What if by some cruel twist of fate I woke up one morning to find that the tables were turned, and my beautiful and perfect Lily were lying in an orphanage, somewhere in Eastern Europe?
What if she had lived out the past 16 months of her life with no mommy and daddy to love her, no brothers and sisters to dote on her every day?
What if instead, she spent most of her waking hours in a crib, staring at the slats of the bars and playing with only her fingers or feet for comfort? What if she cried herself to sleep at night, because there was nobody who cared or had the time to attend to her when she woke up scared or lonely or sad?
What if she didn't eat when she was hungry, go to sleep with a full belly, or have her basic needs met with loving care?
What if my Lily stayed in that orphanage for many years, never leaving it to see the world around her? What if the only connection she had to the outside world was an occasional trip to the playground on the orphanage grounds...but for the most part she was locked away, an outcast of society?
What if she never received the help she needed through therapy with her beloved Karen, never had the opportunity to develop skills, to grow, to learn...
What if Lily never got the medial attention she needed when she was first born, had attention given to that tiny hole in her heart that doctors watched so carefully...what if she survived simply because she existed, devoid of any quality of life?
What if she were never celebrated for the treasure that she is, never nurtured or praised or adored? What if there were no parties or gifts or songs to commemorate that beautiful day she made her entrance into the world, nothing that distinguished that day from any other day of her secluded and monotonous life?
What if, after being shut away in that orphanage for five years, she woke one morning to find herself being whisked away from the only home she'd ever known- however stark or isolated- to the horror that is the Institution? What if, because of the inability of any five year old, let alone one with cognitive delays, she could not comprehend what had happened to her? What if there were no one to explain to her why her head was being shaved, her tiny arms tied to a crib, or where her friends had gone, and why no one was coming back for her to save her from the nightmare that was now her life?
What if that were my Lily's fate?
What would I do?
In the words of a dear friend.....
I would beg, borrow, and obsess myself to make sure she knew love and felt valued and wanted. If Lily were alone on the other side of the ocean, I would find her and rescue her no matter what the cost or how much dignity needed to be compromised.
Albina is my Lily.
She's no more deserving of the fate that awaits her than my child.
She is a beautiful and precious treasure, waiting for someone to recognize her value.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
If you're new here, Albina is an orphan in Eastern Europe. Because she was born with Down syndrome, she is considered a burden to her society, an outcast to be hidden away.
An anonymous family has committed to matching dollar for dollar donations for her up to $5,000. So far, through the generosity of so many like-minded people, she now has $2,873 in her grant fund on Reece's Rainbow. If she receives $5,000, her grant fund will be $10,000. Enough to entice a family to step forward to adopt her.
I have a feeling her sweet little face is enough- but due to the nature of international adoptions, it's going to take a pile of money for someone to rescue her.
I don't want money to be the thing that stands in the way of Albina being given a chance at a normal life.
I've seen this readership respond in monumental ways to the needs of orphans over the past 6 months. Just last week, Kareen met her family for the first time- in large part because of what many of you who are reading right now sacrificed and gave for her.
Peter and Olga are going to be rescued soon as well, and their families are deep in the process of adopting them.
I truly believe it's just a matter of time until Albina's family comes forward for her. Maybe they're willing, but not sure they can commit without a large grant fund to help them. Maybe you're that family, and reading these words and looking at her beautiful face is all the convincing you need.
I know that there are those who will gladly give without any added incentive. But I'm so thankful for the generous hearts of those who decided to donate this fabulous prize just to make things fun:)
Canon Rebel Digital SLR camera
EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS Kit
estimated retail price $799.99
The new flagship of the EOS Rebel line, Canon EOS Rebel T2i brings professional EOS features into an easy to use, lightweight digital SLR that's a joy to use. Featuring a class-leading 18.0 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor and increased light sensitivity for low light photography, the EOS Rebel T2i also has an advanced HD Movie mode for gorgeous Full HD movies. Able to capture up to 3.7 frames per second, it's ready to go the minute it's picked up. Advanced Live View, a new wide-area screen, plus features like Canon's brilliant Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone features ensure brilliant photos and movies, easily. With some of the most advanced features of any digital SLR, it's simply the best Rebel Canon has ever created
The rules are simple.
Donate a minimum of ten dollars to Albina either on Reece's Rainbow or right here on my sidebar (they both go directly to her grant fund) and leave a comment on this post saying you did so.
Blog or Facebook about this giveaway and leave a comment saying you did so (one comment for blogging, one for FBing).
The giveaway ends June 1st at midnight. Random.org will pick a winner from the comment section, and we will announce that winner Thursday June 2nd.
What if Albina were rescued ....because of you ?