Sunday, July 31, 2016

Watch Me, Mama!

We live in a pool-less country so unless we go to a nearby gated community to swim at their pool or lake or go down to the river, we are left to our own devices on hot summer days.  A recent trip to Sam's Club with two little boys in tow found them drooling over a cheap pool.  They begged. Please, Mama.  Please! 

They were pleading so hard people in the store were watching me to see what I was going to do.
I caved.

I bought them a cheap, vacuum-needed blow-up pool.

They were overjoyed.

We set it up next under my office window so I could easily work and watch them at play.

It's cheap.  It has three sections and after the first day the first section refuses to retain air for more than an hour or so.

They don't care.

It's a pool. It's fun.

And did I say it was right under my office window?

Right under my window so that every few minutes they are yelling for me to look.  Mama!!  Mom!  MOM!!! Open the window, Mama! See what we can do!!

Every few minutes I get the inconvenience privilege of stopping my work to watch two very silly boys show me their antics.

Mama!! Watch Me!!

Watch me!!

I watch. I laugh. I close the window. I try to get some work done until they call again. And again.  And again. Open the window. Watch me, Mama. Watch me.

Watch me! Notice me.

Nothing they show me isn't something I haven't already seen a thousand times before but it doesn't matter.  It really doesn't matter. They want to be seen and I cannot ignore their pleas.

It's a universal cry. Children from the beginning of time have been begging their parents to watch them.

Watch me!

See me!

Take pleasure in what I do. 

There are five Shadow Children in this Giveaway who are wasting away in institutes across the ocean with the cry of their heart unmet.  They have been overlooked for so long. They have no one to watch them and take delight in their silly antics.

Thankfully, for four of these children, those cries will be heard soon.  Amos. Daisy. Lee. Violet.

Soon they will be showing off to two people who will never tire of watching them do their tricks over and over and over again. It's what you do as parents. It's what they need.

One little boy has yet to find a family who loves him best of all. One little boy is crying in his heart to be noticed.  Watched. Seen.  Right now his cries are falling on deaf ears. 

Does anyone out there SEE Otto??
 We have one day left. 

This Giveaway ends on Monday night.

If you are putting it off until the last minute.... IT'S TIME TO GIVE!!!


Raised so far: $12,266.00

Bloom Family - $8,207.00
They need 15,576.00 more to be fully funded.
Otto - $4,059.00

To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..

Saturday, July 30, 2016

An Opportunity to Sacrifice

I so wish I could share with you some of the e-mails and messages I have gotten from people giving to our five Shadow Children.

I wish I could tell you about the family who is struggling to pay their bills yet found 5 dollars to give to the Blooms.  Or the family families in the midst of an adoption themselves who donated. Or the sweet woman who gave one day and then felt the Lord tapping on her heart and so she gave again.  Or the advocate who is discouraged and weary but gave anyway.

The sweet notes make my day.  The reality that out of the giving springs joy.  And with that joy gratefulness.  So many are grateful to the Blooms.  Grateful to know about Otto. Grateful for the opportunity to sacrifice.

They are grateful to sacrifice.

They are grateful they can give a little bit to ease the burden from someone else.

To each of you who have given - whether you gave in plenty or great need - thank you.  Thank you for giving with joy. Thank you for pouring into 5 children who have no idea you even exist.  Thank you for caring for the orphan. Thank you for hearing about this opportunity to sacrifice and doing it!!

We have 3 days left on our Shadow Children Giveaway.
Lots of prizes.
5 orphans.
It ends on Monday night.
If you haven't taken your opportunity to sacrifice - join in.  The joy is just waiting to spring up from deep inside of you.

The Blooms still need $16,095 to be fully funded!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Never Least

She's the fourth child added to their adoption.
Last but not least.  Never least.
She's a clever little girl.  Gentle. Sweet.  She was friends with two of the boys they adopted 2 years ago, Theo and Orion, and they are thrilled that she is going to be their sister!
She's been waiting so very long for a family.  Passed over time again by families. Possibly because the first pictures of her she had a shaved head.
I know they have to keep head lice to a minimum but....why oh why do they do that to the girls???
Check out this before hair and after hair picture of Violet.
Would you choose the child on the left or the child on the right to adopt?? 
How sad that it is the same child!
What a difference a picture makes.
The Blooms are so excited that Violet is going to be part of their family.  Their daughters at home are really excited to add another sister to their mix. 

Four children. Two boys and two girls. 
Amos. Lee. Daisy. Violet.
Each with a story.
Each a treasure just waiting to be found.
Raised so far: $9,755
Bloom Family - $6,458
They need 17,207.00 more to be fully funded.
Otto - $3,297


To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Every Single One

Aaron and John and I are on the road again today. We are heading for Georgia to attend the LAST homeschool convention of this season.

This giveaway is not pausing while I am gone.  It is going to move merrily along even though I won't be able to share and scream and yell as loudly as I would like.

But I know that the Holy Spirit is the mover of hearts - not me.  So I am trusting and believing that over the weekend God is going to move in hearts and people will give.

We are raising money for one little Lost Boy and one crazy, orphan-loving family.

I didn't share a goal for this giveaway.

I haven't thrown up numbers of what I wanted to raise.

For Otto... every single penny and every single share is more than he had just a few days ago. I want him to find a family so badly. 

Once this giveaway is over he will recede into the background.  Just one more orphan among so many many orphans.  This is his chance to be seen and so my deepest prayer is that he will be seen.  Mama and Papa.... where are you?? You have a little bird to feed!!

For the Bloom family the financial need is great!

Because Amos is in a totally different region than the other three children... the cost for their adoption is around 47,500.00.  Two of the children have 10,000 grants from Reece's Rainbow which is a HUGE gift!  So that brings the cost down to 27,500.00.

The Blooms are awaiting USCIS approval and then they can submit their dossier.  Things move fast in that country which means they could be traveling in 6-8 weeks. 

That is NOT a lot of time to raise that much money.

The Blooms have enough room at their table and they have what they need to care for these four treasures.  But they don't have ransom money sitting around and none of these children have the luxury of time on their hands.

Amos has aged out and ONLY because the Blooms filed for him are they able to get him. If they walk away... Amos loses all hope of being rescued from a lifetime sitting in a shed.

Lee has a diagnosis that screams for rescue now.

Daisy is being transferred and will no longer be available for adoption.

Violet is the only one who could wait but she has already waited for so long.

All I can ever do when we do stuff like this is just pray and let God.... 

So I'm going to pray.

I'm going to do a lot of praying because my internet will be limited and my time will be short to do more than post a blogpost or two and check numbers.

Pray with me. Pray Big Prayers!!

Pray that the Lord will move in hearts. Pray that the Blooms get close to that fully funded mark.  Pray that Otto finds a family.  Oh those are BIG PRAYERS.   I know we serve a BIG GOD though so I am praying for Big Things!

Every donation matters.

Every single one.

Raised so far: $9,468.00

Bloom Family - $6,250.00
They need 17,365.00 more to be fully funded

Otto - $3,218.00

Who does this benefit?

The Bloom family adopting FOUR orphans.

Their grant account needs to read $27,500 to be fully funded.

If you want to know one reason why I am committed to helping the Blooms raise the ransom go HERE.  Here's another reason HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

One wee Lost Boy.

If you want to know about Otto go HERE.

To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Hardest Choice

He was Evan's other crib mate.  The  boy in the crib next to him.
They met him while they were there.  How could they not notice him?  His smile was captivating.  He loved whenever they paid attention to him.
Lee's legs are stiff and twisted which makes getting him out of the crib hard for the caretakers.  About the only time he is ever taken out is when he is taken to get a bath.  It is the absolute highlight of his life. The Blooms would watch him burst with joy whenever bath time came around.
Lee stole their hearts while they were there.  He just plain stole their hearts.
After they left he was transferred to another institute.  The care he is being given at this new institute is nowhere near what he was receiving at the other.
When the Lord moved in the Blooms' hearts to adopt again, Lee was high on their list.  They loved this boy. He was Evan's crib friend. The two boys lay side by side for years.  How could they not?
But when they inquired about him they were informed that one of his diagnoses is a fatal degenerative brain condition.  If that diagnosis is right - he could die. 
They had to decide.  Do they let him go. Pick another child.  Go for one with a better prognosis.

Or do they throw caution to the wind and get the boy who stole their hearts no matter what the words on the paper said.
They chose Lee.
They chose Evan's crib mate.
Despite the diagnosis.  Despite the fact that he may only live a short amount of time.
Throwing caution to the wind and wanting with all their hearts to take him in their arms and whisper love into his ears they chose Lee.  They are well aware that his time on this earth may be short. They are also well aware that many will shake their heads at their decision.  Many will say that it is money wasted.  Many will call them foolish. 
I call them brave.
I call them God-fearing.
I call them orphan loving cliff-jumpers.
Lee's diagnosis is scary but as they put it - Lee doesn't scare them. He's just a little boy stuck in a crib who deserves the love of parents as much as the next little boy stuck in a crib. 
So when given the choice - they choose love.
For them - it wasn't the hardest of choices.
The hardest of choices would have been to walk away.
They are running as fast as they can to get Lee and Amos and Daisy and Violet.

Raised so far: $5,913.00
Bloom Family - $3,960.00
Otto - $1,953.00

To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Daisy of a Girl

I can only guess what it was like when Daisy was tested by the groups of professionals when she was four.  I doubt they gave her the time of day. She couldn't walk and after 4 years in a baby house with a total lack of stimulation, she was completely incapable of answering even the easiest of questions. I figure that they had her file stamped "Level 4" before she even made it halfway into the door.
She was written off. Sent to an institute where she was placed in a laying down room.
All around her in crib after crib were her crib mates. Boys and girls stuck inside their cribs - rocking, moaning, banging. 
But she wasn't easily contained. Not Daisy. She couldn't walk but she could crawl. So whenever she had a chance she would climb out of her crib and climb into the cribs with the other children.  For some of them it was the only human interaction they had all day.  A visit from Daisy. 
But children can't climb out of their cribs and unless the specially paid workers were there to take her out and let her roam free in the therapy rooms, the only way to contain her to her crib was to tie her in. So Daisy spent many of her days tethered to the crib rails.
They tied her to contain her.
When the Bloom family was adopting Evan, her crib sat next to his.  She would watch Evan's Papa reaching between the bars and stroking Evan's hair and talking softly to him.  Whenever he looked at her she would smile and quietly pat her own head. 
Oh my heart!
After the Blooms left, Daisy was moved to a group home for girls where she has been learning and growing.  It was a good move but sadly isn't permanent.  Daisy is scheduled to be moved again into foster care. Though foster care is a great and wonderful change from a group home it comes with two sad strings attached. Once in foster care she will no longer be available for adoption.  At age 18 her time in foster care will end.  Since she would not be able to care for herself at 18, she would be transferred into an adult mental institute.
Precious, spirited Daisy sentenced to an adult mental institute in just a few years. Chances are they will have to tie her down to contain her.
The Blooms couldn't let it happen. The little spirited girl who shares a story with their son called to them across the ocean.
They are bringing her home.

One of the four they are bringing home.
They know Daisy is going to add so much to her family with her bubbly, sweet personality.  Can't you just see her with a head full of hair and girly clothes and sisters who are  going to spoil her rotten?

Can't you see her blossoming in a family?
 I can.
I can't wait.
She's a Daisy of girl!

Raised so far: $5174.00

Bloom Family - $3513.00
Otto - $1,661.00


Their grant account needs to read $27,500 to be fully funded.
If you want to know one reason why I am committed to helping the Blooms raise the ransom go HERE.  Here's another reason HERE and HERE. Stay tuned for more reasons in the coming days...
One wee Lost Boy.
If you want to know about Otto go HERE.
To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..










Monday, July 25, 2016

Crib Mates

Two years ago they crossed the ocean to adopt four treasures.
One of those treasures was stuck in a laying down room. Evan.
Until he was adopted, Evan spent just about his entire life stuck inside a crib. No ever took him out except for occasional medical treatments.  Because leaving his crib terrified him so much, his sweet family spent many of their visits with him just reaching through the slats of his crib, softly talking to him, gently touching him.
Evan was wasting away in that laying down room.  At age 11, he was the size of a one year old. He couldn't sit up, so he ate every meal laying down.  He couldn't roll over.  He was in constant pain and his bones were degenerating.
Two years home and Evan is growing and changing. He's experiencing life outside the crib and he is loving it. 
He has a Mama and a Papa who love him. 
And brothers and sisters who think he is pretty darn special!
He left many friends behind.
All his crib mates.  Children who are today, two years later, still stuck inside cribs - wasting away.
The Blooms spent time with many of his crib friends.  What they saw broke their hearts into tiny bits. 
Kayleigh blogs about these kids all the time. She is desperate to find families for them. 
But she isn't just blogging.
She is going back to rescue two of Evan's buddies.
The little girl who lay on his left.
And the little boy who lay on his right.
Evan's crib mates.
Precious treasures - each with their own story.
So Stay tuned....
Their stories are worth reading!

To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..




Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday News Flash

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.
Thank you!
To each who has given so far - Thank you!
By your giving you are doing what is good and right.
Thank you!!
I don't have a lot to share today although more posts are brewing inside my brain filled with fluff head.  I want you to know how we are doing and remind you on this Fatherless Friday that there are orphans who need families and families adopting who need support!!
Raised so far: $3,097
Bloom Family - $2404.00
Otto - $693.00
Please keep sharing Otto. This is his time to be seen! Let's get him seen!! Share THIS POST about Otto to your friends, family, neighbors... anyone... you never know who the Holy Spirit is going to tap to be his Mama and Pappa!
Maybe it's YOU! He's such a teeny tiny little guy he would easily fit around anyone's table!  And he's small enough to nestle quite easily on your lap without even making a tiny dent!
The Bloom family adopting FOUR orphans.

Their grant account needs to read $27,500 to be fully funded.
If you want to know one reason why I am committed to helping the Blooms raise the ransom go HERE.  Here's another reason HERE and HERE. Stay tuned for more reasons in the coming days...
One wee Lost Boy.
If you want to know about Otto go HERE.
To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tested and Found Lacking

Every school year, children in the United States are tested to see if they have reached the benchmarks set out by the powers that be who determine what children should and shouldn't know at different ages and grades.
Testing time in schools is stressful.  Schools are under tremendous pressure to make sure their students perform up to standards because money and politics are strong incentives for their students to do well.  Teachers feel the heat as they work all year to make sure their students are going to pass those benchmark standards. Parents worry and stress because they want the best for their sons and daughters and because poor testing may reflect poorly on them and their child.
Students carry the burden of taking the tests.  Often, to help students do well on the tests, they are given numerous practice opportunities. Over and over again throughout the year students are given opportunity to take practice tests in order to give them the best outcome.
During the big week of testing parents make sure their children get good sleep and good food. They practice with them, encourage them, challenge them. 
Testing is taken seriously in our country.  We want each and every student to do well because otherwise it reflects poorly on the parent, teacher, school, county and state.
They are tested at age four.
Every child across the ocean in Otto and Daisy and Amos and Lee and Violet's country.
A group of professionals called the Medical Pedagogical Consultancy descends upon every single baby house in the country to test the four year olds inside their walls.
There is no preparation for the test.
No one practices with the children.
No one prepares them.
Little four year old babes are one by one paraded before a group of adults with all kinds of degrees following their names, with their pads of papers in front of them and with the sole purpose of determining the long-term fate of those children.
Each child is given 10 minutes to perform.
10 minutes.
At the most.
Each four year old little boy and girl is run through arbitrary intelligence tests like building a pyramid out of blocks or dividing items by colors.
They are asked questions that most children at the age of 4 should be able to know.  What's your name? How old are you?  What does the train say?  Which can go on water, a boat or a car? What color is the sun?
They are shown pictures of things that most children their age should be able to identify.
Seemingly simple tests.
Simple tests that most typical four year old would pass with flying colors.
These aren't typical four year olds.
And the testing is not typical testing.
These are institutionalized children.  These are children who have never seen a train or boat. These are children who have never been taught their colors and have little access to blocks.  These are children who have spent the vast majority of their days sitting in contained areas with little stimulation and little educational opportunities. 
These are little children.
The only people they ever see are their caretakers and the other children in their groupa.  They rarely ever even mingle with the other children in the other groupas.
They rarely see men.
Yet they are expected in a 10 minute period of time to stand before a group of male and female adult strangers and answer questions and perform skills no one has ever taught them.
Talk about terrifying.
When I took my five year old son to preschool for the first time he was hanging on to me for dear life.  He was terrified that I would leave and never come back.  He spent his first few days so upset that at one point I had to go back to school and sit with him.
He would have been a mess to sit in front of a group of male and female adult strangers and perform for them.
They get 10 minutes.
And in that 10 minutes those professionals will decide the placement of that child for the rest of their lives.
In that 10 minutes those professionals will determine whether that child is fit to be out in society or should be locked away for life.
In that 10 minutes those professionals will stamp that child's file and will seal their fate.
10 minutes.
No pre-test. No practice runs.
In and out.
And the children who are immobile - the ones who can't walk.  They get less than a minute. Their files are stamped and their fates are sealed before they even make it into the room.
Those who "pass" the test - the ones who can answer the questions and satisfy the Consultancy group get a Level 1 rating. These Level 1 children usually have no known disability of any kind. They are the cream of the crop.
Those who answer most of the questions or have mild disabilities that are easily managed and not that noticeable get a Level 2 rating.
Level 1 and 2 children are placed under the wing of the Ministry of Education. These children are placed in one of 46 specialized boarding schools. These boarding schools do not equal the typical schools for children with families. Those children who fall behind in their boarding schools are moved to Level 3 and 4 facilities. Life in those boarding schools is for another time and other blogposts.
Level 3 and 4 children are deemed "uneducable" and are placed under the Ministry of Social Policy. These children are scattered throughout the 53 institutes that are located in isolated and remote places.
When the Level 3 and 4 children age out of those isolated and remote institutes they are then transferred to one of the 323 institutes for adults with disabilities that are also isolated and remote.  Depending upon location or availability of beds or level of disability, some Level 3 and 4 children are transferred directly to the institutes for adults with disabilities.  Little children are left to mingle with adults. 
Last night I watched Aaron swim in a swim meet.
He is the little engine that could. Despite not having any biceps, he swam the length of the pool.  Yes, he lost.  Yes, he is slow.  No, he will never get much faster.  But he inspires every person watching him.  When they realize that he is swimming the breaststroke without the use of his arms they watch in awe. That Little Engine That Could was in a Level 4 institute. 
He couldn't answer the questions.
I wasn't there but I know my Aaron and I know what he did when he stood before those professionals with their pads of paper in their lap.  He didn't say a word.  He had speech delay.  He wasn't the talkative, never shuts up Aaron we know today. He didn't know about trains and boats and colors and pyramids. He went in quiet and scared and looked at them in their chairs and he shut down.  Even the little bit of language he had was gone when he stood before those professionals.  But it wouldn't have mattered. 
His disability was too obvious. They watched him walk awkwardly on his toes with his little hips swinging and his arms dangling strangely in front of him and they threw in the towel on him.  He failed without opening his mouth.
Otto is in a Level 4.
Daisy. Level 4.
Amos. Level 4.
Violet. Level 4.
Lee. Level 4.
They aren't swimming in swim races.
They are wasting away in mental institutes.
I can't watch Aaron swim without crying.  I cried last night. I cry every single time. I am never going to ever in my life forget where he came from. It is burned into my soul. We visited him in that place 65 times and every single time a part of me broke. 
It changed me. 
I hate fundraising.
I do.
I hate where these children are living more than I hate fundraising.
They are worth the ransom.
They are worth your 5.00. They are worth your 10,000.00. 
They live in a world where they have all been tested and found lacking.
They are loved by a God who sees each of them with great love and mercy.
Four of them have been chosen by a family who loves them best of all.
One is desperately in need of a family to call him their own.

Who does this benefit?
The Bloom family adopting FOUR orphans.

Their grant account needs to read $27,500 to be fully funded.
If you want to know one reason why I am committed to helping the Blooms raise the ransom go HERE.  Here's another reason HERE. Stay tuned for more reasons in the coming days...
One wee Lost Boy.
If you want to know about Otto go HERE.
To see the full giveaway CLICK HERE..