This has been a hard post for me to write. I've been working on it for days. I think sometimes I feel like it's not really something I should be talking about - adoption. Its not like I've adopted, so who am I to talk? I figure too though that there are probably a lot of people in the same position as me. Even though I'm not adopting, I can still make a difference. And so can you!
It's National Adoption Month. Its being talked about in a lot of places now. Adoption. What does the word conjure up for you? For many it is a word filled with emotion - exciting, frightening and overwhelming. I think the sheer numbers alone overwhelm us. 147 million orphans. Can you even wrap your head around that number? I know I can't.
It hurts my heart to think of so many children without a mom and dad. With no family. I can't imagine how hard that must be. I look at my own life and know how very much my own family has blessed me and helped to shape who I am. They have given me hope, encouragement, courage and lots of love. I've always been thankful for my family. Learning about orphans though has given my thankfulness a whole new dimension.
I have learned recently that some people think we adopted Eliana. (These are obviously new friends.) I wasn't sure why until one friend said it was the bumper sticker on my car. (One for Reece's Rainbow.) Another friend said it was because I had talked about it. (I love to advocate for Reece's Rainbow.) In case anyone reading wonders - she isn't adopted. As a sweet friends says, she is "home-grown".
Though Eliana isn't adopted, it was her life that opened my eyes to so many things - including the need for parents to adopt special needs kids.
I found Reece's Rainbow after Eliana was born. We participated in the first Angel Tree the year she turned 1. That was 3 years ago. I've seen this ministry grow and flourish in that time. It's truly exciting.
Still there is such great need. For many families, money is all that stands in the way of them adopting. Will you join me in praying for these children and the families working to bring them home? If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit the Reece's Rainbow website. Over the next month, I'm advocating for Anya. If you would like to donate to her fund, you can do so by clicking on the chip-in button in the right side-bar. Any gift is tax deductible.
I truly want more people to know the joy of having a child with Down syndrome in their lives. I remember being so scared of the diagnosis at first. I wish I had known then what I know now.
I know though that I had to learn it myself - and some of it through great trials. Her first year was filled with so many challenges. And yet, the joy is also unmistakable. I've learned to slow down and to let go. I've learned to look at things differently. I know I have much yet to learn.
Her eyes. It was that feature that first told me that my daughter had Down syndrome. I didn't know when I first gazed at her eyes, that mine would be changed. I didn't know all that was in store for me. I had no way to know of the joy that was to come.
If you want to read a poignant and stirring blog post on adoption, please visit No Greater Joy Mom and her post called Reckless Abandon.
I want these children around the world to know the joy of a home. Of a family. Of kisses from a mom as she tucks them in bed. Of hugs from a Daddy that help them feel secure. Every child needs to be loved. Every child has gifts to give. Every child is a blessing. Please join me in praying for these children that need a family.