Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

From Me and My House Ministries

Another ministry I'd like to share:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Orphans Who Age Out in 2015 and 2016

Here is a listing of orphans who age out in 2015 and 2016.That means they have about 2 or 3 years to get families before either being put on the streets or kept institutionalized for life.

  1. Kevin (2002) Developmental delays, past chemo-therapy. Adopted!
  2. Leonard (2002)
  3. Moses
  4. Tyson (2000)
  5. Vlad (1999) (being hosted this summer)
  6. Stephie (1999)
  7. Ryker (1999)
  8. Kylie (2002)
  9. Frankie (2000/2001)
  10. Rania (1999)
  11. Margeaux (1999)
  12. Dixie (1999)
  13. Clarice (1999)
  14. Emmaline (2002)
  15. Saige (2002)
  16. Leanne (2002)
  17. Channah (2002)ADOPTED!
  18. Geneva (1999)
  19. Dante (2000)
  20. Jeff (2002)
  21. Randall (1999)
  22. Dell (1999)
  23. Emil (1999)
  24. Collier (1999)
  25. Andruis (2000)
  26. Duane (2000)
  27. Chelsea (2000/2001)
  28. Isolde (1999)
  29. Caesar (1999) ADOPTED!
  30. Kiersten (2000)
  31. Frank (2000) ADOPTED!
  32. Aubree (1999)
  33. Francesca (1999)
  34. Amos (1999)
  35. Lance (2001)  
  36. Polly (2000) 
  37. Pearl (2001) ADOPTED!
  38. Reid (2001)
  39. Jason (2002)

Orphans Who Age Out in 2013 and 2014. UPDATED

Earlier I posted about some orphans who age out in 2013 and 2014. They all have special needs.  Those who are only HIV+ will end up on the streets and most likely won't get the medication they need. Those with other special needs will be institutionalized for life.

Update: Estelle, Gerard, Max, Emmitt, Jensen, and Brad all have families!!!!
Paola (1998) and Caroline (2005) have been adopted! They were in Latin America and were with Wide Horizons for Children.

Some orphans without photos:

Girl 6510, born 10/1998 has some learning difficulties and a squint. She needs a family that will help her make her potential. Contact Hand in Hand Adoptions if interested.

Meet a sibling group of three!!! They are in separate orphanages in the same area.

Tatiana (5/2006) has FAS and HIV. She wants a mama badly. $1402.71 in her grant.
Tristan (2003) has some mental delays, but is otherwise healthy.
Trudy (1998) is HIV+.
These siblings deserve to be together! Only adoption can get them together again!!!

Another sibling group of three!!!

Nastya, Yana, and Kyril.
The orphanage director is BEGGING for a family for these 3 siblings. In September they are due to be transferred to an institution where it will be impossible for them to be adopted. If a family commits to them before then, they will be held for that family.  Someone PLEASE go after them!

Daria has HIV. She had a stroke, which made her lose vision in one eye.  If she isn't adopted soon, she will become a servant in the older children's orphanage. She is too smart for that. Someone please choose her!

Mason (2001) & Madison (1997)

These siblings both have cardiac malformations.  Mason has scoliosis and Madison has a humpback. They need to be adopted together.

Isn't Greta lovely? She has Down Syndrome and is a teenager. She is the size of a 5 year-old child now. Wouldn't it be great it she can get a family soon? Maybe some good nutrition can help her grow some more before it's too late. I hope so. Greta's grant has grown to $8720.50 from $5441.64.

Karen & Chrystyna are sisters. They live in separate orphanages. They most likely haven't seen each other in years. Karen has no special needs and is 17 years old. She will become unadoptable in January 2014. Chrystyna is 11 years old and has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Both girls go to school. Karen can only be adopted if a family is interested in both her and Chrystyna.
Chrystyna has a grant of $7418.55. Karen has no grant.

Barton needs a family by December 2013. Barton has cerebral palsy, partial optic nerve atrophy, and a rough mental delay.  Barton is a quiet boy. He loves to be outside, staring at the sky, following the birds with his eyes. He loves to feel the wind around his and when there’s a leaf on the ground and the wind blows it away, he goes running after it. Barton doesn’t make eye contact but he does listen when you speak to him. He doesn’t talk, but he when you ask him to do something he will immediately do it, come to you and stand in front of you for a moment. When you say ‘well done’ he’ll continue what he was doing before. Barton sometimes seems to live in his own world. He’s not making a lot of social contact with the other children from the group, until somebody turns on the music. He loves music and he will start dancing with the other children of the group.
Barton is at $100.99

Casey was adopted!

Simon was adopted!

Nick has some mental delays. His sister was already adopted and is living in the United States. He has had some education. His delays could be somewhat from living in institutions. He will turn 16 in February 2014. 
Nick has $375 in his grant.

Here is Bobby who was born in 1998. He will turn 15 years old this year. Bobby has Down Syndrome and lives in Eastern Europe.
He met up with a missionary lady and he kissed her hand! What a gentleman!  He is considered kind and helpful around the place he lives in.
There is also a girl named Angelia in the same orphanage, born in 2001 that can be adopted with him.

Gene has Down Syndrome. He was met by a missionary recently. The account was written here. Gene really needs more stimulation. He isn't being given enough attention in the institution.
Gene has $136.00 in his grant.

Anton 11-12
Anthony has arthrogryposis of all 4 limbs. He is 14 years old.

Wesley has albinism and lives in Asia. People with albinism over there are singled out. They don't blend in with the rest of the people, and life is hard for them. Someone PLEASE adopt Wesley!  He has vision problems due to the lack of pigment in his eyes. Wesley was abandoned when he was 6 years old. He has a gentle temperament, is polite and sensible, and gets along well with others. He likes to play games with kids outdoors. He likes watching cartoons, listening to stories with peers, playing games with kids outdoors, likes playing balls and toy cars best. He can be adopted by a single mother if one is interested.
  $1478.90 up from $1244.00 in his adoption grant.


 Red-haired Julie will turn 16 in April 2014. She was once hosted by an American family for the summer. She had a good time. She loved the water slides at a water park, and chose to go down the biggest one!  She has some mental delays and faces a life of institutionalization if not adopted. Julie is so pretty! Let's not let her be hidden behind institution walls!

Henry will turn 14 in July. He has Nephrotic Syndrome. He takes prednisolone and calcium carbonate to help his urine production. He lives with a foster family. He is introverted and doesn't argue with the other children. Henry has $10.00 in his adoption grant.

Shane is a fun-loving boy in Asia. He is 13 this year. He has albinism and the vision problems that go along with it. 
Shane is a very extroverted boy, he is active, outgoing, has fluent speaking, and he can talk freely before strangers. He likes to sing songs, and he often sings and dances before adults, and his singing is beautiful.  He likes to play badminton, Fly Chess and car toys.  He has a dream since young, hoping that he can be a bus driver to serve the passengers.  He is easy going, and he never breaks into temper without reason, so he often has a smile, and he often helps do something in his ability actively, like clean the floor and desk and fold the clothes and so on.
His vision is worse and worse as his increasing age, he must go to very close place when seeing things nearby. In strong light, he is always squint his eyes to see the scenery far. Shane has $27.50 in his adoption grant.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Lovies in Asia Who Deserve Families

Unfortunately, their country decided that these children do not meet requirements to be adopted internationally.

Therse are three girls listed with Reece's Rainbow who have special needs and live in the same Asian country. They are also listed with the same adoption agency.
It is important to find families for these girls soon since their country only allows very young children to be adopted.  These girls are all three years old or soon will be three years old. They may have only a year or two to get adopted.

We also need to find THREE families for these kids because this country won't allow parents to adopt more than one child at the same time unless the kids are related.

There are some other obstacles to their adoptions. Their country has many restrictions on who they allow to be adopt their children.  These restrictions are:

#1 Married couples only. Couples must be married at least 3 years.
#2 Parents must be under 43 years old.
#3 No more than one divorce for each parent.
#4 No more than 4 children at home.
#5 No serious medical conditions for adoptive parents.
#6 Parents cannot be more than 30% overweight.
#7 $35,000 minimum income.
#8 Parents must have high school diplomas.

See all those? Some of those don't weed out many people. Most people have high school diplomas and don't have serious medical conditions. Yet many adoptive families are those who already have children and want to add to their families. Many have more than 4 children at home when they want to adopt more kids. They are also often already in their 40s. 

That means that soon, three families must be found for these three little girls who are about three years old. They have to fit the requirements.

Yes, it CAN be done!

It can be done for Elizabeth:

Born 12/5/2009
Elizabeth loves to play with other children and toys. She has some extra toes and fusing of toes on one of her feet. She also has some flexion of her thumbs. There is also an atral septal defect and a sacral dimple.  Elizabeth has been getting therapy and is now able to run.

For Jenna:

Born 6/12/2009

Jenna has microcephaly and blindness.  She can sit, stand, and walk with support. She has been making lots of improvements since living at a care center.

For Hallie :

$5000 agency grant!!!
Born 8/12/2009
Hallie is very active and bright. She is not shy around strangers and greets people with a smile.
Hallie was born prematurely and has some retinopathy because of that. She has some deformities of her fingers. She has been getting physical therapy for her orthopedic issues. She has a feeding tube and gets feedings three times a day. She is making many improvements.

VERY EASY TRAVEL!  Less then one week of travel required. Only one trip! The center isn't far from the airport, just a trip up the highway.

Let's all hope these girl's families find them soon!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Remembering Sandy Hook

Last month Newtown, Connecticut had its town changed forever. A young man named Adam Lanza murdered his mother on the morning of December 14. Then he broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered six faculty members and twenty students--all of whom were in the first grade. He later killed himself as soon as law enforcement came to the school. This incident brought up the debate on gun control and how to deal with the mentally ill. No matter where people stood on these issues, they were saddened by the reality that twenty-seven innocent people lost their lives that day. I have followed adoption charities for a few years now. There are thousands of children who are orphaned in places like Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia who have special needs. They are locked away in mental institutions just because they have a handicap. They don't all have intellectual handicaps, some may have physical problems. They are put away for life. Most will die within a few years of being transferred. Their only hope is if a family rescues them from that situation. There are things that can be done to help these orphans. Some charities such as Life 2 Orphans, Chernobyl Children's Care, and Acres of Hope help to improve conditions in orphanages and give kids better care. There are also charities such as The Eli Project, Reece's Rainbow, Show Hope, Caroline's Promise, and Brittany's Hope help with adoption costs. Thousands of children have found their forever families through these organizations and escaped certain death.
Here are some children listed on Reece's Rainbow who either have similar names to those who died in the Sandy Hook massacre, or who are in dire need of a family due to aging out of the system or severe medical needs:

Nancy & Nadia: (for Nancy Lanza)
These twin girls were born in August of 2007. Both have fetal alcohol syndrome. They are in danger of being transferred to the mental institution soon. An adoptive family visited the orphanage in 2012 and noticed them feeding themselves and each other. They said they are absolute "dolls"! They should get a family together so they don't have to be separated.
Victoria: (for Victoria Soto)
Victoria has been listed on Reece's Rainbow for a few years. She is in an orphanage that hasn't had an adoptive family connected to RR visit for a while. There is no photo of Victoria. Yet we do know that she has a mental delay, small head, crossed eyes, scoliosis, and some mild paralysis down one side. I do hope that a family will come for her. If a family is truly interested in her, more information can be retrieved.
Noah: (for Noah Pozner) Noah is a delightful six-year old boy who has cerebral palsy and can't walk right now. He loves to be held by adults. Let's hope he gets a family before being bedridden in an institution.
Maddie (for Madeleine Feng Hsu): Maddie has a mental delay and delays in her development. She is farsighted. Maddie is alert and likes to engage. She is helpful, likes to help with the younger children. Her walking in unsteady and is described as “crooked”. Understands simple orders, but in various activities she does not fully understand what is being asked of her. Maddie is determined to be independent and tries to perform everything herself. She enjoys helping others, likes to clean up when she sees a mess. Her fine motor skills need improvement. She seeks out attention. She likes to observe and then imitate. She is protective of her toys. Speech is significantly delayed at this time. She says few words (thank you, bye, this, no, uncle, mom). She enjoys singly loudly in her own little language.
Daniel (for Daniel Barden):
Daniel has Down Syndrome. He is 13 years old and only has until July to get a family. Daniel is very active and friendly. He is affectionate and likes to play with and greet others. He proudly shows his work to you and enjoys cleaning and keeping a tidy room. Daniel has a great sensitivity to the immobile/special needs children, and often will bring them toys and water, etc to help them. Daniel is a loving boy who will do wonderfully in a family of his own”.
Charlotte (for Charlotte Bacon):
Charlotte has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, better known as Brittle Bone Disease. She was born in February 2007. There is a family interested in her, but she still has a donation button on her profile. That will help the adoptive family bring her home. Olive (for Olivia Engel): Olive was born in March 2004. She has a mild to moderate mental delay. She has facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but that is not documented in her records. She has made good developmental progress in the orphanage. Olive is the size of a typical four-year-old. Anastasia (For Ana Marquez-Greene): Dylan (For Dylan Hockley): Dylan has Down Syndrome and is very small for his age. He hasn't been able to get enough nutrition in his life. He will thrive with Anastasia has cerebral palsy. In her first photo she is wearing her best dress and trying to stand as well as she can, hoping her new family will find her. Dawn (For Dawn Hochsprung): Dawn has Down Syndrome. She likes to play with toys and enjoys music. She interacts with adults well. Dawn has been institutionalized since the age of three. She hasn't gone to school outside the institution. She needs a family so she can experience life.
Catherine (For Catherine Violet Hubbard):
Catherine is a lovely little girl with Down Syndrome. She likes to play with toys and interact with other children. She has good intelligence for a child with Down Syndrome.
Chase (For Chase Kowalski):
Chase is a boy of Romany (Gypsy) descent. He has a mental delay and doesn't speak much. He is very shy. He was born in July of 2007, and is in danger of being transferred to the institution soon.
Jesse (For Jesse Lewis): Jesse is almost 3 years old and has Down Syndrome. He is only available to Canadian families at this time.
Jimmy (for James Mattioli): Jimmy has Down Syndrome. He is living with a foster family. He is almost 6 years old.
Anne (for Anne Marie Murphy):
Anne was born in February 2008. She has epilepsy and some mental delays. She is so pretty!
Jack (for Jack Pinto): Jack was born in 2007. He has cerebral palsy. He was born premature. His mother gave him up for adoption because of financial difficulty. He is receiving speech therapy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Godone-Maresca Story: A Story that Needs to be Told

The Godone-Maresca Story: A Story that Needs to be Told

The Godone-Maresca adoption story as of Christmas 2012

I was really impacted, and touched, by this family's "faith and togetherness", as Lillian herself phrases it as she shares her family's amazing story in her blog. Particularly I was impressed by the enormous sacrifices made by LIllian's mother and by her three biological children in a society where regrettably grandparents and older siblings tend to have  less significant roles in the lives of the younger siblings as each day goes by. This is an inspirational story that needs to be told. Also I'd like to invite any readers to please share her FSP with Reece's Rainbow just ni case someone may feel led to help a little towards the final fee and expenses in their rush against time before the pick-up trip, which is scheduled for January 5, 2013.

And this is their story:

For the last few years everything for the Godone-Maresca family has been revolving around the international adoption of children with special needs. Despite being widowed, and therefore a single applicant, when talking about adoption Lillian always uses the plural due to the total, absolute, unconditional support of her mother and her three biological children in each and all of the processes.

The above pictures were taken in their backyard on 03/11/12, only five days before E. Nydia Soracco-Godone would be taken to hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Lillian's mom and children on Mother's Day 2011


The degree to which the grandmother and the three older siblings gave of themselves for the sake of the adoptions is completely unusual, if not unique.

A totally happy grandma

Christmas 2011

Five days after she'd be rushed to hospital in an ambulance. She was feeling unwell already. She was starting having shortness of breath. Yet, she always had a smile for all her grandkids. All she wanted was to hug and kiss them, and to be hugged and kissed in return.

When people praise Lillian for what she is doing, she always makes sure to give credit to the enormous sacrifices her mother and her older children made. In a five-year period Lillian went from being a mother of three to becoming a mother of eight. Lillian’s mother, E. Nydia Soracco-Godone, was called by the Lord on September 1, 2012, leaving behind a legacy of unlimited love, unconditional generosity, and unparalleled selflessness. She was a retired professor of literature, but as she had never worked in U.S., instead of paying the monthly premium that Medicare would have charged her, she spontaneously preferred not to have knee replacement and cataracts surgeries and contribute those monies to the international adoption expenses of her younger grandkids instead, first from Haiti and then from Bulgaria, with two failed adoptions from Russia and Uzbekistan in between.  She could also have paid out of pocket for those surgeries also—but selected not to do it either. Even after finding herself almost blind and in a wheelchair, she never had any regrets. By the time when she could have had Medicare at no cost, her heart was too weak for any kind of surgical intervention.

Lillian’s biological children are Catherine, now 26, and Gerard and Warren, 16-year-old twins. Catherine has a master’s and almost a Psy.D., and works as a lead therapist with children with special needs—and does have a very special place in her heart for special kids. She spends lots of time looking for the perfect educational toys to target each specific skill for each one of her younger brothers.

Together with Gerard (front) and Warren (back), Catherine was taking care of the family's Thanksgiving dinner, 2011--that year and always.

A very happy sister with younger brothers Nicholas and Stephen.

Catherine sledding in the snow with Stephen, Jan. 2012, in their front yard. The sled had been one out of the many Christmas presents she had bought for Christmas for her younger brothers.

Catherine with Nicholas and Thomas.

Catherine with Stephen.

Catherine's enthusiasm over Nicholas' birthday cake says it all!

In July 2008 when Thomas and Nicholas arrived home from Haiti, Gerard and Warren were only 11. Since then they have been acting more like fathers than older brothers to their younger siblings, also adding Stephen, who would join the family from Bulgaria in December 2010 right before Christmas and his ninth birthday. The same as their older sister, Gerard and Warren have been helping with absolutely everything, including hygiene and personal needs.

From left to right: Gerard, Catherine, Nicholas, and Warren

Gerard with Stephen, summer 2011

Warren with Thomas, Christmas 2011.

Gerard with Stephen, Christmas 2011.

Catherine's present for the twins on the day of their Confirmation, March 2012

From left to right: Gerard, Catherine, Warren, and Nicholas, fall 2011

Letting him do it--but being there just in case. Warren keeping behind Thomas in order to eventually cushion a fall. Spring 2012

Warren helping Stephen with the monkey bars.

Gerard helping Thomas with the monkey bars.

Warren holding Thomas on Mr. Potato Head's arm, Roger Williams Park, Providence, spring 2012

Warren is making Stephen climb up Mr. Potato Head now.

Gerard looking after Nicholas and Thomas on the rolling slide.

Big brother-younger brother moment (one moment out of countless similar ones). They both cherish sporting similar t-shirts.

When Stephen got his new wheelchair, Gerard accompanied their mom--and he would be the one to learn how to do everything.
Thomas and Nicholas, now 11, were 7 years old at the time of their homecoming. They are three months apart. They both have mild cerebral palsy, and both of them are loving, caring, adorable children who are liked by anyone who interacts with them. 

Mom with Thomas and Nicholas at their school, fall 2011

Catherine with Nicholas.

Mom with Thomas. 

Stephen still has some unresolved anger issues, but is also a very affectionate child who seeks human contact. He has spina bifida, but his sparking, larger-than-life personality prevents people from even noticing his wheelchair.

A brother-to-brother hug: Warren and Stephen

Always smiling and always brave--even before his corrective surgery for esotropia, Nov. 2011

Stephen's enthusiasm with the snow is evident. Also in the picture: Catherine and Warren.

Despite some minor instances of misbehavior, Thomas, Nicholas, and Stephen have a solid sense of family, loyalty, truthfulness, and reaching out to anyone in distress.  They have assimilated some core values that are paramount in the Godone-Maresca family, where the most cherished principles derive from the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.  Lillian shares her “recipe” for a successful adoption outcome by saying that when it is the whole family that is unconditionally involved as opposed to being just the parent or parents, children end up responding accordingly.  Actually, Lillian even confesses that her younger children behave much better with their older siblings than they do with her.

Maximilian, 10, and Philip, 7, will be picked up in Bulgaria by Lillian on January 7, and the three of them will be flying back home on January 12, 2013. Their adoptions meant a long process fraught with delays and tears that finally is now arriving to a happy ending. Maximilian and Philip have mild c.p. as well. Maximilian uses a wheelchair. Philip has club feet which do not prevent him from being in constant movement and from running all over the place. Philip also has articulation problems, which impair his expressive but not his receptive communication skills. Both are very affectionate children who cannot wait to be home. Needless to say, their family cannot wait to have them home. Sometimes Lillian, Catherine, and the twins feel they cannot even say how much those two children need their new family because they very well know how very much their new family needs them as well.

Mom with Maximilian

Mom with Philip

Pictures from the day of Lillian's last visit with Maximilian and Philip, May 2012

Rather than waiting the inexorable, inflexible six-month period imposed by their local homestudy agency in Southern California before approving Lillian for the adoption of two more kids, in early 2011 the whole family took a huge leap of faith and moved all the way from San Diego County, CA, to RI. For Gerard and Warren, having Maximilian and Philip home sooner was more important than what would have been an easier pathway in their studies through the UC system from junior college to a four-year college without ACT or SAT, and then priority for grad school admission.  Catherine didn’t mind saying good-bye to her parochial Young Adults group where she had been a leader since her youth ministry days and putting a coast-to-coast distance between her and the grad school where she had completed her master’s and doctoral coursework but where her dissertation is still due.  They all faked enthusiasm over the move—because having their younger brothers home as early as possible was more important.

Nevertheless, the leap of faith was a huge one, and some other delays were unavoidable. Lillian was used to a very privileged upbringing in her childhood days—but things are not the same in her adulthood. Catherine and the twins were happy to make many sacrifices that typical older siblings wouldn’t even consider making in this self-centered society in which we live.  Catherine voluntarily contributed grad student loan monies meant for her living expenses, and for which she is now obligated in her own name. Gerard and Warren decided to skip lunch in college. Every day, upon arriving back home in the evening, the twins would be really hungry—but also happy that they were silently helping towards a sooner homecoming for Maximilian and Philip to be once and for all, and forever, where they already belong.