Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Burman's experience with Reece's Rainbow (Part 1)

Well this is the walk of victory.....
Shelly and her four new boys, home at last!
(thanks to the photographer!)
No these are not the children Shelly and her husband originally planned on adopting in Ukraine.  These are not the ones she left America for on December 8, 2013.....but they are the ones she returned home with on February 23, 2014!
Till now this could not be shared and this is not the whole story.  But this is a start.
I am happy to announce I am back and working with a computer now. For those of you who do not know my suitcase was lost in the Frankfurt airport and in it was my computer. Unfortunately, I believe it was taken rather than just lost because it was my carryon and not a check in. I have been without a computer for the last two weeks but in a way it has been a blessing because I have really needed this time with my family to try and find out new norm.

Speaking of new norm....that has been my main priority lately. If you all will recall we were planning on and prepared for older children and two boys and two girls but instead came home with four handsome young boys. This has meant redoing room arrangements, changing out closets and clothes and deciding who sits where at the dinner table. I have not been able to communicate with you all as much due to all of this but in all honesty I really needed this time for my family and to process all that happened while in Ukraine in addition to all the events that led up to the trip to Ukraine.

The boys are all adjusting so well to their home and family life. In all honesty I cannot believe we have not had to make any medical emergency runs or had any huge adjustment issues. Other than technical aspects such as who sits where in the van and dinner table, it is as if the boys have been with us for so long. This is so different than any other adoption experience we have had. I did have a ton of pictures to share with you but unfortunately those too were on my computer so any and all pictures you have seen are thanks in part to the many friends who have taken them. I do promise you that I will get some new ones taken and a whole post dedicated to the boys soon. Time seems to be spoken for these past few days so I will get on that soon.

As for how I am doing as so many people have pm's me to ask... that is a tough one to answer. On one hand my life is complete and perfect in all the ways I once dreamed of. I have what I consider to be MY perfect life. At the same time I have been processing the events of not only the 11 weeks in Ukraine but also the months of turmoil that led up to that time. I won't lie and say it is like when you are in labor and how you soon forget the pain of labor once you hold your child in your arms because that has not been the case. It was tough over in Ukraine. The toughest thing I can honestly say I have been through. I am not just speaking of the conflict that was happening all around the country but I am speaking of the loss my husband and I have had to come to grips with. You see we fought for, prayed for, planned for, and loved four beautiful children by the names of Catherine, Haven, Larson, and Jackson. But those children did not ever get to know the joy of being loved by a mommy and daddy. They are not enjoying the moments of playing in their backyard, going on outings with mom and dad, or being tucked in at night after having a bowl of ice cream. Instead, their lives were played with by the likes of those who think they lay claim to those children. Catherine is not sleeping under the beautiful warm, afghan made for her by a loving woman who prayed so hard for her. Larson is not hanging out at the Lego table with his brother Ethan building all sorts of creations. Haven is not playing dollies with her sister Reagan and whispering at night to each other. Jackson is not getting all of the therapy he deserves so that he can gain a level of independence. No. Instead they are all still languishing in the institution. This hurts me. It hurts my husband. God knows. He knows how much we love those children. He knows how very wrong the actions of Reece's Rainbow director and BOD and their facilitating team is. Our family and so many many of you fought hard to bring those four children home and into our family yet RR and their associates felt it was their "right" to determine if and how that would be. Our children were suddenly "not available to us once we were in country and that is a story upon which I cannot dwell but rather the story behind their grants not being disbursed and the attempt to silence our family is one that I shall bring to the forefront. Children's lives were played with and their futures left in shambles and that is something I will NOT stand for. I will not be silenced and my silence cannot and will not be bought at ANY price. I am not perfect but my love for those children is and that love is what will spur this declaration of my intolerance for the bullying and hypocritical actions of Reece's Rainbow and anyone else involved.
2nd installment

It is time a big heartfelt thank you is sent out to so many friends I know and the many I do not know. Brian and I truly were shown the love of you all who helped us to bring home our four boys. While in country literally thousands of dollars were raised in just weeks so that we could continue down our path of bringing home our four children.

For those of you just catching up, the four childr
en we have prayed for and worked so hard to bring home did not come home to our family. Not only were they not available to us but neither were their grants funds. Suddenly we were faced with the decision to adopt four other precious little ones. God knew the funds would come and how they would come. Trust became a major theme for me and hence my word for the year. I began focusing on that word as did Brian.

Our family chose to work with Grace Haven Ministries to raise the funds we would need for the boys. With the sudden turn of events we needed to raise what seemed to be an insurmountable amount of money. It seems like overnight the funds came in through friends, strangers, and anonymous people. Every time I turned on the computer the total of funds raised rose higher and higher. I personally felt defeated because I was not home raising that money in some fashion or another but so many of you reminded me of my word of the year. Listen, it was literally a miracle that those funds were raised! A MIRACLE!!

After a period of time it was brought to my attention that three of my boys had grants totaling over $8,000 through RR. Our attorney began communication with RR regarding the grants raised for MY BOYS but RR responded back with the fact that they now decided that they expect me to pay back one of the grants from our boys' Bulgarian adoption and then would give me the remaining funds but with stipulations attached. One of those stipulations was that I was to sign what is called a gag order which would prevent me from saying anything bad about RR or talking about anything with regards to them and this adoption. In other words all things I have shared about our experience with RR and our adoptions was to be taken down and I was to get others to do the same. We could not do that. Not when so many things were at stake and the main one being children. Our experience was ours to tell. Ours to share. We had shared facts and that was our right to. But not so much our right as our duty. Things were going on that were so wrong and to ignore it would make us just as guilty. No matter what amount of money we needed or that was available to us was going to have our morals compromised. We declined RR offer to release the boys' grants minus us paying back a grant (which was used to pay for our Bulgarian adoption facilitator's fees) and our signature stating we would no longer say anything about RR and what had happened to us.

Speaking for myself, I had never been so irate in my whole life to watch an organization I once so passionately supported utilize innocent children's grant funds to get back at someone who dared speak out against them. I was told that the reason RR decided to now demand repayment for the grant fund (even though they had not prior for over a year) was because I acted a bully towards them. Yes, it would have been easy on a whole lot of people to just take that money so that people did not have to work so hard to raise funds for us but then I could not look myself in the mirror. We were not going to take money and just let what was going on continue. We could have thought of ourselves and taken the money but that is not what any of this was about. It was and has always been about doing what is right and using funds that have been raised for children as a tool with which to silence those who dare speak out against RR is far from what is right.

I do not speak for others and their experiences even though I know there are many. I am speaking for my family and the experience we have had. So now my only questions are where did that $8,000 go and when will RR stop abusing families who seek truth and justice in adoptions?!
(BTW the whole issue in Bulgaria was not the Burman's fault, it was again something that was out of their hands totally.)
There will be more to share......
I'm sad that this all has happened.  As you may remember my husband and I were hoping to adopt one of those girls before Selah's accident.  So I was overjoyed when I knew the Burmans were planning on adopting her and giving her a good life.  We raised money on here, over $1000 that went to the adoption.  I was so glad to be a small part of things.  THEN this happened.....the Burmans were told they could not adopt the girls, or the older boys either.  The girls were unavailable to them.  And that made it too difficult for them to adopt the boys in that region.... Long story short, those girls were placed BACK up on the Reece's Rainbow page immediately following the Burman's court date  for the little boys.  So WHY is it that the girls are now available? 
I'm heartbroken the little 8 year old girl, the size of a 2 yr old is still stuck in Ukraine.  Every time but once when I saw that precious child, she was drugged.  My heart was so pulled towards her.   The other little girl, who played with us daily and who wanted a mommy is still in an sad....I know those girls personally....  It's not some STUPID game that is being played by silly people. 
BUT I am so thankful for the four little boys who have been spared such heartache.  They were in a good orphanage where they were taught so much.  They won't be transferred to an adult mental institution when they turn 4 years old.  They are safe, at home with a loving family who can help them have the best life possible. 

So this is their experience, told in their own words.....


  1. Thank you for posting about this. As more of the truth comes to light about RR's "inner workings", I become more and more disgusted with the agency. The fact that this has happened multiple times, and families are being pushed into silence, it has become very clear that I want NOTHING to do with RR. How do these people sleep at night knowing the horrible things they are doing, just to make themselves look better, completely losing sight of what's truly important all in the name of God ?

    As someone who was once very interested in adopting through RR, I will gladly be using another agency that hasn't been laced with CORRUPTION.

    I hope families and children that have been affected by RR's horrible actions (wether direct or indirect) will NOT stay silent, and continue to fight for what is RIGHT, despite being handed gag-orders meant to make RR look as if everything is all "sunshine and lollipops". I'm sure nobody would have donated to RR if they knew what really happens to those funds that are meant to bring home a precious soul. What RR is doing is CRIMINAL. They are taking funds that were specifically donated/allocated for specific families and children, and using it for something other than it's intended purpose.

    While years ago, I had originally appreciated/valued the "work" RR does; though after much observation and research, I will say that:

    Reece's Rainbow has LOST my vote and support. However, those precious children who are being left to suffer because of RR's practices, will ALWAYS have my LOVE and hopefully another way to come home. Reece's Rainbow: SHAME ON YOU!

    For all those speaking out, you have MY support and I will STAND with YOU!
    Keep being your awesome selves!

  2. Its so good to hear that Shelly and the children are home, i was following their family online but have seen very little over the last months , i have been praying for them and hoping that they would arrive back in the USA safe and sound. RR have a lot to answer for and i hope that through legal channels they are made to answer as to where all the money has gone that was promised to these children.

  3. This is all a very disgusting situation. Right after being re-listed, the boy had another family commit to him, too. It was very, very fast, and seems quite "odd". I really want to hear the rest of the story.

  4. As you can imagine Shelly is busy with her four new little boys and doctor's appointments, therapy etc....but as soon as she shares more, I will share it here. The VERY sad sad thing is the four children that she was hoping to adopt are in the Donetsk region, I would imagine an adoption there now would be impossible!

  5. It's not impossible yet, but it has crossed my mind numerous times. If adoptions do get halted there, though, they're going to have a lot to answer for.