Monday, October 29, 2012

Reece's Rainbow & Ms Beth (Day 29 of 31/21)

As you can see from the last post, we don't have very much going on right now.  The girls are getting ready for Halloween, Cate has a dentist appointment tomorrow (wish us luck it goes well), and the weather is really turning to fall.  So I wanted to highlight an organization that I can't leave out of a month dedicated to Down Syndrome awareness - Reece's Rainbow.  Here is their mission statement:

The mission of Reece's Rainbow is to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.

There are still countries in the world where children with Down Syndrome never get to go home with their parents.  They are immediately sent to orphanages called baby houses until in some places where as young as 4 or 5 years old when they are moved to adult mental institutions.  These cultures still view children with DS as unable to learn, embarassments, and burdens.  Their life expectancy once they are moved is so short and although not every facility is as horrible as our imaginations, most of them are underfunded and offer no therapy or education for these kids.  They never get to realize their potential like Cate and her friends do.
Reece's Rainbow was started by Andrea Roberts who is the mother of a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome, and a passionate advocate for other children around the world.  In 2006, she expanded an existing organization started to help parents upon diagnosis at a major Atlanta hospital to include promoting the international adoption of children with Down syndrome.    They provide a website that details children with DS awaiting adoption internationally and provides grants for the adoptive families since these adoptions can run $40,000 when you include travel costs for multiple visits and weeks of residence in a foreign country.  These grants are funded by people who donate to them in honor of a certain child or to a general fund.  This is the charity that Ric and I give most of our yearly donations too because as often as we discuss it we probably won't be those amazing parents who can provide a forever family for one of these deserving children.  But we can make a difference through Reece's Rainbow, look at what they've accomplished:
In only 5 years, we have found adoptive families for more than 500+ orphaned children with Down syndrome and other special needs around the world. More than $1.5 million in grant funds have been disbursed to make those adoptions possible. I can say with great confidence that if we had a full grant for every child on our website, there would BE no children on our website. There are hundreds of families in the US and Canada who would give their left arm to bring one or more of these children home. The money is the ONLY thing standing in their way. If you have questions or would like to discuss adopting or donating, please do not hesitate to contact me!  
For more information on Reece's Rainbow please visit to learn more about the organization and how to make tax deductible donations. 
There are so many blogging moms out there who raise amazing amounts of money for children on Reece's Rainbow.  I wish I could be that person but right now my heart tears a little every time I go to their site.  I just can't emotionally handle investing in a child that I can't save by myself.  Maybe someday you'll see a child who needs us on this blog but for now I have to remain a donor and not an advocate.  Except today I need to make an exception because there is another reason I wanted to highlight Reece's Rainbow.  Not all of the kids they advocate for have Down Syndrome, some of them have other diseases or disabilities.  This child has found a family and needs help to increase his fund:
Boy, born August 2006
A sweet -faced 5 year-old, Nathaniel is diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease. He dresses himself and is otherwise independent in his daily living. He is not aggressive, is kind to others and cries easily if he doesn’t get what he wants. He needs a family who can work with the unknowns of his medical diagnosis.

He is important to me because Cate played a part in his being found.  From the first post on
  Our journey began when I decided to join one of my former Pre-school students at the Buddy Walk last September. We had great fun being part of Cate's Crusaders. Before the actual walk, I wandered around and grabbed information from several tables. When I got home and opened one of the pamphlets, I was intrigued. It was a pamphlet from Reece's Rainbow. I turned on my computer and visited their site. Well, that was it I was hooked. I knew that I was being called. This is what I am supposed to do at this point and time in my life

His forever mom is Cate's special needs pre-K teacher. You've heard me talk about Ms Beth many, many times on this blog. She sat by me and acted as Cate's advocate during the uncertainty when Cate started kindergarten. She and her daughter have attended the Buddy Walk as part of Cate's Crusaders. Ms. Beth has answered a million emails, calls, and visits when I have a question or need some advice.

I can't do enough to sing her praises as a teacher and an advocate.  But I can try to help her increase Nathaniel's grant.   Ms. Beth has experience with MS and is already devoted to this child in Asia she hasn't even met yet.  Please visit Reece's Rainbow and donate to this very worthy cause or find another child you'd like to sponsor.

Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Cate will always be a part of my family. My little boy will know who started his Forever Mama on the journey to bring him to his forever home. I hope that next year, he will be walking beside Cate as a new member of Cate's Crusaders. Cate is one of my students I am most proud of and feel honored to have been able to help her get a good start. With advocating parents like you, Cate will prove to our community, that we just have to raise the bar a little higher and not to go by stereotypes.
    Love always,
    Ms Beth