Mar 20, 2011

If you were an orphan, would you want help? Help an orphan today!

Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
(Isa 1:17)

Ever since this little boy has been brought to my attention, his situation has burdened my heart greatly. I suppose, due to my line of work, I have a propensity to advocate for the "little guy" or the "underdog." I believe it might be just more than the vocational essence driving me though. I believe it is because the underdog status resonates with me, in my spirit, very deeply. Andrey S., is a child with Down Syndrome. He is currently in an Ukrainian orphanage. At the age of 4 he is currently in line to be transferred to a 'mental institution' where most children (90%) do not make it through the 1st year. The conditions are poor, the social interaction is very little, and the digression of their condition is drastic. The cost to help out this child ranges from $20k to $25k on average.

What I am asking you here today on this blog is to give what you can, even if it is just $5. If just 200 people gave $100, Andrey would be halfway home. The biggest hurdle for this child's adoption is the funds. Once they reach a certain point, Reece's Rainbow, the organization involved in helping advocate for Andrey, will begin notifying potential families and alerting others of the grants available to help him be adopted. If you have a blog, please re-post this, if your assembly is looking for someone to help in benevolence, please plead this boy's case! Re-post this on your FaceBook or Twitter account. Whatever you do, do something! Pray, Fast, Pay, or Adopt him!

I will post the information concerning Andrey S., and the organization currently helping collect funds to create a grant for the child. After the information concerning the child, you will find some points of information that I collected to help alleviate ancillary concerns that may make donating worrisome. If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer them the best I can.

Boy, Born December 28, 2006
Andrey is a tiny little monkey!   HE REALLY NEEDS A FAMILY.   He has blonde hair and blue eyes. He has also has strabismus, which can be corrected surgically here in the US. Andrey will greatly benefit from early intervention therapy, and will just blossom the way all of our other children have! This little one has an ASD and a PDA, with some impairment of circulation. He will need heart surgery when he gets home.

From a missionary who visited with him in November 2010:  " Andrey seems to have regressed since the last photo that was taken of him. He has very low muscle tone and, while he is able to sit up on his own, his not able to stand, even with help. He was playing with toys and I got lots of smiles and laughter out of him when I tickled him. He definitely has some significant delays but I believe he could truly blossom with the love and therapy a family would provide. Oh how I pray he gets the chance…"
From one of our adoptive families who visited with him in May 2009: " He is such a little cutie! I am not sure if he is sitting on his own because he was propped against this fence outside and I didn't get a chance to snuggle him. But he is good size, a bit small for a 2 year old, but with therapy and stimulation, it would only be a matter of time before he thrives!! "
From his caregivers in April 2010:  Selectively comes into contact with adults. Has commitment to the toys: rattles, musical toys.  Self-sitting. Not walking yet.   Eat with spoon, drinking from a cup with an adult.

  • Andrey S. was most likely the child of parents who willfully terminated their rights because of his special needs as a child with Down Syndrome.
  • Andrey is NOT part of a 'token' or 'novelty' demographic of children that US citizens target for adoption. Children with Down Syndrome are NOT a fad. They often encumber families with medical costs/care, time constraints, and constant engagement and behavioral monitoring. Along with the medical costs, the sheer challenge of socializing and raising a child with Down Syndrome is daunting. It would indeed take a special family to desire adoption of one of these children.
  • The specifics about how Andrey actually entered the orphanage and the strata/demographical data concerning his parents and their situation are not available at this time, and probably would not be available to anyone beside the adoptive family, and the social workers involved in the adoption.
  • Andrey is in an orphanage located inside the Ukraine. The Ukraine is not known for child trafficking and illegal payments to families for children.  They in fact are very restrictive regarding foreign adoptions and have closed the doors for outsiders in the past. There is current potential for new legislation that will re-enact the moratorium, but has been tabled in the latest legislature meetings.
  • Trafficking of children to the United States by countries who participate in illegal adoption activities were halted by the U.S. State Department in 2008 (Guatemala and Cambodia). The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption has been enacted and created to monitor, regulate, and standardize these situations.
  • Ukraine is not party to this convention but still has a US embassy in Kiev, regulates all adoptions to foreigners very tightly, and requires adopting families to be married couples and under the age of 45. This is on top of the requirements the United States imposes on families who adopt children. They also must consider the adoptee
  • Contributing to assist Andrey will NOT be contributing to an organized effort to traffic children to the United States, especially Down Syndrome children.
Some more facts about adoptions in Ukraine,

·  2009 adoptions: 610 children
·  Age/Gender: 53% Female, none under 1 year of age, 30% between 1 to 4 years old, in 2008.
·  Estimated Total Cost: $30,000+
·  Profile: 70% of children are age 5 or older; 30% are between 1 and 4 years old (2008).
·  Parent Ages: Prospective adopting parents must be at least 21 years and the maximum age difference between the adopting parents and the prospective adopted child is 45 years.
·  Family Status: Married couples only may adopt from Ukraine.
·  Travel: Usually two trips required. Only one parent required for second trip. First trip is 2 to 3 weeks long. Second trip is 1 week long. If only one trip, 5 to 6 weeks.
·  Timeline: From submission of dossier until appointment date, 5 to 12 months.

Why use Reece's Rainbow to help Andrey get adopted?
  • I spoke with the organizations founder, Andrea Roberts a few times already, and intend to maintain contact with her concerning Andrey's plight, and she herself is a mother of a child with Down Syndrome.
  • Reece's Rainbow is NOT an adoption agency, they are a granting/advocating agency. The more money that is available for Andrey's adoption, the more likely he WILL be adopted.
  • Reece's Rainbow is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency that would receive ZERO dollars in compensation for assisting with Andrey's adoption. However, when a donation is made to a specific child, the Voices of Hope Fund receives 10% of that donation to go toward assisting other children and advocating for them as well.
  • Andrea has assured me that the bulk of the cost for these adoptions in are consumed in the international travel and legal fees with both US and foreign entities. At least $9000.00 can be assumed to go straight to the Ukrainian government for costs alone.
  • As a side note. The adults I attend to on my caseload at work who reside in specialized residential settings can cost up to $3000.00 per month and receive minimal care. They are far from deprived, but are assuredly not "well" taken care of. With the cost of care being so high in an industrialized nation for adults, I could only imagine the costs for children in Ukraine with special needs.
  • Since 2006 Reece's Rainbow has helped place 500 children with HIV, Down Syndrome, and other medical special needs situations.
Here is an article concerning a couple who adopted in Ukraine, and received full grant funding for the actual adoption through Reece's Rainbow,

Believe it or not, I have found it next to impossible to dig up dirt on this organization. Since we have begun advocating for Andrey, his grant fund has grown by 45%.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
(Gal 6:10)

Please join me in praying for Andrey. I hope you can support his adoption.You can donate directly through PayPal. 

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