Friday, February 24, 2012

A Night To Remember

About a month ago I posted to our blog about an IDEA that came to mind. The idea was to find a family who is currently adopting from Reece's Rainbow and come together as a company to work towards helping them with their adoption expense.

After posting on our blog, we had a few inquiries from potential families. It was a difficult decision. It was not something we took lightly and in the end, we knew that we were supposed to help the Bonner family. The Bonner's are adopting Victoria. She is the cutest little girl that is currently in Eastern Europe. Getting to call Wayne and Jeana and explain how we'd like to help them was an awesome experience! They have a remarkable story about how they were introduced to Down syndrome as well as Reece's Rainbow. You can read all about it on their BLOG.


Our plan was to introduce the Bonner's and how we as a company were going to help them at our annual meeting where our entire field force and their spouse would be in attendance. It truly ended up being a night to remember!

We have been very fortunate as a company to have individuals who are driven by helping others. We work in the financial services industry. A big part of any financial plan that we put together for a family is the protection component, in particular life insurance. Our commitment to the Bonners is that for every life insurance policy that is placed during 2012, we will donate to help bring Victoria home. By working together, we will have enough to take care of two thirds of the total adoption cost!

After dinner and the awards ceremony, I introduced Reece's Rainbow and told about Andrea and I's story when Nash was born and we found out he had Down syndrome. It's a subject that is very close to my heart and something I feel passionate about.

Pictured:MARK WILKERSON(President of One America), ME, TYLER PETERSON, JEFF EREKSON(President of Allegis Financial Partners)

Then the Bonner's took some time to share their story about having a child with Down syndrome and how strongly they feel about adopting Victoria. You can read Jeana's remarks HERE.  There was a very special feeling in the room. Our President and CEO, Jeff Erekson shared his thoughts towards this years goal of helping the Bonners and we finished by watching this short video clip.

It feels great to know that as a company, our efforts in 2012 will not just impact the lives of literally thousands of families by way of our planning, but even more importantly, we will help save the life of an orphan by helping her come home to her FOREVER FAMILY.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

How You Can Help Maggie


1) SPREAD THE WORD  Post about Maggie, our Blog, and Reece's Rainbow to your Facebook, Blog, Twitter and/or send a personalized email to your contacts.  Maggie needs and deserves to be shared with those whom you know.  It's possible that from your willingness to share her story, you may be the missing link to connect her to her family.

2) DONATE TO HER ADOPTION  Please allow me to explain why this quite literally may be the only thing standing between Maggie withering away in a mental institution or thriving in a loving home with parents who care dearly for her. 

Reeces Rainbow helped in nearly 200 adoptions last year alone.  They have been working for these children for over 5 years now and have learned much about what may or may not stand in the way of these children being adopted.  This is what they've learned: THE MONEY IS THE ONLY THING STANDING IN THE WAY OF THESE CHILDREN BEING ADOPTED!!!  It is posted on there website and I've heard it from Andrea Roberts personally.  In fact, One Step Closer To Home has experienced this firsthand with fundraising for Eli and Megan. 

There are dozens of families ready and willing to adopt one or many of these children.  The reason why they can't is the financial burden is just too much for them to bare alone.  An international adoption costs anywhere from $30,000-$40,000.  Here is a LINK to a family who is currently adopting and a breakdown of their costs.

Reece's Rainbow is a 501(c)3 which means they are a certified NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION.  Understanding the correlation between a family adopting, or not, and the financial commitment is something they are actively working to overcome.  How they have their organization set up is brilliant.  Each child has an account set up on their behalf.  Your donations go directly to the child's adoption fund which in turn will be used for that childs adoption.  Many children have been listed for years, and their accounts still have very little.  Maggie is one of these children.  We know that if we can increase Maggie's account, it will in turn open doors for families who want to adopt but otherwise can't.  In the end, this will give Maggie a chance at life that otherwise may not be available.

Every dollar counts.  Please don't hesitate to donate because you feel your donation will not make a difference.  It will make a difference!  To give you an idea, if every person who visited our blog in the month of February donated $20, we would have over $30,000 in an account to fund Maggie's adoption!  As with any 501(c)3, all donations are tax deductible. 

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!  If you are so inclined to donate, please do so now!  Every day that passes is another day that Maggie will spend in an mental institution.  The faster we can work towards increasing her adoption fund, the faster her family will be able to adopt her.  It's feasible that if a family came forward today and committed to adopting her, that she could be home in time for Christmas! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My sweet boy ELI

It is a special time for all of us who have been advocating for Eli. He has officially moved from the "Our Waiting Children" page to the "My Family Found Me" page!!! I spoke to Andrea Roberts on Friday and she shared with me the great news. I also learned more about Eli and his history on Reece's Rainbow.
Eli has been on Reece's Rainbow for 3 years. He lives in Lithuania which actually created some challenges. RR only had one small picture of Eli and had no additional information than the original info provided 3 years ago. Andrea Roberts said that he was basically "in a dark hole" with little hope.

When Eli's account started increasing over the last few months, familys started inquiring about adopting him. What they found is there are very few adoption agencies in the country that can even adopt from Lithuania. Even though there were families looking to adopt Eli, they were all disappointed to find many dead end roads.

Then a family (who I can't wait to learn more about) came forward and wasn't deterred by the dead ends. They kept looking, and looking until finally they found an answer to prayer. They found An Open Door Adoption Agency. This adoption agency is approved in Lithuania! Their application was approved and they are now in the process of adopting Eli!!

We are also so very happy to have another picture of Eli. He looks so grown up!

To be involved in helping dear Eli have a chance at finding a family has been among the most rewarding experiences of Andrea and I's marriage. We started our efforts a few months ago with the intention of helping one orphan find a home. Many have come forward to help and made it possible to do this. I feel strongly that this is just the beginning! There are many good people with many good ideas in the works! Together we shall conquer!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Blog

For those of you who have been following our blog, you've surely noticed our recent "upgrade" with the overall look.  I've quickly learned that I am far from a blog design expert.  Fortunately, I have some great friends who were willing to come forward and help.  I'd like to give a special thanks to Alison and Lucille for their work in making our blog look much better!

You've probably noticed a "racing" tab as well.  We're very excited to be working on a project that will put a team of triathletes together to race for a special little girl on Reece's Rainbow.  Stay tuned for more info!