I'm thankful that last year at this time I stumbled upon this website: http://www.reecesrainbow.com/newsite/ and learned of the plight of orphans with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe, whose destiny, if not adopted by age 4, was to live a greatly shortened life span in a mental institution.
I'm thankful that God had already planted the seeds in my and my husband's hearts to expand our family prior to stumbling upon this website.
I'm thankful that we kept coming back to this little girl's picture on Reece's Rainbow and that Josi kept pointing to her and saying, "I want her for my sister."
I'm thankful that God had all along been preparing this man's heart to love and raise not just one, but two daughters with special needs. (If you're newer to our blog, you need to pause here and read my husband's heartfelt, and only, blog post written while in Ukraine getting Nadia: http://seeingtheupsideofdown.blogspot.com/2010/06/fathers-love-february-11-1998.html)
I'm thankful that Nadia is now home and is sharing sweet moments like this with the sister who 'picked' her for her own.
But mostly I'm thankful for the opportunity to give this little girl a family and to be used by God in such a tangible way to fulfill one of His many purposes as His hands and feet here on earth.
I'm especially thankful that this Thanksgiving, Nadia is playing in a pile of leaves instead of rocking back and forth in her crib, pulling her hair and banging her head, which at that time were her only sources of amusement.
In my moment of reflection on being thankful that Nadia has found her way into our hearts and ours into hers as her forever family, I can't help but grieve for the MILLIONS of orphans who spent their Thanksgiving exactly how Nadia did last year--unloved, stuck in a crib, waiting for a family to step out of their comfort zone and bring them home. We all have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed all of us abundantly. Is it time for you to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to an orphan in need? Perhaps it's not time to bring one of these children into your family but ALL of us can do something.
Reece's Rainbow is in the midst of their biggest fundraiser for the year. Please consider donating to an orphan's fund here http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=angel+tree&x=13&y=18 so that those who want to add another blessing to their family can do so...and so not one more orphan has to spend another Thanksgiving alone. We are God's hands and feet. He doesn't NEED us to rescue the orphans but thankfully He allows us the PRIVILEGE to be part His plan for their lives so we too can receive the blessings that come along with what He considers to be "pure and faultless religion".
James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."