Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

His name is AXEL!

A name only a very strong boy can earn, carried down from my grandfather who in the early 1900's, at the age of 14 came alone from Canada to Minnesota then western Wisconsin, earned enough to purchase land, build a farm and raise a family of 11 children.

Our soon-to-be Axel has survived conditions even worse. Born in Eastern Europe with Down syndrome, like all the other babies born there with DS, he was immediately placed in an orphanage where he stayed until somewhere around the age of 4 when he was transferred to an institution, where most spend their days TIED in cribs, often dying from starvation, dehydration and hypothermia. The life expectancy of a child with DS in Eastern Europe is 6 years old. Axel had already beat the odds. He stayed there until he was 7. Unloved and alone.  At that time he was supposed to be moved to yet another facility, probably just as bad, if not worse.

But Axel got lucky. God opened a door, and Axel was moved to a foster home where he has been ever since. Even though he was in a foster home, with foster parents who cared for him, he has never been allowed to attend school. Kids "like that" don't go to school there. He's never been taught how to read, or write, or anything else. After all, Axel has Down syndrome, and kids "like him" can't learn. He doesn't go out in public freely like my Angela does. You don't see "those kids" walking the streets of Eastern Europe. You don't see them anywhere! They're gone...shut away so everyone can forget they exist.

Last April I visited some of the orphans of Eastern Europe, and this foster home is where Axel was when I met him. His foster mother is very nice, and obviously cares for him, and he has foster siblings who he is attached to. But his social worker pleaded with us to find a family for him. He was going to be turning 10 in August, and his time in foster care was up. The Government has limits to what they will pay for, and age 10 is it. Sadly the foster family was not in a position to adopt. (and rarely in this country does a foster family actually adopt the child.) The resources for Axel had been exhausted, and he was going to be moved to an institution. The life expectancy there is short. Being the size of an average American 5 year old, he would quickly be victimized, hungry, cold and would soon loose his will to live.

I held Axel. I  played with Axel. I  looked into the eyes of this smiling child so full of life. Look at his face in this picture.

I could not imagine this lively, vibrant child, being put into such a facility and facing his death sentence. I had to do SOMETHING about it! Like Ianna, I vowed to find him a family. When Dean and I decided that we would adopt two children, (remember the man who dropped me off at the airport saying he would never adopt, and now here he was agreeing to TWO????? God does crazy things like that!) because of our ages we knew that we would not be adopting the "little and cute" toddlers who everyone else was bringing home. We would be adopting the older, very hard to place children. Ianna was a given. She was ours from the beginning. 

But who else? I never forgot about Axel. But what about Dean? We discussed who the second child would be. Dean said, "Who is in the most danger?" Well, Axel, of course! And so, the first week of December we will be on our way to bring Axel home!

You can help Axel to NOT become an Eastern European statistic by entering to win an

Apple® - iPad™ with Wi-Fi - 16GB




How to enter: $25 per entry, and of course you can enter as many times as you like! But, as an added bonus, any donation of $100 will give you FIVE entries!!! All donations are 100% tax deductible to Reece's Rainbow, which is a 501c3 non profit organization. 

Give away ends November 7th, and the winner will be announced November 9th. Please help us get Axel home by posting this on your facebook pages and blogs, and help us get Axel home! 

Remember $25 per entry, just click below to get to Axel's donation page. When you get there, click the "donate" button. Ready?????
  Drawing is now closed, but if you'd still like to donate to help get Axel home, every dollar helps!  

27 comments:

  1. He's beautiful. I'm so happy for you!
    Love, Kelley

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  2. Awesome!!! Can't wait to follow everything :)

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  3. Oh my gosh Leah, this is AMAZING!!! While reading your hints on FB I never ever dreamed that it would be a second child! Look out Angela, LOL!!! I'm so happy for your family!

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  4. LOVE his name! Congrats! Best news I've heard all day long.

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  5. so happy for you and your family.

    God Bless,
    Amy Land
    http://www.savingorphansforjesus2010.blogspot.com

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  6. I'm laughing and crying at the same time.

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  7. Your amazing!!!!! I'm jumping up and down with excitement for you, Dean and Angela :)

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  8. Cool, cool. So tell me the rest of the story.

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  9. I saw this morning on the RR website that George has a family and I immediately thought of you. Congrats on your expanding family!! :)

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  10. Wow, great news :D
    Congratulations!

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  11. I have tears of joy runing down my face as I write! This is wonderful news for you all!
    LinMac From Downsyn!

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  12. So very, very cool!!!!! News worth the wait!

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  13. Awesome Leah!!! I had been wondering if he was meant to be mine one day. I am so HAPPY to know that he will be home with a family so SOON:)

    Congratulations to your whole family!!!!!!

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  14. Wooohooooo!! He is a cutie pie!!!
    Sunnie in NC

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  15. Oh my gosh, Leah!! I didn't check blogs yesterday...but I guess I REALLY should have! I am so happy for you! We might get to meet afterall! :)

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  16. Leah, this is ooouuutstanding! So happy for you - I love the pic of the two of you. Gosh that smile is like sunshine. Best of Luck - You are the best Momma!

    Asa's Momma...

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  17. This is sooooo wonderful! George is a beautiful boy and what a wonderful family he will join. Now, Leah, how in the world will you be able to ride off into the sunset with three in a sidecar? :)

    Congratulations!!!!!! Love, Paula "Grace & Bella's Mama"

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  18. Congratulations Leah, Dean and Angela! How exciting...we love the name too! Ricky can't wait to meet a new buddy! Off to enter the giveaway...we would LOVE an ipad!

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  19. Just made my $100 donation!! Pick me pick me!! :)

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  20. In for $100, well spent. Keep us posted.

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  21. Fantastic news!! I love the story that goes with the name--well, I just liked the WHOLE story.
    God bless you.
    Joy,RR

    Sorry, I see I am posting under my daughter's Google account

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  22. OH Leah... congrats!!! Sooooooo very happy for all of you :)

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  23. Congratulations!!!That is so exciting! He looks like a doll! I hope we get to meet him someday!

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  24. I am in tears. What a happy life story he will finally have!

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  25. I am so happy ;that you are willing and in a position to help. My heart is just heavy for these children lately. When I was of an age to maybe have done something about it I never knew. Here in Australia I do not hear of International adoptions very much. It is so sad the way these countries treat children with DS. My very dearest friend has a son with Down Syndrom and he is happily married to another DS lady. At this time they do live with her mother and do not work, but in the past they lived alone in their own apartment and then house and held down jobs in a sheltered workshop. They are a delightful couple I am so glad they never ended up in an institution. They are able to read, write and do sums. Maybe not a lot but enough to get by.

    Thank you to your and husband for opening your hearts. I know that God will bless you.

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  26. Saw this on facebook, you are an inspiration! My little donation seems like nothing compared to what you need, but I hope others see this and help you too. Oh and he's adorable!

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