About a year ago I stumbled upon a site called Reece's Rainbow through an adoption forum. It was a site that's main focus was on adopting kids with down syndrome from foreign countries before they "aged out" and were sentenced to life in an adult mental institution, the sad thing is they "age out": at 4-5 yrs old. Once they "age out" they are unadoptable, meaning even if a family comes forward they are not allowed to be adopted.
I showed Ted the website and discussed my desire to some day consider adopting a child from there, he agreed it was something we could think about in the future but we both knew it was something we were neither mentally nor financially prepared for at that time.
So I promised myself someday and tucked it into the back of my mind. To continue thinking about it was just entirely too sad because I felt so helpless in the moment.
Then last night, ABC World News did a story on Reece's Rainbow that brought it to the front of my mind. I saw they had a FB page and decided to like them. Through that I stumbled upon the following blog about Jack:
No Baby No Blog: Jack
|image credit: No Baby No Blog|
Jack's story broke my heart. I wanted nothing more than to book a flight to Russia right then and there and bring him home. If only it were that simple right. I made Ted read his story too, not really sure why as I knew there was nothing we could do about it. Not only are we still not in the place where we are mentally prepared for another child BUT even if we were they have income guidelines that we just do not even come close to meeting for a family our size. I never saw these income guidelines before and they have all but extinguished my dream of EVER being able to adopt a child through a program such as this.
I was depressed for the rest of the night because of this realization, not only we were not in a place where we could currently help Jack but I doubted we would ever be in a place where we could help any child by providing them the home they so desperately deserved.
I had dreams about Jack all night long, which really surprised me as I expected to have zombie nightmares after watching this crazy show on Netflix that freaked me out beyond belief (The Walking Dead). Zombie nightmares would have been a welcomed relief over the dreams I had which the main theme of was Jack asking me if he could please come and live with us and me telling him over and over again that there was just no way. There was even a dream where we were in the process of adopting him but at the last minute we just left him at the airport in Russia instead.
Hey, I have issues I know! I got almost no sleep because it was just 1 dream after another. I would wake up, realize it was a dream, close my eyes and drift right off into another one. When I say stories like this weigh heavily on my heart and mind I am not joking. I would give anything to be able to adopt Jack or a child just like him.
Then, this morning the answer appeared to me. As I browsed Jack's page on Reece's Rainbows once again (because I am into self torture like that I guess) longing and praying to find a way, any way, to help him my prayers were answered. I can't be the mama White Knight who swoops in and rescues him BUT I can be an angel behind the scenes.
I don't know why I never noticed it last year, probably because I was too blinded in the mindset of "we will adopt one day" to see, but they have plenty of ways for those unable to adopt now (or ever) to help. The main way is through each child's adoption fund. Each child awaiting adoption has their own fund you can donate to, this helps pay the eventual adoptive families fees which can rack up quickly.
If, like me, it's not easy to give money, at least not in large amounts (although donating even $5 helps greatly!) you can still help by sharing. Share Jack's story, share Reece's Rainbow, share the stories of any and all kids on the site that touch your heart. Share, share, SHARE! Encourage those you share with to share too. Just because you do not think you personally know anyone willing/able to adopt a child does not mean you don't know someone who knows someone who is.
So, I can't be Jack's mama, but I can commit myself to help find her for him. She is out there, this boy is just too sweet to not find her. Can you help? Can you please share this blog, Jack's Story here or his Reece's Rainbow page here?
Here is a little bit about Jack, taken from his Reece's Rainbow page:
"Jack was born in October 2000. He says he would love to find a family with a brother or sister of a similar age so they can play together. He is not an aggressive boy. Although he likes insects and worms, he does not like scary movies. He is very cute, smart and charming. He is also communicative and sociable. The director of his baby house spoke enthusiastically about him. The director of his current orphanage writes very warmly about him. Before he was about to transfer to the older child orphanage, he asked a visitor "do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me. I would really like for a visitor at least, because I am all alone and I have no one." He is open and shows his emotions. His caregivers say he is responsible, obedient and kind. He likes physical education and the natural world. He also likes to sculpt. He understands that his chances of a family choosing him are slim. He has always seen parents coming for the younger children. Jack is living with HIV. Jack is a nice kid. He is active and alert, careful and smart. He is a friendly boy. He does not speak roughly to the other children. He calmly shares his toy when someone asked to ride the scooter. His teachers appreciate him for his peaceful nature – they say he behaves properly in every situation. He listens and takes the word of his educators. He is happy to talk about school, about games, how he went to the circus and rode the rides at the zoo. He is said to be similar to a "home child." He asks mature questions, and his voice breaks in tears when he asked a family why they had come for a younger child and not for him? He asked "what do I need to do for a Mom to come? Do you know where she is? Is she looking for me?" He has enough mental strength to maintain his positive outlook on the world. He is getting older, but he is still a defenseless child in need of care and family warmth."
I know many are hesitant about adopting an older child BUT he does not sound as if he has many of the emotional/aggressive issues that older kids awaiting adoption are often labeled with. He sounds sweet and loving,. I think I connected with him so much because he sounds so much like my Teddy; sweet, loving, caring, artist and a mama's boy at heart even if he has never yet met her.
Are you Jack's mama? Do you know her? Do you know of any place I can share Jack's story where his mama might see it?
this mama who wishes she could be,
P.S. Please ignore the typos in my URL, Sariah thought she would bang on the keyboard a few times for good luck as I hit post making the URL appear as http://reedfamilyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/12/jacvk-needs-mom.html jacVk? whoops.