Saving His Sparrows

Saving His Sparrows
Click the picture to see children who are waiting for a family.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Video of Kiril -- please continue to pray!

Julia has posted a video of Kiril and a heart felt plea for prayer for him. Check it out here.

The judge denied his adoption because he thought a downs syndrome child was better off in an institution than in a family! His family wants him home desperately and they are apealing to the supreme court in Kiril's country. Please pray for them. Thanks! See my previous post for more details on Kiril's story.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pray for Karil!

I'm Reposting Kiril's Story. You can find the original post here. His family has been working hard to adopt him, but have run in to difficulty -- please read their story and pray! Thanks!

Kirill's Story

Please feel free to share the following on your blogs. It is a summary of our adoption journey so far. Please help us spread the word. We are hoping somehow someone will be able to help us.

Two years ago Greg and I began praying for God to do whatever he wanted with our lives. We handed him a “blank check” so to speak, and told him to cash it. He opened our eyes to children with disabilities wasting away across the ocean in Eastern Europe. We joined God and started our adoption journey.

Our family is more than equipped to handle a child with special needs. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Best Buddies of Alabama. I have volunteered for RISE and Eagles’ Wings. All of these organizations serve individuals with special needs. My husband I have close friends and family who have special needs and we are a big part of each other’s lives. Our wedding party included some of these special people. Our involvement with individuals with special needs led us to adopt a child with special needs; specifically, we chose Down Syndrome.

As we prayed over the faces of thousands of orphaned children with Down Syndrome, we ultimately chose a little boy named Sergey from Russia. Eight months later, as we neared the finish line of our adoption, one of Sergey’s family members in Russia stepped forward to adopt him. We were heartbroken for our loss, but God showed us that we were following him, and his ways are perfect. We knew we still wanted to adopt, so the way we saw it, two children would find homes because of our journey…Sergey went to his family and now we would choose another child to come into our family. We took great comfort in knowing that God could see this when we first committed to Sergey! We were honored to be a part of his plan.

Shortly after losing Sergey, we received a new referral with a grainy photo of a four-year-old blond-haired boy wearing pink glasses named Kirill. We were instantly in love with him. We had to re-file a lot of our paperwork because of the change in referrals and regions of Russia, but we were fast and we thought we were looking at three more months at the most until we would have Kirill home.

That was well over a year ago.

Since then so many things have happened. A tragic story of an adoptive mother sending her child back to his country alone on a plane with a note pinned to his shirt rocked our world…he was from Russia. Adoptions in Russia came to a screeching halt. Kirill’s region stopped processing adoptions for eight long months. The judge refused to accept any Amercian adoption cases until an official treaty was signed between the United States and Russia.

Even though we wouldn’t be able to finalize the adoption in court until the treaty was signed, we were allowed to go visit Kirill and sign our official petition to adopt him in August 2010. We fell more deeply in love with him. This was our son.

During that time, we found out that Kirill is the first child from his region EVER to be adopted with Down Syndrome. A birth mother keeping her child with Down Syndrome is unheard of in this area of the world. Adoptions of children with Down Syndrome just don’t happen there, these children are literally hidden away from society in orphanages and mental institutions. As our process continued, it became apparent that Kirill would be a pioneer. If our adoption was approved, it would pave the way for other children with special needs to be adopted from this region.

Then, a miracle happened around Christmas and the judge in this region suddenly changed her mind and began processing American adoptions again. We were elated. Could this be the light at the end of a very long tunnel? I was somewhat nervous about Kirill being the first child adopted with Down Syndrome from his region, but our agency was very confident that if we got a court date, our adoption would be approved. In seventeen years, they had never had a case rejected IF the family was issued a court date. We were told not to worry, so I didn’t. After meeting the judge’s requests for several supporting court documents, we were finally granted a court date-March 17, 2011. St. Patrick’s Day…I was thrilled. This would be our new favorite holiday! Our son was coming home!

Our other son, Clayton, who had just turned three when we started this adoption process, has prayed fervently for his brother. He is now almost five. When we told him Kirill was coming home, oh my…we had an excited big brother on our hands! At one point he even went to his room, dumped out his toy cars and divided them into two stacks…one for him and one for Kirill.

Last week, as we sat in the courtroom and suffered through five agonizing hours of difficult questioning, we were not prepared for anything but an approval of our case. Two doctors, two social workers, and the Minister of Children’s Services all made very strong statements on our behalf. They fought for us. Hard.

But when the ruling was read, the judge said, “Your application to adopt is rejected.” The basis given was that Kirill was “not socially adaptable” due to his “medical condition” and he was better off in an institution than in a home with a family. As the judge read her ruling, she stated several times that we were a good family, that we met all the criteria to adopt a child, but that she would not approve our adoption because Kirill has Down Syndrome. She told us that we could adopt another child, because legally our application had no problems according to Russian adoption law. She said she would approve our adoption for a “typical” child, but not this child. Why? The only reason? Because he has Down Syndrome. Even though we were approved by our home study and by the USCIS to adopt a child with special needs. It makes no sense whatsoever. Denying a child a family because he has Down Syndrome is a violation of human rights at its most basic level!

It was like a terrible dream. We were so unprepared for this outcome. As we left the courthouse in a mental fog, the doctors and social workers that had testified came to us and said, “If you appeal, we will fight for you. Appeal. Fight this decision.” Of course we were going to appeal…I could no more walk away from our biological son, Clayton, at this point. Kirill is just as much my son.

So here we are, asking God to move the mountain that is standing between Kirill and us as we appeal to the Supreme Court in Moscow. There are also three other families who are in various stages of adopting children with Down Syndrome from Kirill’s region; one of the families has a court hearing set for next week.

We are hoping that someone will hear our outcry and help us bring our son and these other waiting children home. His adoption will set the precedent for many other children in his region. There are 98 children in his orphanage with special needs alone. It is one of many orphanages in this region that houses children with special needs. This is about more than just one child, the lives of hundreds of children with special need are at stake. Please help us.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pray for Carrington!

You can see a picture of sweet Carrington on her button at the side of this blog. Until recently she lived in an orphanage. She was recently adopted by a wonderful family from Texas. She just arrived in the US on Thursday and went straight to the hospital because she is severely malnourished. She weighed in at the hospital at 11 pounds and she is THREE years old! She is making slow progress, but needs a lot of prayer. She would have died had she not been adopted -- in fact the doctors are surprised she made it to the US -- they say it is only God that kept her alive. Please pray for this sweet girl and her family. To see pictures and read more about her please check out her blog here!

To help rescue other children click here (boys) or here (girls) and choose a child to pray for today! If you are able -- please consider donating to a waiting child's grant fund to help adoptive parents afford to rescue them -- consider donating $5, $10, or more today (even $1 helps -- remember the widows mite!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Donate to Easton, Nikolai, or Sasha for a chance to win an IPAD & other amazing prizes!

Aren't these boys cute! This site is hosting a give away to help raise funds for Easton and two other precious orphans to help raise money for their grant funds. Hopefully soon Families will commit to bring these children home. The grant funds raised will help with the financial needs associated with international adoption. Click HERE to learn more about these children and donate for an opportunity to win an IPAD, ITouch, WII, or $300 Target gift card!

Easton (left), Nikolai (right) & Sasha (below)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Look at that bright smile!

Meet Victoria. This little girl has attracted my attention -- she's been on my heart for some time now. She has arthrogryposis and cannot walk because her feet are crooked, but with proper treatment her feet can be straightened and she can learn to walk. I long to see her blossom. She is actually in a mental institute that I gather is one of the especially bad ones. This picture was taken somewhat recently however -- and in this picture I see a light in her face. I'd love to see her blossom and develop. To see Victoria's potential, check out this blog to see what Gerri can do! Gerri was adopted last spring from Eastern Europe. She also has arthrogryposis. Her feet were quite twisted (visit this post for before & after pictures!) but with treatment she can now walk! (Check out this post to see a video of her walking!) (She has recently gone back to casts to straighten her feet a bit more, but she'll be out of them in about a month and will be back to walking again!) I'd love to see Victoria making the same progress.

Here is her beautiful picture!

Victoria (1)

Victoria (1)
Girl, Born December 12, 2002
I can't wait to see Victoria with long, flowing hair!
Miss Victoria was born arthrogryposis, which only appears to affect her legs/feet. She has a glowing personality and is a caregiver favorite. Will be wonderful to see her, after surgery and therapy, walking on her own!! If she is not adopted, she will spend the rest of her life bedridden.
From her medical records: congenital arthrogryposis, divergent squint.
From our facilitator: Victoria is happy and affectionate. She loves to play with her dolls and to pretend to be mommy. She is a very pretty girl. She is a rather smart girl, the care-givers love her. She cannot support herself and needs assistance. She does not walk but she is a very active girl. She is moving herself somehow, using mostly her hands.
As with all children living in these difficult conditions, this child's cognitive development has regressed significantly since he/she was younger. It is of crucial importance that any family considering the adoption of an older child from the mental institution setting be well prepared for what to expect with regards to how the neglect and lack of adequate medical care and nourishment has affected this child. These children all have TREMENDOUS potential for improvement, and deserve to have a life outside these four walls.
These children are truly living on borrowed time, and families should be home study approved before an official commitment can be made for this child.