Orphans with Arthrogryposis
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
One of the biggest things to remember about Freeman Sheldon syndrome is that it has very specific and easy-to-diagnose facial characteristics (aka the whistling face). But these are often confused with fetal alcohol syndrome to those unfamiliar with the specific characteristics of both conditions. This has scared some potential parents away, as many are told that fetal alcohol syndrome comes with "distinct facial characteristics." From her picture, all of Kambry's facial characteristics are purely due to her AMC type. Freeman Sheldon syndrome does not have intellectual disabilities or behavioral issues associated with it.
If you are interested in Kambry you can contact Reece's Rainbow by going here.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Shawn lives with a foster family in an apartment within the orphanage. He is receiving his education through Half The Sky's Little Sister program and is described as an optimistic and active child. He likes to listen to stories read by the teacher and has good language skills. He understands instructions quickly and expresses his thoughts well. Sometimes he thinks and explores difficult questions as if he is a "little teacher." Shawn performs well in class, shares well and likes to play games with other children. "He likes to play with the bowling ball and electronic piano. He enjoys coloring and likes to dance with the help of the teacher. He is kind and will comfort others when they are sad."
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Danika was born in April 2008. She has brown eyes and dark brown hair, although based on her picture I would call it light brown hair. She is said to have astigmatism and Hall's contractures (arthrogryposis). She is described as "communicative and friendly."
Abrehem was born a year later (April 2009). He has gray eyes and a calm nature.
Would you share this post with any Canadian or UK friends who are considering adoption?
They were listed as being in "Region 13." Even though they are no longer being actively advocated for on Reece's Rainbow, their profile is still there and that's where to get a bit more information on how to continue with the process. Go here for their profile.
Obviously their chances of being adopted together and under the US ban are low. But sharing about them can bring them hope!
***Since the US-based organizations cannot be involved, there's no way to accept money towards these children's adoption. So if you have your $12 donations ready and want to support a family adopting an AMC child, please go here to support the Schmitt family who are $5,000 short and pick up their two sons (one with CP and one with AMC) in about 8 weeks. Thanks!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
I can't tell you what that will do for his brain development and transfer to a new family! Wonders!
Monday, June 17, 2013
(Aubree loves to go outside and pick flowers! She also knows how to write and has memorized around 100 poems and songs.)
From a gal on a short-term mission trip who spent some time in Aubree's orphanage recently:
Aubree is a happy, loving, and well-adjusted little girl. She is popular in her groupa and loves to talk to people and attend the Montessori program at her orphanage. That being said, she is a child you don't want to turn your back to. She bites, pinches, and hits you when she wants attention or is jealous. (Same gal adds later, "That typically happens when she is very excited. During our one-on-one time or when she was taking her classes she was very sweet and loved to show off her journal.") She is also very dominant and wants to have your attention at all times, which is difficult when there are other children in the room. ("These kids just have a short amount of time with their visitors and they know it and they crave attention so badly. This girl is a sweetheart and would be a great daughter. Dave and I were there for 21 days and had tons of interaction with the girls especially. She never did that [pinching, hitting, etc.] to me. They all really loved my husband." ~Jane) While she is very smart, I believe she has some mental delay, though how much of this is due to being raised in an orphanage environment is unclear. She was thrilled when I told her a lot of people loved her and were praying for her, and in the right family she would thrive.
(I told her that many people loved her and were praying for her to find a family and the look on her face was indescribable. It was like "Really? People love me?")
I can't imagine having to vie for attention all the time! I can't wait to see this girl in a family who cares about her and gives her their time and attention! The missionary suggested that making Aubree the youngest child or only child in a family would make her super happy.
I loved this update because the last update was so heart-breaking--Aubree clinging to a dad's hand (as he was adopting her friend), begging for a Mama and Papa of her own, crying for a family to love her. It's nice to see her relaxed and in her social element. She sounds like a goofball! And cheerful and happy and well-adjusted among her peers. And she pinches... which just makes me love her more. I don't know why. ;)
As far as the small glimpses of Aubree's AMC in her legs only it seems she has straight legs and club feet. They are small from not getting a lot of weight bearing. I don't know the condition of her hips, but I do see a dimple on her side that indicates that she is affected there. But I wouldn't put walking out of the question once those feet are fixed and she starts weight bearing! Her arms are strong and so she can transfer and is pretty mobile. Pretty much from what we do know it looks like she will be 100% independent one day!
Aubree has 13 months to find a family!!! Please share her file! Go here to learn more!
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Here's their story written by Tiffany Blackmon, Bradyn's new mommy:
orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
So right now we're just doing a sharing campaign. Can you share Bill with anyone interested in adoption? He has been transferred a few times and needs a permanent, forever home. Thanks!
If you are interested in adopting Bill please contact Krystie at Children's Connections: email@example.com.
Friday, March 8, 2013
When all of us at Bring Hope saw this painting for the first time, we knew right away who it was. "Raymond!" There are his eyes, those eyebrows and that face! This was the artist's vision of Raymond with a family. Future Raymond. Raymond smiling.
The artist, Rachael Rossman, decided not only to help us show Raymond's future joy, but she insisted on doing it pro bono and moved it to the top of her priority list as Raymond now faces transfer. You can read about Raymond's impression on her and see more of her work here.
Since seeing this picture I cried right into my daughter's hair. She said, "These are happy tears, right?" She knows the difference. She's Raymond's age. She also has a smile. She also has arthrogryposis.
Every time we advocate for this guy the same question is asked, "Do you have a better picture?"
One of our Bring Hope staff has blogged on her personal blog about how important a good picture is for these very vunerable orphans. (You can read that post here.) Notice how she shows her own boys and their good and bad photos? She also shares her adopted son's picture that was on Reece's Rainbow and another picture that was taken at his orphanage that is not flattering. Wow. Her son also has arthrogryposis too and was older than Raymond when adopted. (Her son was adopted after having been transferred out of the baby house. It was hell for him.) What struck me was how much a picture can made a difference! What was communicated through that picture mattered! What if that first ugly picture of sweet dimple-faced Aaron had been his listing photo?
No other pictures can be taken of Raymond unless someone flies over there, gets the director's permission and snaps a shot! That's HIGHLY unlikely. So this is what we have. Well, and one from the listing in his birth country that is also blurry and even older.
This precious baby needs love. He is facing transfer soon. Those of you who have been following our blog know that transfer is not a good thing. The institutions where young children with special needs are sent have care that is below the basics of what they receive in the baby houses. Some are sent to adult mental institutions. The survival rates there are dismal. After transfer it is estimated that between 85-95% die within the first 12 months. And they don't die from their special needs. Arthrogryposis is not a condition that carries any expiration date. It is not a mental condition in the least!
To quote the founder of Reece's Rainbow:
"That is when I found out what happens to children with Down syndrome and special needs when they are born abroad," Roberts said. "There is a very high rate of abandonment. They are transferred to mental institutions at 4 and a great many of those children do not survive their 5th birthday."
"We recently, just in the last two months, had an 8-year-old girl adopted out of a mental institution," Roberts said. "They put 18-month clothes on her. She was 15 pounds. It is far more common than people realize."
(Interview found here.)
And adoption can change Raymond's life! Just as it has changed so many others.
To donate towards Raymond's adoption please go here. If he can get up to $5,000 then he will move onto a new "sizeable grant" page on Reece's Rainbow and have an even better chance of being adopted as parents often look there first when considering a child to adopt. (I know my family did.)
Also please consider sharing about Raymond on your social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Just two weeks ago a friend of a friend committed to adopt our Anthony. Sharing works!!
Let's work together to make this beautiful smile a reality for Raymond!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Prologue by Bring Hope:
Last year we advocated for a little girl with arthrogryposis named Rita. Since we could not raise funds for Rita at the time because of her situation, we instead started a sharing campaign. Hundreds of "shares" happened across Facebook and blogs. Rita was famous in a matter of days! (In fact Rita caught the eye of one mommy who later went on to adopt our other AMCer, Victoria!)
When Kelly contacted Bring Hope to say she had been planning on adopting Rita, we were overjoyed as it marked the first time we could celebrate one of "our kids" finding a family in the same month we were spotlighting that child! That was very encouraging to us. (That was the first time it happened, but not the last!)
But our friend Kelly was not content to merely stop with changing the life of one girl. We watched her champion the cause of many orphans. (In fact I see Kelly sharing Sadie's file just about every day!) When Kelly saw that Melissa wanted our little Drake (as Melissa very subtlety commented "I WANT HIM" on that post, heh) she immediately sent Melissa encouragement and resources. We are privileged to be one of those resources.
A lot of the following story happened behind the scenes as the family prepared to commit to Drake and we attempted to help them raise the necessary commitment fees without spilling the beans on who they were commiting to! But now we are happy to announce how it worked out! Below is the whole story told by Drake's new mommy, Melissa.
Arthrogr...what? A few short weeks ago I had no idea how to pronounce arthrogryposis, much less know what it was. Another unfamiliar diagnosis listed below a waiting child's name.
Someone on facebook posted Drake's link from Reece's Rainbow and I said I WANT HIM! Of course, I didn't really know what I was saying....I had seen his little bitty figure transform into a smiling little boy waving at the camera and was amazed! Fast forward and now there are even more videos and this little boy astounded me!
That one comment "I WANT HIM" (and yes, I did comment with all capital letters) led another mom to message me and let me know that she would answer any questions I had about arthrogryposis (there's that word again) and that there was a terrific support group for families who have adopted children with this diagnosis. We visited and I contacted another mom, Alexis, to ask her a few questions...
I was hooked! My husband and I, and our 3 children, were just about to submit our dossier for Lance, a 2 year old with severe CP in Drake's country and I just could not get rid of that tugging that Drake was special...I had butterflies for him, just like I did for Lance. I talked to my husband, who wonderful man that he is, told me his concerns but didn't say "no" (That's almost a "yes", right???) So we talked about it a lot, did a little bit of math, and realized that to add Drake to our current adoption without stalling the process for Lance would cost an additional $7000.00 and have to be less than 2 weeks since we were almost ready to submit our dossier.
$7000.00- that's nothing to save a life/ a soul! Right?
Well, here's the thing: My terrific, wonderful husband said "$3500.00 in 2 weeks and we will move forward confident that God wants us to adopt Drake."
Oh my goodness!!!! THAT'S A YES!!! RIGHT? Ok...wait, what was that "little" part about $3500? How on earth are we going to raise that in less than 2 weeks?
Well, God is faithful and with some help from Bring Hope and SEVERAL other people we have never met in real life, we had raised $3520.00 in LESS than 1 week.
God provided not for the adoption of another child... but for our adoption of "Drake"! To see God's love poured forth for this little boy half a world away, who has no idea any of us exist, is more powerful than any words can express. My God, who knows the number of hairs on little "Drake's" head, has seen fit to bring him into our family. We are so grateful for the friends we have met in a few short weeks who have taught us about arthrogryposis and encouraged us in our journey. Thank you for your willingness to reach out and provide hope and help for children with arthrogryposis....thank you for your willingness to provide hope for Drake!
So, where are we now? We are officially committed to Drake, we are waiting for our apostilled docs to come back, and we are hoping to send our dossier for translation in about 2 weeks.
We estimate that our adoption of our 2 precious sons will cost a total of $30,000.00. So far God has provided for our adoption so abundantly and we are only about $9600.00 short of being fully funded!!! We can't wait to see how He chooses to provide for the rest ;)
To donate to Drake and Lance's adoption please go here. To find out how you can obtain help with your adoption of a child with arthrogryposis please leave a comment on this blog and we will be happy to assist you!
Monday, February 4, 2013
Keep in mind that Drake had a rough start in life and is delayed a bit. "Catching up" developmentally is expected as time goes by.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
In the past year, I have had the honor to be a part of a group that is teaching me with every post, every discussion.. I have learned so much about international adoptions--not only about the conditions these children are living in--but most important, the people who believed in a child they never met and said yes, you are mine. Many of our new AMC famiilies, I have only had the chance to meet online. But I am forever connected to them because of arthrogryposis, because of adoption, because they cared a whole awful lot./
We will continue to advocate for a new child each month in 2013 and we cannot do it alone. We need your voices and your support. Sharing the stories of our children is just as important as putting money in their adoption funds.. We know it can get better and it all starts with a simple “share” or email with a link to a blog post. If you can financially support each featured child, any donation does make a difference./
Anthony, our featured child for January, could really use someone to care a whole awful lot. Anthony is a 13-year year boy living in an Eastern European Institution. He needs parents, and he needs them fast! In Eastern Europe if he reaches the age of 16 he will become un-adoptable. Given that he has all extremity arthrogryposis his ability to become an independent adult in his society is very, very unlikely. He will likely be an some level of an institution forever. He doesn't deserve that, no child does. You can read more here.
If you can’t make a donation, then “donate” a promise to share the blog post with your networks. We never know how the families will find their child.
- Share on Facebook
- Tweet to your followers
- Post an update on LinkedIn
- Repin our photos on Pinterest
Monday, January 21, 2013
He Turns 14 on February 15th so lets get $3,000 into his account by that time!