any family who is willing to step forward.

  13. I just went and donated a tiny bit to Jack and Laurel. The picture of Jack at McDonald's should be his Reece's Rainbow picture. Can you do anything about that?

  14. Wonderful to see Spencer find his family! Thank you for advocating for him. Now, if we could find a family for Heath, that would truly be a miracle.


  15. Oh I cant stand it... I want to throw up! I want to go get them all... I hate it! that is all I can say!

  16. Thank you Julia for this post. I feel like the older ones too get overlooked, & I just pray for the girls I am advocating for to find families before they age out.

  17. God has been talking to me about the older children, too.

  18. God has been talking to me about the older kids, too. And the fact that ALL of these orphans are just children--just like our own children (all of whom are adopted, by the way)

  19. Thank you Julia - this was EXACTLY what I needed to read today!

  20. I was trying to find a "contact me" button on your blog but I could not, so I'm going to post this here - I am organizing a fundraiser for Jack, and was wondering if I could utilize your "extra" pictures of him that are not on the Reece's Rainbow website, in my fundraising blog post. Please let me know if that is all right with you - I am currently working on some fundraiser sponsors, and am hoping to have the fundraiser "live" on Saturday. You can e-mail my Gmail account 'libertydidact' and let me know if that's all right with you. :)

  21. I've totally been stalking these kids on RR this week. My heart is heavy for these older ones too, which is odd because I'm a baby momma. I take foster newborns and toddlers...I've never thought of adopting an older child, until this week. I'm praying that I'll see each of these kids on the "I found my family" list soon and that the Lord would direct us to action.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!