Today I want to draw your attention to a very worthy cause. My fellow writer pal C.J. Redwine is raising the funds to get to China to adopt her second daughter. I participated in this fundraiser the first time to help bring home their first daughter Johanna, and I’m delighted to hep spread the word so they can bring Isabella home. Here’s their story:
In November of 2010, my husband Clint and I were in China finalizing the adoption of our first daughter and preparing to bring her home. During the two and a half weeks that we were in China, we both came to the realization that we had to go back. We knew there was one more little girl waiting somewhere in China who belonged in our family. We also knew that this time around, we wanted to adopt a child with some medical needs.
We turned in our dossier to China in the beginning of February 2014, and we figured, based on the average wait time for special needs families, that we had about an 8 month wait to get our referral. (A child’s picture and file matched to a family.) But there are two ways to be matched to a child through the special needs program. One is to wait for China to get to your file, translate it, and then search for a child who matches your medical checklist (the list of things we’ve said we’d accept). The other is to be matched to one of the Special Focus kids whose files are sent to our agency each month. Special Focus children are those who are considered hard to place with a family. They have multiple medical conditions, and many families sign on for only one need.
Clint and I early on felt that we needed to be open to multiple needs. I kept seeing us with a girl who had a cleft palate and a heart murmur. Clint kept seeing us with a girl who had minor hearing loss and a missing or extra limb.
Two weeks after our dossier arrived in China, our agency called us with a Special Focus child to consider. Her file arrived to us on her second birthday. She had cleft palate, congenital heart disease, minor hearing issues, and an extra thumb.
In other words, she is everything Clint and I kept seeing for our daughter. *cue the moment we started weeping*
Isabella Grace was abandoned beneath a highway overpass when she was four months old. She had severe pneumonia, along with her heart disease and cleft palate, which were both causing her medical difficulty. That says to me that her parents loved her, and they tried for four months to care for her in secret, either to avoid paying the second child penalty fee, which is prohibitive for poorer families, or because they couldn’t afford her medical care, and when they realized she was going to die without care, they put her where she would be quickly found. Highways in China, especially in cities, are much different than ours. They are choked with pedestrians and bicyclists. She was sure to be found quickly.
She is a strong, brave little girl. A month after she was found, she had heart surgery to repair four different defects in her heart. She was in and out of the ICU for recurring pneumonia during her first year. In her second year, she had two surgeries to repair her lip and palate and to remove her extra thumb. At two years old, she’s still tiny (wearing 9 month clothing size), she’s not walking on her own yet, and she doesn’t have many words yet. Her delayed development is a result, I feel certain, of her constant surgeries and hospital stays.
The orphanage reports that Isabella is quiet, shy, and loves to smile and grab onto the nannies and play with them. We can’t wait to bring her home!
This is where you come in. We need to raise Isabella’s orphanage fee of 5k and the 10k we need to travel to China and to stay there for the two and a half weeks it takes to finalize her adoption. The concept of Skip a Starbucks Day is simple: skip an indulgence or two and donate the money toward Isabella’s adoption fund instead. You can see our goal and how close we are to meeting it on the sidebar of this page.
I know you’d donate even without me offering you something tangible in return, but to make this even more fun, a bunch of my friends have donated some really amazing prizes! (listed below) To enter, simply donate and then fill out the form at the bottom of this page.*
Thank you so much for helping us bring our sweet daughter home. Your generosity in early donations have already raised almost 3k toward our goal (as of the writing of this post). That is incredible! Isabella will know the story of how a community of people came together to bring her home to her forever family.
To donate, please use the Paypal button on the sidebar —>(Obviously she means on her blog) Anything donated above our 15k need will be given to The Moses Basket, a non-profit organization that supports adoptive families through grants, resources, and support.
Don’t forget to enter the prize giveaway by using the form below! I will use random.org to choose a winner for each prize from those who qualify. The prize giveaway is open until 9 a.m. CST Monday, March 31st.
And again, THANK YOU.
There are a METRIC TON of prizes you can win for donating. You can find the FULL LIST and the ENTRY FORM, over at C.J.’s blog. Let’s bring Isabella home!