I am so thankful to have Rachel from Make Something Beautiful guest posting today.
This lady's got a big heart and would love for you to take the time to read.
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I am thankful and honored to have this opportunity to guest post today, it is such a privilege! So that you know a little bit of who you are hearing from here are the basics, I am 34 year old wife to a soon to be pastor, (he is finishing up seminary this summer.) I am a mother to five wonderful children(one of which is due to be born any day now.) I like taking my kids on adventures and "experiences,"we take a lot of these. I have recently discovered the love of writing, even though I have been blogging for 6 1/2 years. Another hobby I have is party planning, I am one of those excessive kid party planners, if you don't like these types just skip my birthday party blog post. Our life is often messy but in the mess we get to see God make something beautiful in our lives. I would love for you to come by my blog, www.make-something-
beautiful.com and get to know my family and I better.
One thing that you will pick up from me after knowing me for only a short time is that I am a BIG fan of the underdog. If you give me a good cause that helps people I will want to get behind it. I think I probably drive my facebook friends crazy with post because 50% of my post are pictures of my kids and thhe other 50% are post about various causes and needs in the world. My husband often has to reign me in and help me focus because I can easily be caught up in so many good causes. Whether is rescuing woman and children from the sex trade, providing clean drinking water for those who lack this simple necessity, or standing behind the persecuted church in countries where Christianity is illegal you will find me "Amening" and getting fired up. But one underdog that I have loved for as long as I can remember is the orphaned child. I have two siblings who were adopted and the home I grew up in was a swinging door of people in need, I guess it is in my blood. My heart grew significantly for orphans with Down Syndrome and special needs after the birth and Down Syndrome diagnosis of my first Son Sam in 2009. Although God has not seen fit through circumstances yet for us to adopt or foster we are doing what we can now to care for the orphan. For a long time I thought that adoption was the only way that I could help the orphan. I spent many, many nights on my computer looking at photo listings of kid is the US and internationally who need the love of a family and I would cry my eyes out. I would feel helpless and often hopeless, thinking there was no way to help these children. But one night God spoke to my heart and said stop crying, there is always something you can do, now get up and do it. So, I began to pray and ask God what he wanted me to do to help the orphan and he ended up leading me to a number of very legitimate and wonderful ways to care for the orphan. I began to see that caring for the orphan was a big job and that there were lots of aspects that I could be a part of. I began an orphan care ministry at our church and we volunteer with two local orphan care ministries. Another way I was led to help has been in the area of fundraising and advocating for orphans. Adoption can be very expensive and there are often people willing and wanting to adopt who do not due to finances. I realized that I could be a part of this redemption.
Redemption is the act of buying something back, or paying a price to return something to your possession. Deliverance upon payment of ransom, rescue.
When you here the word redemption what pictures come to mind? Maybe it is a scene from a movie like Les Miserables where the old priest buys the undeserved freedom of Jean val Jean after he has stolen from him. Possibly you picture someone getting to go back to a pawn shop where they had sold something they loved and getting to repurchase it. If you are a Christian I know when you hear the word redemption you picture Christ on the cross paying the price for the sinners he loves. When I hear the word redemption all these things come to mind but one more stands out and it is the picture of adoption. A child who has been abandoned by the death, neglect, abuse or abandonment of the biological parent, a child who is all alone in world being rescued through commitment and payment of new adoptive parents.
After Sam was born while doing research on the Internet on his condition, Down Syndrome I discovered an amazing organization called Reece's rainbow. They are in the business of redeeming orphans with special needs. Special needs orphans are the bottom of the barrel as far as orphans go, they are often living is horrible conditions with out adequate housing, clothing, food, medical care and worst of all human interaction. Often children with mild and moderate disabilities are left in crib rooms for there whole life, never escaping the bars and white walls. There bodies, minds and spirits never develop under these Holocaust like conditions. In the best case scenarios where they might live in a good baby home or children's home with adequate care when the children reach 4 or 5 years old are transferred to live out their lives in adult mental institutions. Where conditions are often horrible and more like concentration camps then homes. I know this is hard stuff to read especially after seeing happy beautiful photo's of my children living the way children should live in safety, well fed and most importantly well loved but it is important to hear and see the reality of what these children have to endure. These photo's below are of children who were transferred to a mental institution, they are hard to look at by please don't turn away these children need us to look to stare to see so that we respond!
BUT REDEMPTION CAN HAPPEN, these children are not a lost cause!! When a family opens their hearts and lives to these children miracles happen. I want to introduce you to Redemption, I snagged these beautiful before and afters from a fellow blogger and advocate, Adeye at www.nogreaterjoymom.com. This family is living out redemption through adoption and advocacy.
This is Dusty, weighing just 20 pounds when he came home and was admitted straight into hospital for malnutrition.
Today, only ten months later, Dusty weighs over 30 pounds! He is a little miracle boy for sure.
Meet sweet Gabe. Home for just eight months! Weighing just 21 pounds at six years old when adopted. He was left in a crib his entire life. He only took his food pureed from a bottle, hated touch, and could hardly sit up on his own. Weak and malnourished, he needed to be rescued!
Today...a healthy, blossoming, growing boy who loves life!
And beautiful Carrington. Adopted in March 2011 and taken directly from the airport to the hospital. Carrington was nothing but skin and bones--weighing only ten pounds when she came home. Doctors told the family that Carrington's organs had already started shutting down and she had just 24 hours of life left in her.
But God...! Just look what He did! Today, almost one year after coming home, Carrington is healthy and thriving--weighing in at 27 pounds. Glory to God in the highest! Another little miracle.
And darling little Belle. Adopted at almost three years old and weighing only 15 pounds. Belle knew nothing but a life confined to a crib...until her family heard the call and said, "Here we are, Lord! Send us!"
Today...just 13 months later she is a happy, healthy little toddler who weighs 26 pounds.
Sweet, little, teeny-tiny Katie. Rescued just three months ago--hanging on by a thread in a faraway orphanage. God had big plans for this angel! Katie also went straight from the airport to the hospital--weighing a measly 10 pounds 9 ounces at nine years old!
Oh, but just LOOK what a difference family makes! Today...Katie is doing incredibly well. She is a healthy weight for her height and is growing before her family's eyes. She now weighs nearly 23 pounds! What an absolute JOY Katie is to her family!
Ah, handsome boy! Rescued from Africa two years ago--weighing 15 pounds at five years old-- having seizures, asthma attacks, aspirating on his food, and with zero hope! He received no medical care and was in terrible shape--living on borrowed time, bedridden. But God had plans for this lovie too...and He sent a very special family to rescue him.
Today...seven years old and doing so, so well. Weighing 43 pounds, he is the light of his parents lives! Redemption.
Aren't these before and afters incredible. Was it easy, no but these children are so worth it. Do you want to be a part of redemption for children like this? Do you want to buy back what evil has stolen away from these children? Then JOIN US and "MAKE A STAND FOR ORPHANS!!" Host a lemonade stand in the month of May or collect change to give toward the redemption of beautiful special needs children around the world. You can give directly to Reece's Rainbow and receive a tax deduction. Email me at Rachelbbaxter@gmail.com if you want more information or if you want to participate. I would love to keep track of who is participating. FOR MORE TIPS PLEASE VISIT MY BLOG AND LET LEMONADE BE USED TO REDEEM!!