And the winner is….

Several months ago, Micah started writing an essay for a contest hosted by the American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program.  He doesn’t think that writing is his strong suit (he’d rather do math or science any day!), but he worked hard on the essay, spending 15-20 minutes or more on it each school day for a couple months.

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His hard work paid off, and his essay was chosen as the First Place winner in his age category!  Here are some excerpts from the email correspondence we received from the director:

Congratulations! I am pleased and honored to inform you that, after reading over 600 essays in both categories, we have awarded your exceptional essay entitled “My Brother, Matthew” with first place in Category 1 of our 2017 pro-life essay contest!

…Micah, thank you for your enthusiasm and passion for protecting the least of these in our society! We are all very proud of your dedication to life and pray that God continues to bless you as you stand for His precious children, giving you courage, strength, and joy as you influence your generation to stand for life!

 And later, she wrote:

We were all so touched by Micah’s essay. Not only was it very well written, but he really has a great understanding of Christ’s teaching about the least of these. There were so many wonderful essays but his really stood out for many reasons. 

Thank you for all you and your family do to promote the Gospel of Life!

The very first thing Micah wanted to do with his prize money was to buy a gift for Matthew.  After that, he plans to give to the Church, buy a lego set for himself, then save the rest for college.  We are so very proud of him, his achievements, and the incredible young man he is becoming.

To read his prize-winning essay, visit:  www.prolifeessay.com

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World Down Syndrome Day 3/21/13

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day.  It’s a day to celebrate everyone who has been blessed by an extra chromosome, and we will hold our sweet Matthew extra close today (and probably give him ice cream!).

However, I’m afraid my heart is heavy tonight as I post this, after reading two more cases of abuse this week – one in a classroom, and one in a theater, with the latter resulting in the death of the victim, Robert Saylor.  These cases break my heart.  They are not the first, nor will they be the last.  There was Bede Vanderhorst, a 16yo who was not allowed to sit in First Class on an airline, even though he had a first class ticket. And little 7 year old Angie who was suffocated by her own teachers!  Then you have the state of Florida warehousing children with Down syndrome.  And, perhaps worst of all, their own mother’s womb is still the most dangerous place in the world for children with Down syndrome.

And yet, 3/21 is a day set aside to let the world know that people with Down syndrome are, indeed, special.  Not “special” in the way the word has come to be used as an insult, but rather truly precious, valued and loved individuals.  Robert Saylor’s mother said in one of her interviews that abuse is only a symptom of a greater disease – of people viewing our children as something of a lesser being.  it’s time to move beyond “awareness,” and onto acceptance.  We need the world to accept the full humanity of our children with Down syndrome.

And so, it is fitting that the IDSC has chosen “Who I Am” for the theme for this year’s video.  Let’s show the world who we are!

Mary Kay Proceeds to benefit Adoption!

Today is the last day for our giveaway to help the Henry family bring their daughters home!  Thank you to everyone who has helped!  I you haven’t had a chance to see all the great give-away items or make your donation yet, please visit their website by clicking here.

I also need to announce that my good friend, Theresa, has launched a Mary Kay sales event to help bring Gracie and her sister home!

Through midnight TODAY, She will donate 100% of the proceeds of any Mary Kay sales directly to World Links International Adoption Agency, in the name of the Henry Family.

After Friday, she will donate 50% of her profit through the end of July!

You can order through her website: MaryKay.com/LittleRedHen. Browse the website or download the latest catalog to your smartphone. MaryKay has award winning skincare products, amazing fragrances, a well-loved men’s line, and exciting color cosmetics including a wide range of foundation choices such as mineral powder and age-fighting liquid foundation made in two different formulas to suit unique skin types. Everything is backed with a full guarantee, even if it’s just a matter of the color not quite working for you. Theresa will even pay your shipping!

Go check it out: MaryKay.com/LittleRedHen

Featured Family Friday: Win a Kindle!

Want to WIN a Kindle from Amazon.com?

How about an emerald and diamond pendant?  A gift card to your favorite restaurant?  Lots of other great prizes, too!  Read to the end of this post, or visit http://familyblessingsthroughadoption.blogspot.com/ to find out how!

. . .

Because of this blog, several expectant parents have contacted me.  I consider it an honor to be able to talk with them, help however I can, and provide reassurance and hope – whether they are expecting a child with Down syndrome, heart defects, clubfeet, or other serious medical problems.

I don’t tell you about all of them … but I need to tell you what happened a couple months ago.

The mother who contacted me had just found out that the baby girl she was expecting had Down syndrome and a heart defect (complete AV canal).  She was not married to the baby’s father, and as soon as he heard the diagnosis, he left her.  She was afraid and alone.

After several heart-wrenching weeks and many conversations, the mother decided to do the most loving and self-less thing she ever could have done.  She put the needs of her sweet baby girl ahead of her own desires, and decided to find an adoptive family for her daughter.  But, through her tears, she asked me, “I love this baby so much, but is there anyone else who would want her?”

Yes, YES!!  There are LOTS of people who would love to have her!  Babies with Ds are usually not placed for adoption in the United States … they are aborted instead.  That’s why people have to go to Eastern Europe and pay huge fees to adopt these sweet angels!

Through the online Down syndrome community, I learned of Jacki Henry.  Jacki and her husband had been trying for over six years to adopt a baby girl with Down syndrome.  Their home-study was done, and they were paperwork ready and financially prepared for an adoption.  I put the two mothers in touch with each other, and only a few days later it was decided:  Jacki would finally adopt the daughter she’d prayed for and wanted for so many years.

It was, then, doubly heartbreaking when the precious baby girl was stillborn only a few weeks later.  Her little heart just wasn’t strong enough.  The Henry family and the birth mother both grieved the loss of their daughter.

. . .

Now, the Henrys have started the process of adopting TWO girls from Eastern Europe.

Meet “Graci.” She’s two years old, was born with cerebral palsy, and abandoned by her birth parents to an Eastern European orphanage.  As soon as the Henrys have enough funding, she will be home with her family, where she belongs.

The Henrys had also decided to adopt a girl they’d named “Rose,” who had Down syndrome, but have recently been informed that she is no longer available for adoption.  They are still searching for their daughter with Down syndrome.

I am helping Jacki with a fundraiser to help with the high cost of international adoption.  You can help right now by visiting her blog at Family Blessings Through Adoption.

If you make a donation to their adoption fund, you can enter to win some incredible raffle prizes, including an Amazon Kindle

some beautiful jewelry:

a custom-made tutu dress made my Melanie’s mom … remember her?  They are actually in country right now to bring their little girl, who they will call Lucy, home.  This is Lucy’s big sister modeling one of the beautiful dresses.

There are lots of gift cards and other goodies, too!  Please go take a look!

The Henry family has waited so long for their girls … and the girls have been waiting for their family. The only obstacle now is money – and that’s where you can help.

If everyone who reads this gives just $5 or $10, they will be home in no time.

Thank you for your prayers and your generosity!