Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Miss K and Miss C **PLEASE READ**

Miss K.

Miss C.

Jan 1. A couple days after Christmas, I was looking over the Reece's Rainbow site--which I haven't been allowing myself to do too much and for some reason decided to view the older girls. (I usually just look at the boys) My heart has not been the same since. The top two girls listed were "K" and "C"--I'm sure names are changed to protect their privacy--who both have Down syndrome and live in a familiar Eastern European country. The first thing that caught my eye was how beautiful they are; the second thing was a statistic I didn't want to believe--that C who is 6 (will be 7 this month) only weighs 21 pounds. Yes, you read it right: twenty-one pounds. Good grief! my adorable great-nephew is 1 year old and probably weighs more than that. Because neither of these little girls are quite walking they spend most of their lives just laying in their beds and staring at the ceiling and the walls and their hands. As you well know, long-term bedrest does not promote physical health or stimulate development. At least 5 Reece's Rainbow children have already died in this institution. My heart is truly broken.

What are we as God's hands and feet going to do about this? If we are truly disciples of the Master then we do not have the option to do nothing. We cannot pretend that we don't know. Prov 24:11,12 says "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about his," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" or like The Message puts it "Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know--Someone not impressed with weak excuses."

So are you going to pay for food? Contact Life2Orphans. (I can email you privately the location of the orphanage) Are you going to donate to K and C's adoption funds? See http://www.reecesrainbow.org/ under Waiting Children/Older Girls. Are you going to open your heart and home to them? Contact Andrea at Reece's Rainbow. Are you going to pray earnestly and daily for a mommy and daddy to find them? Contact God; He calls himself the Father of the fatherless. But PLEASE don't just X this post out and forget these tiny, helpless girls.

Pre-Christmas Gifts from Emily

Steven and his new cars

B got a shaped construction truck puzzle and a 10-dollar bill. (One of his developmental goals deals with money--so he happily practiced spending it at Wal-Mart)

S got some beauty items

Caleb and his new cars

J enjoying his Star Wars character R2-D2

T was still sleeping when Emily came over so had to wait until later to open her present.
They each got a Christmas stocking from her as well.

Christmas Day

Christmas Morning Part 2

Family Christmas Dinner

This was a unique day for both Caleb and Steven. Christmas 2008 Caleb was home but we were not because we were in Ukraine meeting Steven (my nostalgic moment was at the elementary program when Steven was sitting on my lap and I recalled him sitting on my lap in the orphanage last year at the St. Nicholas program)--so in a way it was our first Christmas with Caleb and our 2nd with Steven even though Caleb came home first--and we did celebrate with Caleb before we went to Ukraine last year. But however you look at it, it was our 1st Christmas with all of us at home. And it was a good day. First, we took turns opening presents one at a time from youngest to oldest--Kevin missed a few turns because he was getting the turkey into the oven, but he caught up later. Then we helped the kids try to extract their stuff from the shoplift-proof packaging so they could play awhile before everything had to be picked up for the family dinner at 2:00 pm. We had 19 at the table--though of course 8 of us live here full-time. Our guests were my mom and dad, my Aunts Berta and Beverly, my cousin Dave and his wife Debbie and their daughter Jacki, my cousin Jael, her husband and two small children. Sadly Debra Joy was ill and couldn't join us. After reading the Christmas story from the Bible, we (well, some of us) ate until we could barely waddle, had a $1 gift exchange, played and sang songs (Kevin and Dave strummed their guitars; later B sang "Mary Did You Know?" so sweetly accompanied by S on her clarinet), ate some more, chatted, snacked a bit, tried a couple of these goodies and one of that kind, talked, chewed . . . Good grief!! and then those hoodlums had the nerve to leave a whole bunch of their calorie-ridden goodies with me.

Christmas Eve at Mom's

I guess Mom and I are just sentimental but neither one of us could quite stand the idea of absolutely no "Christmas Eve" celebration at their house. So on Tuesday, Dec 22 Kevin, I and the kids went over to their home. I thought the table looked so beautiful. I brought the Christmas layer jello--that is a tradition.

We held hands and sang the Doxology. We used to do this only on special family occasions--like Christmas--but several of our kids are starting to request that 'we sing it' rather than a spoken prayer much more often when we eat with my parents.
James and Papa--passing the time until presents.
S and Caleb (and his new Cars sheets)

Here's Steven sitting on Daddy's lap starting to tear into his own set of sheets
J got the Star Wars comforter. It was funny because I had already purchased the comforters when I just 'happened' to take the kids through that section at Wal-Mart and was so rewarded to see several of them drooling over the styles I'd already purchased. The comforters and sheets were gifts from Grandma and Papa and Papa (Kevin's Dad) but I got to do the actual shopping.

T showing off her High School Musical selection (the girls already have the matching curtains and sheets so tonight they got flannel ones)

S with cozy flannel sheets
B was tickled to receive a Harley Davidson comforter. Since he sleeps on a couch, we got him matching curtains rather than sheets. He has taken up residence in our converted 'junque' room--lovingly referred to as 'the back room'

I got two bowl sets--one set of mixing bowls and the other set is storage bowls with lids. In the background is Mom and Dad's singing clock--at this time of year it is set to play a Christmas carol on the hour.

We chose a Snuggie for Mom and some puzzle books
I love this picture because it shows pure happiness on Steven's face.

Here's Caleb and his Speedy Racer comforter
Steven tearing into his own Speedy Racer

Here's S's matching comforter
Kevin had chosen to buy jeans and a jar of peanuts for himself with his Christmas money from Mom and Dad

Mom's Snuggie. It even came with a cool reading light.

That night we went home and took all the bed covers off the kids' beds and put on the new sheets and comforters. Here's J amidst his Star Wars glory

And here are the little boys and Daddy getting ready at last for night-night