Friday, December 31, 2010

Been there...Done that!

Ok...Went to Philadelphia to the Mexican Consulate..the office there was as helpful as can be...she took all our info & ID from Hubby and was going to research and make a call to Mexican Embassy in NY. Before we got home we had an email from the gal!

She was very nice & helpful...Thanks for all your prayers..but keep em' comin'.... we have to contact the US Embassy in Mexico City on Monday...So maybe that office can help us better and being they are in the capital of Mexico...I think so too! Atleast I think this is where Interpol is in Mexico. I called the US embassy today there but that office was already out and I will call again Monday.

I also called our translator today in Eastern Europe..she told me that they are hoping they'll have something on Jan 4 th..so hoping & praying as well....She also spoke to our Marco and he said to tell me thank You for the gifts and he is waiting for us! And to say hello to my mommy..Oh Lordy...I needed this to keep going...it's been 8 weeks since our 1 st trip and we should have been back 2 weeks after that...I miss him so much and can't wait until we get him home...I know with all this extra added stress it's all the more sweeter when it really happens! Every adoption seems to be that way....

Happy New Year...

& thanks for your prayers & I'll take some more if you'd please!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mexican Consulate here we come...

Ok...so very early in the morning we will leave to go to the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia! They open at 8:30 am. We hope to have them persuade Interpol to fax a letter over to the Eastern Europe Angency while we wait...we will need prayers for this one..

Thanks to you all on the yahoo group praying for us..soon I will have to go private with all this talk about agencies! etc..but for now this is where we're at...we need Interpol just to tell SDA that my hubby is not the guy in Mexico...Different Nationality but his name is very common and mine never had a middle name...
stay tuned....

Met Larissa in person today!

Had a nice talk sharing about our adoption experiences while doing Larissa's hair this morning! So nice to finally have someone in our own town adopting through Reeces Rainbow!

Please continue to pray for Interpol clearance..We are heading to the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia if our fax doesn't get to anyone soon!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Soon....

Our blog will be going private...I will be adding many pictures and and info on the kids & our adoption process...please email me for an invitation so you can continue to view our blog. We have some beautiful pictures & videos of the kids I have been saving to put on the blog. The kids are growing so fast and doing so well..Most of you on Face Book have gotten to see all the kids..but I have new pictures I will be putting up here while we are private..I know I have thousands of visitors..but I think I can only invite 100 if I'm not mistaken...so they will fill up fast..Thank You all for following our adoptions...email me anytime at rubenandjoann@msn.com from around the world! I can also update this way..

Moratorium Update

Well the vote is now pushed back until January 11 th...at this time if a vote passes it will not stop adoption now, but changes will be made for a Hague country for adoptions...The process has some differences which I will post on later is it happens.
We almost had our date! Our facilitator thought maybe a way to expedite but still nothing yet...Trying to be patient and just keep busy & keep improving and purging & decorating the house inside...

Glad to have all the kids home now for the Holidays...so looking forward to our trip to Disney when we finally get Marco home...I think it'll be around Easter...
For now we are Homeschooling 5 of the older kids using Switched on Schoolhouse. Finally a dream come true..and it feels right this time..We have done some home schooling in the past and it just wasn't the right timing..I feel like I have my kids back..
The 5 littles are still in school and our 5 th daughter with Downs will probably join the home schoolers for 6 th grade next year, modified. When Marco comes we will just focus on Rosetta Stone English to start, which my friend Lyndi is sending me this week. The boy they adopted is speaking pretty well already after 4 months so she is done with disc 1 which is the basics.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ivan is alive!

Some how this was a mistake! So happy to hear he is alive! Praise God!

Steve Green- "Find Us Faithful"



Reminds me of all going through the journey of adoption ...

Friday, December 24, 2010

This beauty needs a Mommy!


This is a child we have been trying to find a family for a long time. We call this little girl “Lisa” and she has waited a long time due to her HIV status and the fact that Thailand has been relatively strict as far as eligibility. However, Thailand has loosened their requirements in order to find a family for this child. Single women are now eligible for her adoption! Our program specialist has just come back from a visit and described her as being “absolutely adorable.” Her ID number in our system is H09-02 and she was born at the end of 2005. She is an incredible girl with bright eyes. She has rosy chubby cheeks. She enjoys playing physical activities. She likes to play on the jungle gym and jump on the trampoline. She has great fine motor skills and can build a bridge using blocks and string beads on a thread. She is described as a happy and bright child. She enjoys other people and likes to play with her peers. She is affectionate and gives the younger children hugs and kisses. She can speak in her native language and knows some English words. She waits for her own family because she is HIV positive. Her family will be so lucky to see her smile each day! We are seeking a family that is paper ready! She has been waiting for almost a year! Contact Lisa Trinh for further information ltrinh@chsfs.org or 651-255-2252.

Finally!

Well we finally got an email there is a way to expedite our interpol paper...but the facilitator will not know for sure until Dec. 27th...and then was wondering if we could come for the 29 th or 30 TH!!!LOL I think one day notice to book flights will be tough!! Not to mention the cost! So we are hoping for an alternate court date soon!
Very relieved and excited to know we will be going very soon though...So I think it's safe to say we will have Marco by his birthday January 14 th!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Well Christmas is almost here and there are some who will get nothing...won't you help an orphan in need of a family by doing 1 of 3 things..Pray...donate...adopt one?

Reeces Rainbow,,, Reece's Rainbow was begun in June of 2006 by Director, Andrea Roberts.  Since that time, the organization has grown exponentially, and many new volunteers have stepped up to assist with the increasing needs of our families and waiting children.  God never intended for this to be a one-woman-show!    We are seeking additional volunteers to help us in various areas, so we can continue to grow and effectively meet the needs of our adopting families....

Many of the children have large grants which helps families tremendously! There is not a shortage of people who want to adopt...but it is not cheap. Many families like us that don't have much & have done it! We have adopted 4 and in the process of the 5th child from Eastern Europe...That's 5 children in 5 years which makes a total of 11...Sound difficult? Well, if we can do it so can you. If you have ever thought of adoption in the past, why not bring that thought to the future. The future of a little child depends on it! It all works out somehow and we are a large happy family. We find the humor in almost everything, that's how we have so much fun and less stress than some small families. Our typical Biological kids have learned so much from these children and vice versa. Compassion, patience, joy and that the simple things are great & not to be taken for granted. Of course God is our Rock and we depend on Him to raise and guide us and our children daily.

Our fifth daughter is now 10. She has designer genes called Down Syndrome after Dr. John Langdon Haydon Down.

John Langdon Haydon Down  was a British doctor best known for his description of a relatively common genetic disorder that is now called Down syndrome.


Down was born in Torpoint, Cornwall. He was descended on his father’s side from an Irish family, his great-great grandfather having been Protestant bishop of Derry. John Down went to local schools including the Devonport Classical and Mathematical School. At 14 he was apprenticed to his father, the village apothecary at Anthony St Jacob’s. The vicar gave him a present of Arnott’s Physics which made him determined to take up a scientific career. At the age of 18 he went to London where he got a post working for a surgeon in the Whitechapel Road where he had to bleed patients, extract teeth, wash bottles and dispense drugs. Later he entered the pharmaceutical laboratory in Bloomsbury Squareand won the prize for organic chemistry. He also met Michael Faraday and helped him with his work on gases. More than once he was called back to Torpoint to help his father in the business until he died in 1853. Down would have liked a career in science but in those days there were few prospects for a career in chemistry.
Kids with Down Syndrome are Radiant! They are entertaining and funny & wity! If we could all capture every funny thing they said we could make a weekly TV sitcom. They are true blessing to have in your family.

Some children are born with medical issues that most times can be fixed through surgeries. I thought I couldn't handle our Amelia when she was born & her medical problems, but God gives you the grace to handle it. After a couple of days in the NICU I was just so relieved she would live...and the Downs was just a tiny part of Amelia's being. First they are a child...a blessing, a gift like any other child. Please don't be scared off by a little title they have be given..which I have changed to Designer Genes anyway! The word “down” seems negative...but I can assure you having 5 little ones with Downs is not the case. They are nothing but UP! And that's where they bring us...up!
We hope that you will visit the Reeces Rainbow Website at www.reecesrainbow.org and The Worlds Waiting Children http://waitingchildren.wordpress.com/ and www.Rainbowkids.com
We have adopted through all of these websites.

Please pray as you look upon the faces of these little ones and try to imagine what they need....a family.
Won't you do 1 of the 3 things above? Pray...1.For the families in the countries of the children to accept their baby and not give them away for adoption. 2. Pray For families to spark an interest in adoption and research the websites available on the internet of all children. 3.Pray For people to donate to the Angel Tree for Christmas in someones honor that may have passed away or special to them and in their lives today. 4. Pray for your family & that maybe God is placing adoption on your heart.

Everyone can pray these things..
But please take it a step further and donate or adopt a little one into your heart & family. I have seen the children with my own eyes....
“ Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts & knows our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
Prov. 24:12
"It is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…defend the rights of the needy." (Proverbs 31:8,9)
The children are so precious and some very delicate due to their needs not getting met. What better way then to donate to a ministry where the money is put into an account for a family who is willing & led to adopt one of these angels! . The best medicine and way to fix this problem is adoption into a family.

Since I have been visiting and adopting children, I have met at least 2 children in the past year that have passed on to Jesus' arms...These children laughed , smiled and hugged me....along with others that came and didn't know them. They were so willing to be loved and hugged. Unfortunately they got sick and didn't have the medicine or endurance to make it through. Please reach inside yourself & pray about adoption. It is one of the most fulfilling & enriching things you will ever do.

There is a team at Reeces Rainbow and The Worlds Waiting Children and Rainbowkids.com ready to answer your questions & guide you through a process you'll never forget. The end of this process is the reward of one of these beautiful angels waiting for you.

Take a leap of faith! You will be glad you did.
Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Torres Family

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IMAGE THEFT & WHY I DON"T POST MANY PICS OF MY KIDS

Protecting Images - Put plain and simple: the only way to protect your images from being downloaded or stolen off a web page is to not put them online in the first place. While I put this fact out there as blunt as possible, there are several techniques we can use to make website downloads and image theft much harder. Of course, image theft can be defined in a number of ways, and its definition - and hence measures (if any) taken to prevent it - will depend upon the individual.

There are many ways to protect images from being downloaded, ranging from modifying the image itself (tips 1-3), to preventing webpages downloads (tips 4-8), to being pro-active in finding unauthorized usage of images online (tips 9-10). And while I discuss many common types of image protection, there are many others that I do not mention. A few of the techniques mentioned in this article are directed more towards web designers (these tips are marked with an *), but several can be used on photo sharing website's such as smugmug, flickr, pbase, and webshots.

What is image theft? Image theft is the unauthorized use of an image, photograph, drawing, or illustration. Well duh. Is it really that simple? Of course not. The hard part is that many people differ in the definition of 'unauthorized use'. Where one person may not care whether their photograph is downloaded from a web page and placed on another website without their knowledge, there are some that find this to be blatant copyright infringement.

Can I download an image? If you are interested in knowing whether unauthorized downloading and use is illegal: many websites will have an image use statement, and it is best and safest to ALWAYS ask the artist for permission. Ultimately, the default for image downloading and usage should ALWAYS be "All Rights Reserved" (eg don't use without permission).
Can I protect an image? If you are an artist interested in protecting your images: it is best to first define for yourself what your policy on image theft is, then define the measures you need to protect your images (even if this means not putting your images online in the first place). It is important to publicly display your policy on image use in an image use statement on your website.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Moratorium Update

Just got a reply email back from the US Embassy on my question about the moratorium.....


The bill on moratorium is now scheduled for December 24th. So Please all be praying for this to not take affect any time soon..There are many orphans in process to come home.

and waiting..

it is 3:30 am and got up with the barking dogs...they sometimes bark at a man who leaves for work at this time in a tractor trailer...so thought I 'd check the email because it's 10:30 in Eastern Europe! Just as I was answering my Aunt's email...I got one from US Embassy that they got their request letter to interpol on Thursday...so hoping for a quick response!! Sitting on the edge on my seat because this is the week for the vote for the possible moratorium.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Still Waiting....

I have recently had contact with the US Embassy about our delay...We were emailed a few docs to sign and fax back to give them permission to investigate our Adoption process..So they have hopefully already sent a letter to Interpol on our behalf and can find out the exact delay. Looking forward to hearing something soon. We are ready to go...not looking forward to flying in the winter..have heard some turbulent stories lately on the yahoo group..Yesterday when I was driving I noticed how clear & sunny it was...praying for a travel day like this. I will be re-packing my suitcase since I will be bringing things over for our Pastor friend & his wife...Need to pick up an Electric razor and some other things for his Christmas gift...also have one item from last trip we forgot to pack...so I want to remember it all..

They are also in need of another vehicle for their family. They are in full time ministry and do not have the means to afford one on their own. They are looking to get a 7 passenger van which will cost about $9000. or have a commitment to a monthly payment. So if anyone has any grant info or fund raising ideas to help this family. Having more than 2 children in their country is not popular...but they are Christians and want to have a large family.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Someone please consider Anya to the right! She is a doll baby...$6000 grant

Anya is a little doll...she is smiling so nicely in this pic ...Please consider her for your family..She has a $6000 grant to defray the costs..That is a huge help...I will be seeing her soon when I get to Eastern Europe so I can get new pics for the New Mommy I am hoping comes forward soon!! She is very sweet and lovable!

I HAVE A FAMILY!!! YAY!

Still Waiting....

Well...I spoke to the US Embassy this morning at 3:30 am to see about our document delay and the procedure is to email...So my email is off and waiting for the response with a letter that we need to sign and scan & email back. I hope they see it!!!
So ready to go over and get our boy... for now I need a nap..been up too long already!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

NEW THEORY OF DOWN SYNDROME CAUSE MAY LEAD TO NEW THERAPIES

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Conventional wisdom among scientists for years has suggested that because individuals with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome, the disorder most likely results from the presence of too many genes or proteins contained in that additional structure.

But a recent study reveals that just the opposite could be true – that a deficiency of a protein in the brain of Down syndrome patients could contribute to the cognitive impairment and congenital heart defects that characterize the syndrome.


Terry Elton
Scientists have shown in a series of experiments that there are lower levels of this protein in the brains of humans and mice with Down syndrome than are present in humans and mice without the disorder.

The researchers also showed that manually manipulating pieces of RNA that regulate the protein could increase protein levels in both human cell lines and mouse brains. In fact, an experimental drug that acts on those RNA segments returned this protein to normal levels in mice that model the syndrome.

When this RNA segment is overexpressed – meaning that more of it is present than needed in a cell – the protein level goes down, or is underexpressed. A total of at least five of these RNA segments are naturally overexpressed in persons with Down syndrome because the segments are housed on chromosome 21 – the chromosome that causes the disorder.

“We’re talking about a paradigm-shifting idea that maybe we should look for underexpressed proteins and not overexpressed proteins in Down syndrome,” said Terry Elton, senior author of the study and a professor of pharmacology at Ohio State University.

“What this offers to the Down syndrome community is the potential for at least five new therapeutic targets to pursue.”

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Scientists have shown in a series of experiments that there are lower levels of a specific protein in the brains of humans and mice with Down syndrome than are present in humans and mice without the disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 13 of every 10,000 babies born in the United States each year have Down syndrome, characterized primarily by a mild-to-moderate range of intellectual disabilities, possible delayed language development and difficulties with physical coordination.

The study is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Elton, also interim director of Ohio State’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, stumbled upon this theory about Down syndrome while working on a different protein associated with cardiovascular disease. It turns out the protein he has studied for 25 years was regulated by one of these microRNAs that is known to be housed on chromosome 21.

A key role of RNA in a cell is to make protein, and proteins are the building blocks of all life. But the process has many steps. MicroRNAs are small pieces of RNA that bind to messenger RNA, which contains the actual set of instructions for building proteins. When that connection is made, however, the microRNA inhibits the building of the protein. Why that occurs is not completely understood, but increasingly microRNAs are considered tiny molecules that have a big impact in a number of physiological processes.

For his cardiovascular disease research, Elton found that a genetic trait in some people caused one specific microRNA to be bad at its job, leading to high protein levels that contribute to cardiovascular disease. This malfunctioning molecule is called microRNA-155, or miR-155.

“So we became interested in miR-155, and it is on chromosome 21. That’s how we jumped to Down syndrome,” Elton said.

There is also a strong link between the heart and Down syndrome. About half of those with the syndrome are born with congenital heart defects – problems with the heart’s anatomy, not coronary arteries. But they do not experience cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.

The advent of biomedical informatics has allowed scientists to use supercomputers to explore the human genome in a search for genes and their various relationships in the context of human disease. Elton consulted a bioinformatic database and found that five microRNAs sit on chromosome 21, and he and colleagues demonstrated in previous research that all five of them are overexpressed in the tissues, brains and hearts of Down syndrome patients.

“That means that whatever proteins these microRNAs work with are underexpressed,” Elton said.

Further database exploration suggested that these five microRNAs target 1,695 proteins, all of which could cause problems in Down syndrome because they are underexpressed. To narrow that to a more manageable number, Elton’s group had to make an educated guess based on a variety of data, including which proteins that are connected to these microRNAs are made by cells in the brain and heart – two areas most commonly affected by Down syndrome.

A protein surfaced as an attractive target to study: methyl-CpG-binding protein 2, known as MeCP2. Among the reasons it seemed important: A mutation in this protein is already known to lead to Rett syndrome, a cognitive disorder.

“So we thought that it was more than a coincidence that this protein plays a role in normal brain development, and if the protein doesn’t function right, you’re going to have cognitive impairment. Maybe this is the connection,” Elton said. “We still don’t know if this is the most important protein related to Down syndrome. But we were able to go on and prove scientifically that MeCP2 is a target of these microRNAs on chromosome 21.”

The researchers used just two of the five microRNAs on chromosome 21 for the experiments in this study, miR-155 and miR-802, to match the only microRNAs available in the genetically engineered mouse model of Down syndrome.

First, the researchers made copies of the relevant microRNAs. In human brain cell lines, they manipulated levels of those two molecules to show the inverse relationship with the protein. If the microRNAs were more active, the level of the MeCP2 protein went down. When the microRNAs were underexpressed, the protein levels went up.

Next, the researchers examined adult and fetal human brain tissue from healthy and Down syndrome samples obtained from a national tissue bank.

“In both adult and fetal Down syndrome brain samples, it didn’t matter which area of the brain we were looking at, the MeCP2 proteins were down. These are just observations with no manipulation on our part, and the MeCP2 is almost non-existent in the Down syndrome brain,” Elton said. “We marked the protein with a fluorescent molecule, and by comparison, we could visualize and appreciate how much MeCP2 was being made by neurons in the control samples.”

MeCP2 is a transcription factor, meaning it turns genes on and off. If its levels are too low in the brain, this suggests that genes influenced by its presence should be malfunctioning, too. Based on previous research by another group, Elton and colleagues focused on two genes affected by the MeCP2 protein for their next set of experiments.

Looking again at the human brain tissue samples, they found that the genes were indeed affected by the lowered protein level in Down syndrome brains – one gene that MeCP2 normally silences was in abundance, and the gene that should have been activated was underexpressed. Because the two genes examined have known roles in neural development, Elton said the results suggested even more strongly that the lowered protein’s effects on the genes likely contribute to cognitive problems associated with Down syndrome.

Finally, the researchers tested an experimental drug called an antagomir on mice that serve as models for Down syndrome research. Antagomirs are relatively new agents that render microRNAs inactive. The scientists injected an antagomir into the brains of these mice to silence the miR-155 with the intent to increase levels of the MeCP2 protein. Seven days after the injection, the level of the protein in the treated mouse brains resembled levels in normal mouse brains.

“We showed that we can fix the protein abnormality in mice that model Down syndrome. But we can’t undo the pathology that has already occurred,” Elton said. “It’s a starting point, but it appears that we have new therapeutic targets to consider.”

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation Jerome Lejeune.

Co-authors of the study were Donald Kuhn, Gerard Nuovo, Mickey Martin, Geraldine Malana, Sarah Sansom, Adam Pleister and David Feldman of Ohio State’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute; Alvin Terry Jr. and Wayne Beck of Medical College of Georgia’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; and Elizabeth Head of the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, Department of Neurology, University of California, Irvine.

#

Contact: Terry Elton, (614) 292-1400; terry.elton@osumc.edu

Written by Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310; caldwell.151@osu.edu

For all those in process now adoptions...please register your adoption so they are aware of how many of us are out there!!

Adoption Notice

kyivadoptions@state.gov

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues


December 9, 2010




On November 3, 2010, a proposed bill that would place a moratorium on intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements, including the United States passed a first reading in the Ukrainian parliament. On December 7, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv learned the proposed moratorium bill has been scheduled for a second reading during the upcoming plenary session on December 16. As the plenary session does have several important agenda items, this schedule may be subject to change depending on the progress of each issue.



Additionally, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv was informed that a slight, but possibly important, change was made to the text for the second reading. The bill originally stated, “intercountry adoptions will not be allowed for the citizens and permanent residents of the countries with which Ukraine does not have bilateral adoption agreements.” The change eliminates the word “bilateral,” which may allow the possibility of multilateral agreements, like the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, to take the place of bilateral agreements.



The Ukrainian State Department for Adoptions (SDA) has indicated that adoption processing will be conducted as usual until mandated by a change in legislation.



The Department of State cannot predict the outcome of the second reading. However, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is active in encouraging its counterparts to consider the Hague Adoption Convention as the best means to address concerns in the adoption process and to safeguard cases in progress. The Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Any prospective adoptive parents with cases currently open in Ukraine are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy Kyiv Adoption Unit. The Embassy maintains a listserv to communicate with U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents and will use this to send updates as information is available.

Interpol Delay ...

Well it looks like one of us has been mixed up with a Torres in Mexico?? LOL The spelling is usually different so not sure how this happened..but at least we may have a lead why we have a delay...SO I will be contacting the US embassy in Kiev on Monday to see how they can help this move forward...Never a dull moment with adoption! You can expect anything & everything through out the process....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This is great!! Hope they keep pushing it back!

Good news on the vote. :) It was scheduled for Dec 16 in the morning (before the morning break) and has now been pushed to the week of Dec 21-24 according to the Rada website. I'm hopeful this means they are still working out details and will not implement it in its current form.

As I mentioned before, the Legal Division of Ukraine has recommended the bill be rejected as it will cause conflicts with other areas of the Family Code that are not being changed. Two amendments were filed on Nov 30 but the text of those is not available online.

For those who are interested in following the Rada proceedings, the website is http://www.rada.gov.ua/zakon/new/WR/. Clicking on that will give you links to the weekly schedules for the Rada. You can then search on the page for the bill number 4313, which is the bill in question. If you click on the bill number, you will go to a page with links to the actual bill as well as to who has voted for/against, etc.

I'm checking the Rada website every couple of days so I will keep you guys updated as I see more. If you have time and enjoy deciphering cyrillic (or like playing with Google translate), the Rada website is a WEALTH of information on random legal stuff for Ukraine!

Courtney

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Waiting...

We are still waiting but it's all good....hoping we
will get court soon and praying the moratorium vote gets tabled for all the children's sake that are in process of adoption.. It was skipped over before and it could happen again. Also praying that behind the scenes progress will be made to continue to allow special needs adoptions to come to fruition during the possible moratorium.

Made contact with one of the Docs where we adopted our 3 little angels 2 summers ago. They are waiting for the hair doos when I can get out there...I am packed for the most part and looking forward to the trip. It should be very exciting seeing our boy and having him with me and doing hair for about 10 days for the care workers of the little ones in the orphanage. Praying for a safe and non-turbulent flight...that last one to Eastern Europe had a bout of turbulence I have never experienced...10 -15 minutes of bouncing like we had felt like an hour...need another flying course online!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Karin Dom 2008 Intense Video









Amazing to see this therapy and Intervention in Bulgaria & Ukraine..More centers need to be implemented, but it is out there for families who decide to keep their children...Please turn off music below on right to hear videos.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eric Ludy - Depraved Indifference



Crazy? This is a comment people have made about us adopting special needs kids from a far off place..After viewing this video maybe you can see what motivates us to do what we do...spend $70,000 to rescue orphans that are considered less than in their own culture. Because God rescued us...Because God adopted us...Because God tells us to take care of orphans...

Do you wonder why we're so "Crazy" that we would adopt again? I don't need to add a single thing to it. This is EXACTLY why we would spend thousands of dollars and travel the ocean many times for little lives. It's exactly why we trust that God is big enough, strong enough, loving enough-- to take care of us ALL once we are home together. Because we ARE God's body. God rescues the weak...God uses the meek..
Praise God for all those who helped us save these children through donations & fund raising & prayers through the years.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

UD PATE ON MORATORIUMS: From Rainbowkids.com

Ukraine: It has been widely rumored that Ukraine is moving towards implementing the Hague. Several sources indicate that a true "shut down" of Ukraine adoptions is not imminent. More information will be known by the end of 2010.

Russian Adoption Agreement: The 5th in a series of talks between Russian officials and US DOS took place last week. Although widely reported in the major media, these talks are viewed by adoption insiders as a formality. US-Russian adoption did not shut down during 2010, and there is no indication that any threat to the process exists today. Good news for families and waiting children!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Should You Adopt Internationally?

Pros and cons, difficulty, speed
Medical info, race, birthparent rights, orphanages
Because you are dealing with two countries and usually have to travel overseas to go and get the child, international adoptions are by their very nature more complicated than U.S. adoptions. In addition to the fact that U.S. adoptions are usually less complicated, here are some of the reasons some people cite for not wanting to adopt internationally:

They are concerned about the health of a child raised in an orphanage.
They are worried about the high cost of many international adoptions, including the cost associated with foreign travel.
They don't like the idea of traveling to a foreign country and staying for days or weeks in another culture while waiting for the paperwork to be processed.
Other adopters have equally strong views about why international adoptions are preferable:

They believe their waiting time to adopt a child will be very short.
They feel they can't adopt a same-race child in the United States but can do so from another country.
They are opposed to open adoptions involving contact with birthparents (most intercountry adoptions are not open).
They think that birthparents from other countries will be less likely to change their minds about an adoption.
They think children living in overseas orphanages will not have been exposed to abuse and neglect.
Take a look at the number of adoptions in the top 10 countries in the world from 1999 to 2003, based on immigrant visas issued to children adopted by Americans. As you can see, China has been the number-one country from 2000 to 2003.

International Adoption Statistics, Top 10 Countries, Based on Immigrant Visas Issued to Orphans Coming to the United States, FY 1999-2003
2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
China
6,859 China
5,053 China
4,681 China
5,053 Russia
4,348
Russia
5,209 Russia
4,939 Russia
4,279 Russia
4,269 China
4,101
Guatemala
2,328 Guatemala
2,219 S. Korea
1,870 S. Korea
1,794 S. Korea
2,008
S. Korea
1,790 S. Korea
1,779 Guatemala
1,609 Guatemala
1,518 Guatemala
1,002
Kazakhstan
825 Ukraine
1,106 Ukraine
1,246 Romania
1,122 Romania
895
Ukraine
702 Kazakhstan
819 Romania
782 Vietnam
724 Vietnam
709
India
472 Vietnam
766 Vietnam
737 Ukraine
659 India
500
Vietnam
382 India
466 Kazakhstan
672 India
503 Ukraine
323
Colombia
272 Colombia
334 India
543 Cambodia
402 Cambodia
248
Haiti
250 Bulgaria
260 Colombia
407 Kazakhstan
399 Colombia
231
Source: U.S. State Department (http://travel.state.gov/orphan_numbers.html)

In the following sections, I examine whether people's perceptions match the reality.

Are International Adoptions More Difficult?
Adoption Alert
In many countries, the adoption is considered final after a court proceeding in the country the child is from; and as a result, if there are any problems after you leave the country—such as undetected medical problems or other issues—the child is still your legal responsibility. You can't return the child.
Is it easier to adopt a child in the United States than in another country? With a few exceptions, I don't think adoption is easy no matter what, whether your child comes from the United States or anywhere else. Children don't drop into your lap from the sky (which is good—it would be pretty painful if they did!).

In some ways, U.S. adoptions are easier. For example, there's no language barrier with most U.S. adoptions. (You are not allowed to consider a Southern drawl or New England accent as another language!) But language barriers are frequent with international adoptions, in which you must rely on your agency and their interpreters for a lot of information.

U.S. adoptions also seem easier to people who want to avoid the expense and difficulties of foreign travel, which is mandatory in most cases. In some countries, including China, Russia, and many others, you actually adopt the child in the country itself; thus, your presence there is required. In the case of a married couple, sometimes one person can travel; however, it's best if both go and provide moral support to each other. Also, some countries may require that both parents be there prior to the finalization of the adoption. If only one parent travels overseas, then you need to do a readoption, or complete the adoption again in the state in which you live.

Are International Adoptions Faster?
Adoption Alert
If you are considering using an international adoption agency, find out whether the director or any of the staff has ever traveled to the countries with which they arrange adoptions. It's not a good sign if no one in the agency has ever traveled to the country from which they make placements. How do you find out? You ask!
The time it takes to successfully adopt a child in the United States can be measured in months or years, depending on the speed of your adoption agency or your own efforts.

Whether the wait to adopt a child from another country is shorter than adopting a child in the United States depends on a lot of variables: which country you choose to adopt from, the age of the child you want, how fast you can put together your application, and other factors. It might be six months, several years, or longer (which is also true with U.S. adoptions). Or you might apply for a child from a particular country, and then the country decides to put all international adoptions on hold. If that happens, you'll have to wait until your agency gets the word that adoptions may resume again.



Next: Medical info, race, birthparent rights, orphanages >>


Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/adoption/transracial-adoptions/45783.html#ixzz16kjfVcHe

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spartan Sparkles 2008-09

Well our suitcases are packed!

We are ready to go when we get the email! I will be booking those flights as soon as I hear we have a court date! In the meantime..we are packed..just a couple little things to go in yet......

Looking forward to booking the apartment...probably 2 1/2 weeks for me..

Friday, November 26, 2010

Truth Pandemic - Get the facts about HIV/AIDS and Adoption

Just waiting.....

We are still waiting for Interpol clearance....which can take up to 40 days..sheesh!
But it is all good..God knows the timing. We are well into our 40 days so should be sometime when we least expect it..Was hoping soon to miss our Christmas...we planned on having a Eastern Europe Christmas when we got back anyway...Marco is our gift to the family & to him this year until we get back. I recently sent over a box with my son's game boy & some games...kind of outdated but it works well and I think Marco will keep occupied with the 4/5 games and 4 sets of batteries to keep it going. I also sent him his potato chips he likes.. pencils with a globe sharpener so he can see where we are...and a puzzle...USA key chain ...gum...and a few other things I squeezed in the box.

I have Marco's clothes ready and our few clothes ready. All of my hair supplies have been waiting in the orphanage in Vorzel...The ladies might be wondering by now what happened..I said I'd be back in 2 weeks..LOL They may have started without me!

I should be in country for about 2 1/2- 3 weeks. Hubby will only be in country about 3-4 days for court. This will allow me to run around the country doing hair & visiting our boy and friends.

Today the used games are buy 2 get 1 free at Game Stop..so I will be off to get a few more to send Marco in our next letter.. We send a letter every few days so he knows we are still coming & love him very much. Our translator also has been calling to re assure him of this.

We were asked to check on Interpol from our end since Hubby is in law enforcement...most of the checks they do are done through teletype..so looking for the correct phone number to call..Usually only law enforcement can use the lines to communicate..so we'll see what happens..Comes in handy to be married to a Police man..Such a good level headed guy too...

Headed out into the Black Friday world..but not to shop...all shopping is on hold until 2011...I have to wire $ to our facilitator..Almost done!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Check out Project Hopeful..

Project HOPEFUL was interviewed for People Magazine this year just found out that the issue with Reeces Rainbow article is going to be released next Wednesday. It is going to be a five page article! There are several Reece’s kids listed on the waiting child page of the Project Hopeful website so, hopefully, there will be some extra traffic on the RR site, too.

Latest Info on Moratorium....

"The second hearing for the bill for a moratorium of adoptions with countries which
> don't have an inter-country (bilateral) agreement with Ukraine is set to be
> read on the week of December 14-17 and is "near the end" of the list...
> #4313.
>
> Yes, we can pray that it doesn't get heard.
>
> Yes, we can pray that it doesn't get passed.
>
> I, specifically, will pray that the orphans who will not be adopted by their
> own country will not be left without an avenue for adoption. God knows the
> details.
>
> Here's a little more info: The idea behind this bill is for Ukraine to be
> able to "better protect" their children and the country is "considering"
> becoming part of the Hague convention. This could, eventually, be a very
> VERY good thing (In my opinion) for ALL of the children AND for the
> parents.
>
> So, there's the info I have, and here is a link that is in Ukrainian but you
> can google-translate if you'd like. It's wayyyyyyy down:
> http://www.rada.gov.ua/zakon/new/WR/WR301110.htm
> ---------------------------------------------
>

Thursday, November 18, 2010

3 more on American Soil!!

So happy 3 more little ones are home ..we had the opportunity to meet 2 of them...We spent some time with their new family together on our last trip but it wasn't enough... We had been in contact for a long time through email before meeting..so to get to meet in person was great! I love meeting other families like ours...Large families who are still courageous to keep adding to it! We have made some special bonds with many people who have adopted through Reeces Rainbow and are a lot like us. Laura I miss you guys already...and Marnie I hope you get to go home soon!!
Talk to you all again soon!!

Why Wait to Adopt?

Children are ready to be adopted today
November 01,2010 / Martha Osborne
Somewhere in China, a 3-year-old boy waits for a family. He is healthy, with a mischevious smile and a laugh that would make any parent's heart soar. Born male, he will most likely never know the love and security of a family. Being born a boy is his only special need. Somewhere in China, a 5-year-old girl plays a clapping game with her friend. She has a repaired club foot. She runs, plays, and has memorized 4 poems this year. Because one leg is 1 inch shorter than the other, she is special needs. She is just one of thousands who may never find a family that will look past her very minor special need. These are real children, waiting. China's Special Focus program may bring that wait to an end.

China's Special Focus Initiantive is a unique opportunity for families considering the adoption of a special needs or older child. China still allows the adoption of healthy, young babies, however, these adoptions generally take over 5 years to complete. Through this initiative, children waiting on the CCAA "shared agency list" will be assigned to a specific agency so that s/he will have yet another advocate searching for their her/his permanent family.

Who are the Special Focus Children?
At the time Special Focus Children was introduced (September 2010), over 2,000 children were waiting for families on China's shared agency list. Children with a Special Focus designation are those who have been waiting on the shared list for more than two months; they are generally older (pre-school- and school-aged) or any age (infant through school-aged) who have an identified special need.

What makes this initiative different?
The Special Focus initiative offers several key advantages when searching for a child's family.

More knowledge of the child. The children will be assigned to one adoption agency. This will allow agency staff to give more attention to that child and thoroughly understand the child's needs.
More preparation for the family. The family will be allowed more time to consider a match (roughly two weeks as opposed to the 72 hours that is standard when a child is on the shared agency list) which gives them the benefit of time and reduced pressure so that they can learn more about a child's need before making a decision. The family will also have six months (as opposed to three) to submit their dossier to CCAA after they have been matched with a Special Focus child.
More Flexibility in Family Requirements. Families going through this program can sometimes ask for flexibility on family size or age of parents. The CCAA has frequently granted waivers to larger families or those above the age limit when those families choose to adopt a child through the Special Focus program.
LESS Time: The children who are part of an Agency's Special Focus list are ready to be adopted. Adopting one of these waiting children can be accomplished in as little as 6 months (for those with some adoption paperwork completed) and generally takes less than one year.
What Are You Waitng For?
Many families believe that "special needs" are always life-long disabilities. This simply isn't true. Many thousands of children are born with a specific special need such as cleft lip, extra finger, club foot, a hole in their heart, even a minor form of spina bifida, which are then repaired shortly after birth. However, a child will not be listed as "healthy" even when their condition has been repaired and the child shows little, or absolutely no, effect from the condition. These children are labeled special needs. In other cases, infants needing surgery are on the list. Toddlers who may have once been delayed but are now "on-target" are listed. In other cases, children do have more involved special needs. However, families will be able to work with their agency to find a child that will thrive in their individual situation. So, what are you waiting for? If you're ready to adopt, please consider a child who is also waiting, and ready, to join your family.

Parts of this article were contributed by Children's Home Society and Family Services

Contact Agencies with China Programs

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting......

We are still waiting on our interpol clearance to be accepted...Then we will receive our court date...Looking forward to getting home with our boy...Hoping to fly under the radar of the moratorium!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'll be home for Christmas!


What a nice present for our family & for Marco....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ADOPTION NEWS FROM MARTHA OSBORNE AT RAINBOWKIDS.COM


I'm inspired by people like Andrea Roberts of Reece's Rainbow. Once upon a time, she was "just a mom" advocating for orphans with Down Syndrome. Today, after finding homes for over 350 children born with DS, she is the light in the darkness for hundreds of waiting children.

November kicks off the Christmas Angel Tree, where families may view, sponsor, or even consider the adoption of a waiting child with DS. "I think the most important thing we want folks to know is that they don't have to adopt to make a difference," Andrea told us, "raising awareness through blogs, Yahoo, Facebook, You Tube, family friends....every one of those efforts can change the course of a child's life. It really is that easy."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back From Eastern Europe!



Had a great first trip to Eastern Europe! We spent 2 visits with Marco and Ruben got to meet him and was very pleased. He is a great kid. Here we are with him and some jet lag...

We had straight through flights with Aerosvit which was pretty reasonable and we were very satisfied..No complaints at all. Will take them again if it works out, but not sure with our next confusing trip because I will stay longer than hubby and then Marco will join me for the ride home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We love our facilitator & translator..they are very nice people. We had a cute little studio apartment right in the middle of everything and hope to have the same one or close to it again next trip. Marco was so happy to see us and signed the documents to be adopted very quickly! He also was introduced to an Italian family last month but refused. That's my BOY!! He is smart, calm and happy. He is very grateful for little things. I would have loved to bring him a hand held game but right now we need to keep sacrificing to just get him home. This would have occupied him while he waits for us because he mentioned he waited so long.. We explained his country and we must follow the process and rules & it takes time. Now with the Moratorium possibly coming soon we hope & pray it will miss us and we can get him out with no glitches. We are waiting for our interpol clearance to be approved and then our court date..
Looking forward to getting him home & be done traveling and enjoy Christmas. Our kids are very excited to meet him and have also sacrificed in many ways. I am so proud of them and how they have done through all our adoptions.
We got to meet a few families from Reeces Rainbow also adopting. We had a nice time eating and spending time with them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Having recently been named Humanitarian of the Year by the Pocono Mountains Chamber of Commerce, Susan Folk has a modest opinion of the designation.

"It struck me as, 'Well, isn't this the way people are supposed to be?'" said the executive director of Developmental Education Services (DES) of Monroe County.

She was honored with the award during a special Chamber of Commerce celebration last week.

"I think it would be a very difficult award to give, because I know I'm certainly not alone in what I do," she said.

Folk certainly has a lot to be proud of, however.

Her dedication to special-needs individuals has led to more opportunities for them in the Monroe County area.

Since taking on the role of executive director 17 years ago, her achievements include creating a successful community recycling program that provides jobs for those with developmental disabilities, teaming up with the Kiwanis Club of the Stroudsburgs to create a community club and holding a monthly dance for special-needs individuals at the CLU Club in East Stroudsburg.

Developmental Education Services of Monroe County offers day programs to county residents with developmental disabilities. Services include instruction in grooming and hygiene, health and physical fitness, nutrition and cooking, computer learning and social development.

"I'm always thinking, 'What can we do next that's really going to help us be part of the community?'" Folk said.


Working together
She wants people to understand those with disabilities are just like everyone else — a goal she is accomplishing by getting her clients out into their community.

The Aktion Club, a result of her partnership with the Kiwanis Club, is open to anyone who wants to join, but has provided many opportunities for special-needs people.

Earlier this year, the group raised money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. In 2005, it sent more than 100 care boxes to a developmental disabilities agency in Louisiana.

"I think the community is a better place because of us. I think now the stigma of having a disability is less than it was before," Folk said.

The Community Partners in Recycling program Folk helped start eight years ago has also been successful in getting clients into the community.

The commercial recycling program has bins in several hundred locations throughout Monroe County and provides a confidential shredding service.

Since the program began, several clients were able to move on to other jobs and out of their group homes, Folk said.

Money raised from the recycling program goes toward rent for DES's Lindbergh Avenue location, and will fund renovations to the Avenue C building.

"I just have a knack for seeing the potential in a client. It brings me such joy to see them succeed," Folk said, but it wasn't until after high school and a yearlong stint as a nurse that she realized she would enjoy working with special-needs people.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


New project to improve support for people with Down syndrome in Ukraine
Together with the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation and the Nordic IT company EDB Business Partner, Down Syndrome Education International has embarked on a major new project to improve support for people with Down syndrome and their families in Ukraine. This three year project will deliver information resources, advice and education services, and will encourage social and political change to improve the lives of the estimated 10,000 people living with Down syndrome across Ukraine.



Down Syndrome Education International has embarked on a 3-year partnership project with the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation and EDB to improve support for people with Down syndrome and their families in Ukraine.



Few babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Ukraine return home with their parents. Most are confined to baby hospitals and then orphanages.





The Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation is renovating a building where it will base its services.



This Corporate Social Responsibility partnership project will leverage financial support, volunteering and expertise from EDB and its Ukrainian subsidiary company Infopulse



Down Syndrome Education International will provide expert consulting and training services to support the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation develop education and advice services, and information resources




Down Syndrome Education International has agreed a three year partnership project agreement with the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation and EDB Business Partner to provide expert guidance, information and consulting services in support of a three year project that aims to improve healthcare and education for people with Down syndrome and provide better support for their families living in Ukraine. Few babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Ukraine return home with their parents, and those who do receive limited support. Most children with Down syndrome are confined to baby hospitals and then orphanages. Many die young.

Supporting the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation
Based in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation (UDSO) is a small charity that is working to provide better support for people with Down syndrome and their families. EDB Business Partner is a leading Nordic IT company with significant investments in Ukraine. As part of EDB's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, DownsEd, UDSO and EDB have developed a partnership project that will leverage financial support, volunteering and expertise from EDB and its Ukrainian subsidiary company Infopulse, and expertise from DownsEd, to help UDSO to expand to provide ongoing support and services across Ukraine.

Sergey Kuryanov, President of the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation, commented "As a father, I know how difficult it is to get knowledgeable healthcare, early intervention and education for children with Down syndrome in Ukraine. Families are encouraged to abandon their children when they are diagnosed. We want to change this. We want to ensure that people understand Down syndrome and that better support is provided. We are very excited to have secured this support from EDB and Down Syndrome Education International. We could not have wished for more supportive or better qualified project partners."

Delivering new services in Ukraine
One of the first goals of the project is to launch parent support and early intervention and education services for families in Kyiv, and advice and information services serving families across the country, later this year. Together with funding recently pledged by the International Women's Club of Kyiv, UDSO is renovating a building from where it will base its services. The Ukrainian charity will appoint a Services Director and professional staff to lead these services in the next few months.

Laxmi Akkaraju, Senior Vice President of Global Sourcing, EDB Consulting Group, commented "EDB aims to meet its social responsibilities through initiatives that are tailored to our core operations - IT - and our primary locations - the Nordic countries, India and Ukraine. We are committed to ‘build competence' at all levels of our community involvement. We believe that this is an area in which we can make a positive contribution not only financially, but also through applying our competence and knowledge to the benefit of society. We are delighted to be working closely with the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation and Down Syndrome Education International to deliver lasting and meaningful social change in the communities in which we work."

Bringing corporate expertise and resources
The project will offer opportunities for in-kind support utilising EDB and Infopulse Ukraine core competencies in IT as well as volunteering from EDB and Infopulse staff to work directly with children, adults and their families in Ukraine.

Andrey Anissimov, Managing Director, Infopulse Ukraine, an EDB Business Partner subsidiary, commented "This is an important project that promises to deliver much needed change for people with Down syndrome in Ukraine and for their families. Infopulse is proud to be supporting this work in Kyiv and across the country."

Expert support to build local capacity
Down Syndrome Education International will provide training and support for UDSO's staff to help them deliver effective, evidence-based services. Over the three years of the project, DownsEd will help UDSO build local capacity and establish itself as a key provider of advice, information and services to people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ukraine.

Frank Buckley, CEO of Down Syndrome Education International, commented "We are delighted to be able to support this project. We have worked closely with EDB and families in Ukraine to develop thorough plans to deliver improved services that will meet local needs. The Corporate Social Responsibility approach has worked exceptionally well - not only bringing finance, but also expertise and local knowledge from EDB and Infopulse. This has added tremendous value to the project as a whole."

Infopulse staff provided advice and local expertise throughout the project planning process and Infopulse specialists are now developing a new website for the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation.

As well as helping families who have chosen to look after their children, the project aims to improve healthcare and education for babies, children and adults living in institutions across Ukraine.

September conference and project launch event
On 22 September 2010, the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation will host a one day conference for families, education and healthcare professionals, policymakers and other NGOs to provide information about Down syndrome, effective early intervention, education and healthcare, to introduce the project and to launch the charity's new services.

Speakers at the conference will include Professor Sue Buckley OBE, Chief Scientist at Down Syndrome Education International and Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disability and the University of Portsmouth, UK, and an internationally-recognised expert on development, education and support for young people with Down syndrome. Also presenting will be Dr Phillip Mattheis, a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, USA. Dr Mattheis is a leading authority on healthcare for people with Down syndrome, a long standing member of the US Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group and a founder member of the International Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group.

Announcing Ukrainian Down Syndrome Development Fund
Together with Down Syndrome Education USA, Down Syndrome Education International and Down Syndrome Education USA have also today launched the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Development Fund to receive donations to specifically support the work of the Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation. Donations given to this fund will be directly used to support the development of services to support people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ukraine. Donors can give online to Down Syndrome Education International or to Down Syndrome Education USA to contribute to this fund. For information about additional ways to give, please contact us.

Further information
The Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation
The Ukrainian Down Syndrome Organisation is a Ukrainian charity. It was founded in Kyiv by parents of children with Down syndrome with the aim of helping people with Down syndrome and other genetic disorders and their families. The charity is working to provide high quality information and services for people with Down syndrome and their families, and to encourage more positive attitudes towards people with disabilities throughout Ukraine.

EDB
EDB is one of the largest IT groups in the Nordic countries, with nearly 50 years' experience of serving leading Nordic businesses. The company delivers solutions that cover the entire range of business-critical IT services from application services and industry-specific solutions through to IT operating services and network solutions. EDB's ambition is help its customers create added value both by cutting IT costs and realising the potential that new opportunities offer. EDB has about 6,000 employees working from locations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Ukraine, Great Britain and India, and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. EDB has a turnover of NOK 8 billion (€1 billion).

Infopulse
Founded in 1992, Infopulse Ukraine is one of the leading Ukrainian software development companies and IT services providers. In 2007 Infopulse became a part of EDB group.

Located in Kyiv, Zhytomir and Luhansk, Infopulse employs more than 600 expert professionals. Infopulse provides the full range of services and solutions for a variety of industry verticals including: banking and finance, telecommunications, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, and others. Infopulse is a subsidiary company of EDB Business Partner ASA.

Down Syndrome Education International
Down Syndrome Education International (DownsEd) is the leading global nonprofit serving young people with Down syndrome and their families. The UK-based charity works to ensure successful education for young people with Down syndrome through scientific research and evidence-based information and support services.

For 30 years, the charity has advanced scientific research investigating language, cognition, memory and speech development, literacy, numeracy, and education, developing teaching techniques that improve the lives of many thousands of people living with Down syndrome today.

Today, Down Syndrome Education International works in partnership with Down Syndrome Education USA, a US-based nonprofit organisation, to support families, teachers and therapists, researchers and organisations in over 180 countries, helping more than 100,000 people each year.

Further information
For further information about Down Syndrome Education International's work in Ukraine or about our global initatives to support young people with Down syndrome in low and middle countries

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

REECES RAINBOW HERO OF THE YEAR!

Your votes added up to 30% and Andrea Roberts begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting has won the PEOPLE Magazine HERO of the Year!

More details and some other things to come... but

Congratulations Andrea and Reece's Rainbow!

Reece's Rainbow: We won!!

Reece's Rainbow: We won!!

Down Syndrome Slide Show

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
In 1950, when Marybeth Solinski was born, a diagnosis of Down syndrome was practically a death sentence.
Children with the condition often died before their 10th birthday.

PHOTOS: Marybeth Solinski turns 59 with Down syndrome
CAREGIVERS: Face new challenges as people with Down syndrome age
Yet Solinski, at 59, has outlived her parents. She has even joined AARP.

Her longevity illustrates the dramatic progress for people with Down syndrome. Thanks to better medical care, the average life expectancy for a child with Down syndrome is now 60 years, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, which estimates that about 400,000 people are living with the condition in the USA.

As they live longer, adults with Down syndrome — who have an extra copy of chromosome 21 — are teaching scientists about the genetic roots of aging, says Ira Lott, head of pediatric neurology at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.

Scientists today are searching this chromosome, which contains only about 200 of the body's roughly 20,000 genes, to learn why people with Down syndrome suffer disproportionately from some health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, but are spared many others, such as heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer.

By studying adults with Down syndrome, researchers hope to find new ways to combat diseases of aging in the larger population as well, Lott says.

"It's an interesting detective story," says Lott, head of the science advisory board of the National Down Syndrome Society. "People with Down syndrome are unique when it comes to many aspects of aging."

Aging troubles start early

People with Down syndrome tend to age prematurely as they develop conditions such as menopause, brittle bones, arthritis, hearing loss, wrinkles and sagging skin about two decades earlier than usual, says Brian Chicoine, medical director of the adult Down syndrome center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., the leading center of its kind.

"People say they seem to age overnight," says Dennis McGuire, director of psychosocial services at the same center. "They suddenly develop wrinkles and gray hair."

Solinski, for example, wears a brace on one leg and hearing aids in both ears, and she has had two corneal transplants. "She's more like a 79-year-old than a 59-year-old," says her sister, Lee Cornell of Illinois.

Yet researchers suspect that this unique genetic profile also protects people with Down syndrome from many common ailments. A growing number of researchers are asking:

•What protects their hearts?

Half of babies with Down syndrome are born with correctable heart defects, and most adults with Down syndrome are overweight with high cholesterol. Despite these risks, however, people with Down syndrome virtually never develop high blood pressure, heart attacks or hardening of the arteries, Lott says. Doctors are still trying to learn why.

•Why don't they get cancer?

Doctors once believed that people with Down syndrome didn't live long enough to develop cancer, says Sandra Ryeom, a researcher at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia

Yet, with the exception of a rare pediatric leukemia, even elderly adults with Down syndrome rarely develop solid tumors, such as those of the breast or lung.

Last May, Ryeom and her colleagues found genes on the 21st chromosome that inhibit the growth of blood vessels necessary for tumor growth. Getting an extra copy of these genes, and possibly others, may help the body keep cancers in check by depriving them of blood, she says.

Researchers already are trying to develop anti-cancer treatments based on genes found on chromosome 21, says Roger Reeves of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

•What protects their eyes?

Although people with Down syndrome are at higher risk for cataracts, they rarely develop a form of blindness called macular degeneration, caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels in the retina, Ryeom says. Doctors suspect that the same genes that restrict blood vessel growth in tumors may also prevent abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye.

A link to Alzheimer's?

•Why do Down syndrome patients develop early Alzheimer's disease?

Adults with Down syndrome appear to develop the brain plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer's disease very early in life — even as young as 3 or 4 years old. For decades, however, their brains also appear to repair and compensate for the damage, says scientist Elizabeth Head of the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

"Their brains may be clearing the plaques," says Head, who is now recruiting Down syndrome patients for a study on biomarkers of Alzheimer's. "As they get older, this protective process slows down."

By age 40 to 45, virtually everyone with Down syndrome has these plaques and tangles, although only 12% have dementia, Lott says. By age 65, up to 75% of people with Down syndrome have dementia.

Significantly, doctors have found a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer's, called APP, on the 21st chromosome, Lott says. The gene, called amyloid precursor protein, is involved in the creation of the brain plaques seen in Alzheimer's patients. People who inherit mutated copies of these genes may develop Alzheimer's disease decades earlier than usual, says William Mobley, a neuroscience professor at the University of California-San Diego.

Yet not all people with Down syndrome succumb. One of Chicoine's patients lived to 83 without dementia.

Solinski, of Chicago, loves learning so much that she takes flash cards on vacation. She pores over children's encyclopedias and Nancy Drew novels. She is learning to cook, she says, to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who died in August at 92. And, she says, "I want to be a great reader like my father."

And Brooklyn resident Edward Barsky is still healthy and independent at 73, living in a group home and navigating public transportation on his own, says his sister, Vicki Ploscowe.

"He's still going strong," says Ploscowe, of Manhattan.

If researchers could learn what protects certain people, they might be able to develop a therapy to prevent Alzheimer's — both in those with and those without Down syndrome, Head says.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Puppies almost here!

Our mini dachshund is almost ready to give birth! She is getting so fat..She should go this week! Anybody who is interested in a pure bread puppy with papers..please email us..they will be ready for Christmas! A percentage of each puppy will go towards the adoption of a little girl from Eastern Europe! rubenandjoann@msn.com

In new Film, Down syndrome is no obstacle to prayer


In new film, Down syndrome is no obstacle to prayer

By Rebecca Wolfson

article created on:

NEW YORK (JTA)—Lior Liebling davens everywhere: in the backyard, in school and on the swing set.

Some congregants at his Philadelphia synagogue, Mishkan Shalom, call him the “little rebbe.”

“The Zohar tells stories of miracle children who were spiritual geniuses,” one synagogue member said. “Well, that’s what Lior is.”

Lior is the 13-year-old featured in the new documentary “Praying with Lior,” which highlights the bar mitzvah of a Jewish child living with Down syndrome. The character study of this charming boy tells of how Lior’s community successfully integrates him into communal life—a challenge many Jewish communities face with mentally and physically disabled members.

Several Jewish institutions, including the Union for Reform Judaism, run programs to improve service to the Jewish disabled, but experts say most Jewish institutions do not do enough to meet their physical, religious and social needs.

“There are people sitting on the outside who desperately want to come in,” said Shelly Christensen, the co-chairwoman of a Reform task force that creates “inclusion committees” for disabled Jews in synagogues, community centers and other Jewish institutions.

While the Jewish community has made progress in recent years, Christensen said, it still has a long way to go in providing disabled members with places to pray, learn and participate.

Down syndrome is of particular concern to Ashkenazim, who are predisposed to the disease; approximately one in 27 carries the gene for Down syndrome.

In “Praying with Lior,” producer and director Ilana Trachtman follows the teenager from his pre-bar mitzvah haircut to the bimah and beyond, checking back with him two years later.

Though he struggles with baseball and schoolwork, Lior is able to pray with sincerity, a feat encouraged by those close to him.

Like Lior’s Reconstructionist community, the children and teachers at Lior’s Orthodox day school admire and accept him.

“There is no such thing as a disabled soul,” Besie Katz, the principal of that school, the Politz Hebrew Academy, told JTA in an interview.

Katz said the students at Politz accepted Lior because while they understood that he had certain limitations, he also had strengths.

“God makes every person with a different test in this world,” one of Lior’s classmates says in the film. “We don’t know what God’s doing. When God made it that Lior has Down syndrome, it also became a test to us—how we treat Lior, if we do things with Lior.”

Politz was able to accommodate Lior in part because of Orot, a special-education initiative that places children with disabilities in Philadelphia’s Jewish day schools. Orot participants typically begin in a secluded learning environment, and in time they experiment with integrated classrooms.

“It is geared for the children to be successful in the mainstream environment,” Beverly Bernstein, the program’s educational director, told JTA.

Orot is modeled on a program called Keshet started 26 years ago by a group of parents frustrated by the lack of Jewish opportunities for their disabled children.

Now those kids are adults, with some participating in Keshet’s transition program for 18- to 22-year-olds. It sets up participants with jobs if they are able to work, and provides recreational programming for young adults.

Orot and Keshet’s biggest challenge, like many Jewish organizations dedicated to inclusion, is funding, organizers say.

They have been helped somewhat by Americans’ growing awareness of people with disabilities, which in turn has raised the consciousness of the issue in the Jewish community.

Birthright Israel and the National Jewish Council for the Disabled, which is part of the Orthodox Union, run a free trip to Israel for disabled Jews. The council also runs summer and work programs for special-needs children and adults.

In the Reform movement, Christensen’s task force encourages synagogue leaders to include disabled members. About half the synagogues in the Minneapolis area, where Christensen lives, now have inclusion committees, she said.

And Jewish communities in Toronto, Los Angeles, Houston and elsewhere are prioritizing the issue by designating staff members to make their institutions more welcoming for people with special needs.

Rabbi Dan Grossman, who spoke on a panel that followed a screening of the film in January at the New York Jewish Film Festival, said he has worked to make his Reconstructionist synagogue, Adath Israel of Lawrenceville, N.J., welcoming by offering seeing-eye dogs, a wheelchair-accessible bimah and half a dozen reserved wheelchair spots in the pews—and not in the back.

Providing a welcoming physical environment is only half the battle, said Grossman, whose hearing impairment made it a struggle for him to become a rabbi.

“Whoever takes the lead role in the congregation needs to take the position that this is important to the identity of the community,” Grossman said of the need to accommodate special-needs members.

“Moses stuttered, Isaac was blind, David was probably hyperactive,” he pointed out.

While the Jewish community has made progress accommodating special-needs children, as Lior’s community did for his bar mitzvah, Lior’s father, Mordechai Liebling, who is a Reconstructionist rabbi, worries that his son will face a tougher environment as he becomes an adult.

Judaism places a high value on scholarliness and education, Rabbi Liebling said, but it's equally important to value people with other abilities.

“I really have a lot of hope,” he said, “that the community will take responsibility and do the right thing.”

“Praying with Lior,” distributed by First Run Features, opens Friday in New York and nationwide in the spring.

SPAGHETTI DINNER FUND RAISER FOR LOCAL FAMILY ADOPTING!!


PLEASE HELP OUT THE FOLIO FAMILY RAISE FUNDS TO BRING HOME THEIR BABY GIRL FROM EASTERN EUROPE! DOWNS CHILDREN IN AMERICA HAVE A WAITING LIST OF FAMILIES WHO ARE PAPER READY TO ADOPT THEM..UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN EASTERN EUROPE..THE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ARE PUT DIRECTLY INTO THE ORPHANAGE AND AT THE AGE OF 5 WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE INSTITUTION...THE CONDITIONS ARE HORRIFIC AND 80 % THE CHILDREN DIE OFF WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR. WE ARE SO HAPPY AND PROUD THIS FAMILY HAS BEEN LED TO ADOPT A CHILD WITH DOWNS AND CLOSE TO WHERE WE ADOPTED OUR 3 LAST GIRLS WITH DOWNS...
THESE CHILDREN ARE BEAUTIFUL & SO SWEET AND BRING SUCH JOY & LAUGHTER TO A FAMILY.
PLEASE COME TO THE FUND RAISERS THAT THIS FAMILY WILL BE HOLDING OR YOU CAN SEND A DONATION IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT..THEIR BLOG ADDRESS IS

www.littleblessingmakesfour.blogspot.com If their chip in is not set up yet it will be shortly...or a button to click to donate through Reeces Rainbow direct and you will receive a receipt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To watch videos turn off music playlist bottom right by clicking the sideways = sign

Ukranian Polka Band playing "Hot N Cold"

chereshen6ki.wmv


Our friend Pastor Sasha's church visits this orphanage...in Ukraine

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Congratulations Folio Family!!

Another local family is adopting from Reeces Rainbow! This is so exciting! Your little Maeve is a doll baby!

Why Rescue Orphans?

Because of the overwhelming need and because God directs us to do so in scripture:
There is no greater gift, one that goes 3 ways, than to adopt a child, with or without special needs. You honor God, you are blessed with an angel in your own life, and you change the course of a child's life forever. If you have any doubts about it, please read below:
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth" Isaiah 43:5-6
"A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God sets the lonely in families. (Psalms 68:5-6)
"He defends the cause of the fatherless" (Deuteronomy 10:18)
"In you the fatherless find mercy." (Hosea 14:4)
"You are the helpers of the fatherless." (Psalm 10:14)
"It is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16)
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)
"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5)
"And Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:16)
"Remember those…who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us…let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth." (I John 3:16-18)
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." (Matthew 25:35)
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…defend the rights of the needy." (Proverbs 31:8,9)
"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me, declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 22:16)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WOW Tori has a huge grant!

Tori (9)

Girl, Born October 14, 2005

CP and Spinal Hernia

SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!!

This little angel can just light up a room with her smile and her giggle. She is constantly happy, very alert and playful, and is an orphanage favorite. We are waiting for some new photos of her, but she is registered and available to be adopted now! She has had surgery for her spinal hernia (not spina bifida), but it was unsuccessful in her country. She is not able to pull up or stand/walk on her own. We hope she would have much better chances of correction here in the US, but we will not have any x-rays or other records available prior to your trip to share with a doctor for review. She has decompensated hydrocephaly as well.

Children from this orphanage are sent to the institution promptly on their birth date, so we are working hard to prevent that for this little sunshine. She will be bedridden for her short life if she is transferred. Please consider rescuing Miss Tori!


UPDATE: Tori has already been transferred to the institution. It is imperative she be rescued right away.
I have $23,516 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Down Syndrome

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanks for stopping by & visiting our blog..

I love seeing all the visitors from around the world!! England, Ireland, Africa, Ukraine, Australia, Netherlands, Canada & all over the USA and many other countries daily!! I wish I could email with everyone who stops at our blog...Feel free to email us at rubenandjoann@msn.com we can be pen pals!

Company "D"


Who are Company d?
Company d, of Memphis Tennessee is a nationally recognized dance company of young adults with Down syndrome, under the artistic direction of Darlene Winters and choreographer. Company d was founded in 2001 and is committed to creating awareness of the talents and gifts of all individuals.
Through weekly class rehearsals and dedicated practices the dancers have now developed into a company that performs to music that represents many forms of dance including jazz, ballet, and modern. Company d members have learned to work as a team and unite into "one movement" through discipline and commitment. It truly is the spirit and belief of everyone involved that members of Company d not only continue to change and grow in their abilities and artistic skills, but their performances shape and grow their audiences from venue to venue.

"If I could tell you what I mean there would be no point in dancing." -Isadora Duncan

EMILY DOWN SYNDROME ARTIST

Down's syndrome Awareness Montage

Friday, October 15, 2010

For once in his life..He'll know he is so needed and loved by a whole family!

We're coming Marco!

Well we finally got our travel date...We will have Marco home by 1st week of December!
Seems strange but it's really gonna happen!

National Association for Down Syndrome NADS



31 for 21` Challenge

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DOXA2010 Monica And David-Trailer 31 for 21 Ocober 15 th

Anything is possible 31 for 21 challenge

Waiting & preparing...

I am still rearranging the furniture & getting the bedroom ready for Marco...I keep changing it to look better each time..Also passes the time away...
Hoping for a travel date this week..if not it's ok because I really wanted to be home for Halloween with the kids..we have a party with the ESU students on October 30 th.. These kids are from the council for exceptional Children...they take the kids & have so much fun with them while the parents get to relax & watch...Respite care! They love when we come because we can supply a lot of kids for them, and I love it so I can watch & enjoy...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Don't allow the fear of "what if" ruin the joy of "what is". -- Melody Beattie

This just makes advocating for these kids no joke..WOW

I have often thought of adopting Ann Marie and Andrea has even suggested to me to go and get her because it was an easy region...I know we can't save them all but this is heart breaking to many people on our Reeces Rainbow Forum...If you cannot adopt yourself please help a family who is willing by praying for them & making a donation on their family sponsorship page at www.reecesrainbow.org and click committed families and you can pick which one you feel led to help..The Angel Tree is coming up for Christmas and you can donate as little or as much as you want to...

Sad News From Reeces Rainbow...


All, it is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of our sweetest little Anne Marie :(( Jesus will be her Christmas Warrior this year.

Her grant of $1105 of has been shared now with ALEXANDER in the same orphanage. 4 of the older children with DS have already been transferred to the institution now. I know we can't save them all, but this loss really comes as a blow for me. We have been advocating for Anne Marie for SO long.... ;((((((( Your prayers for ALL of the children as they wait and wait and wait.....

For those of you who have signed up to be Christmas Warriors for these kids....the fundraising goal is only $1000, but we all know it costs a LOT more than that to adopt, and that the more grant money a child has, the greater their chances of being chosen. So although your set goal is only $1000, shoot for the moon. Each child deserves nothing less than your absolute best. We have seen MIRACLES in fundraising these last many months, and this year's Angel Tree will be our biggest and most successful EVER with your help.

God bless each of you, and God bless and hold our baby Anne Marie.