We really do not know very much about the boys, but what we do know I'll try to fill you in on.
They are both 5 years old.
They live in a country where parents are told to give their children with special needs to an orphanage because they are considered worthless and have no hope to ever live a normal life. When the children turn 5 they are then transferred to a mental institution where, if they cannot walk, they spend the rest of their lives in a crib.
I will start with Ivan because he is the older of the two, but only by a couple months. They are so close in age, we plan on raising them like twins (not that I really need an excuse to dress them both alike :)
Ivan has been described as "a darling little boy and a favorite of the staff"
Ivan has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When I first saw Ivan's diagnosis, I didn't know what it was, and I didn't want to know. I didn't research CP before I told God that I would love Ivan. I gave that child my heart and I stepped out in faith. After Ryan and I knew that Ivan was ours, we started to research what cp is and how to care for a child with it. We know that Ivan has spasticity (stiff and tight joints), and microphaly (this means his head is a significant amount smaller than the rest of his body proportion). To be painfully honest, at first I didn't want to know what cp was because I was scared I would be too afraid to move ahead with the adoption. It was scary reading about cp, but God had given us such a love for this child that Ryan and I decided that whatever happens, we're going to love Ivan. Even if we have to care for him our entire lives, that would be such a small price to pay for the blessing that we know he is and that he is going to be to this world.
Ivan is not walking or talking at this time. There is a possibility that he may never do those things, we're going into this knowing that, but that doesn't matter to us.
We just want our child to be safe.
We just want our Ivan to know love.
They cannot care for Ivan at the baby house he is at. Ivan needs therapy, he may need surgeries, he needs good nutrition, and most of all, he needs love.
This is Ivan at two years old
Already in the orphanage. I'm assuming he's been there since birth.
Look at those eyes!
He is not a child with CP. He is a child (period). His diagnosis does NOT define him. He needs love and a family. Please help us bring him home.
I think Ivan is 3 and 1/2 in this picture.
I sobbed when I saw it. I've seen other pictures of children in these orphanages with nothing but skin hanging on their bones, but this is MY child.
Please help us bring him home!
This we believe, to be the most recent picture of our sweet boy. We're guessing he is 4 or 5. He is just a baby still. Please help us bring him home, so that he can, for the first time in his life, live and grow. Satan has stolen years from this child. Please! Please! Don't allow him to take anymore. We cannot do this without you. We need your prayers and support.
Help us bring him home!
Levi has three siblings. Two older and a twin sister. He may have more younger siblings, but they are not listed. I have been told that his twin sister has been adopted by a couple in his country so sadly, we will probably never be able to find her :(
Levi has also been diagnosed with CP, but that is all his profile says. It does not tell us what symptoms he has that have led to this conclusion. Deep down both Ryan and I believe that Levi does not have cp. It is very possible that this child does not have the ability to control his movements simply because he has been severely neglected his whole life. We know that Levi is an outcast because of his darker skin color. We have been told that even the staff do not interact with him. Ryan and I have been watching and reading things about neglect and what we are finding is devestating. Neglect is just as bad, if not worse, than physical or sexual abuse on the brain and development of a child. Children will not grow and develop if they are not receiving loving physical touch. Some one who visited Levi's orphanage described him as a very calm child because they never saw him cry or fuss, they never saw him show much emotion at all. Levi is not a "calm" child. He is a child who has shut down because his cries were never heard or responded to. I'm crying writing this because my heart aches for him, it breaks and shatters for him.
He does not deserve the life he was given. He is fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of the all mighty God. His birth parents may not have been able to see it, and the family that adopted his twin sister and left him to die may not have seen it, but we see it.
My darling child. Mama cannot tell you how sorry I am for the pain that you have suffered. I know that we are going to have to work through so very much. We are going to have to wade through all that pain and anger that has built up over the years in that little body of yours, but I want you to know that you will never have to do it alone. You have never been alone sweet heart. God has heard every one of your cries. That is what your name means "to be heard". Simeon was your name all of those years that you laid in your crib. We will keep it as your middle name, but God has told us that we are to give you a new name, a new identity. Levi: joined in harmony; attached; combined. You will never be alone again my child because God has joined us in harmony. You were always supposed to be ours and why you had to wait so long, I will never know or understand. Just know that just like Simeon in the Bible's prayers were heard. God will not let you die before you see His salvation.
We are coming for you my love. We are coming.
God has heard your silent cries and he is sending us for you. Just hold on xoxox
Levi does not have very many pictures, which is a result of him being labeled an "outcast" and "worthless"
We were able to find this one, which is him when he was two
Is he not the cutest thing???
Oh my goodness I could eat him up. My heart breaks that this is the only baby picture I will ever have of him and he is already two.
I know that God is going to repay this child for the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25)
We are going to make sure of it!!
The only other picture we have of Levi is the one wehre he is sitting in the bumbo chair. We think that was taken when he was 3 or 4. He is probably not much bigger today than he is in that picture :(
This is your room lovies! It's all ready and waiting for you. On the day that Mama and Papa get our USCIS approval we are going to go buy your cribs, get you your own pillow pet, and make you your own blankie. That is what we did on the day we found out that Landon was coming into our family and we cannot wait to share the same tradition with you.
This is the picture that we are going to send to your country to show them where you will be sleeping :) I hope they think you will be happy here. We will have so much fun and share so much laughter in this room.
This is the wall that your cribs will go on. It's my favorite wall because it has your names. We are going to frame your pictures and put them next to your names soon :)
Okay, so this is where you all come in, we need your help to decorate our boys' wall! From this time, until they are safe in our arms, we are asking you, begging you, to give our Ivan and Levi your hearts. We need you to love them, truly love them and invest in saving their lives.
There are two ways that you can do this.
The #1 thing we need is prayer warriors. Our boys already have some of the best, I believe that is how we were able to find them and get this far in our journey, but they need more.
#2 We need money. It's humbling and it's not fun to admit, but I'd do anything for these boys and if I have to make a fool of myself, get on my knees and beg, that is what I will do. We are in need of about $20,000 to cover our adoption expenses and travel. Expenses are already mounting and I would be lying if I said the numbers aren't extremely overwhelming at times. We know that God is going to level every mountain that stands in between us and these two precious ones who need our name to save their lives, but we also know that He needs His body in order to do it.
If they do not get adopted, they will die.
There is no question about it.
All children with special needs in their country get transferred to a mental institution when they turn five. Our boys are both five now. They have been transferred, but to different orphanages, which is a complete and total miracle. We have been told that they could be transferred to an institution at any time though and that is why Reece's Rainbow is working with us to get them home as soon as possible. Once they are transferred they will be living in a place that has been described as "a concentration camp for children" What they are living in now is horrible, but if they get transferred, it is really only a matter of time before they die. PLEASE, I'm begging you with tears that if you can help in anyway financially it would mean the world to us.
From now, until the time they are in our arms, if you commit to being their prayer warrior or giving financially from your heart to bring them home, we will place a heart on their wall with your name and where you live on it. We are doing this so that we will daily have a reminder of the people who are loving, praying for, and believing God for a miracle for our precious Ivan and Levi.
Here is an example
We would love to fill their entire wall with hearts so that one day we can show them how God brought hearts from all over the world together because of them, to bring them home to us.
If you would like to be their prayer warrior and commit to storming the gates of hell for our boys on a daily basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like your info to put on your heart and then I will also put you on a mailing list so I can send you weekly/daily updates and prayer requests.
If you desire to give your heart through a financial blessing there are two ways you can do it. You can hit the yellow donate button at the top right to give directly to our family. This is appreciated because this money can be used for expenses outside of our travel and in country. Or you can click on The Reece's Rainbow button with our two precious ones pictures and donate to our family sponsorship grant. This is a tax deductible gift and we will receive the money once we are ready to travel. Please keep in mind that only donations made through Reece's Rainbow will be tax deductible.
I will be posting updated pictures of the boys' wall so that you can all watch your hearts grow!!!
We love you all! Thank you for loving us and giving our boys your hearts and support!
One more thing, PLEASE share this blog everywhere you can!! Tell people about our boys!! We need all the hearts we can find!