Saturday, July 28, 2012

Don't be scared.

I've heard so many people comment that we're "brave" or "special" for adopting a special needs child.  Particularly one who may have FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). 
We're not.  We're ordinary people. 
I'll admit that we do have a bit of experience with disability and behavioral issues.  We have a 4 year old son who has autism. 
He's the handsome little man on the left.  His name is Deacon. 

Having a child with a disability/challenge doesn't make anyone special.  Choosing to adopt one doesn't make you special, either.  All it means is you've chosen not to let fear rule your choices.  You've chosen to love a child and accept them into your life. 

Take a look at these children and tell me what pops into your mind when you see them.  Sad, hurt, sick, scary, and unattractive.  These are words that have been used to describe these and other pictures of disabled, orphan children.

Some people look at these sweet, wonderful children and all they see is the outside.  All they see are the negative things in the photos.  They see an unhappy child, a child with scars and bad teeth.  They see a skinny, starving child who needs lots of medical care and a child with a large head.  They see the surface.  They see the superficial negatives.

Now I'll tell you what I see... what many of us who are adopting (or have adopted) these children see in these photos.  I see soft hands and chubby cheeks.  I see potential.  I see a skinny, starving child who has survived thanks to her strength and will to live.  I see a scared little girl who would be smilin if she had a hug and a bit of encouragement.  And finally... I see a bright happy smile glowing in a small face.  Despite her issues... she's smiling and her beautiful little soul shines through. 

Those are the things I see. 

Now I want you to look at a pair of pictures.  One is a visa photo taken of a sick, starving child just before she was brought home.  Some of you may recognize her.
Skinny, puffy eyes, sad, hopeless... these are the things that some people see.  They don't see the love hiding inside.  They don't see the beautiful, shining soul within.  
Now take a look at the next photo.   It was taken of her after being home for about a year for approximately 8 months.  She's had the love of a family and good medical care to help her heal.
Do you see the difference?   Many of you will say "wow... I can't believe it's the same child.  She's totally different!". 

Me?   Not so much. 
You see... I know that the child you see in the second photo was there all along... just waiting to come out.  Just waiting for a mama, dada, brothers, and sisters to help her show her light to the world.   I also know that the children in the other photos will bloom and shine, too.   They're just waiting for their families to help them do that. 

The next time I (or one of your other friends) posts a picture of an orphan for you to see.   Take a moment to look... REALLY look at that child.   Look past the tears, the scars... Look past the fear. 

Take a look and see a child who is waiting to bloom.  Waiting to shine.   Waiting to love and be loved.   Then ask yourself.  Are they waiting for me?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Auction Time!

It's auction time!  We're having an auction on our Three Little Birds Facebook page!  Come and check out all of the great items we have.  The auction will run for two weeks and there are new items being added daily! 
Just visit the page and click on Photos to see everything at once.  Or go through them one by one on the timeline.

Here are a couple of the items we have listed right now...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Ones Finding Homes

I realized today that there are only two children left on Reece's Rainbow (from Christiana's orphanage) who haven't found families. They're both newly listed, so it's very possible that they will have families soo, too.

Would you like to know how this was achieved and who made it possible? I'll tell you. It was made possible through the tireless work of a large group of people who have advocated for these sweet children and spread word of their need all over the internet! Here are a few of them....

Shelley Bedford.
 She's a wonderful woman who has found families for so many children. She is the one who raised the funds to get medical care for the children who desperately needed it in the orphanage and who has been coordinating donations of special formula for them.

Amanda Unroe.
 Amanda just returned from Christiana's home country where she adopted 5 little sweeties.

Susanna Musser.
 Many of you know her as "Katie's Mom". She's worked tirelessly to spread awareness about the  terrible conditions that these children suffered in.

And last, but not least... all of the amazing women in the Reece's Rainbow group on Facebook. There are way too many to list here. Wonderful, generous, loving, kind... these words don't begin to describe them.

One last thing... I was asked recently if I thought it was possible to save "all of them" (orphans).  (It was asked with sarcasm, by the way.)
My answer is... probably not.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.  If only one out of the 143 million orphans in the world (yes... there are really that many) finds a home, it's worth it.  It's worth all of the blogging, fundraising, travelling, and effort. 

This girl... SHE is worth it all.
She is my 1 in 143 million.  She is my daughter.  Christiana Renee Matthews.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Getting ready to submit out dossier

We're trying to raise funds for our dossier submission.  We have $9000 in payments due before we submit... and we'll have all of the paperwork ready to go in about 6 weeks. 

Can you please donate and help us raise the ransom for our daughter?