Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The First!!!

This will be brief because I have to run but I had to post this for all to read!  I can't tell you how incredibly happy I am to know that the first, of our waiting Kyrgyz 65, are on their way home.  Thank you to everyone who has supported Altynai's Fund.  More later, I promise....

Status Update
By Christian World Adoption
We have amazing news to share today! Our first child from the group of waiting families in Kyrgyzstan was picked up from the orphanage by his forever family today.
The court decision went into force yesterday and the family was able to pick up their child today after getting all the necessary paperwork completed.
It is a very exciting moment for us, and I’m sure for all the families as well, as all of us have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.
We hope that a lot more children will be coming home very soon!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another push???

Just when I think that I am almost done with what can be accomplished through Altynai's Fund, an interesting chain of events is making me question that assumption.  After giving out additional grant money on Mother's Day,  the remaining balance in Altynai's Fund is a low level.  I had always known the day would come when I would tap out the account and over the last several weeks, I have spent a lot of time deciding how to distribute the remaining money.   After some phenomenal advice from Lifesong for Orphans, and lots of prayerful guidance, my decisions were made.  Over the last month, I have also decided that my role in active fundraising was over but I didn't want to "close" Altynai's Fund's account because there are still several of the recipients/families that are in a holding pattern with their Kyrgyz adoptions.  I just wanted to keep my options opened until I knew how their journeys would play out.  There has been nothing predictable about Altynai's Fund or my role on this quest so I just didn't want to limit my options too early.

Now, I am questioning at least part my plan.  So within 24 hour of giving out the additional grant money, three pivotal things happened.   First, I received two very meaningful donations.  The first was from a very special lady that I came to know right after Altynai had her first surgery and my husband and I were in the midst of making some very difficult decisions.  At the time, Maria (a fellow adoptive mom and physician) and I were in Nicaragua on a medical mission trip with our church.  Unfortunately, due to some upheaval at church, we haven't seen each other in a long time.   While visiting a new church, on Mother's Day, I ran into Maria as we were leaving the sanctuary.  She immediately told me how she had seen the article in the paper about Altynai's Fund.  She was impressed that I had been able to turn a horrible experience into something good that she wanted to donate.  Of course, I have heard that from other people, but very few of them have actually followed through and made a donation.  Not Maria, she took out her check book and made a donation to Altynai's Fund right there at church.  Maria is in the midst of some challenges and she is hoping to turn her frustration into something wonderful too.  Once again, Altynai's Fund has touched someone in a way that I would have never predicted and in return the fund has grown yet again.

The second donation came in the way of an anonymous, hard earned, cash donation that I found in my mailbox yesterday afternoon.   A special person out there brought me to tears yesterday.  I can't even begin to tell you how much both of those donations hit home.  And even more so, because yesterday morning, I learned that one of the waiting families is facing a huge unexpected challenge.  A new need that I knew nothing about.

What an interesting chain of events....  Maybe, I am not done.  Maybe, Altynai's Fund has more to do.  All I know, is that I am going to need some help to keep this going.  Anyone out there with some new ideas??? Any one want to take the lead on a new project?  Any one want to partner with me???  I promise you the rewards are phenomenal and the needs are real.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Grants

I hope today's post finds my fellow mom's still reveling in yesterday's festivities.  My Mother's Day was filled with precious home made gifts, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and tons of LOVE from my little ones.

The highlight of my day, was that I was blessed to be able to give out some additional grants to several of the waiting families.   It was the perfect day to give a surprise gift to very deserving mom's.   They have been mothering from afar for such a long, long time and have been incredibly supportive of Altynai's Fund.  I was literally bursting with joy as those messages went out.  I am truly in awe of the generosity that I have seen and to know that Altynai's Legacy has impacted so many makes it all the more meaningful for me.  God lead me to start this fund and pushed me to keep it going and yesterday I was able to reap the benefits of that hard work.  Thank you to everyone who has donated or supported Altynai's Fund!!!

Now where to go from here.....  There is still more need remaining and I plan to keep Altynai's Fund going until the recipients have their little ones home.  How much  more will be given, will be our Lord's will.  I am utterly convinced that He is in control and that I am truly His hands and feet for this adventure.    I am open to any ideas or advice that any of you may send my way.  I am feeling rejuvenated after yesterday's events and so I will anxiously await to see how where things go from here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Soaking Up My Blessings

Today is a day filled with simple pleasures.  A long run, a swim at the pool with my husband and 2 year old followed by a great lunch at a new local restaurant.  Homework with the big kids on the patio and thanks to the rain soccer was canceled and we had an early dinner together as a family.  It was perfect!!!  

I am excited to announce that I will be giving out additional grant money within the week.  I feel so privileged to be able to do that!  The saying "it is better to give than receive" couldn't be more true.  And never in my wildest imagination did I think that I would have the opportunity to give out close to $25,000 and to help 11 of the waiting families.  And boy, that money is/was needed!  Here is just one example of the expenses involved with completing these adoptions.  The majority of the families are making three trips to complete their adoptions.  The cost of travel alone will easily reach  $7000 - $10,000 per adoption!  Trust me, there are no cheap tickets to Kyrgyzstan.  So on that note, donations are still being accepted, and the "Store" and "Krygyz Jewelry" pages still have items available if anyone is interested.  I know I haven't pushed things as much as I used to be to, but to be  honest, I have been a frustrated by the lack of support that I have gotten lately.  I truly feel like I have tapped out my donor pool and the possibility to expand the Fund's followers is limited, which limits me too.

It is funny how you imagine things will end and how so often, the opposite occurs.  I truly believed that once families were traveling and adoptions were moving forward that Altynai's Fund would thrive.  I thought that potential donors that were following along, waiting for some concrete news that would insure them that their money would truly go to help complete an adoption, would start giving.  I thought that the waiting families, past families and the adoption community as a whole would help promote the Fund and the end would bring a final round of giving.   I had even planned on doing some exciting raffles for some bigger ticket items and I imagined that I would have more support than ever.  Interestingly, that has not been the case.  As with all things dealing with Kyrgyzstan, nothing goes as you expect.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever predicted that over 15 of the waiting children would be domestically adopted or deemed "no longer available" leaving their waiting families devastated and the remaining families more nervous than ever.  I had always imagined being able to openly share the excitement of the bonding trips and reunions but that too, has not been the case.  The remaining waiting families anxiety may be at the highest level yet.  To be so close and yet, still in the midst of so much uncertainty.  Not to mention they are suffering from some serious PTSD that has developed over the last 4 years of waiting.  I am on edge with all of them, praying that all will go as planned and that all their advocacy and devotion will be rewarded with the most precious reward of all; the gift of a beautiful child to raise as their own.

Now please don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for every single dollar that has been given but of course, have always hoped for more.   Still to this day, I am in awe of the donations that have been given over the last 9 months especially since so many people gave long before I expected people would be willing.  I am filled with joy knowing that just the prospect of these special children coming home was enough for people from all over this country to show their support!  And although, none of us are privy to how any given journey will end, Altynai's Fund has accomplished something wonderful!  I am filled with pride knowing that Altynai's Legacy Adoption Fund has been so successful.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and took on a project that I believe in.  I have no idea how my journey with this will end but I have no doubt that this is just a stepping stone on my own personal journey.  God is good and I am sure that he has more challenges ahead for me!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Can you imagine???

Four years, give or a take a few months, has passed since those of us amongst the Kyrgyz 65 left our children for the first time.  I will never forget that day and how gut wrenchingly heart sick I was, as I laid our precious little Altynai to sleep in her orphanage crib.   I was beside myself and yet, I took solace in the fact that she had no idea who my husband and I were, why we were there or why we were leaving.  I promised to be back but I didn't have to explain.  She was blissfully ignorant in her infantile innocence.

The waiting families have been traveling and bonding with their children once again, but this time they are leaving children that are at least 4 years old, if not older. Children that, although still filled with innocence, understand that someone special came, showered them with love and attention for 10 days and then departed.  They say they will be coming back but can you imagine how that little boy or girl is feeling???  Can you imagine the fear and anxiety that their parents are experiencing???  To spend those precious days together, to start breaking down the walls and then be have to leave them once again.  I can only imagine???  I just pray these departures will be followed quickly by court dates and Gotcha trips!   The process is moving forward and there will be good news to be shared but in the interim, please keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers, especially the waiting children.