Thursday, December 30, 2010

Only 2 days left in 2010! Can we raise $514.55?

Only two days left to contribute to the RR Angel Tree fundraiser! What are you waiting for?

Also, after the new year, RR will combine all of the funds raised for Martin--his original adoption grant, his Angel Tree funds, and the House Family Service Page--into a single amount on the FSP. That is good news for compulsives like me, who are constanting adding the numbers from those three pages together. LOL!

As of 9:44 am on Thursday, December 30, 2010, Martin's original grant fund is $2310. His Angel Tree fund is $1252, and the House Family's FSP is $3323.45. So, out of the approximately $30,000 estimated cost of adoption from Martin's country, we have raised $6,985.45! That is nearly 1/4 of the goal!

Can we try to get all the way to that 1/4 mark? Can we try to raise Martin's grant funds to $7,500 by January 1, 2011? That is only another $514.55!

Come on, you know you want to! It's for our boy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving
Christ with joy.

This is from the opening prayer of the second Sunday of Advent, and has really spoken to my heart all through this season of anticipation.

So many children on the Reeces Rainbow site have had families commit to them, including Martin and Elizabeth. The hearts of so many have been opened in welcome.

My prayer this Advent is that God opens our hearts in welcome to Him, however He presents Himself to us, that He removes anything that hinders us from receiving Christ with joy, and that we may wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Angel Tree Fundraiser is almost over!

Okay, guys. Only 11 more days left in the RR Christmas Angel Tree Fundraiser. Martin's Angel Tree fund is up to $1,252. Yah! But, it is still $748 short of the $2,000 goal I set for us (okay, for me, but since I don't have $2,000 I had to include you all in my calculation) ;-)

So what do you say? Can we get it done? Checks made out to Reece's Rainbow, memo lines marked "For Martin (2H)" and mailed to:
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885

Or hop on over to the RR website and scroll down to Martin's beautiful face to make an on-line donation.

Of course, if you happen to fall in love with one of the other faces you have to scroll past to get down to Martin, and want to make a donation to another child's grant fund too...well, no one would blame you for that either.

Thanks. Peace. Out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha' penny then God bless you.

I learned this song as a "round" sometime in my childhood, and it has been coming into my head a lot as we move through Advent toward Christmas.

I love that it expresses anticipation, giving what you can no matter how small, and God's blessings.

It makes me think of all the people giving their pennies, ha' pennies and prayers to those in need, whether they be orphans living halfway around the world or someone in our own kitchen who needs an extra bit of patience at the end of a long day.

Christmas is coming.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friends of Martin

I feel blessed by so many friends who are contributing in whatever way they can to help Martin come home--friends I already knew, and new friends I may never meet (including Charlie and Melissa House who are working so hard to bring Martin home to their house!).

I have always tried to base my life on reason. I have seen where unbridled emotions can lead, and it is not pretty. It has always seemed to me that living a life driven by "feelings" without the tempering effect of rationality can ultimiately only lead to despair. It is one of the things I love about the Catholic Church, I mean what other church would issue an encyclical entitled "Faith and Reason"? :-)

Yet, here I am, advocating, fund raising, praying for a child I have never met. A child whose situation is not unique. A child whose need is great, certainly, any "reasonable" assessment of the facts of his existence bear that out, but a child who is just one of many in this world of great needs. And I am doing this because of a feeling, because of a burden placed on my heart for this child.

I suspect that some of you are supporting Martin for just the same reason. I think that makes you my friend. It makes all of us Friends of Martin.

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
— C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nothing, from a Mom who has seen it.

I stole this post from Julia. Her son Aaron was transferred from the baby house to a mental institution. Aaron came home from the institution, so Julia was able to witness the conditions there first hand. (Julia's original post has photos, so you might want to go here and look at it.)

If you read this, it will give you an idea of why we need to work so hard to bring Martin home as quickly as possible. We need to keep this from happening to him. It breaks my heart to think of Martin, or any child, living in such a place.

Aaron's Nothing

We live a harried life. Running here, there and everywhere. We work, take our kids to this activity, then that activity, rush to meetings, juggle schedules and cook, clean and work side-jobs in our spare time. We rarely have time to do Nothing.

We love doing Nothing. A day where we have no appointments, no meetings and no places where our children have to be. An evening where we can stay at home, curl up as a family with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie. An afternoon where we can take a walk or play in the yard. Nothing. Nothing so that we can do what we find pleasurable. Reading a book, building a puzzle, playing a game. Nothing has warm connotations, happy thoughts. Nothing is what we live for as a family.

For us, in America, Nothing means Everything.

For the Lost Boys and Girls, Nothing means NOTHING.

This is what NOTHING looks like for the Lost Boys at Aaron's former institute. This was Aaron's Nothing. A shed with Nothing in it but carpets and benches. Nothing.

On warm days, 20 plus boys will be led to this shed. 20 plus boys will go inside this shed. A bench will be placed across the door so that they will not be allowed to leave. Then, those 20 plus boys will do nothing. They will sit inside that shed. They will sit. They will rock. They will cry out. They will moan. They will stare at the walls. They will hit each other. They will hit themselves. They will sit. They will sit. They will wait. After hours of sitting they will get to leave for another shed, to eat. They will be forced to eat quickly so that they can be led back to this shed. To do Nothing. In the afternoon they will be led to their rooms. They will be made to lay down on their beds. For hours they will lay on those beds. Some will sleep to escape. Others will lay and do Nothing. Staring at the walls, ceiling - staring at Nothing. When it is time to get up, they will go back to their shed. Again, to do Nothing.

On rainy days, or cold days, they will stay in their buildings. They will not leave those buildings. They will not venture downstairs or get to visit the other boys in the other buildings or even in the other part of their building. No. They will stay in their section. They will sit in the sitting room. It is as empty as the shed. Benches and carpets. They will sit. They will sit and they will do Nothing. They will rock. They will moan. They will hit each other. They will hit themselves. They will sit. They will wait. They will stare at the four walls. They will do Nothing.

Once in a while, on weekends, they will get to hear music. The bigger boys will get to do jobs. Some jobs that are heart-breaking. The best behaved boys will get to kick a deflated ball sometimes. Sometimes a stick can be found for drawing in the dirt. Sometimes they will even let a child or two play in the sand pile that is often used as a toilet. Sometimes. On really rare days, when visitors come, they may even get out a hidden toy or two. Rarely. Most of the time, they do Nothing.

Nothing for the Lost Boys and Girls in Eastern Europe means Nothing.

Two worlds. Our Nothing. Their Nothing. Can we just sit by and do Nothing?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half-way through the Angel Tree Project

Well, we are officially more than halfway through the RR Angel Tree Project which ends on December 31.

You remember, where Martin's Christmas Warriors commit to raise $1,000 for the his adoption grant?

The one where, for a $35 donation you get a cool Christmas ornament with Martin's picture on it?

The good news is that we have reached that $1,000 goal. The bad news is that it is not nearly enough to bring Martin home.

Let's try to double that between now and the end of the year!

Just click here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, under the "My Family Found Me" section.

Look for Martin's adorable face. ;-)

Click on the "add" button just beneath it.

Then "check out" using the "Angel Tree Shopping Cart" near the top of the page.

Or you could send your donation, clearly marked as being for Martin, to:
Reece’s Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885

Nothing could be easier, or more important.

To get an ornament, your donation needs to be received by December 14. (I think) So what are you waiting for?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why "reckless abandon" is needed

Hmm, if you want to see why reckless abandon in the care of orphans is needed, look no further than Julia's post about her experience at an insitution for disabled boys and men, orphans, in Eastern Europe. It makes for some very hard reading.

We need to all work together with reckless abandon to make sure that Martin gets home to his family. Please remember to keep Martin and the House Family in your prayers, and to make those little sacrifices that can go a long way to bringing Martin home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Little Sacrifice

Okay, all you Martin fans out there probably know this already from reading the House Family's Blog, but Martin's family is blowing through their paperwork at a record pace.

That is great news! The little man cannot get home soon enough for his family (or for us). But, it also means that there is not much time for Martin's family to raise the money needed to ransom him.

Now, a lot of blogs and fundraisers are selling things or doing give aways. Today I want to take a different approach. I don't want to talk about getting today. Today, I want to talk about giving. I want to talk about sacrifice.

Now don't get nervous, I am not going to talk about big ;-) Today I want to talk about a lot of people making little sacrifices that can all add up.

Okay, how many of you run your lives on caffeine? Come on, be honest. How many cups of coffee (or tea, or coke, or diet pepsi) do you have a week? Is it 5 or 6 or 27? Now, how many of those do you buy to drink. How many times a week do you drop $1.69 on a cup of coffee at the Dunkin Donuts instead of making it at home?

Are you willing to make a little sacrifice to help bring Martin home? How about giving up just 5 cups of your on-the-go purchased caffeinated beverage of choice for a week and donating the money you save to help bring Martin home?

If someone were to give up 5 medium cups of coffee at $1.69, that would be a savings of $8.45. If 100 people were to do that, it would raise $845. If 200 of us did it, Martin's family would be $1,690 closer to bringing him home. If 500 people make that small sacrifice, then in one week we could raise $4,225 to bring Martin home.

By banding together and making a lot of little sacrifices, we can make a big difference. Will you do it? Will you sacrifice the cost of your caffeinated beverages for one week to help save a little boy from life in an institution?

Link to this post, post this to facebook, tell your friends, tell your families. Let's spread the word and get a jump start on this fund raising thing, after all, we need to catch up with the House Family and their paperwork finishing tornado.

Go here to donate your little sacrifice to Martin.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Expanded Mission

Martin's family has started their own blog, and in the generosity of their hearts have not limited it to be about just Martin and their family. The are also going to use their blog "to promote the need to find homes for those children that have disabilities and don't have families."

Wow! Can I say (again) how grateful I am that this family is bringing Martin home?

I will continue to try to raise financial and prayer support to bring Martin home to his family, but, following their example, I am also going to expand the mission of this blog to help find families for other children with disabilities.

After all, if the internet can bring the face of a little boy in an Eastern European orphange to the facebook page of a man in America, who just got off a plane from Afghanistan, mabe it can help other children find their families too. (Note, I am definitely not saying this blog had anything to do with getting Martin's picture there (I can't imagine it did), but his father did see him for the first time on facebook).

Thank you for your generous hearts and your good example, House Family.

For the rest of you, if you want to see some of the faces of those children who need homes, watch the RR Christmas Video on the sidebar of this blog.


Remember we talked about some of the places that childen with disabilities are sent to when they "age out" of the baby house in the EE orphanage system?

Remember that most of these places are not good places for children...or anyone?

This beautiful girl has been transferred to such a place.

I don't know whether it is one of the "bad" places or one of the "not so bad" places.

I do know that it is not as good as going home to a family.

Is there someone missing from your family?

Does someone you know have someone missing from their family?

Maybe they need a 7 year old girl with DS and just don't know it yet.

Full medical records are available, and she is eligible for an Older Child Adoption Grant from Reece's Rainbow.

Let's plaster this beautiful face all over the internet. Blog about it, put it on your facebook page, just get it out there. Sarah at Rainbows Come from Above did, and she has more really great pictures of Elizabeth that show her gently caring for her baby dolls.

This princess has been hidden away long enough, let's bring her out into the light so her family can find her. And please, keep Elizabeth and her family in your prayers.

If you think you might be Elizabeth's family follow the links to learn more about her, and get in touch with Andrea at Reece's Rainbow. She can help you with the rest.