Saturday, April 20, 2013

The cat is out of the bag! - Our Reece's Rainbow Baby!

Well friends, so far I have had to be pretty secretive about who our little boy is. And there are a lot of things that I still can't say. BUT, we are at a point in the process where I have a little more freedom to share about the child we will be adopting, and I am so excited to share him with you! First things first. I cannot share with you his birth name, but he has a Reece's Rainbow name for identification purposes and to protect his identity. That name is Donald. So until we reveal what we intend to name him once he comes home, we will refer to him as Donald. We can also share with you that he recently turned 3 years old, but he will more than likely be 4 by the time he comes home to us. He is in Eastern Europe, but we cannot specify where in EE he is yet.

We've shared with you that he has special needs, but had not yet specified what those needs were. Donald has Sotos Syndrome, strabismus (slightly crossed eyes, he may need glasses) and mild scoliosis. Sotos Syndrome (also known as cerebral gigantism) is a fairly rare genetic disorder caused by either a mutation or a deletion in the NSD1 gene on the 5th chromosome. It is characterized by excessive physical growth during the first few years of life. Kids with Sotos syndrome tend to be large at birth and are often taller, heavier, and have larger heads than is normal for their age. Symptoms of Sotos Syndrome, which can vary widely among individuals, include a disproportionately large and long head with a slightly protrusive forehead and pointed chin, large hands and feet, an increased distance between the eyes, and down-slanting eyes. The disorder is often accompanied by mild mental delays; delayed motor, cognitive, and social development; hypotonia (low muscle tone), and speech impairments. Sotos syndrome is not a life-threatening disorder and those with a diagnosis have a normal life expectancy. The initial abnormalities of Sotos syndrome usually resolve as the growth rate becomes normal after the first few years of life. Developmental delays may improve in the school-age years, and adults with Sotos syndrome are likely to be within the normal range for intellect and height. However, coordination problems may persist into adulthood. Sotos syndrome is reported to occur in 1 in 10,000 to 14,000 newborns.

Donald is just beginning to walk with assistance. We are so proud of him for working on this important milestone! He does not speak yet, and that is probably in part because of his special needs, but also partially because of growing up in an orphanage. In an orphanage setting, there are a lot of children and not a lot of caregivers, and therefor there is not a lot of time for chit chatting with the kids and helping them develop language.  He does vocalize though. I'm hoping to learn some basic signs so that when he comes home we can use signs along with speech to help him understand and pick up language.

Now I know what you are all waiting for is a picture! We are happy to introduce you to our soon to be son!

Through the amazing world of Facebook and the Reece's Rainbow community, I have been in contact with 3 families who have adopted from Donald's orphanage. One family just brought home their son and daughter from the very same place Donald waits, just weeks ago! And their son's crib was right next to Donald's. It has been amazing to be able to touch base with these adoptive families who have actually been in his orphanage and actually seen our son! One mother actually spent quite a bit of time with him and held him. The thing we have heard over and over again is that he always had a smile on his face, and that he was a very happy boy. :) One mother even said that if they had been able to add another child to their adoption it would have been him.

That is all the information I have for you at this time about our little love. Please pray for him as he waits? And pray for us that we are able to raise all the funds needed to ransom our precious boy, and that more than anything we would be doing God's will and glorifying Him.

We are able to share more info because we officially have an FSP, or Family Support Page (click to see!) up on Reece's Rainbow. Our FSP has a family bio and a way to give a tax deductible donation to our adoption fund. All money donated to our FSP will go toward travel costs, in country expenses and orphanage fees that come later. We cannot access any of the money in our FSP until we are traveling, which won't be for some time. FSP donations are super important and are great for those who are concerned about donations being tax deductible. That being said, we will have a lot of adoption fees and expenses before we travel, and therefor donations to our Paypal button on the side of our blog, as well as personal donations of cash or check, are so very appreciated. But do be aware that these donations are not tax-deductible. Another thing to consider is that all money donated through both our Paypal button AND our FSP donate button will have 3% of each donation taken out for Paypal fees. If you would like to send a check to Reece's Rainbow on our behalf, 100% will be deposited into our fund. So you can make the most of your donations by sending us a personal check, or sending a check to Reece's Rainbow on our behalf. Here is the address and instructions on sending a Check.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, please consider sharing our Family Support Page or our blog posts on your Facebook wall, twitter or blog! Thank you so much for sharing in our excitement and joy! It is truly touching to us to see how much our boy is already loved, not only by us, but by our friends and family as well. Please know that every word of encouragement, every "like" and "share", and every donation means SO very much to us. May God bless you abundantly.

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