Thursday, October 27, 2011

Living James 1:27....

Posted by Jennifer at 9:43 AM
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. -James 1:27 (NLT)

So, as I've mentioned a few times - Brandon and I have just begun the process of international adoption. We went to a meeting a couple of weeks ago with an agency, and are now at the point of being able to submit our formal application. God has really opened our eyes to the needs of children around the world, specifically in Eastern Europe. Children with special needs are left to merely exist in horrible conditions, and basically given ZERO quality of life. We are pursuing adoption of a child with down syndrome from one of these countries. Yes, we recognize that this will be a challenge - and we don't know exactly what lies ahead for our lives, but we feel very strongly that this is what God is calling us to, and are really excited (and scared and overwhelmed) about this journey!

Anyway....while doing research about this adoption process, I've been led to the blogs of several families who have either already adopted children with down syndrome, are in the process of, or have biological children with down syndrome - and are advocating for families for these sweet kids! I want to introduce you to a few of my new friends! :)

First of all - Reece's Rainbow - this organization is amazing! They work tirelessly to advocate for what Jesus calls the least of these - sweet kiddos who are waiting for a forever home. They host accounts that you can donate too, the funds go into a grant to help with the cost of their adoption - which for most families ends up being about $30,000. At around 5 years old, most children with special needs are sent to an institution, an adult mental institution, and Reece's Rainbow works their tails off to help these kids get home before that happens!! We aren't sure yet if we'll adopt a child listed on Reece's Rainbow or not - the agency we're working with has several children on their waiting child list as well that have down syndrome and need a forever home.

Then there is this beautiful family.....at No Greater Joy Mom. Their lives have been changed by international adoption - and are such an inspiration. They have adopted two beautiful girls from China, and two Ukranian sweetie pies with down syndrome and they have 3 biological sons as well! Yeah - 7 kids! Trust me - once you've checked out Adeye's blog - you won't want to stop reading!!

Another new friend is just up the road about 45 minutes in the Corvallis area! Check out sweet Lily and her mom Patti - at A Perfect Lily. Lily was born with a bonus chromosome (Trisomy 21 - or Down Syndrome) - and is about as cute as they come! :) Patti is an amazing inspiration as well - and a rock star mom of 10 kids!!! She is currently hosting a giveaway on her blog - to help raise funds for a couple of special kids waiting to come home - Artem and Olga. I'm hoping one of these days I'll get to meet Lily & Patti in person! :)

Finally, there is a family who are also hosting a giveaway on their blog, to bring their sweet Nellie home. Nellie is one of the first kids on Reece's Rainbow that caught my eye - and I'm so excited for them to be able to bring her home! They have a lot of money still to raise - and could use some encouragement as well along the way. Please consider visiting their blog, praying for them and donating if you can. She's giving away a lot of cool things - including three of my favorite books!! (Radical by David Platt, The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Sterns and Crazy Love by Francis Chan!) Their blog is: Praying Her Home

I know my blog doesn't get a LOT of traffic - but it won't be long before we're starting our own fundraising efforts. Please visit these families, please pray for them. Please share with your own friends. Please pray for us as we start this journey as well! :)

23 comments:

Patti on October 27, 2011 at 10:16 AM said...

thanks for the shout out! can't wait to see who you guys decide on!! :)

Jennifer on October 27, 2011 at 10:33 AM said...

You're welcome!! :) Just doing what I can to help the cause now! :)

Angela on October 27, 2011 at 10:49 AM said...

That's terrific! I missed that you were looking into adoption before. I would like to foster/adopt special needs children once my own are older.

Jennifer on October 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM said...

Thanks Ange! We've known forever that we wanted to adopt, just weren't quite sure how it would play out in our lives! :) We have thought about fostering as well - right now, this is the path we feel like we're supposed to follow - but definitely are open to fostering too! We just want to love on kids that need love!! :)

Natalie on October 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM said...

What a crazy, crazy coincidence! This morning I was out running errands and I picked up a book and read about Reece's Rainbow. Then I came home and saw your post! Wonderful news!

Jennifer on October 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM said...

Natalie - that's crazy awesome! :) That's how God works in our lives all the time - sometimes to the point of "stalking" us as I like to put it! :) What book did you read? :)

stephanie on October 28, 2011 at 3:07 AM said...

Jennifer I saw your comment on Beth's blog, the world just got smaller because I started the cause To Bring Nellie Home! Thanks for joining , bTW:)

And congratulations on you adoption too!! How exciting!!

nice to "meet" you!

Elle Bee on October 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM said...

How exciting to be starting your journey! I look forward to following along. :o)
Blessings!

Jennifer on October 29, 2011 at 4:10 PM said...

Wow, two new visitors! :) I love it! It's so nice to "meet" you, Stephanie and Linda! Thanks for visiting! I'm excited to get to "know" your families - and Linda - excited for your family bringing Alana home! :) Stephanie - Emilia is so cute! :) Thanks for your advocacy for these kids!! :)

Myya on November 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM said...

I think it is so wonderful that you guys have found your calling. What a lucky kid will be toget such fun, loving parents!

Robin on November 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM said...

Jennifer I think that's awesome. All the best to you with this process. Hope that it goes smoothly and efficiently. I think you'll both be great parents!

beth on November 9, 2011 at 7:14 AM said...

Thanks for leaving the sweet post on my blog. Artem may have a family soon. Get this someone from my town is going to adopt him. How amazing is that.

Jennifer on November 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM said...

Beth - that's amazing! Patti will be SO excited!! :) I've been really praying for a family for Artem! We've been thinking about him a lot - and weren't quite sure he was for our family, but at the same time wanting someone to bring him home! He's so sweet and SO deserves a family - we've just felt like we're supposed to bring home a girl at this point. I can't wait to hear the official word for Artem! :)

Patti on November 9, 2011 at 10:49 AM said...

Jennifer- last night I went to sleep praying PLEASE let Jennifer and her husband adopt Artem so I can meet him some day! But that little comment above is just as good- if it is truly ArtemK (there are two Artems)...that would be the best Christmas present I could receive. Even if I couldn't meet him:)

beth on November 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM said...

http://reecesrainbow.org/562/artem-k
Definitely artem k. It is so crazy good in this town. He will be the 6th international special needs adoption in 2 and a half years.

Patti on November 9, 2011 at 11:57 AM said...

Well can you please ask them to contact his surrogate mother (ME!) when they are ready to announce??? I would love to post a pic of his family!!

Jennifer on November 9, 2011 at 12:33 PM said...

Trust me Patti, we've really been praying about it! :) I hope you'll come meet our little one anyway - even if it's not Artem! :) And then we'll all take a trip to NE to meet Nellie & Artem! ;)

Beth - that's amazing there are so many kids finding homes in your town! So awesome! How big of a town is it??

beth on November 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM said...

We live in a town of 30,000. It really has been such a blessing to come to know people who are just as passionate about orphans as I am. Road trip to Nebraska sounds fun :)

Jennifer on November 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM said...

Wow, that's amazing Beth! For a town that size especially!! So awesome...not sure anyone else in my town of 156,000 has even heard of Reece's Rainbow!!

thebauer4 on November 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM said...

Ok, ladies. I want in on the conversation also. lol I would love love love to meet all of you soo, Beth is right road trip to Nebraska, please. I will even offer my home!!!! I am only a 45 minutes from Beth. I am sooo happy Jen that you all are going to adopt. You will be an awesome mommy. I have seen you care for so many others kiddos for so long it make my heart dance!!! Prayers for you all that are adopting and Patti for advocating for these kiddos so fabulously!!!!!

Mandy

Jennifer on November 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM said...

Mandy - it's so crazy, that all these years later....after the years of Friends of Allie and LTN stuff....we've reconnected through this! :)

beth on November 10, 2011 at 8:47 PM said...

Ok, I'm missing something? How do the two of you know each other?

Jennifer on November 10, 2011 at 10:30 PM said...

Beth - Mandy & I were both involved with a group called Friends of Allie a number of years back - it started as a group praying for a little girl named Allie fighting leukemia, and grew into a huge online support/awareness group for childhood cancer awareness and the kids fighting cancer and their families, as well as the first national friends & family team for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk - I was a local team leader here in Oregon.
Anyway, the groups kind of fizzled, I know for me it got harder and harder as the kids I grew to love often passed away (not always - there have been amazing survivor stories as well - but those families also move on from needing the support) - and I needed to a break from it - although I've kept in touch with a number of those families, and some of the other FOA members through facebook through the years.
A couple of months ago, Mandy invited me to the Bring Nellie Home cause on facebook, and while I usually ignore cause requests, it caught my eye - because there had been this little red-headed girl named Nellie on Reece's Rainbow that had also caught my eye....this was just as I was starting to feel my heartstrings being pulled toward starting our own adoption process. So....your little girl, reconnected Mandy and I! Isn't that crazy?? :)

 

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