Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ups, Downs, and Unknowns

It's a blustery winter day here in Idaho.  It's been a very emotional week filled with ups, downs and unknowns.  Please allow me to explain. 

About a week ago I started getting tweets, texts, emails and facebook notifications about one piece of very exciting news, Megan has a family!!!  Last year during Christmas, Andrea and I chose two children to start advocating for, Eli and Megan.  Eli, as many already know, is home for Christmas!  He had a family commit to him very early last year.  Megan on the other hand did not.  For the entire year, Megan has been the topic of many conversations in our family as well as many of our prayers.  Throughout the year, Megan has had over $24,000 in her adoption account and her picture was updated on the Reece's Rainbow page.  Despite these good things going in Megan's favor, she did not have a family commit to her. 

Andrea and I knew in our hearts that when the time was right, her family would find her.  I also think a little bit of Christmas Spirit played a factor.  A few weeks ago, Brynlee was waiting in line to see Santa.  She was stressed because she couldn't think of anything she wanted to ask for Christmas.  (She has since thought of lots of things!)  I mentioned maybe she should ask Santa if he could find Megan a family.  She smiled her big toothless smile and said, "That's a great idea!".  Sure enough, the request was made and less than a week later we found out Megan had a family! 

The good news of Megan's family has quickly been overshadowed by some of the political turmoil that Russia and the United States are experiencing.  This is a good ARTICLE that explains what is taking place.  In a nutshell, Russia has passed legislation banning all adoptions of Russian orphans by Americans.  I don't confess to understand why this is taking place.  The legislation has been passed and is sitting on the desk of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He has full power to sign the bill or reject it.  The fate of thousands of orphans lie in his hands.  It has been reported that his decision will be made by December 26th. 

My heart goes out to the children.  My heart also goes out to all of the parents who have committed to adopting one of these special children who's fate is in limbo.  Many of these parents have traveled and already met their children.  I can't imagine what they must be experiencing right now. 

As I've gone over the situation in my mind, I can only rely on faith that what is supposed to happen will happen.  I've learned through the years that many times we don't completely understand why things happen.  However, what seems like an unfair circumstance can actually end up being a blessing.  My best example of this is when Nash was born.  It was natural to feel somewhat sorry for myself.  Little did I know that what seemed like a difficult circumstance would actually end up being among my greatest blessings.  Never could I have foreseen the blessings that came from being a father of a son with Down syndrome.  My only comfort with the situation in Russia is that it's in the hands of a higher power and that things will workout for the better in the end. 

In the meantime, I'd like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Let us always remember the reason for the season...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Christmas Car 2013

In 2011 when we first found Reece's Rainbow and started our fundraising efforts a very close friend of mine came up with an idea on how to generate some funding for Orphans with Down syndrome.  He manages an auto auction where auto dealers from the area purchase many of their cars for their lots.  His idea was to pick a car to auction off with all of the proceeds going towards the RODS Orphan.  Last year was a great year.  This year turned out even better!
Check out this year's Christmas Car!  What a beauty!

It's very humbling for me to hear how this process works and the generous individuals that take part in it.  All of the dealers are gathered and the bidding starts in typical fashion.  Each dealer interested in the car participates as the price rises.  Each dealer knows that the proceeds are going to an orphaned child with Down syndrome which brings a special spirit into the room.  Once the car has reached a high point the dealer with the high bid wins the car.  Here's the amazing part.  That dealer once being awarded the car donates it back to the auction for the bidding to start again.  The car is bought, sold, and donated back to be sold again multiple times.  When it was all said and done, this years Christmas car raised $12,000!  This years proceeds will be going to IVAN!
These individuals who have made this possible for Ivan may have no connection to Down syndrome.  It's very possible that they will never meet him or even hear of him in the future.  They did not have to do this and they receive no special recognition for their generosity.  What their selfless act has done though has given a young boy a chance at life.  They also have made it possible for that special family to come forward because the financial burden that international adoption brings has been sufficiently relieved.  Thank you Independent Car Dealers of Treasure Valley for once again giving someone a Christmas Miracle!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Cause 2.0

In the past, I've written about Angela Redding and her ability to put together events. Last night was another great example of that. Angela had the idea to put together a concert that features a few local artists as well as Tyler Stenson, a fantastic artist based out of Portland. She asked if it would be alright if RODS Racing was the featured cause. What a great idea!

The evening was great.  Before the event, Andrea and I went to dinner with our good friends the Tueller's.  We got to know Mike and Aubrey last year when their daughter was born and they found out she has Down syndrome.  The Tueller's were the family that introduced us to Reece's Rainbow.  We had around 200 people in attendance and everyone was very encouraging and supportive.  I took a moment in between artists to share the RODS Racing story and tell about the great year we've had.  I absolutely love getting to share this story.  Every time I do I feel even more committed to making sure that we are doing everything in our power to make sure these kids find a home as soon as possible. 

Tyler was up next and he did what Tyler does best.  Entertain.  I've been to a few of his concerts over the years.  In fact I have a few of his songs on my Ironman training playlist.  In his music he does a great job of telling the story.  It's very genuine and original and I'm thankful he was willing to take some time to come to Boise. 

Special thanks to Howell Orthodontics for the donation to RODS Racing tonight as well.  For each person in attendance, $1 was donated!