Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Political Post

This is not my personal blog. It's not a place for me to post musings about my life, my religious beliefs, politics, the ins and outs of life with my children, etc. The purpose of this blog is to advocate for the most forgotten boys, and I take the responsibility very seriously.

However, as this is an election year, I just need to take a moment to talk about politics. I'll be brief. I promise.

I know that over the last several years there has been a lot of debate about the direction in which this country is headed. I know that we are in many ways a divided country, and that the schism seems to be growing. This is, to me, both disheartening and frustrating. I know a lot of people who no longer vote and feel disengaged and unrepresented by our government.

First, I would like to encourage you to vote. A country run by its citizenry needs its citizenry to participate. Every voice is important.

Second, I would like to encourage you to vote for my candidate. I believe that he is the one who will finally be able to knit this torn country back together. In his immortal words, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." You can't have a much better platform than that.

So, without further ado, here is my vote in November:



OPTIMUS PRIME FOR PRESIDENT!

Thank you for your time and attention. This moment of levity was brought to you by TWOB.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Miracle: Jason

At long last, I bring you the post about Jason.



I do not know how old Jason is in this picture. His body looks tiny but his head looks large. I'm guessing he's 3 or 4 here.

This is the picture of Jason that captured my heart. Honestly, I don't think he's the cutest kid I've ever seen. He wasn't one of those boys who made me say, "Wow, now THAT is a good-looking kid!" (But we all know that it's not about who's cutest, anyway.)

Jason is one of those kids who didn't have any information about him on his profile. This is what his profile looked like when I first found him.



Boy, Born April 10, 2003

HELP!  I have been transferred to a remote institution, with no hope of finding my family without you!

$20.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Donations are tax deductible.

Poor little guy. I kept coming back to his page, looking at him. I didn't really know why he grabbed my heart. I posted his picture on my 38 for My 38th fundraiser (by sheer coincidence his grant at that time was $38). I hoped his grant would rise. It didn't. 

I kept looking at his page, thinking about him. I put a little money in his grant. I wrote about other boys. I advocated hard for Jack. I fell in love with Denis. And still, Jason tugged at me.

I found out that Jason was being advocated for over at Zero The Zeroes. The host of that blog was pushing to reach $50 in each of the grants for all the Reece's Rainbow kids who had zero in their grants when she started her project by July 4th. What a great idea! And she did it! After July 4th, Jenny announced a new goal: to get the kids to $100 by October 31st. I looked at Jason's grant again. It was at $95.70. On July 31st, I put Jason over $100.

I still wondered what it was about him that held me. One day, while looking again at his sweet face, I realized what it was. Jason looks friendly. He looks expectant. A friendly kid, waiting to see what life has in store for him. That's Jason to me, and I realized how much I love him. He is never far from my thoughts these days.

I used to worry about Jack a lot. I don't any more. His family is working hard to bring him home. They definitely still need your support. But Jack's gonna be ok. He's going to come home, and he's going to have a magnificent life.

But I worry about Jason. I worry A LOT about Jason. As Jason's profile states, he lives in a remote institution (and they do mean remote). It's not a bright and cheerful baby house or children's home, where the kids go to school and adoptions are frequent. It's an institution for disabled kids, and adoptions are rare.



And sweet Jason, so friendly and expectant in the first picture I ever saw of him, hasn't fared well. He doesn't look friendly, expectant, happy, curious, or interested in life in any of the other pictures I have seen of him. He looks lost, sad, and as my friend told me, like he always has a headache. He looks guarded and wary. He looks like life has let him down.

And, you see, it has. From what I have been told, Jason has spina bifida. He can't walk. And for kids in institutions, this is a very bad thing. Kids who can't walk are often neglected in their cribs much of the time. Kids who can't walk are often not educated. Kids who can't walk are often not seen.



I do know that Jason gets to go outside occasionally. But even outside, he is confined to a stroller. Life must get awfully boring when you do a lot of just sitting.

And I know some more about Jason. It's heartbreaking. Jason "suffers a lot ... he needs a lot more love and attention than most of the other children. He is a good, sweet child, but his condition causes him to hit himself. Unfortunately, he is often restrained because he hits himself really hard."

Poor Jason. This kid needs a family. He really, really needs a family! Who knows what Jason's potential could be if he lived in a family that could give him the love, attention, medical care, and education he deserves? Perhaps he could walk with a walker! Maybe he would develop musical talent! He might be a math whiz waiting to happen! At the very least, I hope he would stop hitting himself. In every picture, he has self-inflicted head or facial wounds. No child should have to live this way.

The good news is that Reece's Rainbow has shared the updated information about Jason. This is how his profile looks today.


Jason

Boy, Born April 10, 2003

HELP!  I have been transferred to a remote institution, with no hope of finding my family without you!
Jason spends his time either in a crib or in a stroller, sitting outside.
He needs a lot of love and attention … He is a good, sweet child, but he has a lot of self-injuring behaviors.  Unfortunately, he is often restrained because he hits himself really hard.
$121.70 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Donations are tax deductible.
Someone besides me has put some money into Jason's fund! It's a step in the right direction! The more money a child has in his adoption grant, the easier it is for his family to bring him home. Knowledge and money. Now you know about Jason. Now you know about his enormous need. Perhaps you have some money to help him. But even if you don't, you aren't helpless! You can share Jason's photo and information. You can advocate for him. You can consider whether he has a place in your family. YOU can make a difference for Jason.


Jason, a little boy tucked away in a remote corner of a far-away country, is a child who matters. Please help his family find him!


Please also check out my post about George and Dmitry









George's grant fund hasn't budged in months. Why is this lovely child still waiting? And sweet Dmitry, soon to turn 8 years old and still waiting ...


Friday, August 24, 2012

Forever Friday: Maksim (+ How You Know Your Kids)

Hello, and Happy Friday!



Please don't forget that Jack's family's fundraiser runs until August 31st. They have lowered the donation amount to $6, and every little bit helps! Jack's family is halfway to where they need to be in terms of funding; his adoption costs a whopping $40,000!


 Also, the Prichard family, who are adopting sweet Lucas and Lance and making these boys who were living in the same groupa brothers, currently has a $1,300 matching grant. They need just $400 more to receive their full amount. We pulled it off for little Oliver. Let's do the same for Lucas and Lance!



This little cutie is Maksim. Maksim turned 8 in June. He has Down syndrome and is described as quiet. I love his colorful turtleneck! So appropriate for a Reece's Rainbow child!

Not much is known about Maksim, which is probably why his grant stands at just $67.50. It's often easier for people to make an emotional connection with children whose profiles list lots of information or heart-rending descriptions of how the child longs for a family. It's easier to get a sense of a child's personality when their likes and dislikes or school achievement is detailed.

But for a lot of the listed kids, the information simply isn't there. The only thing they have to go on is their picture. Not all the kids even have good pictures. The odds are stacked against them! 

Luckily for Maksim, someone took an interest in him and asked me to blog about him. It can be hard to know what to say about a child who has so little information available. I can make the requisite comments about imagining the child playing in the backyard or watching movies with his siblings or climbing onto the school bus for the first time. These comments can (I hope) allow readers to view the children as potential family members and not just anonymous orphans far away.

But in the end, we don't really know these children. Even when children have several paragraphs of information, we really know nothing about them. In the end, it comes down to the fact that some kids are meant to be in some families, and when their families find them, they know who they are.

We were matched with our son via two lines of text on a waiting child list ... a paper list, no less, with no pictures! Our agency mailed a shockingly thick stack of paper, stapled together in one corner, listing all the children it was trying to place - page after page after page of children. It was heartbreaking to read through it. Many of the children were older boys who had waited years. It was nearly impossible to turn our backs on them, but we were young parents, inexperienced, with a small daughter. We didn't feel capable of adopting an older child, much less an older boy. (The joke was on us, though, as we returned the next year to adopt an 11 year old!) Nonetheless, we read through each child's information. Each child was a unique individual, and we didn't feel right skipping over the kids who didn't meet our age or gender criteria or who were part of sibling groups (we wanted a single child).

And then ... there he was. He appeared so suddenly we were both surprised. Two lines of type, giving his name, approximate age, his health status, and the fact that he was a messy eater. That was it. Two lines of 12-point type buried in the middle of a text list over two dozen pages long of waiting children. 

And he was our son.

We've had him nearly 8 years now.

So in the end, it's not the wealth of information that's intended to make you feel that you know the child that makes all the difference. It is simply this, as I have been saying since we brought our son home: When you find your kids, you know who they are.

Please share Maksim's photo and information so that his family can know him, too. Please consider donating to increase his grant fund or becoming his Guardian Angel. Please consider whether Maksim has a place in your family.

















Also, please don't forget Denis and Jason, two other kids who leaped out at me when I ran across their pictures. Neither child had any information listed about him. Through some diligent work and networking on my part, I have managed to dig up some information on each child. It makes me feel better to think I know something about these children, but in the end any information I receive doesn't change the fact that each child is exquisite and perfect and needs a family to love him, and somehow they were meant to come into my life so that I could help their families find them. More information will be coming about Jason in my very next post (I know I have been threatening that for a while ... this time I mean it!). You can donate to both Denis and Jason's grant funds by clicking the links in the upper right sidebar of my blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kalinovka


Today I would like to introduce you to Kalinovka. If you watched my previous link to Ukraine's Forgotten Children, then you are already familiar with Kalinovka. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to watch, then I encourage you to do so. This documentary, by a British filmmaker who was able to spend six months at the facility, portrays not only the reality of life for children with disabilities who live in institutions but also what can happen for them when people take an interest in them and refuse to accept that these children are ineducable and worthless.



Kalinovka has been a home for disabled children since early in the last century. It is an old Mennonite estate that slowly crumbled and fell apart under the twin stresses of neglect and caring for severely disabled children on an inadequate budget.




Kalinovka currently houses more than 120 residents, ranging in age from four up to adulthood. By law, children must leave the orphanage when they turn 18. In practice, the director of the orphanage attempts to keep as many of the grown children as he can and provide them with some stability and care. These potential graduates of the orphanage have either nowhere to go or face a life confined to a mental institution. All of the residents have some form of mental or physical disability. These conditions include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, blindness, epilepsy, HIV, and many others.



In many ways, Kalinovka is the same as lots of other orphanages or internats for disabled children in eastern Europe. It is poor. The government does not adequately fund it. The conditions are primitive, and the children do not receive the care, stimulation, and education they both need and deserve.



In other ways, Kalinovka is quite different. Kalinovka is run by a man named Nikolaj, a man who is bucking the established wisdom of a post-Soviet society that claims children with mental and physical handicaps are lost causes, hopeless cases for whom nothing can be done and from which nothing can be expected. I have heard it said that eastern European attitudes toward people with disabilities are 50 years behind those of people in more Westernized countries. Many people in Ukraine don't know what goes on in these orphanages; unfortunately, some that do don't care. Some hold the attitude that the best that can be hoped for with these children is that they be warehoused, out of sight of the rest of society, which takes no interest in them. In the Soviet way of thinking, disabled orphans provide no benefit to the state, so they are of no concern to the state.

Nikolaj has rejected this idea. Due to his attitude, decision, and hard work (years of fundraising and pleading on behalf of his children), changes are coming to Kalinovka.





One of the biggest changes involves the completion of what is referred to as the Happy Home. The top picture shows the structure in the 19th century, when it was part of the Mennonite community estate. The middle picture shows the same building several years ago after years of neglect and disuse. The final picture shows the Happy Home today. The Happy Home was constructed to give nine of Kalinovka's children a shot at a better life. These children live together in a family-like setting and, for the first time ever, are able to attend school! Nikolaj's stated aim is to prepare these children for a life beyond the walls of a mental institution.


The Happy Home has been running for a year, and this month construction begins on a second Happy Home for a new group of children!

Another huge change that has benefited the children at Kalinovka is the hiring of additional caregivers for the children. Due to lack of adequate government funding, Kalinovka's director has been unable to hire an appropriate number of staff. However, as charitable organizations have discovered Kalinovka, help has begun to arrive.


Maya's Hope, a 501(c)(3) registered charity that helps orphans around the world, has begun a sponsorship program for the Kalinovka orphanage. For $30 a month, you can help sponsor the salary of a Guardian Angel, a mother-figure who helps to care for the children at Kalinovka. Through the hard work of Maya Rowencak and the generosity of a growing number of sponsors, Maya's Hope has been able to provide two Guardian Angels to the Kalinovka orphanage, and they are well on their way to being able to provide a third! The monthly salary of a Guardian Angel is $200. With your help, the children at Kalinovka could have an additional caregiver to give them the love and attention they need! Please check out the website for Maya's Hope and consider donating to this worthy organization. One hundred percent of your donations are passed on to the children! Maya's Hope is, by the way, the organization through which I will be sending the toothbrushes and toothpaste that my dentist is donating.


Another organization that has worked hard for the children at Kalinovka is Happy Child, a Ukrainian organization dedicated to improving the lives of institutionalized children in its country. Happy Child is run by the indefatigable Albert Pavlov and his crew of energetic volunteers. In addition to being instrumental in the creation of the Happy Homes, Happy Child has also been able to sponsor trips for the children of Kalinovka, and they also sponsor volunteers who travel to orphanages, including Kalinovka, to gather information on adoptable children, interview the children, and publish photos and profiles so that these children have a shot at being found by their forever families. The website of Happy Child is quite extensive, and I encourage you to discover the wealth of information contained therein and support this organization in any way you can.

The orphan crisis throughout the world can seem overwhelming. Reading about the conditions of institutionalized children, watching the documentaries of their ill treatment, agonizing over their fate ... all these things can engender a feeling of hopelessness that leads to inaction and despair. 

But the news is not all negative! Every day, children are found by their forever families and welcomed into loving homes, where they will live their lives with the proper nutrition, medical care, education, and love that they need to fulfill their potential. Every day, changes are taking place in the public awareness of the fate of these children, and more people are getting involved in the effort to do something about it. Every day, the lives of those not yet found, of those left behind in the orphanages, internats, and mental institutions, have the potential to improve.

Knowledge and money. It's not just essential for adoption. It's essential for all improvement in the lives of these children, these most-forgotten and most-vulnerable small global citizens. My blog is an effort to provide the knowledge. You can help these children in so many ways. Share the knowledge! Contribute monetarily! Send donations! Speak out on behalf of these children who have no voices of their own! Together, we can make a difference for these children.

When we were in the process of adopting our son, we received from our adoption agency some literature with the header, "If not you, who? If not now, when?" The time is now for these children! The people are you! Our efforts are not in vain. Day by day, life by life, we are saving these children!


Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your support of orphaned boys worldwide!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Miracle: Vlad

Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on Sunday, and we took a trip to a nearby city to visit a friend who was in town from far away. This is our annual tradition, and it was fun to get to hang out with him and enjoy ourselves. My dad came to stay with the kids, and they had a great time with him.


I have great news to report today! Oliver's matching grant was met! With the addition of the $2,000 matching grant, which is on its way to Reece's Rainbow, Oliver will have a total of $7,574.20 in his grant fund. This is one-fourth of his adoption expenses! Now we just need to find him a family!


I'd also like to remind you that voting for additional children for the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree is underway. The Angel Tree's goal is to raise $1,000 for each child on the Angel Tree from November 1st to December 31st. Last year, a total of $343,568 was raised for children's adoption grant funds. Voting this week is for girls with Down syndrome ages 10+.


Also, please don't forget about Jack's August fundraiser, going on at his parents' blog. The goal is to raise $5,000 for Jack this month!


And today I would like to introduce you to Vlad. Vlad will turn 13 years old in September. Vlad is described as very healthy and with "the most striking green eyes." He is also described as a super boy. Can't get much better than super, eh? Vlad speaks English well and can read children's stories in English without the use of a dictionary. Vlad is communicative and optimistic and also very supportive of his friends as well as polite and obedient. Vlad "dreams of obtaining a family." Vlad is HIV+.

Unfortunately for Vlad, every day he is edging closer to the day at which he will, if not adopted, be dismissed from the orphanage. His life's prospects are not good if this happens. Suicide, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression are typical issues for children who have aged out of orphanages and find themselves alone, with no support, in a country that still stigmatizes orphans. Add to that his HIV status and Vlad faces a very difficult struggle to make something of his life.

I am here to tell you that older, HIV+ children CAN have a life if adopted. For those of you who have not read about it before, our child, who is HIV+ and was adopted at age 11, is now entering senior year in high school. This child has already secured a full scholarship for the freshman year of college and is very successful at a first job. I won't pretend that we didn't have adjustment issues and some hard times, but my child, who had next to zero chance for a normal life if not adopted, is now planning to pursue a Master's degree.

THESE CHILDREN ARE NOT LOST CAUSES! THEY ARE NOT HOPELESS CASES!

These are children just like your own children, children who just need someone to give them the chance to reach their full potential. They need someone who recognizes that "older children" are still children, children who still (and always will) need a family. No one outgrows the need for a loving family, ever.

Vlad currently has $103.30 in his adoption grant fund. Please donate to increase his fund, and please share Vlad's photo and information. Also, please consider becoming Vlad's Guardian Angel and whether Vlad has a place in your home. 


Stop by my post about about Nolan, an 8 year old who still waits.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Forever Friday: Weston (+ Denis and Pat Robertson)

Good morning! Today I would like to show you several videos. The first is of my darling boy Denis, who waits for a family in Eastern Europe. I have found out that, unfortunately, this month Denis is being transferred from a children's home where he is well-treated and given good medical care to an internat (boarding school) for older children where he will not receive medical care appropriate to his health needs. And don't let the term "boarding school" fool you; this is no cushy New England rich kids' school. State-funded internats in Eastern Europe vary in quality but many are very poor; the education they provide is not good, and the older children frequently victimize the younger children. It breaks my heart that my sweet boy will be in one of these places.

Additionally, being moved from a children's home decreases his visibility to adoptive parents. We all know that most adoptive parents adopt younger kids; we also know that parents will return to adopt a child they fell in love with during their first adoption (in fact, that is exactly how our second adoption unfolded). But few people adopt older kids from internats. This means fewer people will meet Denis.

I have recently been in contact with another adoptive parent who knows Denis very well. She described him as "the sweetest boy EVER" and said that he likes to play soccer and use cameras. She also said that he was very clever.

In this video, the children in Denis' orphanage are gathered to say goodbye to a child who is leaving with her adoptive parents. Denis and the girl are close friends, and you can see how emotional sweet Denis gets.



I cried my eyes out after watching this video and several others I was able to see. I love this boy. He desperately needs a home and a family. Please, if you or anyone you know might be interested in adopting Denis, email me through the Contact Me button on the right sidebar of my blog. I can give you additional pictures of Denis, possibly more video, and the contact information of someone who has committed to assisting in Denis' adoption. Don't forget that Denis has a FIG account set up through Project Hopeful. Please consider donating, which you can through the link in the top right sidebar of my blog. Project Hopeful is a registered 501(c)(3) charity, and all donations are tax-deductible.

The next video I'd like for you to watch is of Pat Robertson's view on orphans who may have been sexually abused or malnourished. Watch his compassion just shine forth ... *sigh*



That's right, Pat ... orphans are not your problem, especially not the weird ones. Let's hear it for Pat Robertson, who encourages people to turn their backs on the world's most vulnerable children because we shouldn't take on other people's problems.

And now I'll put my snark aside and introduce you to our Friday treasure, who waits for his forever family to find him.



This little cutie is Weston. Weston will turn 3 years old in October. Weston has been diagnosed with retinopathy, retinal vascular deconditioning, and atrial septal defect. He was prenatally exposed to HIV but it is unclear at this time whether he carries the virus.

Additional pictures of Weston are available. He lives in a region that requires three trips to complete the adoption.Totals fees are approximately $35,000. Multiple unrelated children can be adopted together, and single mothers may apply.

Can't you see Weston riding his tricycle down your sidewalk? Or splashing into the pool in his water wings? Or climbing on your lap with his well-worn favorite book for a story time? Weston deserves the chance to grow and thrive in a loving family and not be relegated to life in an institution.

Little Weston has only $1 in his adoption grant fund. Please donate to increase his grant fund, share his photo and information, and consider whether Weston has a place in your family.



Please also visit my previous post about Sergey, who still waits for a family.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Neville

Hello and welcome! I have two reminders for you on this Thankful Thursday.

The first is that, through the end of August, there is a fundraiser going on for Jack over at 1,000 Loving Jack! There are some nice prices, and every donation gets Jack that much closer to coming home!

Also, don't forget about Oliver's matching grant. Through August 19th he has the opportunity to receive an additional $2,000 dollars in his grant fund! As of right now he is only $518.10 away from receiving a fully-matched grant! Please help this little boy who spends the majority of his life in a crib!

And now on to what I am thankful for today. As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I spent all of last week repainting and redecorating the kids' room while they were at camp. We transformed it from the crib-set bedroom one child was passionately attached to into a Pittsburgh Penguins theme. It looks great, and the kids love it! I am thankful for my son's gratitude, as he has told me over a dozen times how much he loves it and has thanked me profusely. It's very sweet to see how excited he is. It's also very cute to watch him carefully make his new bed, which has Pittsburgh Penguins sheets and comforter. He used to just randomly throw some sheets and blankets on the bed and call it done.Now he spends several minutes smoothing the sheet, artfully arranging the pillow, and turning back the top of the comforter. 


Here he is several minutes after arriving home from camp and seeing his new room.


This little guy is Neville. He will turn 3 in December. Neville has hydrocephalus, and although he has had two surgeries, it has not been corrected. Neville is not getting the proper medical care and as a result is physically delayed. Neville was born a twin, but his family opted to bring home only the healthy child. Poor Neville was left behind.

Neville needs a family who can meet not only his immediate physical needs but also his long-term developmental and emotional needs. Neville needs a family who can shower him with love and attention and affection and make him feel like the special, wonderful little boy he is. Neville needs a family who will decorate his room with love, just for him, a family that will sing to him and play with him in the bathtub and, when he is older, send him to camp for a week of fun with his friends.

The region Neville lives in requires three trips to complete the adoption, which costs between $35- and $40,000. Married couples and single mothers may apply, and there are no family-size restrictions.

Please consider donating to increase Neville's grant fund, which stands at $700.14. Please share his information, and please consider whether Neville has a place in your family.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thoughts on a Sunday Evening

Welcome, friends, to TWOB. It's good to know that these boys whom I care for so dearly are being seen by regular visitors as well as new ones. Please consider leaving a comment if you read something that resonates with you.



I'd like to remind you again of the fundraiser for Jack being held over on his parents' blog. The good news is that they already have half the funds they need to complete the adoption! More than $20,000 has been raised so far for Jack! The not so good news is that Jack resides in one of the most expensive regions in the world to adopt from. Please help them raise the next half of Jack's ransom so that this lovely child can be home with his parents where he belongs!



Please also consider making a donation to Oliver, who has a matching grant until August 19th. Every dollar you donate will be matched up to $2000. Together we can raise Oliver's grant to $7546.80! 


Also, please don't forget Denis. I have worked hard to get his photo and story out there and to set up a grant fund for him. Denis needs our help to get out of the orphanage and into a family who will love him for the treasure he is. Denis' future is bleak if he is not adopted. Please donate to increase his grant, share his photo and information, and consider whether he has a place in your family. You can donate to Denis' fund by clicking the link at the top of the right sidebar of this page.


And finally, little Jason still waits. More information about Jason is forthcoming. In the meantime, please donate to increase Jason's grant fund, and please share his information far and wide. Jason is one of the children who is frequently overlooked, and I intend to make sure this no longer happens. Jason desperately needs a family.

I had intended to use this past week to create a post about the orphanage that was featured in Ukraine's Forgotten Children as well as highlight some of the organizations who are working hard to help improve the lives of the children there. However, as the kids were at camp all week, my husband and I took the opportunity to repaint and redecorate their room, and it literally took the entire week. It looks great, though, and the kids love it, so it was worth every second we spent on it. Look for more information about the orphanage and the people who are helping out in an upcoming post. 

I would like to share a personal success story with you, though. I am not a professional fundraiser. I am not an especially assertive or outgoing person. I am neither organized nor a take-charge type. However, last week while I was visiting the dentist (on my only break from the kids' bedroom), I was sitting in the chair and the thought occurred to me to ask for help for the orphanage I mentioned above. One of my sweet boys resides there. When the dentist came in, I took a deep breath and asked, "Would your office be able to donate some toothbrushes to an orphanage in Ukraine?" The dentist looked mildly surprised and asked, "How many?" "Would two hundred be doable?" I replied. To my surprise, the dentist said he would get me two hundred toothbrushes AND he would throw in a few cases of toothpaste! 

I am lucky enough to be in contact with an organization that can make sure these supplies get to the orphanage. It may not be a huge thing, but it's something, and it will help. I surprised myself in asking and I was surprised by the answer. In one of my very first posts on this blog I mentioned that we can all find a way to make a difference. A spur-of-the-moment thought of mine will be making a difference for some of the most forgotten children. You can make a difference, too! You can copy my idea and ask your dentist for a donation. You can ask a toy company for toys. You can ask a shoe company for shoes. You can ask a formula company or a diaper company for donations. You can donate to a child's grant fund, share his picture, sponsor a child, financially support an orphanage, speak out about what happens to these children. You can send books or crayons or Matchbox cars. You can visit children in an orphanage. You can do something that no one has ever thought of before! You know what your skills are, and you are only limited by your imagination.

Together, we can improve the lives of those most in need.

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your support of orphaned boys worldwide.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Matching Grant for Oliver!

Hello, friends! The children are all at camp this week, so my husband and I are busy redecorating the two youngest children's room. Our daughter has been very attached to the decorating scheme she's had since babyhood, but we finally put our feet down and said that our nearly pre-teens would no longer live in a crib-set bedroom! As both children play hockey and are fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins, we have chosen white, black, and Penguins gold as the color scheme, and one entire wall will be black chalkboard paint so our little artists can express themselves to their hearts' content!

I'd like to remind of you of the fundraiser going on over at 1000 Loving Jack, the blog of Jack's family. There are some wonderful prizes available and all funds are tax-deductible and will go toward adoption expenses.

And here is another opportunity I would like to call your attention to. 



Oliver is five years old and was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. Unfortunately for Oliver, he is severely neglected in the orphanage where he resides. According to a family who visited the orphanage, Oliver is never picked up or held, not even to be fed. The nannies simply lean over the side of the crib to give him a bottle. He is never moved from the position he is in, and he is often kept covered with a blanket so that no one has to see him. You read that right. A five year old little boy ... you know how much energy and enthusiasm five year old boys have! And this one, this dear five year old, Oliver, truly never leaves his crib. His life is devoid of even the most basic affection, attention, and stimulation.


There is a bright spot for Oliver, though. He was listed on Reece's Rainbow, where he was seen by a lovely woman who was determined to help him. Through her efforts, a family living with achondroplasia discovered Oliver and decided to help him. This family is currently offering a $2000 matching grant for Oliver! That's right, every dollar you donate to Oliver's grant fund between now and August 19th becomes two dollars! When the matching grant was offered, Oliver's grant stood at $3546.80. If his grant can be raised to $5546.80, he will receive an additional $2000, for a grand total of $7546.80! This is an incredible 1/4 of his adoption expenses!


As is the case with all the boys for whom I advocate, Oliver deserves better, much, much better, than the life he currently leads. No child should be so neglected, feared, and misunderstood that he is actually hidden away underneath a blanket so that no one has to see him. Oliver deserves love and happiness and all the opportunities that would allow him to fulfill his potential. Oliver deserves hugs and kisses and storytime and rocking with his mom in a rocking chair. Oliver desperately needs your help. He is on the verge of being transferred to an adult mental institution, at which point he will lose all hope of any life beyond existing in a crib.

Please donate to increase Oliver's grant fund! His family is out there, and removing or decreasing the financial barrier to adoption will help his family find him! Please share Oliver's information far and wide, and please consider whether Oliver could be your son!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Three More!

                              

THREE MORE BOYS HAVE BEEN FOUND BY THEIR FOREVER FAMILIES!!

Congratulations to Steven and Lance, and their families, from The Wonder of Boys! Steven, Lance, and Lucas all lived together, and all have been found. In fact, Lance and Lucas will now be brothers!

But wait, I said that THREE more boys have been found. And I've shown you only two ...

Who is the third?

It is none other than ...

Are you ready?


MARCUS!!!

Yes, sweet Marcus, who has longed for a family for so long, and watched as other children were found by their families, and who believed that he would be unwanted because his legs don't work ... sweet Marcus has been found! 

No longer will Marcus have to wait and wonder and worry and feel ashamed. Marcus has a family coming for him.



I think this darling picture is an accurate reflection of how Marcus will feel when he finds out he is, indeed, wanted.

The identity of Marcus' family is not public yet, but regardless, CONGRATULATIONS to Marcus and his family from TWOB! And thanks to everyone who helped us increase Marcus' adoption grant!




Now that Marcus has a committed family, I will be offering $5 Amazon gift cards to anyone who donates $10 or more to Jason's adoption grant. Sweet Jason is in desperate need of a family. More information will be coming about Jason. In the meantime, please keep this little darling in your thoughts and prayers and, if you can, donate to increase his grant fund. If you donate to his fund and wish to receive a gift card, please email me via the Contact Me button on the right sidebar of my blog.


Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your support of orphaned boys worldwide.