Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A bittersweet sixteen

It has been a very long time since my last blogpost. And this post is not mine. A friend asked me if I could post it for her, as she feels that it is too personal for her to post herself, yet she wants the story to be told. Please read through to the end. My friend has met Isolde on several occasions, and want nothing more than for her to find her family.

 A bittersweet sixteen

 As I write this post, I’m hesitating if my story is going to make any difference. I’m praying it will. I’m not a blogger, but I hope you will read all the way ‘till the end of the story.

 This month I celebrate the sixteenth birthday of my foster sister. Seven years ago my life was upside down. After living with different friends, I ended up in a foster family in November. I was fifteen, almost sixteen and my little foster sister turned nine, just after I moved in. Her ninth birthday was a painful day for me. It did not only remind me of the fact that I was living with another family right now, it also reminded me of the fact that my life as I knew it, ended when I was nine.

 So to set the facts straight: In this story there’s a nine year old and an almost sixteen year old in the past and there’s a sixteen year old and an almost twenty-three year old in the present.

 As I said, when I was nine, life as I knew it ended. I grew up in a big family where, as the youngest, I went unnoticed a lot. This made it possible for me to be sexually abused without anyone noticing. Embarrassed and insecure, I remained silent about it. I tried to live my life as if nothing had happened. Life went on and so did I. I went on for years. In those years my family fell apart and my perseverance was tested to the limits. All those years I felt guilty, unwanted, unseen. When life threw me another curve ball, I left home. For six weeks I spent the night at friends, people from church, family members. I hopped around with my backpack on my back, filled with schoolbooks, a toothbrush and some clean underwear. After six weeks a family from church approached me. They told me they worried about me and that they wanted to take care of me. They wanted to offer me a home. I accepted, not knowing what to expect. I had a hard time adjusting to family life. I was used to making my own decisions, from small things, like when I had to go to bed, to bigger things, like whether or not to go to college or university. But the hardest thing to get used to was love. They obviously loved each other. There was hugging and praying. There were words like ‘I love you’ and ‘You can always count on me’. Words that had no meaning to me, because I had never experienced love that way. It took months before I trusted my foster parents and was ready to accept love.

 That’s where my foster sister enters the story. As I said she turned nine, shortly after I arrived. It reminded me of the abuse that I’d been through when I was nine. Seeing my vulnerable foster sister turned me into a momma bear. ‘You hurt my foster sister, you hurt me. You hurt me, you get hurt.’ What I felt for my foster sister was a new experience. I felt love for her.

 I lived with my foster family for almost two years. After two years I moved back to my own parents and after a short period of time, life threw another curve ball and I moved out permanently to live on my own. And as I look back, the time that I lived with my foster family, even though it was ‘only’ two years, was the best time of my life. I learned to love, to trust and to talk. That has been the most valuable lesson of my life. I grew to love my foster family as if they were my own.

My foster sister might be one of the most important people in my life, up until this day. And now she’s turning sixteen. She is the age that I was when I moved in with them. And as I look at her, I realize that sixteen is too young to take care of yourself. Sixteen is too young to fight to get through another day. Sixteen is too young to deal with trauma all by yourself. While all these thoughts go through my mind, I write a birthday card for my foster sister that says: ‘I love you! You can always count on me. It doesn’t matter what might have happened, it doesn’t matter what will happen. I will always be there and I will always love you.’ My foster sister was blessed with an amazing family to be born into. Not everybody is blessed that way.

 This month there’s another girl turning sixteen. A girl who is probably more like me than my foster sister. Her name is Isolde. She lives in a facility for children with special needs in an Eastern European orphanage. Isolde has Cerebral Palsy. Her perseverance has been tested to the limits. She has probably been through more trauma than most people experience in their entire life. All these years she has probably felt unwanted and unseen. Life has been throwing curve balls at her from birth. She doesn’t have a family that cares for her. But she’s too young to take care of herself. She’s too young to fight just to get through another day. She’s too young to deal with the trauma all by herself. She shouldn’t have to. She needs a family who will love her and take care of her. A family that has as much patience as she needs to become a grown, independent woman. Isolde needs a family, before it’s too late. A family needs to be committed to her before her sixteenth birthday.

Please, don’t be afraid to love a sixteen year old that has never known love. Don’t be afraid to take her in your home, to have her around your children. Please, give her the opportunity to experience what it is to be loved, to be a daughter, a sister. Give her the opportunity that I got when I was almost sixteen. Because it changed my life forever. And the change for Isolde would be so much bigger. A family would give her a future. Life in an Eastern European facility for people with special needs is no future. In seven years she might be able to live a close to normal life. But someone has to give her a chance, just like my foster parents gave me a chance. And someday she’ll look back and realize that you gave her the best time of her life. I know Isolde personally and I know that she will make the most of it. I’m praying that in seven years she will be a young woman like me. I’m not free of trauma and I still struggle to really accept love. But I’m getting there. I’m getting married next year and in a few months I’ll be graduating college as a social worker. How I wish to see Isolde get a degree, find love and get married.

 Next week I’ll be celebrating the sweet sixteen of my foster sister. Together we’ll blow out the candles. We will hug, make silly faces and enjoy the love that we feel for each other. Who will blow out the candles together with Isolde? Who will make silly faces with her? And who will let her feel loved?

 So please pray with me for Isolde. And ask yourself if you could be her family. But please, share her story. She has an adoption grant, feel free to donate towards it, so that the family who will adopt her, has less of a financial burden. Make her seen, so that hopefully, soon she’ll know she’s loved.

 To learn more about her, watch this video or read her profile on Reece’s Rainbow:



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blogpost for Kolya

A fellow blogger and adoption advocate wrote a very nice post about Kolya #7-2.
 And I got word that there might be new pictures of him coming soon. 
I really hope they show him doing good. To read the new post about Kolya, go here.

And you know what??? Brooks got a new picture! Isn't he just precious? Next year (2013) he will turn four, and that means he will be transferred to an adult mental institution. 
Please don't let that happen to this little one.
 Please let him keep his smile, and the light in his eyes.
You can adopt him, or donate, or spread the word about him.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Apert syndrome - an update!

I've blogged about children with Aperts syndrome a couple of times before. I f you want to learn more about Aperts, you can start by visiting this site.

Today I want to update you on a few of the kids I've posted about before. In the last couple of weeks,


Ivan K

and Serenity

have found families :-)

This is wonderful news! When they come home they can get the surgeries they need, get an education, and go on to live normal lives. But the most important thing is that they will be loved, and they will belong!

Here are some of the children that are still waiting for the love of a family, and the chance to be all they can be.  They are all boys, as boys wait longer for families. (The number of girls chosen for adoption is double of the number of boys adopted.)

Meet Aiden.

He is 3 years old, and is up and walking. He is in a region where RR have a wonderful agency partner, and there have been quite a few adoptions from there. 

And this is Kael,

who happens to be in the same region as Olga was in. He was thought to have Aperts, but that has now been changed to Pfeiffer syndrome. No matter what, he really needs a family! He is 3.5 years old, and will be transferred to a mental institution when he turns four in March. Please don't let this happen to Kael. He will be put in a crib to stay....forever. This is a region with easy travel, western accomodations and lots of sights to see. The region has a relatively fast process, and many children have been adopted from this region.

will turn two years old in November, and from his picture looks to be doing pretty good.He is at a perfect age to join a a family, and get started on the medical treatments. 

is still waiting. at 10 years old, he is now an older boy, and we know what that means for his chances to get adopted :-( But i know there is a family for him out there, they just need to see him.

is also in a region with easy travel, and western accomodations. He also looks like he is up and walking, ready to explore and learn . He just turned four last month, and probably will be transferred very soon :-( It's so sad for the children to have to experience the loss of everything familiar, and loose the caregivers and children they know. Sammy would probably do very well in a family. 

There are many successtories of children with Aperts that have been adopted. Two of them is Kody, and Franscesca. They have both blossomed in their new families. 

Consider if one of these boys are your son, and please don't forget about

. Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A way out?

Please watch this movie. All the children you see here, are in the same country as Kolya. Some of them are already home, some have families working to get to them, and some are still waiting as Kolya.

Can you be Kolya's way out?

If you are interested in more info about Kolya, contact Reece's Rainbow.

And, as always, please remember Brooks.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Forget me not friday

First of all, some very good news! This blog was created when I signed up to be Olga E's Christmas Warrior. Through a number of twists and turns, she never made it to RR's Angel Tree, but I kept on advocating for her, and this blog was my main tool in doing so. I'll try to share the whole story sometime.

As of this week, Olga is now home with her forever family :-) Because of the region she was in, I haven't been able to blog much about the process, but I have stayed in touch with her family. If you remember I had different fundraisers for her here on the blog, one being a puzzle fundraiser. Today I went to the post office and mailed the puzzle to her :-) I'm just so thankful that she is home with her family, and that she now has a bright future ahead of her, with love, opportunities and education.

I haven't got any new pictures of her, but if you go to this blog, you'll see the little beauty :-)

Most of you have probably heard the Starfish legend. But here it goes:

A vacationing businessman was walking along a beach when he saw a young boy.
Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned.
The boy walked slowly along the shore and occasionally reached down and tossed the beached starfish back into the ocean.
The businessman, hoping to teach the boy a little lesson in common sense, walked up to the boy and said, "I have been watching what you are doing, son.
You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but do you realize how many beaches there are around here and how many starfish are dying on every beach every day. Surely such an industrious and kind hearted boy such as yourself could find something better to do with your time.
Do you really think that what you are doing is going to make a difference?"
The boy looked up at the man, and then he looked down at a starfish by his feet. He picked up the starfish, and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, "It makes a difference to that one”.

Olga is my little starfish :-) I'm so thankful to her family for bringing her home. I'm thankful for everyone of you who spread the word about her, who donated to her adoption grant, and who cared about her. And I'm thankful for the very good orphanage director who really loved the children in her care, and did the best she could for Olga.

Can Kolya also be one of the starfish that are thrown back into the sea? This little boy has been waiting for so long, and there is reason to believe he is not in as good of a place as Olga was in. I've blogged about him before, here and here. But I just can't give up on Kolya. He is eight, but very little for his age, and really needs the love of a family. Could that be you?

If you want to be inspired, go here and read about little Katie, who came home at the age of ten, but the size of a baby, and now is learning to walk! She came home from the same country as Kolya is in.
If you can't adopt him, please consider if you can donate to his fund, and please, please spread the word about him, so that his family can find him.

And, as always, don't forget little Brooks.

If a family adopts him now, he will never have to know the life in a mental institution, but instead will be treasured in a family.

Have a nice weekend everyone !

Forget Me Not Fridays

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Heath day!

I've blogged about Heath before.

Heath was brought to my attention when a family went to Eastern Europe to adopt their little boy, Aaron. Aaron was in a mental institute, which lacked almost everything. While they were there, their facilitator were given the profiles of two little boys in the orphanage. Heath and Judd. They saw both boys, and went home and advocated for them.  Judd has been home for a while now, but Heath is still waiting.  To see Aarons moms blog, go here, and learn more about Heath and the place he is at. It is a horrendous place for a little boy to be. 

Today something big is happening for Heath. A lot of people who care about him, have come together to create Heath day. All over the U.S people are having carwashes, lemonade stands and other kinds of fundraisers to help Heath get a full adoption grant. A full grant for his country is about $20 000. Can you believe that? His family would have to pay for their homestudy, but the rest of the cost of his adoption will be covered.

If you want to contribute to Heath day, you can donate to his grant, through the donation button on his profile. Right now he has a matching grant from a gracious donor. So what you give will be doubled. 

There are also three other boys that have been transferred from their babyhouses to this place after Aaron was adopted. Porter already have a family working as fast as they can to bring him home, but Hanson and Sasha are wasting away in this awful place. They both spend their days in cribs :-(

A dream would be if a family could bring home Heath and one of the other boys. That would be a miracle!

And.....please don't forget about Brooks ;-) 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Children needing families!

I've posted about this little boy before, but now he's got a new name, and his own profile on RR. His name is Donovan, and as the picture shows, he is in pretty bad shape. He was born in 2004, so he is eight years now. He has Down Syndrome, and is described as cheerful and sociable. That is hard to believe when you see his picture though, and might be how he was when he was still at the babyhouse. Now he looks emaciated and starved. His region have no family size restriciton, and you can adopt two unrelated children at the same time. There really are a lot of cuties in his region. The babyhouses seems to be good, but as soon as the children are transferred, they meet a very different reality.

This is Marla. She has CP, and is completely immobile on her own. She was born in 2007, and will be transferred from her babyhouse very soon. This means that she will be bedridden for life, and no child deserves that. This is her profile.

And ofcourse, here is Kolya. He was also born in 2004. His profile says that he has Down Syndrome, asthma and is abnormally underweight. Kolya has been listed with RR for a very long time, several years, but noone, not one single soul, have ever inquired about him. That breaks my heart. Nobody has even cared enough to ask about him. He is overlooked over and over again.  HIs grant hasn't even moved since the matching grant her on this blog ended in June. To learn about a little girl who came home from the same country as he is in, and was in very bad shape, 
but has mad tremendous strides, go to:

Sweet little Kolya

The last little girl I want you to meet, is Tiffany. Tiffany was born in 2001, and looks to be in pretty good shape. The thing that touches me about her, is her description in her profile. It says that she is stubborn, annoying, naughty. Can you imagine if someone asked you to describe a child, and that was all you had to say? I think that is terrible. The only good thing I can see about it, is that she might be "a survivor" who hasn't lost her spirit.

Please consider if one of these children could be your son or daughter. They all deserve so much better than what they are getting.

If you want to read more about Donovan or Marla, these are other blogs that have posts about them today:

Debbie: http://the-scenic-route-momto6kids.blogspot.com
Heather: http://mt2ia.blogspot.com/
Grace: http://sister-love-blog.blogspot.com/
Sandra: https://www.facebook.com/marlamatters2us
Lydia: http://www.eightisnotenough2012.blogspot.com/

Forget Me Not Fridays