Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Windows are opening

The desire to help a child, to love a child and to parent a child is incredible driving force.  Once again, the resiliency of the Kyrgyz 65 continues to amaze me.  As you know, January was filled with excitement and sadness.  Adoptions are finally moving forward and in fact, hopefully later this week, some of the first dossiers will be processed by the Kyrgyz government.  Once that happens, those first families will be traveling see their child and they will be that much closer to bringing them home.  Altynai's Fund has given out grants to twelve of the waiting families and four of those families suffered a huge loss last month when they learned that the child that they had been fighting for was no longer available for adoption.  As of today, those four families are moving forward with plans to adopt from either Kyrgyzstan or from another country.   A door was closed but windows are opening!  I love that a little one, somewhere on this earth, has a family that is now waiting for them.  Adoption is truly a "life changer" not only for the child but also for the family that is given the opportunity to love them like their own.  It is so exciting to know that these parents' journeys are not over yet.

I know that I have been quiet for a few weeks but please know that Altynai's Fund's journey isn't over either.  I still believe that there is more work to be done.  I find that I have to pace myself though.  I love Altynai's Fund, what it stands for and what it has accomplished.  I can only imagine the joy that I will feel when we start to see the families reunited with the precious orphans that we have all come to cherish.  That being said, fundraising stinks!  I don't know how people do this for a living.  It is incredibly frustrating and exciting all at the same time.  I feel like I am up against a ton of obstacles.  How do you keep people enthused when the cause that you are fighting for is so abstract.  People love to give to something tangible. For example, the Children's hospital that I work in, is continually fundraising and they have great success.  Who wouldn't want to give to the hospital that cares for your community, or maybe has cared for your child or a child that you know?   Or donating for a capital campaign such as a new church, school equipment, ect...  The donors immediately get to see the fruits of their donations.  I am trying to raise money for children that are far, far away, families that are located all over the US ( not here where I live), and top that off with a time line that remains undefined.  Those factors certainly explain why my task is so challenging.  I have also been very surprised by how little support I have received from the adoption community and past Kyrygz adoptive families.   I had hoped they would rally behind the Kyrgyz 65 but the needs within the community are so great that this little fund is merely a blimp on its radar.    I am sharing all of this because I am running out of ideas and my audience is seemingly dwindling.   I have always planned to keep this fund alive until the chidlren come home and I need some advice and inspiration to make that happen.   I have one more project that is in the works and then I am at a loss as to what to do next..... I guess I need a window to open.

Well, that is enough whining for today.  What is predictable and constant is the need for donations and I thought I would remind everyone about a few easy ways that you can help.  Marvielle's Jewelry ( www.marviellesjewelry.com and 147 Million Orphans ( www.147millionorphans.com/?AffId=56 ) have partnered with Altynai's Fund and they sale some wonderful products.  Their information is on the "Store" page on this blog or you can click on the links provided.  A portion of the proceeds go to Altynai's Fund and in return you get something tangible for yourself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I touched bases with Lifesong today and so far it looks like Hearts for Hope raised about $300 ( final pending.)  Thank you so much for everyone that contributed and took the time to send in a Valentine and a donations.  I truly appreciate it!  Three hundred is wonderful but unfortunately, I have to admit that I am  disappointed.  I really thought that this fundraiser would make a much bigger impact, especially now that dossiers are being processed and adoptions are moving forward. I think I had unrealistic expectations. Maybe interest in Altynai's Fund will pick up once families start traveling???  Bottom line, I have one additional money raiser in the works and then I am completely out of ideas.  It looks like it is time to re-group and reassess the situation and then decide how to move forward.

I am starting a five day stretch at the hospital tomorrow and on Saturday the hospital launches our electronic medical records system.  Nothing like going cold turkey from paper charting/ordering to everything being electronic.   It is going to be painful until we all adjust and master the system.

 I will post more next week, unless something exciting happens between now and then.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's for a Brother

Valentine's Day is almost over but I wanted to share a precious picture now.  This is Alex and he has a little brother waiting for him in Kyrgyzstan.  His class made these precious Valentine's for Hearts for Hope.  In addition to making the Valentine's they also performed, "The Empyt Pot" which is a play about virtue and integrity.  They charged admission to the parents and raised $80 for Altynai's Fund.  I want to send a huge thank you to Alex, his teacher and classmates.  What you did was wonderful!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Vacations are always wonderful but there is nothing better, once the unpacking is completed, than being home again.  While Drew is napping, I am enjoying a nice quiet afternoon getting re-aquainted with my computer.  I have to admit, I loved not spending time with it last week and shockingly, I don't think that I missed much.  Today is the last day that I am going to be pushing Altynai's Hearts for Hope fundraiser so if you haven't taken the time to send a Valentine to Lifesong, please do.   I looked over the Valentine's that my daughter, Ansley's girl scout troop made, and they are precious.  I can't wait to receive the whole batch of them from Lifesong once they are done coming in.  I know that several groups of children are working on them today so as a reminder, there is no deadline for the Valentines.  So for the procrastinators out there, you have all the time in the world.

I was reading through some Facebook posts this morning and realized that today was a pivotal day for two of the families that were featured on this blog.  Four years ago today, one of our waiting families received their referral and the other family met their little boy for the first time.  For those of you that haven't adopted, those days are huge!  The day that you receive pictures of the child that you have been matched with is equivalent to that first ultrasound picture that you saw when you were pregnant.  It is the day that you realize you are truly going to be blessed with a child.  It is no longer a hypothetical hope but the day that you see tangible proof that a child is really waiting for you.  And just like a birth of a child, when you walk into that orphanage and get to hold your little one for the first time, your heart simply melts.  The moment that we met and held Altynai on that sunny July day has forever been etched into my memory.  Just like the first time, that I held my other three beautiful children.  Those moments are filled with such love and that they are perfectly suited for Valentine's Day.  And like all the other milestones, and anniversaries that have past, I hope and pray that this is the last Valentine's Day that Maksim and Ruslan will be without their forever families.

Now for a quick update, the waiting families are busy putting together their dossiers and as of today, the first set of translated dossiers will be making it's way to Kyrgyzstan!!!  That is another monumental step in the right direction.  Hopefully, they will be processed expeditiously and the families will be able to start traveling for their "bonding trips".   Oh, the joy that will bring!  So as always, please keep these little ones, their families and the officials in charge of their care in your prayers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Fund's Story in Print

I am excited to share the newspaper article about Altynai's Fund and the Hearts for Hope fundraiser that was published in the Jacksonville Florida Times Union newspaper on Saturday Feb 11th.  I am so grateful that they took our story and our hopes for Altynai's Fund so seriously.  Thank you Beth Cravey!.  Please read it if you have a few minutes:  http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-02-11/story/little-girls-death-wont-be-vain-other-adoptive-families

Valentine's Day is Two Days Away

Friday, February 10, 2012

Send A Little Love

Hello to everyone from snowy Colorado.  My family is on vacation to celebrate my Grandma's 100th Birthday!  What a milestone and what an amazing woman.  She is still ticking along on her multivitamin and calcium a day.  If only we could all be so blessed!  Happy Birthday Grandma Florence!

Just a quick reminder about Hearts for Hope!   There are still 5 days left to participate and we are hoping for hundreds of Valentine's to come in.   If you haven't already, would you please consider sending Altynai's Fund a little love letter.  Just send in a Valentine's of your choice with a $1 donation to Lifesong for Orphans.   The address and details are in the last post.

Sorry to be so brief but our internet access is currently limited and vacation is calling!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hearts for Hope

Hello everyone!

Today, Altynai's Fund is launching our Hearts for Hope Fundraiser!  It is a Valentine's Day card drive and it is as simple as can be and it will only cost you a $1.45 to participate.  All we are asking for is that people send a Valentine's Day card of their choice with a $1 donation to Lifesong for Orphans. (Of course, donations of any value will be accepted. )  From there the donations will be removed and then distributed to the waiting families to take to the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan on any of their upcoming trips.  What a wonderful way to share some love and help a great cause at the same time!!!  Please give this some consideration and tell others about it.   We already have churches, preschools, homeschool groups and Girl Scout troops helping and hope that there will be many more to follow.  Thanks up front to everyone who has already taken the lead on making this work. I can't wait to see the results.

I told several of our local newspapers about Altynai's Fund and the event and they have been gracious enough to help by publicizing it for us.  To read one of the stories, please click here:  http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/400721/beth-cravey/2012-01-20/valentines-fundraiser-under-way-us-families-trying-adopt

To mail your Hearts for Hope Valentine, please send it to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Rich Metcalf/Altynai's Fund
202 N. Ford St., PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744