Why Lera? … and other questions

FAQs:

Why Lera?

“You can’t save them all, Amy.”  I know.  I wish I could.  But, we CAN save Lera.  She has a family.  Their adoption paperwork is all in order.  The ONLY thing standing between Lera dying in an institution, and her being raising in a loving family, is MONEY.  I can’t stand by and let her slip through the cracks … again.

Lera has lost too many families.  The Higbies have lost too many children. It’s time for everyone to have their “happily ever after,” with daily challenges that involve speech therapy and self-help skills instead of corrupt Russian agencies and threats of institutionalization.

Why a Yard Sale?

“I thought you hated yard sales.”  You’re right – I do.  But, both my mom and I felt like we are supposed to do this.  And, when I feel like God is knocking at the door of my heart, I’m afraid I can’t say ‘no.’  The day after we decided to do this, so many things fell into place … so many things lined up perfectly … that we knew we had to do it.  I can’t share everything publicly, but here are a couple examples:

-one of my mom’s co-workers shared that he is getting married this weekend (Congratulations!).  He and his bride are both well established, and he was really wondering what do do with all of their “stuff” when they combined households.  He said the timing of this was “providential,” and he would be bringing truck-loads of household items to our yard sale.  “And, it won’t be junk, either,” he said!

-I made little cards to hand out to friends and neighbors with information about the sale, asking for donations of items as well as cash for Lera’s fund.  The cards also have information about Lera, with her family’s website.  I can’t share a lot, but let’s just say I happened to have a card with me when I ran into someone who really needed to hear her story.

-People have offered to donate a lot of stuff – big stuff, like a dining room set, a refrigerator, a cook stove.  Heavens!  WE might have to buy the dining room set!

Also, I thought that I will have a bunch of the cards at the yard sale, and hand them out to anyone who is interested in Lera’s story.  It will reach a completely new demographic – people who have never heard of Lera, never thought of supporting an orphan with Down syndrome, and help a few more people know that children with an extra chromosome are wanted and valued.  Of course, the cards also have information about the fund-raising give-away, and how to make a cash donation!

And, I’ll be honest … when I ask my friends and neighbors to donate “stuff” to the yard sale, I’m also hoping they will make a cash donation to her fund. And, they do.  Because we live in a world with a lot of really wonderful people.  Already, as we tell people about what we’re doing, they say “I’ll bring some stuff by, and I’ll donate some money for her, too.”  Thank you, everyone.  Thank you.

And, this yard sale will be easy. Lots of people are bringing stuff, so I don’t have to gather tons of my own stuff.  We’re not pricing anything, because it’s all for charity – we’ll ask what people are willing to pay for the items they want, and go with it.

Now we need people to BUY STUFF!

Come by my place – Saturday, March 26th 8am-1pm.

After Lera, are you just going to ask us to donate to more orphans?

Maybe.  If I feel like God wants me to advocate for more orphans, I will.  You don’t have to support them all … but if God is knocking at the door of your heart to help Lera come home … or to help any of the other orphans come home … you’d better say yes!

The difference is that Lera’s family doesn’t have time to raise funds for her.  Most other adopting families spend a year or more doing their own fund-raising, applying for grants, and saving everything they can in order to afford the adoption. 

Most of the other orphans still have some time to raise funds and save.  Lera doesn’t.  If the Higbies don’t have $25,000 in their Reece’s Rainbow account by the end of the month, she’s lost to an institution.

How do you know this sob-story is legitimate?

There are scams out there, I know.  But, the Higbies are a dear friend-of-a-dear-friend of mine.  Additionally, all the funds that we donate will go into Lera’s Reece’s Rainbow account, which is a very reputable organization.  My mom and I both researched it well before we started making donations.  All of the money will go where it’s supposed to go – I promise!  If you don’t believe me, research Reece’s Rainbow for yourself!  I dare to you to find anything negative about it.

Additionally, a small percentage of each donation over $20 goes into Reece’s Rainbow’s General Fund – which helps provide education for birth families in Russia and Eastern Europe, working to help families get the knowledge and support they need to keep and raise their babies with Down syndrome, instead of placing them in the orphanage.  Ultimately, the goal is that kids like Lera will be raised and loved by their birth families instead of ending up in the orphanage to begin with.

So … When are you going to start fund-raising for your own adoption?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Visit our house for a day, and then ask me.  My 3 boys keep me pretty busy right now!  We are definitely open to more children in the future, though, and have even felt the tug of adoption … but just not yet. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Why Lera? … and other questions

    • April, I will let you know how it goes – and let you know what worked well, and what hasn’t. The cards I made have been really great at getting the info into the hands of friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc … I’d be happy to send you the file so you can see them, or help you create something similar for Bogdan if you want. I’m optimistic – people have been enthusiastic about chipping in – and most everyone has SOMETHING to clean out of a closet or a garage!

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