World Autism Day…

Today, 2nd April, is World Autism Day – its Light It Up Blue day.

Autism is a complex disorder… being on the spectrum (Autism Spectrum) means very different things for different kids diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The movie Rain Man does not do Autism justice… it did highlight Autism to the world but it did not do enough to explain the reality of Autism.

It is such a complex disorder of which i confess to know only the tip of the iceberg. So i will direct you to the experts – Autism Speaks.

i also want to point you to an interview given by Colleen Swindoll, daughter of well-known Christian writer and pastor, Charles Swindoll, and mother to three children, one of whom is on the spectrum.

These words she said during the interview hit home for me:

Tears are okay in our home; candid and honest soul work is openly talked about. I don’t force my kids to “like” life or put on some fake smiley face…Christ didn’t, He doesn’t tell us to do that today, and the lack of authenticity only complicates life.

i am guilty of this. i’m a non-confrontational person. i avoid conflict as much as i can. i keep the peace not because i agree with the other person but because i can not face the prospect of an argument. So there have been times i smile and say ok when it is not. And it does complicate life and makes me feel fake.

Having a special needs kid throws that all out the window. You can not afford to be unreal or sweep things under the carpet with special needs. It needs to be met head on.

The best people to show you that is your special needs child. i like what Colleen Swindoll says about her ASD son:

Of us all, he is the strongest as his body doesn’t cooperate with this life yet he keeps moving through each moment the best he can. It’s pretty simple, very humbling. He is a living picture of how God must love us, care for us, and desire us to fall into His arms for help and strength.

i pray daily for my little Heath and little Heather who have Down Syndrome and live in institutions which are so very poorly equipped to handle their special needs.  At the same time, i marvel at how their little bodies keep going on (they are almost 11 and 10 respectively). i can only say that the Lord has a hand in their lives which gives me hope that as i pray, because i know He is moving to bring their forever families closer to bringing them home. Would you pray with me? Would you consider advocating for them? Would you consider that maybe you are the family God has prepared for them?

If you know someone who is on the spectrum (adult or child), do consider doing something special for them this week, such as giving them an extra hug or simply spending the time to get to know them.

syc

Practical Help for Precious Ones…

If you have been following my blog for a couple of weeks, you would be familiar with Reece’s Rainbow, an advocate ministry for the adoption of Down Syndrome orphans and orphans with special needs.

Today i would like to highlight a practical way we can help these orphans – fundraising/donations, specifically for families who have committed to bring home a child/children.

Adoptions are terribly expensive within one’s own country but the costs of an international adoption simply skyrockets! Anywhere from US$25,000 to US$40,000. That is a lot of money. Many of the families who commit to adopting a child do not have such cash lying around. They commit because they love the child/children. They fell in love and God led them to adopt. Some have a bit of money to start with but not enough to complete the process. Others are families who have adopted before and have depleted their resources. Still others are brand-new to adoption and have simply jumped in, just because they know with all their hearts these kids need them. Whether or not they have some money to start with or not, the adoption process is long and more will always be needed. So today i’m listing but a few of the many families who are fundraising to meet their goal of bringing home their beloved child/children.

The first fundraising effort i would like to highlight is the Mulligan Stew Giveaway. Julia and her family have recently adopted a lovely little boy (from the same orphanage as my little Heath, who is still waiting for his forever family – is that you?) but their efforts to help these little ones continue. They are now running a HUGE Giveaway, which would benefit several families as well as waiting children. It may sound complicated as they are trying to help as many as possible. But don’t get bogged down with the details – simply know this; when you donate, you earn a certain number of entries (there is a list on the blog). You will need to donate to the Heim Family, who have already adopted 6 children and are in the process of adopting another 4. They really need our support. Then donate to any other family or child/children listed on Mulligan Stew Giveaway. Leave a comment to say to whom and how much you have given. That’s it. You are entered into the Giveaway. Remember to check back for results and share with your friends.

The next fundraising effort i would like you to consider is for Samuel’s and Duncan’s family – the Mortons. (i posted about both Samuel and Duncan here.) Theirs is a wonderful story of simple desire and faith. They had wanted to adopt both Samuel and Duncan (both are aging out of the system). They were confirmed for Samuel but felt that Duncan was someone else’s. However Duncan’s family could not adopt him in the end (they are extremely sad about this). So the Mortons stepped up and committed to Duncan as well. So they are bringing home 2 boys to add to their family of 6. So now they require twice as much as they initially thought. So do support them. Go on to their blog to follow their story and take part in their Giveaways. Once again, do share with all your friends.

The third fundraising effort is with the Prayer Warriors at Reece’s Rainbow. And i’m sure they don’t mind if you give, even if you are not yet a Prayer Warrior. This one is called Puzzle Piece Fundraiser, run by Tonya over at Praying Them Home. i ask that you consider becoming a Prayer Warrior and take part in this fundraiser. If you don’t feel led to be a Prayer Warrior, then i ask that you consider donating just US$5 for a piece of puzzle. Again it will benefit a family in the adoption process. This family is yet to be identified – when we finish the puzzle then the most urgent need at that time will be met. We have lots of puzzle pieces so spread the word amongst your friends.

There are soooooo many many more fundraising efforts going on, it is just not possible to list them all. Here are a few more highlighted on the Reece’s Rainbow blog. You may also want to look at the Family Sponsorship Program.

No amount is too small. We appreciate every little bit which contributes to a whole and helps greatly.

Find out other ways to help the precious ones listed on Reece’s Rainbow.

Please do continue to love and pray for my beloved Heath and Heather as we ask God to bring them their forever families and also help their grant to grow so that their forever families can get to them sooner.

syc

Praying for Children who Need Families…


Grab This!

A little over a week ago, i reblogged a post from Joy in the Moments about children needing to be adopted. i was very moved by the post and have since looked more into it.

i am now officially a prayer warrior for 2 children who are listed on the Reece’s Rainbow website. These children listed on Reece’s Rainbow have Down Syndrome and/or other special needs. These little ones have either been abandoned or orphaned. Quite a lot of them live in institutions which either have no funding or no medically trained staff or both. So they are left on their own almost all day and nothing is being done to help them in any way, either through a lack of resources or lack of passion for these kids. Others are in slightly better institutions but still resources are greatly limited. They all need a loving family to give them a warm, caring home in which they can grow to become the wonderful persons they truly are.

Reece’s Rainbow works with different adoption agencies to highlight these children and to raise funds to ease the costs of international adoptions which can cost US$25,000 and upwards. There are families who want to adopt these kids but have limited financial ability to do so. For other families, it helps with the costs of the child’s medical needs when they do bring them home. These grants are only given when the families have committed and have a confirmed travel date to visit the child they wish to adopt. Any costs before that has to be bore by the families themselves.

i scroll through the long list of children and realise that this is but a drop in the vast ocean of needy orphaned children. i have heard terrible stories about some of the orphanages, especially in the poorer Eastern European countries. My heart goes out to these children and now God has led me to a practical way to help them.

i am not in a position to adopt (oh, how i wish, with all my heart, i could bring them all home or even adopt just one of these precious ones) so i do the next best thing; i help them by praying for them, by letting others know that they exist and need help and by donating towards their eventually homecoming.

Here are the little ones i am praying for:

Almost 11 year old Heath, who really needs his forever family to find him today.
10 year old Heather, who is a healthy little cutie and needs a family to love her.

Please click on their photos to find out more about them.

Please partner with me in praying for them, for their daily needs, for their forever families who would come and take them home. Pray that the Lord would keep them warm, strong and healthy (both physically and in spirit). Pray that the Lord enable the right families to find them and that the process to adopt them would be smooth and quick.

Please also consider donating to the costs of their adoptions if you can. If you do make a donation, please do let me know by leaving a comment below so that i can thank you personally and know how much we have contributed.

Thank you so much for caring.

syc