Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ups & downs week

We have all had those weeks where it's just been up & down, good news, bad news back & forth. The sadest news this week came of news that a precious orphan, Stacy had passed away before her forever family who had just committed to her could come get her. She died ALONE with no one who cared to love her for who she is. 
Thing is she is not the first who has passed away & certainly won't be the last. But Stacy, YOU WERE LOVED, & CHERISHED BY MANY PEOPLE accross the Globe & we look forward to seeing you again someday. Rest in the Arms of Jesus precious girl. 
It's taken me awhile to even want to fully be back to blogging cause I don't know why. Maybe it's the letdown I always get after an exciting time like my Birthday or after the consignment sales or maybe it's just the devil trying to get my spirits down with the stuff going on in R I don't know why but I am READY TO KICK & SCREAM til I'm blue in the face for the orphans in R & the other kids I advocate for. I was in fighting happy/sad mood as Stacy passed away, Colton lost his family, then bright news of 8 kids finding families, a friends adoption journey almost completed. I know some of you may not be Christian but that's okay I feel the need to share this verse cause I felt I needed to hear it today.
So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Galatians 6:9 NLT

When you hold the babes you helped play a small part in their story,

When you see pictures on your facebook of a kid you prayed & fundraised for being loved & doing so well with his family. Quinton, "Auntie" still hopes to meet you one of these days!
Tweets of Love come as you know your sister is now hooked on board for these orphans.
When your mom is stepping out of her box of comfort to talk about this passion of mine.
When you think no one is paying attention to what you write or do & someone hands you a donation or they say  I love what your doing. God get's the glory not me!

Or when your heart is hurting for all those in R & your constantly worried & wondering about the girls you dearly love even though you trust & know it's Gods plan not yours. Then one of my pastors tells me a story about the widows mite and saying what I'm doing is like that. Or someone is asking how's the fundraising going? Yes, it is worth it!

Lastly when you think that you might never make any friends & that would not want to support what your doing & then to walk in an Ice Cream place filled with friends who want to help support your dream in helping orphans, YES YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Message from the heart

I have been in & out of blogging cause lately my heart has just not been fully there. I'm trying to get my spirit back to it's exciting self but it's proving rather difficult. I guess I always get this way after exciting events like my Birthday but beyond that I am wandering in the wilderness of the effects of the adoption ban. 

Don't get me wrong I'm not giving up I guess I just need to relax a little on the blogging front. Mostly this effects me cause I was going to go to R with an adoptive family but slowness in that region then this ban but those plans on hold. As I said on my facebook nothing wrong with other countries I just feel like a part of me is in love with that country. My parents & older sister helped build a church there which is another reason I like R. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Good news!!!

I have come back to tell you some good news!! You know Brandi, the girl God led me to pray 1 year ago?
Well, excitedly a young teen girl has taken an even GREATER TASK THAN my $21,000 goal, to raise $50,000 for 5 orphans & Ms Brandi is one of the ones she chose to benefit!! Praise God he took the little by little method I was starting with to over $10,000 in her grant!!! To learn more about what she is doing visit here & watch her video at the bottom of the page & then PLEASE SHARE!!!

Also on a update on the 21 for 21 campaign, I have gotten yet more donations which brings the total still to raise $17,543.96 to go!!! Thanks again to all my friends & family for their love & support of my goal!!! I could not ask for a better Birthday Present than helping the least of these!!
Please keep on the lookout with March 21st being world Down syndrome day & all I hope to have a series of posts & some more fundraiser ideas to continue on Leah's 21 for 21! I have a few things to work out since sadly chipin is closing down. If you have any questions for me about my life as a sibling to someone with Down syndrome or have any other questions for me please leave a comment. Your comments are moderated so any negative ones will automatically be deleted.

Friday, February 8, 2013

1 Year ago-God calling & a Giveaway like no other!

First of all I want to reflect at one year ago today I was ending the biggest Giveaway I had ever done before called the Lost Get Found Giveaway!! here we are today & I have raised more than I did at this time last year during that Giveaway!!
Over $3,000 has been raised by the chipin, Leatherbys, & various gifts by friends & strangers!!! Praise God!!! Though the chipin has now ended with a total of $2,291.41 raised :) it is still not too late to donate towards the $21,000 goal! You can still write a check made out to Reece's Rainbow & put in the subject line Leah's 21 for 21 & it will get to the right place. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for donating & sharing!!! Theirs no way I could have done this all on my own!!! 
If the girls could say thank you I am sure they would!!!
I am working on a way to redo the thing my sister made that has the Reece's Rainbow address so others can still donate so please look for that so you can still spread the word! One way or the other we will get there!
One year ago on Feb 4th I had been chatting with my friend about this little girl & another who had been listed on Reece's Rainbow for quite awhile but had to be taken off because they no longer were qualified for adoption due to a new special needs list. I had not even thought about Brandi before but felt like God wanted me to pray for her that night. Feb 5th, the next day she was relisted as her needs were added to the list and/or she was close to the age where the list did not play part for her to be adopted. I was in total shock mode. I had been focussed on the kids with ds & had never noticed the "other angels" before so I decided to become her Guardian Angel warrior til she comes home to help her. Slowly but surely her grant has gotten over $300 already since she got relisted! I hope it will grow even more this year!! I'm doing the consignment sale in March for her to benefit from.
I said Yes, God I will pray for this girl even though at the time I wondered why he so heavily put her on my heart on that particular night. He has a plan for her life that's for sure! Here's the most reccent blogpost I wrote about that time, My Beautiful Butterfly Brandi

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feb 4th, 2013 a Night I will always cherish!

Where to begin? Feb 4th, 2013 started off to a great start with many Birthday wishes & donations to the chipin! Slowly but surely we started getting closer to that $21,000 goal. I was nervously awaiting the main event of the night, Leatherbys. As soon as I stepped through the doors of Leatherbys I was feeling OVERWHELMED as I saw person after person after person all from different places most of which was my Church family filling almost the entire restaurant. I visited every single one my friends & everytime I heard another Happy Birthday & said another Thanks for coming I just wanted to go back to that day when I heard we were moving to CA. That day, when I thought It is the worst day & I did not think I would ever make friends with my shy personality. Well I am so greatful for all the friends that I have made here!
I did get teary eyed a little when almost the entire place was singing Happy Birthday to me & clapping. Even some of the managers were teary eyed knowing why I was having the fundraiser & my goal. I managed not to burst into tears til I got home. If you know me, I'm simply a person who rarely cries in Public. Seeing all my friends under one roof, it just meant the world to me! The support & love of my friends was just indescribable if you were there you know what I am talking about! I wish I had gotten a group shot of all of Leatherbys & taken a picture of the line out the door! So happy it was such a success! The servers & managers were SIMPLY AMAZING handling the HUGE crowd! For some, it was only their 2nd day working there so that was great for them to handle our fundraiser so well! From what I gathered they said this was the busiest its been on a Monday night! Way to go all my SWEET friends!!! From my littlest friends who I have watched grow from babies to the kids I have not known for but a short period of time in the toddler class at my church or in general, to the persons I have met when we moved here, to 2 very special girls who have inspired me so much, to my family, my church family, & my girlfriends small group, to the new youth pastor & his wife who just moved here I could go on & on about how awesome it has been getting to know all these friends & the new ones getting to know even better.

These are the types of friends who even though I probably drive them nuts somedays with my out of the box personality they TRULY STICK BY YOU & LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE!!!

This is just a glimpse of who all was there. It was so enjoyable being surrounded by those who love & support you no matter what. 

Though I knew most of the friends who came some who I did not know came cause their friend(s) knew me so they came out to support someone they don't even know or even we had people I did not know very well come from our local Down syndrome support group.

THANKS TO YOU ALL $246 WAS RAISED THROUGH SALES ALONE!!!! Theirs no way I could have done this without YOU ALL!!! Not to mention that does not include an amount (which will remain secret to my blog readers til I send it off to Reeces Rainbow!) that was OVERWHELMING in the donation jars & in my Birthday cards!!! 

Now I am just going to let the pictures & video do the night justice! Though I am not sure even pictures or words can do that cause you just had to be there to know what it was like!
Best friends forever!

As you can tell from the cheering the place was truly full!
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN SO MUCH!!! IT SERIOUSLY MEANT THE WORLD TO ME TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR BUSY DAY TO COME SUPPORT ME!! I especially want to say thank you if you came in & got to go! Jocelyn, I know your family was sick so thank you even though you could not stay! 
                      Love this girl friend very much!!!!
Can never forget my awesome fellow RR & real life friend from church! She is amazing! Truly a Birthday to go down in history as the most MEMORABLE ONE EVER!!!! Thank you Mom for figuring out the details/idea as Leatherbys was the BEST CHOICE & MOST SUCCESS!!!
By the way if you still wish to donate TODAY IS THE LAST YOU CAN DO SO ON THE CHIPIN AT LEAST!!! Ends in 17 hours! If you wish to donate later you can always write a check to Reeces Rainbow & put in the subject line Leah's 21 for 21. Thanks everyone for over $2,000 raised on the chipin!!! We still are quite a ways from that goal but I hope we will get there eventually!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

21 for 21 a Birthday to remember

Today as I reflect what has gone on during my 21 years I celebrate those years & how God has watched over me. I have learned & grown so much since that day I was born child #3 21 years ago.
4 months ago, I had thought about what my friends & other people typically do for their 21st Birthday. I felt like God wanted me to do something BIG & entirely different from what MOST people do for their 21st Birthday. Since my sister has Down syndrome otherwise known as Trisomy 21 & with March 21st being world Down syndrome day I knew I had to do something in her honor.
So, an idea formed.$21,000 for Reece's Rainbow in honor of the 21st chromosome, & my 21st Birthday. After trying for one idea after the other for just a local fundraiser with some disapointing results of it was going to happen I went ahead to setup a chipin for those friends out of town. Little did I know this would be MUCH BIGGER THAN EXPECTED!!!
The chipin started really kicking off fast on January 17th & almost everyday since then 1 donation per day as come in!!! Thanks everyone for donating I could not have imagined over $2,000 raised so far! I have extended the chipin a few days to reflect the chipin issues days as well as be sure it's still open for donations today for my Birthday. To start part of the fact the chipin has truly kicked off so well is the amazing support of my sister, Rebekah!!
When this first started when I thought we were doing a quarter auction she created something for me to handout to ask for donations of prizes. After a time we just knew their was not enough time to make that happen so when she sent it to me I asked if their was a way to change it to share with the media world. I revealed her creation on facebook & it has been such a success! It has been shared at least 40 times & though some of those shares are my family, alot of friends have shared it too via facebook & twitter!
Thanks dear sister for creating it & taking time out of your busy life! She has truly been excited about this project posting every day sometimes more than once. Rebekah, I love you sweet sister & your heart in supporting your somewhat crazy sister in her wish for her Birthday. I will certainly miss you being in the same state but I know God wants you there so I wish you the best. Your creativity is so good I never could have come up with the thing you made!
I would like to say a HUGE & I MEAN HUGE THANK YOU TO MY BEST FRIEND, MOM!!! When I started this goal I did not expect the amount of support she would do. Little did I know it would take lots of "cheerleaders" to help me in my mission! She has done SO MUCH, I can barely form the words of all what she has done for me. Mom, I know you groaned as soon as I said I wanted to raise $21,000 for Reeces Rainbow but you went ahead to step out of your comfort zone & beyond that to lovingly support your daughters dream. She has also shared almost everyday. Love ya Mommy so very much!!!
My family as been such a big support team & Love them all dearly!!! They all have shared in some form or the other. Thanks family for emailing, sharing, & doing everything possible to support me in this goal!
I would also like to thank all my friends for your love & support for the Leatherbys fundraiser! I think it will be a success! After many frustrations of what/where we could do some sort of fundraiser night on my actual birthdate my Mom came up with the Brilliant idea of looking to see if Leatherbys might be an option. It's a local Ice Cream place that is very popular around our area & is a big hangout spot with my churches Youth group. It was thrown together at the last minute but thank heaven for all of you who have been spreading the word!!! If you come to Leatherbys PLEASE BRING THE FLYER (Picture of flyer printed works too!) OR SHOW THE PICTURE OF THE FLYER ON YOUR PHONE for 20% of the proceeds to go to Reece's Rainbow!
Last of all today as you are going about your lifes or even partying at Leatherbys, Please say a prayer for these precious girls. Think of them when your eating ice cream as they probably don't get to celebrate their Birthdays. I know I will be thinking of them as I wear my starfish necklace throughout the day. 
One last thought, Please keep praying for all the orphans stuck in Russia.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Tomorrow, is a day I will always remember. Turning 21 is a big deal! I still can't believe I am really going to be 21! Also tomorrow I reflect on the life of the first child I advocated for & that he will be turning 3 years old. I am so happy he found his family pretty quick when I started advocating. 
February 4th is a very busy day for Birthdays. I know 2 kids in real life that share my same Birthday & our sponsor child through world vision. Today I want to reflect on 3 awesome kids who will be celebrating tomorrow with me. I have already mentioned Quinton, now I will mention the other two.
Next up is our sponsor child, Angela. I won't share her picture for privacy sake. She is turning 5 years old tomorrow. Though I know her only by the updates & pictures we receive I feel like she is still part of our family. I assume since we sponsor her through an organization she will get some type of celebration. Happy Birthday sweet girl! I love you so much! 

Lastly, a special girl who truly has been an inspiration with a miracle story! 6 years ago a family asked for prayer as they did not think their daughter with Trisomy 13 would make it past birth. L not only survived but is thriving! Happy Birthday L!!! You have truly inspired me through the amount of time I have known you.

Just two days left, over $2,000 raised so far!!!! Let's make this goal happen!!! $18,678.96 to go!!!
As I celebrate tomorrow my heart will be thinking of two special little girls who don't get to celebrate Birthdays.
Let's not only make tomorrow a 21st Birthday to remember but remember these two in our thoughts & Prayer!
Can't wait to party at Leatherbys for these girls to get closer to the goal! Be sure to show this picture by printing it out or showing it on your smart phone for the proceeds to go to Reece's Rainbow!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2 days left & Great News!!!

First of all the BIG NEWS OF THE DAY!!! Colton, who I have shared on this blog before & who my friend has strongly been advocating & fundraising for the past year or so for him has A FAMILY!!! I'm so thrilled for her!! I am going to help his new family as much as I can! 
Next as you can see from the chipin, we had quite the jump in donations today!
$1,993.42 so close to $2,000 hooray!!!
With donations I have collected just $18,724.46 left to go!! THESE NEXT FEW DAYS NEED TO COUNT!!! I don't have any prizes or anything to get people to share so PRETTY PLEASE SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!!
You can share on facebook,
tweet on twitter,
blog on your blog,
share on instagram,