A couple of weeks ago I contacted Reece’s Rainbow about a little darling named Teri Lynn on their website. My heart ached for her! I saw two pictures of her and they didn’t even look like the same child. Teri Lynn had been transferred to an institution and was at a high risk of dying in that place. The ministry assured me that she was still available for adoption, and that I could share her story. I longed to get the word out and do anything I possibly could to ensure that she did not become another horrendous statistic of a child with Down syndrome perishing in a heinous mental asylum.
You guys poured out your hearts! I was blown away when SO many of you started filling up her grant fund at Reece’s Rainbow. A huge amount of money was raised very quickly.
A few days later I inquired about whether a family had come forward and was told that the response had been enormous–there were many families interested, a few with the initial paperwork already in order. I was told that the adoption agency had contacted the Russian government to “confirm her status.” By that I assumed that there may be a possibility that she had been moved somewhere else, or she perhaps even passed away already. So we kept praying.
Yesterday I received a very confusing e-mail which was forwarded to me. I immediately got in touch with Reece’s Rainbow to find out what was going on. This morning I got confirmation that Teri Lynn has indeed already been adopted!
I come to you today with a very heavy heart. On the one hand I am absolutely rejoicing that Teri Lynn has been rescued–that is the fabulous news. Hallelujah! But on the other hand, I am so discouraged at the miscommunication which has happened between the various agencies and ministries who were advocating for her. I would never, ever have advocated for a child if there was even the most remote possibility that she was not available for adoption! At some point, a family recently committed to this little girl and her status was not updated on the database—it was something that apparently slipped through the cracks. Miscommunication happens–especially in the world of international adoption. I know that.
Truthfully, I feel like I have been put in a difficult situation here. So, so many of you opened your hearts to Teri Lynn. I was advised to just make the decision myself and re-allocate all the money which is currently sitting in Teri Lynn’s grant fund to another child. No way! I cannot do that! Gosh, I have no right whatsoever to determine where YOUR money goes. Yes, there absolutely are many children on the Reece’s Rainbow website who sure could use the funds (and that would be a huge blessing), but it is just not my place, nor my right to make that decision—and I never would.
After prayerfully considering what to do, and feeling so incredibly burdened by this for the last day, I have decided to leave it up to you, the amazing people who have contributed. YOU need to be the ones who decide where YOUR money goes. If your heart is to re-allocate your contribution to another child who waits for a family, great. If you feel like you need a full refund, that is perfectly fine too. Reece’s Rainbow has told me that they will refund any money you want back.
I have to say that I am so terribly sorry about this. Yes, we rejoice with all our hearts that Teri Lynn is coming home, but quite honestly, I’m feeling disheartened. I totally understand that things go wrong—especially when dealing with international governments and constantly changing adoption laws—but I wish that more could be done to confirm the adoption status of every child before they are publicly made available for adoption. I have been told that the current system is being changed, so hopefully this won’t happen again.
What does this mean for any future fundraising efforts I may get involved in? I just have no idea. Like many of you, I long with all my heart to see children in desperate situations rescued and placed in loving families, but I can never be put in a situation like this again. I really do feel bad about it since this is my blog and you guys were so, so generous to rush in and help out. Truthfully, I don’t even know if I’ll advocate for a child again. Please pray for me as I seek God’s heart in this matter. Serving my Savior with everything I have and everything I am is what I live for.
If you contributed to Teri Lynn’s grant fund, please get in touch with Michelle at Reece’s Rainbow as soon as possible and let her know exactly what you would like her to do with your contribution. Perhaps the money can all be allocated to one or two children to give them decent grants? You can work that out with Michelle. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you have any questions at all about this and what has transpired, please don’t ask me. I don’t have all the details, and I don’t have knowledge exactly how things work with Russian adoptions. All I know is what I have shared here. Please direct all your questions to Andrea Roberts–she has a much better understanding of the way the system works. email@example.com.
Thank you for your grace and your understanding as this whole thing gets figured out.