I was given a gift of caring about children when I was just a child myself. I've always felt protective of them. My heart turns especially to children who don't have someone to tell them of their worth. Many times a child is told they are nothing or not good enough. Sometimes a child looks different or acts different, and is misunderstood by others. The truth is that every child on this earth is of great worth no matter the circumstances they find themselves in. We want them to understand that.
In our small way we are initiating a movement to empower children. Of helping them know their worth, of telling them that they matter. We have a line of t-shirts planned with empowering messages. This is the first one.
In the spirit of this movement, we're donating 25% of the money you spend on these shirts to help children in need. With this shirt, all donations will go to Bethel China, an organization of wonderful people who empower vision impaired children.
Introducing our "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!" T-shirt available for children now!
Sizes available: 2T, 3T, 4T, and Youth Small (7-8)
Go check out our t-shirt collection here!
I have admired Michael Rottina and have watched how he flies back and forth between his home and China to do everything he possibly can to help orphans. Michael is the founder of findMe International . Michael says, "The Me in findMe refers primarily to Jesus. It can also mean helping adoptees find themselves and adoptive families finding "me", the orphan."
I am so grateful he took some time out of his busy life to answer some questions.
How did you get started helping orphans?
In 2001 something was seriously stirring in me about adopting. It had been something thought of for a long time. I was sad to think of another child growing up without a family. Without parents, brothers or sisters.
In 2004, we travelled to Hubei, China to adopt our wonderful daughter. She is a great blessing of Joy to have as my daughter.
Why did you start findMe International?
Along the way we have advocated for orphans, yet findMe intl has been established to connect Chinese adoptees with the people of China. A friend and I have had the great experience of searching for and finding my daughter’s foster mother. We (my daughter included) would love to help others do the same. In addition we are working on some things that will turn homeland tours into something we like to call homepeople tours. The emphasis is in building relationships with the people of China, particularly those from the adoptees past and orphans, so that the adoptee can experience the culture from within, and create lifelong relationships.
What in your life prepared you for this?
So many things have prepared me. Most important is Jesus' Spirit in me.
What is your favorite thing about it?
Doing something that makes the kids smile. To see a solemn face go to a smile, especially with the older kids, satisfies my soul and puts a smile on my face as well.
What is one of the hardest things about it?
One of the hardest things is when Cameron aged out 3 days after I got there this past June. So many people knew about him. It was very hard, since so many of us thought for sure he would have a family someday soon.
What are your favorite experiences?
An incredible experience was having the opportunity to allow a boy who is matched to a family, pick another orphan who he wants to be his brother and go to America. The following day we took the two boys, with Cameron out shopping, to dinner and Dairy Queen. It was two days I will never forget.
Another experience was the one that started findMe intl. It was when I saw on Facebook that someone was going to adopt Lucy Kim. She was the first that we had advocated for (when I had no idea of the advocating world) and were shocked with pure joy to realize that we found her a family in less than one month.
Here is her family's story, and an update.
Emily was the 2nd girl Michael helped to find a family, and since these two girls, many children are finding their families. Emily is coming home to her family soon!
Find Me - "Emily" from Global Story2 Films on Vimeo.
What would you tell someone who wants to help?
I would like to encourage those who want to help to signup for our e-mail list. We will be having regular updates on ways each one of us can help. Like supporting our visits to the orphanage so that we can create opportunities like tutoring for kids who have aged out but are still in the system (ages 14-18), helping to build better/updated "files" for the kids, regularly visiting them and taking some out for the day. Do you know many orphans are lucky if they get out of the orphanage 1-2 times a year? We have helped many get out and have some fun. Cameron has been able to get out 3 times since April this year, with the help of those like you and me. Also, there are some other wonderful missions that we are working on and will let you know about.
Our e-mail list is the place to find the latest as well as the basic missions that findMe intl is working on to help the kids. If you enjoy helping children who cannot better the situation they have found themselves in, sign up for findMe intl e-mails here.
Thank you Michael Rottina for all you are doing to make children's lives better!
I was so overwhelmed last night to get all of these photos of the children LWB helped, in our hats! It is like a dream come true to help and be a part of this in this small but important way. The lady who sent me the photos said that the animal hats made the nannies and kids laugh, so we sent them some smiles too!
If you have any questions about orphans or adoptions, feel free to ask me. At least I can point you to the right resources. Thanks again for your help! Enjoy these precious children.
We'll start out with precious Alana (top) and Ander
Here is Aimee, Harley, and then Aimee and Harley together being cute.
Introducing Freddie (the Frog)!
and sweet Tyrone (top) and Eddard as giraffes
one more of Tyrone in his owl hat
Can't forget Beautiful Karis
and handsome Kenny (top) and gorgeous Maureen
Aren't they all sweet?
Because you bought a hat at Sprout Tops, or you bought a hat for an orphan on our Love Without Boundaries page, you were a part of this wonderful event! So many miraculous things happened and so many children's lives were changed forever.
Here are some of the sweeties who are wearing Sprout Tops hats!
And here is the whole story!
Love Without Boundaries 2014 Cleft Exchange - 30 surgeries, 30 transformations, 30 children's lives changed
Reading these updates every day warmed my heart and broke my heart all at the same time. Thanks again for the part you played in helping these children.
Getting Ready photos of the kids, thinking back to previous cleft trips
Easter Baby Hunt - finding the babies on the train and getting to snuggle them.
Easter Sunday - arriving, prepping, pre-op exams, meeting the kids, Robin's story
Monday - first two babies to get surgery, careful mom and tender father, loving nannies, weighing in
Tuesday - the "tens", some have to be turned away, the LWB "love ward", preparing Robin
Wednesday - beautiful repairs, the volunteers get jealous of the nannies getting to hold the babies, Robin's surgery
Thursday - operations, education, the meaning of "cleft exchange", and somebody got a family!
Friday - healing and playing games with the doctors
Saturday - "baby pile" for Dr. Ness's birthday, saying goodbye to the children they love, reality sets in
Transformation: Past, Present, and Future - Read the story about Emily! what a determined little spirit she has.
I hope we get to be a part of this next year!
When Chloe, from Bethel sent these photos to me, I just about melted. Are these not the sweetest children?
Thank you so much for helping us send hats to these precious children through our "1 for you, 1 for an orphan" program.
All of the children at Bethel are either completely blind or have some sort of vision impairment, and sometimes other special needs in addition.
Bethel gives them a family type environment with lots of love. They teach them many life skills and how to be self-sufficient and live life to it's fullest.
Thank you again for being a part of helping orphans! You can learn more about Bethel, volunteering there, and how to help here. If you would like more information on how to adopt a child with a visual impairment or even one of their children, start here.
I will leave you with their most recent movie. I just bet it will brighten your day!