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

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: