As Ava's 5th birthday is approaching I find myself constantly thinking about whether she would still be alive and what her life would be like had we not found her when we did. Disabled orphans around the world are sent to institutions when they reach a certain age, under the assumption that no one will want them. The orphanage director told us herself that no child from her orphanage had ever survived their first year at the mental institution. It's not because the caretakers don't care, it's not because they don't try. It's because there are so many orphans, and so few hands to help, so little funds, and supplies, and food, and medical help. Children are dying every day. And the most tragic part, is they are dying without anyone to hold their hand as they take their last breath. Just yesterday there was a painful reminder of this as we received news that a flu epidemic had spread through and taken the lives of some very special little girls from Reece's Rainbow whose families were unable to get there on time.
A woman named Andrea, who was volunteering to raise funds to improve the quality of life for Eastern European orphans a couple of years ago, haunted by the stories she read and the pictures she saw, decided to make a difference. Knowing she couldn't save all of them, she decided to try to save the ones she could. That is how Reece's Rainbow was birthed.
Our Ava is safe now. She never has to worry about spending the rest of her days tied to a bed laying in her own excrement with no blankets in the freezing winter. Many others have found safety and love as well. But still others are waiting for their fate.
You all have seen the miracles that we have witnessed with Ava. It is not because of our knowledge or competency as parents. It is because she is LOVED. It had nothing to do with money or medical supplies being sent to an orphanage, but everything to do with a Daddy who throws her up in the air and gives her towel swings after her bath, a mommy who rocks her to sleep at night and sings songs to her, brothers and sisters who play pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo, ride the horsie, and lets-see-who-can-crawl-to-the-toy first.
As Ava's birthday is approaching, I want to use this opportunity to spread awareness of children who so desperately need families. There are families who would take them if it wasn't for the costs involved.
For the next couple of weeks I am going to take a blogging break. We are celebrating this whole month of February Ava's birth and her adoption. I am so happy to have her in our family, but I don't want to forget those who are still there, awaiting the fate that Ava was spared.
There is a little girl who will be transferred soon to the mental institution. She has just turned 4. It is not too late for her to be adopted. I am hoping that you will help me spread the word about her and raise money for an adoption grant for her. When we committed to Ava, she came to us with a $1,000 grant. I am hoping to raise at least that much for little Yulia.......
I will put a donation link on my blog tonight (I'll need some time to figure out how to do it). I am not going to blog again for the whole month of February. I hope that you will help me spread the word about Yulia, help me raise a nice sized adoption grant for her.
On March 1st, I will let Ava draw a name from the hat. The random name drawn will win my digital camera, a Casio Exilim, with video camera. The camera that went with us to Ukraine and back, the camera that has captured all of Ava's accomplishments, a very special camera indeed. I may throw in something else too but you'll have to just wait and see.....
Link to my blog if you'd like. We can't change the whole world, but let's just see if together we can change Yulia's world! Please help me spread the word!