Thank you for helping to raise almost $16,000 for Vanya’s adoption. I am so thankful. Thank you for opening your hearts to one little boy who dreams of having a family to call his own. Vanya has been chosen! His family is working hard on their paperwork and will bring him home soon. Vanya’s dream will soon come true. All glory to God.
This month we have so much to celebrate in our home.
One year ago I walked into a cold Ukrainian orphanage and met two of the sweetest angels on this earth. I spent five weeks in that country doing all the necessary paperwork, and finally in May we brought them home. Hailee and Harper have been in our lives for a year, and we could not be more blessed to have them home. It has been such an incredible journey.
I am a firm believer that much is required of those to whom much is given. We have been given more than we could ever have dreamed of in our four adopted children. Our lives have never been the same…they have been better.
For a while now I have been feeling like I need to give back this month. My heart’s desire has been to give hope to a child who is living in a very hopeless situation–a child who, unless someone advocates for them, is destined to live a life of hell on earth.
If you have journeyed with me for a while here on my blog, you will know for sure that Hailee’s transformation over the last year is nothing short of miraculous. Hailee is our miracle girl. She has gone from a five year old weighing a meager 15 pounds, to an exploring, happy, healthy, almost six year old who weighs 22 pounds! She is a new creation in every way.
Hailee….before and after.
Hailee was given hope–and what a difference it made in her life! Giving a child hope changes everything for them.
As my small way of giving back, I knew that I wanted to give that same hope that Hailee was given to another child. I asked God to show me one whom my heart would break for.
It didn’t take long for me to find him. The one. He doesn’t have Down syndrome as Hailee has. But I knew that I knew that he was the one who desperately needed hope. With a story that breaks my heart, he has been overlooked too many times, is living with an undying dream in his heart, and carries an uninvited disease in his body.
This boy realizes that every day is a gift as long as he stays where he lives now.
Because any day now….his dream will come crashing down.
Unless he gets his miracle.
Friends, meet Vanya. Beautiful, sweet, adorable, Vanya.
Isn’t he just so sweet?
Vanya is eight years old, living in an Eastern European orphanage. I simply cannot read his story without getting teary. This young guy has endured more pain, more heartache, and more rejection than I have in all of my 39 years.
His mother led an immoral life. She could not take care of her son, so Vanya was living without even the basic necessities of life and was removed from her care. I read that his father refuses to acknowledge his existence–he will not accept this little boy as his son and has chosen to leave him in the orphanage.
Vanya is a little ray of sunshine in his orphanage. He is a natural leader and loves the company of adults. He is always seeking out a hug and a cuddle. He loves people–and wants to be loved back.
Here’s the thing. Not a day goes by without Vanya asking his caretakers if someone is coming for him yet? Has he been chosen? Will it be his turn next? He has seen countless young children being adopted all around him. Imagine if YOU were that caretaker, and you heard a sweet little voice ask you if there’s a family who chose HIM yet. I know I would not be able to stand it, and I can imagine you wouldn’t either.
Friends, a report from a missionary who knows Vanya states that he believes that one day someone will come for him. He believes that some day he will have a family to love him and he will get to live in a “real home.” It’s a dream he believes WILL come true.
Here’s the reality–Vanya is on a list to be transferred from his current orphanage. Once an orphan reaches a certain age, they are usually transferred to a heinous mental institution for older children and adults. Vanya will be transferred any day now, and no one knows where he will be moved to. It is an undisclosed place from which he will never be able to be adopted. Vanya will live the rest of his childhood in this place and when he is old enough to be released, well, who knows what awaits him? I can’t even think about that as an option.
My heart breaks for this little boy. He has waited for such a long time for a family. He has been overlooked and rejected his entire life. No child should ever have to go through that.
Vanya has two things against him. He is an older child, and not very many people are willing to take in the older kiddos. And second, Vanya is HIV+. Although many perceptions of the disease have changed over the years thanks to the amazing efforts of ministries like Project Hopeful, there is still quite a lot of ignorance regarding raising a child who is infected. Most people just do not know. They have no idea that it really is a do-able thing and that these kids deserve families just as much as others.
Then, there are people like my friend Audrey who has adopted a little guy from the same country as Vanya. This is what she said about HIV adoption:
“It is TOTALLY do-able. Our son is healthy and wonderful. We visit his doctors every three months for a checkup and he takes meds twice a day. Other than that, HIV doesn’t affect our lives at all. Jacob turned seven two weeks after we brought him home so we have done the older child adoption thing too. He is a blessing to our family and I CANNOT imagine what our lives would have been like if we had said no to this very special guy.”
Vanya is on an anti-retroviral drug and is doing fabulously well.
I cannot bear the thought of Vanya missing out on his dream. He knows that as each day passes, his chances of someone actually coming for him grows dimmer and dimmer. Yet, still he believes that he WILL be chosen.
I believe that every single child deserves a family, no matter what is “wrong” with them. Including Vanya. Right now things seem pretty hopeless for him. No one has inquired about adopting him, and time is running out fast.
Oh goodness, I have wondered if I have rocks in my head for advocating again so soon after the Beamish family. I’ve come up with all my lame excuses about why this is just a seriously bad idea. But how can I possibly say, “No, sorry, there is nothing I can do to help you”? How can I not at least try to help a sweet little boy realize his dream of having a family…and leave the end result in the very capable hands of my God who loves Vanya?
Nope. I just cannot say, “No.” Especially since I know that this is the last opportunity Vanya has to find a family.
And so I come to you today asking for your help. As you will see below, many, many people have partnered with me to try and make Vanya’s dream come true. I could never do something like this alone. I asked for help and boy, did I get it! I have been blown away by the outpouring of love for this young boy. Many are praying and trusting that a family will come forward before it is too late.
Time is crucial. Vanya needs a committed family before he is transferred. We’re racing against the clock here. The problem is that adoption costs money–and heaps of it. I hate it, but there is nothing that can be done about it. We call it ransom. Most families who adopt do not have the $25,000+ lying around to cover the adoption costs, so they fundraise. They work day and night to raise the funds that they require. It is hard work but the reward is priceless.
In order for Vanya to be adopted as quickly as possible, money should NOT be an obstacle. It should be the last thing on his family’s mind. To get to him as fast as possible should be their only concern. Which is why I have set up this fundraiser. We want to try and raise as much money as possible so that the life of one little darling can be saved, and he can finally have his dream of having his own family come true.
Do-able? Yes, I believe so. I believe that with God ALL things are possible.
The Eli Project is an incredible ministry who is advocating for Vanya. It is founded by Chris and Mary Malone. I love these guys. They have such huge hearts for the orphan. They adopt the children that no one else wants–those who are overlooked and in dire need of being rescued. They truly are an amazing family. The Malone’s walk the walk. I love that about them.
The Eli Project is a 501(c)3. I have set up a Chip-In where donations can be made. Each and every dollar will go directly into Vanya’s adoption grant fund right here at the Eli Project. That money will all be given to his family to cover his adoption costs. All donations are tax deductible.
Here’s how this will work:
Listed below is a list of awesome giveaway prizes. There are MORE THAN 100! All of them have been donated by amazing readers of my blog who wanted to play a part in rescuing Vanya. Like me, they believe in miracles and are praying that Vanya will come home. Because time is so crucial and this is Vanya’s LAST opportunity to be chosen, we have gone all out here, friends. There are some incredible things up for grabs. It has been an outpouring of love!
All winners will be chosen at random by an automated selection program.
You will HAVE to leave a comment here on my blog telling me that you have donated in the Chip-In.
~~~ Receive one entry for each donation you make in the Chip-In (any amount).
~~~ Receive a second entry when you mention this giveaway on your own blog.
~~~ Receive a third entry for mentioning it on your Facebook or Twitter.
Please remember to leave separate comments for each of the above categories. And please do not forget to state your name so that I know who the winners are.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your help with this. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping to make one sweet little boy’s dream come true. I cannot wait for the day when I can tell you all that “Vanya has been chosen–he is coming home!”
PLEASE help us spread the word to anyone you know. We believe with all our hearts that Vanya’s family is out there somewhere–they just haven’t found him yet.
Anyone wanting more information about Vanya can contact Chris Malone (just click on his name).
Giveaway ends on Friday, April 15.