Make Christmas Count for Cliff

***If you are reading this after the fact, please scroll through the Cliff category and read about how this fundraiser progressed.  Our final fundraising tally was a whopping $9,458.00 and a family is currently working hard to bring Cliffy HOME!!!***

I’ve sat here staring at my fingers resting on my keyboard for about ten minutes now.

Willing them to begin their clinking and tapping.

But try as I might, my brain comes up with…nothing.

Absolute, clear, utter silence.

Highly unusual.

Tap, tap, tap…delete.

Blinking little cursor.

Big blank screen.

How do I begin to tell you about the maelstorm swirling through my head the last month?

How do I begin to make coherent the crazy that is my brain and heart?

How do I begin to tell you all about the BIG BIG BIG holiday fundraiser I’m launching?

How do I begin to convey to you how excited and terrified I am to do this thing?

How do I begin to tell you about a sweet boy who needs YOU?

I will begin with a picture.

Of the sweetest, squishiest, yummiest little baby boy ever.

Of little Cliff.

Just 3 months older than my girls.

Cliff who has Down Syndrome.

Cliff who lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.

Cliff who is not a statistic.

Who is not a stock photo.

Who is a real, true, living, breathing precious babe.

Really, truly living in awful conditions.


No mama to kiss a feverish forehead.

No daddy to throw him high in the air.

No amazing pediatricians to give him a sticker and a lollipop after a shot.

I’ve been tortured by this sweet face.

Every night I lay my own babes down in their cozy beds in footed pajamas.

Every night I kiss them with a “mama loves you.  see you in the morning.  i’ll miss you.”

Every night I crawl onto my own pillowtop mattress and cover myself with my plush down comforter.

Every night I think: “Cliff is still laying in a disgusting, stark crib in a government run orphanage on the other side of the world.”

Cliff is real.

Cliff needs a home.

Cliff needs a family.

But for a family to bring home little Cliff, they need money.

And a lot of it.

And sometimes, it is simply that pesky issue of dumb, dumb, dumb money that keeps a sweet baby like Cliff in a vile government run orphanage.

Practically untouched.

Yet, I am encouraged by the fact that while Cliff may not have a cooing mama…he has a Father who loves him more than any of us can dare to imagine.

A sweet boy perfectly and wonderfully made by the same Creator that made your own little bundles.

Loved and as precious to God as we are.

Is your heart as broken and yet encouraged as mine?

Do you want nothing more than to scoop up Cliffy and hug him and kiss him and sing silly songs to him???

I do too.

My insides ache thinking abou t it.

Cliff is one of 143 MILLION orphans in the world.


Please stop reading right this second.

I want you to let that sink in.

143 million.  Babies.  Toddlers.  Kids.  Teens.


And Cliff is just one.

And that is crazy and overwhelming.

And it makes me want to throw up.

It makes me want to look the other way and walk away.

Pretend like I never saw it and go back to my turkey prepping, Christmas shopping, crafting, and wrapping.

There’s nothing I can do.  It’s too big.  It’ll never go away.


“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 what we know, and hold us responsible to act.” -Proverbs 24:12

WE can help Cliff.

One by one.  Little by little.

I’ve teamed up with Reece’s Rainbow to be Cliff’s Christmas Warrior this season.

Here’s the scoop:

We are going to band together to help bring Cliff home.

I don’t know where home is, but we will make that easier for his family.

Donations will go directly to Cliff’s adoption grant fund.  Not the general Reece’s Rainbow fund.  Not spread out among 100’s of kids.

It will all be for Cliff.

So that when a family steps forward to take him in…some of the finances for his adoption will be covered.

Making it that much easier for them.

Because not all of us are called to adopt a baby.

But we are ALL called to serve, love and give.

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.”  -Psalm 82:3

It’s right there.  No bones about it.  God makes it ultra clear.

It’s not about the perfect gift.  A melt in your mouth turkey.  Crafts.  Or Martha-esque table settings.

THIS is what we are called to do.

I have some great guest bloggers lined up.

Fabulous videos.  Thoughts swirling over the next couple of weeks.

So if you are new here today, please consider subscribing to my blog.

Not because I want more followers.

But because I want you to see what a bunch of little bits from a lot of us grow into one great BIG.

Because He wants more followers.

Because this isn’t for me.

And really, this isn’t for Cliff.

To God be the glory.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Latest posts by jeannett (see all)


  1. 2

    …and now I sit by my own compute sobbing, while my sweet, safe, and healthy little boy is playing on the floor next to me. It just doesn’t seem fair that babies sit in their cribs all over the world, with out Mommies and Daddies to love on them. We will pray continually that this sweet baby finds a forever home soon.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..A Challenge

  2. 3

    grabbing a button and tweeting about this. i’ve supported reece’s rainbow already this year. praying about giving more, and consulting the hubs. but until then… gladly helping you share the mission. what an adorable, little lovie.
    purejoy´s last blog post ..thanks!

  3. 4

    Absolutely cannot give a cent at the moment… but I can in a week or two. Please keep posting reminders – I’ll come through eventually.

  4. 5

    I posted your button on my page and linked you on the Just a Little Bit Downsy Facebook page. Thank you for doing this. International adoption of babies with Downs weighs so heavy in my heart…I hope to be able to do one someday…

    Most people don’t realize that if these babies aren’t adopted when they are little, they will be put into asylums never to leave…It hurts me so desperately.

  5. 6

    Praying about what God is calling our family to do. I love your heart. It breaks mine. In a good way.
    Jessica Johnson´s last blog post ..School Pictures

  6. 7

    New here, found Cliff’s button at Small Bird. This absolutely broke my heart. I’m not working much right now so money is tight, but I happily gave $5 to help this beautiful boy find a home. I’m also grabbing the button <3
    Angie´s last blog post ..Childless Mother

  7. 8

    I donated $50 to baby Cliff. Good heavens he is such a sweetie! I couldn’t not donate! My heart aches.

  8. 9
    Erika Bumgardner says:

    Wish I could bring him home. Beautiful. You got my support.

  9. 10

    This went straight to the heart! Sweet baby Cliff! And all the others like him out there. They all deserve a family way more than we “need” a new sweater or cool boots. Thanks for posting this. I can guarantee we will donate before the end of the month!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Something To Do- Lego Game

  10. 11

    He is just adorable, thank you for posting this. I am going to share his story with everyone.
    Lisette´s last blog post ..Happy Thanksgiving

  11. 12

    What a beautiful boy, and what a wonderful thing you are doing. My heart goes out to him, and so many little ones like him. I will help spread the word the best I can!
    MommyNaniBooboo´s last blog post ..Thank you- misfortune

  12. 13

    Stumbled on your blog today and am so blessed to have a peek in your mission. Amazing idea, thank you for following through with such an awesome task. Real actions. Real kiddos. Real love shown. God’s hands at work, thanks for the inspiration, I needed it today :)

  13. 14

    Just contributed and I am putting the button on my blog. I am a Special Needs Teacher’s asst and My husband and I are involved with a special needs baseball league. My heart truly belongs to Down’s kids.
    Thanks for doing this.

  14. 15

    This touches my heart deeply. Sharing through twitter @createdbycole and have a button on blog. Would love to stay updated.


  15. 16

    *sob*…donated and button added! thanks jeanette!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..Small Change- Big Impact

  16. 17

    I know someone who would LOVE to adopt him. My sister Melanie. Her degree is in Special Needs and she’s amazing. I just had my fourth child in June, who, to our surprise has Down syndrome. We are so blessed to have her..and my sister is so jealous! We’re donating no matter what- but how do we get a hold of you to find out more about adopting this cute boy?!

  17. 18

    Thanks for reminding us that everyone needs a little love out there. Esp. dear to my heart as my friends are loving on their new baby with DS!

  18. 19

    I am going to donate and wonder who to get in contact with about adoption. This just breaks my heart, I wish I could take him home right now.
    Tonya Richard´s last blog post ..quilting- crocheting and knitting oh my!

  19. 20

    Grabbed the button and making a donation. I’m instantly in love with baby Cliff.
    ericka´s last blog post ..Be Thankful

  20. 21

    I’m loving this idea and am excitedly watching the donation numbers jump up with occasional hits on the refresh button on my browser. Blogged about your fundraiser and added the button to my sidebar. Let’s bring Baby Cliff home!

  21. 22

    I’m keeping Cliff in my prayers and made a donation to help bring Cliff home, your writing is inspiring. As I was reading I kept thinking of The Starfish Story:

    The Starfish Story adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1907 – 1977

    Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

    “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

  22. 23

    What a great challenge to remember all the very real little lives out there that barely have a life to live for. But just as you said they have a Heavenly Father watching over them! He has greater plans for their lives to make a difference in ways we cannot imagine! Thank you for the challenge and I will be in prayer about how we can give to such a wonderful cause. Finances are huge & daunting to us, but so small to God, His ways are bigger than ours. I smile now at how Cliff’s family is in prayer for a child, for the money to make it all work and how God is already putting pieces together for them that they don’t know about! He is an amazing God :)

  23. 24

    What a touching story. Our daughter was born with Down syndrome in April and has opened our eyes to true love. Your blog post that I found through Kelle has opened my eyes to another world of special needs adoption that I was naive to think others would take care of. I vow to start with a donation to sweet baby Cliff’s cause, post a donation button on my blog, and continue to support the newly discovered Reece’s Rainbow from here on out. You are an inspiration to spread the good word. Thank you for guiding us.
    Jessica´s last blog post ..OHS Day 1 Revisited

  24. 25

    Just made a donation. I hope this little angel finds a home soon. This is so heartbreaking. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help.

  25. 26

    What a wonderful idea – poor baby cliff would love to adopt him into our fold but international adoption is so difficult in New Zealand – have donated a little something to the pot x I adore Kelle’s blog as well – totally makes me think of things in a different light x

  26. 27

    I just donated and wish I could give so much more. God bless that sweet boy. And you for helping him find a home.

  27. 28

    I am very interested in adopting this adorable little boy! I am going to think avbout it for a month or so and do some research and then will most likely look into adopting him.

  28. 29

    I just want to hold him and blow berries on his belly. He is darling. Thank you for doing this.
    Miriam´s last blog post ..Parenting woes

  29. 30

    Oh my goodness, I want to cry. He’s so adorable, and it makes my heart hurt to think about all of those sweet kids without parents. Adoption is HEAVY on my heart, but it’s not time for us yet (God still has to lay it on the hubby’s heart). But I will totally give what I can (I wish it were more). God bless you for doing this.

    ps. I’m a follower of Kelle, and I’m so glad she did a guest post. Otherwise, I don’t know if I ever would’ve found you.

  30. 31

    Thank you for this post. I found this picture of Cliff when my baby girl was only a few weeks old. I was finally accepting the fate that fell upon me and was ready to step up to the challenges of raising my baby who was born with down syndrome. When I saw Cliff’s picture the first time I visited Reece’s Rainbow, I had to pause. He looks so much my like my baby girl. I ached and I cried for him.
    It is true. There are so many of us out here that desperately want to adopt and have had the desire since we were young children. Yet, something like money is a factor. It is a huge factor.
    I know Cliff’s Forever Family will find him one day. I hope that one day is soon. And they will thank you for helping bring them one step closer to bringing him home.
    – erin

  31. 32

    After praying about it last night, I had to blog about your fundraising for Cliff.
    It’s also connected to my facebook page and has been sent out to the hundreds of people I work with.
    Good luck with your efforts. Many blessing to come!

  32. 33

    this story deeply touches me and I would love to give finacially. I tried signing into PayPal and for some reason, it wouldnt let me donate. I tried entering my credit card, and it wouldnt let me choose a Canadian province (only US states). Is there any way I can still give? Thanks.

  33. 34

    Thank you for such a moving and inspirational post. I pray God uses it to move in many hearts for the cause of all orphans. Cliff is an angel and I wish I could scoop him right up and love on him. I’ll be posting the button on my blog. Thanks, again!

  34. 35

    I wanted to add that I’ve blogged about your post, here, about Cliff. I hope it will help make a difference for him and bring even more glory to God as we see what He has planned for this sweet baby.
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Will You Join Me

  35. 36

    My heart is breaking for little Cliffy and all of the other children out there in need. He is such a sweetie. I wish I could give him the snuggles and kisses that he deserves. Thank you for taking this initiative and making a difference in the world.

  36. 37

    Tears… Such an incredible mission! Thank you for NOT looking the other way! So many people do… If we are not the family adopting a child, then we don’t need to worry about it. So thankful for people like you who say, just because we are not called to adopt doesn’t mean we are not still called to give! Blessings!
    Mandy´s last blog post ..Photo Mug for 199

  37. 38

    I had to donate. That sweet boy. My heart broke into a billion pieces. Thank you for sharing his story. I pray a family finds him.
    Tiffany´s last blog post ..A Beautiful Thanksgiving

  38. 39

    I just chipped in. How heartbreaking. I wish I could adopt all the little babies that need love!
    Teresa´s last blog post ..Holiday Interview with Dig This Chick

  39. 40

    I want little Cliff <3 he is so precious

  40. 41

    Chipped it also. Why cant we have a different child we do this for every month. I know I can save $5 a week to give. If 1000 of us do that every month we can bring 12 of these angels home a year. Thats 12 lives changed forever. How can we not do this. Its a cup of coffee a week for us but a forever family for these babies.

  41. 42

    Just joined Team Cliff! :) Dave and I decided to make this our gift to one another instead of adding to an already cluttered house! :)

    Proud of you for doing this. So happy to be a part of this awesome work.
    Jessica Johnson´s last blog post ..Cookies for Santa

  42. 43

    Yes!! wonderful post. And wonderful cause. I just dontated, tweeted and have the button on my sidebar.


  43. 44

    I also sat here and read and wept about Cliff while my perfect, beautiful boy sleeps peacefully upstairs. I came upon your blog thru I have an 52 year old aunt (who is also my godmother) as well as a 30 year old cousin with downs syndrome so Cliff certainly touches my heart. I will certainly pass on the word about Cliff to as many people as will listen. Thank you for doing this. Your blog will be one of my regular reads now.

  44. 45

    Now that I am holding back tears, let me say that adoption has long been on my heart for not now but possibly the future. I want to make a difference and I am inspired by you taking a stand and doing something. I will gladly join in for this wonderful cause. God is big enough to do all of this!

  45. 46

    Okay, he’s on my blog, I’ve facebooked him, and I’ve donated. But still donating seems so little. I wish we could take him home and share with him everyday of our wealth of happiness and love in this home. We aren’t rich financially, but we sure are blessed above most people in the world I am learning. Thank you for showing us Cliff!

    I had actually been on the Reese’s Rainbow site a week ago, so it was wonderful to be given a specific child to donate to since I was overwhelmed by all I could help. I’m now starting to think that I really can find more ways to donate such as selling things on Ebay and instead of keeping the money for myself to buy more (usually unnecessary!) things, I can put it use to a child that definately NEEDS it.

    We have a darling 4 1/2 year old boy with Down syndrome that, along with our other 1 year old, is the light of our life. It pains me that other children with special needs are born all over the world without the access to great care and love that our children here experience. Not long after he was born, my husband learned of the conditions in many Eastern European orphanages for those with DS and it’s been on our mind ever since. We always wished there was SOMETHING to do – so with the recent discovery of Reese’s Rainbow we can finally put our attention and efforts into something.

    Thank you again-sorry for such a long comment!

  46. 47

    I had to blog about this as well…Praying that you’ll get lots of donations for Cliffy…Happy Advent!
    Teresa´s last blog post ..a knock at the door another package

  47. 48

    I came across your blog from a tag on another non RR blog–it was all pretty random. But, I was SO HAPPY to see sweet Cliff’s face when I connected to your blog. His sweet face greets me every time I pass my Christmas tree. I love this little one with a fierce love that only a mother can produce. I love knowing that other are fighting so hard to get this sweet boy a forever family–hopefully that will happen for him soon. Love your heart. God bless you.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeannett , Jeannett . Jeannett said: It is here. All the planning. All the praying. Somehow more terrified and excited than I've ever been. […]

  2. […] deal, or haven’t maxed out your Christmas budget yet, I hope you’ll consider helping Make Christmas Count for Cliff. Filed Under: Dish Tagged With: babies, baby gear, children, gifts, women About […]

  3. […] over at Life Rearranged is doing a BIG thing right now. She is raising money for Cliff, so that whoever may adopt him in the {hopefully} near future, will have some financial help. Cliff […]