I want to introduce to you first Simon and Samuel. They are twin baby boys in Eastern Europe–identical both with Down Syndrome. Like all kids in their country little information at all is given, the richest pieces are from families who have met the young people. For leap of faith individuals, sketchy details are enough. The details on these babies are as follows:
Boys, born Dec 2013 Down syndrome
We added, “These precious, beautiful, twin baby boys both have Down syndrome. What a gift to have them listed so young — they can be home easily by their first birthday!” And indeed they could be home by their first birthday.
This country has a very quick adoption process. Some families just remain in country rather than taking two trips as is done commonly in other Eastern European countries. There is currently over $100 in the little boys adoption fund, money that was dumped in by us members of the adoption community in the first matter of moments that the boys were listed as we wooed and awweed over the preciousness of these sweet faces. I’m sure I was not the only who found myself closing my eyes and saying, “Sweet Jesus, lead a family to these babies. In your name, amen.” Was it even a whole month before the twins were on My Family Found Me? It was so fast! The Lord sees these kids. I could type that so many times, and I plan to, in every opportunity that I have to speak of orphans I want to shout forth praises and thankfulness that although I cannot see these children, Jesus does. These photos of Simon and Samuel were taken March 2014. I wonder if by thanksgiving when they may be home, they’ll be sitting perhaps toddling around and have grown in some hair.
The family that I am thrilled for and thankful to be getting to know are Theresa Cianciolo and her husband. The little boys will be children 5 and 6 for them.
There has been an unfair ratio of girls adopted over baby boys going home, or so it appeared til recently! We’ve had so many commitments to young guys and older also. It’s thrilling to see this gap coming even. There’s also families who are picking up a second child into adoptions, that’s wonderful to see happening.
No knowledge of the state of the boys hearts or any other potential points of keen awareness that ought to be had for being prepared for welcoming home a child who has Down Syndrome. The future family of these babies sees just what you do: two sleeping children in gender neutral sleepers peacefully oblivious in their moment of restfulness. They appear healthy and are available for international adoption and as of this week (!!!) committed to for coming home.
What’s taking me so long to admit that I’m giddy to see someone from Vermont adopting? No wait, I went back and edited that into the first line or so. I am psyched. I’ll have even that much more reason to go back and visit, if saying hello to good times again isn’t going to be enough one day. In my time in Vermont I made some wonderful friends and got the best medical care that I have had.
My life has been a struggle with epilepsy, and through the depression and failure, through the side effects of meds and insomnia and head aches through the embarrassment and exasperation I have always had my identical twin who has the same problem by my side to prop my body against. We have been each others strong hold and scratching post through the years and I think she too would have to confess that she wouldn’t know what to do without me. We would have had so much of a harder go at life without each other, and I imagine that as life goes on we will continue to need each other.
Children with Down Syndrome are often transferred at age 4 to mental institutions to live out the rest of their lives. If the boys aged to that point in their country there is far from guarantee that they would stay together. Twins have a way of knowing that there is another one of them, there have been so many studies done. Praise be! They’re going home for mama snuggles, and for Daddy to wrestle with them in the living room and take them on fun outdoor ventures. These kids will know the freedoms of creativity, nurturing and holistic living.
There are so many hopes and dreams that I have for these little guys. My children’s lives started out in Vermont where these boys lives beyond bars will begin also. It’s a wonderful place to be. Fresh air, green trees and rolling mountains. The autumn, or foliage season as we call it, is the most gorgeous collection of colors that you could ever ask for in nature. There are all sorts of fun activities and places to be for families and room to run, horses to ride and adventures to be had.
Your new world can hardly wait to meet you, Simon and Samuel. May God keep and protect you where you were born and took your first breaths until your mama and papa come for you.
Where will the fund raising begin? I want to have fun with this!
Theresa, the twin’s future mama, has shared with me that their family Bible verse is James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
I love this family already! Be it serving those who are bringing home children, or helping in the community to ease the suffering of women and children I believe that not only is there opportunity to help, but command to do it.
Roll up your sleeves, put on your thinking cap and make some time to helping. My husband say to focus on the word “help” in this verse and to always come back to my family!
Join the Family Warrior program and lend a little help to someone in need of a prayer buddy along their adoption journey and get as excited as I am to live vicariously through someone else.
Today is a very special day for us at Reece's Rainbow! Today is the birthday of our Founder and Executive Director, Andrea Roberts! So, in honour of her special day, and because she doesn't like people making a fuss over her, we decided to just compile all our birthday wishes for her here in a blog post. ;) (PLEASE feel free to add your own wishes in the comments!)
Happy Birthday, Andrea!! It's been such a blessing getting to know you over the past four years and an absolute joy to work along side you for the past 18 months! I hope you have a wonderful birthday today!!!
Happy Birthday, Auntie. Thank you for helping mommy and daddy bring us home. We love you!!
The Hannon Handful
Andrea, if not for you we would not have our beautiful Ukrainian daughter! I have been so blessed to be part of RR for the last 5 years and to work with you for the last 4+ years. You are an amazing person! Have a Great day!! Love you!
Thanks a bunch for making so much love possible... Happy birthday and have some chocolate to celebrate!
Carla Dobrovits RR Board of Directors
I can't express how much I admire you, Andrea. You are such an inspirational woman whom I am so blessed to call friend. I am beyond honored to be working for Reece's Rainbow along side you. Thank you for making SUCH a difference in my life and the lives of SO many children and families all over the world. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
Andrea -- I knew, way back in 2009, that once I emailed you it would set things in motion, and we'd end up adopting. I never imagined that once we had Lilya home that I would get to be a part of the Reece's Rainbow team and work with you. So thankful for your vision, your heart for the children, and your friendship. Have a wonderful day! Love you!!!
Happy birthday Andrea! Words can never express how grateful I am for you starting RR. Picking up an RR pamphlet started me on my journey. Without you, I would not have Bobby as my son and would be missing out on such a wonderful son. Your choice of campgrounds for the reunion this year also ended up allowing us to go to a host picnic which has lead to a brother for Bobby! I have enjoyed joining the RR team and look forward to helping more children find families. May you be blessed in all of your future endeavors!
Happy Birthday Andrea!!! Enjoy your special day. I hope it is filled with Big Laughs and Great Fun! Meeting you for the first time face to face at the RR reunion was so awesome. You are truly a beautiful person with a huge heart, and your love for all these children amazes me.(( Auntie Andrea)) Happy Birthday!!!!
Happy Birthday from Super Lu and the real Lu! To say that I love you is such an understatement. You've been a brilliant colleague (leader) and amazing friend these going on eight years! (Super Lu was evidence of this, knowing I couldn't attend the reunion but making a way to make me feel included from the other side of the world!) I am so honoured to work alongside you and the leadership team! All of us were hand picked by you and the love we all have for you and each other shows what a brilliant leader you are! Have an amazing birthday filled with blessings!