Bring me my Bow of burning gold; bring me my Arrows of Desire ~~ William Blake

Saturday, December 31, 2011

As the old year turns new...

A few days ago I began to write a post--but I did not have words to finish it.

I learned on Wednesday that Valentin will not be coming home yet.

The dad of his new family-to-be went to Valentin's country to meet him, intending to complete the adoption. He met Valentin and visited with him more than once. During those visits he found that Valentin's needs are more severe than had been realized. The family realized that, though they loved Valentin, they would not be able to give him the care he needs. And so they made the hard, hard decision not to proceed with the adoption.

I've linked to some of their blog posts so you can read their story in their words.

I have thought so much about Valentin these last few days. I thought of him this afternoon, asleep in his crib as the new year arrived in his country. I thought of him as we enjoyed New Year's eve with my parents and sisters, nieces and nephews.

I am remembering Valentin.

Edited to add: I began to write on Wednesday the 28th, but finished on Saturday the 31st. Just now I saw it was posted with a date of the 28th, so I have changed the date to reflect the time I actually finished and posted. - Desert Lily, 2 January 2012

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The most amazing gift...

Sweet Valentin doesn't know it, he has no idea, but he is about to receive the most incredible Christmas present. He will meet his new dad-to-be on Monday.

To us it's a day late, but in Eastern Europe it's nearly two weeks early! They celebrate Christmas on January 6.

In any case, in just a few days this little boy will discover that he has a family waiting to welcome him.

I am sure that angels are crowding round eager to see that first meeting. How many angels can fit into one room where a little boy will meet his new dad?

My hope is that Sawyer, too, one day soon, will see his new parents for the first time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

At the Buddy Walk!

I had a good day at the Buddy Walk, with my stalwart helper--my youngest daughter! Here she is setting up our booth:

The wonderful three-sided display with photos of children was made by Carlene's mom, who kindly passed it on to me after the San Diego Buddy Walk. I was so happy to get to use it--and I saw how the pictures caught people's attention! They would notice it from a distance and come over for a closer look.

We had our own Angel Tree too--

complete with a few ornaments featuring the children!

We had a great time talking with lots of people. At the end of the day, some of the girls sacked out under the Angel Tree...

Here's little Sean, whose picture was on our small Angel Tree.

Isn't he something? Where's his mama? He's ready to learn and discover and grow!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heading for the Buddy Walk...

Well, in a few minutes I'm heading to the Buddy Walk at the Santa Anita Park.

Before I go I wanted to share two little ones from the Angel Tree:

This is Ivan. Love those red cheeks! Ivan will be three in January. He is said to be an affectionate boy. He needs a mama!

This is Sophia. She is turning four this month, and is "a happy and content child." Where is Sophia's mama?

Click on their names to find their profiles on Reece's Rainbow.

See you later...

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm still here...

What with one thing and another, my blog has been on a bit of a hiatus... I am still holding Sawyer in my heart, and I have more thoughts I'll be sharing with you!

The first piece of news is that I will be representing Reeces Rainbow at the Los Angeles area Buddy Walk on Sunday! That should be fun. It's going to be held at the Santa Anita Park and Race Track in Arcadia, just east of Pasadena. Will I see you there?

Also, Valentin's family's dossier (the folder of paperwork that is part of their application to adopt him) has been submitted to the government department in charge of adoptions! So now they are waiting for a travel date.

That's all for now...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Little Mr. Blue Eyes...

Now that Valentin's waiting days are coming to an end--and his family's adventure with him is beginning--

I'd like to introduce you to Sawyer.

Doesn't he have the most beautiful eyes?

(The description calls them gray, but they look blue to me...)

Sawyer just turned four this summer. He is waiting for his family to come...

Those big wistful eyes caught at my heart when I first saw him on Reece's Rainbow. Will you pray that his mama and papa will come for him soon?

Valentin's Family!

I have been waiting eagerly to know who was going to be Valentin's family. A couple of days ago, I checked the New Commitments page (again) and there he was! With a little description of his new family. You might have to scroll down to find him--so here's a direct link to his family's page.

These lovely folks will be welcoming Valentin home to a large family. They are not strangers to international adoption, having brought home three other children not long ago! You can learn more about them on the family page and on their blog.

Valentin will have brothers--and sisters! He'll have a mom and dad to listen as he tells about the new things he's learning. He'll know that he is valued and important. He'll get to go on family trips and visit the zoo and go swimming. He'll get the therapy and medical care he needs.

I feel so joyful and awed to have been able to see all this unfold. And it will be great to follow along with this new adventure, as Valentin's parents bring him home...

Congratulations, little man! So happy for you!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Yesterday I went to look at the "My Family Found Me" page on Reece's Rainbow.

Guess who was at the top of the page?

There's a family coming for Valentin.

I just keep smiling. Can't wait to see who it is and cheer them on!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's August...

The 5/5/5 campaign is finished...but in Eastern Europe, Valentin is still waiting.

And I'm still here, too. Still waiting and hoping with Valentin.

We won't forget him, will we?

Neither does God.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little ones waiting...

Here are three sweet little girls, still waiting for their families...

Daphne turned five in April. She was born with cerebral palsy--like Valentin. She is cognitively delayed, and cannot walk--but she is aware of people around her, she responds to them with affection. Is there a family somewhere willing to give her a chance? If she is not adopted, she will be sent to an institution. There she will be bedridden, without opportunities for education or therapy--or fun.

Look at her smile! Bethany's grin could light up a room. Surely she could light up her family's life! Bethany is HIV-positive; she also has "tuberculous primary complex." But she is a happy little girl, a favorite in her orphanage. Will you pray that Bethany's family will find her?

Perhaps you remember Lorena--I posted about her once before. She also has CP, as well as microcephaly, hip displasia, and strabismus. Lorena will be six in November. She needs a family of her own.


They all need their families. They all need our prayers.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Since I (and many others!) posted about Miss Teri Lynn, her grant fund has gone up to over $20,000! Which means much of the cost of her adoption would be covered!

Isn't that wonderful? ...Now all she needs is her family. I know they're out there! Take courage, dear folks. See how God is providing already!

Teri Lynn has a warrior with a blog devoted to her. Go see!

P.S. I have learned that Teri Lynn has been adopted, outside of Reece's Rainbow. How wonderful that she already has a family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is "Teri Lynn."

I know the picture is out of focus, but look at her dark hair, done up in a little ponytail on top of her head; look at that cute Peter Pan collar and the roses in her cheeks.

Look at her eyes--uncertain but curious.

Now, this is a newer photo of Teri Lynn.

See her hair--cropped close. See how she is pale.

Look at her eyes.

Teri Lynn has been transferred to an institution. She is five and a half years old.

What can I say?... Friends, this little girl needs her family. She needs to be home with people who love her.

And Valentin doesn't need to be transferred. He needs to go home too.

Look at his eyes.

Can you bear the thought that the light will fade?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Found

Sometimes it's more than you dared hope...

This sweet boy is Anthony.

Anthony has CP, like Valentin. Here's what Reece's Rainbow said about him:

From his medical records: Spastic tetraparesis, motor disorders, convergent squint, hip dysplasia, anemia

His muscles are very tight, and he will need significant amounts of therapy. He is not able to sit by himself, and is dependent on his care givers for just about everything. He has a secondary myocardiopathy as well. Quite a laundry list for such a darling boy.

It would take love and courage and faith, to step forward to be this boy's mom and dad. And someone has! Today, there was Anthony's face on the My Family Found Me page!

And this is Pauline.

Recently on Pauline's profile there were a list of qualifications for anyone wishing to adopt her. The requirements specified a married couple living in a specific state, with
other requirements as well. Reading it, you might think--well, how is a family meeting all those requirements to be found?

And yet, not three weeks (I think) after the qualifications were posted, Pauline's picture was on the "Found" page!

You know what I think? I think that Pauline's family saw those qualifications and recognized themselves there. They realized that they fit that profile. And I bet it gave them courage to step forward and say, "That's our daughter! We're bringing her home!"

Kind of like when someone has come home from a journey, bringing presents to distribute. And they gather their family around, and say something like: "Now this present is for a boy...about eight years old...with brown eyes...who loves airplanes..." And the little boy recognizes himself in the description and runs forward laughing to receive his gift.

Pauline's family is running forward for their gift. So are Anthony's family. Rejoice!

P.S. Another family just brought their two precious gifts home, and one of their little girls is needing extra care in the hospital. Julia tells more about it here. Pray for this little one and her family!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Yesterday morning I looked at Valentin's page on Reece's Rainbow, just to say hello I suppose.

And I noticed that the number in his 5/5/5 box has changed. It went up. It more than doubled.


Thank you. Thank you so much!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Faces of Cerebral Palsy

As I've mentioned, Valentin has cerebral palsy. He is able to stand with help, but he really needs therapy--and a family to help and encourage him!

What does a diagnosis of cerebral palsy mean? Actually it's sort of an umbrella term. A person with cerebral palsy has damage to the cerebellum, resulting in difficulty with his or her muscles. The most common kind of cerebral palsy is called spastic; it involves muscles that are tight.

Here is Keaton. He turns five next month. Doesn't he have a sweet little face? Keaton has CP and internal hydrocephalus.

Ryland, with his dark hair and dark eyes, has some Roma heritage. He has CP, but he can walk on his own and even climb up the ladder to a playground slide!

CP can be very mild, or more severe. Even someone with mild CP, like Ryland, can benefit from physical therapy.

This beautiful girl is Elena. Although she is visually impaired, her eyes seem to be looking into beautiful things!

Her CP affects her left side more than the right. CP may affect all four limbs, or only one side, or the legs more than the arms.

And look at Stellan!
What beautiful dark eyes!

He is in the same orphanage as Valentin, and looks almost as though he could be his younger brother. Stellan will be three next month. *

They all have CP. They all need families. They are all so loved by God.

*friday, 24 June -- Stellan's profile currently isn't viewable on Reece's Rainbow, because the laws about international adoption are being revised in his country. I didn't anticipate that when I wrote about him! But prayers for him are still important!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What can you do?

If you've read here a little, you've seen Valentin's
sweet've been charmed by him, at least a little, and you've been troubled--at least a little--at the thought of this beautiful boy (and others like him) with no families to care for them, and no prospects except being sent to an institution, bedridden without opportunities for education and therapy and fun.

But what can you do about it?

What are you willing to do?

I will tell you some things...


You can pray for him. Pray that he will be well cared for. Pray that his family will come. Pray that the light won't fade from his eyes...

You can pray just when it crosses your mind--little prayers, just going up. You can ask for prayer for him (and other children) at your church or your temple or your small group. Just simple prayers...

Bring him home!

Perhaps you've thought about adoption. Or perhaps you haven't thought of it (until now). Maybe you didn't dare think it was a possibility.

But what if it is?

Think about it. Ask God...

Not everyone can adopt Valentin, but there are other children, too, who need love and a family.


Even without adopting, you can help a child (or children) come home.

Is there some small expenditure you can give up for a week, or a month, and give to Valentin instead? Or one of the other children on Reece's Rainbow?

(The money we donate on RR goes toward adoption grants, to help families bring these children home. I will post more about all that soon!)

Think about it--even if it's only $5.00...A thousand times five dollars is five thousand dollars! How many times in a month do we spend five dollars? Maybe sometimes we can bless it toward a child who has nothing.

Whatever you may choose to do, I would like for it to be with peacefulness and faith. Because I know that God is able to bring everything about in His way, without anxiety.

But ask Him. Is there something He wants to do, in company with you?

Friday, June 10, 2011

5/5/5 Friday

I decided to share with you a few more of the five-year-olds on Reece's Rainbow. So, here are four more boys!

This is "Tyler." Look at that curly brown hair and shy little grin! He is diagnosed with autism. This may be (at least partly) the effect of living in an orphanage, we don't know at this time. Even a good orphanage isn't the same as having your own family.

This blond cutie is "Nolan." He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. He can walk, but he doesn't talk yet. He needs a mom and dad to look after him and help him be all he can be!

Look at those CHEEKS!! And beautiful dark eyes!! "Tomas" has Down syndrome. He is five and a half, and could be sent to the institution soon.

Isn't Lance a doll? What a smile! Lance turned five last month. He is HIV-positive. (That diagnosis is not as scary as it once was; it can be managed with medication. Lance can live a long and happy life!)

And you know this face!

Imagine if all these boys were home with families. They could be starting kindergarten together...getting together to play in the sandbox or go to the zoo...They all have significant challenges, but any one of them could light up his family's life.

And each one of them is so loved by God.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More happy news

This is Eddie. Look at his smile! He has CP (like Valentin). Recently he was transferred from the baby house to the institution.

But now--

Eddie has a family!!

Someone is coming for him!

Someone saw the sweetness in his smile and said "Yes!" to having him for a son.

And Julia posted about Jonah's story in her blog. Pray that everything works out for his new parents to bring him home!

(You can also click on his picture to get to Julia's blog post.)

And when you pray--

Don't forget Valentin.

He needs his family too!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy news...and dreaming...

This sweet boy has a family now!

This is "Jonah" from Reece's Rainbow. I have prayed he would be safe, and that a family would come for him. (Lots of people besides me have been praying!)

A day or two ago I looked in on the "My Family Found Me" page, and there was Jonah! Someone has said "Yes!" to being his parents! Someone is on their way to get him!

Who are they? It hasn't been announced yet. But sometime soon, there will be a new little story on the "New Commitments" page, telling how a family realized that this little boy was meant to be with them.

And do you know what I'm dreaming?...

That soon it will be Valentin's turn.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/5/5 Friday

I wanted to share a few more of the 5-year-olds from the Reece's Rainbow 5/5/5 Project. All these children live in Eastern Europe.

This is Daniel. Like Valentin, he has cerebral palsy, as well as hydrocephaly and some symptoms of epilepsy. Daniel is already living in an institution. If he isn't adopted, he will remain bedridden.

This is Denis. He has such beautiful searching eyes. Denis also has epilepsy, and craniostenosis (which means his skull bones are trying to grow together too fast, putting pressure on his brain). He too is in the institution.

This is Lorena. She has cerebral palsy, like Daniel and Valentin, and several other health problems as well, including mental delay and hip dysplasia. In the picture she seems lost in her own world. But that doesn't mean that she wouldn't blossom in response to the love of someone who reached out to her.

These children's health problems seem so daunting. But with all that, they are worthy of our love and our prayers. They are worth being given a chance at life.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Look at that smile!

Today on Reece's Rainbow I discovered--a new picture of Valentin!! Just look at this boy!!

In the earlier picture, I suppose he would have been about toddler age. This picture is from this month. The same big eyes, but this time we can see his smile!

Look at him. See how he's smiling, ready to meet anyone's eyes with friendliness. According to the facilitation team in his country, he is "absolutely mentally healthy, very intelligent boy, smiling and sociable."

Isn't he beautiful?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why it's so important

Perhaps you might ask--why is this so important? Why the urgency? Valentin is being looked after; he has his needs met. He has shelter, food, clothes. He's okay--isn't he?

Well, yes. He's okay. But an orphanage isn't home. Caregivers, though they are kind and mean well--they aren't a mom, or a dad.

And in the orphanage, nothing belongs to him. Valentin has nothing of his very own. Clothes, toys--everything is shared with the other children in his group.

But there's more. You see, in most Eastern European countries, children don't stay in the orphanage indefinitely. At some point after they reach the age of four--sometimes immediately, sometimes later--disabled children like Valentin are transferred to an institution. A mental institution.

Again, at the institutions, the caregivers do what they can with what they have. But there's so much they don't have. No playrooms of toys, no picture books. No playground. Because Valentin has cerebral palsy, he will probably be bedridden. He won't get therapy to help him learn to use his muscles as well as he can. He won't get to fingerpaint, or work with clay, or sing in a children's choir, or pick cherry tomatoes from the family garden.

He will be bored and lonely. Day after day.

Valentin just turned five, so he could be transferred soon. It all depends on the situation where he is--how many children are at the orphanage, and the director's decision, and maybe other factors too.

So will you pray for him? He should have so much more. Like any child. He should have someone who loves him for himself, who looks into his eyes and sees him as a treasure.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This is why--

Far across the sea, in Eastern Europe, in Asia, Africa and South America, there are a lot of little children (and bigger children) without parents. They are living in orphanages, where they are looked after; but it's hard for one caregiver to parent a whole group of preschoolers. They really need--they really want--a mom and dad of their own.

So they wait. Three years old, four...They're old enough to want a family, to think about it and wish for it. But people don't always think about adopting an "older" child, who doesn't speak their language, who may have additional challenges on top of it. People may think they just can't afford it.

A ministry called Reece's Rainbow helps bring together orphans with Down Syndrome and other challenges, with the families who want to adopt them. One of the things Reece's Rainbow does is provide grants to help offset the costs of an international adoption.

Reece's Rainbow has been around for five years now, and to celebrate, they're focusing particularly on the five-year-olds listed on the Web site. The purpose is to bring these children to your attention; to ask you to pray; to ask you, if you feel led, to give toward their adoption grants--and to ask the scary exciting question, Could one of these children be yours?

So. That's why this blog is here. I'm a warrior for Valentin. I'm hoping that, if you're reading, you'll pray for him. Just a short prayer, as you're thinking about it. I'm hoping that some might decide to give something toward his adoption grant. Even a little. And I'm hoping that if you were thinking about adopting internationally--or even if you weren't--that you might consider Valentin. Or one of the other five-year-old boys and girls on Reece's Rainbow.

(And if you're surprised--even taken aback--by what I'm doing on this blog, feel free to talk about it! I mean, with anyone! "I can't believe what that girl's up to these days! She's writing on a blog about a little orphan boy who needs a family!" I don't mind at all. You can ask me questions, too, of course.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introducing Valentin

This is Valentin.

Valentin lives in a far land. He lives in an orphanage, looked after by caregivers. Surely they do the best they can for him. But Valentin needs a family.

Valentin has cerebral palsy. He can stand, with someone helping him. With medical care and therapy, perhaps he could do so much more! With the love and encouragement of a mom, a dad, maybe a brother, a sister, grandparents--what might he be able to accomplish? And how they would be blessed by him!

Valentin needs a family of his own.

p.s. You can learn more about him on this page: