Tilly has a new favourite book. She adores it and can often be found inside its covers, lost in thought. In fact it's a favourite with all my kids and evenings will often see the sofa full as they all crowd around my lap to follow the journey its pages offer up!
The book, 'You Choose' offering up a world of endless possibilities, asking you to create a world, a life, a dream...you choose!
All of my kiddies love to share their choices, including my big girl with Smith Magenis Syndrome. You see, my beautiful Tilly, my disabled, learning impaired, self-harming, non-sleeping, globally delayed child has many many ideas on the choices she would make in a world where all is possible. Her desire for life, her imagination, her dreams, her wonderful soul no different to yours or mine, her ability to choose not hindered in the slightest by the fact she has special needs!
And oh boy the choices she makes...she always wants to live on the tall island, it puts her close enough to Mummy (who fancies sitting under that tree nearest the waterfall) whilst still being far enough away from the world to relax...you see Tilly likes spaces of her own from time to time, quiet time with nobody crowding her.
Where would she live?
...well the lighthouse and the tower block are always high up the list.
No surprise there, Tilly knows she loves a sea-view and high viewpoints over cities.
And what would she put in this home?
A swinging hammock always makes her list of choices.
a swimming pool,
and a comfy chair!
How would she choose to travel? Tilly's love of all things Christmas means that Santa's Sleigh is always chosen!
The food page is hysterical, Tilly's joy of all things sweet make her eyes bulge with excitement. Number one favourite the jelly!
Clothes elicit giggles and naughty eyes as the pants are always chosen! Tilly's love of walking around in only underwear and fancy shoes always close to the surface!
Princess hats also make the grade!
For pets, she normally goes for the fluffy little chicks, her love of little and cuddly is epic. Other days the huge dragon is chosen, simply another excuse to give the world a naughty giggle!
For work Tilly quite fancies being a queen, after all she loved the house that goes with the job!
And for her hobby, mountain climbing is always chosen, a skill Tilly feels sure she possesses, perfected and honed upon numerous bouncy mountains at parties, parks and funfairs.
And after her busy day the pink princess bed or cat-basket are the choice of beds!
Tilly has such fun with her choices. Tilly knows how to dream! She can dream big, she can dream naughty, she can dream girly, she can dream brave.
But that's just kids isn't it! Kids dream, kids have the whole world at their feet, kids believe that all is possible!
But what if you are a child with special needs living in an Eastern European mental institution? What of your dreams and choices then?
What if you were Bobby?
Does Bobby dream? What choices does he have?
Beautiful Bobby, living within the walls of an institution with no family, abandoned because he has cerebral palsy!
The walls of this building his every horizon, can he even dream of a new existence, a loving home?
his world up these stairs...
across the landing past the rocking child holding the carpet sobbing..
most of his days, hours, minutes spent within the cots inside these loveless rooms.
What choices within these rooms does Bobby have?
From the bars of his cot he could choose to look at each of four walls or perhaps the sobbing, rocking 19 year old still confined to a baby's world.
Perhaps at the child sucking on an empty bottle, starving and deathly thin. Could this child even begin to dream of jelly and cakes?
Or perhaps he might choose to look across at the newly transferred child, lost and bewildered?
Does he choose to listen to the screams of the child nearby in silence, or to join in with desperate cries and rocking of his own?
Perhaps he chooses to lie quietly, disassociating from the world?
What choices for beautiful Bobby, the little boy with the brown pool eyes and the soft gentle heart?
Would any of these children dream of palaces to live in and sea views, or are cold doorways as far as their dreams stretch?
Would dreams of swimming pools and trampolines ever replace the choice of clinging onto a piece of wood for years?
Would princess hats ever enter the mind of a child whose arms are tied together to prevent self-harm?
Perhaps Bobby only knows choices born from the reality before his eyes? Perhaps his dreams cannot stretch beyond the hell he is in?
Does he consider endless rocking a choice...
or perhaps complete shut-down?
Does he begin to consider fear, recoiling from touch in terror as his only choice?
Or is giving up entering his mind?
I wonder what Sasha's dreams and choices were when he lived within the same walls at the same institution? What dreams lived within his starving, tiny frame?
Look at him now...one thing is for certain, just 4 months after leaving this place and finding his forever family, his choices are now raining down like kisses from heaven, no wonder his smile is so huge!
How I long for Bobby's dreaming to take flight like Sasha's!
That sweet boy I travelled across the world to find, to cuddle to whisper love to!
That beautiful child who, even living within this hellish world, still chose to smile! Would you still smile if all your choices were taken away? Would you? I don't know if I would!
So I am choosing to try to help this beautiful child and the other children at this institution, orphanage 50 on Reece's Rainbow. I choose to try to change the story! I cannot adopt myself from the UK but I still can choose to help!
What ending for Bobby?
Visit my weight-loss fundraiser and giveaway, packed with some awesome gifts waiting to be posted and see how you can not only help find Bobby a forever family but also how to help the other children left behind! Help increase Bobby's adoption fund at Reece's Rainbow to allow a family to meet the huge costs of international adoption and also to raise $20,000 to build a second 'happy home' out at the instituion for the children left behind!
What will Bobby's story end like?
It's Forget-Me-Not Friday and time to link up any posts you have about the wonderful children at Reece's Rainbow. Try to visit as many links as you can and leave some comment love...we all need support in this warrior family!
Here is the Forget-Me-Not Friday gallery, a tiny portion of all the beautiful, extra-special children on Reece's Rainbow, each one desperate for a family to love them and save them from the terrible fate of transfer at around 4-5 years old into an adult mental institution, where many children will remain cot-bound forever!
Do please link-up your posts about these children of our hearts. Link up as many times as you like and remember grab the button for your blog to help these children find their forever families!
Click on their name links to visit their individual Reece's Rainbow profile page to find out more or to donate. By donating into a child's adoption fund you help an adoptive family raise the huge ransom it takes to save these children...currently $25,000- $50,000! These children really are on the 'frontline' of need, they need us to help, to sacrifice for them and to care!
You do not need to adopt to help. Become a prayer or fundraising warrior for a child, re-post their faces or add my Forget-Me-Not Friday button to your blog and join in the link up. If you are a warrior already then please come and link here weekly on Fridays, let me know beforehand so I can add your child's face to the gallery. Link any post or write using an ongoing writing prompt of 'Forgotten'.
Or perhaps you could adopt? Perhaps you could be blessed by opening up your heart to one of these children? Is your child here?
I am thrilled to be linking up every Friday with 4 awesome ladies who also have big hearts for these children. Go visit Mandy over at, 'Our Adoption Story'. And then visit the amazing Andrea at 'Taking God's Love To The Ends Of The Earth'. and then go give some blogworld love to Julia over at Micah Six Eight. Finally go visit Sarah at 'What it Means To Love'.