Hi. This isn’t a real post. I wish I had more time to do this up right, but I don’t have time- because they don’t have time.
Last year while living in Virginia I got to meet two remarkable people. They were in the process of trying to adopt a child from Russia. The little girl’s name is Charolette and her parents could not wait to get her. Adopting from Europe is crazy expensive. It takes multiple trips to the country, and you have to spend varying amounts of time there. Charlotte was in a great “baby house” (orphanage), but it wouldn’t have been long before she got transferred to an institution. You see, Charlotte has Down syndrome. In Russia and many other Eastern European countries children with Down syndrome are put up for adoption more often than not. These kids “age out” of the orphanages around five, and then are sent to live in adult mental institutions. Many of those institutions are lacking in medical care, adequate staffing and worse. Much worse.
I don’t want to get into much more of that. It makes me hurt to even think about a child like Abby going through that. Anyways, I met the Dirke’s after I posted about wanting to adopt a child with Down syndrome. A little girl named Elizabeth. She lives in Russia and I could not stop thinking about her. I spoke with Kelly about this right before she went to get Charlotte. She came to find out that the gorgeous girl that I had dreamed about was in the very same baby house as her daughter. It was nothing short of unbelievable. It was good to find out that Elizabeth was in good hands for the time being. We started to explore adopting her and quickly came to the conclusion for many reasons that it was just not something we could do. I was heartbroken. A few weeks later after much stress and fundraising, the Dirke’s brought home Charlotte. When I first met her she was tiny and shy. Within a month she was a different kid completely. She’s going to school and loves cats as much as I do. The Dirke’s became a family with her adoption.
I told Kelly about how sad I was that we wouldn’t be able to adopt Elizabeth to which she replied, “Then I will.” They quickly made plans to go back to Russia and adopt not one but two more children.
Then that retched Vladamir Putin made that impossible.
We ALL were devastated. I cried hard for her, and still think about her a lot.
I can’t imagine the Dirke’s grief. I simply cannot fathom it. They were just months away from adding two more girls to their family. I spoke with Kelly and we held out hope that the law would change. The people of Russia flooded the streets in protest. But it was not to be. For now, all we can do is help with the efforts to educate the Russian people about children with disabilities. I have friends who go in and help reform the education system there and push for inclusion for children with special needs. Hopefully the right’s movement there will take hold as it has here. It’s up to the people of Russia now.
The Dirke’s were back to square one. With broken hearts, they realized that though they couldn’t get their girls in Russia, there were many more children waiting. They found Louisa, a baby born with Down Syndrome and living in Eastern Europe. They’ve been fundraising for a while now and leave to go meet her next week. I’ve been so out of touch with the world that I didn’t realize the time was coming so soon, nor did I know that they were at a loss for funds until today.
Today I came across this picture:
I thought, “Oh my gosh that is a beautiful ring…” then I clicked on the image to see that it was my friend Kelly’s, along with this message:
“Six years ago, on my 24th birthday, my now husband knelt down in front of me and asked me to marry him. Ever since that night, I’ve proudly worn the ring that he picked out for me. It (and my wedding band) are the only pieces of jewelry that I wear.
And I hate to see it go.
But we’re up against a fundraising deadline. We leave in SEVEN days–we need funding in THREE so the money has time to transfer. Funding that we were anticipating has not come through for us.
It’s just jewelry. Louisa’s life is more important than a ring.
For every $20 donation you make to our FIG grant with Project Hopeful or our FSP with Reece’s Rainbow, you will receive one chance to win the ring. Sharing this post on FB or Twitter gives you a free chance to win. We need 500 donations of $20 to reach our fundraising goal.
Donation receipts can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our FIG fund with Project Hopeful: http://projecthopeful.org/matched-families-2/ (scroll all the way to the bottom to Louisa’s family)
Our FSP with Reece’s Rainbow: http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=Stori“
You guys, she’s willing to give away her WEDDING RING to go get this girl. She’s willing to give everything it takes to save this child’s life. And though she’d never in a million years say it, she’s a hero. She’s my hero. I didn’t choose to have two kids with special needs. She is. She’s choosing to take on children others would not. And she’s giving everything she has for the opportunity.
We can’t let her do that, can we? Can we show her that she can keep her wedding ring and fill the empty seat at her dinner table? Can we help her bring home a baby sister for Charlotte? We can’t all go and adopt waiting children, but we can help the people who are. Please please help me. If you can’t donate, you can still share. You can still pray, send good vibes, whatever you believe in for this family. For those of you who saw my status on my Facebook page and donated or shared already, thank you so much. I cried when I saw how many people had said they helped out.
To learn more about this family visit their blog: In Mama’s Heart
To see some adorable pictures of Charlotte taken by my friend Megan visit: My Stubborn Little Miss
*This is not a forum to call into question why they would choose to adopt internationally rather than from the US. All children deserve a home. Period.