Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who's the winner now?

Yep, that's me. A winner of the lovely bracelet in the picture, above. I also 'won' a pie in the face of the sweet friend who had the giveaway. I know she's very grateful for my help in that regard. Right, Renee?

I also won something from the very start...the satisfaction of knowing I was helping a little beauty, Paisley Tam, find her way home. That's no small thing.

Gorgeous Paisley!

Just ask my mom. Yes, my mom.

From my soul sistah, Ashley of The Chaos Diaries, my mom learned that a little girl in Eastern Europe had been transferred to a mental institution despite having a family who was working hard to bring her home. A little girl Mom had seen countless times here on this very blog. A little girl who reminded us all of our precious Vera, of the fate that could have befallen her, of the potential we see blossoming in her.

Beautiful Lera

My mom was heartbroken. Absolutely heartbroken. She was waking up at night, worrying and praying for Lera. Worse still, my mom found out that the adoption agency had demanded Lera's parents-to-be have all the money they needed for their adoption raised by the end of March. It was the middle of March. Things were looking a bit desperate, as they hadn't had huge success in raising their funds.

So, one fine day my mom up and wrote a letter. Here it is, in part:

Dear friends,

Of necessity, this is a long email. Please bear with me.

As most of you know, my daughter Jill has adopted two daughters with Down syndrome internationally. It is a very expensive process without even counting the money for international travel. As a result of these adoptions, Jill has become an advocate for adoption of Ds children and their new parents. I am constantly amazed by all of the wonderful people who are willing and enthusiastic about sharing their lives with these children. By experience, these are some of the most wonderful persons in our lives. We are thrilled to have three beautiful granddaughters with Down syndrome.
Now, the reason for my email:

In eastern Europe and Russia, once Ds children reach the age of five, they are taken from the baby house orphanage and placed in an institution for the mentally ill/insane. They are tied to their cribs and neglected, with no nourishing, and usually die within the first year. This situation is deplorable, as bad as the asylums of years ago in the United States.

A couple that Jill knows has been trying to adopt a beautiful little girl named Lera. I have seen pictures of her and she is precious. They have about $21,000 of the $30,000 they must have in hand before the adoption can move forward. They are desperately trying to raise the funds. However, Lera has already been moved to an institution, and I cannot get her out of my heart.

Reese's Rainbow is a non-profit that helps identify Ds children and helps with grants for the adoption. Jill has worked with them and the founder, Andrea Roberts. Right now, I am asking any of you who can afford $100, or really anything, to consider helping this family. All you will get from this is their, and my, eternal gratitude. And also, a charitable tax deduction.

She mailed it to friends, family, her Sunday School class. In less than a week, she had collected over $2,000 and a guarantee from a longtime family friend to cover the remainder, whatever the family needed to get Lera home. Some people had to wait until payday to give. Some people had the wife write a check for one amount, the husband for another and then agree to give both checks. Last I heard, the total she collected was over $7,000. It would have been higher had it needed to be but the family had lots of other support, too.

So who's the winner now? Paisley and Lera, of course. My mom. Those who gave, though perhaps not in the way they expected.

Some of those people have grandchildren who have yet to be born. If one of those babies is found to have Down syndrome I will just bet that they will be excited to welcome their grandbaby into the family, knowing that there are families willing to go for broke (literally) in their adoption of a child with Ds.

Some of those people may not be used to giving outside of church, or to adoptions. Perhaps their hearts have been opened to helping the least of the least around the world because that's what God told us to do. Perhaps they took a peek at Reece's Rainbow and opened their hearts to praying for those precious, precious faces who don't yet have a family fighting to bring them home.

I really enjoy winning things in giveaways, I do. Moreso, I really enjoy being a part of miracles. I would bet my mom would say she does now, too! It's an amazing place to be, watching God move mountains. It's amazing to know you were a part of it, whether it's by writing letters, donating, praying, encouraging.

I feel like I'm dancing around my point, so here it is: be a part! Don't just sit on the sidelines and let everyone get blessed.

Luke 6:38 ~~ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Here's your chance to be Jesus's hands and feet in the life of another family chasing hard after God and His command to care for the orphan:  GO! BE A WINNER!


janice fenimore said...

Thank you for the kind words, my darling Jill. I can hardly wait until we see pictures of Lera AT HOME with her forever family.


Michelle said...

Praise GOD!!!

Nina said...

Jill what an amazing and blessed family you have that knows the will of God!


Amy said...

God Bless you, and your Mom ... and all the people who generously donated to bring little Lera home!! We, too, held a fundraiser for this little sweetheart, and can't wait to see her in the arms of her loving family.

We've been anxiously watching her account for the funds to be in place, but are a little worried as it is the 30th, and RR still hasn't received the money. Do you have any idea when it is expected to get there?

Anonymous said...

I hadn't been watching the RR site bc my computer kept kicking me off when I went there....Thank God the money is coming.......but oh how my heart is breaking that she is not in the baby house........