Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kiddos' Clubhouse Foundation offering scholarships!

Kiddos’ Clubhouse Foundation is awarding up to $2,500 scholarships to families who demonstrate the financial and therapeutic need for their children. Their goal is to provide a scholarship each quarter. The money can be used to pay for therapy services anywhere or therapy equipment. We all know families who have struggled to pay for therapy and have had to stop due to financial reasons. The application can be accessed here.

The deadline for the next scholarship is September 30th, 2010.

Past recipients have used the monies for music therapy, ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical equipment and therapy equipment. If you or any families you know have questions about how to fill the application out or questions about the foundation, they can call 678.527.3224 x11 or email: foundation@kiddosclubhouse.com for assistance.

Visit the Kiddos' Clubhouse Foundation

website to learn about their first annual

"Race to Rally Hope"!

a Fun Run/5K/10K

Sunday, October 17

Alpharetta, GA


4355-J Cobb Pkwy, #213
Atlanta, GA 30339

Tel. 404-320-3233


Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Down With You: An Inspired Journey (Excerpt)

Turn off music below to watch video...made me cry..

Publicidad de OREO (hermanos)

Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow

It is Buddy Walk time again! Team Torres will be there!

The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.

Over the past fifteen years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 walks to more than 300 expected in 2010 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 250,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk! They raised more than $9.5 million to benefit local programs and services as well as the national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is a wonderful, heart-warming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk in your local community!

This is a stunning little girl from Eastern Europe..Needs a family..thought she had one but it was a mistake...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Westley can be adopted along with Anya & Misha!

WESTLEY NEEDS A FAMILY ASAP! $2195 grant available!

Westley (12)

Boy, Born July 21, 2004

Praise God that we have finally been able to get an update and new photos of this beautiful child. He was posted with us nearly 3 years ago, and then dropped off for paperwork and health problems. He is already 6 and so blessed to still be at the baby house. He is the size of a one year old :(( He is facing imminent institutionalization, and HE CAN NOT BE ADOPTED FROM WHERE HE WILL BE SENT. We need a family's commitment urgently for little Westley!

From his medical records: Down syndrome, Hirschsprung's disease, bowels colostomy, strabismus

From an adoptive family who visited with him in August 2010: This child watched us the entire time we were there. He was up and down in his crib inside and outside. He was even trying to climb out of his crib to get to us. Then, once the workers took them all in, and we finished with Ivanna we went in for a while. I then was able to communicate and ask permission to pick him up. Oh how sweet. They are all starving for affection more than anything in the world. I just held him for the longest time and he just seemed so content.

There are MANY children with Down syndrome and other special needs waiting in this orphanage who can be adopted together.

"The Gift of a Servants Heart"

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This Blog
Linked From Here
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Monday, August 16, 2010

The gift of a "Servant's Heart"
I don't post on here as often as I'd like to, but felt led today to share my thoughts.

Yesterday I read a blog post from one of our families who are in Ukraine now adopting two little boys who desperately needed to get out of that orphanage they were in. Her story resonated with me, and will probably resonate with you too.

"This morning at the bus stop I heard some soft crying. I crossed the street and I noticed a black puppy struggling under the bench at the bus stop. It was howling in pain. It must have been hit by a car and crawled off the road. My bus arrived just then so I got on and left. I couldn't help but cry for that little pup. I'm such a dork. I had to pull myself together or my day would be ruined. Crappy, unfair, hurtful things happen every day, all over the world. The only reason I was upset is because I witnessed the hurting puppy. I don't cry every day for all the hurt puppies all over the world. Why today? Crappy, unfair, hurtful things are happening to precious children every day, all over the world. We don't cry for them because we don't witness what is going on. We don't hear about it. We don't know about it. We don't want to, do we? Because then we might have to get a little closer to the edge. "

Every single day, God puts opportunities into our paths to do right by someone else. You see someone or something in need, and that voice in your head makes you think "gosh, how sad", but it's usually not loud enough to make you DO something about it. It could be this puppy, it could be a homeless person in need of a bottle of water. It could be an elderly person who needs help with their groceries or just crossing the street. It seems so cliche and "Girl Scoutish" to just take a moment and do the right thing, but I was a Girl Scout through my senior year in high school, and that experience taught me compassion and leadership skills and a sense of confidence that I could make things happen in my world if I chose to. I can tell you without question that God is WATCHING. We're all guilty of walking away or ignoring that voice...we're busy or late or are nervous to help a total stranger...the traffic light changed...we don't have any cash on us...he's just a drunk....what will I do with this puppy?....somebody else will come along to help....oh, the orphan problem is way too huge for little me to do anything about it....you can't save them all. If I had $1 for every time someone tried to convince me of that, I would be a rich woman. Don't tell me that we can't save the world...we save the "world" of an orphan with Down syndrome very day!

Now this message is not to judge this mom because she wasn't able to stop and help this puppy. This message is to comment on how she felt about leaving it behind. It's a pesky little thing called COMPASSION...and the gift of a servant's heart. It moves us to be open to witnessing the needs in this world, and being open to hear God when He speaks to us...whether it's a puppy or an orphan or picking up a bottle thrown on the side of the road. DO THE RIGHT THING, ALL THE TIME. Reece's Rainbow gives you no choice but to step to the edge and to witness the need of these children first hand. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of faces staring back at you from our website. Don't be afraid to let it in. The pain and heartache is gut-wrenching, but it also motivates you to step up to the plate and say 'Here I am, Lord".

I and our amazing team of volunteers and advocates work tirelessly to keep these children front and center, in the face of people both inside and outside of the Down syndrome community. Many are just oblivious to the crisis, and are appaled (as I was) when they first learn of what life can be like for these kids abroad. It is particularly moving when someone writes me to say "oh my goodness, I can't stop crying, I had no idea, what can I do?" RR isn't just about fundraising, but raising awareness is a 24/7 job. The need never ends, so the work never ends. No, not everyone is in a position to adopt a child for many reasons...some people aren't even in a position to donate. But everyone is in a position to pray and to share Reece's Rainbow with others.

My husband and I joined our new church here yesterday morning. (Grace United Methodist in Gaithersburg, Maryland). And I was grateful to our new pastor for giving me 5 minutes to introduce myself and share the way God is working in my life through my son, Reece. (as if I could cram everything I have to say about the orphan crisis into 5 minutes! lol) Many people in the church do not know me well, even though we have attended there regularly over the course of the last two years, because many Sundays, I choose to stay home and "work". 70 hours a week includes weekends. These children are languishing in orphanages and mental institutions. Every minute that goes by for them is excruciatingly lonely, boring, hungry and hopeless. They have no concept of the days of the week, they all run together in endless suffering. God commands us to rest on the Sabbath, but this isn't "work" for me. It is service to God and to His children, all of whom He knows by name and has given a voice of hope to through Reece's Rainbow. So resting really isn't an option...asking for help from others IS.

After my few minutes in front of the congregation, so many folks were moved, they had no idea of the problem, they were "so proud of me"....I appreciate that greatly, and it always feels good to know that folks like what RR is doing. But I am not interested in being honored or uplifted for this work. I am interested in people stepping up to HELP ME and to feel as deeply passionate about serving as I do. Turn that burden in your heart into action. RR is coming into our very busiest time of the year. There have been no "lazy days of summer" for me as we prepare for:1.Updating and extending our powerful ministry video http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=b286b09fd78b4ab61b5491&skin_id=1009&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url
2.Upcoming Buddy Walks (which we still need volunteers and donations for!, www.reecesrainbow.org/buddywalks.html )
3.Our Christmas Angel Tree will be here before I can blink. (www.reecesrainbow.org/angeltree2010.html)
4.We're still raising funds for our mission trip to the DownsEd Convention in Ukraine (Sep 17-23), empowering birth families of children with Down syndrome there (www.reecesrainbow.org/downsedkiev.html)
5.Serving as the keynote speaker for the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Pathfinder Village (www.pathfindervillage.org)
6.My heart is burdened for the last minute financial needs of some of our adopting families, which is preventing them from submitting dossiers and traveling
7.Participating in the Raleigh, NC Down Syndrome Golf Tournament (October 2)
8.Accepting the Congressional Angel in Adoption Award (October 4-6 in Washington, DC)
9.Visiting with RR families in Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC for their Buddy Walks (October 9 and 10)
10.Visiting with RR families in Alabama and attending the Birmingham Buddy Walk (October 13-17)
11.Growing our RR Canada program and raising awareness there
12.Expanding our ministry into more of Latin America, Asia, and Africa
13.Seeking more media opportunities outside of our traditional Down syndrome community
14.Reaching out for greater church support, from all faiths
15.Further emphasis on keeping the at risk children from being sent to the institutions
16.Greater exposure for the Older Children
17.Further growth of our HIV and Other Angels programs
18.Preparing for NEXT YEAR's World Down Syndrome Day in Bulgaria (www.reecesrainbow.org/connectingtherainbow.html)
19.Preparing for the launch of the "Know The Truth" campaign for next Mother's Day already!
20.Maximizing our presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and the Cambridge "Who's Who" Leadership Forum
And somewhere in between all of this "executive/strategic leadership stuff" are the even more critical daily activities of answering new family e-mails, processing donations, posting new kids, updating FSP's, working through crises, building new agency relationships, seeking new children and new country programs, budgets, Board Meetings, etc etc etc. It ALL has to be done to maintain and grow this ministry....

There are just SO many ways you can help...you CAN make a difference. Put your own servant's heart to work and watch your efforts change the course of a child's life! I can't do all of this by myself! RR has only grown as much as it has because of the commitment and dedication of so many volunteers and advocates who share the same passion.

Write me if you have questions, and thanks to ALL of you for everything you do to bring Reece's Rainbow into the lives of others. bamaroberts@comcast.net

Andrea Roberts, Executive Director

Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry


The gift of a "Servant's Heart"

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Well, finally the "golden ticket".... came today!! We were praying for no glitches & we had none..Some people were worried about the pink slip! So was I!! But we got the I 171 H approval for Marco & a pink slip for an extension if needed...so was a little confused at first! So girls...pink is not all bad with Immigration!!

Should be traveling sometime in October...Marco should be home with us by mid November!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dark Side of Serbian Mental Institutions

Hello Kiev Ukraine!!! I see you on my map!!

Hope you are all well in Kiev! Wish I was there..hopefully not as hot for you guys!!

Great & True quote...Thanks Traci

It is completely unreasonable to ignore God's standards and still expect a godly outcome.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mailed off the package...

Sent off the letter to Marco & an Old Navy flag T-shirt...It should arrive within 10 days and our translator will take it to the orphanage and read it to him..I also included an English/Russian Russian/English vocabulary book for Marco to start learning some words...

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Pretty soon our future son will be coming home from summer camp back to his orphanage! I will be sending him a letter & small gift to be delivered by our translator..She will be asking him if he still wants to come to America with us...All children 6 and over have the right to refuse adoption. SO we are praying and anticipating his answer..

We had our finger print appointment in Philadelphia and now are waiting for approval.
This could take while...

We have had a busy summer cleaning & changing things around...& just enjoying the kids & the pool. Hard to believe it is almost time for school again!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


In only four years, Reece's Rainbow has found adoptive families for more than 300 children with Down syndrome and other special needs around the world!

The next step in the growth of our ministry is to educate and empower the birth families of children with Down syndrome living abroad. This is the only path to social change and inclusion for our children! We need the support of our national Down Syndrome parent groups to help us with this mission!

"Connecting the Rainbow" is our birth family outreach program.

It is led by Shelley Bedford (family pictured above), who is a member of the RR Leadership Team, a former special education teacher, and adoptive parent of three children with Down syndrome from Ukraine, Serbia, and Bulgaria. CTR provides fellowship, support, education, and therapeutic resources for the birth families of children with Down syndrome in foreign countries. We already have a strong program in Bulgaria, and are building a relationship in Ukraine now as well! Ukraine is our largest and most successful adoption program, so our efforts there are vital.

Please read more about Connecting the Rainbow here!

"In my heart there’s a passion, in my mind a realization of the possibilities, and in my living room, proof of the combination of the two."

--Meredith Cornish, RR Director of Family Adoption Services for Ukraine, with her adopted son, Micah

Reece's Rainbow will be attending the DownsEd Convention on September 22, 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine!

Your donations towards the cost of this trip will make it possible for our leadership team to:

Meet the members of the Down Syndrome Association of birth families in Kiev
Celebrate their brand new Down syndrome therapy clinic
Build a partnership with them and DownsEd to further support people with Down syndrome throughout Ukraine
Reach out to families living in rural Ukraine who have even less access to information and services
Meet with a special needs “club” in one region that provides therapies and aid to families raising their children with Down syndrome and other special needs.
Visit several orphanages and finally meet the directors, caregivers, and children in person
Plant the seed of truth about the potential and value of our children with Down syndrome
Educate the staff on simple techniques to better stimulate and encourage the children
Bring toys, therapeutic items, and translated literature for the staff to use with all of the SN children
Share photos and stories of the children who have already been adopted from Ukraine and how well they are doing now
Improve the quality of care of our orphans with Down syndrome while they are waiting for their "forever families".
Solidify our relationships there to improve the process of adoption going forward

You can not put a price on the value of a face to face meeting , and we pray this trip will open doors and hearts for future trips, including ones where other volunteers and missionaries can join us! We estimate the cost of this trip to be approx $10,000, so we need your help! Even $10 or $20 from each person who recieves this e-mail will go a long way! We also encourage all of our DSA's to consider a larger gift, to show your support for these courageous families abroad.

Click here for more details about this trip, and to DONATE NOW!


Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry | PO Box 4024 | Gaithersburg | MD | 20885