Friday, April 8, 2011

Help Make Vanya's Dream Come True!

Adeye Salem of No Greater Joy Mom is my bloggy friend who advocated for sweet Julia (Yulia) last October, when God asked us to join her in her efforts in memory of Chrissie's birthday.  God did amazing things through Adeye's post about Julie (Yulia), as He not only raised over $20,000 to save Julia, but He also provided her with an amazing family who is in her country adopting her right NOW!!!

Now Adeye is raising funds/advocating for a precious 8-year-old boy, Vanya, who has a dream that a family will CHOOSE him, will COME for him, will LOVE him.  Please read this post, pray for Vanya, spread the word, and help make Vanya's dream come true!!!  There are over 100 prizes in the mix, just help spread the word and/or donate to be eligible for the drawing!

Click HERE to read Adeye's original post on her blog!  I'm also copying and pasting Adeye's post here:

Written by Adeye Salem:  This month we have so much to celebrate in our home. 

One year ago I walked into a cold Ukrainian orphanage and met two of the sweetest angels on this earth.  I spent five weeks in that country doing all the necessary paperwork, and finally in May we brought them home.  Hailee and Harper have been in our lives for a year, and we could not be more blessed to have them home.  It has been such an incredible journey.

I am a firm believer that much is required of those to whom much is given.  We have been given more than we could ever have dreamed of in our four adopted children.  Our lives have never been the same...they have been better.

For a while now I have been feeling like I need to give back this month. My heart's desire has been to give hope to a child who is living in a very hopeless situation--a child who, unless someone advocates for them, is destined to live a life of hell on earth.

If you have journeyed with me for a while here on my blog, you will know for sure that Hailee's transformation over the last year is nothing short of miraculous. Hailee is our miracle girl. She has gone from a five year old weighing a meager 15 pounds, to an exploring, happy, healthy, almost six year old who weighs 22 pounds!  She is a new creation in every way.
Hailee....before and after.


Hailee was given hope--and what a difference it made in her life!  Giving a child hope changes everything for them.

As my small way of giving back, I knew that I wanted to give that same hope that Hailee was given to another child.  I asked God to show me one whom my heart would break for.

It didn't take long for me to find him.  The one. He doesn't have Down syndrome as Hailee has.  But I knew that I knew that he was the one who desperately needed hope.  With a story that breaks my heart, he has been overlooked too many times, is living with an undying dream in his heart, and carries an uninvited disease in his body.

This boy realizes that every day is a gift as long as he stays where he lives now.

Because any day now....his dream will come crashing down.

Unless he gets his miracle.

Friends, meet Vanya.  Beautiful, sweet, adorable, Vanya.

Isn't he just so sweet?

Vanya is eight years old, living in an Eastern European orphanage.  I simply cannot read his story without getting teary.  This young guy has endured more pain, more heartache, and more rejection than I have in all of my 39 years. 

His mother led an immoral life.  She could not take care of her son, so Vanya was living without even the basic necessities of life and was removed from her care.  I read that his father refuses to acknowledge his existence--he will not accept this little boy as his son and has chosen to leave him in the orphanage.

Vanya is a little ray of sunshine in his orphanage.  He is a natural leader and loves the company of adults.  He is always seeking out a hug and a cuddle. He loves people--and wants to be loved back.

Here's the thing.  Not a day goes by without Vanya asking his caretakers if someone is coming for him yet?  Has he been chosen?  Will it be his turn next? He has seen countless young children being adopted all around him.   Imagine if YOU were that caretaker, and you heard a sweet little voice ask you if there's a family who chose HIM yet.  I know I would not be able to stand it, and I can imagine you wouldn't either.

Friends, a report from a missionary who knows Vanya states that he believes that one day someone will come for him.  He believes that some day he will have a family to love him and he will get to live in a "real home."  It's a dream he believes WILL come true. 

Here's the reality--Vanya is on a list to be transferred from his current orphanage.  Once an orphan reaches a certain age, they are usually transferred to a heinous mental institution for older children and adults.  Vanya will be transferred any day now, and no one knows where he will be moved to.  It is an undisclosed place from which he will never be able to be adopted.  Vanya will live the rest of his childhood in this place and when he is old enough to be released, well, who knows what awaits him?  I can't even think about that as an option.

My heart breaks for this little boy.  He has waited for such a long time for a family.  He has been overlooked and rejected his entire life.  No child should ever have to go through that.

Vanya has two things against him.  He is an older child, and not very many people are willing to take in the older kiddos.  And second, Vanya is HIV+.  Although many perceptions of the disease have changed over the years thanks to the amazing efforts of ministries like Project Hopeful, there is still quite a lot of ignorance regarding raising a child who is infected.  Most people just do not know.  They have no idea that it really is a do-able thing and that these kids deserve families just as much as others.

Then, there are people like my friend Audrey who has adopted a little guy from the same country as Vanya.  This is what she said about HIV adoption: 

It is TOTALLY do-able.  Our son is healthy and wonderful. We visit his doctors every three months for a checkup and he takes meds twice a day.  Other than that, HIV doesn't affect our lives at all. Jacob turned seven two weeks after we brought him home so we have done the older child adoption thing too. He is a blessing to our family and I CANNOT imagine what our lives would have been like if we had said no to this very special guy.

Vanya is on an anti-retroviral drug and is doing fabulously well. 

I cannot bear the thought of Vanya missing out on his dream.  He knows that as each day passes, his chances of someone actually coming for him grows dimmer and dimmer. Yet, still he believes that he WILL be chosen. 

I believe that every single child deserves a family, no matter what is "wrong" with them.  Including Vanya.  Right now things seem pretty hopeless for him.  No one has inquired about adopting him, and time is running out fast.

Oh goodness, I have wondered if I have rocks in my head for advocating again so soon after the Beamish family.  I've come up with all my lame excuses about why this is just a seriously bad idea.  But how can I possibly say, "No, sorry, there is nothing I can do to help you"?  How can I not at least try to help a sweet little boy realize his dream of having a family...and leave the end result in the very capable hands of my God who loves Vanya?

Nope.  I just cannot say, "No."  Especially since I know that this is the last opportunity Vanya has to find a family. 

And so I come to you today asking for your help. As you will see below, many, many people have partnered with me to try and make Vanya's dream come true.  I could never do something like this alone.  I asked for help and boy, did I get it!  I have been blown away by the outpouring of love for this young boy.  Many are praying and trusting that a family will come forward before it is too late. 

Time is crucial.  Vanya needs a committed family before he is transferred.  We're racing against the clock here.  The problem is that adoption costs money--and heaps of it.  I hate it, but there is nothing that can be done about it. We call it ransom.  Most families who adopt do not have the $25,000+ lying around to cover the adoption costs, so they fundraise.  They work day and night to raise the funds that they require.  It is hard work but the reward is priceless. 

In order for Vanya to be adopted as quickly as possible, money should NOT be an obstacle.  It should be the last thing on his family's mind.  To get to him as fast as possible should be their only concern. Which is why I have set up this fundraiser.  We want to try and raise as much money as possible so that the life of one little darling can be saved, and he can finally have his dream of having his own family come true.

Do-able?  Yes, I believe so.  I believe that with God ALL things are possible.

The  Eli Project is an incredible ministry who is advocating for Vanya.  It is founded by Chris and Mary Malone.  I love these guys.  They have such huge hearts for the orphan.  They adopt the children that no one else wants--those who are overlooked and in dire need of being rescued.  They truly are an amazing family. The Malone's walk the walk.  I love that about them. 

The Eli Project is a 501(c)3.  I have set up a Chip-In where donations can be made.  Each and every dollar will go directly into Vanya's adoption grant fund right here at the Eli Project.  That money will all be given to his family to cover his adoption costs.  All donations are tax deductible.

Here's how this will work:

Listed below is a list of awesome giveaway prizes.  There are MORE THAN 100!  All of them have been donated by amazing readers of my blog who wanted to play a part in rescuing Vanya.  Like me, they believe in miracles and are praying that Vanya will come home.  Because time is so crucial and this is Vanya's LAST opportunity to be chosen, we have gone all out here, friends.  There are some incredible things up for grabs.  It has been an outpouring of love!

All winners will be chosen at random by an automated selection program.

You will HAVE to leave a comment here on my blog telling me that you have donated in the Chip-In.

~~~  Receive one entry for each donation you make in the Chip-In (any amount).
~~~  Receive a second entry when you mention this giveaway on your own blog.
~~~  Receive a third entry for mentioning it on your Facebook or Twitter.

Please remember to leave separate comments for each of the above categories.  And please do not forget to state your name so that I know who the winners are.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your help with this.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping to make one sweet little boy's dream come true.  I cannot wait for the day when I can tell you all that "Vanya has been chosen--he is coming home!" 

PLEASE help us spread the word to anyone you know.  We believe with all our hearts that Vanya's family is out there somewhere--they just haven't found him yet.

Anyone wanting more information about Vanya can contact Chris Malone at

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, April 13.

****  Please consider following the Project Hopeful twitter and facebook  pages to see the INCREDIBLE work Carolyn Twietmeyer and her team do for HIV awareness. 
Here are the items that are up for grabs. This is the result of a community of people who care for one little boy and have come together to help in whatever way they can.

 Please note that some are individual prizes, others are a couple of items grouped together.  All prizes are separated by a   ~~~~~~~~~~~~ .

Diamond pendant necklace with approximately 1/3 carat diamond solitaire on a gold chain. 
(Its estimated value is $800-$1200)

A brand new Kindle.
(valued at over $139)


A $100 gift card to use at


A $100 gift certificate to be used at:

My Red Thread is a children's boutique which features the most amazing outfits and accessories for little boys and girls.  Each outfit is monogrammed to your specifications and is made especially for your little angel. 


"HOPE" canvas
A stunning canvas donated by Impressions by Marylou
The canvas measures 16" x 20".
(Valued at $175)


18 Carat Gold "Mother and Child" Bracelet
(valued at over $400)

Kindly donated by Berges Jewellers in Colorado Springs.


18 Carat Gold Diamond Pendant with necklace
(valued at over $300)

Kindly donated by Berges Jewellers in Colorado Springs.


A large piece of acrylic artwork.

Kindly donated by Heather Beam 
Heather started working on this piece a while back, thinking that it would hang in their own home.  She thought the word "Hope" symbolized their own adoption (which they are in the middle of).  When Heather got my email about Vanya, she knew that the artwork was never meant to be theirs--God always intended for her to give it to Vanya's cause. 

 "Hope" is what Vanya will have.


A Rockin'Baby Pouch
(valued at $79.99)

Kindly donated by Rockin' Baby.
Go check out their stunning new website.


A beautiful professionally made quilt
"Summer Porch" design by Eleanor Burns
(measures 60"x70")


 Hand-sculpted earrings made from polymer clay, with Swarovski crystal accents.
Hanging from sterling silver posts.  The flower beads are approximately 1/2" in diameter, and are 1/4" thick.


A Gorgeous Handmade Doll
 Handmade from all natural materials, soft cotton body stuffed with clean, fluffy wool, hand-embroidered eyes and mouth, Mohair yarn hair. Dressed in an upcycled outfit of T-shirt, cotton velour pants, boxer shorts, and leather shoes.

Kindly donated by Jenni @ SweetLamb Dolls


A $25 gift certificate to:

At Monkey Tots, you will find fun and fun-ctional! We have been creating unique Name and Birthday Tee's for many, many satisfied customers. The best part is your participation in the design of the order.


 Bunny Hat for a child 6-12 months.
Lovingly made with Lamb's Pride yarn which is 100% wool and including whatever colored bows that the winner prefers.


Vera Bradley Audrey Makeup Bag in Carnaby print


A set of 8 handmade, one-of-a-kind cards.
This set is called Seasons and Celebrations because it has one card for each season and one card each for four different holidays throughout the year.


The Most Beautiful Newborn Hand-Knitted Gown with Matching Hat


A $25 iTunes Gift Card


A beautiful handmade flower


A $25 Gift Certificate at:


Upside Down Daisy hat for a child 1-2 years
Made using Cascade 220 yarn which is 100% wool.


Almost $100 Worth of Seriously Cute Stuff For Girls
Choose any 4 custom key fobs with your choice of embroidery (or plain, too) from the Keys To China website.  PLUS you'll also receive a hair goody assortment worth $50.

Kindly donated by Kelly--who is one talented mama.


Hand-Crafted Bird's Nest Pendant


Three Handmade Cards with Envelopes in a Decorated Pouch


Wildtree Food Hamper
Wildtree foods are all natural:  no preservatives, food dyes, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, or fillers of any kind.


Two Necklaces made by Ugandan Women


A stunning handmade quilt

(measures 68 inches square)


One custom made frame
Pick your own design and colors


A set of two handmade bibs
Your choice of either boys' or girls'


A Family Values Canvas

16” X 20” Family Values Canvas custom made to reflecting the values/beliefs of your family. Most canvases fit approx. 12-14 favorite scriptures, sayings, or values that are important to your family. You chose the canvas color and two or three accent colors.


The most adorable tutu for your princess
Could even be more than one if you have more girls in your family.

Kindly donated by Suzanne--who has a HUGE heart to help families who are adopting with their fundraising.  Go to her blog here.


Dress made by Zoonique Baby
(dress retails for over $80.  PLUS accessories for your princess worth $50!)

Zoonique is honored to participate in this joint fundraising effort hosted by No Greater Joy Mom! Recently I had the privilege of sewing with those at Hopeful Threads to make dresses for little girls, inspired by Dress A Girl Around the World. This dress came to be following that project. It is a beautifully delicate slip dress made of pastel pink gingham eyelet and lined in delightfully soft organic cotton sateen. The shoulder ties of the dress are adjustable to customize the fit, and the dress hem is trimmed in the most delicate lace. Inner seams have been serged for a quality, professional finish. This dress would be perfect for warm summer months and can be layered with a blouse or turtleneck for cooler months.

 Additionally, since every princess needs her accessories, I will be including a pink princess headband and $50 worth of a surprise selection of hairbows and clippies!

Little girl dress size 4-6

Zoonique Baby website can be found here.  Kristy does amazing work!


"Hola Mis Amigos"
For children and parents who would like to learn basic Spanish.
Includes student book and coloring/activity book.

Kindly donated by World of Spanish.


A Hand-Knitted Pilot Cap and Booties
( Cap is made from 50% Llama and 50% Wool)

(Booties are made from 50% Acrylic, 40% Wool and 10% Nylon)


$50 Target Gift Card


A Gourmet Gift Basket

Kindly donated by Sarah and her dear Mom


"Boss Your Heart"

Many of you know sweet Chrissie Patterson who went to be with the Lord last year.
Boss Your Heart is a story or miracles, hope and redemption.  The book will be released on April 28--World Heart Day. 

Lorraine Patterson is Chrissie's wonderful mom.  You can read her story right here.


Two girls' pettiskirts
What little girls doesn't love to twirl around in lots of ruffles?

Kindly donated by Becky @ Sammy Skatewear


Children's bundle
A package of four wonderful children's items.


A $50 Gift Card to:

A beautiful boutique offering the most adorable accessories that any little girl would absolutely love.  So VERY sweet. 


A Unisex Baby Blanket

Made of flannel in the most adorable print.
Measures 28" x 39"

Kindly donated by Launi's Rag Quilts


Booties And A Baby's Hat
(3-6 months)
Booties are made from 50% Super Fine Nylon, 50% Super Fine Acrylic

Baby hat made from soft, round spun 100% wool


A Rag Bag


A Handmade Ladies' Apron


A Beautiful Handmade Baby Quilt

One of a kind quilt, made with much love, for your sweet love.
 Machine quilted in rows about 1/4 inch apart.  Amazing detail.


Pink Pixie Medallion Purse
From Thirty-One Adoption Fundraisers, this is the cutest purse.  Thirty-One Adoption Fundraisers has the sole purpose of fundraising for families who are adopting.  An amazing ministry!

Their blog can be found here.  Every time you purchase something--an adoptive family benefits. 


Hand Painted, Distressed Purple Plaque
A Beautiful piece for your home.

Kindly donated by "Like a Mighty River" Etsy store.


A Snap Happy

(Perfect for all those small things every girl needs a place accessories, make up, money, ipod, etc.  Perfect for ages 2-102!  It is handmade by Anna, an 11 year old who has a huge heart for orphans and a very special place in her heart for her younger brother Caleb who was adopted at age 4 from China as well as her newest sibing Hope who is waiting in China.)


Two Girls Pettiskirts

Kindly donated by Becky @ Sammy Skatewear


A Set of Five Cute Headbands


A Framed Cross Stitch
(finished product size 16x20)


The Sweetest Sailboat Hat
(0-6 months.  Made using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky which is 55% merino, 33% microfiber, and 12% cashmere)


$50 gift card to Thirty-One gifts

Kindly donated by Jeanette.


A Genuine Ugandan Leather Purse

Two Necklaces Made by Ugandan Women

All Ugandan items donated by Hope Center Uganda.


A Large Knitted Baby/Lap Blanket
(this large hand-knitted blanket measures at least three feet across)

*Incomplete in this picture


A Handmade Apron


A copy Of  'An Extra Leaf' poem  in lustre finish in photo quality paper

Poem by Charrissa Browning.  You can read the words on her blog right here.

Authentic loose beach glass straight from a local beach in Washington

"We have loose beach glass scattered throughout our home. It makes a nice accent and reminds me of days spent with the smell of sea air and toes muddy with sand. Winner will receive one bundle of loose beach glass."


One Large Box of Assorted Goats Milk Soaps

Handmade, individually wrapped, and an assortment of scents.


A Beautiful Mother-Daughter Bracelet Set

Lovingly made with Czech glass beads, beading wire, and sturdy silver clasps by the Brandimere Family (who are making them to raise funds for a little girl in India who requires surgery)


 FOUR Sets of Flower Hair Clips


TWO Authentic Ugandan Necklaces

Kindly donated by Hope Center Uganda.


A Handmade Cosmetic Bag And A Cute Pacifier Clip


$50 Dillard's Gift Card

THREE winners will each pick....
TWO Gorgeous Handmade Pillow Cases
(Either fleece of cotton)


A Knitted Hat With Booties


Matching Mother And Daughter Bracelets

Lovingly made made with Czech glass beads, beading wire, and sturdy silver clasps.


The Cutest Pinwheel Sweater
(Made with an ultra soft blend of super fine acrylic and super fine nylon and spun into a luxury twist. The yarn is easy to care for an allergy free.)
Fits 6 months-3 years.

With A Matching Pilot Hat


TWO winners will have a choice of either boys or girls sets of custom appliqued and embroidered  burp cloths.

(can be monnogrammed)


TWO Scrabble Tile Necklaces
 (beautifully wrapped int heir own organza bag)

Kindly donated by Linda @ one lost sheep.


A Box of Handmade, Assorted Scented, Goats Milk Soap

Handmade, individually wrapped, and an assortment of scents


Two Genuine Hand-Crafted Ugandan Bowls


A Scrabble Tile Necklace
(beautifully packaged in an organza bag)


 A cute 'poncho' to wear on shoulders and a hat


A Snap Happy

(Pperfect for all those small things every girl needs a place accessories, make up, money, ipod, etc.  Perfect for ages 2-102!  It is handmade by Anna, an 11 year old who has a huge heart for orphans and a very special place in her heart for her younger brother Caleb who was adopted at age 4 from China as well as her newest sibing Hope who is waiting in China.)


THANK YOU to each and every person who donated these awesome prizes. 
 I am so very, very thankful.

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