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Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Meghan through the years

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10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you knew

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

31 for 21 day 6-Christmas Warrior

You know by now that Kara and Amanda joined our family via international adoption. We were one of those families who never thought, not in a million years, that we would ever adopt, nor that we could ever afford to adopt. When I happened upon Reece's Rainbow late one night in the summer of 2006, I was not prepared for the pictures of hundreds of children with Down syndrome nor how seeing them would change my life forever.
At first I just cried, seeing face after face of those precious children in orphanages, children like my Meghan, but with no mommies or daddies, no brothers or sisters, it devastated me. I spent weeks visiting several times a day and weeping and praying over the children. My family thought I was going bonkers, I called them over and showed them the kids, "Just look at this one, oh, and this one, this little girl looks like Meghan, oh and this one looks so skinny, this little boy is so sad". They thoughtfully listened to me, but I could see they thought it was hopeless, how could we help them from here? There were so many, we could never adopt, us? No way, it was expensive, the process was daunting, I read the process over and over and told myself that I could never get through all the paperwork, I did not even own a passport. And there was no way in the world someone would let me, a breast cancer survivor, adopt a child.
After a couple of months telling myself all of this I saw a face of an angel and I just knew I had to be her mother. I got the courage to write to Andrea and ask about little Eve.
This was my email written October 4th, 2006:
Hello Andrea,

I am Kris, mom to 6 kids, my youngest Meghan, has Down syndrome, she is 5 and we are homeschooling her at this time. I saw a post about this list on the Upsndowns list on Yahoogroups.

I am a breast cancer survivor, almost 4 years since diagnosis, I am wonder what the criteria is for parents, would my past illness affect my chances of being considered for adoption?

We would be looking towards adding another daughter.

That first step was taken without discussing anything with my husband, that's right, I knew in my heart if I were called to adopt, he would soon follow and indeed he did! Of course Eve turned out to be a boy! We chose another little girl, and then another, but both of them went home with different mommies and daddies. Kara was a blind referral, we went to Ukraine, they pulled a file and said "We have this little girl" and we said "oh yes". You can read all about Kara's adoption on her blog, it is linked to this one. We had a crazy adoption ride, but the end was marvelous!
Nine months later Amanda came home, almost two years from when I first found Reece's Rainbow. Amanda's adoption blog is also linked to our family blog.
Our hearts are opened to adoption, I think when that happens, you want to keep adding children because you see the need for them to have parents and you want to parent them. We are happily busy bonding and becoming a family with our two newest additions, maybe someday we will adopt again...
Andrea told me about the Christmas Warrior program, and I decided that instead of thinking of us adopting, we could help another family decide to follow their hearts by providing an adoption grant for one of the waiting children.

Please meet Paula, she is a sweet 3 year old little girl who is awaiting a family. She is in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, and we are her Christmas Warriors. For the next month we will do our best to raise $1,000 (or more) for her adoption grant.

From her profile at Reece's Rainbow:

Girl, Born April 19, 2006
Many folks have been waiting for a beautiful, young Caucasian girl from a country where the cost is lower and the travel is easy.

Here she is! Paula has sandy blond hair and blue eyes. Main diagnosis: Down Syndrome. Inborn Cardiac Malformation - atrioventricular septum defect - cardiac insufficiency - condition after surgical treatment. Lagging behind in her development. Esotrohpia. Hypermetropia. Strabismus - condition after surgery.

What is great is the travel time is so short, that is a plus, and single mothers can adopt her as well.

Her adoption guidelines:
2 trips, 5 days each
Approx cost only $19k!
Single mothers may apply
Multiple children can be adopted together
Full medical info prior to official referral
Easy dossier, very few restrictions

Please join me in prayer for little Paula, that her health stays stable, that a family decides she is their daughter, that we can help that family by raising a sizable grant to make their adoption easier.

I know she looks so sad, it is so much easier to fall in love with a smiling child, our Amanda was a solemn little one too, but oh my, she is livelier every day, she is not the little girl we brought home a year ago. Paula is such a dear little girl with so much potential. Help us help her find her forever family!

As a fundraising tool, I will hold a drawing for 4 free Gold Canyon Candles for anyone who who contributes towards her adoption grant. One candle per week, the drawing held at the end of the 4 week period. Look for the Chip-in on our blog.


GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Praying for Paula that come Christmas she can say thank you God for my new mommy and daddy.

Shea said...

She is precious Kris, I hope she finds a home soon!!!!! Just in case anyone reads this and wonders. Every dollar, penny, etc donated can help. For instance in the country we are adopting from a passport is $90, pictures $10. Anything donated helps parents defray some of these cost and may actually enable them to eat more than peanut butter the entire time they are in country lol. Just kidding, we would all happily stretch that jar of peanut butter out and make it last like Jesus did the bread if it will bring our babies home!!

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