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.


Giveaway for the Campbells…

The Campbells are a wonderful family who had previously adopted two lovely little gals from China. They are going back for another little one – Maya Grace! God has truly led them to their daughter. You can read a little about that here.

But this adoption has been plagued with issues and problems which has costed them so much extra funds. They are finally near the end. They are travelling on 18th December to bring Maya Grace home; 24th December, Christmas Eve is when they will be allowed to take her with them and be a family together, all 5 of them.

BUT… as i said before… this adoption journey has not been easy. They have had to change hotels at the last-minute, add new transport costs etc… which was all unexpected and is costing them about US$5400 more than they had budgeted for.

So i’m hosting a Giveaway to help them raise those last bits of funds needed.

One of the winners from my previous giveaway (Precious One Giveaway for Wesley) is paying her prize forward. So i’m using it for this one. The other prize in this Giveaway is an item i won from another giveaway.

The Giveaway starts today (12th December) and ends on 18th December when they fly to get Maya Grace.

Here are the prizes:

1) Semi-Precious Stones Charm Bracelet.

A chance to win a Semi-Precious Stones Bracelet. Worth estimated at CHF 60/.
A chance to win a Semi-Precious Stones Bracelet. Worth estimated at CHF 60/.

This was bought a few years ago and the stones have only been taken out to be photographed for this Giveaway. There are 12 stones; from left to right: Moonstone, Rhodolite, Chrysoprase, Dumortierite Quartz, Serpentine, Carnelian, Agate, Aventurine, Blue Quartz, Magnesite,  Onyx and Mother of Pearl. (i had to translate the gems names from German so i hope that they are correct.) They come with postcards which explain the origins and details of each stone (only in German). They are hung on a 925 Silver bracelet, 21 cm long.

2) Custom-stamped 1″ Silver Disc on a Snake Chain, made by Joni Kummer.

Lovely Necklace with a Custom-stamped 1"disc.
Lovely Necklace with a Custom-stamped 1″disc.

This makes a lovely gift for that someone special. She will customise it for you with a choice of your name/word, accent bead and shape stamps.

Here’s how to enter:

Simply contribute towards the Campbells Family Support Page (FSP) here: http://reecesrainbow.org/41223/sponsorcampbell

Every US$5 gets you 2 entries.

Every share on Facebook or on your blog gets a Free entry.

On 18th December, i will use Random.org to generate 2 winning numbers.

Once you have made your contribution or shared this giveaway, simply leave a comment below, stating your name and how much you contributed and the time/date you contributed. i moderate all my comments and can make them private if you do not wish to be listed below.

Live in Switzerland? There are alternative ways to donate and take part. Please leave a comment below with your email, telling me you live in Switzerland and i will contact you.

Please help me to help this family bring their little girl home.

Do share this Giveaway with as many as you can.

Also pray for the Campbell family as they travel the long distance to bring home their little girl; pray for journey’s mercies and for safety within the country they are travelling in, pray for smooth final paperwork and a good trip home.

Thank you very much. Your contributions will make a difference!


All from Asia…

Today is my last Wesley Wednesday post for this season. Before i go on with today’s very special post, i would like to make an extra special announcement:

As of yesterday, 27th November 2012, with the help of many generous donors, Wesley‘s adoption grant make the jump over the US$1000 mark! We have reached our second target!! No words can describe how happy i am for Wesley and how grateful i am to all the wonderful and so very very generous people who made this possible. And most important how thankful i am to God, that He, the Almighty God is mindful of a 12-year-old orphan whose story needed to be told, whose grant needed to grow. He, my Lord and Saviour is mindful of me, little old me, encouraging me in my efforts, telling me daily that He will take care of it, that it is not an impossible amount; in fact, no amount is impossible for Him.

Please, i humbly ask of you, if you have considered contributing but have not yet, please please do contribute (Click on his name to go to his profile page to donate). We may have reached the 1000 mark but it takes at least 30 times that for Wesley‘s forever family to reach him. So please continue to give! Our Precious One Giveaway is still on for another 6 days. So please take part.

NOW… onto today’s post.

Asia map
Asia map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As of last week, i had planned for this last Wesley Wednesday to be shared with other families who are on their way to bring their precious ones home from Asia; the region where Wesley lives in. i had the feeling that God was telling me to share this last post because He had already arranged to bless Wesley and now it was time to pass the blessings on. So please do read these families’ stories and show them the same love and generosity you have shown Wesley.

The Jones Family is bringing Vincent and Tao home and they will be travelling in 3 days! They need funds to make those very expensive plane tickets which are now costing a bomb because it is “peak” season. They need another US$5500. They have an amazing Buy It Now Fundraiser going on. Please have a look and make a purchase to help them with this final costs. You can also donate directly to their adoption grant here. Follow their adoption journey here. UPDATE: The Jones family are travelling now but still need another US$400 for medicals and other costs. Please continue to help them meet these final costs! Please pray for little Vincent (Xavier), he is very malnourished because of his very many allergies he rejects food as it hurts his stomach. Xavier now has a feeding tube in to help with his nourison but he has pulled out the tube twice already! Please pray that he stops pulling the tube out as each re-insertion is painful and difficult. This is the best way to get him the food he needs to grow. Pray also that Ethan (Tao) will be ok during the medicals he has to be given to get his visa into the US. They are home in a week. So last leg now. Keep praying and supporting this family. HOME: They are in the air flying home as i update this! Praise the Lord! Touch Down – HOME!!!

The Campbell Family is bringing home Maya Grace and they are hoping to be able to travel to Maya Grace before Christmas. Travelling during this festive season means that plane tickets sky-rocket and the Campbells have had a few delays which costed them extra as well. Please help them to meet this extra costs. You can read about their journey to Maya Grace here. They have an Online Auction going on with many lovely items (ending 9pm Central time on 28th Wed). They also have a Stella and Dot Online Fundraiser (see their blog). If you are ordering from Amazon, please use their Amazon affiliate link on their blog. You can also donate directly here. UPDATE: 24th December is when they can pick up their daughter and bring her home. They fly to her country on 18th December. The plane tickets are way more than they have budgeted because of the holiday prices. It costed them an extra US$3666. Please help them meet that costs! They also have 2 more fundraisers you can take part in: an Usborne Books Fundraiser (i absolutely love Usborne Books!) and a Tupperware Fundraiser. News as of 5th December: The Campbells have just found out that the hotel they had planned to stay at (the least expensive one) can not take them because of their family size so they are now forced to take rooms in another more expensive hotel which would also increase their transport costs. So now the total extra funds they need is US$5500. Please help them meet these final costs and bring their girl home. As of 7th December: they still need US$3800, please continue to pray and contribute. NEW (11th Dec) new updated charges have come in and it is so much more than previously advised by their agency. They NOW need US$5400! Please help. Take part in my Giveaway for the Campbells here. Giveaway ended. NEW: Travelling NOW! Please pray for them.

The Fristoe Family is bringing Clara and Feng home. These little girls are both in need of heart surgery. There have been attempts to get their surgeries where they are but it has not happened. Their immediate need now is to make payment for their home study; first payment of US$400 is due in 3 days! And the second payment is in January. They need to submit their paperwork in 3 days so that they can complete their home study in early January. They can not allow these girls to wait any longer. Please help them make this payment. Go to their blog to donate. UPDATE: They have an auction going on with bracelets, earrings and knitted items, please see here.

The Wiehl Family is bringing LuLu home and they are hoping to be able to travel to LuLu in January. They have had so many many delays and are asking for prayers for smooth paperwork from now onwards. They also need to raise another US$7500 to be fully funded! You can use the Amazon link on their blog so they can earn a little bit from the Amazon Affiliates program. You can order lovely jewelry from them. Please have a look here. They are also offering to write Santa Letters to your child in exchange for a small donation. Please read about it here. And of course, you can donate directly to their adoption grant here. UPDATE: The Wiehl family has been trying very hard to raise funds through sales on ebay and jewelry but it is still not enough. They are 4 weeks away from travelling to get their girl but are still US$4000 short. Please help them meet this final amount. Please also pray for them as most of the family is now ill… pray for good health and energy and funds to complete the final steps of this adoption. They have a new fundraiser too – sale of great books for teachers/homeschoolers – see here. NEW (11th Dec) American Doll Giveaway – these lovely lovely dolls are up for grabs… see here for details. LATEST Fundraiser: Be A Voice Fundraiser – lovely Pewter items in an auction. See here for details.

The Baird Family is bringing  Nathaniel home. They have submitted their paperwork and are waiting on approval to travel. Mama Baird is a single mum who has a fantastic support network including her 15-year-old daughter, her own adoptive father and a community of “aunties and uncles”; all of whom are eager for Nathaniel to come home. They are working hard to raise the funds needed. They have a Superhero Fundraiser going on as well as a Galactic Gift Auction. Please visit the pages and take part to contribute to their adoption grant. You can also donate directly here. Follow their journey here.

The Garrick Family is bringing Lana home. They are in the middle of their home study and are also actively raising funds to bring home their little girl; a sister for their two boys. They have a great website selling t-shirts with a wonderful message and lovely necklaces. Please visit here and make a purchase. You can also donate directly to their fund here. You can follow their adoption journey here.

The Hemmes Family is bringing John home. They have just received their completed home study and are waiting on approval from US Immigration to adopt internationally. They have a fun little fundraiser where clues (about a big announcement) are given for a certain amount given towards their adoption grant; it’s like playing detective – how fun! Please visit their blog to find out more. You can donate on their blog or here.

The Lanz Family is bringing home Abigail and Jennifer. Both girls have CP (Cerebral Palsy). The Lanz have finished their homestudy and are already approved on the US side to adopt internationally. Now they will send in their dossier to the girls’ country and waiting for approval from that side. In the meantime, they are busy fundraising as bringing home 2 little ones will costs so much more. They have some great fundraisers: sale of some really cute crocheted animals or dolls (click here to buy), use their Amazon affiliate link on their blog when making purchases from Amazon, a fundraiser with The Apparent Project where you get lovely handmade bead jewelry and a Puzzle Fundraiser (see here for details). You can also donate directly to their adoption grant here. Follow their journey here.

Jon and Angela are bringing home Jack, who has a very rare condition which requires lots of care; he has Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP). His skin can not handle exposure to UV light, which means no exposure to sunlight or any artificial lights with UV in them. Even a little exposure can have a cumulative effect. They have been fundraising but have not had much success. Please do support them in their latest fundraiser here. They have some lovely items in their giveaway. You can also donate directly here. You can follow their journey here. UPDATE: They have asked for prayers for Jack’s health. Please do pray also for funds to come in so they can get Jack home as soon as possible for medical attention. Please read this other blog post about Jack. Read more about Jack and his soon-to-be parents here.

The Evans Family is bringing home Hylah (Molly Kate). Molly has Williams Syndrome which can display similar behaviour traits to Down Syndrome. They are now in the midst of doing their Homestudy and estimate that they will need to fundraise at least US$15,000. They are selling beautiful  Wooden Name Puzzles to start the ball rolling. Please click here to view and purchase a name puzzle to help them. You can also donate 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 bringing Rowyn and Zekiel home. Both of them have achondroplasia dwarfism. They are now waiting for their Letter of Approval, which means travel dates would be coming up after that. They are working hard to raise the funds needed to complete this adoption, which is estimated to costs US$26,000. They only have US$3828 in their adoption grant at the moment. Please visit here for all their fundraisers. There are lovely hand-made bracelets, necklaces and t-shirts to purchase. You can also take part in Rowyn’s Reveal here; it’s a Giveaway with a US$100 Subway Gift card as the prize. You can follow their journey here.

The Robbins Family is bringing home Walter. They just booked their flights to travel to Walter after the New Year holidays in January 2013. 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.

The Gaines Family is bringing a little girl home. i believe they can’t release her name, just yet. They are still recovering financially from a previous failed adoption and therefore need help with funds for this one. They have finished their homestudy and expect their dossier to arrive in country late January. Here are their requests: they ask for prayers, they are looking for air-miles to save on flights, clothes and toys for the girl they are adopting, items for auction/sale, donations can be made to the Paypal on their blog here. UPDATE: They now have an Amazon Link Words on their blog. So when you want to make an order via Amazon, please click through their blog so they get a small percentage of the sales towards their adoption.

There you are, seven eight nine twelve thirteen 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 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.