Sunday, November 28, 2010

Letters From Santa: A FUNdraiser!

In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I'd offer a fun way for you to give for a worth cause and receive something for your child in return.
For a donation of just $10, your child will receive a personalized, handwritten letter from Santa. It will be arrive on holiday themed paper with a special message just for your child. Imagine your child's excitement as (s)he gets a piece of mail from Santa!

This also could make a great gift for for a niece, nephew, cousin, or any other child in your life.
Best of all, the proceeds from these letters will go to help kids without families of their own.


Click the ChipIn (see sidebar) and donate $10 per letter you would like to receive; then
Click HERE to fill out the form with your child's information.

To receive a Santa letter for more than one child, you can make one donation ($10 per letter) and fill out multiple forms (one for each of your children). Plus, don't forget, with a single donation of $35 by December 15th, you will also receive an ornament from the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree. Please specify if you have a preference of the money going to the Older Girls' account or Older Boys' account.
The "Big Family" Discount:  For those of you who want to contribute but would have to skip a mortgage payment to get all your little ones their letters (haha), feel free to email me to "negotiate" a different donation amount! Every donation will help these kids, and that is the important part.

If you do not celebrate Christmas or Santa, but would still like to donate and receive a holiday letter for your child, I'm happy to modify the letter for you! When filling out the form, just make a note in the "Words that Describe My Child" box letting me know your holiday tradition. I will happily send a personalized letter, and your child will still experience the excitement that comes with receiving a special letter in the mail!

Reece's Rainbow has a grant account set up for all of the orphans with Down Syndrome. This particular fundraiser will go toward two sets of children: Older Boys, and Older Girls. Sadly, these children are the last to be adopted, and therefore, it isn't effective to set up individual grants for each child. Instead, the money for these children is set up in one account, and when a family chooses to adopt any of the children on the list, all of the money in the grant will be put toward that child's adoption expenses.
For more information, visit

Hurry! This FUNdraiser ends December 15th, so get your letter requests in today!

Click play to view a slideshow of the children your donation will help:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Rainbow Found: Sam's Update

Praise God, I've got great news to share today!

SAM HAS A FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam has officially been moved to the My Family Found Me page at Reece's Rainbow.  The family who plans to bring him home has contacted me to let me know the good news a bit early. They haven't made an official announcement yet, so I can't say more about them, but I know that God must think highly of the family to bless them with such a fantastic little boy. If they are good enough for God, then, by golly, they are good enough for me! :) 

Now, a new prayer request: There is reason to believe that Sam has already been transferred to an institution. If this is the case, he has already lost the comforts of the caregivers he has grown with, as well as the other children whom have been his only family for the past five years of his life. While the orphanage, or "baby house" (as they are often called), is a place filled with babies and young children, and nannies who try their best to care for their needs, an institution is a completely different place. I'm not going to go into the details in this post, but I do ask that EVERYONE who reads this pray that Sam, wherever he is, is kept safe in God's arms. He is blessed to have a family that is willing to do whatever it takes to bring him home, but that is completely dependent upon his health and survival.  So please, PLEASE pray that Sam is well protected. 

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
---1 Samuel 1:27

Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayer!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've had such trouble figuring out how to properly write this post. I want everyone who reads it to marvel at the message. I'm sure that I'm not going to portray it as well as I'd like, but here goes. Hope it inspires you anyway.

You may remember, fairly recently, that I tried using my engagement ring as incentive to raise funds for the adoption of gorgeous, precious, breathtaking little Danil. I had a lot of... interesting... feedback on the giveaway. There were comments of praise:
"Wow, I could never do that. You have such a big heart."
As well as comments that were, well, not so nice:
"I can't BELIEVE you'd do something like that. What ARE you thinking?"
And an overwhelming number of comments:
"Gee, I hope whoever wins it decides to let you keep it."

In fact, I was fed that last line so much, that I started to forget the whole idea behind the sacrifice. I started to question my intentions, question the value of what I was doing, ultimately even question my faith in God.

Before I go any further, I'd like you to consider the gravity of that last one.
A sacrificial act on my part, leading to others pulling me away from God.
(Please, just internalize that for a moment; do you realize how dangerous our words can be?  For every doubt you place upon a heart, there are those that have already come before you, doing the same, and those that will come after you, doing the same. Those questions build like a wall, making it harder to hear God's call.)

I'm not trying to be dramatic. It's just the truth. As more people questioned, I started to have doubts. Maybe it wasn't God telling me to give up the ring. Maybe I was just being overly emotional, seeking acceptance through self-sacrifice. If it wasn't God, then maybe I didn't hear Him any other times, either. And in fact, I'm not getting any answers I want lately, so it doesn't even seem as if He's really listening to me. Do I really believe that He cares? That He understands? That He is really even here?

So there was little ol' me, acting of such little faith. Thinking selfishly about whether I was getting what I wanted from this ring, how much I should get to keep it, why I deserve to have my favorite possession of all time. Me. Me. Me.

And just like that, He spoke once more, and reminded me again of His grace, His worthiness, His divinity.

You see, before I started making it all about me, it was about Him. About a night that I couldn't sleep, about the photo of a boy that I couldn't get out of my mind. About an unrelenting voice telling me, "You have a ring, and it will bring him home."

A day after answering the call, I was given the message. Danil has a home.

A few days later, I sent an email to a very dear friend. In it, I wrote,  
"In my wild fantasies, the person who ends up with the ring decides (s)he doesn't really need it either, and decides to do the same thing for another child.  Then the next person does the same thing... and it goes on and on, and the silly diamond ring brings all sorts of families together, because everyone realizes life is so worth so much more than a silly diamond ring.  A girl can dream, right?)
Before everyone else felt the need to tell me what they wanted, or what I should want, God spoke, and told me what He wanted. He could move mountains to bring families together.  If a loaf of bread and five fishes can feed the masses, surely a ring could help bring children home, right?

Of course, I never mentioned this to Molly, the winner of the ring. In fact, she had written me (right about the time I was feeling terribly bitter about the whole thing) that she was so excited to have won, that she had been searching for a three stone ring for herself and couldn't be more thrilled about winning it.This was exactly what she had been searching for!
Bitter me only took it as salt in an open wound. When you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. So I stayed quiet and let her revel in her excitement.

Soon after, the day came to send the ring off to its new home. I had gone through my stages of grief, and was finally at acceptance, or at least, as close as I thought I could be.
It struck me as a bit funny that the cashier at the post office had a ring on every finger. It was awkward when I explained the what and why of my mailing (I needed her help; it's not as if I send valuables on a frequent basis.) I was no longer angry, no longer bitter, but a bit sad as I wrote the check. And sadder still as I took the receipt to an object that was no longer mine. Sadness was in danger of consuming me.
So I prayed. I prayed that God give me peace. That He fill me with such a peace, and such an obvious sign that this was from Him, that I'd no longer be able to doubt His involvement. All I needed to know this was His call, and I wouldn't be sad anymore.

I came home, opened my laptop, and discovered a message.
It was from Molly.
The message was simple.
I was thinking of using the ring for a raffle at my Christmas Angel Tree party-what do you think?

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for reminding me that you know all, you see all, and that faith can move mountains. And thank you for knowing when I needed to receive that message.
The time the email was sent: 5:40pm
The time my receipt printed: 5:50pm
(Did I mention the cashier had to change the register tape and reprint my receipt? Those rings on her fingers made it take a bit long... somewhere around ten minutes.)

Have faith. Let Him move mountains through you.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Rainbow: Sam

Each year, Reece's Rainbow holds a huge Christmas fundraiser for all of the RR kids.

Since I wasn't a part of the RR community last year, this is my first time as a Christmas Warrior. I'm excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of one little boy who stole my heart the first time I saw him!

So here he is, the latest rainbow that I think everyone needs to see:  Sam!
Sam is almost 5 and in danger of being transferred soon

From the RR website:
Date of Birth: December 2005
Gender: Male

Eyes: Blue
Hair: light brown
Character: active, content  

Sam is a sweet muffin with giant blue eyes and a heart of gold.  He is described as significantly delayed, but this could be from his quiet and content nature.   He lived with his family for nearly a year before he was removed from the home and placed in the orphanage.   He does have a functional systolic murmur and is slightly farsighted.   He is able to walk and participate with the group, but prefers to play by himself.  He needs a loving family who can help him heal from the loss he has suffered at home, and learn to love, BE loved, and enjoy life again.    He is blessed to still be at the baby house.  We have LOTS of new pictures available of Sam, and will be advocating adamantly for him to fundraise and to find a family.   He will truly thrive in a loving family environment, you will just watch him blossom!

Look at those eyes! How can you not completely fall in love with this gorgeous child?
Shortly after I signed on to be Sam's Christmas Warrior, an amazing blogging mama decided to hold a fundraiser for Sam. Her fundraiser was HUGE! It brought in a lot of money, and because of it, Sam's grant account already has over $14,000 in it!
So, why does he need more?

Look at his birthdate.  He turns five in one month.  Sam is in very serious danger in of being
without a family the rest of his life.

I'm asking for TWO things right now.
1. Prayer- Please, send a prayer to God that, TODAY, God brings Sam's family forward. Someone out there is meant to be this child's family.  Today, if we ask Him to speak to their hearts, I believe they WILL step forward and he will be coming home soon. (And, for those of you who typically do not pray, could you try it just this once? Consider the harm in praying for Sam... then consider the harm in NOT praying for Sam.)


2. A donation. Whatever amount you can give, be it $1 or $1000, gives Sam that much quicker a chance to come home. The more money in his grant account, the less money his family will have to earn or raise, which means they can hurry onto a plane and bring him home!

If you donate $35 or more to Sam's Christmas account , you will receive an ornament from Reece's Rainbow with Sam's photo on it (for donations received by December 15th.) Please give a donation today! All donations through Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible. To donate, just click the ChipIn below and follow the instructions. It's safe, quick, and easy, and the money goes straight to his account through Reece's Rainbow.

Thank you for your gift!

Monday, November 1, 2010


(from my excel sheet):
Molly Auble 505 704

Using, the winning number was 565, so it was a solid win for Molly!

Congratulations to Molly!  Special thanks to Stephanie for preparing the paperwork and shining up the ring.  Look at it sparkle!

The total value the giveaway prize:  $2,600

The total value of the life you have helped save: Priceless

Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to Danil's Last Hope. Because of you, we raised a total of $2,005 to contribute to Danil's adoption grant. Even more importantly, though, a wonderful family made the decision to bring Danil into their home. You can read about their adoption journey here (they have an amazing story, already, and I am so confident that they are the perfect family for this precious child.)

Want another chance to give to Danil (and another chance to win a cool prize?) Lisa is giving away a brand new laptop on this blog (scroll down to Danil's photo and the laptop for the details.)  All monies raised will be going to Danil's adoption fund, and gets him another step closer to home!

And just a final word:

When I started this fundraiser, it wasn't without fret. I didn't like the idea of giving away my engagement ring. The truth is, I LOVE this ring. It is beautiful and shiny and, well, certainly the nicest thing I have ever owned. But I felt such a strong push on my heart to do so, and it wouldn't leave my mind, so I knew holding on to this ring was not an option.
I had no idea that, a few states away, a family was praying and feeling the same strong push on their hearts to make the decision to adopt the very same little boy that I had fallen in love with.  So, without knowing anything more, I decided to start this fundraiser with hopes that it would bring in a full grant for Danil.  Certainly, I felt, a child with a full grant would quickly find a home.

We didn't bring in a full grant, but Danil did find a home. After his family made the decision, then saw this fundraiser in his name, they knew it was God's confirmation to them that yes, this is indeed the right decision. And because of this, I feel a huge satisfaction knowing that my simple little act is literally helping save a life.  Lots of people have questioned me, even more people have given me praise, telling me what a generous giver I am, and that they could never make such a sacrifice.

I want you to deeply consider this "big sacrifice" that I am making, and I want you to ask yourself, "COULD I do the same?"
What sacrifice am I truly making? How much have I really done?
The truth is, it didn't take much on my part. I'm parting with an object. Yes, the object holds lots of sentiment and significance, but isn't a life worth so much more than that?  Really, can't I do so much more?
As I sit in my cozy house, with heat, electricity, running water, television, internet, as my husband's heads off to his job, earns his solid paycheck, drives our second vehicle, brings home the occasional take-out dinner (because we sometimes just don't feel like eating the food that we've got in our kitchen,) as we whine about having to pick up SO many toys each evening, and I complain about ALL the laundry, the never ending pile of laundry (that I have to go ALL THE WAY to the basement to wash!)...
we have so much. And that isn't a bad thing, but really, let's think about what these orphans need.
A roof.
Food on the table.
Someone to tuck them in at night, and to comfort them when sick.

Why don't we do more?
Why does "giving away a ring" seem so huge to us? Truly, what would happen if we all asked the questions:
Do I have a roof I can share?
Do I have food that I can share?
Can I tuck a child into a bed at night?
Can I comfort a crying child when he is sick?

If we answer honestly, there are many, many of us who can say yes.

So the question is,
Why won't you do more? If you say, "I just can't share my roof, my food, a bed", what CAN you do?

I hope that I leave you with a slightly bad taste in your mouth.
I thank you for giving to Danil, really, I truly am SO grateful to each of you. But since I know that you care at least a little (you wouldn't have given anything if you don't care even a little,) so now I hope that you feel a desire to do more.  Because these are children. Children without homes. Without food. Without families.  And as much as we can complain that it is a societal issue, that saving one life won't stop the problem, that we have lots of other causes that are important and worth fighting for (those are all true), these are just kids. Just like my three kids that I feed and clothe each day, that I tuck in at night, that I comfort when ill. They are kids, and they need us. Because if not us, then who?

Thank you again for all your help! Because of you, this is no longer Danil's LAST Hope!