Feature news

Adoption cat walk?



As the dust settles after last weeks “Adoption catwalk show” in Mato Grosso state, I find myself pondering the strong reactions people had nationally and internationally to the event which hoped to find families for the 18 children who were put on display. The event has been likened to a slave market and concerns about the psychological effect on the children have been raised.

So what do I think? Would I put these children on display, in a centre of consumerism, neatly placed between the latest 4k wide screen smart TV and a beautiful pair of sequined shoes which would be just perfect for next weekend’s wedding? I don’t think I would. I don’t think I sends the right message about adoption to the prospective parents or the children who so desperately need a family. But having said that I also would not be so quick to judge.

Although in the past years we have seen an increase of prospective parents being willing to adopt older children and sibling groups there are still far too few families to provide care for all the children on the adoption register. In fact, there are currently over 5,000 children and teenagers currently waiting for an adoptive family who may never appear.

Having worked in shelters for the past 8 years I believe that the system is hugely under equipped and underfunded to serve these children in the way that they deserve. So much more could be done in community development to prevent the breakdown of families. So much more could be done to rehabilitate families who hope to have their children returned to them. So much more could be done to develop the way we look after kids in the care system and how we prepare them to return to their biological families or as they look forward to adoption. So would I parade these young lives on a catwalk exposing their need and fragility, probably not, but it would be even more scandalous to stand back and do nothing. But for some unknown reason that scandal is not news worthy.

It is plain to see in the pages of the gospels that Jesus poured out his life for the poor and marginalised, and he was indignant when people kept the children away from him. As Christ’s followers, how are we pouring out our lives for today’s poor and marginalised? Or are we passing on the other side in order to avoid facing harsh realities.

I believe that the Church have to follow in the LORDS footsteps, we need to invest ourselves into the development of communities and the prevention of family breakdown. We should pour ourselves out to help rehabilitate and support families as they work towards having their children return home. We must be willing open our homes to foster and adopt these precious young lives who desperately need to experience the love of God.

I pray that those 18 children would find good loving homes, I also pray that this Adoption Catwalk scandal would move the Church to act, to show more of God’s love for the poor and marginalised of our country.

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Tess' 5th birthday party - Unicorns

 So we I went all out Brazilian style again with Tess' party. As well as loving the excitement on the girls faces as their home is transformed by a balloon spewing monster, I love having an outlet for my creativity that I don't get to use too often being at home! So sorry/not sorry for the OTT unicorn party to celebrate Tess' 5th birthday.  Enjoy the pics.


















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Clara's Paw Patrol Birthday



Some snaps of Clara's birthday in December 






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DIY SOS - Government Baby house



This last weekend Tony and a team from ReVive spent two days revamping a very run down government home for babies and young children.

(Laura helped by making brownies and biscuits- obviously) 

The Staff do what they can but the government are not very easy to get money from even for essentials like medicine and fixing up houses.


These quick videos help to share the before and after of this wonderful work




and here is the after.. 



the kids LOVED their newly painted home














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Education brings Joy

I just wanted to share this photo. The children haven't had their new teacher long but last week I needed to get the kids to write their names for a gift to one of the house mums for her birthday. The photo is of Gabriel (7) who was excited to be able to write his name by himself for the first time without help. Thank you to everyone who  has expressed an interest in supporting the Charity to employ a teacher. You are making a huge difference. Money has started to come in but we are still some way off our target to permanently employ a teacher.  If you would like to help too please contact us.


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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"Nelson Mandela

The children who have just recently entered the With Open Arms shelter have all come from homes where they have been neglected or worse.  They have not had the chance to go to school regularly and are far behind where they should be academically. Some cannot identify numbers or letters.  If we put them into a normal classroom with children their own age they wouldn't be able to join in any of the work. There is no special help for them and they would continue to get further and further behind and spend their days frustrated and sad not being able to understand. We have an opportunity to change their future. We have an opportunity to help them learn to read and write.

Can you help?

We need £3000 for a 6 month term to hire specialist teacher to educate these precious children. If you would like to give a donation please email us using the email tonyandlauralewry@gmail.com
If you would like to fundraise to help with the cost we would love to hear from you. We can provide photos, stories about the children, work, pictures, certificates and thank you cards to help inspire those raising funds.

 If you would like to help by doing a fundraising event please contact us on the above email with:

-the name of the school/organisation that is fundraising

-any ideas that you have for fundraising

-how much you are aiming to raise

We can then send you some more information about the children and some photos, fundraising ideas and other things you may need to help you begin.

By fundraising for us you're choosing to give these children a future. Thank you for supporting us and good luck with planning your fundraising event!



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The Grandparents in Brazil
















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Clara's watermelon 1st Birthday!

It was a little intense. I had planned this wonderful watermelon themed Big Brazilian first Birthday bash for Clara. Then I got the news that my surgery would be a couple of weeks before it. It was wonderful though and we loved seeing friends come and play and celebrate Clara with us! Here are some of our favourite photos.













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