Blog Posts

Meet the Harmon Family

I had to share this new family (btw, any RR family who would like to be a featured blog post, please contact Lucille)! They shared their adoption announcement video and I fell in love! You will too! Their girls are brilliant!

Here is their post and if you can donate to help them get started, please do, but even if you can’t, please SHARE! (to read the post in full CLICK HERE)
http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsorharmon

The World Stopped

This is a blog post from one of our repeat Reece’s Rainbow families. The Nalles have adopted two boys from Ukraine and are in process of adopting a little girl. They are also one of our strongest advocates. Since adopting Aaron in 2010 they have been shouting about The Lost Boys ever since. They have helped MANY, MANY of our families find their children and bring them home. We may never know just how big of an impact they have had on the number of orphans now in families. 

This is definitely worth the time to read and I’m also including their current adoption FSP (http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsornalle-2) so you can donate if you so choose after reading this post. You can read this post as originally posted on Julia’s blog here: The World Stopped.


The World Stopped

I couldn’t breathe when I saw her.  I had been looking for her.  I knew she was coming, but when she came walking into my aisle I stopped breathing.  The world stopped.  Nothing else mattered but her. And me. And the distance it took for me to kneel before her.

 

The last time I had seen her was a little over a year before. Our last moments with her never to be forgotten.   Our hearts shredded into pieces when she whispered to the director she didn’t want us to be her family. We never considered in a million years she would turn us away. It was unthinkable.

There she was, standing before me on this side of the ocean, and I wanted nothing more than to grab her and hold her and tell her how much we had wanted her. I wanted to flee the building with this girl wrapped in my arms. Instead, I whispered to her how proud I was that she had said yes to a family. I told her how brave she was. I told her how happy I was that she had now a Mama and a Papa and brothers and sisters. I told her she was beautiful. I told her I loved her.  We played a bit at the preschool booth nearby. And then she walked away down the aisle with her Papa beside her. She took my heart with her.

I went back to work that day, tears sliding quietly down my cheeks as I shared with people about our curriculum.  It was the hardest of moments. Despite this, I consider it a kindness of God to allow me to have that moment with her. The family she chose is wonderful and I am grateful to the Lord that she is safely folded into their world.

 

Adoption is risky and hard. You cross the ocean to bring home a child with nothing more than a picture and a few words on a piece of paper. Anything can happen. Countries close in the middle of the process.  Dossiers are submitted and denied. Children die before families get to them. War upends the process. The child you crossed the ocean to bring home is no longer available. Or they say no. Or you say no because the words on the paper do not match the child in real life.

 

And then you come home.

 

And the child you thought you loved is not exactly as you pictured or considered. Family is not exactly as they pictured it either. And you slip into a trench. Sometimes for a few months. Sometimes for years. And sometimes forever.

 

I used to shout loud and hard for families to adopt.

 

I used to yell and scream for the ones we left behind.

 

But watching the heartache, the hard, the loss, the trenches has caused my voice to grow hoarse at times. How can I tell you to adopt when I know the heart-wrenching part of it? How can I tell you to adopt when I know you may lose everything? How can I tell you to adopt when that child may die on this side of the ocean? How can I tell you to adopt when the picture and words may not match the child? How can I tell you to adopt knowing that tears may be your mantle for a season? Or a lifetime? How?

 

We have seen the ugly. We have watched families shipwreck. We have advocated for children who have been disrupted from their families.  We have seen families grieve the death of their child over here. We have watched families fall apart over adoption. Husbands have left wives and vice versa. We have experienced the trenches.

 

Yet, we still believe that adoption is good and right.

 

Just because it is hard and heart wrenching and risky – doesn’t mean we stop.

 

There are children across the ocean who need families.

 

They need families willing to accept the risks and the heartache and the reality of the trenches and go anyway. Because children belong in families not institutes.

 

We have seen the ugly and we are going back.  I look at my boys each day and thank the Lord they are here. With us. Despite all their challenges. Despite the 40+ trips to Shriners. Despite the trenches. Despite the cost of two extra mouths. Despite the reality that we will probably never have that moment in our lives when it is just the two of us. We are going back. I may not be shouting very loud about adoption but going back is my witness.  It’s my form of shouting right now.  I KNOW adoption is hard. I KNOW that those who go and bring home their child or children will be bruised and beaten and will wonder what in the world they have just done. I KNOW the questions. I KNOW.

 

You may lose everything. You may have your heart ripped out. You may hear a child whisper a “no” to you. You may see that child again in someone else’s family and you may shed a tear or two or a thousand. It’s all possible.

 

But if God is tapping on your heart – Then you need to act.

 

Because it’s God tapping.

 

And when He taps – you really need to listen.

Pray. Advocate. Adopt.

Children belong in families not institutes.

 

 

Six Years Ago

 

Remembering Mia’s Gotcha Day

by Kecia Cox
Six years ago today, after 4.5 years of being alone, inside orphanage walls and within orphanage gates, Mia took hold of two nearly strangers hands and with perfect trust she walked away from all she had ever known. She didn’t speak our language, she didn’t understand what was really happening, she didn’t know where we were taking her or what she would find there, but she felt love for the first time and knew there must be something more.

6 years ago today Mia’s life began…

She walked out of the orphanage gates for good And for the first time ever she was completely free. “Gotcha Day” will always be a sweet, sacred day, full of emotions and feelings that are almost impossible to put into words. Her Gotcha Day videos do it pretty well though. (The link takes you to Mia’s blog where you can watch the two full videos) Her first moments outside the orphanage walls will forever be some of our favorite and most cherished memories. It really is all worth it. All the hard days, the added responsibility, the change of dynamics to a family , is all worth it because it changed her world forever. And she has changed ours. And nothing else compares to holding a child’s hand as they walk out of darkness and into the light. If you have any inkling to adopt, do it. Someone out there needs you ❤️
Mia’s Blog ‘Gotcha Day

Eleven

Before & After

These are some of the photos that were sent in for consideration of our April article in The Mighty. The article can be read here: What Does International Adoption of Children with Disabilities Look Like?

NEWS REGARDING FINAL TRAVEL FUNDING

Reece's Rainbow

NEWS REGARDING FINAL TRAVEL FUNDING

New Process for Travel Funding Requests:

The Board of Directors of Reece’s Rainbow is pleased to announce the formation of a Funding Committee. While RR’s focus has been and remains both on building grants for waiting children AND providing a tax-exempt way for families to fundraise while in process, we recognize that some families might experience financial needs shortly before travel. Rather than the informal requests of the past, the following procedure has been recently passed by the Board and will become the only way that families close to travel will be able to ask for pre-travel funding assistance via Reece’s Rainbow’s generous benefactors.

If you have been invited to travel to your child and need additional financial assistance, the Committee (consisting of 3 Board Members) will take requests prior to midnight on the 30th or 31st of each month. The Committee asks that you email funding@reecesrainbow.org with a brief explanation of the scope and reason of your financial need. Once per month, the Committee will then pass such requests onto private donors who have indicated they will consider such requests.

We must remind our families that no pool of unallocated funds has ever existed nor will exist within Reece’s Rainbow to fund such requests. It is solely the discretion of our generous donors as to any gifts made for this purpose. The Committee and Board remind our courageous families that no guarantees of private donor funding before travel can be given. We do however pledge that all such requests will be presented equally, and funds placed in the family’s FSP if received.

We hope this new procedure answers your questions and streamlines this process at what is often a very stressful and emotion-filled time for almost-adopting families.

  • All requests turned in by midnight of the last day of the month
  • Funding committing meets by the 5th day of the month
  • All requested needs sent to donors the same day the committee meets.
  • Any and all allocated funds will be posted to the families FSP as they arrive.
  • Donations are, as always, made at the discretion of the donors.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Michelle or any Board Member at any time.

I Will Never Stop Praying

UPDATE October 2013: We have learned that Kyle has passed away. He is now in the arms of his Heavenly Father.

Since 1999 some 60,000 Russian orphans were adopted by US citizens. In all of those years, prior to President Putin putting the ban on American adoptions, 19 of those 60,000 died after being adopted by Americans. I can promise you, hand on heart, that more of their orphans have died at their own hands in Russia than that in those years. In a purely political move, Putin banned all US adoptions of Russian orphans beginning in January of this year (2013).

In the 7 years I have been with Reece’s Rainbow, there have been several little girls and one little boy in what we called Region 14 in Russia that if we had the option to adopt, I would have loved to. A couple of the girls have found families and are home in the US as loved daughters. Two girls are still in Russia, having lost their chance for a family, and the little boy is also still in Russia… having been transferred to an institution from the orphanage a few months ago.

To say my heart is broken today barely scratches the surface of what I am feeling. Kyle was the child I chose more than any for our RR banners, promotional materials and slides (NDSC, buttons, banners, slides). I fasted for him a year ago and he found a family but circumstances beyond the family’s control put him back on the waiting child list. Then. The ban.

I made this collage of Kyle, his RR photo and the photo of him now on the Russian database of available children. I have included a sampling of the things I have used his photo on over the years, including a couple of graphics I am using soon as our new awareness buttons for people’s blogs and fb walls.

To say that this feels like my own son is close to accurate. Seeing his beautiful and gentle eyes replaced by terror filled, broken ones breaks my heart. I know it breaks God’s heart far more. Please pray for the kids caught in a political fight. Please pray for those who are being mistreated. Please pray for ALL orphans. Please do what YOU can to help the ones we CAN help.


Please consider posting our ‘I Will Never Stop Praying’ Russia button (below) on your blog or Facebook wall. And please visit our Russia’s Children page. It has the list of which children we CAN help now who received our Russian children’s grants. What a heartbreaking decision that was for us but a way to honour those children who are closed behind the ban by helping to bring these other children home that much sooner. 

As always, thank you for all you do to support Reece’s Rainbow and our Waiting Children and Adopting Families. Our Christmas Angel Tree Warrior Sign Ups will be being posted beginning the 15th of September so also be checking back for those!

<div align="center"><a href="http://reecesrainbow.org/russiaschildren" title=""><img width="100%" src="http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s62/WilliamtheOutlaw/Poppies/russianprayingbutton.png" style="border:none;" /></a></div><div align="center"><a href="http://blog.reecesrainbow.org/2013/08/iwillneverstoppraying.html" title="">Grab This!</a></div>

Isaiah 49:25

New King James Version (NKJV)

25 But thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,

And the prey of the terrible be delivered;

For I will contend with him who contends with you,

And I will save your children.

Blessings,

 

Lucille Brown
Director of Design and Marketing
Reece’s Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation