Eleven year old Lydia saw this photo of Darya on the Reece's Rainbow Christmas Angel Tree. She asked her Mum if she was able to raise the $20,000 it would cost for the international adoption, would they adopt her.
"Being a sensible 41 year old, I told Lydia she would never be able to raise $20,000.00 in 8 days.....she is only eleven. She didn't hear me. Instead, she asked again, "But if I do raise the money, will you adopt her?" I responded yes, if she raised that much money in 8 days, we would know God is in it and would travel to adopt Darya!"Darya's Hope was born. Eight days before Thanksgiving. Eight days to help God send a miracle. Eight days to raise $20,000.
Lydia got her community involved. She leafleted all the homes in her neighbourhood, she babysat and her friends babysat and gave her the money for Darya. For eight days Lydia and her community and friends and family held bake sales, car washes, photo shoots, dress sales, hair cuts, all with the proceeds being donated to Darya's Hope.
You may have read about Lydia and Darya on some of the blogs you read.
An eleven year old girl set out an impossible task. And with child like faith, she told everyone she met about Reece's Rainbow and Darya and the other orphans needing families. Lydia is an advocate.
"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24.12
Lydia has a brother and sister who both have Down Syndrome. Lydia loves her brother and sister so much. It broke her heart to learn that these precious children in other countries were being discarded solely because they have Down Syndrome. She knew they were wrong, she knew these children have worth, great worth. What is more, she knew that God knew she knew and she wanted to do something about it.
Another adopting family who had been to the orphanage where Darya lives mentioned that no one holds Darya, no one gives her any attention at all. She was literally being left to die. Lydia was not willing to allow that to happen.
Her local television station had arranged an interview with Lydia for Thanksgiving morning to find out how close to her goal she had come when they heard of her fund raising for Darya. That interview is below.
So, how much did she raise in eight days? Did she make her goal? Well, yes. Yes, she did! Not only did she raise $20,000 so they can bring Darya home, she raised another $6,000+ by Thanksgiving morning. All the donations over the $20,000 they needed are being given to another family who was unable to afford to adopt and so Darya's Hope is bringing TWO Angels home to their forever families!
As of today, Friday, donations are still coming in. In fact, as the following blog post from Melanie's Blog says, it would appear Lydia may be heading up her own ministry as a result!
You would think once Lydia announced she had raised OVER her $20,000.00 goal, people would stop giving and just celebrate. At least, in my human nature, that's what I thought.
Since yesterday, $2,000.00 more dollars have come in. I am blown away by the generosity. When families learned that Lydia is now raising money to help another family adopt a little one who has Down Syndrome in Eastern Europe, they jumped in and have joined her. Amazing. Well, it is just a miracle, don't you think?
Can you believe it has been suggested several times that Lydia start a ministry called:
"100 FOR 200"
WHAT? An eleven year old leading a ministry effort? I am hesitant to say I doubt anything anymore, so I'll be careful not to voice my doubts and fears.
The ministry would be to gather 200 believers who will commit to donating $100.00 each month through 2010 in order to fund 12 special needs adoptions and save 12 orphans. Lydia would provide a picture of the child each month, details that are known about the child, and fund the adoption. Sounds simple? Yes, unless you are the mother of the daughter who is on a path to save the world. I keep thinking to myself: "she is only eleven."
So, stay tuned and let's see what God is going to do. Lydia keeps saying: "With God, nothing is impossible". All smiles....continuing to skip through the house with Hope in tow right behind her.
To read more about Lydia's family, please visit their blog. You can also read about their adoption of Hope, also with Down Syndrome, in Melanie's book, The Journey for Hope. As well, when you purchase her book, 60% of the proceeds will be donated to the Reece's Rainbow Voice of Hope Fund.