Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our "It Takes a Village..." Tree

Just after New Year's I was debating whether to take the tree down and for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  This Christmas we both just felt like our child had missed the festivities, and it seemed we hadn't really celebrated Christmas at all.

I decided I would be leaving it up UNTIL HE COMES HOME! :D

Then in mid-February I thought maybe it might confuse the little guy if he arrives in July and we have Santa Claus ornaments hanging on a tree in our living room.  :D  But I liked the idea of having the tree lit for him, as a reminder that he is truly in our hearts and we are devoting each day to bringing him here.  I decided to try and incorporate something that would be familiar to him and make him smile when he saw it.

So... I removed the "really Christmas-y" ornaments, I left Angels and a few others on the tree and started making my own Colombian chain garland (like we did in second grade) out of strips of yellow, blue and red paper.  (Their national colors).

I started writing on each link of the chain the names of each person who has helped us in some way get one step closer to creating our family. It may be the social worker who worked on our home study, the notary, someone who contributed to our auction, someone who wrote a reference letter, someone who made a financial donation, someone who was a moral support to us, someone who helped me with an application or a translation, or just answered questions about their own experience... the list goes on and on.  I have counted over a hundred links so far (I purposely make them very small).

And I have LOTS and LOTS more names to add! 

I love having this tree lit every night as I work on grant applications, or even when I'm doing my homework or just cleaning the house... it brings his little presence here and I am constantly reminded of the reason I am so exhausted and the reason I feel sometimes I can't answer one more question or address one more envelope. 

I become re-energized just a tad and I smile and say a prayer for him.  I pray that his sweet heart is somehow being prepared by the great orchestrator of this entire crazy plan.  I say a prayer that he will know we are there to love him and that he will be able to trust us even though we have no way yet to communicate with him.

I pray for this process.  I pray for the many people and organizations involved.  I pray to be led to the right grants and funding sources.  I pray for all the other families going through the same process and for each child who does not have someone fighting to bring him/her home yet.

And I pray for each link.  I pray that each and every person who is a link in our chain will be blessed and know of our sincere gratitude.  I pray that each link will have the desires of their heart and that their family will be a happy and complete one as well, whatever that means to them individually.

This might sound like a silly idea but it is my way of remembering him and letting him know that even before he was part of our family, he was truly part of our lives. And its my tribute to each of you for helping accomplish a miracle in our lives.



If anyone has read about the grants we have applied to, you know we applied to the local THREE RIVERS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE for their Helping Hands program called "Change for Life."  We requested assistance to help us get a fence installed prior to this little guy's arrival.  Between his Deafness and his developmental delays, we have real concerns for his safety.  As a parent you worry more than anything about the safety of your precious charges.  After seeing his latest videos (which were AMAZING!), and seeing how impulsive, FAST and oblivious our little guy is to the real dangers around him, we had to move the fence situation up to a top priority. 

Even so, we simply did not have an extra $1,000 laying around to be able to purchase the supplies for the fence. On top of everything else I was having nightmares of worse case scenarios and it was not a good thing. :(

Well, an amazing and inspired friend reminded me of the Three Rivers Grant!!  We applied last week and TODAY we received the PHONE CALL!!!  We were approved!!  Words cannot tell you what a load this was off our mind.  THANK YOU THREE RIVERS!!! And thank you to all their customers who have signed up to the "Change for Life" campaign by rounding up their electric bill each month!  Three Rivers then uses these extra pennies to bless the lives of families like us!


Our next step is to find some local muscle who knows about fences to help us install it! Any ideas?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Reece's Rainbow!!! Family Sponsorship Program APPROVED!!

This is an exciting step in our Adoption Journey!!  I learned today we were approved for a Family Sponsorship profile on Reece's Rainbow! This allows a way for people to make donations (can be anonymous) and is also a potential venue for future giveaways, especially if strangers want to make donations and are not comfortable donating through our personal Paypal to someone they don't know.

Reece's Rainbow
"Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome..."
I LOVE that motto!! Once I realized they had expanded to include ALL children with Special Needs I was moved beyond tears.  One of the adoptive mothers I had met online had found her beautiful daughter through RR and I believe that is how I first learned of it.  Since then I have visited the site frequently and just prayed for each of these families and children in crisis.

Reece's Rainbow has dozens upon dozens of profiles of child in various states of finding their forever family.  Some are in the USA and many are in our countries.  Some have been recently added and are praying someone sees their profile and falls in love with them and can see past the daily challenges they face.  Some are like us, matched with a family and have future parents who are praying, scrimping and saving every nickel to bring that child home.  Some children are in danger of aging out and may have missed their opportunity to be linked on earth with that special family.  That is the heartbreaking part. 

To be honest I can't bear to be on the site every day because I get so emotionally involved with each and every sweet angel and wish I had endless resources to bring each and every girl and boy to their families.  In the beginning RR focused on precious children with Down's Syndrome, and then it grew from that. Some have special needs that are mild, some have severe deformities and serious health issues that require a very special and unique family to embrace them.

"In 2006, the program expanded to include promoting the international adoption of children with Down syndrome.   By raising money to offer adoption grants on waiting children, we are able to give adoptive families the extra financial help they need to bring a child with Down syndrome home from a miserable existence in overseas orphanages... Our Sponsorship Program provides a unique opportunity for anonymous donors to contribute to the adoption journey of our families.  These children are viewed as outcasts with no ability to learn or be functional members of society." (From Reece's Rainbow "About Us")

We are so honored to be included in the Reece's Rainbow Family!!

You can visit our profile at:
Alejandro for the Greene's!

Personal Checks are welcomed as well and avoid the Paypal fees.
Checks should be made payable to: Reece’s Rainbow
Mail to:
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024  
Gaithersburg, MD  20885

Be sure to indicate it is for Denise and Charles Greene as there are several other "Green/Greene" families on RR.