Monday, November 09, 2009

Reece's Rainbow and the Angel Tree

Many of you who have followed our blog for awhile are aware that we first learned about our girls through Reece's Rainbow. Reece's Rainbow is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to advocating for orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs. Reece's Rainbow does not act as an agency in any way but simply works to find families for children who are cast aside by their societies because of the stigma of their needs.

A large portion of the work that Reece's Rainbow does is collecting donations to be used as grants for children. There are many families interested in adoption, but oftentimes the cost seems overwhelming. A typical international adoption costs on average about $25,000. While that sounds like a lot, most reports list the average price for a car in 2009 to be $20,000. And if you're going to spend $20,000, is it better to spend it on the life of a child or a new car?

That said, it's easy to get a loan for a car. It's not usually as easy to get a loan for an adoption. There's that small problem of collateral, you see. :) And for most people, coming up with $25,000 in a relatively short time frame--usually one year or less--can be completely out of reach.

That's why Reece's Rainbow works to secure donations, both for children who do not have committed families and for families who are already committed to a child and are working to bring that child home.

Every Christmas, Reece's Rainbow hosts their Christmas Angel Tree. Running from November 1-December 31, 2009, the Christmas Angel Tree is the most important fundraiser of every year, and historically also corresponds to the highest number of children finding their "forever families" as well. Their goal is to raise $1000 or more for each of the nearly 200 waiting children with Down syndrome. When you donate $35 or more for a child on the Christmas Angel Tree you will receive a beautiful porcelain photo ornament of your sponsered child. Last year, my in-laws sponsored a child in my name (Annalise, scroll down to find her) and the beautiful ornament with her sweet face will be hanging on our tree again this year.

The Christmas Angel Tree only highlights orphans with Down Syndrome, but there are many other children waiting for families as well.

Two of the other children who are currently waiting for a family are Cathryn and Connor. Because we like to adopt siblings, I am advocating for Cathryn and Connor this Christmas in the hopes that by increasing their grant fund a family will be able to step up to adopt them. I have added a Chip-in to the side of our blog. By clicking on it, you will be able to donate money directly to Cathryn and Connor's grant fund through Reece's Rainbow. All donations are tax-deductible. Since Cathryn and Connor are not part of the Christmas Angel Tree, you will not receive an ornament for donating to their fund. Perhaps I will try to come up with something I can send to people who donate. :)

And the inevitable question...why don't we adopt them? :) :)

At this point we are not ready to start another adoption. The girls have not yet been home for 6 months. While we do not know if God is finished growing our family, we are not being called to adopt again just yet. But these two children have touched my heart with their sweet faces and the knowledge that they have so much potential in a family with resources to help them. Adopting siblings is a big challenge, but we are proof that it can be done. For us, the benefits to our children of having a sibling who has experienced the same history as they have far outweigh the relatively minor difficulties associated with bring home more than one child at a time.

Please consider donating any amount to Cathryn and Connor. If every person who had ever visited our blog (over 106,000 hits) had donated $1 every time they visited, we could have fully funded 5 adoptions by now! It may not seem like much, but even a gift of $1 can be that extra little push a family needs to bring their child or children home.

If you are not interested in sponsoring Cathryn and Connor, please consider visiting the Christmas Angel Tree and sponsoring one of the other children. They all desperately need the love, care, and hope that families bring. What better Christmas gift could you give to a child than a family?

7 comments:

Audrey said...

Oh...I love these two little sweeties. I pray that their family finds them very soon.

Courtney said...

I agree Audrey!

Thanks to whomever made the first donation! I'm so excited for these two cuties to find their family soon!!

Tina said...

I didn't know that November is National Adoption Month! The timing of this post is so appropriate. I pray that other families are encouraged to do the same thing as you and Mark and adopt siblings! I'm not sure what I would do without mine.

Marsha said...

Courtney,
I challenge every single person that follows your blog to have their children read this post. Then have a discussion with them about the plight of children less fortunate than themselves. I am going to challenge my children to cut back on their Christmas spending this year and donate it to these beautiful children instead. If they shave just $1 off of every gift they plan on buying for friends and family, it will make a sizable sum in the end! I may even print out your post here (with your permission, of course) and put it with a "collection cup" on both our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables this year. Every child deserves a loving family and a chance at a good life.
Marsha

Courtney said...

This is awesome, Marsha! Thanks for the challenge and I hope many people take you up on it!

Courtney said...

Oh, and you are of course welcome to use the post in any way you like! Feel free to print it or post it to other blogs, etc. to get the word out. :)

Milena said...

I have nominated your blog for an award! Stop by my blog for Nadya, at nadyaneedsalovingfamily.blogspot.com to pick it up!