Saturday, May 26, 2012


I'm reposting this blog from my friend Katie Beth's site.  This little angel needs a home desperately and can only be adopted by a Canadian family.  Her region will only accept Canadian families... otherwise this girl would have been in a home LONG ago.  

Can you help her by reading this blog post and sharing it... and her information with everyone you know?  Please help us find Ksenia's family before it's too late.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Too Late

I have been humbled this week. Humbled by a little girl, in a far away country... who I have never met. Sounds familiar, right? But no... this is different.

Meet Ksenia.

I may have mentioned her before. I'm not sure - I tried going back through my blog archives, but I talk too much. Ksenia is in Eastern Europe. She is in a region that is currently only open to Canadian families. If you are not among them, please do not stop reading here. You are still desperately needed.

This photo was taken at her Baby House (the orphanage where children generally reside between the ages of 0-5 years). What a precious little cherub, chubby cheeks, wispy hair.

Ksenia is nine years old now. She was born three months before my middle DBK, my A. This A, the one glowing with joy and life in this birthday picture.

My dear A has not had it easy... but at least on this day... her ninth birthday... she was treated the way a little girl should be treated... like a princess...

I wonder if Ksenia ever had cake. I'll bet she never had a birthday cake with candles, just for her. I know she didn't this year, when she turned nine. Why?

In Ksenia's country, after children 'age out' of their baby houses, they are transferred to institutions. Adult mental institutions. The standard of care there, if it was low at the baby houses, is usually deplorable. Ksenia, like many children, aged out of her baby house and was transferred. I intend to do a full post on the implications of that word, but that is for later. For now, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

A new picture of Ksenia came in after she was transferred to the institution. Here is that chubby cheeked little cherub now.

Ksenia. Sweet baby girl. Child of God. Wasting away to skin and bones. Filthy. Shaven. Injured... probably at the hands of someone who was supposed to care for her. Abuse is all too common in some orphanages and institutions. Ksenia. Sweet angel. Waiting, all this time, for a Mama and Papa to come. Hanging on through her misery. Unable to do a single thing to help herself. Precious girl. Treated like nothing.

This picture haunts me. I see it when I close my eyes. I don't need to bring it up on my computer screen to remember how heartbreaking it is. I can see them side by side... Ksenia the way she used to be... Ksenia the way she is now. Because of what was done to her... when she should be treated like the princess she is.

Here is the reason I am posting about Ksenia tonight.

Sometimes, special needs children simply 'disappear' from the databases that list them. Sometimes their files are simply no longer with an agency. Sometimes they're gone, without a trace, and we can only guess at what happened to them. Were they adopted, seen for the beautiful individuals they are, in their native country? Were they transferred elsewhere and simply not relisted? Or... worst of all... as children do in orphanages and institutions across the world every day... could they have passed away?

A few days back, Ksenia 'disappeared' from her country's database. She disappeared from Reece's Rainbow. Having seen her most recent picture, most of us were sure this meant the worst for Ksenia. Or no. Perhaps not the worst. Perhaps... a fate worse than death... is the one she's been living in that institution. We began to think, maybe it is for the best, if she's beyond pain, beyond suffering, with Jesus, now.

Ksenia was re-listed today. She is alive. She is still waiting. I praise the Lord for His deliverance of this angel from what we were sure was a tragic end. But at the same time, my heart breaks all over again, because I know that tonight, while I lie here warm in my bed, Ksenia still waits.

We almost lost her. We were sure she was gone. We were sure we were too late to help this little girl know the love of a Forever Family. We mourned. We lamented that we should have tried harder, should have screamed louder, for Ksenia. She sat, waiting for adoption, for YEARS... and no family came forward. Perhaps they all thought someone else would do it.

Our hearts broke.

Then, we were given a second chance. We didn't lose Ksenia. Not yet. But if we don't hurry, we will. This is me, jumping at this second chance. This is me screaming for Ksenia like I should have screamed before. This is me praying, hoping, begging someone to be her Mama, to deliver her from this evil, because I would do it myself if I could... but I'm ineligible.

Here is Ksenia's listing on Reece's Rainbow. Again, she can only be adopted by Canadian families at this time. If you are not Canadian, won't you consider sharing Ksenia with everyone you know, so that through the grapevine, her Forever Family might see her? If you are Canadian, won't you consider sharing Ksenia with everyone you know, so that she might find her Forever Family? Won't you ask your friends to share too? And if you are Canadian, considering adoption... won't you consider Ksenia? Won't you consider saving a life we've been given a second chance to redeem? Donations are not being collected at this time, but I know dozens who are just itching to help bring her home. The obstacle in her adoption will not be financial.

This precious angel has Down Syndrome. That is the crime that has landed her in the place she is today. Down Syndrome. A diagnosis that means many things. An extra chromosome. Some unique challenges. But a diagnosis that should NOT mean living out her numbered days suffering in an institution. Sadly, in Ksenia's country, it usually does. But this doesn't have to be her ending. It almost was. We were sure that her story ended in tragedy. But it hasn't. Not yet.

Ksenia still has a chance. But whether you're eligible and considering adoption, ineligible, not considering adoption, whoever you are, wherever you are... YOU are her chance. Her family will never see her if we do not share her short, sad story with the world.

Won't you help me make this 'second chance' count? Won't you please help me save her life?

Sweet Ksenia... hang on, precious angel. Someone is going to come for you. We're going to make sure of it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We've Come a Long Way

We've come a long way in a short time.   This time last year we had no idea that we would be adding to our family.  We thought we were "finished having children" and were happy with our boys and our lives in general.

Then we saw Christiana
This sweet little whisp of a girl holding a stuffed bear upside down.  We fell in love with her and committed to adopt her. 

Now here we are, deep into our adoption journey.  We've had kindness, love, and support from so many people.  It's truly humbling. 

We've also had sadness, hurt, lies and betrayal from people close to us.  The very people who should be helping and supporting us. 

Through everything so far I've learned that sometimes the people who should love you don't.  It's heartbreaking when you discover the truth about people you've trusted and admired... family members.  It's hard to let go of those relationships, but sometimes it's the only thing you can do.   

I've also learned that sometimes... people you "barely know" can step up to the plate and offer such kindness, loyalty, love, and acceptance that it takes your breath away. 

Thank you, my friends, for your love, kindness, and support to us.  It means so much more than you know.  I can't wait for the day when we're able to introduce our daughter to you in person. 

Until then.... I want you to know how much you mean to us!  Thank you for helping us bring our daughter home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why adopt from overseas?

I've been asked this question alot.  I thought it would be good to talk about it. 
The answer to that question is this... because that's where she is

Jason and I had had conversations in the past about adoption as a possibility.  To be very honest, back then we would have probably adopted through the foster system.  It costs less and the children here in the US deserve a good family just as much as any other child does.  We also wouldn't have such a language barrier to deal with.  We probably would have adopted a healthy child as well.  Back then... we thought that having a healthy child was very important. 

But then a couple of years ago I discovered Reece's Rainbow and began to learn about the truly heartbreaking lives these poor children lead.  I learned that some of them spend their whole lives in cribs and never learn to walk, talk, feed themselves, or PLAY.  Not because they're ill or they're too disabled to learn... but because they're left ALONE all day every day.  They're only given the most basic care (one meal a day... one diaper change a day) and sometimes not even that.

 Can you imagine a 10 year old who only weighs 10 lbs?  I can.  Can you imagine a 14 year old who only weighs 14 lbs and already has osteoporosis due to malnutrition?  I can.  Her name is Hasya.  The only reason for her small size and her condition is neglect.  She's been starved, neglected and abused her whole life.  She's spend her whole life in a crib.  She's the size of the average six month old BABY.

 Do you see this sweet girl?  Do you see where she's spent her whole life?  Day after day... every day?  How can anyone see this and NOT want to help? 

I've been helping find homes for these children for a while.  I've been helping families fundraise and spread awareness... and I've been donating to those families to bring their children home because it was all I felt like I could do. 

Then God called Jason and I to adopt.  I know that putting it that way may sound silly to some of you, but that's really how it was.... how it is.  We both felt called to do this.  And we both fell in love with this little girl...

Do you see her biting her lip? Do you see her holding the bear upside down?  How nervous she must be... maybe even a bit scared.  Until we got our updated photo of her in March, this was the ONLY photo of her. 

So this is another answer to the question "why go overseas to adopt?".  That question actually has many answers, but the most important one is still "because that's where she is". 

At the end of the day... it doesn't matter to Jason and I where she lives.  Sure, we would be happier if we didn't have to travel half way across the globe to get to her, but we will.  We would be happier if her adoption costs weren't so high, but we'll pay them... no matter what they are. 

If you're still asking "why" about all the difficult things we'll have to do in order to bring her home...the final answer is "because she's worth it".  They all are... every last child in this world is worth helping, worth saving.  Every child in the world... no matter where they're from is worth helping... worth saving.  Every last one of them.