Update: Because there has been $2,000 raised for Lera since yesterday, the Russian agency has given the Higbie family until the end of the month to complete their fundraising.  Hooray!  They still have a long way to go, though ….

. . .

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

James 1:27

I was going to save this for Friday*.  But it won’t wait that long.  SHE can’t wait that long.

Lera’s family needs to raise $18,000 by FRIDAY, or her adoption is going to fall through.

You see, the Russian government is not making this adoption easy for the Higbie family.  Among other obstacles they have faced, the Russian agency just rejected their family portraits because they weren’t “professional” enough.  It’s ridiculous!  The Higbies just want to bring their little girl home.

And, in the meantime, little Lera has been transferred to a mental institution.  That’s right – this sweet little one is spending her days neglected in an Eastern Europe institution.  And, the Russian government has told the Higbies that unless they can prove they have $35,000 by FRIDAY, they will not be able to adopt her.

I KNOW we just asked for help for Melanie … but if you are able, please give what you can to Lera’s adoption fund.  Click here to make a donation through PayPal.  Pray.  Only God can make this happen, so pray and pray.  Spread the word – blog about it, send emails, post on facebook or whatever you can do to spread the word.

My good friend, Cathy, has organized a fund-raising effort for Lera, which includes a fun raffle of great prizes if you make a donation.  Click here after you donate, and leave a comment on the fundraiser post, and you’ll be entered to win an iPad2, a flip video camera, and more!


*Each Friday of lent, I plan to post the story of a family trying to adopt a child with Down syndrome.  First, to help make everyone aware that these kids are SO very wanted, and secondly, to help the families that are opening their hearts to welcome these little ones.  The adoptions are expensive … there’s no way around it.  Adoptions from Eastern Europe, where there is the greatest need, cost around #35,000.

Is there an extra lenten sacrifice that can free up $5 or $10 this week?  Would you be willing to skip your latte and give to Lera instead?  If you round up the spare change in your house, does it add up to a few bucks you can give?  You could also host a bake-sale, a yard-sale, or a car wash to benefit this family.  If everyone who sees her picture donates just $5 or $10, she will be home in no time.

Help save one more.

From Lera’s Reece’s Rainbow site:

Bob and Diane’s lives has been woven with joys and heartache, but every step of the way Jesus has walked with them.  They talked often of, and prayed to have more children.  God met them with the strength to endure miscarriage after miscarriage. They lost twin boys at birth in 2000 from congenital heart defects.  In 2003 the family grew when social services placed in their care a beautiful 5 month old little girl.  She was neglected and failure to thrive.  They were told this one has” no capacity to learn, she’ll never amount to anything”.  Diane remembers, “The first moment I held her and looked into her sweet little face she had my whole heart in her tiny hand, leaving behind 22 years of pediatric nursing to be a stay at home mom. The big girls loved it and the new baby needed it.”

Two years later in  November of 2005, April Rose was adopted into the family. Several miscarriages later they decided to try international adoption.  Working with Holt, they were matched with 2 sisters, ages 3 and 5, from Haiti. Disaster struck when in late summer 2008, a tsunami hit Haiti and the orphanage where the girls were housed was totally distroyed and the girls perished.   The family looked to God for peace and comfort.Then came the biggest blessing…pregnancy #20…Lillian Grace was born March 13,2009 by c-section at 34 weeks due to placental failure.   She came to them exactly as God designed… Down syndrome, PDA, Coarctation of the aortc artery, 2 ASDs and 7 VSDs, and severe pulmonary hypertension.   She spent the first 8 months of her life as an inpatient in heart failure.   The family was told she wasn’t viable, not a candidate for open heart surgery, “take her home and love her while you have her”, was their advice.

It was with Lillian’s Down syndrome that Diane became so involved in the DS community. It was through blog entries by other members of that same community that on April 23 Bob and Diane became aware of Lera.  There were no hours perusing the internet looking at pics of orphans or long deliberations, just Lera’s plight that left them no choice.   God, through Lillian’s journey, had prepared them for this moment…to say yes to Lera.  The whole family excitedly looks forward to the day that Lera will join them in name, she’s already in their hearts and prayers.


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