Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thank You ABC News!

A few evenings ago my Mom called me and told me to turn on the TV to ABC News because they were going to do a piece on the Cox family and Reece's Rainbow.  We were first introduced to the Cox's family story which in turn introduced us to Reece's Rainbow in November of this year. 

After watching this story, it created an even greater sense of urgency in me to go to work for these children.  Being able to see footage of an actual institution where these children live was very hard to watch, but it's helpful to better understand the realities of day to day living for them. 

Another aspect that has stood out is the need for more education about Down Syndrome.  It wasn't long ago that the United States wasn't any different than these countries overseas.  When someone was born with a mental disability they were typically institutionalized.  It was not until a relatively short time ago that our society began to accept and understand the capabilities and potential of these wonderful children.  Just as we were educated as to their potential, it is time for others to follow.  Finding homes for orphans is an excellent solution to an existing problem.  The only issue with this is it does not solve the issue for the thousands of unborn children who will enter this world under these circumstances in the future.  In an ideal situation, their families would know their potential and they would love them as they love their other children. 

Watch the story here:
Down Syndrome Daily: ABC World News with Diane Sawyer reports on Reece'...:

Monday, December 26, 2011

One Step Closer...

I feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude tonight.  The month of December has been a great month and it's because of the many selfless acts I've been fortunate to witness.  I want to share a few of these with you.

A short time ago, I was getting my haircut.  Kayla has been cutting my hair since I moved to Boise in 2008.  We got talking and I started telling her about Reece's Rainbow and some of the things Andrea and I have learned.  When it came time to pay, Kayla told me to take the money from my haircut and donate it towards Megan and Eli. 

Our family had the opportunity to share the Reece's Rainbow story at 4 different family functions the weekend before Christmas.  The response we received was amazing!  There were a lot of questions being asked and each person we talked to was already thinking of ways in which they could help. Some even acted on their ideas right then and there!

On Sunday, I was talking to a friend about Christmas and how their morning went. He told me he wanted to share something about Brendan, his 14 year old son.  Each of his children were given some Christmas money as part of their gifts.  Brendan and his Dad have been keeping track of Megan and Eli's total donations each day.  Brendan asked if he could donate his Christmas money to them!

One story that has really stood out came from a friend who owns an auto auction.  His auction donated a car to auction off for Megan.  They decorated the car in Christmas decor and allowed the dealers to bid on it.  After one dealer purchased it, he donated it back to the auction and they auctioned it off again.  This happened 8 times!  A total of $13,000 was raised and donated towards Megan's adoption!

Each of these examples are unique but demonstrate a common thread.  Each person heard the story, they were prompted with an idea on how they could help, and most importantly they ACTED on the idea that they were given! 

I know that if we have a desire to serve, we will be given the opportunity to do so!  Each of us have been entrusted with unique talents and abilities that can be used for much good.  Whether big or small, they all add up and they all make a difference!  Thank you my dear friends and family!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wise Men Still Seek Him

A dear friend shared this with me this morning. I thought it very applicable to the cause of Reece's Rainbow and the efforts that so many are making on behalf of Megan and Eli. We would like to wish each of you a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We are so excited! After all the planning and organizing it feels like the ball is finally starting to roll! There is so much work to be done for these little orphans. They are constantly in our thoughts.

This past weekend we had the fantastic experience of meeting with most of our extended family and were able to share our passion for Reece's Rainbow with them. We told about some of the events that lead us to Reece's Rainbow, why we are doing what we are, the projects we have planned, and asked them all to help by being advocates for these orphans. Whether it be through donations, fund raising or simply (and most importantly) spreading the word in whatever ways they can.

Just in the past two weeks as we have began sharing our project and Reece's Rainbow with people our hearts have been touched by the response. There are endless ways to help. One family ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week so they could donate what was usually spent on groceries. A friend that cuts hair donated the cost of a haircut. Another frind who runs a car auction donated the proceeds of one of his cars to Reece's Rainbow. Many of our friends and famiy are posting links and buttons on their blogs and facebook.

We know that by small and simple things great things, even miracles, are brought to pass. We can't wait to see what happens as we all work together to help these sweet children find families!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Chosen Children

After much thought and pondering, we were ready to choose our children to sponsor.  Originally we planned on choosing one.  We couldn't decide if we should choose a girl or a boy, so we chose one of each.


The first time I looked at Reece's Rainbow, Eli stood out to me.  Something about this child spoke to me.  Eli is only 4 months older than Nash.  It is difficult to know that Eli has not had a forever family taking care of him during the first 4 years of his life.  Let's not let another year go by!  I have confidence that we can raise the needed funds to cover Eli's adoption and possibly find his forever family.  Here is Eli's information provided on the website:

Boy, Born March 3, 2007
Eli is so cute! Look at that big smile and those giant blue eyes! Eli was born with Down syndrome and Atrial Septal defect (ASD), a heart condition that has not required surgery. He has suffered through frequent bouts of pneumonia. He says several words, uses gestures, and can follow simple directions. His report states he continues to make progress in all areas of his development. Eli is receiving speech and physical therapy. He walks with assistance.
Eli already has a good start on donations, but he could use much more!
Andrea's heart went out to Megan when we read about her.  Megan has already been sent to an institution.  We feel a huge sense of urgency to help Megan accumulate the funds necessary as soon as possible and have faith that she will be made known to her forever family. 
The thing that stood out to us is that Megan is so healthy!  Many orphans are experiencing health challenges.  Not Megan!  She will be such a wonderful blessing to her forever family!
This is the information that is listed about Megan on the Reece's Rainbow website:
Girl, born December 2005
Eyes: Blue
Hair: light brown
Temperament: Active, assertive, social, smart

I am so hopeful we will get a new and better picture of Megan.  She is too cute!  She has beautiful blonde hair and striking blue eyes.  Megan is HEALTHY, with no heart condition.  She is active, happy, and doing well.   She has already been transferred to the older child facility, so please come forward to save her!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our story...

So the journey begins.  In July of 2007 I rushed Andrea to the hospital in anticipation of our 2nd child being born.  We were blessed with a beautiful daughter in 2005, and now it was time for our first son to join our family. 

After some tense moments during the delivery, we finally saw our son for the first time.  He was perfect!  I was such a proud father and so excited to soon be holding my son for the first time.  That's when the doctor put his arm around me and in a quiet voice said, "Brady, we think your son has Down Syndrome."  I didn't know how to react or what to say, so I didn't say anything. 

I stood there in silence for a few moments and realized that I needed to share this with Andrea.  I wasn't sure what I was going to say.  After some time, I slowly walked over to Andrea's bedside.  I began to get choked up.  I leaned over and whispered in her ear that the doctors believe our son has Down Syndrome.  Her reaction surprised me.  She wasn't sad or surprised.  It was like she already knew and was very much at peace from the moment she found out.  It should not have surprised me that this would have been her reaction because Andrea is the most patient and kind person I know.

It didn't take very long for the reality of the situation to sink in.  This reality is very simple.  Nash has been among our familys biggest blessings.  He is the constant source of much joy and is constantly bringing this joy to all who he comes in contact with.  He teaches us unconditional love through his example.  We cannot imagine our lives without him in it!

Because of Nash, we have been able to meet some great people.  There is a natural connection to other family's who have children with Down Syndrome as well as the great people who volunteer and participate in the many local organizations and functions.  It was through one of these great family's that we were first introduced to Reece's Rainbow.  Reece's Rainbow is a website dedicated to raise funds as well as awareness for the adoption of orphans with Down Syndrome.  Read their story HERE.

I was unaware of the current situation of children with Down Syndrome in many foreign countries.  It is common practice that when a child is born with Down Syndrome, they are placed into an oprhanage.  This is where they stay typically for 5-6 years at which time they are moved to an institution.  Most children do not live more than a year once they are placed in an institution because of the harsh circumstances they face.

Reece's Rainbow is not an adoption agency, but more of a tool to help these children find their forever families.  One important fact I learned after researching Reece's Rainbow is this; there are many families currently ready and willing to adopt, but they simply don't have the funds to do so.  An international adoption has an average cost of $30,000+.  In fact, Reece's Rainbow has gone as far as saying that there are so many families that want to adopt these children that if the cost of adoption were taken care of, there wouldn't be a need for Reece's Rainbow because there would be no more children left to adopt! 

When I first read this, I was excited!  It seems like there can be something done about that!  That brings us to the purpose of our blog.  As a family, we may not be able to raise enough money for all 400+ children currently listed on Reece's Rainbow all at once, but we believe we can raise enough for 1 child.  If we can raise enough money for one child, that's one child that didn't have to be placed in an institution.  That's one child that was given a chance at life.  That's one child that gets to be a huge blessing to their forever family!

Please join us in sharing the Reece's Rainbow story!