Orphans with Arthrogryposis

There are kids with Arthrogryposis all over the world who wait for a family to call their own. Every child should have a Mama and Papa to love them. Sadly many kids will never know the love of a family as they will live out their shortened lives in institutions. The children posted here are from Reecesrainbow.com If you can't adopt, you can donate to their grants on reecesrainbow.com Don't leave them to die in institutions.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Matching Grant for Laurel

Laurel has a MATCHING grant right now!! For every donation made right now it will be matched!

For beautiful Laurel we got an anonymous donor! This donor will match dollar for dollar any gift no matter how small to Laurel’s adoption fund until the end of Leap Day, February 29th thats TODAY at MIDNIGHT!

$1 becomes $2!

$10 becomes $20!!

$100 becomes $200!!!

Donate here: http://reecesrainbow.org/26309/laurel

Lets get her to at least $9000 if not $10,000

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life at 15

Every time I see a picture of Laurel my heart shatters. 
Her smile could light up a room and yet she is in an institution because her limbs don't work like everyone else's. 

I too have limbs that don't work like everyones else's but at 15 I was not in an institution. 
I was fortunate enough to be born into a society that was ready to help me reach my fullest potential despite having arthrogryposis in all limbs but Laurel's parents were likely encouraged to put her in an orphanage.  

Laurel's arms and legs look so much like mine do and it stings to know she was rejected because of her arm's and leg's, I too have experienced rejection based solely on my disability but not to the degree Laurel has. 

When I compare my life at 15 with Laurel's life at 15, it takes my breath away.  


I started High School the year I was 15. I was studying Earth Science, Civics, Algebra and English. I had a right to an education under the I.D.E.A. Law and the ADA required my school to be accessible. My school district also got a $12.5 million new school that year, pictured below.

Laurel has probably never been formally educated. She is 15 and probably can't read or write or do simple math because nobody has ever taught her....

By the age of 15 I had stopped receiving physical and occupational therapy because I was extremely functional. And I hadn't had orthopedic surgery for 6 years. I was able to stand, walk, climb and go down stairs, I dressed and undressed myself, I could use the bathroom independently, I could shower independently, I could feed myself, and I could prepare food. I could do all of this thanks to extremely dedicated parents, constant physical and occupational therapy for the first 9 years and orthopedic surgery. The surgeries and therapies paid for by government programs and my parents private insurance. 

Laurel has probably never been treated by an orthopedic surgeon and she has probably never been treated by a physical or occupational therapists. Therefore she is likely very, very dependent on other people to meet her daily needs because she has never been given an opportunity to learn to self-help skills

On a Friday night I was hanging out with my friends

Laurel's Friday nights are probably like every other night, someone probably just puts her in her bed... 

At 15 I started drivers education and at 15 and a half I received my learners permit

At 15 and a half Laurel has just SIX more months at her good orphanage (I don't care how good an orphanage is, its still an orphanage) 

My 16th birthday was a VERY exciting day! Not only did I have the day off school for a federal holiday I was now legally allowed to test for my drivers license and a few months later my Dad bought me a used car to drive. My Mom made by a pumpkin roll (our tradition since I was little). I passed my licensing test the first time 6 days after I turned 16 and drove away from my parents house by myself a week after I turned 16. 

Laurel turns 16 in August... and shortly thereafter a car will pull up in front of her orphanage and instead of being given the keys she'll be put inside and driven away from the only "home" she's ever known. She may not even be allowed to take her wheelchair with her (her only form of mobility right now). That car will take her to adult mental institution where she will likely be confined to a bed all day, every day. She  will legally be un-adoptable. 

By the time I was 17 I started taking college classes

If Laurel isn't adopted by August turning 17 will be completely uneventful for Laurel, she may not even be told its her birthday. 

Please share this so that when Laurel turns 16 she wakes up in America with her family celebrating her existence on this planet! 

Share.Donate.Be Hope. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Does Age Determine A Child's Worth?

What do all these people have in common? Age didn't matter. Whether young or old, they were able to live their dreams. Ask yourself does age indicate your worth? Does age dictate what you will accomplish in your lifetime? Whether you are 9 or 79, there are no limits to what you can accomplish. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Right?

Jason O’Neill (9) started his own business called Pencil Bugs, selling hand-made bug-like pencil toppers.

Asya Gonzalez (13) launched Stinky Feet Gurlz, a company that designs, markets and sells 1940s-inspired t-shirts and apparel. Her company also donates a portion of every shirt sold to She's Worth It!, a nonprofit organization she founded, dedicated to ending human trafficking and child sex slavery.

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish her first novel (Little House on the Prarie series) until she was 65 years old.

Japanese dancer and choreographer Kazuo Ohno did not undertake formal dance lessons until his late twenties and was 43 years old when he performed his first recital at Kanda Kyoritsu Hall in Tokyo in 1949.

Sab Koide, 85, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., began running at the age of 56. Since then he’s completed 60 marathons.

For children left behind in orphanages and institutions, each year that passes is a reminder that the chance of adoption diminishes as they grow older. All that promise, all that is to be discovered together as a family starts to fade as a child grows older. We overlook the sweet smile of an older child who wants to be part of a family. A child who can discover a new lifetime of experiences with the right family. A family that believes in the child. These children just want to be part of a family. One wish. One dream.

I am asking you to believe in Laurel, a sweet 15 year old girl that has until August to find a family or she will be turned onto the streets. Laurel has arthrogryposis like my son Owen. She is in a wheelchair and will benefit from therapy and proper medical care. Large families and older parents are allowed to adopt in her country. How amazing for Laurel to be a part of a large loving family? If you cannot adopt, please donate to her Reece's Rainbow account. The more money she has in the account, the easier it will for her family to commit to her.

What will Laurel's family help her accomplish? What can love and support do for Laurel? So many dreams and hopes will be realized with one donation, one share via social media, one mention to a friend that may be considering adopting.

Please join me in helping Laurel find her forever family. Share. Donate. Bring Hope.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How You Can Bring Hope to 12 in 2012

There are an estimated 147 million orphans worldwide, many with special needs, that do not have access to critical medical care or to a supportive loving family.

Before I had kids, I never gave a thought to adoption or what happens to the kids that get left behind. Then I had kids and I understood how important the love and support of a family can help a child. Then I had my son Owen who has arthrogryposis. More than ever I realized how critical access to therapies and excellent medical care is for special needs kiddos. I can only imagine what Owen's life would be like if he didn't have access from the day he was born to therapists, doctors and more.

I used to think that one person couldn't make a difference, that it wasn't worth trying. I quickly learned how wrong I was. I am lucky to be on a team of dedicated women who have adopted special needs children, advocate for special needs children and believe that one person will make a difference. And it all starts with the first step.

We have created a project called "Bring Hope to 12 in 2012." Our goal is to raise awareness and increase financial support for 12 orphaned children with arthrogryposis overseas (Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific). We plan to raise a minimum of $5,000 for each child featured on the Reece's Rainbow site. Once a month one child will be highlighted on this blog (http://arthrogryposisadoption.blogspot.com/). Each week we will post an update on our fundraising, answer questions from readers and ask for your help sharing the news.

The Three-Step Plan

  • Raise a minimum of $5,000 for each child featured from the Reece's Rainbow site.

  • Help connect one of the featured 12 children with his/her forever family

  • Crowdsource additional funds for families currently adopting an AMC child

How can you help?
Each month we are asking you to contribute $12 to support one child. It is a small amount (this could be a few trips to Starbucks, a lunch out, an iTunes album etc) that can make a big difference in the lives of these children. Can you contribute more? Absolutely. We want to set the goal within reason and let you decide what you can contribute. If you can commit to pledging just $12 for the remaining 11 months ($132 for the year!), we greatly appreciate your support.

Share our blog posts on your Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+, Instagram and YouTube channels. We will be posting some videos in the upcoming months and a simple share via social media can help us raise awareness and find a family. You can even add our badge to your Pinterest account under Causes You Support. One simple action can make a world of difference to 12 kids.

Each post and tweet will offer a quick link for you to donate and offer your support.

If you tweet, please reference the hashtag #bringhopeto12 and if you are inspired to write a blog post, please use the tag "bring hope to 12" and offer a link back to our site.

We will also be posting badges that you can add to your blog or Facebook profile to help raise awareness.

Why Get Involved?

You will make a difference by reading our post today and taking a minute to read about our featured child, Laurel. If we have inspired you, then please share this link with others.

2012 is the year of Hope, the year we saved 12 children.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Anastasia's family!

Introducing the future Eva Claire and her Mama!

Many of us have loved this little girl so much and longed for her to find a family. Now one is committed to her. Will they be able to give her the therapy she needs? Well her new mom is an occupational therapist! In fact, that's how they met!

That's right, I said MET!

Go here to read the full story. It's a great read, and full of pictures! Then check out the other entries that will spoil you with even more pictures and *gasp* a video!

Go here to help donate towards their adoption. 

Anastasia was a patient little girl. And I can't think of a better family!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Update on Victoria

Click here to read a plea for someone to adopt beautiful Victoria!

Many of you heard that they found Igor! He has been relisted for adoption. We are thrilled! They found him in Victoria's institution according to an online source.  Luckily for Victoria and Igor this place has been wonderfully open to adoption and willing to get outside help! An organization called Life2Orphans is working with this institution. Reports show that after some individual attention from L2O, Victoria is up and getting around on her strong arms! A great sign! Stories of Victoria's independent and nurturing nature are coming out too. She wants to be a little mommy. She's a doll!

There are a lot of pictures up of Victoria now! We have a few in our possession from Reece's Rainbow, but the mother load of pictures is here. There are some of Victoria smiling, surrounded with toys, in a pretty dress, riding a big yellow car and showing off the biggest grin in the world while being held by a clown! I can imagine her one day in a loving family, taking similar pictures with a beautiful head of hair!

Because of Life2Orphans, Victoria is getting attention, love, physical therapy, food and more! Click here to see their ministry. Note the first picture is of sweet Victoria!

Please contact Reece's Rainbow here if you have questions. Mention you're interested in Victoria, born December 2002, in Orphanage 1.

We cannot say this of every child we advocate, but it's true of Victoria: She has huge potential for independence. She would bring a lot of joy to a family too.

If you're not Victoria's mommy, please help her by donating to her adoption here. Actually please share that link with everyone you know so we can find her mom. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Update on Joshy (Igor)

<<<UPDATE 2/10/12>>> Joshy proved to be very much the gentleman. They found him! Not in the good institution we hoped, but he's found. His donation link is back up! Please consider helping him!


For those of you interested in/praying for/donating towards Joshy's adoption (I call him Joshy, since Igor is not his real name either), we have some sad news.

Reece's Rainbow does not currently know where Joshy is located. That means he has been removed from their website until they get more information. There's no way to donate towards his account or advocate for him at this point.

For those of you who heard he was at a good institution (since he had been transferred), that is no longer (or maybe never was) the case. He's lost.

He was to be the main focus in a fundraising and awareness campaign in a few days. Now we are scrambling and trying to regroup. Our new focus will be on Laurel, whose need of rescue is more desperate. (See my personal plea for Laurel here.)

My heart is broken. Many tears have been shed over this little boy and this horrible news. I know of two families who were interested in him, but still working some things out. Sometimes that hope gets us going. Now we're holding out hope that he's found.

Part of me wants to think that Laurel's adoption needs were so great that Joshy needed to hide for a little while so Laurel could be saved. I like to think of Joshy as a gentleman like that.

I have Joshy's picture from the link that is no longer active. There's nothing to click on and nothing left to say. So...

Dear God help us find him.

Meet Eric!

18 months

3 years

The description from Eric's Reece's Rainbow page:

"Boy, born Dec 2008, Eric is a smiley little fellow who likes to feel his caretaker’s heartbeat or pulse, because it comforts him. He would be a wonderful little brother in a household of older children.

Eric has arthrogryposis and compensated hydrocephalus. He has had a surgical repair of spina bifada. Overall, he is healthy and would do well in a family without smaller children. His upper body is quite strong and he has full use of his hands, fingers and arms, but he has little control or movement in his lower limbs and they are significantly smaller than his upper body. He can squeeze very tightly with his hands, and reach a full arm’s length with no problems even though his resting position is the one you see in the pictures. He does not talk, according to the caretakers but does make sounds to communicate. Cognitively, he has significant delays due to his history of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. He is very much still an infant in many ways.

The picture in the orange shirt was taken at age 18 months, and the second picture was taken at 3 years old. He may have a sister a few years older in a different region who possibly could also be available for adoption or he could be adopted separately. She also has special needs."

From the description it seems AMC is the least of Eric's special needs. It may either be arthrogryposis or a similar condition--something that would require working with him to reach his full potential. Eric seems to have elbow contractures in both pictures, but he can reach a full arm's length which contractures would not allow him to do. In fact he seems more affected by the spina bifada and hydrocephalus than anything. Even though he has lots more functionality than maybe a severely affected arthrogryposis case, those still look like clubfeet to this Mama's eyes. That would require Ponseti serial casting if they were not correct already. But who knows based on a picture.

Eric really needs a family, and we are lucky to have him listed! Whereas AMC (as we've said over and over) is NOT a cognitive-impairing condition, a family interested in Eric would need to be aware of his significant cognitive delays.

You can go here to donate to his adoption!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


This is Laurel!

Isn't her smile awesome?

She is 15 years old! 

She has arthrogryposis in all limbs 

She is an orphan and likely has been since birth

Can you Fathom that...15 years old and never having a family?!

Right now Laurel has something to smile about, even though she is an orphan in an Eastern European country she is in a good orphanage for older children with physical disabilities but.....

That will all change in just SIX short MONTHS....

Upon her 16th birthday in August...per her countries laws...she will be ineligible for adoption

Where will she go?!

She will likely go to an adult mental institution

An adult mental institution may mean very little food, no access to a toilet, no regular baths or dental care and confined to a bed...ALL day, EVERY day, for the REST of her life...

She needs to find a family ASAP!!! 

Large Families and older parents are allowed to adopt in her country 

Her family needs to be homestudy approved before committing 

Please SHARE this! Publicity will increase the likelihood that her family will find her!  

If you cannot adopt her you can donate to her Reece's Rainbow account the more money she has in the account the easier it will for her family to commit to her! 

If you're wondering if adoption is right for you please read this! 

If you need access to resources to learn about AMC or older child adoptions PLEASE let me know, I'll gladly connect you to the people who have "been there done that" please email me

If you're interested in adopting her PLEASE email Reece's Rainbow andrea@reecesrainbow.org ASAP! 

And please SHARE this!