Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Your Big Whopping Opportunity To Do Good, AND The Big Holiday Shopping Giveaway For Fun! UPDATED

UPDATE!  You did it!  The account qualifies for the matching grant!  Please keep it going, we've drawing a winner for $200 of giftcards on Friday!

LAST UPDATE!!!  We have a winner!   Ilze Lackaja, check your email, you've won the cards!  Many thanks!

(Psst! You may get $200 in gift cards this week from this blog and change a child's life!)

But let's start at the beginning....

People who have been reading this blog a long time know that children with special needs—who also need a family—have a particular pull on my heart. When I became aware of the conditions many of these children live in abroad—in orphanages that are overfull, understaffed, poor because their government decides not to fund them, and care ranges from poor but humane to examples of outright human rights abuse—I knew something had to be done. There are people working hard on ending this tragedy, both within their own countries and abroad. In the meantime, one way to address the lack of care and medical attention these children receive was to advocate for a time honored way of caring for orphans—adoption. Look past the special needs, and each of these children needs a family.

First, you helped me raise money for an adoption grant for a child called Tori—now a happy, chattering girl named Reagan getting treatment for her spina bifida in Texas with her family.

Next, you helped me raise money for an adoption grant for a boy with significant CP named Anthony—now a thriving son of two parents in Iowa, who have since adopted domestically another son with special needs, and they are pregnant with another child! I got to meet and hug Anthony (A.J.) this summer. He is a sweet boy with deep needs this particular family is able to meet well, and he is clearly happy.

Next, you helped me raise money (wow, did you!) for an adoption grant for a girl named Harper, who had the difficult medical combination of HIV and HepC. Two weeks after the grant was funded, Harper’s country took her off the list for adoption—she had been tapped for a domestic adoption, and those get priority. The grant organization allowed the grant money to be moved to the Massachusetts family’s choice of another child with special needs on their list—a little girl with a rare blood disorder now named Deanna. She goes to school, charms her parents, and apparently does some great ballet.

And of course, many of you helped us raise money to help fund the travel and facilitator costs of our adoption of Alex, who is now 7 years old, learning to walk, and in kindergarten. His home country had expected him to live in a bed the rest of his life.


Renee's four kids, after being home for a few months
Here’s the deal. You make good friends going through such an adoption process. Renee is one of those friends. She adopted around the same time as us (she and her husband were thinking of adopting Alex, and we were thinking of adopting the little girl who is now her daughter! But God placed both children in the right families.). She has helped us enormously with her good humor and her frankly phenomenal background as a social worker and foster parent working with traumatized and special needs children (that is: we’ve tapped her wisdom more than once!). She adopted a little girl, as I said, when we went through our adoption. Her daughter also has significant CP, like Alex. She campaigned (successfully) for most of her new daughter’s friends to be adopted as well—and they have been! Then she and her husband went to adopt again—three more children with a variety of special needs. Now, they are doing their dossier to go back one more time, to do another multiple child adoption. They are in a position to be able to care for multiple children with special needs, and really thrive on the big family reality. But the adoption costs are frankly huge. Few people have that kind of money lying around.

They have a grant through Reece’s Rainbow (a 501c3 organization that sets up adoption grants for people doing overseas special need adoptions). The idea is people donate to the grant fund, and when the family has the official call to proceed with the adoption, Reece's Rainbow disburses the funds to the family for travel, living in country, and facilitator costs. The funds may only be used for adoption related expenses in country. Americans can write off the donation on their tax returns, if they wish. Renee’s first daughter just had major surgery this week. She was awarded a matching grant of $1000 if her RR grant account got up to $2250 by October 31. Renee obviously needs to focus on her hospitalized daughter (and other kids) this week. The matching grant is a great opportunity, although ill-timed. So…we’re raising the funds for their family! We can do this, people!

Here's what you do to enter the giveaway:

1. Donate any amount right here at their Reece's Rainbow account (that means $1 is possible, but $5 would be nice. Or more if you have it! I will not know the amount of the donations, FYI) and tell me you donated through the Rafflecopter widget below.  A donation gets you three entries to win a boatload of just in time for the holiday shopping gift cards, donated by various friends of Renee (at this point, the cards total $200!*). 

2. And each day you tweet or do a linked facebook status on the giveaway, and tell me on the Rafflecopter widget below, and you get another entry!

We’ll keep this running until October 31. The winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter on November 1. So please everyone: think about this and donate if you can.  Share this far and wide. With a matching grant, even the littlest donation will help a lot. And they have a significant way to go—our adoption of a single child from the same country cost about $22,000. And it was worth it, but it is a lot of money. If you can donate $5 or more, you help a child find a family, get medical treatment, and make a remarkable family in the USA very happy.

And icing on the cake?: You can win your Christmas shopping funds just like that! Thanks everyone!

More on Renee's family and adoption process:

*Current gift cards for the giveaway: $50 Visa card, $50 Pink Calyx Jewelry card, $30 Amazon card, $25 IHop Card, $10 Applebees Card, $10 ITunes card, and one more $25 gift card (store uncertain, give me a few days!)  Thanks to Lisa, Jennifer, Vera, Mary, and Cristy for these!  If you have one you wish to donate to this giveaway, please let me know!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Can't see the Rafflecopter widget that enters you in the giveaway?  Click here to go to their website!)


Jonathan Potter said...

Donated and posted a link at Korrektiv.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Thank you!