Monday, February 25, 2013

The List

This list is for all those brave souls who have come to a place when they realize that there is room at their table for another.
This list is for all of those who are standing on the edge of the cliff and wondering whether they should jump.
This list is for those who are home alone with their newly adopted and are feeling overwhelmed and alone.
This list is for those in the church who are beginning to understand that caring for the orphan is not an option but a command and that families who have adopted need support and help.
This list is for the grandmothers and the aunts and uncles and the cousins. It is for the neighbors and the friends.  It is for the pastors and the teachers.
It is for you.  It is for me.
This list is made up of real children who struggle with real issues because they were orphaned through no fault of their own.
This list is a group effort.  It is the experience of numerous families who crossed the ocean.
It represents tragedy and sorrow but also love and commitment. 
It is not written to scare people away from adoption but instead to draw families in.  To break hearts.  To bear witness to what so many children are going through on a daily basis.

It is written to give insight and understanding into why the children may act in certain ways. 

It is written with a wide range of children in mind - the crib-bound, laying down room children; the children with physical or mental disabilities; the children who are mildly disabled; the typical children and the older children. 

It is written with a wide range of places in mind - the babyhouses, the internats, the mental institutes, foster homes and the boarding schools. 

It is written with the understanding that some children will fit seamlessly and effortlessly into a family without pause and others will battle the demons of their past.  It is written with the understanding that some children will carry only a few of these burdens while others will bear testimony to the harshest of worlds. 

It is written with the understanding that some of these behaviors are easily handled and others take time and more time. 

It is written with the understanding that every single child is unique and their story is unique. 

It is written in dedication to our Aaron.

Aaron's one baby picture

As we consider him, his struggles, his needs.

As we find those places on this list that describe him.

As we recognize how much he has overcome in the two years he has been with us.

As we realize all the ways that he has rocked our world.

Aaron at four years old at the baby house.

As we wonder how we survived in our family without him....


When a child is taught from birth that no amount of crying will solicit a response from the caretakers that child may....

Not cry. 
Cry only silent tears.
Not know how to express their feelings of pain or discomfort.
Have such a high pain tolerance you don't know that anything is wrong.
Sometimes laugh hysterically when something hurts. 
Be unable to express or even process their feelings.
Have bursts of screams for good and bad emotions.
Scream all day long for no obvious reason.
Lay in bed scared, sick or needing help yet will not cry for help.
Have been drugged to keep them quiet.

When a infant is never held or rocked and has not experienced the gentle arms of a mother and father holding them in their arms, that child may, out of a desperate need to be touched...

Rock back and forth in their cribs, sometimes violently.
Bang their heads repetitively against the crib rails.
Grind their teeth.
Scratch themselves, often to the point of making themselves bleed.
Hit themselves over and over and over again.
Bite, chew or suck on their tongues, lips, fingers, hands, arms.
Pull their hair out.
Lay limp and unmoving for hours.
Space out with a blank stare on their faces.
Moan and groan and make other repetitive noises, sometimes for hours and hours on end.

When a child has never experienced tender touch, hugs or kisses, that child may....

Be extremely sensitive to touch and will pull away from it.
Stiffen when picked up, held or touched.
Sit stiff on a parent's lap.
Become frightened by the movements of a rocking chair.
Fight off attempts to be carried or held.
Become frantic when being carried.
Get upset when being carried facing towards the parent.
Hang like a limp noodle when picked up or carried.
Not know to hold up their arms to be held.
Not care if they are picked up or held.
Want to be held or carried all the time.
Cling and hang on to the parent and become frantic when they are out of their sight.
Lean into a parent in an attempt to communicate their need to be held.
Seek out affection from anyone who is willing to give it.
Not understand what it means to be tickled.
Refuse to make eye contact.
Have a complete disconnect with people and surroundings.
Not come to the parent for comfort when hurt or in need.
Not understand kisses and hugs and may reject them.
Turn their back on the parent when being laid down.
Seek out physical attention by misbehaving.

When a crib-bound child in an institute is left for vast amounts of time without any social interaction or stimulation, some of them...

Are unable to sit up or hold up their heads.
Have low muscle tone.
Are unable to to pull themselves up to a standing position.
Twirl their fingers in front of their eyes for hours.
Chew on the crib rails.
Dislocate their joints over and over again.
Moan and groan and make other chanting noises for entertainment.
Roll back and forth violently in their crib.
Blank the world out and disappear into the recesses of their minds.
Rock on all fours for hours on end.
Play with their spit.
Scratch or bite themselves.
Flap their hands.
Have problems with their eyes (vision issues).
Sleep for long hours at a time. (15-18 hours a day)
Sleep for only short hours at a time. (3-4 hours a day)
Have been drugged in order to keep them quiet and will go through profound withdrawl. 
Prefer being in bed to being out of it.
Will not signal that they are awake.

When a child has never had opportunity to play with toys, that child may...

Be sensitive to touch and not like having anything in their hands.
Not understand how to play.
Throw the toys away.
Break, chew or spit on the toys.
Tear books to shreds.
Have a complete disinterest in looking at books.
Want to look at books for hours on end.
Gravitate towards easy board style picture-books even if they are beneath the age of the child.
Choose toys that are beneath the age of the child.
Fixate on one toy and refuse to play with anything else.

When a child has never owned anything in their lives, that child may...

Steal things from other members of the family.
Horde and hid their things in closets, under the bed, behind shelves.
Be overcome with gratefulness for everything given to them.
Not want to play with their toys for fear of breaking them or losing them.
Scream at anyone who comes near their things.
Struggle to share.
Refuse to do anything without gaining something (bargaining for behavior).
Break everything they own.
Believe that everything is theirs for the taking.
Believe that if anyone tries to help them with a toy that they are taking it away.
Develop an entitlement mentality that the world owes them everything.
Want to wear the same clothes for days on end.

When a child has spent their entire lives inside any type of institute and has never had anyone work with them, read to them, take them anywhere or teach them the basics, that child may...

Come out not knowing ANYTHING.
Be unable to talk or have an extremely limited vocabulary.
Struggle to learn a new language.
Be academically and cognitively behind by years.
Have an extremely poor attention span and be unable to concentrate. (ADHD)
Be so overwhelmed by new information that they can only take in small bits at a time.
Not know what to do with pencils or crayons or paper.
Be extremely sensitive to the sights and sounds of the outside world.
Be terrified out in public to the point of frantic fighting.
Be unaware of dangers around them.
Be prone to wander and explore - even outdoors - even in the middle of the night.
Become obsessed with the electronics in the house (light switches, appliances, water faucets, outlets etc.)
Never have had their teeth brushed.
Never have had more than just a sponge bath.
Be terrified of water and getting a bath.
Be obsessed with water and want to get multiple baths during the day.
Choose to watch TV shows, read books or play with toys that are for much younger children.
Have a total lack of interest in playing with their peers.
Gravitate towards playing with much younger children.
Gravitate towards interacting with the adults or older people in their life.

When a crib-bound child in an institute is left to lay in their own waste because the budgets in many orphanages allows for only two diapers in a 24 hour period, that child...

May have red, raw, inflammed skin around their bottom.
May play with their bowel and paint it on the crib and walls around them.
May have urinary tract infections.
May not be potty trained, even if he/she is an advanced age.
May be afraid to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, even when able to walk.

When a crib-bound child is fed only liquid meals out of bottles several times a day and is forced to drink their bottle in a matter of minutes before it is removed they may...

Develop a fear of eating.
Be unable to process foods and may develop re-feeding syndrome.
Have an inability to eat solids.
Have severe malnutrition.
Have severe weight loss when their diet is changed.
Have rickets and other vitamin deficiences.
Refuse to drink liquids.
Vomit up a large portion of what goes in.
Be allergic to numerous foods.

When a child is fed enough in an orphanage to sustain them but not enough to satisfy their physical or emotional need for food that child may..

Be the size of an infant even at an older age.
Have brittle bones.
Be unable to feed himself, hold a cup, chew or swallow.
Not know how to drink from a straw.
Only be able to tolerate soft foods.
Only to able to tolerate bland foods.
Have an oral fixation - wanting to lick everything and put everything into his/her mouth.
Scream and cry when the meal is being prepared or when it is over.
Eat anything including paint chips, paper, mulch, their own poop, crib slats, balloons and more.
Reject all food that is similar in taste or texture to what was eaten in the orphanage.
Reject all food except that which is similar in taste or texture to what was eaten in the orphanage.
Throw food or play with it.
Not have an understanding of hunger vs. full.
Gorge themselves on food without stopping until they are sick.
Be obsessed with mealtimes and menus.
Be hungry and want food all day.
Hide food or steal it.
Refuse to leave the kitchen when food is being prepared.
Eat like a dog with face in the plate.
Eat all his food within just a few minutes time period.
Eat food off the floor and lick the floor where the food dropped.
Eat out of the cat/dog dish.

When a child is physically disabled or has health issues, they are often unable to get the treatments and therapies they need.  Because of this many children....

Are unable to walk.
Are unable to feed themselves.
Have enlarged tonsils from lack of treatment.
Have numerous and on-going ear infections and sinus infections.
May have hearing loss.
May have heart defects that are past the point of repair.
May have lung damage.
May have rotten teeth.
May have incorrect diagnoses and undiagnosed problems.
May have increased symptoms.

When a child becomes sick or needs medical help they are often taken to the hospital and left alone for days/weeks/months on end without anyone offering them comfort, visits or attention. They also are left without a caregiver/advocate who would check to make sure they are free from pain. That child may....

Have an uncontrollable terror of people wearing white coats.
Be terrified of all medical procedures.
Cry uncontrollably when taken into any medical building.
Tune out or blank out when taken for medical procedures.
Become angry or aggressive after coming out of procedures/anesthesia.
Turn their back on the parent or push the parent away when being offered comfort.
Latch on to the nursing staff inappropriately.
Latch on to visitors and allow them to lavish attention while ignoring the parent.
Have a high pain tolerance.
Have a high tolerance for narcotics (some hospitals keep the children drugged to keep them quiet).
Have a low pain tolerance and a fear of every bump, bruise or scratch on their body.
Have an obsession over anything that might cause them pain.

When a child has been transferred from their babyhouse to a mental institute that child may....

Lose the ability to communicate.
Imitate the behaviors of the children around them.
Blank out and stare for long periods of time.
Rock, moan, groan.
Grind their teeth.
Wet or poop in their pants.
Withdraw and refuse all eye contact.
Become sensitive to touch.
Exhibit inappropriate sexual behaviors.
Lose the ability to walk.
Be terrified of the dark or being alone.
Struggle to communicate in their native language. (Some of the children are transferred to an institute where the child's language or dialect is different. This often leads to loss of language skills in their native language.)
Struggle to learn a new language.
have been drugged.

When a child has never had anyone listen to them, help them process their thoughts and feelings or help them understand the world, that child may...

Struggle to express their feelings or emotions.
Throw fits of rage over seemingly little incidences.
Withdraw, check out or blank out when feelings become too hard to handle.
Cry silent tears.
Rock back and forth when afraid.
Latch on to anyone who spends any time with them.
Talk incessently.
Talk loudly.
Manipulate with their words - I love you if...
Want to touch everything and everyone in an inappropriate, excessive way.
Be unable to laugh or understand when something is funny.
Laugh at inappropriate times.
Laugh or respond inappropriately when told no or when reprimanded.
Cry when happy.
Hit themselves in the head, face or jaw when upset or angry at themselves or someone else.
Hit themselves when told no.
Be unable or afraid to ask for something they need or want. 
Choose to steal, lie or go without before asking.
Repeat the same phrases or conversations over and over again.
When a child has had their entire lives ordered for them (when to get out of bed, when to eat, what to eat, what to wear, when to go to the bathroom  etc) without being given a choice about anything, that child may....

Be unable to make even simple choices.
Become frightened or angry when the schedule is altered in the slightest.
Become angry and out of control when he/she doesn't get their way.
Pee and poop in their pants even when potty trained because they are afraid to ask to go to the bathroom.
Be too afraid to get out of bed even when needing to use the bathroom or when it is time to get up.
Continue to want his/her life ordered for him and refuse to do anything for themselves.
Not understand or accept the concept of waiting.
Choose to latch on to one parent over another.
Need to review over and over and over again the simple happenings of a day.
Ask the same questions over and over and over again for comfort.
Struggle with needing to control anything and everything.
Focus on controlling the one thing they can control - their bodily functions (these children will vomit, spit, pee, poop etc. as a way to have control).
Refuse to walk when out in public.
Throw fits of rage when told no.
Try to manipulate to get their way.
Lie. Steal. Cheat.
Run away.

When a child in an orphanage has learned that only the strongest and the fittest survive, that child may...

Be terrified of the dark or being alone.
Be unable to fall asleep easily at night and struggle to stay asleep.
Prefer playing with children younger than him/her.
Be physically or vebally aggressive with his/her siblings.
Be sexually inappropriate.
Boss younger siblings around.
Hit, punch, poke, bite and kick other children and animals.
Have the language of a sailor out to sea.
Struggle to let the parent be in control.
Be unable to attach emotionally to the parents. (Reactive Attachment Disorder).

When a child is freed from an orphanage, institute, boarding house, internat....
They may be grateful, upset, happy, scared, excited, angry or fearful.
They may be so afraid that 'this too will pass' that they will hold themselves in check for days, weeks, months and even years before they allow themselves to actually let themselves live freely.
They may be so relieved that someone finally loves them that they will blossom as soon as kind hands carry them away.
They may fit seamlessly into a family.
They may fight with every ounce of their being.
They may provide a lifetime of pure laughter and delight.
They may cause you great sorrow.
They will rock your world.
They will cause you to rethink your priorities.
They will help you gain an insight into the Steadfast and Unfailing Love that the Father has for You.
They will teach you way more than you taught them.

And you... well...
YOU will never be the same.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Church, Wake Up!

Want your heart broken???  Want to see with your own eyes why we have been yelling for so long and WILL NOT STOP. 

Rob and I watched this morning.  We remembered.  We grieved.  We agonized over the LOST ONES across the ocean.  In every country.  In the hidden villages and remote parts of the cities.
Our son was given up because he was disabled.
Please go watch.  Take some time today and watch with your kids.  Watch with your church.  Watch with your friends and family and neighbors. 
If you can't decide whether you have the money or the time or the place at your table to adopt....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time Out

This isn't the kind of time out when someone needs to sit quietly in a chair because they have been naughty....

And this isn't the kind of time out when a coach needs to gather his team together to get their heads back on straight....
And this isn't the kind of time out a person does when they are finished working for the day...

And this isn't the kind of time out when someone needs a coffee break....
This is the kind of time out I must do when in the midst of writing serious posts.....
Because happy dancing is happening here at my house!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Time Takes Time

I shared yesterday about a list we were given after we committed to Aaron.

A list that gave us a clue into what behaviors we might see from a child who had spent 6 years in an institution.

It kept us from being shocked/surprised/dismayed when Aaron exhibited some of the behaviors.

It reassured us that others had gone before us and we were not alone.

I want to give you that list.

I want to share it with you because I think it is profoundly important for families to understand that adoption is HARD.  Children who have been locked away behind walls and left in cribs unattended have been deeply bruised and broken. 

Aaron's babyhouse

We have tried over the last few years to share Aaron's story with as much candor as we could without invading his long-term privacy.

One day Aaron is going to read this blog.  I doubt he would appreciate having the world know every single detail of his private life. 

But at the same time it is important to not sugar-coat adoption.

It is hard.

People see the dimples on our son and not the sorrow.  He spent six years locked away. He spent six years learning how to survive on his own.  He spent six years profoundly alone.

Aaron in the background walking

 Two and a half years after bringing Aaron home he still grinds his teeth at night and rocks back and forth in his bed for comfort. I often lay in my bed and listen to him and grieve deep inside my heart.  All the love in the world cannot simply erase the trauma of his past life.  Time heals.  Yes.  But time takes time.

And that is the hardest part of all.

Love doesn't just wipe a slate clean.

In the same way that God's forgiveness does not keep us from falling back into sin again and again - carrying a child out of an orphanage does not keep that child from falling back into orphanage behavior again and again.

The behaviors in their past rear their ugly head for years to come.

It is naive for families to cross the ocean without a list in their back pocket.

A list that causes them to shudder and shake and pray and grieve and cry out to God in terror.

A list that keeps them grounded in reality and not fairy tale rescues.

A list that pushes them to understand that it takes time and even more time for healing to take place.

A list that reminds them that God and God alone redeems lives from the pit. 

I cannot erase six years of damage in my son's life.  God can. 

He can take lists and rearrange the words.

He can take lists and transform them.

It's His job.

He takes the parts of that list that belong to Aaron and he is transforming it. 

Little by little.

It takes time.

It takes patience and love.

It takes commitment and a willingness to give grace over and over and over again to a child who has experienced only neglect and trauma.

I have watched families cross the ocean believing that the hardest part of adoption is the paperwork and the cultural shock.  I have watched them meet their child and see the wild eyes and the terror and respond in dismay and distress because they left their list at home.

They left their list at home.

Before a family commits - they need to read this list.

Not to scare them off - but to understand that the child they are considering adopting is desperately needy.  Confining children to their cribs for years and years has consequences.  Those babes learn all kinds of behaviors in order to survive.  Those behaviors are not going to go away with a few kisses and a few hugs. 

My son is a master manipulator. 

He is an absolute professional at figuring out how to get what he wants from Rob and me.

He is unbelievably gifted in the fine art of sneakiness and lies.

He knows how to work the system.

Any system.

Every system.

He spent six years refining his skills.  Learning how to get the caretakers to give him what he wanted.  He didn't even need language to get his way.  He learned how to manipulate without opening his mouth. 

Aaron in babyhouse

All of Aaron's behaviors are on the list.

Thankfully not every behavior on the list are Aaron's!

And slowly but surely God is transforming that list for Aaron.  His weapons are losing their power.  He is slowly learning to let go.  Fear is being replaced by trust and love.  He has been given the gift of time.  Time and more time.  God's redeeming time in the life of one little boy.

In Part Three of this series, I'm going to post the list.

It is not the same list we were given.  While I was writing these blogposts I asked a group of moms who have adopted to help me with the list.  I am grateful for them.  Every single behavior on this list represents a precious treasure who has been hurt and neglected and abused.  Every single behavior has been experienced by the hundreds of Reece's Rainbow moms who have discovered that the easy part is crossing the ocean and the hard part but the BEST PART is taking that broken and hurting babe and breathing life and hope and wholeness deep into their souls.

Because even though there is a LIST... the reality is... they are children.  Desperately needy children who long for someone to see past the grit and the grime and the smell and the rot.... who long for someone to wait out their crazy fighting and manipulating and tantrums... who long for someone to love them enough to give them time.  And even more time.  And even more time after that. 

I do not post the list to discourage families from adoption. 

On the contrary.  I am posting the list in order to SCREAM OUT TO THE CHURCH that these children need OUT. They need families to sacrfice everything to get these babes out.



Families need to COUNT THE COSTS and choose to go based on truth and not fairy tales.  They need to understand that they are making a choice that is GOOD and RIGHT and GODLY.

I do not post a list to scare.  I post a list to advocate and yell and give voice to the lost ones so far away. be continued....


Monday, February 18, 2013

We Were Not Naive

    Three years ago we agreed to adopt a little boy based on a bunch of words on a page.

    "Aaron is a darling, blonde haired and blue eyed boy who was born with arthrogryposis. He is very high functioning, cognitively normal, and is able to walk on on his own. His feet are nearly normal, and his hands are only minimally affected. He stands straight and tall and is very active! Aaron has recently been transferred to the institution, so we need a family for him FAST! He deserves to have a loving family, not to be stuck behind 4 walls for the rest of his life! "

    We clung to the positive words in that paragraph.  High functioning.  Normal.  Walking.   Active.  Tall.  Straight. 
    We clung to those words as we waded through the paperwork to go get him. 
    Yet we were not naive.  We knew that he had several strikes against him.
    He was an orphan.  He was physically disabled.  He had been transferred to a mental institute.
    That last sentence froze us up every single time.

    We were adopting a child out of a mental institute who was cognitively normal.  What did that mean?  How would he be affected?  In what shape would he be in when we arrived? 
    And to make matters worse - no one really even knew him or knew where he was.  He was the first listed from his babyhouse and his institute was an unknown.  We were swimming in a world of nothing.

    We were able to locate one person who had been to Aaron's babyhouse and through him we were able to gather some information about our little guy from the director of his babyhouse.  His words did not encourage us but instead left us scratching our heads. Aaron was transferred to a level 4 institute because he was severely physically AND mentally disabled. 

     We were saddened but not totally blindsided  by the information.
    We had read enough and knew enough to know that mental and physical disabilities went hand in hand over there.
    We also knew that the tests given to determine mental ability were desperately biased against the orphan.  How could a child answer questions on a test about the workings of the outside world when he had never been outside his tiny section of the babyhouse?
    We were adopting a child based on a few sentences and some disheartening words from a director.  We were adopting a child without anyone to really hold our hands. Not too many children who were in Aaron's circumstances were being adopted out of level 4 institutes. 
    To say we felt alone would have been putting it mildly.
    But we were not naive.
    We were also not without some help.
    We had a list.
    A list describing what we possibly faced when we brought our dimpled little boy into our home.
    It was a scary list.
    A list that caused us to catch our breath and question what we were doing.
    A list that seemed endless and overwhelming.
    A list that spoke of neglect and sorrow and abuse.
    A list that cried out for redemption and grace.
    I took that list and placed it on my desktop. 
    I read it over and over and over again.  Rob and I discussed it.  Grieved through it.  Worried and wondered and waited.
    We read it with gratefulness because it kept our feet firmly planted.  It prevented us from pretending that love could just simply wash away six years of neglect.  It anchored us to reality.  It allowed us to prepare our hearts ahead of time for what we would soon encounter.
    We did not walk through the gates in that tiny village naive.
    We had a list.
    Though our first days there were filled with grief and shock - we went in prepared and for that I am very very grateful.
 be continued.....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Join In

Without giveaways..... prizes.... incentives....
Without strings attached at all....
You gave.
You gave!
You gave to bring these two absolutely precious treasures home!!
You brought them $1,709 steps closer to being fully funded!
They are still quite a bit short but I am so encouraged.
When I lay in bed yesterday morning praying and worrying because I really worry and struggle over asking for money... When I lay in bed I had to just hand it over to the Lord and rest in that. 
Thank you for encouraging ME and Thank you for encouraging the Sharps!!
If you didn't have a chance yesterday....
They still need $17,000.00 and they are expecting to travel in March.
There's nothing in it for you except the satisfaction that giving is right and good and holy. 
So please help.
Help bring these babes home!!
The love that is going to be lavished on them is going to make it hard for their little feet to actually hit the floor for a very very long time!!
Oh My Goodness I just can't stand to wait!
I can't wait to see these babes in the next Sharp Family Group Picture!
You can donate to their Reece's Rainbow grant fund HERE.
Or you can donate to their Project Hopeful grant fund HERE.

Or you can go on their blog and make a donation to their chip-in HERE.
Let's go from 1,700 to 17,000!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just Imagine

Imagine being safely asleep in your bed with your sister nearby.
Imagine someone coming into your bedroom in the middle of the night and grabbing you out of your bed and carrying you down the steps and just about out of the house.
Imagine waking up in this person's arms terrified beyond belief.
Imagine that you are just a little girl.
Imagine that only by the GRACE OF GOD did the man drop you and run because your sister heard a noise and got out of bed to investigate.

Imagine the screams and the cries.
Imagine the terror of your family as they run out of their rooms to find out what is happening.
It happened.
It happened back in October to a Reece's Rainbow family.
A family who is in process to adopt two little babes from Ch*na.

They were in the middle of life when an intruder robbed them of all feelings of safety and comfort in their own home.

He came into their home and tried to kidnap one of the girls.
Imagine the terror of the children each night as they crowd in their parent's room and sleep on the floor.  Even now, months later!

It has been beyond hard on this family.
Imagine the worry as they realize that all the happenings surrounding the intruder robbed them of the months they needed to fundraise and get ready for their two precious babes. Imagine their sacrifice as they had to borrow 10,000 to pay fees that needed to be paid.  Imagine their frustration at being turned down for grants they desperately needed. 
Imagine how they feel right now when they see their timetable and realize they still need almost $19,000.00.
Dear friends, for the last six weeks I have been taking a quiet break from blogging. 
Partly because we are swamped, and I just literally do not have time to think.
Partly because I have been burned out and needed a break.
But this morning I'm coming out of my break for a temporary shout out.
Please listen well.
This family is within weeks of travel and they still need a wheelbarrow full of money.
I've blogged about them before back in the fall and you helped them raise some of their fees.  I care deeply about their two babes.  They are little people and where they live they have no chance of living a normal life. 

The Sharps have experience adopting children with dwarfism.  They brought another RR babe home two years ago - Kullen. 

He's thriving and can't wait to have a brother and a sister who are just like him!!
I struggled to know how to share what happened to them back in October because it was horrific and beyond belief.   I was hoping that their community would rally to their side considering the circumstances.  But they had to go private with their blog for a season and have been hesitant to do much yelling for fear that something would happen again. 
So here they are.
Within weeks of travel and without the funds they need to go.


Put yourself in their shoes.

It has seriously been a hard winter for them.
Now imagine a body of believers who decide to rise up and quietly and lovingly fill their bucket so that this one worry can be taken off their hearts.
Imagine a body of believers who willingly sacrifices their hard-earned money so that two little children can grow strong and free in a home filled with love.


I haven't asked in a while to help raise funds. 

I'm asking now. 

Will you please help this family raise the ransom to get these kids home?  Will you give sacrificially?  Will you dig deep? 

Will you rise up and bless the Sharps??

Help them bring Rowyn and Zekiel home?


You can donate to their Reece's Rainbow grant fund HERE.
Or you can donate to their Project Hopeful grant fund HERE.

Or you can go on their blog and make a donation to their chip-in HERE.




P.S.  To be fully funded the Sharps need their RR grant to read:  $25,231.00

Just Imagine.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

See Him!

Oh if only.... if only....

If only we had more than just ONE picture....




Look  what I stole off THIS BLOG!....

I don't think Pam would mind as we share the same heart for this boy!!




Please... someone look in that child's eyes and see SON!!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Ipad Boy!!

Betcha can't guess what I am doing????
I'm playing on my iPad!!
It is my favorite thing to do in all the world!!
My favorite game right now is Minecraft!!
I could play it for hours and hours and hours if my mom would let me....
She's not that nice....


Friday, February 8, 2013


He is only a few months older than my son Elijah.
He has spent his entire life confined in rooms and cribs.
His only crime - he cannot walk.
He cannot walk.
We have been yelling for him for a long time now.
Yet he still waits.
Please won't someone see these new pictures of Emmitt and SEE HIM.
Please will not someone out there find room at their table for a sweet natured child who smuggles toys and books into his bed so that he can play with them.
Please will not someone out there find room for a clever child who desperately wants parents and a better life.
He has less than a year before he ages out.
Emmitt has $4,011.00 in his grant account.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Heath is Still Lost!

I can't walk away.
We committed ourselves over two years ago at Aaron's institute that we would yell and scream until Heath and Brady found families.
He is still without a family.
So many have asked.  So many have longed.
No one has committed.
This morning I received an e-mail from an RR mom asking for more information about Heath so she could yell alongside me.  What else can I say?  We have ONE picture. 

We have just a few memories....
Just a few memories of one little boy who has spent 12 years of his life hidden behind walls.
We saw him just about every day for six weeks when the boys were being herded to the eating sheds. He rode with another boy in an adult sized wheelchair. Both boys fit neatly into the wheelchair together. He was nine at the time. Very tiny. He would often have a string in his hands and be playing with it - twirling it around. 
We only saw him out of the wheelchair one time. 
Instead of sitting inside the shed, the caretakers from his groupa had brought the boys out and they were sitting on benches out in the shade. It was a Sunday because that was the ONE day when they broke routine. It was the ONE day when there was less staff and the director was not on the grounds. It was the one day when one of the groupas even listened to music. The boys sat on their benches in a circle and they had lively Ukra*ni*n music playing. Only on Sundays. 
Heath was on the ground which was really unusual. He wasn't sitting on a carpet.  Usually the caretakers wouldn't allow a child to sit on the ground unless something was underneath them. They used to bring cardboard and a blanket out for Aaron to sit on. We tried hard to keep him on it but IT.WAS. HARD!!
Aaron didn't like to be contained on that silly cardboard and blanket!!

  So I was struck by the fact that Heath was sitting and playing in the dirt. Very very quiet. He would have gone unnoticed except that I was looking for him. I was able to stand and watch him for a few minutes. He was playing with his dirty string and sitting on the ground. Entertaining himself quietly. I don't believe the caretakers put him on the ground. I think he must have gotten himself over there which made us think he could walk a bit. All the other boys were on the benches or in wheelchairs except Heath. Calm. Quiet. Heath. That was how we saw him. 
Lost in his own little world.
In need of a family to draw him out. 
We knew he was a hard case. 
We didn't know that two years later  - with a full grant available - that he would still be waiting.
He has $22,494.00 in his grant account. 
All a family would need would be a few thousand to get their homestudy done.
Heath needs a family who understands that he is 12 years old and has been living in rather miserable conditions for YEARS.  They need to understand that we have no idea if he can walk, talk, interact.  We don't know if he can feed himself.  We don't know if he is potty trained.  We know nothing. 
We do know that he is little for his age and he seemed very calm.   He was a cute little fella who shared a wheelchair with another little guy.  We called him our little burger king.
They feed the boys decently at the institute.  They are not starved.  They keep them as clean as they can under the cicumstances.  Chances are though, Heath will come home with a few unwanted bugs inside his system.  That's a real reality. 
I did have a chance to go onto Heath's floor for a few minutes and the smell was definitely not for the faint-hearted.  The caretakers are not abusive and genuinely care.  They are over-worked and underpaid.  In Heath's groupa there are TWO caretakers for TWENTY physically and mentally disabled boys.  They are responsible for all their care plus all the cleaning and washing.  They also are responsible to keep the grounds clean!  Despite that... they get any of the boys who can sit up and move around OUT OF THEIR BEDS and for that I give them a standing ovation!!  Heath is not confined to his bed all day every day.  He does sit in a shed and he does spend his days doing nothing but at least he gets to go outside when the weather permits.
What more can I say?
Heath needs a family.
So do Alexei and Hanson and Samuel.
These are our Lost Boys.
They break our hearts.
For them I still yell.