Saturday, December 14, 2013

Good News!

You may be wondering why I no longer have Joshua's button or donation box on here. It's because thankfully he has A FAMILY! 

As of now, no one has heard from his family so it does not look like I will get to know his new family so as of now I will be focusing efforts on Haisten & any money I have collected from fundraising will go to him. I will update if I get any more information but as of now that's what is happening. If you have donated to Joshua no worries if for some reason his family does not step forward to go through the process for a FSP with Reeces Rainbow donations will go to another child. Thanks for all the support! Now, even though Haisten has no adorable photo to admire let's be sure to get him to his goal of $1,000. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Friends Forever & cherished memories

This past year has truly been the hardest with advocating as last year the big gates of a country closed its door to adoption. That country held two precious treasures (among others) that did not have families. 
I don't remember when it was maybe a year or so into advocating for her after she was transferred I discovered only one family had ever adopted from where she was but the director was very welcoming to adoption. I found another family would soon be adopting their soon to be daughter from that same place.
All along, don't tell me why since before I knew I pictured Celine with this girl. Maybe, it was their similar hair, about the same age, or cause they were in the same place. I pictured them together in a play house in sams club running around. The day I realized they were together in the same group made me happy & little did I know the peace of that fact would give to me. 
Little did I know the gift God had given me through this sweet girl after the ban took place. I hurt with her dear mom who truly loves this girl & wants her to be with a family. I was looking forward to getting to meet her & I still hope someday I will. They are friends in their institution & though it's a wonderful place both her mom & I hurt for them both. Now, I know why I visioned them together so long ago. THEY NEEDED EACH OTHER, despite the fact that one is wanted & loved I'm thankful they have each other.

It's been heartbreaking as I go through the many 1st's of what I was doing this time last year. The cherished memories as I watched a miracle unfold to get celine voted onto angel tree, got gifts from friends for her grant, the trials of fundraising during angel tree, then the joy seeing her get to her goal & beyond 13 days into Angel Tree 2012 with the help of amazing warriors, the start of my planning for my 21st Birthday fundraiser & many more. As I look yet another year at the stockings hung with notes of prayer & the many ornaments hung on the tree who are stuck just makes me sick to my stomach & want to burst into tears every time I walk into my room.
I had started little stockings for my girls with notes of prayer in them (that some friends had given me) that I would not take down til they found families. I then ended up moving so I had to pack them but this year I plan to keep them in their spot. I even have had little gifts for them including scrapbooks for their future families. It stings as I now have a corner filled with cherished memories, & I have a few special necklaces that somehow relate to them. One has Cora lynnes picture, another I bought from a fundraiser I did, & the most special one of all is the gift an anonymous friend gave to me which (at least from what I assume) had the charms of both girls birthstones. Every single thing has a memory from one or both girls down to my scentsy which was purchased from the fundraiser I did. I just can't think of the memories all the time or that would bring me down.
We had thought at one point a special needs amendment might happen so since they were still listed at that point I pressed forward on the 21st Birthday plan I started thinking about in October 2012 then started planning that December when the ban took place. This is my LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS MEMORY is the blessing that took place on & before Feb. 4, 2013
That's truly one 21st Birthday (or any one!) that I will always remember! All I had wanted was to fundraise for two girls & though it turned out differently than planned if it had not been for the love my friends shared to support my passion 1 girl might not be home with her family, & the other 3 with families on their way. 
Even if you don't know it Girls, I love you more than words can ever say! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Prayers answered!

I have not updated lately on my two girl butterflies,
Maria happily has a family!
And finally after almost 3 years of praying,
Yep, Brandi has found her family too!!! Brandi, has a special story of how I started to pray for her & I'm greatful God laid her on my heart that day I was so happy both days these girls found families & I can't wait til both girls are home! As Happy as I am it's always going to sting with pain knowing that each of these girls received a precious piece of my heart that makes me heartbroken for my daughter of my heart. These girls gained life & partly due to this precious "heart daughter" they are able to be rescued. 
While continuing the prayers answered post, I want to say this girl is now HOME!!

Mary Kay Fundraiser!

Things have been well, slowly moving for both Joshua & Haisten. I was debating to do any more online fundraising as I did not want to "force" or have people thinking they needed to order from every single fundraiser but then my friend brought up that she could do a Mary Kay party for me. As I thought about it different things draw different people I decided to give this my best shot at one of my last attempts for online fundraising for angel tree. So, without further ado here's all the info you need to know!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday NOT Thankless Thursday|Reeces Rainbow

You may be wondering whats up with the title of my post? First of all those of you know the tradition of "Black Friday" & how every year people rush out the day after thanksgiving to get the latest & greatest electronics or other deal items. I do admit us girls in my family have done this almost every year not necessarily for the very best deals but the fun of getting up early to shop & spend time with each other just the girls. Last year, when store opening times went into thanksgiving we went shopping later still on Friday & I told my Mom I wanted to be sure to support the businesses that stayed closed on Thanksgiving. We went to Jc Penney (one of the rare stores I find clothes I actually like) as they were one of the main stores that stayed closed. I had seen some picture of a sign on their door (or something?) that they wanted employees to spend time with their families on thanksgiving so they would be closed that was floating around on facebook. This year when I saw how many national store chains will be open even earlier on thanksgiving (including Jc Penney) & how little stores that will be closed thanksgiving day I was mad & sad at the world we live in. ITS NO LONGER BLACK FRIDAY BUT INSTEAD THANKLESS THURSDAY CAUSE REALLY YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO BE THANKFUL FOR FAMILY BUT INSTEAD BUY MORE & MORE STUFF! This is why I will no longer be participating on Thursdays shopping event. If I happen to be out & about Friday great but I'm not purposely shopping for anything. Today, I'm thankful that I'm not one of the 147 Million orphans in this world. So instead of thankless Thursday let it be a thankful Thursday of what God has blessed you with & give to those that have nothing. 
If you recall my Lost Get Found Giveaway, & the other times I have mentioned him their was a lost boy named "Heath".
Well I'm THANKFUL TO SAY HE IS HOME WITH HIS FAMILY!!!! Thank you God for laying him on my heart & allowing me to find a "lost" American Girl doll so this Lost could be found!
If you want to be thankful for what you do have & make it Thankful Thursday by giving back why don't you order some coffee to help Joshua find his forever family?
Or you can donate to his grant
Support Haisten too by donating to his grant
ALSO TOMORROW THE MY THIRTY ONE GIFTS FUNDRAISER ENDS & I HAVE ONLY GOTTEN A FEW ORDERS. 50% OF PROCEEDS GOES TO THE BOYS. SO GO TO MY LEAH H. (ONLY PARTY ON THERE) PARTY TO ORDER! Lots of cool things that would make great Christmas gifts! When you spend $35 or more you can get a medium utility tote for just $7!
I wish you all a very blessed & thankful thanksgiving this Thursday! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

National Adoption Awareness Month|Reeces Rainbow

Happy National Adoption Awareness Month! To start this post let me share what I posted on my facebook the other day.
"November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Though my family nor I (at least not yet for me hehe!) have adopted we have had many friends over the years that have & from all sorts of adoption from private to foster care to international. We have seen their joys & struggles that have come but the joys have overcome the struggles. Many of these kids I know personally have blessed my life in more ways than one & shown me what love can truly do for a child. We also know somewhat of the other side of adoption as we have a dear friend who had to give up her son a long time ago. Adoption is a blessing & it saddens me that today on Orphan Sunday don't know or celebrate that fact.
Their are millions of orphans waiting & I know not everyone can adopt but we all can do something to help! Pray, Donate, advocate, bring a meal to an adoptive family, help with a fundraiser, donate handmade or other items to an auction, etc. I know I talk often here about it but once my eyes & heart were open especially by the plight of special needs orphans overseas I knew I had to do something. I grew up fantasizing adoption & use to say I would have a houseful of adopted kids. In 2010, through a posting about a fundraiser on a friend of my moms fb page I followed the journey of a little girl named Sophia. Then I found a whole new world & discovered mental institutions still exist in other countries. That broke my heart to hear that other countries were what it was here 25+ years ago. I was 18 at the time & thought what could I do to help at my age? At that point is when sad, desperate little boy captured my heart strings. And if you have known me that long you know the awesome ending to that little boys fate. You see if I had said I'm way too young to help & looked away his ending might have turned out differently but God made it beautiful. So you see you may think your too old or young to adopt, or to help but I say you can! Age is but a number! Just read my god stories on my blog & I have heard even younger kids making a difference in the adoption community. Thank you if you took the time to read this!"

So you see if my eyes had not been opened, I would have never looked into the depth of this boys eyes & said yes I will help you.
He might have never known the Love of a family & I'm so thankful he found his forever family.
My heart would never have been stolen by this precious princess
Then yet again this one
One day, changed the princesses fate & my heart hurt for them & still does to this day. But Beauty rose from the ashes as my two beautiful butterflies helped two beautiful butterflies find families. (one still has two others she has helped waiting for families!) Berkeley's family could still use some support! go donate here

Which has also lead me to this darling butterfly
And this one!

And it continues on & on, including the new boys. Point is Adoption is beautiful. This is where my heart lies helping orphans find families, praying & doing whatever I can even though I can't adopt right now. Special Needs orphans in particular hold a soft spot in my heart since I have a sister with Down Syndrome. Right now here's a way you can support an orphan or two & do some christmas shopping by going here

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blessing of a camera

My camera has truly been a God blessing & whenever I tell the story people are amazed but that is only part of the story. The real truth of the story plays back in my mind everytime from my perspective which never fully I have shared the story but today I will. 3 days before my Birthday, I read this post & wanted to help in whatever way I could. I was simply wanting to support an orphan & though it would be nice to win a prize my main reason was to support Peter.
I did not have much to donate but wanted to help Peter (thankfully he is home with his family!) so I donated what little I did have but as it got further along into the Giveaway I wanted to do more. My Grandma had given me $ to send to a child on Reeces Rainbow & I of course chose to donate to  Peter & Artem. The day before/of the winners were to be announced I was saying surely I'm not gonna win it. I think I might have prayed I would win it. Well, when this post popped up on my blogger feed I nervously started reading til I reached the part announcing my name as the winner of the Nikon camera & Kept thinking to myself is this real? I was in shock, never have I won anything that big! I was so excited & my friends that were in the room when I read it I told them not to tell my mom as I wanted to surprise her that I had won. (Thankfully she did not read that post before it arrived) The day it arrived either Mom or I carried it in, she was asking me what it was & when I opened it up she asked where did this come from & then I proceeded to tell her the story & how I wanted to surprise her. 

For the past two years I have come to enjoy this precious gift. 

But what's more special is the return gift God has given me by using it myself & my sweet sister's photography skills.
He gave me great Moments captured in my own life & others.
Countless of blessings coming home to their beloved families.
And babes held in my arms
Treasured memories of my Nephews birth

Special events that will last a lifetime
And days when you just decide to play around with your camera
Then it turns into something beautiful,
Precious memories cherished all because God wanted me to bless another 

The beauty of God's nature adored
From fall to winter

Note ALL PHOTOS CREDIT GOES TO MYSELF & MY SISTER Stephanie of Stephanies Photography. Please do not copy or use without our permission. 
First of all God gets all the glory for this all, secondly I thank my friend Patti who did that Giveaway two years ago & her friend who gave up their camera (they had only used it once) to use as a prize to help a orphan for that I appreciate the camera even more so. Looking forward, to see how God allows me to use this gift even more for his glory in the future!

Angel Tree 2013|Reeces Rainbow

It's beginning to look like ANGEL TREE time!!!
So what is Angel Tree?

Running from November 1-December 31 each year, the Christmas Angel Tree is Reece's Rainbow most important fundraiser.

In only seven years, more than 1200+ children with Down syndrome and other special needs have found their “forever families”. The vast majority of this funding comes from our Angel Tree Project each year!

I have had the pleasure of being an Angel Tree warrior for the past 3 years & excitedly I am pleased to be warrior to these two precious boys! 
Haisten who has no photo.
What does a Christmas warrior do?
A Christmas warriors goal is to raise their child/childrens grant by $1,000 from Nov 1-Dec 31 but most importantly to raise awareness of the child/children to find families.
In the past, they ask you to stick with just one child to be a warrior to but this year they had so many kids included/added & towards the end their were kids without warriors so they said we can double up & thankfully they all have warriors now!
So crazy me, I was originally not going to do Angel Tree at all then I could not stand the thought of a girl who is about to age out who did not have a warrior but thankfully she got one so then I went back & just could not decide. Finally it was down to 5 left, all with no photos & it made me sad thinking why no one chose them. I took that huge leap of faith & still kinda freaking out how in the world I was going to fundraise $1,000 now I need to fundraise that for two! But, I'm trusting God will provide!
I have some fundraisers currently going & about to start a few more if you would like to support them:
Do you love coffee or know someone that does? With the Holidays fastly approaching you will need a gift & it supports an orphan! Part of the proceeds will go towards Joshuas Angel Tree goal!
So go order here at Joyful Joshua shop
Do you see the My Memories Software button on the right? How about the code right below it?
Every time someone purchases the software using that promo code they get $10 off & I get $20 in my paypal. Right now the software is $25.98 which is 35% off the original price! I have done many projects with the software including these:

So go order it here & be sure to use the promo code STMMMS49256 at checkout!
You can also go find their names here to donate.
Donations of $35 or more will receive an ornament with their photo on it. For Haisten you can still request an ornament for your donation of $35 or more but no photo will be on it.
For Joshua, his new photo will probably not be on his but you will still get his adorable baby one
So you know $5 of your donation of $35 or more goes to the cost of the ornament, & 10% gets taken out for paypal fees. If you would like to help them avoid paypal fees you can always send a check:
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885
Just make sure you note in the subject line it's for Joshua and/or Haisten
My friend who has adopted through RR has graciously decided to help me out with hosting this fundraiser for both boys.
My thirty one is a awesome faith based company that sells organizational personalized bags of all shapes & sizes! 
Right now they have an awesome deal going for every $35 you spend you can get the medium utility tote for just $7! 
To order go here 50% of the sales will go towards Haisten & Joshuas grants!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day of Prayer for the orphans of Russia|Reeces Rainbow

I just finished my prayer slot & just reflecting on what's gone on this past year is tough but I always feel the parents who had met their children who had to walk away it's harder on them then I as an advocate. Today, one year ago Celine had a matching grant going on & me ever so helpless could not figure out a way to help so I asked my mom who then suggested a day of prayer. So I threw it together last minute, added an event to fb & only 30 or less signed up. I was discouraged but God knew what was about to happen the next day. I mean he must have been laughing at me saying hello, did I not show you already when you had your small amount to offer as a matching grant? This year, I knew the date was fast approaching & as painful as it was I felt like on this date I needed to pray for the girl I dearly love & the orphans stuck in her country. So, up til Midnight EST we are praying for the orphans stuck in Russia, the families this adoption ban impacted, the children who met their families but are now stuck, their government & ours, their president & ours, the orphans still waiting, etc. WE STILL NEED MORE STATES ON THE LIST & MORE TIME SLOTS FILLED! Please, if you can take 1 slot or even two that would mean so much to me! Heres the signup document. EVEN IF IT FILLS UP JUST LEAVE ME A COMMENT HERE LETTING ME KNOW YOUR PRAYING OR COME JOIN US IN PRAYING ON OUR FACEBOOK EVENT HERE. Feel free to pray at any time, this is just something we setup. 
This is what I posted for my time of prayer on facebook:
Only God knew, as I am wondering what to pray for my last few minutes of my 30 min slot (I was late cause I'm visiting CT) I decided to go to my devos to see if their was anything related & for Fridays it was When Life doesn't go according to plan & it sure hit right on the dot. I wanted to share Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his Purpose."

Lastly another sweet angel in another country, earned it's wings & is with Jesus now. We long for the day of Jesus return where their is no more sorrow, no pain, nor death. Ryker, died never knowing the love a family can bring but he was loved even if he never knew it. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stuck|Reeces Rainbow

Stuck in a world without the Love of a family,

Trapped in a world I might lose my life,

Understanding why was my freedom taken away?

Care is what I wish my country could show me.


Praying & hoping someone will show me Love

When will my wish upon a star come true? 

You want to know what it was like for me? I died not knowing the love a family can bring but across the ocean I was LOVED.
Wellness for my health I might never get
Because you denied me that chance,

Even if you think it might be better I die unloved, 

That's where you are wrong.
Laughter, is the best Medicine

Over doses of Hugs can bring a smile to your face

Vacations with family, I will miss

Extra love for what more could you ask for?

October 20th & 21st we are praying for these precious lives & all Impacted by the adoption ban. I'm trying to get a person in every state praying so please if you can signup here with your name, state, & in () put your time zone your praying. PLEASE keep these children in your prayers along with the families who had met their child.