Thursday, September 30, 2010

How often do you get to save someone's life?

Serious post ahead. Back to humor on Monday!

I posted a seriously big bleg on behalf of a blogging buddy a few days ago. You folks, and our Loving God, answered that bleg BIG. And those of you who are long time readers, this will not come out of nowhere. But I am asking, indeed begging, for your help.

This "respect life" month, I am running a campaign to fund the adoption of a little girl I have never met, and probably never will. Her name is Tori, she is nearly five years old, and she has cerebral palsy. She was in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, and has recently been institutionalized, as is the practice in her country. If you want reading that will give you nightmares, read this Human Rights Watch report on the orphanage system and special needs children. Tori needs parents bad.

There are many people with big hearts and tough, realistic love who are willing and desiring to adopt special needs children, people who see them for the gifts from God that they are--real blessings to our families and our world. But the biggest hurdle for these families is the cost. International adoption is incredibly expensive. This program I love and respect, Reece's Rainbow, saw a problem (connecting special needs kids in dire situations with waiting parents), saw a possibility (change a life, change a family, change a culture, be a witness!), and saw a solution (advocacy for the vulnerable and allowing even strangers, like me, to fundraise for a child's future adoptive family)!

This may be a somewhat atypical way to "respect life," and by all means, do the things you normally do! Write letters to our government, staff pregnancy clinics, walk with women in crisis pregnancies. But I'm begging you, please take a few moments to spare a dollar or twenty or more for making it possible for Tori to have a family, and for a family to have Tori. A mental institution is no place for a normal four year old with cerebral palsy; the hard reality is that many of the children placed in that environment die an early death. But the joyful reality is...together, we can save this one, and she can have a much happier life. There are homecoming and "life beyond" stories all over Reece's Rainbow and through many other sites. We are working for the happy ending we know God wants!

I'd love to see $19,000 raised. That would almost fully fund the international adoption costs. I know, that feels crazy even typing it. But we will do what we can do, and honestly, I do think it is possible. I'm talking to groups, posting, writing articles, doing whatever I can do this month. But I am one small person. I need everyone's help.

If you cannot contribute to Tori's fund this month, please consider spreading the word for donations and her parents. And, of course, praying like there's no tomorrow. If anyone wants to help me in this campaign, please contact me. Thank you and God bless!


Back to our humor next week, but I ask you to track our progress at Help for Tori.


Rev. Dr. Laura said...

I am moved by the compassion for the needs of this child...Yet question where is the compassion for her living parents, who undoubtedly felt forced by the poverty and chaos and lack of options in their country to make this placement. They and other family members may well visit her where she is and be heartbroken if she were moved across the world and this were no longer possible....And she might feel the same way, as she is old enough to know them and have clear memories of her years at home. Through blogging I have learned of how many international adoptees (rarely actual orphans) grew up with deep pain and trauma from being taken from their home, family, and culture. They wish that the large sums of money going to transport selected children out of their countries were instead given to help produce changes that would reunite many more of them with their first families, or keep them from being institutionalized in the first place.

The Ironic Catholic said...

And this organization is working on that too. See their program "connecting the rainbow". People can certainly contribute to that.

People interested in adopting Tori can ask Reece's Rainbow for more information about her particular situation. But my understanding is that she has been an orphanage for a long time (very unlikely has memory of a home life), and is now in an mental institution designed for adults. As the human rights watch report says, many of these children die in such situations, and frankly, that seems to be what authorities want because people with special needs are considered sub-human. She needs out, now, that does not change; and we need to encourage the home culture to care for families that want to care for these children themselves.