Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prayers needed... for him and many others!

Please pray.. for him! And many others...


In my post about the prayer request for sweet Victoria the other day, I was going to post this prayer request too. But mom said it was time to go to bed, so I left it where it was. I'm glad I did, because my long time blogging friend, Mrs. Nalle posted a wonderful post on her blog that she is letting me repost here. (If you don't read through all of it, I have a shorter version at the bottom.)

Changes are Hard ~ Julia Nalle at Micah Six Eight
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes are hard.  We are creatures of habit and so we tend to like things to stay the same.  Even if the change is for the better.  The fear of the unknown causes us to hold tight to what is familiar, afraid to let go.

In the adoption world, where everything is constantly changing, families feel like they are forever standing on shifting sand.  Just when they think that they have things under control, the ground around them moves and they are knocked off their feet by the unexpected waves washing in.

Over the last month, some major changes have taken place in Aaron's former country.  These changes are supposed to be for the better.  But it is difficult to trust what you can't see.

Basically what is taking place is that the way they are processing adoptions is completely changing.  The State Department of Adoptions (SDA) is being closed as of July 11th.  A new agency, The Ministry of Social Policy, is taking over. This would not really be too big of an issue IF everything was set in place to make the move as seamless as possible.  Unfortunately the law requiring this change basically came out of left field and the reality - The Ministry of Social Policy hasn't actually been established yet.  So in two weeks the agency that has been processing adoptions is closing and the new agency taking over still needs to be established.

It is a bit stomach turning.

Right now, according to the records over there, 139 families are currently in process to adopt children from that country.   Some of them are CURRENTLY in country.  The rest have had their paperwork submitted but will not receive travel dates until AFTER the country opens back up to international adoptions.  Considering that many of these 139 families are getting more than one child... well - you do the numbers....

On top of that... there are hundreds more waiting in the wings, hoping that things will change quickly and easily so they can submit their paperwork and go get their children.  It is absolutely heartbreaking.

I have not said much on our blog about the changes because it has been so uncertain.  Instead I have been quietly watching and praying and grieving for the families as they try to stand on the ever shifting sand under their feet.

Each day that goes by means their little ones sit alone and lonely across the ocean.  It is difficult to not want to just cry out in frustration.

On top of this heartbreaking news... the other major change that is taking place is that many of the children who were considered special needs, no longer qualify under the new rules.  As an example, children with Cerebral Palsy NO LONGER qualify under the new rules.  Children with CP will have to wait until they are five before they become eligible for adoption.  The special needs list for children under the age of five is short.  It leaves off many Reece's Rainbow children and sadly, because of this, those children have had to be temporarily removed from the site.

What can we do?

We can pray, people.  We can pray.


Prayer Number One

Right now there are 33 Reece's Rainbow families (43 children) who are currently in that country working on getting their children out.  Many of these families have passed court which means their children are free and clear.  Praise the Lord!!  (Two families passed TODAY!!)  A number of families have court dates within the next week or so and unless things go awry - they should also be free and clear before the July 11th closing.  A few of the families are on the wire and these are the ones we need to seriously lift up in prayer.  Please pray for ALL 33 families but especially those who are in the last group.  The best way to follow these families - follow who is at what point - and keep informed on their progress is to go to THIS PAGE.  These are the 33 families - these are the 43 children.  Pray these babes home, church.  By July 11th - court needs to happen for all the precious treasures on that page!  


Prayer Number Two

From what I understand, the SDA is still accepting dossiers from the families who have sent their paperwork.  Tomorrow is the LAST day they will accept these dossiers.   If the dossiers are submitted and accepted, then  they may be 'grandfathered' in.   That means that they may not have to drastically change their paperwork to meet the new requirements and IF their child does NOT make the special needs list - they still may be able to adopt them under the OLD rules.  It is a LONG SHOT.  But we serve a God who has proved to us again and again that He is in the LONG SHOT business.  It is in that LONG SHOT that we get to see Him move mountains.



Please pray that a whole host of dossiers are able to be submitted this Thursday and PLEASE PRAY that CAROLINE'S DOSSIER is in that pile.    She is NOT on the new special needs list.  If she is not submitted tomorrow... well... I'm just not going to go there with those thoughts.


Prayer Number Three

Please please pray that the special needs list is expanded.  It just plain needs to be expanded.  


Prayer Number Four

Please pray that the transition from the SDA to the new agency is quick and painless.  Pray that it will improve the adoption process and streamline it.  Pray that the decisions made will be in the best interest of the thousands and thousands of waiting children in that country.


Prayer Number Five

Pray for the facilitators who will be out of jobs for the months it takes to change over the agencies.  I know many people think that the facilitators are making tons of money off adoptions.  Rob and I know this is NOT true for the vast majority of those men and women working over there.  Many of them live hand to mouth.  Our facilitator was not only trying to pay her own bills but also was supporting her father and her mother who has cancer.  Being without work for months on end in our country is tough.  In their country it is disastrous.  They need their jobs.


Prayer Number Six

Please pray for all the hurting families who are standing on the shifting sand on this side of the ocean, looking across the waters, grieving the closure, wondering if they will ever get to cross to the other side.  I hurt deeply for them.  I read their blogs.  There are so many children over there who HAVE families who WANT them.  So many being loved from afar.  Please pray that God will bring them comfort and grant them much peace.  


Pray Church

To put it all into perspective - This morning I read my sweet friend Adeye's blog about another country that also closed so they could revise their adoption regulations... THAT WAS THREE YEARS AGO.  It is still closed.  Did you catch that?  Three years closed.  Adeye is begging people to pray for that country and I join with her in that plea!!  I also am begging you to recognize how shifting the sand is in these countries.  Closing a country for adoptions is scary.  Sometimes they don't open back up again.  


Please church, pray. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you didn't take time to read all that, here's the scoop. Elijah (former) and Jonathan's country (also Mrs. Nalle's Aaron's former country), is shutting down for three months. They have a new law that whne they open, orphans who's special needs aren't on the list.. won't be available for international adoption until they are 5. Down Syndrome is on the list, but many things aren't. Like FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) is one of the things not on there, and that's what Logan has.

Sorry Andrea, you shouldn't have posed in so many pictures! Your face is now all over the internet! :)

I also do have new (to me!) pictures of him in the slideshow on my sidebar!
If the list doesn't expand, he will be stuck until he is 5! He isn't listed on the site anymore if you are looking for him. He was put on hold because he doesn't qualify under the new law if it doesn't expand. But Logan isn't a lonely case. He will be 5 a lot sooner than some of the babies who don't qualify. They are under a year old, and they will have to wait until they are 5 years old. FIVE YEARS with out a family...

Please please pray that the special needs list is expanded.  It just plain needs to be expanded.  


For him and SOO many others!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting Wednesday - Cole and Owen

Holy Smokes! It's Wednesday again! Guess the week went a little fast in anticipation for mom and dad coming home, and them being home! Got lots of posts coming though! :) This Wednesday, meet Cole, and then Owen!

Cole





Helping the nannies by rounding up a stray little one - he would make such a great big brother, esp at this house!!!


Cole

Born May 18, 2005
It's too bad he didn't smile for the camera, because Cole has an impish smile and is very helpful and sweet.  He was born HIV+ and turned 6 years old this past spring. He's fortunate to be in a good orphanage, although they'll transfer him this fall if he doesn't find a family. 

From a family who met him this past summer:  He is the oldest of the boys still there, so the most at risk for being transferred. He seems very smart. He was what I call the "orphanage helper". He was always helping the ladies push the strollers full of laundry back and forth from the laundry house and always helping the groundskeepers sweep and pick up sticks, etc.

From a family who visited with him in spring 2011:  
Cole is bright, friendly, engaging, inquisitive, helpful, athletic, and charming! Being the oldest child there, Cole is everyone's "big brother". He helps the caregivers keep track of any of the little ones who wander too far, and coaxes them back to where they belong. He can often be seen carrying bags of sand toys that they bring out to play with. He's learned responsibility from a young age. There are also pictures of him on the walls in traditional clothes of his country, performing in a Children's Day program with the biggest smile on his face! So, he clearly enjoys music and dancing, as well as sports. Whenever he sees me, he smiles and waves and yells, "Mama!" As in "Look! Here I am!". The director said that Cole asked my son if we would take him, too. To which my son answered "Yes! You can come too! My mama and papa will bring all of you!" Ouch. How it hurts me to know that within a few days, my son will be the only little boy walking out through those gates, and "Cole" (and "Owen") will be left behind. People are overlooking an absolute gem of a child!

For more info and parent support on adopting and raising a child with HIV, please visithttp://www.projecthopeful.org

I AM ELIGIBLE FOR AN OLDER CHILD GRANT

Owen

November 11, 2005
This handsome guy was born HIV+ and is lucky to be in a good place right now.  However, he could really use a home as he recently turned 5 years old.

From a family who met him this past summer:  He looks like he needs to be a football player or a hockey player! He definitely needs a Daddy, but also loves to just be held so would be a great snuggler for Mommy!

For more info and parent support on adopting and raising a child with HIV, please visit http://www.projecthopeful.org
 $1025.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Cole and Owen

The mom who is over there right now with her boy on her lap is the one who took most of these pictures, and the boy with the monkey is another little boy with a family. Then there is Cole and Owen standing next to her.



Cole in the blue leading the other little boy, and Owen in the orange.



From the mama who is there right now:

Every day this little boy (Cole) comes up to me and talks & talks... I don't understand his language, but he is asking me questions, and saying something very adamantly. I know what he's saying... he wants me to take him home with my boy. The director said he wants a family desperately. He calls me Mama and my husband, Papa. It's tearing me up!

He wants what his friend, Kolya (my Cole) has. Someone to visit him, and bring him toys, and take him away from the groupa to play tag and hide and seek. A dad to wrestle with and throw a ball. He wants so badly to belong to someone!!!

Today Yulia said that our son was supposed to have been transferred, but the director kept him there b/c we were coming for him. He also kept Cole and his friend Owen, because a family had committed to them. But no one's coming now, and Yulia said there is "a man from the church" who will take these boys to live at a monastery! Cole doesn't want to live in a monastery! He wants to play soccer and baseball, and ride a bike! I've mentioned him time and again on this blog and on facebook, but I'm flat-out PLEADING for this boy's future now! His and Owen's.

 It's not too late to start the process to bring them home! The director WANTS him to have a family! As far as I know he still thinks one is on the way... and I'm not about to tell him differently. Cole and Owen still have a chance if someone will just step up and 
say, "I want him! He's my son!"



As you can see, they need a family now! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help them! They don't want to go to a monastery, and you can change that!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prayer Request for little Victoria!

Hi everyone! Been a few days since I posted, but I'm happy to report that my parents are home safely! And we'll just skip 'Mazing Monday this week because I don't want to confuse you on what day it is! :)

Onto the prayers request! Remember when I posted about Carrrington? When she came home from EE, she was extremely tiny and malnourished. She weighed only 11 pounds as a three year old! Now she is up to 17 pounds and 6 oz! YAY God! However there is another little girl who just came home tiny and malnourished. Her new name is Victoria, and her sad little eyes can break anyone's heart.




Like Carrington, Victoria was rushed to the hospital as soon as she got home. She is severely dehydrated as well. Please pray for her, and for her mom as well! Her mom is staying with her, her new sister who also just came home, and her three other siblings in a hospital room. If you live in the Atlanta area, please consider helping them by staying with Moira, or you can donate to their chip-in. But most of all they need prayers! Please go over to Carrington's blog to find out more, and to find the chip-in. I'm sure Carrington's mama will also be posting updates.


Please contact me at burmanshelly@yahoo.com and let's get some help for this wonderful family so they can concentrate on Victoria gaining weight and getting strong and healthy. You can read about the family's journey on their blog at:http://www.wronginalltherightways-travcat.blogspot.com/

The address for the hospital in Atlanta where Victoria is staying is
1001 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342-1605
Room 435 Victoria Ferronne

Please send them a note of encouragement!!!




Thank you all so much in advance for your prayers for this little sweetie! They are appreciated!
Sarah

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One Less Orphan!

I'm so happy to announce that this little boy -




Is now Jonathan Kiril Birschbach! He isn't an orphan anymore, he has a family to call his own, who loves him, and he will celebrate his first birthday with a family!! Not to mention his amazing church family who loves him soo much!



We welcome you into our family, little one! We are so happy that God has granted us this privilege of giving you a new life, and that you will never have to see and live behind the walls of the institution! We love you sweet boy!


Faithful Friday - The Burlingham Family

Update: Andriy is no longer available for adoption because has been taken by a priest in his country. Please read about that here - http://matthew18vs14.blogspot.com/2011/12/hardest-post-i-have-ever-had-to-write.html

I did do a Faithful Friday post this past Tues, but I'm really behind, so this Friday, meet one of the many families who have stepped out in faith, the Burlingham's!




They are bringing home a sweet boy named Andriy:

ANDRIY for the Burlingham family–Charlotte, NC

Amanda and David have been married 11 years. They grew up together since the age of 7. David owns his own restaurant and Amanda is a stay-at-home mom. They  have two daughters and one son. Kyah 8, Aiden 5, and Braya 2. They are excited to welcome their second son into ther family. Andriy will be their first child through adoption. Thanks to a wonderful woman named Andrea G. for introducing them to Andriy. They always knew adoption was in their future and can't wait to start this journey with you! They want to thank you for your support!! 
5/31/11–COMPILING DOSSIER
Follow the Burlingham family's adoption journey on their blog atwww.justonemore4us.blogspot.com
$910.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!




I have a very special tie to this family. I have never met them, and I have only emailed with Amanda a couple times, but they are still special to me! Why? Because of the precious little boy they are bring home. Remember when I did my Waiting Wednesday posts about Logan, Ryan, and Brody, and my 'Mazing Monday post about Liza, I said that I was at an orphanage in a certian EE country last year. I got to play with several of the RR kids (though I didn't know it at the time or I would have taken boatloads more pictures!), including Liza, Logan, one of the members on our team held Ryan, and Andriy! When we saw him, he was in a little swing, and my dad would tickle his legs and he would giggle. Below are the only picture I took of him.



They just recently had a dot fundraiser where you had to buy dots to uncover the new pictures of him, and this is the video they unveiled at the end.



I have to admit, I cried while watching it, and seeing my dear friend Max, and sweet little Victoria didn't help. :)

But this family desperately needs help just as much prayerfully as financially! They are doing each step in this process dollar by dollar with none to spare. But even if you can't support financially, please stop by her blog (above) and leave Amanda some encouragement! She is such an amazing person, and is doing all she can to get her boy home. But sadly, she can't do it by herself. Please stop by their blog or FSP and show them some LOVE! It would mean soo much to her, and to me too! Thank you in advance!! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

I think we are crazy!

Enjoy this post mom! And dad, don't worry, the thing on the label that said washes out wasn't very accurate... I might still be a tad green when you get back.. ;)

For more reason then one! The reason is this post has to do with the fact that our church has VBS (Vacation Bible School) this week (Mon-Thurs, ended last night). 3 of my crazy friends, crazy me, and crazy Mrs. H are leading the songs with all the signs and motions.

Rachel and I are also helping out with the preschool class... it's gotten quite interesting at times, but boy I would love to be a preschool teacher! :) I find that grumpy preschoolers are a bit more fun to deal with then grumpy adults. ;)

The theme of VBS is "Inside out & Upside down on Main Street. So the 5 of us upfront decided to do something fun each night of the week. The first night it was hats from different places on Main Street, but thanks to our dress up box down stairs, it turned into a Santa hat, fireman hat, a cowboy hat, a sun hat, and a sombrero. :) On Tuesday it was nurse scrubs, and Hawaiian lays. On Wednesday, we all had colored hair, and our lays again! Last night, we all had tiaras (because we are daughters of the King of Kings) our lays again, and we came in at the end with wacky glasses, horns, and poppers. 

Pictures I took with the webcam around 10 Weds night. The color was still going strong!

It glows neon in the dark! :)

Before I left on Weds... :)

I haven't been able to get a hold of the group picture yet, but I'll post it when I do. But for now you are stuck with pictures of me... :)

Pics with the webcam last night
Two things I learned after I showered Weds night -
  1. In the Wizard of Oz, I know how they got the wicked witch's skin green.. you should see the back of my neck!
  2. I must be Irish, my roots run green, very green...

P.S. Go check out my BFF Rachel's awesome post relating to VBS this week! It's much more serious than mine.. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Waiting Wednesday: Genesis






Genesis


Girl, Born December 21, 2006
HELP, I HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRANSFERRED!!
More info coming, child is blind and was recently transferred to the institution.
 
Genesis breaks my heart – such a beautiful girl.  Our last pictures of her she was playing on a rocking toy, and now she's lying in an institution.  Please, please, someone rescue this little girl!  She would have so much potential, in a family setting.  

These children are truly living on borrowed time, and families should be home study approved before an official commitment can be made for this child.

$47.50 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

For some reason, I am drawn to visually impaired children. I don't why, I know nobody who is, but for some reason I am. I loved playing with little Andriy last summer, and my heart is drawn towards Dmitriy who I posted about a couple weeks ago, and Genesis. When I first saw Genesis on the website, the picture she had was the first one above, of her in the rocking horse. I saw she was in (1), which is an institution, but she looked so high functioning! From her last picture, you can see she is lying in a bed, and she looks worse. PLEASE someone save this princess, before she becomes a forever forgotten child, locked away. She need you!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'Mazing Monday - Bellie Spitz AND Faithful Friday - The Spitz Family

Update: Charlie is has been adopted by a family in her own country, and the Spitz's are now bringing home Gavin.

Yes, it's Tuesday, so I don't know why I'm doing a Faithful Friday and/or a 'Mazing Monday! But I couldn't do one without the other because they are the same AWESOME family!

Sweet Isabelle, or Bellie! Her mommy and daddy met her in the middle of Dec, and she became Isabelle Maria Spitz on December 30th, 2010!! Some pictures from while she was still in country - 




And now, look at her!





She is amazing, and has thrived so much in the care of her loving family!


AND... HER FAMILY IS GOING BACK TO HER COUNTRY TO BRING HOME ANOTHER SWEET PRINCESS!!!

Meet  Charlie! (Macie on RR)


And her wonderful family working to bring her home!



Their FSP off of RR -

The Spitz family would have never believed if you had told them 5 years ago that they would be working on their 4th adoption in 2011.  They had already been blessed with Taylor (now 17), Conor (now 16) and Nicholas (now 13).  But in 2007 when they were placed with a beautiful blond hair foster son their view on adoption changed quickly.  Then in 2008 they were placed with a foster daughter, a sweet tiny little girl who proved instantly she too would be a part of their forever family.  The Spitz family was beyond BLESSED to adopt Owen (3 yrs) and Sara (2 yrs) in 2010.  In February 2010 Summer read an article about Reece’s Rainbow in People magazine.  She was so drawn to the article that she got right on the RR website!  After just a few moments on the RR site it was apparent to her that she needed to talk to the rest of her family about adopting a sweet child blessed with an extra chromosome.  The family was all on the same page and they couldn’t be prouder to announce they adopted precious Isabelle (3 yrs) from Eastern Europe in January 2011.  The journey to adopt Isabelle was incredible but the children they left behind will always way heavy on their hearts.  So they continued to browse the RR site and view all the children still waiting and then there SHE WAS!!  The little girl that would also need to come home to the Spitz Family!!!  They are crazy excited to bring home this Amazing Little Girl that they would love to name Charlie.  The wondrous blessing of having a child with Down syndrome is something they say they don’t know how they lived with out prior to Isabelle coming home.  Now the dream of having two lovely little girls blessed with that extra chromosome is only months away!!  The Spitz family is truly grateful!!!!  Please help this family by supporting them with prayer and please visit the family blog and donate a $1 or $2 toward this new journey.  They Thank You!!!!

6/15/11—HOME STUDY IN PROGRESS 
Follow the Spitz family's adoption journey on their blog at www.luckytolovelyla.blogspot.com  


$15.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

They are dear friends of our family, esp my mom who met them in country last December. Isabelle was at the same orphanage as our Elijah. I am thrilled for them that they are going back! Charlie cheeks are just like their Owen's! :) Please consider donating to this wonderful family, and help them rescue their next princess!!!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful Dads out there!


Thank you Dad for being a great example in your life and your faith. You are truly amazing and I can't imagine my life without you. Thank you for being there for me, and for bringing me to the other side of the world last summer. :) Thank you for the amazing love that only a Father could have for me and my siblings. Thank you for all you do for us!!! We love you!
What Makes A Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in the spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew his masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad



 (I LOVE this!!)

The word "daddy" is not defined by whether 
or not a man has a biological child.
You can never produce a child and be a Daddy,
likewise you can have 20 kids and
never be a "daddy".

A Daddy is a man who cares for a child's
both physical and emotional needs.
He puts the child's wants and needs
ahead of his own.

A true Daddy is hard to come by,
but truly a special thing.


P.S. Mom, I'm sorry I didn't get a Mother's Day post done...