Friday, November 14, 2008

A Perfect Christmas Gift

Speaking of adoptions in my previous post leads me to a wonderful organization called Reece's Rainbow. This organization was formed by a mother of a 6 year old boy with Down syndrome to help families adopt children with DS from around the world. In many countries the children are sent to "orphanages" until around the age of 4 when they are transferred to a mental institution. At that point they receive no education, little medical care and will never leave if they manage to live. It is a constant race against time to get these children adopted before being sent to the institutions. On their website you can see children available for adoption now that are most at risk due to their age. You will also see how much money is in their grant fund. Reece's Rainbow accepts donations that become attached to a particular child and goes directly into their fund. This money is an adoption grant to ease the financial burden for the adoptive families as the average cost of an international adoption is $25,000. In 2 years, this wonderful group has helped 120 children find homes.

Have a person on your Christmas list that is hard to buy for? Give the gift of a family and make a donation to Reece's Rainbow in that person's name. They are currently running their Christmas Angel Tree fundraiser until Dec. 15 which allows you to sponsor children who remain unmatched. For a donation of $35 or more, donors will receive a beautiful porcelain ornament with your sponsored child's photo on the back to hang on your Christmas tree. They will send the ornament, along with a beautiful gift card, announcing your gift to the intended recipient while 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes towards the adoption of your sponsored child. Please consider a donation and help a child with Down syndrome find a home and know love. Imagine how different that child's Christmas could be next year...


Anonymous said...

Lets pray for the American children with DS and the other available 113,000 paper ready kids for adoption in the US foster care.
Lets also say a special prayer for Kim Emelyantsev who killed her DS baby that she adopted via ReecesRainbow. The rest of her children have been relinquished to the US foster care system while she serves her sentence.

Jessica said...

You always know it's gonna be negative comment when it's anonymous....sheez! So dear anonymous, I like how you started because it does tie into my previous post about adopting children in the US with DS which currently has a waiting list of 250 families. I'll take this opportunity to post the link to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati which maintains this list:

I also agree that Kim's child deserves a special prayer though I hope you're not suggesting that one bad apple ruins the whole orchard. Kim could just have easily ended up adopting domestically as you suggest with the same consequences. In this case it seemed a background check or homestudy was performed inadequately which could have happened whether Kim adopted in the US or abroad. Kim's case was certainly the exception and not the norm.

Further I'm not trying to promote domestic vs. international adoptions which seems to be the underlying intent of your comment (apologies if I read into incorrectly). ALL orphaned children deserve a chance to be raised in a loving family. However in many other countries there is no foster system so children with disabilities don't even receive basic care. They are institutionalized with no education, little medical care. Many die of neglect. In the US there is a waiting list for a child with DS while children overseas are languishing. Adopting either way particularly of a child with special needs deserves kudos in my opinion.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Angie said...

Yes, let's pray for all the children that need families (US and internationally). A child is a child is a child and they ALL need our prayers. As does the family you speak of. I sure hope you're praying for the children around the world as well as the US children that need families. And by the way, please try and use people first language. The poor baby you spoke of was a baby with DS not a 'DS baby'.

gillian said...

Thank you for posting about the Angel Tree at RR, Jessica!

So many beautiful children need homes and in just a few years over 180 children who happen to have Down syndrome have found loving forever families! WOW!!

Meredith said...

Hi Jessica- and anonymous too.

Thanks for posting about this! The RR angel tree project is the largest fundraiser of the year and also a really neat opportunity for people to be involved in a life-changing ministry that is literally saving lives. The ornaments are really nice too and it's amazing how people are so happy to receive one and know that their 'gift' is going to help a child find a home!

Yes, of course there are times when the system fails the children, and the case of the family which is referred to above is definitely one of those. I'd like to add, though, that Reece's Rainbow is simply a ministry that helps fundraise and find families for children. RR does not do homestudies, approve or disapprove of families to adopt, or have any say in who can or cannot take part. Each family has to use an approved homestudy agency and get permission both from their social worker and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services before being allowed to adopt- Reece's Rainbow had no connection to any of that part of the process.

Please, anonymous, when you comment about anyone's credibility, consider first that you may not know the entire story. Yes, this family had this circumstance. No, Reece's Rainbow did not have any control or any responsibility in that situation.

Feel free to visit my blog- we adopted two children with the assistance of the Reece's Rainbow ministry and our children are thriving and healthy now that they are home.