Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adoption Season for Evangelicals

Last Saturday at Grace Chapel in Denver, Focus on the Family (in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Human Services) hosted an information session for parents interested in adopting children out of the foster-care system. More than 150 families were represented and 55 of those have already begun the process. It was a successful and fitting end for the summer of 2010, which turned into a season of adoption for evangelicals.

In May, megachurch pastor Rick Warren held a "civil forum" on the subject. An audience of 800 attended and thousands more watched the webcast from their homes. "Orphans and vulnerable children are not a cause," said Warren. "They are a biblical and social mandate we can't ignore. A country half the size of the U.S—that's how many orphans there are in the world. We're not talking about a small problem."

Adoption was the cover story of Christianity Today in July. It included a feature by Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he described in heart-wrenching terms the circumstances of his own adoption of two brothers from a Russian orphanage.

Mr. Moore, the author of a book called "Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches," has become a sort of go-to person for evangelicals on the issue of adoption. In trying to explain why Christians have a particular duty to adopt, he told me that "every one of us who follows Christ was adopted into an already existing family."

Which is to say that unlike Judaism or Islam, faiths that one is born into, Christianity requires each member to have an individual relationship with Christ. And so, in that sense, it is as if each Christian is adopted.

Yet it is the efforts of Focus on the Family, a group which has previously been most known for its political involvement on issues like abortion and gay marriage, that have produced the most striking results so far. The group announced two years ago that it would be devoting a considerable amount of its resources to a new initiative called "Wait No More." Focus is partnering with different state governments—six so far—to reduce the number of children on foster-care roles.

In Colorado alone, Focus has moved about 500 of the 800 kids in foster care into permanent homes over the course of less than two years. The group has had success helping infertile couples desperate for families, but also in placing children with couples who are older, some of whose children have already grown up and left home.

The Focus efforts are particularly interesting because foster kids are typically not young, and often have emotional or even physical problems as a result of a lack of prenatal care, or neglectful birth or foster parents. Sometimes they can only be adopted with siblings, and so a family must take on two or more children at the same time.

Foster children are also likely to be of a different race from their new adoptive parents. As more and more evangelical churches take up the cause of adoption on a large scale, their congregations have begun to look like the multiracial sea of faces that Christian leaders often talk about wanting. But it does involve parents giving up on having children who look like them.

All of this makes the growing evangelical interest in adoption seem particularly countercultural. With the widespread availability of artificial reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization, many couples who previously would have chosen adoption can now use surrogates, donor sperm or donor eggs to have a baby who shares their DNA (or whose DNA they have carefully chosen), and whose prenatal care they can closely monitor. Taking a child as he or she comes to you may be a difficult choice for some parents to make these days.

The contemporary cultural message that we can have complete control over our children goes beyond making sure our babies are healthy and our children are given good moral direction. We take yoga classes with our infants, we attach GPS devices to children's backpacks and we call our kids in college on a daily, if not hourly, basis. There is no doubt that the world can seem a more dangerous place, with too many other influences, particularly new media, trying to exert control over our children. Now that Americans are having fewer children, we fret more over each one, too.

But how much control can we have? A Christianity Today cover story earlier this year on "The Myth of the Perfect Parent" discussed the sense many religious parents have that they've failed if their child strays from the church. Given this backdrop and the wider cultural messages about parenting, one wonders how these evangelical adoptive parents overcome their own desire for control, bring a stranger into their home, and then take responsibility for raising him.

The most persuasive explanation comes from the author of that article, Leslie Leyland Fields, who exhorts her readers: "We are not sovereign over our children—only God is. Children are not tomatoes to stake out or mules to train, nor are they numbers to plug into an equation. They are full human beings wondrously and fearfully made. Parenting, like all tasks under the sun, is intended as an endeavor of love, risk, perseverance, and, above all, faith."

Ms. Riley is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values.


This passage is from a book entitled, The Clowns of God, by Morris West. In the
> book, a deposed pope has gone through many trials and tribulations and it is the
> time of the Second Coming. When he meets the Returned Christ, the former pope is
> afraid and unsure much like the apostles when Christ first arose. This passage
> takes place in a mountain hideaway where children from a school for Down
> Syndrome are among those present. The Returned Christ is speaking about one of
> these children as he holds her.
> "I know what you are thinking. You need a sign. What better one could I give but
> to make this little one whole and new? I could do it; but I will not. I am the
> Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you--eternal
> innocence. To you she looks imperfect--but to me she is flawless, like the bud
> that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by
> ants. She will never offend me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert
> or destroy the work of my Father's hands. She is necessary to you. She will
> evoke the kindness that will keep you human. Her infirmity will prompt you to
> gratitude for your own good fortune... More! She will remind you every day that
> I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite
> whirled in the darkest spaces does not fall out of my hand... I have chosen you.
> You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure her!"
> Molly

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Arc PSA - Respect

Advocacy and Resources for Citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities

WOW!! great job, this is a wonderful news! Here is the new legislation that protects people from 18 to 59 years old that suffer from abuse or are neglected. Many of us voted for this change. This is history! Well Done!!

Another great news: as many of you know we are under the umbrella of the ARC of NEPA.
The name ARC, until few weeks ago, stood for Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States.
Now, they have changed their name, not for the first time, but always trying to adapt to the changes made due to the impact that words have in people's lives:

Advocacy and Resources for Citizens with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families.

This is a great improvement in the law that tries to protect and give the same rights to people with intellectual and developmental challenges. Our children are facing a better future thanks to families like you.

Here is the law that made this possible:
Senate Passes Rosa's Law! Critical First Step in Removing Term "Mental Retardation"

Last week, the Senate passed Rosa’s Law, legislation that would remove the term “Mental Retardation” from all federal laws and replace it with the more commonly used term “Intellectual Disability.” CEC has long supported this legislation in the Senate and will now shift its efforts to advocating for its passage in the House.

Rosa’s law is named after Rosa Marcellino, a Maryland girl with Down syndrome. Similar legislation proposed in the House is known as the Elizabeth A. Connelly Act in honor of a former member of the New York Assembly who was influential in pushing for services for those with disabilities. The bills are the same, except for their namesakes.

It is important to point out that this change would not alter the eligibility requirements for any services and supports. It would, however, ensure that current language in all legislation impacting this group of individuals was consistent. CEC believes that replacing antiquated terminology with more common and accurate language is an important and respectful step for people with disabilities.

As this legislation now moves to the House, CEC encourages you to contact your Representative and urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation. Find your elected official by entering your zip code into CEC’s Legislative Action Center and tell them why this is important to you.

We are coming for you soon Funny Boy...

MARCO YURA TORRES teasing me...!

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Day of School!

I had to post this Darlena! This is what it's all about...She looks great & modeling for the camera! Great job you are doing with the Princess..she is so happy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Please come join our East Stroudsburg BUDDY WALK at Dansbury Park..Saturday October 2nd 11 am...I'll be at the Reeces Rainbow Table handing out brochures about how you can adopt a child with Down Syndrome and other designer genes...Look for the Big Banner!

From Kim in our Adoption Support Group....

My husband and I had a child with Cockayne syndrome, like Julia…they are precious, sweet spirits. These little ones never weigh very much, when they have the severe type of cockayne like Julia. They are tiny little children with huge hearts! They do have shortened life spans but the journey you take with them is worth it J These children love to be held…

We would grab her in an instant but I just found out about RR only a week ½ ago. When I saw Julia’s face and heard the conditions of her care I was brought to my knees. God told me to DO SOMETHING last week so I started a blog for Julia and a facebook page under Julia’s Hope. Seeing her little face in that crib, knowing what she is capable of if given the chance – this has moved me to tears and action! Trying to get awareness to many, many to help get her into a mommy and daddies arms…soon. If anyone wants to talk to me about the syndrome please feel free – going on a local tv show next week to talk about Julia and RR. It would be wonderful to have a family committed to her by then!!!


Circle of Hope

(256) 759-2178 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (256) 759-2178      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Serving families of children with life threatening illness

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monroe & Mommy

Meredith finally meets her new future son! This is a beautiful picture of her & Monroe..
He is a beautiful boy and she is looking for a new name for him...This name is just given by Reeces Rainbow to protect the children...She is very anxious to get back to pick him up so they can meet his medical needs...and love him up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brian is a beautiful boy in need of a family asap!

Brian is a bundle of love :) Blonde hair and big brown eyes, he is waiting for his family to come for him. He was born with hydronephrosis and does have hypothyroidism.

Brian is already 4 1/2 and needs a family quickly. He can not be adopted from the place he will be sent. He is blessed to still be at the baby house, which is one of the nicer ones. We have had several families adopt from here, and this region is a beautiful place to visit. There are MANY children with Down syndrome and other special needs waiting in this orphanage who can be adopted together.

Hope someone will consider Brian!
I have $4350 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Hamilton Has a family too!!

The orphanage where we adopted our 3 little Angels from is clearing out! We are so happy about this...Of course it makes room for more children, but they are getting families so fast! This is great news..We are praying also for Anya & Misha & some others there to get a family soon...she was recently visited and got great pictures of her smiling..but they were deleted hoping another girl has some...

Check out

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Final Documents Gone!

The rest of our dossier will be in Kiev by Monday or Tuesday...I met the fedex man at the North Buiding in Harrisburg today just after the docs were apostilled! Still hot off the press!
While getting the docs done..I met a courier that makes her living taking documents for apostilling...she was talking to the lady behind the desk and she said her son's principal just adopted a Downs child..I knew they had to be from Reeces Rainbow! Sure enough it was the Lakota Family who adopted Juliana...This worker was so nice & happy to help all families with their apostilling process of adoption..If you haven't adopted don't know what you're missing! LOL Wowie..Talk about paper work...glad we are done...The cost to apostille a whole dossier is approx. $500 +

We should be in Ukraine by October 23 rd..we plan on meeting some other families while there and revisit some contacts & wonderful friends we have made...We'll be very busy over there...planning on doing a few hair doos as well..Some ladies are waiting in Buccha as well...I will be making 3 trips instead of staying the entire time due to school in session...Our new son should be home with us by Thanksgiving!

Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow

Adoption - Lifesong for Orphans

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh my...tears of joy..I am so happy Marco still wants to come..Here is the email:

Dear Jo Ann,

Yes, Yura wants you to adopt him. He came back on the 5th of September late in the evening. Right after he returned he asked the worker of the orphanage : Did my mother came? He is waiting for you.

Best regards,


We are all so happy & can't wait to go and get him!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From the heart of Lu Poppies...

Rescue those being led away to death: hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does He who guards your life not know it?"
I consider it my duty to inform the world of these children who are being dragged away toward slaughter. Who hears? If anyone needs understanding of what these children face, here it is: these institutions have been deemed "concentration camps for childre," and so they are. ARISE, whoever will, on their behalf.See More
The Journey: Doing Nothing...
What if you knew adopting would literally save the life of a child? Does it help to know it’s our duty, as God’s warriors to stand up for the orphans? *Maybe it’s what God has in mind for your family and aren’t His surprises really Blessings we hadn’t thought of yet?!!

Project from Reeces Rainbow...

We are losing more and more of our children at the special needs orphanage of Torez due to Malnutrition! In the last month alone, 2 children with special needs lost their lives at the orphanage of Torez.
You can make a difference! You can help SAVE a child's life by giving them the food that they need to keep their fragile little bodies healthy. Please donate TODAY by contacting or visiting the Life2Orphans website to purchase or donate food. Below is information on Malnutrition. For the cost of a coffee each day you can help a orphaned special needs child see his or her next birthday by keeping them healthy!

What Is Malnutrition? What Causes Malnutrition?

What can YOU do?

You can stop the pain and low mortality rate by donating NOW to special needs institutions like Torez through the Life2Orphans feed the children program! For pennies a day you can help a child with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and many other special needs conditions nourish their little bodies, so that they will not endure the pain of malnutrition. Please visit HTTP://WWW.LIFE2ORPHANS.ORG" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; and donate to Torez a special needs orphanage today. Your love and generosity will help save a child...We have lost too many special needs children so far (several this year) at the hands of malnutrition Please feed a special needs child’s body, heart, and soul today! Begin donating NOW...CONTACT or go to and donate online.

Malnutrition - Individuals are malnourished, or suffer from undernutrition if their diet does not provide them with adequate calories and protein for maintenance and growth, or they cannot fully utilize the food they eat due to illness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is the gravest single threat to global public health especially in the area of special needs children in Eastern Europe Poor diet may lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, among other essential substances, sometimes resulting in scurvy - a condition where an individual has a vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency. Though scurvy is a very rare disease, it still occurs in some patients (very often with orphans) - special needs children living in institutions, or those that live on a diet devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables. Similarly, infants or children who are on special or poor diets for any number of economic or social reasons are severely prone to scurvy According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, it is estimated that over two million people are affected by malnutrition (subnutrition), and a high percentage are the children in orphanages and institutions.

Poor diet may lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, among other essential substances, sometimes resulting in scurvy - a condition where an individual has a vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency. Though scurvy is a very rare disease, it still occurs in some patients (very often with orphans) - special needs children living in institutions, or those that live on a diet devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables. Similarly, infants or children who are on special or poor diets for any number of economic or social reasons are severely prone to scurvy.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, it is estimated that over two million people are affected by malnutrition (subnutrition), and a high percentage are the children in orphanages and institutions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that malnutrition is by far the largest contributor to child mortality globally, currently present in half of all cases. Deficiencies in vitamin A or zinc cause 1 million deaths each year. WHO adds that malnutrition during childhood usually results in worse health and lower educational achievements? While malnutrition used to be seen as something which complicated such diseases as measles, pneumonia and diarrhea, it often works the other way round - malnutrition can cause diseases to occur.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:

Malnutrition is "Faulty nutrition resulting from malabsorption, poor diet, or overeating."
Undernutrition is "A form of malnutrition resulting from a reduced supply of food or from inability to digest, assimilate, and use the necessary nutrients."
What are the signs and symptoms of malnutrition?

Loss of fat (adipose tissue)
Breathing difficulties, a higher risk of respiratory failure
Higher risk of complications after surgery
Higher risk of hypothermia - abnormally low body temperature
The total number of some types of white blood cells falls; consequently, the immune system is weakened, increasing the risk of infections
Higher susceptibility to feeling cold
Longer healing times for wounds
Longer recover times from infections Longer recovery from illnesses
Reduced muscle mass
Reduced tissue mass Tiredness, fatigue, or apathy
In more severe cases:

Skin may become thin, dry, inelastic, pale, and cold
Eventually, as fat in the face is lost, the cheeks look hollow and the eyes sunken
Hair becomes dry and sparse, falling out easily
Sometimes, severe malnutrition may lead to unresponsiveness (stupor)
If calorie deficiency continues for long enough, there may be heart, liver and respiratory failure
Total starvation is said to be fatal within 8 to 12 weeks (no calorie consumption at all)

Children - children who are severely malnourished typically experience slow behavioral development, even mental retardation may occur. Even when treated, undernutrition may have long-term effects in children, with impairments in mental function and digestive problems persisting; in some cases for the rest of their lives.

What are the causes of malnutrition?

Malnutrition, the result of a lack of essential nutrients, resulting in poorer health, may be caused by a number of conditions or circumstances. In many developing countries long-term (chronic) malnutrition is widespread - simply because people do not have enough food to eat.

Poor diet - if a person does not eat enough food, or if what they eat does not provide them with the nutrients they require for good health, they suffer from malnutrition. Poor diet may be caused by one of several different factors. If the child develops dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) because of an illness, or when recovering from an illness, they may not be able to consume enough of the right nutrients. Many special needs children suffer from this!

In poorer, developing nations malnutrition is commonly caused by:

Food shortages - Food shortages are a significant cause of malnutrition in many parts of the world


Monday, September 6, 2010


Please come out to the 2 nd annual Buddy walk...It will be at Dansbury Park Oct 2 nd
Details can be found at The Pocono Parents of Down Syndrome

If you want to join our team it's TEAM TORRES just email me at

The walk is 1-2 miles around the park...but you may also just sit and relax..

We will have a REECES RAINBOW TABLE...Just look for the Big Banner...we will have brochures from Reeces Rainbow about adopting a child with Downs syndrome or other angels with other needs..


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting for Marco!

Still waiting for Marco to arrive back in Ukraine....sometime this week..
In the meantime we are trying to clean and prepare for his arrival..and heave junk...I am getting organized now that the kids are back at school..Finally have tomorrow to stay home and not leave for anything...just cleaning.