Friends, I don't usually post things like this, but my friend C.J. Redwine, author of the kick-ass YA Defiance trilogy, is an amazing person. She and her family adopted a baby girl from China a couple of years ago, and now they're adding to their family by adopting another. This precious little angel has special needs, and C.J. and her family are the perfect people to give her a loving and wonderful home.

So, C.J. is having a fundraiser to help with the huge costs of bringing little Isabella home to her forever family. It costs about $15K for everything — adoption process, travel to China, required stay in China while awaiting the paperwork, etc — and C.J. is asking for some help. Just a $5 donation can help tremendously (hence the Skip a Starbucks part of the fundraiser). Here's a little bit about Isabella from C.J.

Isabella Grace Xiaofang was abandoned beneath a highway overpass when she was four months old. She had severe pneumonia, along with her heart disease and cleft palate, which were both causing her medical difficulty. That says to me that her parents loved her, and they tried for four months to care for her in secret, either to avoid paying the second child penalty fee, which is prohibitive for poorer families, or because they couldn’t afford her medical care, and when they realized she was going to die without care, they put her where she would be quickly found. Highways in China, especially in cities, are much different than ours. They are choked with pedestrians and bicyclists. She was sure to be found quickly.

A month after she was found, she had heart surgery to repair four different defects in her heart. She was in and out of the ICU for recurring pneumonia during her first year. In her second year, she had two surgeries to repair her lip and palate and to remove her extra thumb. At two years old, she’s still tiny (wearing 9 month clothing size), she’s not walking on her own yet, and she doesn’t have many words yet. Her delayed development is a result, I feel certain, of her constant surgeries and hospital stays.

The orphanage reports that Isabella is quiet, shy, and loves to smile and grab onto the nannies and play with them. I can’t wait to bring her home! Her brothers and sister are very excited to meet her and love her as well.

And here's a pic. Isn't she sweet?Isabella3

If you can help, great. Just click over to C.J.'s website and read more about Isabella and how you can be a part of this fundraiser. There are also some great prizes, including a huge prize pack from me: 10 Harlequins and 2 HOT books. If you can't donate, then please just add your prayers for Isabella to come home. Good thoughts and good deeds. Isn't that a pleasant way to start a Friday?