Monday, November 29, 2010

Presenting....Martin's Family!

It sounds like a perfect match...

The House Family has committed to bring Martin home. Martin's adoptive parents obviously love boys, since Martin will be their third. And guess what? One of Martin's brothers shares a little something extra with him, an extra copy of that famous 21st chromosome!

Now, it is time for us to really get to work doing all we can to support the House Family in bringing Martin home. Martin is coming home to an active duty military family...okay, I need to say it, a Marine Corp family!

Martin's parents sound perfect for him. They are experienced parents and advocates for people with Down Syndrome, but large sums of cash (like the $30,000 or so for adoption from Martin's country), is probably not one of the many gifts they bring to parenting Martin. That is something that we can help them with.

As Martin's father (I just love writing that) said on his facebook page:

"Alright folks! This is really going to happen. We need all the support we can get from our family, friends, and all those that want to see Martin come home! Please help us get him home where he belongs with us. Follow the link below and help make this dream come true for Martin and our family......"

Follow this link, keep spreading the word, pray, give what you can and let's make this happen for Martin and his family!

Reckless Abandon

"Reckless abandon for the sake of His orphans...simply because they so desperately need us. Come what may." These are the words that Adeye wrote in her blog sharing a Christian view of adoption from her perspective.

I have always been more of a "prudential judgment" type of person. Even the things I have done as an adult that look like reckless abandon mostly came about as the result of a long process of discernment laden with heavy doses of reason, but lately I have begun to wonder if that view is not too narrow. The focus of my faith journey recently has been about trusting God. Maybe that is one of the reasons that Adeye's post struck me so strongly.

I do not believe that everyone should adopt an orphan, just as I do not believe everyone should jump in the rushing flood waters to save the person who fell in (especially, if they can't swim themselves). Someone needs to stay on the bank and call 911.

Still, Adeye's words challenge me. "God hardly ever calls us to do things for Him when everything in our lives is just grand. He never calls us to walk on the water when our circumstances are sweet." Go read her post and think about it some. Even if we can't all adopt, what can we do to care for orphans with reckless abandon?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Martin found a family! It is true; I saw it this morning here.

I sat down this morning to write a post about Thanksgiving, and how much I am thankful for, well so many things, but you know that I had to check on my little man in EE before I did. He was on the "My Family Found Me" page on the RR website.

I was so happy I started to cry (my little guy was worried, but happy once I told him the good news). What an answer to so many prayers.

Martin's family, today the thanks I give will be extra sweet because you have stepped out in faith to give Martin exactly what he needs, what all of us need--a family who loves us.

Today, I am basking in the spirit of gratitude that has no words. Tomorrow, we move forward to help this family with their journey to bring Martin home. I cannot wait to meet them...No, that is not true, I can wait. Today is a day to just give thanks.

Thank you God! Thank you all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shopping in support of a good cause.

So "Black Friday" --purportedly the biggest shopping day of the year-- is just a few days away.

Lots of adopting families and Christmas Warriors are having fund raisers on their blogs. It is a great opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done and support the adoption of a child with Down Syndrome or other disability.

Maybe you need a cozy fleece blanket that would also help the Swerdfeger family bring Alyona home. The are scheduled to travel next week.

How about a Quillow (a combination quilt and pillow) from Megan, raising money for Sophia.

Pampered Chef, jewelry, t-shirts, and gift card and laptop give aways, there is something for everyone.

To see a list of fundraisers and links, go here.


$946 raised for Martin's Christmas Angel Tree Fund!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wow, lots more drops in Martin's bucket!

I had to go back and check three times during lunch today, because I could not believe my eyes, but it is true!

There is now $836 in Martin's Christmas Angel Tree Fund! Go here and see for yourself. You know you can't resist another look at the cute face; well, all those cute faces.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far! I am so grateful for you and the help you are giving to this precious boy. Please drop me a comment or message, I would love to thank you in person.

We need to keep spreading the word about Martin and his need for a family, and we need to keep putting our drops into that bucket, so that when Martin's family finds him, they are not discouraged by the cost of his adoption. We need to keep praying.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Christian view of adoption: Redemption

Prior to my adoption, I did not know that there was a Christian view of adoption, but at my little guy's baptism, which took place at Mass, the first reading was from Paul's Letter to the Romans, and included:

"For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, 'Abba, Father!'" (Romans 8:15)

This was not specially selected for us, but was just the reading for the day from the three year cycle of readings of the Catholic Church. Coincidence? Hmmm.

Anyway, here is a link to a blog post that uses redemption lanugage in looking at adoption from a Christian perspective. Reece's Rainbow: In His Word it Says... Redemption I think it is worth reading.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Okay, this is a hard post for me to write. Last year, I was Robyn's Christmas Warrior. We raised $515 dollars for her and a family actually completed their home study, signed on with and paid an agency all in the hopes of adopting her.

So why is she back on the Angel Tree this year? One simple answer, money.

Robyn is living in an orphanage in a part of Eastern Europe that is very expensive to adopt from and, in the end, the family who wanted to bring her home just couldn't come up with the $30,000 to make that happen.

Now, the good news is that this wonderful family is bringing home an orphan with DS who is living somewhere else and whose adoption costs are lower. Very good news for another little girl. God bless this family who persevered, and will soon be bringing this other precious child home.

But Robyn is still waiting.

If Robyn had a sizeable grant, the family that started out to adopt her might have had her home by now.

Ever feel like a failure about something that was really important?

Down Syndrome, what you CAN do...

When people first think of bringing home a child with Down Syndrome, or other special needs, it can be kind of scary.

You know, in that terrifying, what-is-this-going-to-do-to-my-life, what-about-my-other-kids, what-am-I-thinking, what-about-me kind of way.

What better way to learn about what it is like to parent, be a sibling to, or live as a person with Down Syndrome than to listen to parents, siblings and people with DS who have btdt (been there done that)?

Face to face would be best, but second best might be this blog and book put together by a sister, and containing contributions from professionals and the real experts, parents, siblings and people with DS, all of whom have btdt.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some definitions in Adoption

I stole this from Meredith, who stole it from Lyndi, who stole it from Becky (no idea who that is...)

Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.

Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.

Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.

Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.

~ November is Adoption Awareness Month!!! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will you be a Christmas Warrior for Martin?

Look at the side bar, this blog now has an official Christmas Warrior button for Martin!

Martin needs a lot of people to spread the word so that his forever family can find him.

He needs people to raise money, so that there is an adoption grant available to help his family bring him home, once they do find him.

He needs people to pray for him and for his family.

Will you help?

Will you spread the word about Martin? Will you help raise or contribute money to his adoption fund? Will you pray?

Will you be a Christmas Warrior for Martin?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How does this adoption grant thing work?

So, you may be wondering, how does this whole adoption grant thing work?

From the donor side, the funds are going directly to Reece's Rainbow, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation. RR holds the funds for Martin's adoption grant, and when a family commits to adopt Martin, the funds will be available to help offset the costs of Martin's adoption.

Does this mean that the money goes directly to Martin's prospective family? Nope, it does not. Does this mean the grant is available to cover all the costs of his adoption? No to that one too.

First of all, there are initial costs that the family must cover themselves, such as those for obtaining a home study and paying initial agency fees. The grant money is not available for those costs. In order to adopt internationally a family needs to meet certain income requirements and needs to have the financial ability to support another child, including having private health insurance. They do not need to be rich, but cannot be so financially precarious that they cannot afford at least some of the costs of adoption.

Second, adoption grant funds do not go directly to the family. The funds are disbursed to the family's adoption agency, and only after the dossier (huge amounts of paperwork required for international adoption) has been submitted to Martin's birth country and Martin's adoptive family has received a travel date.

Grants are placed on the CHILD, not on the family. This means that, if a family initially commits to a child, but is not able to complete the adoption process, the funds remain with the child.

What happens to the money, if the child is not adopted? I cannot even think of this as a possibility for Martin (it would make me cry), but if a child cannot be adopted, if the child is sent to a closed institution or dies, then RR applies those funds to an adoption grant for another child or children.

For more information visit the New Family and Family Sponsorship pages at

More drops in the bucket

Martin's Christmas Angel Tree fund is up to $135! That means we only need to raise another $865 to meet the Angel Tree goal of $1,000. How cool is that?

When the $135 is added to the money already raised for Martin's adoption grant, the entire amount available is up to $2,337! Yay!

Keep those drops coming, and you prayer warriors out there, don't forget to keep praying, and everyone keep spreading the word. We could raise all the money in the world, and if Martin's family doesn't know he is there, it won't do us any good.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Drop in the Bucket: Two Boys, a Bucket of Coins and a Waiting Child

As promised, I am reporting back on how people are finding ways to fill Martin's Adoption Fund by adding their own drops to that big bucket.

This video shows how two boys gave the money they were saving for "something big" to Reece's Rainbow for Martin. While you are watching it, think about whether there are any drops you could add to Martin's bucket. Enjoy!

PS The boys only had $72 and change. Their Dad made up the rest.

PPS Why do you only see the typos after the video is created, downloaded and embedded?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Did you pick me?

Some people are great writers. They know what to say to bring tears to your eyes or laughter to your lips. I read something today that did both, so I wanted to share it.

I think that most adoptive parents have faced the question answered by this Adoptive Mom in her blog: "Did you pick me?" I always heard it with the emphasis on the word "pick." But say it to yourself with the emphasis on the word "me". Funny what a difference that makes, isn't it?

Next time my little one asks that question, I am going to hear it differently, and when he comes running into the kitchen in 5 minutes looking for the rest of his Halloween Candy, I am going to squeeze him a little tighter than usual.

Take a few minutes to click on the link below, and you'll read something by a great writer with a heart for adoption.

Now it is up to $105!

Happy, happy, happy! Lots of drops are falling into the bucket.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Martin has $60 in his Angel Tree Fund!

Someone (or perhaps 2 someones) contibuted to Martin's Angel Tree Fund, and...they don't live in this house!

I decided to check the RR site while the kids were busy fighting...uh, I mean getting ready for bed. As I scrolled down the rows of children needing families I silently said a prayer for each of them. I stopped when I got to Martin and there it was, money in his Angel Tree Fund!

I am so excited! Someone else is going to get to see his face hanging from their Christmas Tree, and (more importantly) the financial barriers to Martin's adoption are $60 lower than they were just a few hours ago. Perhaps most importantly, I know that someone else out there is loving and praying for this sweet child.

I am going to update the fundraising "thermometer" on the side of the blog. Thank you, whoever your are. I am going to say a special prayer for you tonight. Did I say thank you yet?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Martin's Christmas Warrior

The goal of the Christmas Angel Tree is to raise awareness of children who need families and to raise funds to create adoption grants for those children.

As part of this, RR has recruited Christmas Warriors for each child they are advocating for, and asks that the Christmas Warrior commit to raising at least $1,000 for their child's adoption fund.
You know I signed up to be Martin's Christmas Warrior. ;-)

Now, I have set a higher fund raising goal for Martin, because $1,000 is just a drop in the bucket compared to his adoption costs, but if we all put our little drops in the bucket, we can fill it and help to bring Martin home.

I know that somewhere out there, there is a family who meets all of his country's adoption requirements, and who has a heart for children with Down Syndrome. In all likelihood, that family is not rich. In this economy especially, that family may be hesitant to incur $30,000 in debt to bring Martin home. (Which of us wouldn't be?) They may be unable to obtain or carry that kind of debt. But, if we can get that bucket full of our little drops, then that huge financial barrier to Martin finding a family will disappear.

Over the next few days I am going to try to blog about some of the drops falling into Martin's bucket. Stay tuned!

To donate to Martin's Angel Tree fund, and get a picture ornament, click on the Christmas Tree Angel button on the blog or send a check to Reece's Rainbow. In either case, be sure to indicate that the donation is for Martin.