There is a quiet place on the Reece’s Rainbow website. It rests at the bottom of a drop-down menu in one of the 6 main tabs. It is just one information page among the total 53 options and, unlike the other pages, it is a quiet place.
Here you will find 65 names held in memory. These children died while waiting. When a child passes away, the Reece’s Rainbow community mourns together, supporting parents who were in process if they lost their child, grieving as best we can in this limbo world of adoption.
Out of all the many countries RR covers, over 50% of the children in the quiet place are from one country: Angelina and Travis’ country. Nothing sobers your heart quite as much as knowing that your waiting child could pass away in the night, that you could receive a phone call one day that starts with “I’m afraid I have bad news.”
One little girl in the quiet place, Arlene, was from this country as well. When she passed away in 2014 her grant was given to Mandy. People all over the world began advocating for Mandy, praying that Mandy’s name would not one day be listed in the quiet place. It has been almost two years and Mandy still does not have a family.
Arlene would have celebrated her birthday next week. In memory of Arlene, a fundraiser is currently going on to increase Mandy’s grant and to redouble our efforts to share Mandy’s story in hopes that a family steps forward to adopt her.
Mandy currently lives in a “good” orphanage with toys and giggles. It is a colorful place, a bustling place, a bursting-with-life place. In her pictures Mandy is always dolled up with flowers in her hair. I’ve been told from families who have been to her orphanage that the nannies adore her. But on Mandy’s profile there is now the haunting words that led me to begin advocating for Angelina (and here we are today waiting for travel dates to go and adopt Angelina ourselves!) She is aging out of her orphanage and will be transferred to an institution in the fall.
(That’s Mandy on the left and Arlene on the right)
What does that mean? What could that look like for Mandy?
Well, it could mean that she goes to another “good” institution, one set up much like a boarding school with classes and therapy rooms and play yards. There is at least one place in her country like that. She would stay there until she is adopted or until she ages out of the system at which point she would be placed in an adult mental institution to live out the rest of her days.
Or it could look like this: here is a hard 4 minutes and 41 seconds to show you just the smallest glimpse of what could be Mandy’s world in a few short months.
If you didn’t catch it, at the beginning the speaker is saying “you are physically at the end of the road so the message to any child being dumped in here is that you’ve reached the end of your road, the end of your life. Two ways to go, across the road to the graveyard, or if you survive to be 18, you will be sent to another asylum”. There are places worse than this.
I forgot to mention this earlier, Arlene was in the same institution as Mandy. Yes, Arlene was in that colorful, bustling, bursting-with-life place. Then she was transferred. Not long after that she was buried in the graveyard on the institution grounds. Her name was put in the quiet place and her grant was given to Mandy in hopes that another child from that bursting-with-life place would have a different story.
Today Mandy’s story is still on track with Arlene’s. She is facing transfer in the fall. I contacted a professional who works with adoptive families and is familiar with the this government and its approach to transfers. I asked if there was any way to know if Mandy would go to a “good” place or a place like the one listed above. I heard back quickly “they move kids where they have space” there is no way to know where she will go. Will she go to the end of the road? Will she go to the quiet place.
Of course there is a third way out. It is the way I hope Mandy leaves the orphanage walls, not in a casket and not in a bus on a way to another institution, but instead carried out in the arms of parents who love her.
There are many ways to help Mandy.
1.The first most basic way to help is to pray for her. Pray that a family finds her.
2. The second is the share her story. You can share this blog post and/or her official Reece’s Rainbow profile. You could also share this link which has more darling pictures and even a short video where you can hear her charming wee voice: http://sirotstvy.net/ua/child_needs_family/17761.html
We live in a global society and, thanks to the internet and social media, your post in the USA could be shared by friends in Italy and those friends could have friends in Australia who see Mandy’s face and realize they are looking at their daughter.
3.Donate to her adoption grant. I can tell you from personal experience as an adoptive mom, small donations feel like big miracles!
4. If you want to learn more about adoption and how you could start the process to hopefully adopt Mandy, I recommend you reach out to Hand Of Help In Adoption and also join the Official Reece’s Rainbow FB Group. This facebook group is a wealth of knowledge and support.
It could be that one day, despite all our efforts, Mandy’s name does appear in the quiet place. On that page in the website Reece’s Rainbow directs our eyes to the eternal hope when they say “We miss them, but celebrate their eternal life in heaven.” And that will not be a quiet place, it will be a jubilation and jollification place, it will be a bursting-with-life place the likes of which we have never seen.