I receive emails weekly, sometimes daily, from people in need, and trying to discern how I can best help those needs is something I'm still trying to figure out. I wish so much that one little blog could meet every one of those needs, but the truth is that the needs far outweigh the donor base here. So much has been raised by Lily's readers towards orphan rescue- I lost count at $100,000 this past year alone. I know the hearts of my readers, and I know you would love to be able to financially help every family I blog about- but I'm sure your resources are just as "finite" as mine. I know personally there is so much more I would love to do but cannot.
In the months of February and March I focused on two families in great need of help- the Dirkes family and the Jolly family. We saw miracles happen for those families, and I am so thankful to every reader who helped make those miracles happen.
During those months I turned down many requests from people also in need of help, and I honestly have a very hard time doing that. So my answer was to take one post and focus on some needs that are dear to my heart...some of these families are in desperate need of help quickly, and even if you just chose one family to direct your help to, you would be doing a wonderful thing.
Please take the time to read through each need, and even if you are not able to contribute financially, I hope you will pray for and share these needs on your blogs or other social networks. Getting the word out there about needs is often just as important as donating- others in your sphere of influence may be able to meet needs you cannot, and you never know what one little blog post or FB share could do.
Quickly, I want to thank all of those who lovingly gave to the Willis family's adoption on Wednesday. I checked over on Jennifer's puzzle fundraiser page to see how things were faring, and read some of the recent comments...I gulped back tears to read my cousin Kate's words, "in honor of Patti's newest angel." Thank you, Kate, and thank you to all of you who donated to that adoption of two beautiful little girls with Down syndrome. $375 was added to the Willis family's adoption, and my friend Jennifer wanted me to tell readers how very thankful and encouraged she is...you all are truly the best.
So without further ado, here are some special needs that have been on my heart- I hope you will pray for and consider helping these wonderful families and causes...
It was Patti who sparked the flame for us.... sharing Lina on her FB wall asking, "Where is her mama??" And it's been history ever since. We've had many signs from God that this was our path and that she is OURS- beginning with very strict requirements for her adoption that we met- every single one. We have had the smoothest adoption process, especially considering past drama from this particular region. The stars have definitely been aligned! The money has been flowing from our bank account just as smoothly ;) but it has always been a huge challenge for me to ask for donations. When I saw Patti's post regarding families who still need funds I almost didn't reply. But since there are only a matter of days left in our window of fundraising, I figured I'd take a chance. When we first committed to Lina's adoption back in June, we were given the estimate of between $24,000-$28,000 for our total costs. Just before leaving for our third and final trip we have now spent over $34,000 and still have more expenses left in country. We are so grateful to the generosity shown to us this far- we have raised about $11,000 through this process and that was a huge help. We leave on the 14th (this Saturday!!) and bring her home on the 21st- once she is home we can no longer fundraise. Thank you, Patti, for leading us to our daughter, and for being a voice when I struggle with my own weaknesses. xoxoxo
Link to our story finding Lina: http://
gracefulbutterflywings. blogspot.com/2011/07/our- story-finding-p.html
This next adoption is an amazing miracle in itself...my beautiful and inspiring friend Adeye blogged about an urgent need last December. I'm copying her words from that post here so that you can see a piece of how this miracle unfolded...
On December 31, 2011, Jonathan will turn sixteen. A huge birthday for most teens. But a dreaded day for this young man. Soon after the day of his sixteenth birthday Jonathan will be given the "gift" of his freedom. Together with a small bag which contains all of his earthly possessions and about $30 in cash, he will be set free--no longer to be taken care of by a state orphanage.
Unfortunately, most of the children like Jonathan who "age out" of the system literally have nowhere to go. They are left on the streets to fend for themselves. With nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to, many end up in the trafficking industry. The majority never make it past their teen years. It is the sobering reality of most orphans who are forced to leave the only place of safety they know. The statistics are staggering. It is one of the many reasons adoption advocates fight so very hard to get children out of orphanages before it is too late. They know.
Here's the thing...
Jonathan has a matter of DAYS to find a family. Mere DAYS!
Can you guess what happened??? A family came forward. Miraculously, everything fell into place for Jonathan to be rescued....
The Mickschl Family has seven beautiful children, four biological, one adopted from Russia, and two children with Down syndrome adopted from Ukraine. They are currently in the process of adopting Jonathan, a 16 year old, from Eastern Europe.
They are in need of $13K by the end of the month. The prices for this adoption continue to increase due to a delay in submission, adopting a healthy, older child, and the fact that the World Cup will be in Kiev this year when they will be traveling.
The Mickschl's are hosting an iPad Giveaway to raise funds to bring Jonathan home. You can go HERE to enter.
*from my friend Stephanie Wilson
GiGi's Playhouses are Down syndrome awareness and educational centers that provide resources, specialized teaching, and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. All programs are free to families, are therapeutic in nature, and range in age from pre-natal diagnosis thru adulthood. With multiple locations across the country, they seek to increase positive awareness of Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community. We know that by helping individuals with Down syndrome reach their highest potential, we can change outdated perceptions that people may have. The end result is a world that is empowered with knowledge, compassion, and inspiration – what a better place for all of us!
GiGi's Playhouse Bradley/Bourbonnais IL needs your help! For every Facebook "like" the Brown & Brown Chevrolet Hyundai RV Center page gets in the month of April they will donate $1 to our Playhouse up to $3,000. Thank you for supporting GiGi's Playhouse Bradley/Bourbonnais!
We are the Bowser Family, and we are currently in the process of adopting two girls, a 4 year old from India and a 15 year old from Latv*a, named Kit*ja.
Kit*ja is precariously close to aging out in September. Aging out is a finality in an orphan's life. No longer available for adoption, Kit*ja will be given the equivalent to $90 American dollars and will walk away from everything she has ever known to face the reality of life on her own, alone. Forced to find shelter, she will find it with whomever and wherever she can. Because her skills are limited, she will turn to either a life of crime, drug abuse, selling drugs or selling her young body to support herself.
Statistics are against her: 85% of orphans who have aged out have a life expectancy of less than two years. Why? Because she will have either been murdered, overdosed or committed suicide because she had no family to offer her the love, support, affirmation, encouragement that she is important and destined for better things.
But this is not to be Kit*ja's fate... she has us.
But, we need you...
We need your help to bring our daughter home!
|picture of our Kit*ja during her time with us via the orphan host program|
Please go HERE to donate to the Bowser family's adoption fund to help rescue Kit*ja.
(thank you to my amazing friend, Elissa Lindsey, for sharing this need with me.)
There is an amazing giveaway going on over at The Stars Aligned to rescue this little princess....
This beautiful little face alone is enough to motivate me to give, but Lyla's story is just as beautiful. Please go HERE to read about the miracle that is taking place right now, and how you can help give this story a happy ending.
My sweet friend, Katrina Morriss is hosting a Fun Photo Fundraiser over on her blog...
Go HERE to find out how you can help the Morriss family bring home their beautiful daughter Carlene.
Thank you again for your hearts for orphans and for children with Down syndrome...
"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
Lots of love,