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Sunday, May 27, 2012


We will no longer be updating this blog. We invite you to continue to follow us and our story at http://becauseyouareloved.blogspot.com/
Thank you!

Mustard Seed Faith

Our journey started back in October. We had seen many people fully funded in a matter of months, weeks, days, even hours. We thought with some hard work, some fundraising, we would surely be fully funded by the time we got our travel date.

But God wants us to learn something in this journey. He wants to teach us to obey and have faith. Our journey to rescue Sydney and Lucien is a one we feel has been orchestrated by God. He has set in motion many things in our lives to prepare our hearts and minds for a special needs adoption.

When I was two years old, my maw-maw (grandma) was hit by a drunk driver and never walked again. She was so badly injured that from then on she was bedridden and spent the next six years of her life in her bed until she passed away. I remember how wonderful it was to cuddle against her and read stories with her and listen to her sing.
There were the summers that I would go to the pool and see a mother with her son who had an intellectual disability. I was only about 10 when I saw him the first time, he looked to be about 6 or 7. I asked his mom about him and she was very nice and polite and answered my questions. I spent the rest of the day playing with him in the shallow end of the pool while some of my other friends played jumped off the diving board or swam in the deep end. I remember when it was time to go home his mom thanking me for taking time to play with her son. I told her not to thank me, I had lots of fun, and I meant it.
Years later, when my uncle was getting married, we went to the reception after the wedding. My aunt's brother, David, has an intellectual disability and he was there at the wedding as well. I was about 12 at the time and her brother was probably in his early 20s. I stood back and watched all the grown-ups dance and talk and wasn't sure what to do with myself, but my aunt's brothers came over one of her brother's said that David would like to dance with me (David is non-verbal so he could not tell me himself). David and I spent the next few songs dancing and laughing. Even without words we were able to communicate and have fun.
When I was pregnant for Brandon, almost 14 years ago now, the doctor said that he would have down syndrome. The doctor kept trying to insist I should come in to have an abortion, but I refused. A few weeks later, after more testing, the doctor came back and said that Brandon did not in fact have down syndrome, it was an error in the testing.
With a spare room in the house we knew we wanted to adopt. At first we thought of a child with no special needs, but my heart kept leading me back to children who were blind, deaf, have cerebral palsy, or down syndrome. We did not want to make a hasty decision, so we prayed for many days, weeks, even months.
Then one day while we were in church, we prayed, "God, please, give us a sign. Show us what you want us to do." Moments later, in walked a group of teens and young adults, and they sat down, right in front of us. And all of them, had down syndrome. We later found out that once a month on one certain day of the week they have a down syndrome get together where they make crafts, and attend service. It was a God moment... we did not normally attend that service but we had an event for one of the kids at our normal service time so we switched at the last minute.

It was then we knew. We found Sydney in October and Lucien in November and we committed to them right away. I had been following Reece's Rainbow for a while, just hoping and dreaming, and thinking of how amazing it all is how everyone pulls together. I thought our journey would be just as easy.

But we have had some struggles along the way. I know some people say that Satan is trying to stop us from doing God's work. Maybe that is true. Whatever it is, we can only rise to the moment, and not let it over take us. But again, we were sure that before we got a travel date we would be fully funded. But, we are not.

Sometimes, God has a lesson for us to learn. One that can not be learned quickly. In my life, I have had times when I have needed help, and no one has been there. (At least that is what I thought since God is ALWAYS present). I learned have been learning to trust in people again. To put all my faith in God. To believe that through Him, anything is possible.

In Luke 17:5 the apostles asked something of Jesus. "Increase our faith." They felt that if they had more faith, they could do what Jesus did. So they decided to go the easy route and ask Jesus to increase their faith.

What better person to ask! Jesus was full of faith—just look at all He did!. Jesus  knew the truth—Satan had no power whatsoever unless it is given to him. God backs Jesus up—every time!
Jesus's response shocked them. He told them they didn’t need a large amount of faith. A mustard seed size would do!Well OK they thought, Jesus won’t increase our faith. But how do we get mustard seed size faith?

I wonder if they went out looking for mustard seeds to try and measure how much faith they needed.
Take a look at a mustard seed. So tiny, isn’t it? You can barely feel it, it is so small. If you don’t have a mustard seed, then look at a point on the end of a pencil. That’s about the size of a mustard seed.

Now, imagine what a mountain looks like. It is Huge!

In man’s eyes mustard seed faith could never remove this mountain. But God keeps his promises to us.God will not make something out of our reach.

Matthew 17:20 says, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Mark 9:23 says everything is possible for him who believes.

Mark 10:27 says that all things are possible for God.

So, how do we obtain Mustard Seed Faith?

God gives us the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

So we have it already... we just have to use it. But we live in a world that sometimes lets us down. We start to rely on "things" too much. Instead of putting our faith in God where it belongs.

TWO WEEKS... that is how long until we travel. $6300 is how much we are short.
We are stepping out in faith. We have all the money to fly there, we have our tickets already. We have enough money to get us to our court date. We even have enough for Mark to get back home to work. What we do not have, is enough beyond that. We still need enough money for the 10 day wait after court. We need the money for the train that will get us back and forth to the capital city where we will be filling out paperwork that will allow Sydney and Lucien to fly home. We still need the money for their passports, visas, medicals. We still need the money for the last week in the capital city after they leave the orphanage. And we still need the money to... FLY HOME!!

A friend of mine asked... what happens if you do not raise all the money. Then we are stuck. We will be stuck in a foreign country, with  no way to get home. Another friend said, I want to help but I wont be able to until after you have already left, won't it be too late then? No, you can donate to our FSP until we get back home! With the money in our FSP, Reece's Rainbow can use that money and get the tickets we need to return home for us!!!

So we are calling on faith. Like we have never done before. We are accepting this is a lesson in faith by God. And he will NOT let us down. We are obeying his call:
  • "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth"  Isaiah 43:5-6
  • "A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.  God sets the lonely in families.  (Psalms 68:5-6)
  • "He defends the cause of the fatherless"  (Deuteronomy 10:18)
  • "You are the helpers of the fatherless." (Psalm 10:14)
  • "It is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)
  • "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)
  •   "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)
  •  "Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5)
  •  "Remember those…who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)
  • "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." (Matthew 25:35)
  •  "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me, declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 22:16)
And God will NOT let us fall. We WILL believe. We WILL have faith. God will stir the hearts of many. He hears our cries.We are putting all of our faith in his hands. Because if we have faith, we WILL be ok. We will be flying out in two weeks, on the faith of a mustard seed.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Maching Grant

For the month of March, we have had a VERY generous offer. If we can raise $500, a wonderful family has said they will match it with another $500!!
We are starting with $5627 in our FSP (Reece's Rainbow Donation Box)
and  $0 in our Chip-In. You can donate either way! Please help us reach $500 so we can recieve the matching grant!!
Thank you and God Bless You!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Breaking It All Down...

So many of you may wonder... $28, 000-$32,000 is a LOT of money. Where does it all go?
All text highlighted have already been paid by us, we just need to fundraise for the rest. All fees are a rough estimate. The actual fees can vary depending on time of year for travel (traveling in the winter months is less expensive than the summer months), city of adoption, and travel needs in country.

$1650 Homestudy
$1275 Commitment Fee
$300 Adoption Classes (Required part of homestudy)
$110 Passport for Parents
$1000 USCIS paperwork I-600a & FBI Fingerprinting
$1000 Notary & Apostle Fees
$5000 Flights
$8600 Facilitator Fees
$3200 lodging while in country (one trip - around 7-8 weeks)
$1000 food/supplies while in country
$600 child's passport
$550 child's medical and VISA
$2000 transportation while in country
$1000 orphanage donation/dossier preparation costs

If adopting a second child in the same area....
$1000 flight
$670 second I600a fee for unrelated child
$2000 facilitator additional fee (from same orphanage)
$600 child's passport
$550 child's medical and VISA
$500 additional orphanage donation

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Somewhere Out There

In another country, there is a room filled with babies. Some have down syndrome, some do not. Some have heart issues, feeding issues, and the list goes on. So what do they have in common? They are ALL orphans. For whatever reason, their parents felt they were unable to care for them. They have put their child into an orphanage, in hopes that someone, somewhere, would find them, and love them.
Somewhere out there there is a nanny, she is working as hard as she can, trying her best to take care of the many children in her care, and knowing that it is not enough. There are just too many to be able to spend all day holding one or two. There are too many for her to rock them to sleep, or for her to carry them around in her arms all day. There are too many to sit down and have one on one time and play with them, and sing them to sleep. She is doing her best, but at the end of the day, she goes home, wishing it were more. 
Somewhere out there.... there is a little girl and little boy in a crib, wanting to be rocked to sleep, wanting to be held while they drink their bottle, wanting to be played with, talked to, and loved.
They have no idea that the life they are living is not what every other child's life is like. All they know is that they NEED more than the life they are living. The deserve MORE than to live a life as an orphan.
They have no idea that on the other side of the world, every single night, a mommy and daddy are saying a prayer that they will be safe until we can get them and bring them home. They have no idea that a nursery is waiting for them with beautiful bedding , soft blankets, and clothes of their very own. They have no idea that they have sisters and a brother who are so excited to welcome them to the family.
They have no idea that many nights, their mommy is doing her best not to cry, to be strong, and counting the days until she can go hold them, love them, and officially become their mommy. They have no idea that their daddy has worked tirelessly on their nursery to make it perfect for them, that he is trying to work over time whenever he can to help raise the money to get them home, and that he has even taken up making crosses and other items to sell on Etsy in hopes that it will be enough to get them home.
"And when the night wind, Starts to sing a lonesome lullaby It helps to think we're sleeping
Underneath the same big sky.

Somewhere out there If love can see us through Then we'll be together.
Somewhere out there Out where dreams come true...
" (lyrics from American Tale)

Somewhere out there, two orphans get closer every day to their birthday, and they are waiting for their family to come. Our paperwork is almost finished, we are so close. The only thing that stands in the way, is the funds to travel.
Somewhere out there, someone is reading this blog, and somewhere out there, a heart will be moved. Please help us bring them home!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How You Can Help....

A big part adoption expenses are from the actual traveling and facilitator fees.  Therefore, you may want to know what a facilitator does.  A facilitator is the person who will take ALL our documents (tons of them) and translate them into their language, translate for us while we are there, make sure that we have accommodations such as travel within the country, lodging, and directions to wherever we need to go.  They will be with us when we have court so they can make sure that the judge understands us and we understand any questions the judge has for us.
For a detailed list of all the expenses, please click on the tab at the top “Understanding Adoption Costs”.  If you are able to, please donate to help reduce some of these expenses. We still have $25,000 to raise by April when we will be traveling. As always, please pray. Pray that Sydney and Lucien will be ok until we get there. Pray that Sydney's and Lucien's hearts will be ok and that they will not have any heart trouble, (a common issue for children with Down Syndrome) Pray that we will be able to raise the money in time.
Thank you so much!

LUCIEN & SYDNEY for the Jenks family — Vancouver, WA

Rebecca and Mark have four wonderful children between the ages of 13-21. They knew they wanted more children and that adoption would be the way they would find their baby. It wasn’t until they stumbled onto Reece’s Rainbow that they considered a little one with Down Syndrome. After a year of reading books and following blogs of families going through the process, they prayed about moving forward. The very next weekend at church a group of teens and adults with Down Syndrome came and sat down in front of them. God just doesn’t get much louder than that.

When they brought up the subject of adopting with their other children, the vote was unanimous. Mark and Rebecca were surprised when the kids ran around the house finding any loose change, even their own change, to start saving to bring home their little sister and brother. 

The feeling Rebecca and Mark felt when they first saw Sydney and Lucien was just like when your child just born and they place them in your arms for the first time. They just knew these two beautiful little ones were meant to be part of their family.

They can hardly wait to bring their little blessings home and would appreciate your prayers and donations as they work towards bringing their little one home “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Mother Teresa

The Reece's Rainbow Voice of Hope Fund covers the Paypal fees for family donations under $500. Larger donations will have a 3% PayPal fee deducted before it is applied to the family's adoption fund. We encourage donors who are sending large donations to send a check so that the full amount of the donation goes to the family's adoption fund.
Please include a note telling Reece's Rainbow the donation is intended for the Jenks Family.
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Which Path?

Where you are in your life, depends on your choices. Sometimes, it seems easier to take the path that everyone else is on. Sometimes, however you take a different path. Sometimes you take a path, uncertain of the outcome, because you feel like the path everyone else is on has turned into a treadmill of life. Or you feel like there is something more important that is yet to be seen on the other path. Sometimes, if we stop and look at that path that most people take, it is filled with a lot of self serving and very little brotherly love. Somehow, we have lost sight of the big picture. We are so caught up in the American dream that we forget about the other paths that are there. We get caught up in material things, we forget what means the most. We become vain and filled with self indulgence. We focus on that extra car, that bigger house, the bigger tv. Is that what is really important? People often get so caught up, that they fail to see what is really important. 
How can we place more importance on objects than we do living things?
My passion is helping people, I want to rescue orphans.
You do not have to choose my path.
Maybe that is not your path, maybe you are better with animals, or wildlife, or being environmentally friendly.You can make a difference, in some way, to make the world a better place.
Your path lays before you, in one direction you can make a difference that will help many, the other path is one that will make a difference mostly in your life. 
Don't buy into the American dream so much, that you forget what is really important.
Which path will you take?