2008 ADOPTED FAMILIES – UPDATED JANUARY 2009
Since our Christmas adoption, Vickie (single Mom), Reilly (1 year old) and Ray (age 7), have moved the family in with a friend. Reilly has been diagnosed with Infantile Spasms and is being evaluated for specialized treatments for her seizure disorder. Many of you will be familiar with this form of seizure activity as it was the disease that took Jamie from us. This type of seizure disorder is the worst possible kind for a child under the age of 5 and kills one in five children who get it. Of those who do not die, 80% will be severely to profoundly retarded - meaning that they may never be able to function to any degree in a normal capacity or care for themselves. The remaining 20% will be mildly to moderately affected. Reilly is developmentally 6 months old. Previously, Mom had to quit her job as a manager at a fast food chain to take care of Reilly since family members and daycare options are not available as they are not qualified to care for such a sick child. However, due to our assistance and the kindness of the friends that they are living with, Vickie has been able to pay to enroll for classes at Macomb College.
Barbara (age 34), Mom, and Dad, Lee (age 33), are trying very hard to make ends meet with sick children and the apartment building that they have been living in is in foreclosure. As a result, they will have to find the money to move and find a new place to live. Alexzandria was in MIPP and had multiple health issues including cleft lip and palate which has required multiple surgeries, severe hypotension and feeding issues requiring g-tube placement. Alexzandria passed away on December 19, 2008. Autopsy results revealed medical problems that were more severe than expected and the doctors were amazed that she lived as long as she did. They credited the great care and follow-up by the parents for her length of survival. She is survived by her sister Savannah (age 3 - speech and language delays), a brother named Zachary (age 5 – autistic), and older brother Lee (age 7 - speech issues, asthma and eczema). length of survival. She is survived by her sister Savannah (age 3 - speech and language delays), a brother named Zachary (age 5 – autistic), and older brother Lee (age 7 - speech issues, asthma and eczema).
Single Mom, Marlene, is 20 years old and is raising Crystalis (age 2) and Drake (age 1) who was born prematurely. At birth he experienced respiratory distress and ruptured his lung which required surgery. He now exhibits significant developmental delays. Crystalis will be evaluated for concerns regarding her speech and language development. Marlene is unable to work as Drake needs substantial special care. The family has had to move three times since September 2008 and is experiencing extreme financial difficulty. Marlene has had a hard time paying for food, diapers and clothes. This family was very thankful for all of the warm clothes, coats and other gifts. The gift cards came in handy for food and gas to get the children to school and to doctor's appointments.
Melissa (Age 23) and Sharod (Age 22) are raising Maliyah (10 months old) and Julian (Age 2). Maliyah has Cerebral Palsy, severe reflux and periodic respiratory distress/Apnea. Melissa quit her job to care for Maliyah who stops breathing without warning. The family is having a hard time paying for diapers and clothes. This family was able to pay their utility bills and get car insurance because they received our help at Christmas. Maliyah continues to have apnea episodes and is waiting for an apnea monitor so Mom and Dad can be comfortable sleeping at night. The family was very happy and thankful for all of the clothes, educational toys and gift cards which helped them make ends meet.
So how do we come up with a new way to say “Thank You” for people who show such amazing generosity? I guess all we can do is tell you how very much it means to each of our families and to the Bates’ family that this year we raised in excess of $5,500 and formally adopted four families while helping many more.
You should know that Kohl’s “A Team” which is a part of their “Kohl’s Cares for Kids” program came and wrapped presents for Jamie’s Smiles. They spent over 18 hours helping us wrap gifts, not to mention all the time that they helped us in making our purchases, the discount that they gave us on everything and the $500 contribution that they made from their corporate giving program! MANY THANKS Kohl’s on 26 Mile in Shelby Township!!! As always, your support and generosity are GREATLY APPRECIATED!
YOU FILLED THE TRUCK! On December 17th, the Macomb Infant Preschool Program (MIPP) sent a commercial sized truck to pick up all of the items for the four families we adopted. Your generosity made it possible for us to “Fill the Truck”. The following is a list of general items that we provided to our families:
· A pair of snow pants each
· Hats, mittens/gloves for each child
· Two pair of pajamas each
· At least three winter clothing outfits each
· One pair of shoes each
· One pair of winter boots each
· A bouncy seat
· Two swings
· Crib or twin sheets
· At least three learning toys per child
· Puzzles for every child
· Books for every child
· A devotion book for each child
· Several small stocking stuffer items for each child
· Diapers where needed
· Wipes where needed
· A winter coat each where needed
· Hats and gloves for each parent
· A pair of pajamas for each parent
· At least three winter clothing outfits each
· A pair of shoes each where needed
· A pair of boots each where needed
· Sheets for two families
· A toaster
· Personal care products such as toothbrushes and soap
· Several small stocking stuffer items each
· Over $1,500 in food gift cards
· Over $300 gas gift cards
* Please note that this list is NOT comprehensive
We also had a number of donated items that were miscellaneous sizes or were duplicates for our families. We gave these items to MIPP to distribute to other needy families in the program. MIPP had to use a commercial size truck to pick up our donations and take them back to their facility to distribute to the families. Many of you also donated your gently used children’s coats. These will help many more kids!
We cannot say enough about how helpful Kohl’s, their staff and manager have been throughout our 2008 fundraising efforts. You cannot ask for a company that is more dedicated to the community and the welfare of children! Again, thank you Kohl’s!!!
To all of you who expressed interest, helped, donated money or items for our families…
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! From Jamie’s Smiles and our Adopted Families!