Sharing a little thanksgiving, hope and love.

For a good while now I have felt a gentle tugging at my heart that has only been magnified in this season of abundance.

I find myself asking: How can I show His love in a such a dark world?

I believe that we each have an opportunity to make a difference.

To change our way of thinking.

To show the world His love.

We are all spiritually programmed to need love in order to survive – to literally stay alive.

But what about those babies and toddlers that have never had a mother to rock them to sleep?  To kiss their tear-stained cheeks?  To whisper words of love, encouragement and protection into their ears?

Meet Eric.

Eric is a darling little boy with Down syndrome with bright blue eyes and blonde hair.  His speech is delayed, but he is medically healthy.  The similarities are overwhelming yet the differences are staggering.  While Charlie has a family that will love and support him as he grows, sweet Eric lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.  In some regions in Eastern Europe, parents who give birth to a baby with special needs – specifically Down syndrome – are not allowed to bring their babies home.  Instead they are sent to live in orphanages and when they are 4 or 5 moved to institutions.

Eric who is already 3 1/2 will likely be sent to an institution in the spring if he is not adopted.  Once transferred into an institution, their lives are admittedly short. Roughly 85% die within the first year of being transferred into an institution due to neglect, lack of basic medical care and love.  And once in the institutions, most can then never be adopted.

Why am I sharing this seemingly hopeless situation with you?  I’ll admit it is overwhelming.  Yet I know that I have been called to raise awareness about orphans like Eric.  But sometimes the situation seems too big.  My one little voice surely won’t make a difference.  But working together we can.

Eric is a part of Reece’s Rainbow, an organization that works to find children housed in orphanages with Down syndrome and other disabilities who have been discarded at birth because of their special needs. Reece’s Rainbow then seeks out families for these children and helps each family fundraise to cover the cost of an international adoption.

So how does this translate into our daily lives?  There is hope for Eric, as there are many families who have gone through the qualifying process to adopt and are waiting to welcome a child with Down syndrome into their homes.  However, the biggest obstacle is raising the approximately $27,000 needed to complete an adoption in Eastern Europe.  This large fee covers the many flights, accommodations, travel within the country, translation fees for the dossier, a facilitation team who drives the parents to and from their appointments, medical check-ups for the child before they can leave the country, obtaining a visa for the child and on and on.

Which brings me back to this season of thanksgiving.  This is where you and I come in.  From now until December 31, I am sponsoring Eric and hoping to raise $1,000 to go towards his adoption fund through the Reece’s Rainbow Christmas Angel Tree program.

Would you consider making a donation to Eric’s adoption fund? Perhaps as a gift for friends, family, or for teachers, therapists, caregivers or doctors.

If you aren’t comfortable using the paypal chip-in donation you are welcome to donate directly through the donations option on the Reece’s Rainbow website. http://www.reecesrainbow.org.  Just specify that you are making a donation to “Eric 2 H”.

Or, if you aren’t able or don’t want to use paypal or a credit card, you can mail your donation directly to Reece’s Rainbow {which helps to avoid any paypal fees…}  Just send a check with “Eric 2H” in the memo to:

Reece’s Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885

Donations are tax deductible and go straight to Reece’s Rainbow.

As a thank you for any donation made over $35 {made before December 15th}, you will receive a Christmas ornament with Eric’s picture.

We are talking about saving the life of a child – literally.  Thank you to those who are willing to pray for Eric or make a donation to his fund.

I truly believe that the best way to effect change is by showing the world that all children have value.  All children are a blessing.  I believe this with all of my heart.  I can no longer sit back ignoring the situation – no good will come of that.  Sitting and crying over it won’t help, but working to raise awareness and raising funds to help offset the adoption expenses – is not only something I can do – but something I know will help to make a difference.

Would you like to make a difference with me?

48…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.  Luke 12:48 (NIV)

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