All From Asia #02…

Asia - Satellite image - PlanetObserver
Asia – Satellite image – PlanetObserver (Photo credit: PlanetObserver)

The first All from Asia post (about families adopting from Asia) was written at the end of November 2012 and i have been editing/updating as the families update me. But the post is getting too long to be comprehensive so here’s #02 in what i hope will be a very helpful series of posts both for the families adopting from Asia and for the people who read and help in whatever way they can.

My hope and prayer is that with a central list like this, these families will get the help they need as people share this post far and wide and pray for them and of course contribute to their adoption funds. So please do share this post, do pray for these families and the little ones they are bringing home, and do contribute wherever you can.

First up, Good News!

The Jones Family is home with Xavier and Ethan!! Praise the Lord! You can continue to follow their journey at home here. Do continue to pray for them as they adjust to a new life as a bigger family.

The Campbell Family is still in country but Maya Grace is officially theirs! Praise the Lord! They are waiting on paperwork to be able to fly home with her. Do pray for them as they have suffered a great loss; their Granny passed away while they are still in country. They love their Granny so very much and are hurting and grieving. You can read about Granny’s passing and the rest of their journey here. UPDATE: 10th Jan – They are HOME! Praise the Lord!

Now onto helping more families bring home their precious ones:

The Wiehl Family, who is bringing LuLu home, have a travel date! They leave on 16 January and should be able to meet LuLu a few days after they land in country, their consulate appointment is 29 January. Do pray for safe travels and for LuLu’s heart to be ready to enter into a new family life and smooth paperwork. Now they are just a few hundred short in funds. If you feel led to contribute to make up that last bit, they would be grateful for any amount given. You can donate directly here. You can also follow their journey here. UPDATE: They have a US$300 matching grant. Their FSP needs to read US$6914 so that they can get that matching grant by January 10th. Please contribute to their FSP here. 10th Jan: They are US$500 away from being fully funded but have requested that people start giving to other families who need it more – i.e. families whose adoption would stall if they don’t have a certain amount. Please help to fulfil their very generous wish. You can look at the families listed here or others on RR. 25th Jan: They have her!! Gotcha Day was 20th Jan! Praise the Lord. Do continue to keep them in prayers as they go on to get medicals & visa for Lily and journey mercies for their trip home. 7th Feb: They are HOME!

The Baird Family, who is Nathaniel’s forever family, have their Letter of Approval (LOA), which means their paperwork can now be processed in country and they await a travel date! They are asking for prayers for quick progression through the rest of the process and prayers that Nathaniel’s Muscular Dystrophy remains slow-moving as they move to bring him home and get him on medication that can hopefully slow the progression of his disease. They now have a matching grant, dollar for dollar (as stated on their FSP), till they are fully funded. The matching dollars go to the Recce’s Rainbow Voice Of Hope fund. Their Superhero fundraiser is still ongoing. Do visit their blog, follow their journey, pray for them and contribute to their adoption grant. UPDATE: Crunch Time! They are looking at travelling early March and still have some amount to raise… please join them at Star Command’s Bring Little B Home Bash. You can buy them meals, pay for Little B’s medical exams and sponsor their plane tickets. Help them fill up the squares!

The Garrick Family, who is bringing Lana home, is finishing their home study and of course, is still actively fundraising. They now have a matching grant of US$250, which means every dollar you contribute will be doubled and once their FSP hits US$518, they will received that promised US$250. At time of writing, they are still US$198 short. Please help them to meet this amount. T-shirt sales and hand-made necklaces sales are still running, see here for t-shirts and here for necklaces and make a purchase. You can also give directly to their adoption grant here. Follow their journey here. UPDATE: The Garrick family is on Zoe Clothing Company. Buy from Zoe Clothing and they get 25% of the sales towards their adoption grant. Shop here. 18th Jan – they have a She Does Justice fundraiser too. Shop at She Does Justice (click here) and they get 25% of the sales! Go shopping please. Also check out their Puzzle Fundraiser here.

The Hemmes Family, who is eagerly awaiting to bring John home, is still waiting for I-800a Approval and praying that their dossier would make it to country in January. They have suffered a small setback in paperwork, please pray that the rest of the paperwork will go well. They are working on putting up a fundraiser soon, so stay tuned. You can follow along on their blog and you can give towards their adoption grant here. UPDATE: 18th Jan, They have I-800a Approval! Praise the Lord. Now they collect a few more documents and their dossier is off to be authenticated! Pray that all goes well. 25th Jan, their dossier is being sent off to John’s country. Now they wait for approval from that side. Do keep them in prayers. 7th Feb: Amazing NEW Fundraiser – this is a big one which you won’t wanna miss, so check it out!

The Lanz Family is Abigail’s and Jennifer’s forever family. Their dossier is Out Of Translation (OOT) and they are now awaiting their Letter Of Approval (LOA), they hope to get a travel date real soon after that. The sale of crocheted super cute animals/dolls are still on here. If you need to purchase from Amazon, consider using their Amazon Affiliate link on their blog. They also have a puzzle fundraiser – see here for details. Contributions directly to their adoption fund can be made here. You can follow their journey here.

Jon and Angela are Jack’s forever parents. With Jack’s very rare skin condition, time is of the essence in bringing him home. Their dossier and immigration process is moving along smoothly (Thank God) and would likely be expedited to get Jack the medical attention he desperately needs. But the fundraising process has not be great for them which is worrying because when the paperwork comes through they need to be able to hop on a plane and go get Jack. Their Post-Introduction Fundraiser is still going on, it has such lovely items, please have a look here and take part. Do contact me (leave a comment below) to be invited to their Flash Auctions and Giveaway FB Events. They also have a JustLoveCoffee fundraiser now, please visit the store here, every purchase helps with their adoption funds. You can read in more detail about Jack and how Jon and Angela can provide for him here. Do also click to follow their blog because once they have 45 followers they will be able to enter into another fundraising program. Even while having difficulty fundraising for Jack’s adoption, they would like to bless another adopting family. When their FSP gets to US$500, they will pick a donor who can then pick an adopting family to benefit from some lovely items they can use for this other family’s fundraising efforts. Isn’t that just so generous? Please help them to help another family, go here to contribute to Jack’s adopting grant and comment below to let us know. Follow their journey here. UPDATE: They have a new fundraiser going on – Jack’s Pals Book!! They are creating a book for Jack with pages sponsored by people like you and me who have supported them in bringing Jack home. This will show Jack how much he is loved. Details are here. Please do take part in this wonderful idea! 29th Jan – please please pray for them as their house has just been flooded a 3rd time! It is not their fault, it has to do with poor grading of the street outside their home but the city won’t help them and this is seriously eating into all their adoption funds. Please contribute to their fund, no amount is too small. 7th Feb: we have the Precious 3 Auction running for them.

The Evans Family is bringing Hylah (Molly Kate) home. They are currently finishing up their homestudy. At the moment, the estimated amount they need to raise is about US$15,000. They are trying to raise as much of that as possible through sales of wooden name puzzles, see here for the beautiful pieces you can purchase. They are hoping to host a Garage sale soon – stay tuned for that. You can contribute directly to their adoption grant here. They have asked for prayers, specifically pray that Molly would understand why she can not be home with them right now, that they can help her to understand that paperwork takes a long time and that she be patient. Follow their journey here.

The Sharp Family is waiting to be Rowyn’s and Zekeil’s forever family. They have LOA and hope to travel  in 2.5 months. The grants they have applied for have not come through. They are needing to raise about  US$20,000. They are asking for prayers that they find the funding. Pray for their little ones in China while they wait and their adjustment as they have no idea what will be happening to them soon. Pray for Mr. Sharp who will be home with their kids and for Mrs. Sharp and her friend who will travel to China soon. Their fundraising events are listed here; they are selling t-shirts, paper-bead necklaces (their kids made them) and their friend’s Etsy shop is offering them 50% of sales from lovely necklaces/bracelets. Rowyn’s Reveal Fundraiser is also still running, see here. You can contribute directly to their adoption grant here. Follow their journey here. UPDATE: the Sharp family is asking for prayers for funds to come in. Their travel is really soon. On their blog now are wonderful pictures of their daughter’s amazing artwork. They are happy to reproduce for you in exchange a contribution towards their adoption grant. See here. 13th Jan: They have a Thrity-One fundraiser now. Please shop here, click My Parties and then Shop Now under Sharp Adoption Fundraiser. 100% of Rachel’s commission is going to the Sharp’s Adoption. See here for a new blog post, telling their story in a nutshell. 7th Feb: We have the Precious 3 Auction running for the Sharp Family. As well as, all sales from Angel Crafts (sandra) on the RR Mall FB page goes to their adoption grant as well.

The Gaines Family is bringing home a little girl, they can not share her name or even her birth date but they do have a very cute picture of her on their blog. As previously stated, they are financially recovering from a failed adoption and need help with funding this one. You can help by making purchases through their Amazon Link Words, details are here. They are waiting for USCIS (immigration) approval and hope to travel in Spring to bring home their little girl. They are grateful for contributions to date but more will be needed so please consider giving towards their adoption fund on their blog.

The Robbins Family is Walter’s forever family. They travel this month to bring him home. Praise the Lord! They are fully funded! BUT… they have asked for prayers as this will be a big transition for all; most of all for Walter who has to leave familiar surroundings and persons. Pray that Walter will be ready to leave his old life and welcome a new one with great excitement and eagerness. Pray also for the 4 children who expectantly wait at home to welcome a new brother. You can follow their journey here. UPDATE: 18th Jan – Gotcha Day was Saturday 12th January!! Read about it here! Praise the Lord!

The Murdoch Family is bringing home little Corina. They have just started the adoption process and need lots of prayers. They are also in the midst of setting up their FSP so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can donate to their adoption process using the Donate button on their blog.

The Whicker Family is Song Guo’s forever family. They are waiting for travel approval and visas at the moment. They are also hoping to visit their oldest Chinese daughter’s orphanage while they are there to bring Song Guo home. They are asking for prayers for all paperwork and arrangements to go well. They have raised as much of the funds needed as they can on their own and now they are needing another US$8000. Please help them fill the gap, contribute to their adoption grant here. Follow their journey here. UPDATE: 18th Jan, they are travelling on 25th Jan and will return home with Song Guo on 7th Feb! Praise the Lord! Pray for safety during the trip and for smooth transition for all and for fast and easy paperwork. They are also asking for prayers for family members who are taking care of their children while they are gone. And do pray for Tana’s mother who has been very ill. They still short about US$2000 on funds, do keep praying that the funds come in while they are travelling. Do give towards their adoption fund if you can. 25th Jan, Tana’s mother is very ill and the doctor has said that her passing real soon so they have had to cancel their flights. Please keep them in prayer as they deal with this sorrow. Pray that the Lord bring them comfort and give them strength to carry on.

The Fristoe Family is home with Clara but will be returning to bring Feng home. Do continue to pray for them. Feng is still in need of surgery. Please follow their journey on their blog. UPDATE: Feng will be admitted into hospital on 8th January to have BT shunt put in so that she might survive the wait for completed paperwork before she can go home to the Fristoe family. Please pray for her and that the surgery goes well, pray for the doctors treating, the nurses attending to her and her nannies caring for her. 29th Jan – They have a matching grant of US$500, which means every dollar you donate now will be doubled… Please  help them bring Feng home. They have just had a really tough time with 2 of their girls in hospital.

12 13 wonderful families, all needing your help. Please read their stories and contribute a little towards their journey. You would be helping to bring together a family; to complete a family. They are grateful for any and every amount given.

If you are not in a situation to contribute monies, then please do share their stories so others can help. Do also pray for these families; pray that God keeps them all safe and healthy, God provides the funds and the paperwork and God be with them every step of the way. They welcome every prayer said.

Thank you so much for your kind attention, your generous giving and your prayers.

syc

Giveaway for the Campbells Ended… Winners are…

First order of business is to say THANK YOU to all our very generous donors. We have raised US$460 in a week. Thank you very much for caring about Maya Grace enough to contribute to the Campbells’ adoption grant.

Second, THANK YOU to everyone who has shared this post and giveaway. Visibility and building awareness is half the work.

Although we raised only a small part of the US$5400 the Campbells needed, it is still a good amount and would go some way to help them defray those costly travel expenses. And while i know that many have contributed and shared, only a handful have actually commented and made their efforts and generosity known. So my third THANK YOU goes out to those anonymous donors and advocates.

Now onto the winners:

Winner of the Semi-Precious Bracelet is Beth Baird.

Winner of the Stamped 1″ Silver Disc is Kathy Wiehl.

i will be contacting the winners via Facebook message.

Once again, Thanks to everyone who made this Giveaway a success.

Maya Grace thanks you for helping her family get to her.

Please keep the Campbell family in your prayers as they travel today to go pick Maya Grace up. Pray for safe travels within country as well as for all paperwork to go smoothly and quickly. Pray also for them all to stay healthy.

If you have missed the Giveaway but have been led to give towards this adoption, please do. It is never too late to give. Go here to donate directly to the Campbells’ FSP (Family Sponsorship Page).

You can also keep up with them as they travel on their blog. i’m not sure how much access they will have but i know they will update whenever they can.

So excited for them to start to the new year together as a family of 5.

syc

Jack Needs to Come Home ASAP…

Meet Jack! Isn’t he such a sweetheart?

Jon and Angela are working hard to bring Jack home. Please help them!

I first saw Jack a couple of months ago when Tobias and myself were deciding on an orphan to pray for since one of the two we regularly pray for had found a family. His kind eyes was what caught my attention and his very special medical condition led me to immediately Wiki it. It was heartbreaking to know that he isn’t getting the care he needs and may already be in danger of a much shortened life. I said a little prayer at that time, hoping his family would find him asap.

And they have! Praise the Lord!

Jon and Angela are committed to bringing Jack home as soon as paperwork and funding allows them to. They know they can provide for his needs and it is very important that they get him home without delay.

I’m privileged to be able to help them by sharing their story here.

Here’s an online interview I did with them to help you understand Jack’s condition and their situation better:

* Tell us a bit about yourself & Jon (how you met, your journey together so far)

J&APlease allow us to first thank you and all of your readers for caring about sweet Jack and rallying around all of us as we work to bring him home as fast as possible. I’m happy to share more about our family and about Jack’s needs. Jon and I met virtually in an online community we belonged to several years ago and we hit it off right away. About a year and a half after we met, we were married at our local military base’s chapel. Jon is an active duty US military member. I am a middle school teacher. We have two wonderful boys (I’m blessed to have two sons who so readily embraced me as a parent when I came into their lives years ago) and a beautiful baby girl who we adopted in the summer of 2011. Our family loves animals, public service (like volunteering in the community and other avenues of this type of service), cooking/baking, music, classic movies, arts and crafts, hands-on learning and more. We’re an active crew and love exploring wherever we happen to be at the moment.

* What led you to adoption & specifically why international special needs adoption? 

J&A – Adoption has always been near and dear to our hearts. Jon and I talked about adoption within our first couple of dates as we both have long felt drawn to children in need and have known we wanted to pursue the path of adoption. We always remained open to both domestic and international adoption. Soon after we got married, we starting caring for foster children in our county and made it known that we would be honored to work with children with varying needs, sibling group size, race, religion, age, etc… With that openness, we had a lot of placements of children with medical needs, traumatic backgrounds of horrifying abuse, mental health needs, educational difficulties, large sibling groups and the like. While we remained open to adopting children who we might have been placed with, that never came to be and that was fine with us. After all, if children can safely remain in their families of origin, that is what is best. Our hearts are truly with all children in need, but we feel a special love for children with medical, developmental and other needs as well as children about to “age out” of their country’s or state’s child welfare systems. In the summer of 2011, we were presented with an adoption situation (domestic) and we were blessed with our daughter. We have known for years that international adoption was in our future too, as we feel that geography should never be a barrier in getting a child what all children deserve but many, sadly, never have – love, family, medical care, other resources and hope. With many international programs, children age out at a truly early age and have little to no support or guidance available to them. These kids often find themselves victims of crimes (including sexual assault) as well as in a position where they are homeless, commit crimes to support themselves, are barred from education and/or health care, etc… Often, these children face early and lonely deaths and no child should ever face such things. While we don’t claim to be perfect, we know that we have the resources, background, love and dedication to embrace our current and future children and bring them what they need. We remain open to all children and are thrilled to be on our current adoption journey.

* How did you come to know about Jack?

J&A – We first learned of Jack during one of our visits to the Reece’s Rainbow site. Though we’d been supporters of the work of Reece’s Rainbow for years, I had not been on the site for a while and decided to go take a look. We were instantly drawn to Jack and immediately started researching Xeroderma Pigmentosum to see if we would be able to meet his needs. We spoke with a doctor who met him during a medical missions trip several years ago, some other medical professionals, parents of children who have XP and representatives from a family support network. We knew that we could bring Jack the love and care he needs and deserves and we quickly officially got started on our adoption journey.

* What exactly is Jack’s condition? What does he need to have as a full a life as his condition allows? 

J&AJack was born with an incredibly rare genetic condition called Xeroderma Pigmentosum (otherwise known as XP). People with XP have an error in their DNA that causes an inability of their bodies (particularly the skin) to repair damage caused by UV rays. These individuals have an extreme intolerance for UV rays and require total protection from the sun and UV producing man-made light (which is most other than for LEDs). People with XP are not “allergic” to the sun as their issue has nothing to do with an immune response. It is about their skin not being able to repair itself from the damage we all face every day from UV rays and most people’s bodies can handle just fine most of the time. Due to this intolerance, people with Xeroderma Pigmentosum face the very real risk of multiple skin cancers (metastatic) and premature death. Some people also experience learning difficulties, neurological problems, the loss of previously acquired skills (walking, talking…) and other areas of concern.

* Why can’t he get the care he needs where he is now? 

J&AXP is extremely complicated and it is very difficult to treat in the best of circumstances. In an orphanage setting with hundreds of kids to care for, it is impossible to give a child with XP the care that they need. Resources are severely limited and proper medical care is impossible to obtain in such a setting. While Jack may be loved by his caretakers and they probably want what is best for him, they cannot bring him what he needs. Most children with XP do not make it much past the age of 20 (while some live a bit longer and others, sadly, have less time) and each second that a child spends unprotected from the sun and other UV-emitting light sources brings them closer to cancer, other risks and, ultimately, a very early death. With so many kids to care for and a lack of information about the condition (less than 1,000 people are said to have XP in the entire world), Jack is going without the protective gear, medical care and educational resources (as well as other things) he needs.

* How do you plan to deal with and take care of his needs once he is home?

J&A – Families raising a child with Xeroderma Pigmentosum have a lot of things they need to do and we are blessed to be able to bring Jack what he needs. Aside from normal childhood medical care, children living with XP need frequent dermatological care (multiple checkups a year and more regular visits during periods of greater difficulties including cancers), special eye exams, neurological evaluations and checkups, possible educational interventions, specialized hearing tests and more. Families must obtain costly UV meters to test any and all buildings in which their XP-affected child may spend time. Children with XP need to be covered from head to toe with highly specialized UV-blocking gear at all times during which they may be around UV rays (from sun or man-made lights). Homes, schools and vehicles must have UV blocking tint applied to all windows and other such openings. People with XP can never be out in the sun unprotected (even with protection, time spent outdoors must be extremely limited) and can only safely be outdoors once the sun is completely set and they are away from dangerous lights. High SPF sunscreen and high quality lotions must also always be available no matter what the child is wearing. (The sunscreen is needed all over their bodies and the lotion is needed because the skin of people with XP is very dry.) Special routines and practices must be in place to help keep these children safe at school, home, doctors’ offices and wherever else they may go. Outdoor playtime is limited to after sunset. Some families choose to homeschool children who have Xeroderma Pigmentosum and others choose different educational options. No matter what, even more than in typical situations, parents of children with XP need to be experts in their child’s condition and care and be their children’s best advocates. It is unlikely that most parents will have access to doctors who have treated XP patients and there are very few experts on the condition because of its rarity. Our family is fortunate because we have access to the best medical care in the world and we are able to bring Jack the care that he needs. Jack has spent his entire life unprotected (he’s almost 8 years old) and will come to us with damage done (from not yet getting the care he needs) that we cannot undo. He may already have cancers that need treatment. He may have undiagnosed needs that need immediate treatment. Xeroderma Pigmentosum cannot yet be cured. However, we can get him treatment and hope that this will give him extra years – years to enjoy love, happiness, an education, medical care, hope, friendship and family.

* How can people help you bring Jack home as fast as possible?

J&A – Thanks for asking this (and all of your other questions too of course)! Jack needs home lightning fast because of his condition. While we have a love for his country of birth and great respect for those who have been caring for him, his medical, educational and developmental needs are clearly not being met. Jack needs medical care unavailable in his country of birth and, in order to have the greatest chance at survival, he needs to come home. People can feel free to join us on Facebook. Our main page i.d. is Our Lively Crew Angela and our fundraising group is Jack’s Pals (Help a Little Boy Come Home). They may also visit our blog at http://ourfamilysescapades.blogspot.com. Our Reece’s Rainbow page is http://reecesrainbow.org/49527/sponsorjack. (People can read more about Jack, the rest of our family and Xeroderma Pigmentosum on this site.) All are ways for people to keep up on our journey and rally around Jack. If interested in contributing financially, feel free to visit all of these online resources. (Donations through Reece’s Rainbow may be tax deductible.) Like most adopting families, we have the means to raise our children but don’t have the approximately $50,000 – travel costs included – it will take to get through this process all ready to go. Jack’s life is depending on getting home really quickly and money is the biggest barrier to that happening. We will do all we need to in order to get Jack home but we need your help in getting that to happen quickly enough to bring this precious child a chance at living at least a few more years. The hope is that once he gets to proper care and a family, he will live as long and as healthy of a life as possible. Can you help us as we work to bring all of this to Jack? If so, you will forever be in our hearts. Those who cannot contribute financially are still loved and treasured. You can pray, keep us all in your thoughts (especially Jack), help us spread the word or even start fundraisers in your own town or with your own circle of friends. We’re happy to have all of you along with us on this journey and please feel free to reach out to us if you want to communicate with us.

* How soon is it legally possible to have Jack home?

J&A – The “how soon” question is a bit tricky because a lot of the timeline depends on how fast paperwork is processed by the people whose desks it all lands on. We have a few steps to go still but are requesting medical expediting because of Jack’s needs. We have doctors writing letters to support that need. Jack’s life depends on getting home quickly. If all goes well with fundraising, we could possibly travel late March or April. It all depends on how much the powers-that-be understand and care about Jack’s needs and how his very life depends on their expediting of the paperwork.

J&A – Thank you and have a beautiful holiday season!

So as you have read, Jack really needs very specialised medical care, and Jon and Angela are well-positioned and are confident that they can give him that very specialised care he needs. Now it is simply a question of clearing paperwork and getting funding at lightening speed.

If they want to get Jack home by Spring, they will need your help.

First of all, join their Facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/434610579939048/ to keep updated with their latest fundraisers. (You have to be invited to see this group so please send a request to Our Lively Crew Angela to join the group or leave a comment here with your FB name and i’ll send you the invite to join, you can also search for Jack’s Pals (Help a Little Boy Come Home) on FB).

They are currently holding flash auctions for such lovely items here https://www.facebook.com/events/387199551362096/ (You have to be invited to see this group so please send a request to Our Lively Crew Angela to join the group or leave a comment here with your FB name and i’ll send you the invite to join or search for Jack’s Pals Flash Auctions & Giveaways on FB).

They also have a wonderful giveaway running on their blog now. Contribute towards their adoption grant and stand a chance to win an IPad, DVDs, CDs and gift certificates. See here for details. http://ourfamilysescapades.blogspot.ch/2012/11/our-post-introduction-fundraiser.html

You also choose to simply donate towards their Family Sponsorship Page here. http://reecesrainbow.org/49527/sponsorjack

Please do share their story, Jack’s story and this post far and wide so more people can help. Please also pray for them, for the process to go as fast as possible and for funding to come in quickly. Pray also for Jack’s health, that he will stay as healthy as possible.

If you can help do a fundraiser or have any ideas as to how we can raise more funds to help bring Jack home, please please either leave a comment here or send a Facebook message to Our Lively Crew Angela.

Thank you so much.

syc