One Step At A Time…

i read these lines on Life Is An Adventure:

Every journey begins with a single step. Life is a journey and each step we take prepares us for the next one. Every step is preparation for what God has planned in our lives.

How true, isn’t it? That’s how we journey through life, one step at a time. Some days taking those steps is a wonderful thing and other days they are frightful steps to take. Regardless, we still step out every day and walk this journey of life.

And i am so glad to have my family and friends with me, especially on days when the steps i have to take are difficult. Aren’t we all grateful that we do not travel life alone? 

But there are people who do travel life alone and my heart goes out to them. They either have chosen to journey alone (very few do) or circumstances are such that they have no loving family to journey with.

Sweet Penelope needs a family to help take the next steps in life.

Penelope is one such little girl. She has lived the last 4 years of her little life without the care of a loving family. She is an orphan and is deaf, with a heart condition and limited vision.

She has taken as many steps as she can all by herself. Now she really needs a wonderful family to help her walk the rest of life’s journey, which can hold such amazing opportunities if only she has a forever family to help her discover them, to provide her with the special education she needs to take full advantage of those opportunities. Opportunities which for her would not exist in her home country, as the society is heavily prejudiced against disabilities such as hers.

Every step leads us to the next step. Have the steps you have been taking leading you to adoption? Is this what God has been preparing you for? If so, would you consider adding Penelope into your family? If yes, please contact Reece’s Rainbow for details.

Or maybe the steps you have been taking have brought you to the challenge of daily praying for someone else? Would you pray for Penelope? Pray for her daily needs, her educational needs and for a forever family to step up for her.

The steps you have been taking may have put you in a privileged position (by which i simply mean you have enough for yourself and some spare to share), then would you please share a little of what you have? Would you give towards Penelope‘s adoption grant, which is very tiny at the moment? This would help ease her forever family’s journey to her. Please click on her name or picture to go to her profile page to make your contribution.

Perhaps your journey has given you the simple advantage of knowing how to use a computer and the internet. Then those skills can now be used to help share Penelope‘s story far and wide so that her forever family might see her. Would you do that today?

Here’s another post written for Penelope.

Thank you.


Why Adopt Special Needs Children…

i have been advocating for special needs adoption for almost 18 months now. It has been a wonderful journey filled with lots of heartache, tears but also with joy and miracles. And of course the question in the title has been asked of me as well (even though i am not adopting – yet…).

i came across this video and felt that it answered quite a few of aspects of the why… take a look and then read what else i have to say about this…

In the video, Elizabeth speaks about the fate of children who age out of the adoption system in their country. She speaks of how when they are shown the door at 16. They have no money, no family, no friends, little skills or education to help them survive outside of the institute-environment. My heart absolutely breaks when she speaks about post-orphan stats from Russia… 20% commit suicide in under 2 years, 20% become prostitutes, 30% harden criminals, 10% in prisons…

Sweet Wesley has been waiting so very long for his forever family.
Sweet Wesley has been waiting so very long for his forever family.

i have been advocating for Wesley since last November and i know he also faces similar odds. Although Wesley‘s home country does not have such post-orphan stats, you can read this article which briefly describes what may happen to him if he is not adopted. His chance for a family is lost much earlier than 16, he will age out at 14 years old which means he has less than 15 months to be adopted.

You may look at his condition (albinism and vision problems) and think, “That’s not too bad. And he looks to be ok in the photo, quite well-taken care of, yes? He would likely find a job, right?”.

Sure, maybe if he was living in a different country. You have to understand that he sticks out like a sore-thumb in his country because of his skin colour. His vision problems will be a major issue even if he tries getting the jobs which are normally for the very lowly educated. He will not be accepted by the society he has been born into, in fact, some people from his country would consider him cursed even. (Which i believe is a contributing factor to him being abandoned at age 6.) And his government would only provide him food, clothing and shelter for just a few more years before he has to fend for him in this cold world, with almost no education or skills.

So you see, the odds are indeed against Wesley. Unless a family steps forward for him. Unless, like Elizabeth and Eric, some loving couple (or a caring mum) answers yes to God’s call to bring him into their home.

Are you the family who would answer YES and trust God to provide everything else to bring Wesley into your home? To care and love him for who he is? To support and provide him with opportunities he would otherwise never have? If you answered yes, then please contact Reece’s Rainbow for more details.

Not everyone is called to adopt. BUT everyone can help. (i will write more about that tomorrow).

Here’s how you can help Wesley:

  1. You can share his story far and wide so that through your sharing, somehow, his forever family might find him.
  2. You can pray for him. Pray for his daily needs, pray for his future and most importantly pray that God gives courage to a caring family to step up for him.
  3. You can also help to grow his adoption grant which would ease the journey his forever family would have in reaching him. As i mentioned above, acceptance of his condition is rare in his home country so an expensive international adoption would be his chance for a family. You can contribute by clicking on his name or picture to get to his profile page.

You can go here to read what another advocate has to say about Wesley.

Thank you.


Still Waiting…

Little 7.5-year-old Kristina waits for a family to come for her.
Little 7.5-year-old Kristina waits for a family to come for her.
8-year-old Samantha needs a family to help her along in life.
8-year-old Samantha needs a family to help her along in life.

i wrote about Samantha and Kristina back in August 2012. A pair of orphaned sisters who have some disabilities and some mental delays and have been transferred to an adult mental institution. i wrote about how they needed a mummy, a loving family and how they could reach full potential with a caring family supporting them.

i want to thank all the generous people who have contributed and helped to grow their adoption grant. They now have over US$6000 which is a good amount, although it isn’t even half of what is needed to pay for all the paperwork, flights, travel expenses, medical exams to get them into a forever family.

BUT… these sisters are still waiting… and the longer they wait, the more effects of institution-living they will suffer. i have read a heartbreaking list about the various effects of such baseline care (i can’t even really call it care.) which is most of the time all the institutions can afford. Here’s a bit about how Samantha and Kristina could be affected (beyond just their disabilities).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Struggle to express their feelings or emotions.
  • Throw fits of rage over seemingly little incidences.
  • Withdraw, check out or blank out when feelings become too hard to handle.
  • Cry silent tears.
  • Rock back and forth when afraid.
  • Latch on to anyone who spends any time with them.
  • Talk incessantly.
  • Talk loudly.
  • Manipulate with their words – I love you if…
  • Want to touch everything and everyone in an inappropriate, excessive way.
  • Be unable to laugh or understand when something is funny.
  • Laugh at inappropriate times.
  • Laugh or respond inappropriately when told no or when reprimanded.
  • Cry when happy.
  • Hit themselves in the head, face or jaw when upset or angry at themselves or someone else.
  • Hit themselves when told no.
  • Be unable or afraid to ask for something they need or want.
  • Choose to steal, lie or go without before asking.
  • Repeat the same phrases or conversations over and over again.

The whole list is so very much longer. It is written by a dear orphan advocate who has adopted an amazing little boy 2 years ago and has seen first hand how institution-living greatly affects young minds. She writes:

It is not written to scare people away from adoption but instead to draw families in.  To break hearts.  To bear witness to what so many children are going through on a daily basis.

You can read the whole list here: Micah Six Eight: The List.

Now can you see why i am asking and asking, all the time, for you to help these orphans; to share their stories, to give towards their adoption, to pray for them?

Would you please help Samantha and Kristina find their forever families by sharing their stories far and wide?

Could you be that family who would love them for who they are? You can learn more about them by clicking on their names or pictures.

Would you please pray for their needs, daily and medical? Pray for their forever family to be brave and step forward for them.

Would you be able to help grow their adoption grant to ease the journey their forever family would have to bring them home? They have a donate button on their profile page here.

Thank you.