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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Two little girls...

Today I wanted to tell you about two little girls.

This is Kacey.
Kacey has Apert Syndrome. She just turned three in November.

A family who met her last summer says, "She is very active despite her limitations with feet and hands- she kept up with the whole bunch. Very determined, a bit shy."

She does look determined, doesn't she? A little shy, but ready to take on any challenge!

This is Mandy. She will be two on February 1!

Her profile doesn't specifically say Apert Syndrome, but she has "multiple skeletal anomalies, including fused/webbed hands."

Mandy is a happy little girl, interested in toys. Isn't she a doll?

Mandy and Kacey may not have as urgent need for surgery as Ivan, at least not right now. But they do need families! Kacey longs for a mama. Mandy needs a mom and a dad to smile back and encourage her.

Ivan so needs to come home!

And little Sawyer needs a mom to look into his beautiful eyes and tell him he is special, he is loved.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More about Ivan...

Since I last wrote, I have learned more about Ivan from two ladies who recently met him! They saw him while they were in his country to adopt their children.

One of them shared some pictures with me. She says, "...let me tell you he is one smart cookie. I think the hardest part was that even the caregivers all agreed that he knew when children's mommys and daddys came to adopt them. He is so smart. We even brought him toys and to see how creative he was in picking them up was simply amazing (his hands are very fused)."

The other mom says, "I just feel like this guy has a real special spirit, and would do great in a family. I so hope someone will consider him given all the medical needs he has."

This little boy is such a precious treasure. Pray that soon someone will recognize that he is meant to be theirs!!

(And for glimpses of daily life with a little girl with Apert Syndrome, who came home from Eastern Europe last year--)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Sweet Sawyer has "a mild craniofacial disorder." Perhaps you wonder what this means.

Basically, as I understand it, it means that there's something unusual about how the bones of his skull are growing together.

Our skull is made up of several separate bones. When a baby is born, the bones aren't attached. They fit together like pieces of a puzzle. As the child grows, the edges of the bony pieces--called the sutures--grow together.

Sometimes the sutures close too early. This is called craniosynostosis. When that happens, there isn't room for the brain to grow, and the brain can be damaged. But surgery can separate the sutures and give room for the skull to grow properly.

We don't always know why a particular child has craniosynostosis. Sometimes it's a mystery. Sometimes, though, it's part of a recognized condition.

Ivan has Apert syndrome (pronounced a-PEAR), which includes craniosynostosis as well as fused fingers and toes. He also has a cleft palate, and because of that he can't speak. But he can understand what is said to him, and he can walk. Ivan is two and a half years old.

It's very important that Ivan get surgery on his skull soon, before the fusion of the bones begins to damage his brain. I don't know if it is possible for him to have the surgery in his country--it might be. But how wonderful it would be if his family would find him, and come for him! How wonderful for him to have a mom by his side as he goes through the surgery!

Where is Ivan's family?

And where is Sawyer's?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

It's raining here in Southern California today, which fits with the first day of the Year of the Water Dragon! The dragons of medieval European legend breathe fire, but Chinese dragons are thought to rule rivers and lakes, and to have the power to bring rain. In a desert land, rain is a good gift!

Chinese dragons are said to have a kind and benevolent nature, and to bring good fortune. We can pray that this year brings good things to these little ones waiting for their families in Asia~~

Like Jimmy. Who could resist this face? Jimmy will be five in March. He has Down Syndrome. He is said to be "quiet and playful," and curious about his world. He is being cared for in a foster family, who love him, but he needs a family of his own, forever.

Like Erika. She is two and a half, and has Down Syndrome. In this picture she's looking intently at the camera, but we're told she is playful, and likes to dance with adults. She needs a mom to dance with her!

Like Caleb. In the picture he's sitting, like a doll--but he's another active and playful one! Caleb has Down Syndrome, and turned four last November. Where is his family?

Pray for them, and for the other children in Asia waiting for families of their own--

and remember Valentin, and his family who are on their way to bring him love in this new year.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Orthodox Christmas...

It's funny to think that just as my Christmas season is winding up, in Eastern Europe it's now in full swing. But I like thinking that Christmas is stretching out that way.

One intangible gift I found today is that Valentin's new family has been announced. They have just begun their blog, to share their journey. (It's over on my sidebar too.)

Can't wait to see Valentin's world change.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Imagine if you were confined to a crib a little smaller than a twin bed. You can lie down and you can move around, but your muscles don't work very well. And in any case, no one ever takes you out of the bed. People feed you and take care of your bodily needs, but no one ever brings you outside to look at the sky and the trees. No one even brings you into another room.

No one sits by you to talk to you or keep you company. No one brings you books to read. There's no TV to while away the hours, no mp3 player. There are other people in the room, but mostly they are sicker than you and can't talk to you.

This is how it is, day after day, month after month. Just emptiness that aches so much and your heart forgets what it longed for.

This is how it has been for Valentin.

Think of the effect that such confinement would have on the mind and spirit of a grown person. How much more for a young child whose mind and spirit are still developing, a child who needs to learn and explore so he can grow? If it were you or I in that crib, we would have things to think about. We could sing songs to ourselves, tell ourselves stories, pray. But what about a child who may not know any songs, who may not have heard any stories or learned to pray?

Coming out of darkness he blinks in bewilderment. He doesn't know how to understand the world he has been separate from for so long.

Valentin will need so much. He will need constant care; he will need physical therapy to help develop his muscles and occupational therapy to help him learn to use them. And he will need so much beyond this.

He will need someone to look into his eyes and smile, even when he doesn't know how to smile back. He will need someone to sing to him and speak loving words--someone to rub his back and play little piggy with his toes. Someone who will bring him outside to let him touch the grass and feel the wind ruffle his hair, and watch the squirrels run from tree to tree.

It will take time for him. But he needs to discover what it is to be cherished.

Edited to add: After I wrote this post, I discovered that Valentin is on the My Family Found Me page! I was sure it would not be long until a family stepped up for him.

May the time be short until he is at home!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Little boys and dinosaurs

I have a nephew about Valentin's age. Right now he is just wild about dinosaurs. On the playground he was getting acquainted with another little boy and was heard asking, "What do you know about dinosaurs?"

I was thinking about Sawyer. He might not know much about dinosaurs right now. But I think he would be fascinated by those big lizard creatures. He would like having small dinosaur figures to carry around with him. He would like learning to pronounce the long intriguing names, like Stegosaurus and Triceratops, and knowing which has horns over its eyebrows and which has spikes in its tail.

He would love having a chance to learn about fascinating things, and having a mom and dad to listen to him tell about it.

And Valentin. He is said to be "hungry for attention." He would like to have a mom and dad to sit with him and show him pictures and tell him about dinosaurs and planets and dragonflies. And to tell him that he is special and beloved.

Both of them would like that so much.