These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
Eric and Kelly Burton live in KY with their 3 children- Willa Kate, Sullivan, and Milo. Together, they have built a marriage of 15 years and a family that continues to grow. Their adoption story is unique! It began after the birth of their first child and secondary infertility was discovered. They attempted fertility treatments and prayed for another baby, but soon realized adoption did not have to be their Plan B. Once they began to pursue a beautiful boy in China, they stopped grieving what infertility had taken. It was clear this was their path all along!
Much to their surprise, the Burtons would soon be holding a miraculously positive pregnancy test and faced with a choice. God had answered their prayers for a baby, long after they’d stopped praying them. But their hearts were already all-in with a boy they’d never met.
Needless to say, the Burton brothers both joined the family in 2017! While it’s been a lot of hard work, saying “yes” to adoption has been the Burton family’s greatest gift. And they are ready to say “yes” again. They are praying to return to china for another special needs adoption. This time, a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease.
The Burtons are average people- a public school teacher and a stay at home mom- with hearts that beat for orphan care. They are humbly asking others to join in their efforts to bring “Luna” — soon to be named Nora Jane — home.
9/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Robert and Lara Vitter met on 9/10/06 and got married on 9/15/07. The Vitter Family has had a heart for adoption and orphan ministry since they started dating. They were pregnant with their 1st child after being married for 1 month. When their daughter was not even 1 they lived at a Children’s home for 2 1/2 years, had another baby and then moved to Italy as Christian missionaries for almost 8 years and added 3 more biological children to their family. Lara grew up in a home that adopted a terminally ill brother and they also had several foster children in their home. They have always wanted to grow their family through adoption and have been led to Cohen to join their family. They truly believe they are called by God in this way from James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” There’s never been a dull moment in their lives together and God has always called us to do ministry together as a family. We know Cohen is the next piece for our ministry “team”. They can’t wait to bring him home and have him be a part of all they do.
9/9/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
We are Emily Waterfield & Chris Brooks and we are expanding our family by adopting a little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. Originally from Virginia, we have been living in New Orleans, Louisiana for the past fifteen years. Chris works in operations and Emily has been a special education system leader for a decade. We have two young boys– Garrett and Oden- and together we love exploring City Park, eating Snoballs and crawfish, celebrating Mardi Gras and cheering for the Saints.
Our adoption began to take root years ago, when friends found their son via Reece’s Rainbow and shared their journey to bring him home. Advocating for the rights of children and specifically children with disabilities was not new to us, but the idea of adoption first seemed impossible and far fetched. Surely this was something other people were better suited for? For us, adoption became a real possibility the day we saw a picture of a little boy and there was a spark of instant recognition- this child, this boy is our son. The idea of flying across the world for him, raising money to meet the demands of this arduous process, lining up therapists and support to meet his unique needs– all of this is our reality now. We are not extraordinary. We are not wealthy. We are committed to our children and to bringing home our boy.
We have learned, it is commonplace due to poverty and social stigma for children with all types of disabilities to live in an institution all their lives, without knowing the feeling of being someone’s beloved child, having experiences such as going to school or to a park, or accessing the medical care necessary to thrive. We believe that people with disabilities are wonderful and not a burden. We believe in neurodiversity and that all great minds don’t think alike. Most of all we believe that all children belong in families.
Any contribution you choose to make, no matter how small is appreciated. We will not be officially matched or able to access any information about the little boy we think of as ours until our first trip to his country. Thank you so much for considering us and supporting visibility for waiting children with disabilities internationally.
9/8/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Lindsay, Noel and their two kids plus a multitude of scaly, feathery and furry members call the Mile High state home. Together they do all things outdoors and enjoy traveling, especially to Texas, Kansas and Florida to visit extended family. Their biggest adventure yet will be traveling to Asia to bring their little girl HOME. They cannot wait to love, honor and celebrate her! The Applebaugh Garza family truly and fully embraces the unique love, beauty and challenges that come with raising a child with different abilities. Their experience and passion began with Lindsay’s brother and aunt who influenced her to become a Special Education teacher. These experiences have continued as Noel and Lindsay raise their son who is on the Autism spectrum and now with their soon-to-be daughter who was born with an extra chromosome. They are thrilled to welcome their new daughter and support her in becoming her best, most happy and healthy self! They would like to invite you on their adoption journey @lovebugchina on Instagram! Thank you for reading, your love and your support!
9/1/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
This will be Dennis & Cindy’s 4th Adoption. They met their “CHRISTmas Miracle” in December of 2016. He came over with a group of other children through hosting. He has been coming to their family now for 4 years. They have sent him back to his orphanage 7 times, waiting to be able to begin his adoption. It is now his time to come Home.
Cindy just returned from Eastern Europe with their daughter’s Alyna & Anya; biological siblings who had never met until Cindy brought them out of their Orphanages on June 26, 2020. On July 7th they landed in America. Alyna also came to them through a hosting program when she was just 6 years old, in 2018. When they committed to adopt Alyna they found out she had a baby sister. She was called “Baby Surprise”. Alyna also came back to them in the Summer of 2019 for 3 months. one of the hardest experiences they ever had was to put their tiny little one back on a Plane to return to her Orphanage, just like their son. God kept telling Cindy, I brought them to you, you have to return them so I can bring them back Home to you. And this is exactly what He did. He brought them Home. Through a Border Closing, Quarantine and Virus, God moved, did Miracles and brought their girls Home.
They were never looking to Host. How God brought their children to them through Hosting, He unfolded His plan and He provided each time for them to come to America. With their son He even made the decision. Another incredible Story of how Our Father brings about His Plan, they have also Adopted Abraham & Sarah in 2014, Ayden in 2017. Many know of the Miracles with these precious little ones. Little Adalyn, their little one in Russia now 9 years old is still in an Orphanage in Russia due to the Ban in 20212. They were with her for a week and the Judge was trying to get them back in 2 weeks for Court, but sadly the Ban became Law a week after they returned Home in December of 2012. They still Believe, Hope, and Trust. They also have 8 incredible Biological children 41 to 24 and 11 Grandchildren.
They already have Immigration Approval which they received when they were Adopting their little girls and unfortunately he could not be Adopted then. So now they are trying to push quickly through paperwork and raise all the finances to bring him Home.
8/28/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Hi! We are the Quick family. In 2017, we traveled to Eastern Europe to adopt our dearly loved son, Mannix, who just happens to have Down syndrome. We brought him home to join his 8 older brothers and sisters when he was 9 months old, weighing just 10 lbs.
When we were in his birth country, we were able to see the conditions of his orphanage and the hospital where he was frequently sent, along with other bedridden children. We have never been able to forget these kids, who spend their days in cribs with barely enough to eat to stay alive, and no one in the world to love them.
We knew right away we would want to go back and adopt again, if at all possible. We have the room, the love, the time, and the resources to share with another child. However, we do not have the $30,000 in hand or in credit that it costs to bring a child home. We intend to work very hard at making and selling things, taking on extra jobs, selling things around the house and whatever else it takes to give another child a loving home and family. Our hopes are that our family, friends and community at large will come alongside us to make this happen, whether that be in prayer, monetarily, or time.
We thank you for your time and interest in our next journey and hope you’ll follow along.
8/26/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Meet the Bishop family! Brian and Kristin met as teenagers in their church youth group when Kristin was just 13. With many years of life to live before settling down, they both went their separate ways after high school before reconnecting in late 2008. After a whirlwind romance, they were finally married in May of 2010 and have built an incredible life in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Together they have 4 beautiful children ranging in age from 4 to 10. Brian works as a finance director for an automobile dealership and Kristin is the owner of a local insurance corporation in their hometown.
Special needs adoption is something that had always been on Kristin’s heart. For nearly 5 years it was a constant conversation in their home. In 2017, Brian accompanied Kristin on another mission trip to South America and it was there, in the mountains of Zacapa, Guatemala that Brian experienced that same life-changing desire to parent the fatherless. They welcomed their youngest son home through international adoption from South Korea in February of 2019.
Along with serving as bonus parents for teenagers and young adults needing additional support, Brian and Kristin have a convicted heart that all children belong in families. Because of that, they have decided to pursue another international adoption to bring home a little girl with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They feel overwhelmingly grateful for the love and support they have received through both of their adoptions and look forward to meeting their sweet new little one soon!
“He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
8/25/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Effhauser Family! Matthew and Sarah live with their five children on a little farm in rural Minnesota along with their two dogs, two barn cats and too many chickens to count. They are high school sweethearts and started their family soon after being married; their children now range from 13 to 2.
A few years into marriage, their eyes were opened to children with special needs living in orphanages around the world. They began supporting families in process and donating to life-saving surgeries for little ones. Soon they realized that maybe they were being called to adoption, someday. The conversations and prayers around adoption began and as they added more children to their family, worked their way through job changes and renovated their 1913 farmhouse, they kept gently hearing the Lord say “not yet”, even when their hearts wished He would say yes.
Trusting in His timing and discerning that the time to adopt was hopefully nearing, Sarah resigned from her teaching position to stay home with their youngest children in preparation to be home with their adopted child someday as well. The Effhauser family participated in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign and were thrilled to share a sweet boy with the world and the work of Reece’s Rainbow. Maybe advocacy was only what they were called to do?
Over the years, the couple had shared many pictures of waiting children with one another until one summer day they saw the face of a young boy, just a few months younger than the baby of their family and they knew, now was the time! The entire family can’t wait for their little brother to be home!
8/19/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Phil and Cole met in 2006 during their junior and senior year (respectively) of high school on a group date for Homecoming. Phil was dating Cole’s friend at the time, and Cole was there with Phil’s best friend. By the end of the night, they’d both decided that they were interested in each other. The rest is history…a total cliche. After five years of dating, they got married in November of 2011. In October 2012, they welcomed their first son, Gabe. Caroline joined the family in December 2013, and Nico was born in September 2015. After Nico was born, Cole found RainbowKids, and then Reeces Rainbow. Her mind was blown and her heart was broken by the reality of the orphan crisis. She began “preparing to prepare” to adopt someday…way in the future. A year and a half later, she and Phil brought Rosey home from Bulgaria. Shortly after bringing Rosey home, they found out that they were expecting a fifth child. They lost that baby, a little girl named Bonnie, but welcomed their rainbow baby Auggie into the family in April 2019. Early in 2020 Cole felt that familiar feeling and again began scrolling through the little faces online, looking for their baby. In March 2020 she found M, a sweet 3 year old living in Kyrgyzstan, and immediately texted a screenshot to Phil. He agreed that she was theirs, and they’ve been working diligently to bring her home ever since!
8/7/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Ben and Karaline met on the bus ride to summer camp in high school and quickly became close, getting married four years after meeting. Almost immediately after getting married, they were surprised with their first daughter, Posy and welcomed their second daughter, Felicity, a short 16 months after that. Ben is a pastor at a nearby church—he’s humorous, hardworking, and joyful. Karaline currently stays at home to care for the kids—she’s gentle, dedicated, and loving. Posy is four years old and loves to tell jokes! She’s creative, playful, and bold. Felicity is three years old and is a calm and gentle child. She’s loving, silly, and determined. We are a family that values being closely bonded to one another.
Since the beginning of their marriage, adoption was in their minds as a journey they one day wanted to walk. After giving birth to Felicity, it became clear to both Ben and Karaline that their 3rd would come through adoption. Ben and Kara are passionate about permanency for children in families! The more they learned about childhood trauma and common experiences and conditions that arise for children who need a permanent family, they were increasingly drawn to a special needs adoption. As they learned more and more in their pre-adoption classes, Ben and Kara realized that their parenting style and way of life is very conducive to parenting a child with special needs. Kara also has experience working with children with special needs and trauma backgrounds. Along with their strong support system through their large extended family, and their church community, they felt uniquely prepared to pursue a special needs adoption.
At each step, Ben and Karaline expected roadblocks and drawn-out periods of waiting. But at each step, they were pleasantly surprised by how quickly doors were being opened for them to step forward through the process. Out of the blue one day, they learned about an adorable little girl with Down Syndrome. In reading her file, talking with the doctor, and considering this possibility together, they felt huge confirmation that they could care for her needs and that she was the child for their family. The phone call saying their letter of intent was accepted is one of the most joyful moments of their lives! Their joy continues to increase the closer they get to bringing this sweet girl into their family.
They now are completing paperwork as quickly as they can for the opportunity to bring her home! Posy and Felicity have loved preparing her room and praying for her everyday as a staple of their pre-meal routine. While Ben and Kara know that adoption processes are anything but certain, they feel drawn to the world of adoption and of Down Syndrome. They await the joyous day in which they will welcome their newest daughter as a part of their family, forever. Thank you for being a part of their story of permanence as a family with their newest daughter!
7/30/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE; COMPILING DOSSIER
Mike and Robin have been married for 9 years. They have 9 beautiful kiddos, two who were adopted from Eastern Europe. Mike works as a public servant for the beautiful state of Washington and is the worship leader at Lakewood Grace. Robin is a stay at home mom and wife, and homeschools their kids.
Mike and Robin have a huge heart for adoption. After bringing their two girls home, they felt certain that they would be going back at some point. After much prayer and consideration, they decided to start the adoption process again. They discovered that a little boy they had seen a listing for a year and a half before was still waiting for his forever family. They decided that he should not have to wait any longer.
The cost of adoption can seem daunting but Mike and Robin firmly believe that God has called them on this journey and He will provide. Any prayers, donations, and shares of their story are all deeply appreciated.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27″
Early in our marriage, we had the opportunity to live overseas for about a year when our two oldest girls were just babies. Upon returning to the United States, we became very aware of how much we have in terms of resources and medical care here in America. We were also able to live close to family again. With those things in mind, over the next couple months, we both felt (separately) that God was leading us to adopt a child with special needs. When Ken brought it up with me, we were surprised to see that we had both been thinking that way and started exploring different options. Through a blog, I learned about the sad reality that many children in Eastern Europe who are born with disabilities are immediately put into orphanages. These children live without the love of a family and often without adequate medical care. In 2013, we were overjoyed to bring our son with Down syndrome home from Eastern Europe. A few busy years later, we decided to adopt again, this time from Haiti. Our daughter, also with Down syndrome, came home in 2018.
In reading the Bible, it is clear that God cares very much for those who are weak and vulnerable, who cannot defend themselves. And He speaks specifically about loving and caring for children without families. Even though life is busy, we have prayed (a lot!) about the possibility of adding another child to our family and feel that God has led us to do that and has shown that He will be with us and help us. We are finally through the paperwork process and are so excited and thankful to be able to bring two children home to our family. Our hope, our joy and our purpose in life is to follow Jesus and we know that Jesus loves these kids. We’re also thankful for Reece’s Rainbow and the many people who have advocated for these children. We can’t wait to have our little ones home!
9/6/2020 — OFFICIALLY MATCHED; AWAITING COURT
Joe and Jenna live in NY with their 4 daughters Brianna, Chiara, Savanna and Stella. Stella, who was born with Down Syndrome, was adopted from Asia in 2018 and now they are excited to be going back for their 5th daughter, also born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect.
Joe and Jenna’s adoption story began in 2010 when adoption was first planted in their hearts after the loss of their unborn child and the news that they were not able to conceive any more children. In 2013, their 3rd daughter and miracle baby, Savanna, was born. She was truly a blessing that they were not expecting. But the seed of adoption had been planted years earlier, and it was growing.
Even after experiencing this profound miracle, the Neri’s knew that they had so much more love to share. Faith has been the hallmark of the Neri family from the very beginning and has carried them through the most difficult times. They, like many other families, had a heart for special needs adoption. Jenna has worked with adults and children with both physical and developmental disabilities for 22 years and knew the unique challenges individuals with Down Syndrome face. Then Jenna saw a picture of a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome on Reece’s Rainbow and she knew this was her daughter. They worked hard to bring Stella home in October 2018 and now, less than 2 years later, they have fallen in love with another little girl that they know is meant to be their daughter as well.
Joe has just started his own small business and serves as the youth director at their church, and Jenna works as a Residential Manager for individuals with disabilities. They may not be a family of financial means, but they are rich in faith and love to share with another child. Despite the many uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and international adoption, they are committed to giving this beautiful girl the love, support and family she deserves.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETED
In 2013, when Nick and Val said yes to adopting a young boy from Ukraine that was being hosted in the US, they never dreamed answering God’s call would impact their lives so much. What they didn’t know was that little boy already had a family pursuing him. After much prayer they decided to continue the adoption journey in Ethiopia. After three successful and life changing adoptions of four children from Ethiopia, they felt the tugging on their heart by the Holy Spirit to adopt again. The tug they were feeling was to adopt a waiting child.
Val decided to get on Reece’s Rainbow. Right away they saw this beautiful little girl (Shelby Mae) and knew right away she was their daughter.
They are rejoicing and so thankful the for that tug from the Lord that led them to their precious daughter. His plan was made clear when they saw her beautiful face. They are excited to bring their daughter home and be family of 10.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
*** Shelby Mae has received an additional $5,000 Grant! ***
Jack and Emily are high school sweethearts who married in 2013. The couple always knew they would someday adopt. They separately volunteered at Russian orphanages in college and fell in love with the sweet children so in need of families there. Emily remembers holding the children with special needs, designated to a back room of the orphanage, and so in need of affection. Their experiences had a profound effect on both of them as they felt the separate call to someday adopt from this region… it was truly fate.
Jack served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army and the two have lived all over the country in their seven years of marriage. They have now settled into their civilian lives in West Virginia. Jack works in manufacturing and Emily, a former English teacher, now stays at home with their children and homeschools them.
Jack and Emily have two boys, Mark and Joseph, who are 5 and 2, as well as a daughter, Eloise, who was born earlier this year and lived for a short time after birth. Eloise had a rare genetic condition, and though she was too sick to live, she changed them in countless ways and continues to do so. Jack and Emily learned firsthand how every child, regardless of health or ability, is deserving of the same love and dignity as any other child. Eloise taught them that not only did they have the capacity to love and advocate for a child with significant medical needs, but that their hearts were open to the blessings of it.
Almost a decade after Jack and Emily volunteered at those Russian orphanages, it became clear that it was time; they were now being called to adopt a child with special needs from Eastern Europe. They hold to the truth that God’s ways are above our ways and they have seen the beauty of it in their lives in so many ways, most especially with this beautiful little girl with cerebral palsy who is waiting for them to bring her home. Jack and Emily and their boys are so excited to welcome this sweet child into their family and are counting down the days until she will be here.
They thank you for your support and prayers on this journey!
7/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
We live in the mountains of East Tennessee on a small family farm. We own our own business allowing us both to be home with our 9 going on 11 children. We currently have 4 girls and 5 boys. Our adoption journey started a long time ago before any of our children were even born. We both had worked with orphans on the mission field before we got married and had known we wanted to adopt before we even met. We finally completed our first adoption in March of 2018 when we brought home our son, Joshua, from China and what an adventure that was!
We felt the call to start the process to adopt again this past fall and so we just really started praying about when and where the Lord wanted us to go this time. With many less options being a larger family it was pretty easily narrowed down to about 3 places. After much research and prayer we really felt called to go to Eastern Europe this time around. When we went to pick up Joshua from China all 7 of our children at the time went with us to get him. On that trip their eyes were opened to the enormous need for families for special needs children. When we started the process of matching with children, our children were as broken hearted as we were at the number of waiting children and how long some of them have been waiting. Several of them asked if we could adopt all of them. haha They continue to witness the amazing transformation of their brother Joshua who had come to us deaf with no language at just shy of 5 years old. Needless to say adoption has changed all of our lives and our prospective in big ways.
We have recently matched with two precious little ones and are so ready to get them home! We have been and continue to be so amazed and blessed by the ways the Lord has and is using others to come alongside us in raising the funds needed to bring our little ones home.
8/19/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
*** Gracelyn has received a $2,000 Grant & a 2,596 Waiting Child Grant! ***
*** Antonio has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Kayla and Gino Canessa have been married for 9 years and are the parents of 4 kids. They have now been through international adoption before. Their first adoption was a set of two, adopted from Eastern Europe in 2018.
Kayla wanted to adopt a sweet boy she saw online almost 4 years ago, but he kept being unavailable due to being hosted. She kept the feelings for that little guy for a very long time, following him online, wishing him well. Until one day, she saw him available for hosting, it was her chance and she took it immediately! Hosting went wonderfully, they finally met the kid they had fall in love with, he fit effortlessly with the family, he was happy and expressed he wanted them to become his forever family. Everybody was happy!
Gino and Kayla wanted to adopt him as quickly as possible and worked very hard on their side. The process, however, has been painfully slow, with many bumps on the road, due to delays beyond the family’s control.
The latest thing that happened is that they were on their way to K’s country to sign the paperwork at the American Embassy and visit their boy, who was anxiously waiting for them. They arrived in Amsterdam but weren’t allowed to board any connecting flight to reach K’s country. No matter how much they tried, they were denied every time. The American Embassy had somebody calling them and advised them to turn around and go back home immediately, since borders were gonna be closed and airports shut down, due to the Coronavirus. Heartbroken, they returned on the first plane available the next day.
Like all of the other families currently in process, the Canessa’s are distressed, worrying for their boy and his safety. Worried about fundraising during quarantine and how things are gonna be after that. They worry because their boy is running out of time, he is aging out and has medical needs that haven’t been properly addressed in his country and some others that haven’t been addressed at all. K is painfully aware of that and has started losing hope. He’s completely scared, filled with anxiety and sadness. He needs out, the family needs to go get their boy as soon as possible. Their USCIS deadline is dangerously close to expiring.
They are so grateful for the opportunity to be K’s parents and for all those who are willing to join them in helping to bring K home. They know these are hard times due to the pandemic and all its repercussions, but they are also aware of people having big hearts for the kids in need. They would be SO appreciative and grateful for any support!
7/16/2020 — OFFICIAL REFERRAL ACCEPTED
Gary and Denise became members of the Reece’s Rainbow Family in 2006. First by advocating and supporting International Adoption for Ukraine and children in Eastern Europe. After adopting both Makayla and Patrick in 2000 and 2002 they wanted to return to adopt but decided on adopting from Bulgaria Chrissie 2009, then Jake and Gennie in 2011 from Bulgaria. Sadly Gennie died of complication of organ failure from her Cystic Fibrois shortly after arriving in the US. Little Jake also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. But the Davis Family devotes their love and time to caring to ensure Jake gets the very best medical care. After Gennie’s death the Davis family hearts ached. But also the Davis family heart was for another little girl so their hearts were led to Ukraine and adopted not one but two little girls Penelope and Katya. As time quickly passed by read of a little girl Sophia who needed major ortho care and a young man they named Grayson who received a donor kidney. These two children needed out quickly to survive and without medical care Grayson would have died. And Sophia now can run and dance like other children.
Advocating for Reece’s Rainbow did not end after their adoption of Grayson and Sophia in 2019. Denise followed each child as they were listed and daily prayed each found a home. Speaking to many families through her blog she shared her journey with the assistance of Reece’s Rainbow. Many times there would be certain children or families who touched Denise’s heart. So she helped by donating and advocating to families adopting. This pass year there was a particular little girl with two healthy sisters. Her name on Reece’s Rainbow but not her given name was sitting on a couch watching her sisters play. This particular video Denise watched over and over. Each night the girls were in Denise’s prayers. Soon the entire family prayed for this little girl. She sat in an old blue pair of pajamas as her healthy sister dressed in party dresses. Both playing with dolls and pushing doll strollers. Watching a video of a small girl who so many people viewed yet never inquired or cared. As months passed she sat once again on the same couch but this time alone. Her precious beautiful healthy sisters were chosen for adoption. Makes one ask theirselves why not little Cassandra also. Make children like Cassandra are over looked. Her clothes still old and mismatched. Could they have placed a pretty dress on her? Add on a big beautiful bow? Made you wonder if she knew her sisters were not coming back. Knowing this one little girl once she is 4 or 5 wll be moved to an older child’s orphanage or even worse an adult institutional setting. Yes there are thousands of orphans in the world but not one child out of the thousands chose to be an orphan. Not sure if many of you have visited an orphanage. The Davis family and their adopted children can tell you this is not a home nor a family. Children need a Father a Mother, sisters and brothers. And maybe a few cats or a dog to snuggle with and play ball with.
No child as they grow up wonder why they were not in a family. Many times families do not adopt because they are unsure or afraid.. Adopting a child involves a ton of paperwork, many tears, many prayers and yes one adoption can cost over $34,000. Without prayers, love an support of others through donation can not be possible. Please in your heart Take that Leap. The Davis Family prays that the funds they need are provided as needed during their adoption. Every dollar goes to saving a little girl or boy sitting on a couch alone or laying in a bed.
7/3/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Hi! My name is Holly and I would like to introduce you to a crazy family… Mine.
I have an 11 year old son named Jakob and for a while it was he and I against the world. Then in 2014 Jake and I married Ronnie. He tripped me in Walmart, and I fell for him. Literally. Together the 3 of us built a beautiful little family. In 2015 we added Genesis to our family, and in 2017 God gave us our two boys.
We had been introduced to Reece’s Rainbow and international special needs adoption a year-ish before when our church participated in a fundraiser to help a local family to bring home a waiting child from Reece’s Rainbow. Around the same time another Reece’s Rainbow child had gone viral for their amazing transformation since being brought home. I would scroll through the photo’s of the children, share the fundraisers for the families, and pray for all. I never thought we would be one of the families! But then it happened. One day I was scrolling through the photos and I saw a face. I felt it in my whole being that she was part of our family and we jumped in heart first!
We had no idea what we were doing, and there were many hiccups along the way! We kept pushing forward though. Then in April 2018 we found out that the child we absolutely loved had passed away. My heart was shattered. Since we were in an incredible custody battle for the two boys we decided not to continue with the adoption at that time. We needed to focus on keeping the boys safe.
Then in October 2019 it happened again. I was scrolling through Reece’s Rainbow’s Facebook page and I saw a little boy who looked so much like my 4 year old that my heart just stopped. We had just purchased our new home days before. We were in a new state, new house, starting a new chapter of our lives. I showed his picture to Ronnie expecting that he was going to talk some sense into me. Instead he tells me “we actually have room for two”. So much for being talked off the ledge!
Ronnie works for the public school system with developmentally disabled children. I work for a nonprofit organization as a Direct Support Professional in residential group homes. We are NOT wealthy people by any means. But what we lack in dollars we make up for with love. God has brought us to this, and I know he will provide for us to be able to bring our children home.
Please keep our family in your prayers as we work endless hours of overtime, fundraise, and try to navigate the international adoption process.
6/23/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Adam & Kara met at church in late 2003 and became friends. They started dating in 2004 and married in 2005. Both wanted a family and saw that their shared faith and a strong relationship among the parents and children was important. Adam loves Kara’s passion for children and her focus on family. Kara thought Adam was also loving and good with the kids at church and with friends. One thing they appreciate about each other are their servant’s hearts and how they have a will and desire to help others whether spiritually, physically, materially, financially, or any other need that arises. Adam and Kara firmly believe that strength between the parents, helps create a firm foundation for a family.
Adam and Kara have considered adoption and opening not just their home, but also their family to another child for most of their marriage. Adam was raised by both parents and his oldest brother was adopted. Adam has a total of 4 siblings. Kara was adopted as an infant and was raised by both parents and when Kara was 4, they adopted her younger brother. Kara met her Birth Parents when she was 18 and maintained a loving relationship with her Birth Mother. Adam and Kara’s biological children were raised to see adoption as an amazing and beautiful opportunity for a family and a person who needs a loving family. It was obvious that their efforts were fruitful when they told the other children that they started the process to adopt. The children were all filled with joy and excitement and were brought to tears. They also immediately started to look for ways they could help with changing living arrangements, how their school and activity schedules could change, how they could help with fundraising, how they would protect and teach their new sibling, and many, many more topics.
The children in the Horbett household are such a mix of personalities and abilities. While all of the kids are different and can bump heads, they care for each other deeply. They will stand up for each other in social situations, and help each other when it is needed. Their favorite family activities are movie nights- when we get pizza and snuggle up on the couch. They also all love to go to the neighborhood pool, where there is also a toddler pool that the new addition may enjoy playing in. The kids love sidewalk chalk, bike riding, playing on the swing set. The Horbett family is often found outside whenever the weather is nice, getting together with neighbors and friends and the family loves taking walks together.
The Horbett Family is eager to bring home their new daughter, and they are so appreciative of all of the support they have received from family and friends.
6/9/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Geno family! Matt and Brynne Geno have been married for 3 years and have a one-year-old boy named Levi. Brynne works as a special education teacher and Matt is a chemical analyst in a chemical plant. They live in south Louisiana.
Both Matt and Brynne felt a call to adopt before getting married. Brynne served on two summer mission teams in Eastern Europe in 2012 and 2013. Matt served in Ukraine for 6 months doing mission work in 2013. Also, Matt’s younger sister is adopted from Ukraine. They have both felt called to adopt from Eastern Europe, specifically, due to their time serving the Lord there.
They have committed to a sweet two-year-old girl with an infectious smile. She is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and developmental delays. They are committed to her and currently wrapping up our home study. Thank you in advance for your generosity, and please keep them in your prayers!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
7/21/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER; AWAITING USCIC APPROVAL
The Lewandowski family are in the process of adopting an aged-out boy – or two – from Eastern Europe.
Kevin and Natalia met online. Both grew up in totally different communities, totally different surroundings, and totally different countries. Kevin was raised in family-oriented Polish community and has always seen his own role as a person who is supporting strong family bonds.
Growing up in a Ukrainian blue-collar family, Natalia always had a heart for those who were in need. Living and volunteering in Ukraine and the USA for multiple church and community services gave her opportunities to reach out to those who were living below the poverty level such as the elderly and people with disabilities. There was something special about Ukrainian orphans though that was always on her mind over the past 2 decades: orphanages are meant to provide shelter, clothes, and basic nutrition, but cannot ever be a substitute for real FAMILY.
Kevin and Natalia hosted a 16-year-old boy during the summer of 2019. It was not an easy summer, but it gave them a chance to feel an orphan’s emotional pain and trauma. Kevin and Natalia understand that it may take a lifetime to help their son learn to cope with the physical and emotional trauma caused by institutional and parental neglect. The other boy they are considering was also hosted but his family, after deciding to adopt, was not able to proceed. Other families that had been interested in this boy assumed he was being adopted, and by the time the family discovered they could not proceed, it was too late for another family to do anything because he had aged out.
Raising funds for a teenager’s adoption is not easy task, but both Natalia and Kevin strongly believe that they were called for this adoption and God will provide by using people’s hearts and hands. Please consider teaming up with this family in this financial challenge that will change ONE orphan’s life, or maybe even TWO.
6/16/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Rodney and Alisha Keim live in Atkinson, Nebraska with their children Josiah, Selah, Jeremiah, and Tallulah. Jeremiah was adopted from Thailand in 2015 and Tallulah from Asia in 2019. The family was first matched with Tallulah through her advocacy page at Reece’s Rainbow. In one of the photos, she was pictured with another little boy who also captured their hearts. Had it been possible to adopt them together, that would have been their desire. The family met Eli while in country finalizing the adoption of Tallulah in May of 2019.
Their “happy family” picture was taken at the orphanage. Just after the picture was taken, the Keim family left the orphanage with Tallulah. Just before the photo was taken, Eli was taken back to join the other kids without families, bawling. The Keim family longs for the day they can see him again, the day his friend will become his sister. They pray he will come to understand how much he was loved that day and that he holds a piece of their broken hearts in his.
The last piece of paperwork the family will need in order to submit their dossier has been sitting on a desk in the USCIS office since March (just before immigration biometrics offices shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic). The family asks for your prayer: perhaps the God who moves mountains can push that little piece of paper on through soon. They also ask you to consider giving a donation to help them bring Eli home! Rodney and Alisha are each self-employed by small businesses that have been impacted by the Coronavirus shutdowns. God continues to provide graciously for their every need… perhaps you are one way he will provide for the adoption of Eli!
5/26/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
*** Elijah received a $5,000 Grant! ***
We are the Rinehart family and we are adopting! This will be our third and final adoption from Asia. We have six grown children and multiple grandchildren. Our home and family are full of people and love. Our two youngest daughters (ages 8 & 6), adopted in 2017 and 2018, are eagerly awaiting their little sister! We began our adoption journey in 2016 after the Lord laid in on our hearts over a several year period to adopt. The journey was like chipping away at stone to reveal the diamond underneath. The first time we saw her picture we were hooked! Little did we know then that we would repeat the process two more times. Like her sisters before her, our newest little one has stolen our hearts and we know that she is our daughter! We hope to bring her home this fall. With all of the uncertainty in the world, we would appreciate your prayer. Please pray for our family to get through this process quickly and that travel would be safe and available when it comes time to travel. If the Holy Spirit moves you to donate, we would certainly appreciate that as well. Thank you!
5/18/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
We are Carrie and Ken Woods, parents of six children, four adopted from Asia and two biological. We met in high school and have been married for almost 34 years. Our children range in ages from 8 to 31 and we are also excited to soon be grandparents. We started our first adoption in 2000 and over the years we have been fortunate to grow our family one at a time. Our last adoption in 2015 started with looking at several files and came down to two beautiful girls. It was a difficult decision but we are thankful that we brought our new daughter home when we did because she has needed significant medical care over the last 5 years. Fate would have it that the file for the other little girl came to our attention at the end of last year and we felt we were in a place to move forward and bring her home. She has always been in our hearts and now she will be in our lives and loving home.
5/15/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Mollie doesn’t remember the exact moment when adoption was put on her heart and in her mind. But, she does remember it was all consuming. She tried to get away from it. But, she couldn’t. It was there and it wouldn’t go away. It was 2015. By early 2016 she finally worked up the nerve to bring it up to her husband, Bryan. It’s not that they didn’t talk often, or that they kept secrets. It’s that she thought he would think that she was crazy! You see… they had seven biological children and they thought they were done. Their family felt complete.
Earlier that year their youngest, at seven years old, had had open heart surgery. She had recovered and was doing great. Their oldest son was engaged to be married. Life was good. But, that nagging adoption thing wouldn’t go away. So she told him. And, the miracle of it all was that he had been thinking about it, too.
In April 2017, one month after their first grandchild was born, they came home with not one, but two sons from China. They were their pride and joy! But life wasn’t ever going to be the same. It was overwhelming! But, one day at a time, one sleepless night at a time, they got through it.
They went into adoption with their eyes wide open, or so they thought. In the end both boys, their sons, had needs that had been undiscovered. The words deaf and autism, and global delays were added to their family. But guess what? These were their children, the ones they fell in love with before they had ever met them! They held on because God knew what they needed. They needed to depend upon him totally. Three years later their adopted sons are thriving and their biological children have learned so much about love and the privilege to know people with special needs.
In 2020 that call to adopt has become strong in their family again. This time they have felt called to consider adopting a little girl with that beautiful extra chromosome. They want to add a child with Down syndrome to their family. And, once again it’s the same, that all consuming desire is there to give a child a family. Would you please pray God will make a way?
5/11/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Luckow family. They are finally excited to expand their family to a party of 3! Lauren and Drew were both born and raised in south Florida. After meeting through mutual friends they were inseparable. Moving forward to being happily married for 3 years, settling into their homes and careers, they have chosen to move forward with adoption.
In their hearts they have always wanted to adopt, and specifically adopt a child with Down syndrome. Over the past few years Lauren & Drew have volunteered with the Special Olympics, Starability and other local organizations. With spending time with the athletes and children, they knew they wanted to start growing their family with adoption, despite being able to conceive on their own.
They spent a lot of time educating themselves on international adoption and looking through advocacy websites. Coincidentally both Lauren and Drew came across “Clementine” through different advocacy sites and felt very strongly God saying, “This is your child.” This is just the start for the Luckow family. In time they would like to expand their family. Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated in this process. Thank you!
5/5/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
We are the Redfern Family. We have 9 children between the ages of 8-30 years old right now. Our oldest daughter is married and pregnant with our second grand baby. Our oldest son is finishing his masters and getting married this summer. One son lives in a neighboring town where he works. Our two oldest girls at home graduate from high school this year.
We are in process to bring home a sibling group from Eastern Europe. A boy and a girl. The girl has special needs. The children we hope to adopt are not on hold for us until our first trip. If they are not available then we will be shown other referrals of children matching our homestudy. Our prayer though is that this sibling group will be available for us. We are excited to be adding to our family. The cost of this adoption will be approximately $39,000 both children. This is why we have set a goal of $25,000.00. We have paid $10,000 of the cost so far and will be able to save another $5000.00 towards it. It’s hard to have garage sales, bake sales and such with a virus around. We will be applying for grants as soon as we can. If you can donate we would be forever grateful. If you can not, that is absolutely fine too! We know times are tough right now.
We would love prayer requests for the following issues if you feel led. 1) That this sibling group will be available as we love them already and they could be kept in the same orphanage until we can travel. This will save quite a bit of money (we have budgeted this way above believing that God will do this). That they are safe and fed until we can come and their hearts prepared to love a new family. That they can be adopted at the same time. 2) That this country would waive the 30 day waiting period, allowing me to make 2 trips instead of three. The area they are in have never waived it but other areas have. I believe it will for sure not happen if we don’t ask God. So I am asking him. 3) That He will prepare the hearts of the siblings at home. They are very excited. And that Torey and I would have wisdom to raise all our children to have a personal relationship with Christ and to love Him with their whole hearts. 4) That He would provide as He sees fit.
6/17/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Dave and Erin Briar have been blessed with eight children – two boys, five girls and one older “daughter-of-the-heart” – Alicia. Dave and Erin met Alicia at church while serving overseas in the US military. They quickly bonded with Alicia, invited her into their home, and “adopted” her at age 20. In essence, a daughter-of-the-heart. They love all their kids from oldest at age 28 to the youngest at age 12. Caliana will be a much-loved and welcome addition to their family — another daughter-of-the-heart.
The last five years have brought a lot of change to the Briars’ lives. Dave retired from active duty. The family moved back to their home in Tok, Alaska, where Dave works for an Alaska-based company. Several other aspects of their family situation changed and they felt the Lord wanted them to be doing something different. That ‘different’ was being introduced to Reece’s Rainbow by one of their daughters. From the very beginning Caliana caught Erin’s heart. After much prayer and talking it over as a family (who are all very much excited by another sister!) they have started the journey to bring home another daughter-of-the-heart!
Dave served in the US Air Force for 30+ years and the Briars moved around quite a bit before settling in Tok, Alaska. The Briars have lived in Texas, Delaware, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Nevada, Maryland, and Alaska. They also lived in Germany for six consecutive years and South Korea for a total of six years on three separate assignments. In addition, Dave did an unaccompanied tour in Honduras and two combat tours in Iraq. As a result, the Briars are no stranger to overseas living and culture. But living in a foreign country never slowed down their desire to grow their family. In fact, four of their children were born overseas – two in Germany and two in Korea. They feel that having a daughter born in Eastern Europe will further add to the international flavor of their family. And Caliana will ensure that the Briars born overseas outnumber those born in the US!
8/27/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
We are Jeff and Mollie, parents of 9 living children, as well as one, Hannah, who passed away in 1991. Three of our children still live at home, while the others are married and living independently, or in college. We have one grandson at this time! His name is Austin and he is two. He is the center of attention most of the time and we love opportunities for him to come and stay the night.
We met while Jeff attended college and Mollie’s mother met him in a bookstore and invited him to church. It was in church we met for the first time, became best friends, dated, and in March of 1978, we became engaged then married in 1979. We both had a calling from God to serve in some capacity in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. We moved to the area near Chicago and attended Bible college. After graduation, we began our career in the field of ministry. We’ve had the privilege of Pastoring 3 churches and working in a Bible college in Texas. We have been completely in love with each other and with our children. As a family we are actively busy serving in our churches in a variety of ways. We are a musical family of pianists, guitar playing and singing. Our family has known the satisfaction that comes in truly making a difference in the lives of those who need us in our communities and churches, from our seniors and our ministries to people with special needs, and those in our inner cities and nursing homes.
Our family loves to laugh and have fun but also practices our faith and applies a “person centered” approach with each of our family members. We are a family of a variety of backgrounds and races. We adopted our oldest son from Honduras and another daughter from Seattle who is part Eskimo Indian..
We do have our times of stress but have learned to talk things out and pray together about our differences and show love and support to each other.
What is important to us is making a difference in the lives of children with special needs. Our first born daughter Hannah, was born with Down syndrome. She died at age 4 after her 4th heart surgery. We were told we would never have more children and began to adopt. Then we had three more biological children! Each person in our family is so unique and plays a vital role in our family structure. Jeff is now a retired Pastor but does teaches others through an online Bible college. Mollie works with the state of Ohio as an independent provider for adults and children with special needs. We also have helped churches start ministries to include people with special needs within the congregation. We feel this is so vital today. Not long ago, we saw a photo and read the narrative on Vivi and wanted to help her so began to call families we knew. After not finding someone who would undertake this we decided why not us? We want to adopt her ourselves and pray Vivi can be a part of our family. This will more than likely be our last adoption as we are getting older! We know that God can open the door for us and make this happen and we would appreciate your prayers and support. We are both in good health and love our busy happy family life and feel Vivi would be loved and happy here!
8/3/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
*** The child the family is adopting has received a $5,000 Older Child Grant! ***
Hi there! We are the Park family, Bryce, Annie, Benson and Emmaline. We met through friends in 2009 and hit it off. After a cup of coffee and talking all night- the rest is history. We got married in 2011 and have since welcome 2 biological children into the world. We’ve fostered 2 children with disabilities and have always known there is a permanent place in our home and family for a child with special needs- who might not otherwise have one.
Most of our adult life has been spent taking care of people with disabilities in many capacities, from direct support, to foster care, to lifelong friendships. We have a passion caring for and loving people with disabilities.
We have been fortunate in our journey to parenthood, and we are looking to grow our family. We are finally in a place where the time is right for us to expand our love and give a deserving child a home. Our children are excited for their next brother or sister!
9/14/2020 — TRAVELING LATE SEPT
Leah is a lifelong Navy sailor who grew up as a dependent and is now active duty. When she was a young girl living in Hawaii, her stay-at-home RN mother fostered several children under 2 who had special needs for a few months and one at a time while they were between more permanent homes. Even though she was only 5 years old at the time, she fell in love with a baby named Emily whose smile she can still remember and was old enough to understand that adopting meant adding a child who didn’t come out of my mommy’s tummy. Since then, adoption has been at the forefront of her mind when it comes to adding kids to a family of her own.
In 2015 while stationed on a ship, her church hosted an adoption agency that talked about older child adoption. They told her that even single women who work full time on a Navy ship can adopt. Leah knew that her time was coming when she would add to her family of one.
In January of 2019, a friend shared the Reece’s Rainbow page of a girl who was aging out and Leah felt the tug on her heart. She began prayerfully considering adoption in the near future and knew it was almost time. Almost one exact year later, another girl with the same special needs was shared to Facebook by a friend who had already completed an adoption for a child on Reece’s Rainbow and was working on her second. Leah knew it was time and began her home study that month.
First time international adoption can be a long and difficult process and the child that Leah is working toward adopting doesn’t have much time! Any kind of help is welcomed and appreciated and thanks to all who follow this journey to make the Davis family go from one to two!
8/15/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
James and Colleen met when Colleen was freshman and James was a junior, in college. We started dating five years after that and we married 2012. We found out in 2014 we couldn’t have children biologically. As it broke our hearts, we immediately knew we were meant to adopt. Before we got married, we spoke about the possibility of fostering and adoption, as Colleen knew as a young girl she wanted to adopt. At that time, we found Reece’s Rainbow, and instantly we found our son. We adopted Jacob in 2016 from Bulgaria and he will be 7 in July. Four years later, a little girl in Eastern Europe has our hearts and God has very clearly said go, just like what happened, four years ago.
4/8/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
The Wierenga family has a $1000 matching grant! When their FSP reaches $3751, they’ll receive an additional $1000!
The Reinecke family is no stranger to international special needs adoption. They returned from Eastern Europe last summer with their twin girls and are now ready to go back for a little boy!
Rebecca started researching international adoption while she was in college, knowing that with her own health conditions she might not be able to build a family in the traditional way. She already had three cousins added to her family through adoption and felt that this could be a good plan for her as well. She spent hours reading the blog “The Blessing of Verity” and fell in love with the idea of adopting a child with special needs. Years later, she became engaged to Brendyn and was listed for a pancreas transplant shortly after. Plans were in the works to build a family through both biological and adopted children and then a pancreas became available, which changed their lives forever, in the best and hardest ways possible. The surgery that was supposed to make conceiving easier, ended with complications that made carrying a child dangerous for mom and baby. Always planning on adopting anyway, they decided to move the plans for adoption to the forefront and began researching. Rebecca remembered that blog from so long ago and started sharing the idea with Brendyn who agreed that adopting a child with special needs would be something they were well situated to do with Rebecca’s nursing experience and personal experience with medical conditions. On July 17, 2018 Rebecca saw an advocacy post for 3.5 year old twins and they decided to get more information. It was love at first sight and they had the commitment paperwork with them to mail out on the first day of their honeymoon a couple weeks later. Twelve months after they saw the picture they brought Margo and Rose home to Wisconsin.
A few months after returning home with the twins, a little boy on Reece’s Rainbow named “Klein” started popping up on Rebecca’s newsfeed. She couldn’t help but notice how similar he was to Margo, who is completely blind from Retinopathy of Prematurity. He still had the light in his eyes that was quickly fading from Margo when they picked her up in July. He was sitting in a room familiar to the family and had the same black hair and dark eyes. They were not yet eligible to adopt and he became the first Reece’s Rainbow child that Rebecca advocated for. A couple months passed and he was still listed and tugging on Rebecca’s heartstrings. The time was coming when they would be eligible to adopt again and Rebecca brought him up to Brendyn and they requested more information. After much conversation, they decided it was meant to be and they signed on with their placing agency New Year’s Eve 2019. Since signing on with their agency they have dove into the paperwork and doing everything they can to get him home as quickly as possible. Rebecca, Brendyn, Margo, and Rose are all excited to welcome this little boy into their family!
8/26/2020 — AWAITING FIRST TRIP
Brian and Stephanie’s family has been grown in nearly every way possible: biology, step parenting, foster care and international adoption. Eight of their children are “permanent members” but a handful of extras call them mom and dad from their years as foster parents and Brian and Stephanie love the crazy joy that their large family brings.
When they brought home their daughter, Nadya Rose, from Eastern Europe right before Christmas in 2018, Stephanie said “see you soon” to their daughter’s birth country as the plane took them home to America. Fulfilling that promise, the Higgins family is adopting another tiny “homie with an extra chromie” and are excited to watch their littlest daughter become a big sister to the little one they are affectionately calling “cheeks.”
7/3/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
These families are in country now…meeting their child for the first time as a result of your life-saving donations
Brian and Julie Swegle are the parents of 7. After raising their 6 birth children, they decided that they were still young enough and brave enough to add more children to their family through adoption. Because Julie is a teacher for the visually impaired at a school for the deaf and the blind, they felt particularly equipped to parent children who are blind. So, 1.5 years ago they welcomed a daughter from China (who is deafblind) to their family. She was such a joyful addition to the family that they decided to grow their family through adoption for a second time.
Through a series of seemingly well-orchestrated circumstances, Madeline and her need for a family to adopt her immediately came to the attention of the Swegle family. When they read Madeline’s story they fell in love with her and realized how well she would fit into their growing family. Brian and Julie are hoping to bring Madeline home as quickly as possible. They are so grateful for the opportunity to be Madeline’s parents and for all those who are joining them in helping Madeline. Thank you for joining the Swegle family on their journey to Madeline!
7/7/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
The families listed on this page have made it to “the end of the rainbow”.
Your sponsorship is most critical now, as their final agency, country, and travel fees are coming due. Your help will make such a huge difference!
Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Sponsor one or more families to help with the financial burden of their adoption journey.
Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Chipper and Kinsley met how any normal millennial couple meets these days, in the Buffalo, New York, International Airport. The budding romance continued with a generic Facebook friend request a few days later which set the stage for an entire year of not talking at all. True love can never be denied, though. In the fall of 2013, one message led to another and, one week later, the two lovebirds were talking multiple hours every day, Chipper in Baltimore and Kinsley in Charleston. Chipper did the rational thing, having seen Kinsley once before in the airport, and drove down through the night to surprise Kinsley at church in South Carolina. Four months later, wasting no time, they were married in Rockville, Maryland, and the rest is history. Movie rights to the relationship story are owned by Disney… Just kidding.
They now have 5 children and live in suburban Atlanta. Chipper works for a Cyber Security Software company while Kinsley is a homemaker and homeschools the kids. They began looking into adoption a few years prior but between becoming pregnant and a few other things it was put on hold. In September of 2019, they saw a little boy they were drawn to and decided to pursue adopting. While they were unable to bring that little boy home, they were so thankful to find a specific country they wanted to pursue adopting from.
7/29/2020 — FIRST TRIP “Virtual” in AUGUST
*** Garth has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Hello! We are Madisen and Allen Crapo. We are so excited to finally be in this place and would love to share a small part of our story with you. When we were dating and things began to become serious, I (Madisen) brought up the possibility of adopting a child with DS in the future. I was nervous to hear his response, but he was equally as excited and on board. We always knew adoption would be part of our lives, though we didn’t know what a large part it would play. As teenagers, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl, who we chose to bless another family with. We were not prepared financially or emotionally at the time for a child and are so blessed with our new family. We were thrown into the adoption community, and we have learned so much.
Through our new found friends, we found Reece’s Rainbow. The plan was eventually, when everything was perfect, to adopt from an Eastern European country whose children we felt a strong pull to. God had other plans, and a few years ago placed a sweet boy in our hearts. We became determined to start the process much sooner than planned. We had to wade our way through school and starting careers while trying to wait patiently. We are so grateful that we saw his picture, while available, to give us that extra push to have faith. Though we know there is no guarantee of receiving his referral, we have already seen countless miracles in our process that confirm to us we are on the right path. Our daughter (5) is so nurturing and we are excited to see her welcome her new brother and become officially outnumbered (our son is 2). We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
3/4/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Phil and Maggie have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with 5 beautiful children, ages 9, 7, 6, 4, and 3. Phil is a writer and works from home. Maggie homeschools the children and the whole family gets to spend most of their time together, which is something they do not take for granted.
Maggie felt drawn toward adoption from a young age and, through experience with family members and through volunteering at a local organization that employs those with special needs, she developed a special love for those with Down syndrome. Phil has not always felt called to adoption, but Maggie asked him to pray about the possibility of adopting. Several years later, after finding out that his grandfather was adopted, Phil’s heart opened and he was on board. They both felt called to international adoption from the start and, through prayer and various circumstances, they discerned that God was leading them toward an Asian adoption.
There were three little boys that they felt drawn to during the referral process. Two of these boys had families hoping to adopt them once their home studies were approved, which gave Phil and Maggie peace about pursuing the third little boy. Something about his picture really grabbed their hearts and they were so excited that he might become a part of their family.
After a roller coaster of twists and turns and many months delay, they finally received pre-approval to adopt Chip. Their other children fell in love with him instantly and already consider him a part of the family. The 3-year-old loves to pray for “Chippy” and they can’t wait until they get to meet him face to face, as they feel like he has been in their hearts forever.
They feel so blessed to have been called to the beautiful journey of adoption. Financial hardships have been many throughout the process, but they are trusting that the Lord will provide for them as He always has. Thank you to anyone willing to assist in bringing their new son home! May God Bless you!
3/3/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
We are Jaime and Gary and we hope that our story can help you understand why we have chosen the wonderful yet difficult path of adoption. We are the parents to three internationally adopted children from China, Shawn 8, Ryan 5, and Robin 3. We are often asked why we chose to adopt internationally rather than have our own biological children. We answer them how Vernon Pierce, a pastor and foster parent, does. He describes the mirrors between adoption and Gods love. He says “I like to tell people that we were the people in the back of the filing cabinet with the red stamp saying: Do not adopt. You look at the file on humanity and it says: Prone to rejection, prone to running away, prone to disobedience. There is no reason why God should have loved us and yet God did love us. He set his love upon us and it was a redemptive love to reconcile us to himself, to restore us to himself and restoring a people to himself. We were meant to be part of the family of God. We fell away and God still brings us back to himself”. When we adopt, we willing to choose the “red stamps” of life; those who are hurt, both physically and emotionally. We as parents set our love upon them and watch as Gods redemptive and restorative power work through us to directly change our children. It’s a truly powerful and miraculous thing to watch. It is also why we believe that the most profound thing we can impart to our children is the love of Christ. While we set our love upon our children we also disciple them with this message, that it is only Jesus who can save and change a heart from the inside.
In 2012 we started our journey with the adoption of a 2-year-old boy, Shawn, born with a cleft lip/palate. We followed his adoption up with two others in 2016 and 2017. Ryan was adopted at 3 and was diagnosed with Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion causing intellectual disabilities, speech impairments, and ataxic muscle movements. Little Robin arrived home at the age of one. She was diagnosed with cleft lip/palate, a heart defect, and hearing loss. As with all institutionalized children, their early childhood trauma and fear manifests in various ways. We meet them where they are, set our love upon them and trust God to redeem and restore the broken, just as Christ does for us.
Each one of our children has their own individual stories. Yet, they all share a similar heritage and can relate to each other through their medical needs. While they recognize the others struggles or disabilities they don’t capitalize on them but overlook them; the abled helping the disabled, the better signer helping the non-verbal to communicate more effectively, playing as a sibling unit despite ability.
We are seeking to adopt Caleb, a 7-year-old with arthrogryposis. We had the privilege of speaking with Caleb’s American foster family and gaining insight into his personality. His foster parents describe Caleb as a peacemaker with a sweet personality. He tries to find ways to accomplish tasks on his own despite his physical disability. Caleb also lives with foster siblings that have a variety of needs, ranging from Trisomy 21, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Clefts. His foster parents feel that Caleb would thrive as a middle brother who could not only look up to his older brother but also be a helper to his younger siblings. Caleb is receiving excellent care at his healing home but cannot reach his full potential there. He has already had seven surgeries and will require several more to achieve greater range of motion in his extremities. We have a translated letter written by Caleb expressing his desire to be adopted. You can also hear the sadness in his voice as he feels overlooked while he watches all of his friends be adopted.
We are humbled that you have taken the time to read our profile and thank you as you consider donating to help us bring Caleb home!
2/26/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Danny and Rachel Suero have been married for 8 years and have 3 biological children. They always wanted to adopt and have cared about orphans and adoption advocacy for many years. They strongly hoped to grow their family through adoption, but thought it would be at least a few years away. Everything changed one day in February when Rachel decided to visit the Reece’s Rainbow site as she had often done for years. This time was different because staring back from the computer screen was little Amelie. She experienced an instant gut feeling that this was her child. She decided to pray about it, but once she shared the information with Danny, he was completely on board as well! He agreed that they should ask for more information and try to adopt this beautiful little girl.
The Sueros have been very open to the possibility of adopting a second child at the same time as Amelie. They thought that they’d ask when they arrived in her country about any available children at the same orphanage. They had no idea that just a few days after committing to Amelie, a second little one, from a different region and living in an institution would find his way into their hearts. While scrolling through the Reece’s Rainbow Facebook group, there was little Kayson, a boy who has experienced far too much neglect in his 10 years of life and who has been confined to a crib and left alone. Something powerful overcame them again, and they found themselves desperately wanting to bring him home too, even through the fears and uncertainty.
Both Amelie and Kayson have certain special needs, some profound, that Danny and Rachel had previously not been open to. They live in a country that wasn’t one they had hoped to adopt from. And adopting them will mean going out of “birth order” which is sometimes frowned upon, they followed their hearts anyway. Not only are they now open to these ages, special needs, and country, but they find themselves thrilled that this is the path they’re on and that God’s plans were so much better than what they used to think they wanted. Door after door leading to these children have opened. They believe that the financial obstacles between them and their children will be overcome as well.
Their 3 biological children can’t wait for new siblings! While it’s overwhelming to have to come up with such a large amount, they believe that through lots of fundraising, some extreme budgeting, and the generosity of others, it will happen. Although it can feel like the process can’t move quickly enough, they know that everything is in God’s hands. Just like Amelie, and then Kayson came into their life at a time and in a way that they never would’ve expected, they’re trusting that the remainder of their adoption journey will unfold in His way and in His timing as well.
9/4/2020 — AWAITING COURT
Another Journey!! Welcome to our new addition, our 3rd child, Ethan Paul.
William and Catrina are the parents of two, 7 and 8 years old. William and Catrina know each other for long time and met again in 2006. They went out on date in 2006 and marriage in 2008! They used live in New Jersey but moved to Wilmington Delaware. Their children are from China, and Deaf like their parents! Ethan Paul is Deaf also. They’re excited to welcome a little boy who has no family of his own. God gave them blessings to adopt another child, and to give their children best life and loving by the family and support!
7/29/2020 — AWAITING LOA
The Marshall Family is adopting again! 2.5 years ago the Marshall’s welcomed Ping (Pepper on RR) and Liam into their family and went from a family of 4 to a family of 6. One year after bringing Ping and Liam home, Laura saw an advocacy post for a little boy. He was so tiny and had the most piercing eyes she had ever seen. His file indicated many medical issues and he had Down Syndrome just like Ping and Liam. The Marshall’s fell in love with him and rushed to get him home. Due to his needs he was medically expedited and came home January 25, 2019. It has been a busy year for the Marshall family and a year of great growth; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Marshall Family now consists of Billy and Laura who have been married for almost 14 years, Tessa Grace 16 years old, Bella Charity 12 years old, Ping Joy 10 years old, Liam Worth 6 years old, and Asa Courage 4 years old. Recently, Laura and Billy felt the familiar tug towards adoption and discovered one of the little girls they have loved for a while is still waiting. They made some inquiries and decided she will be the next Marshall, Ember Faith “Emmy”. The Marshall’s are hoping to bring her home by the end of 2020 which will be 4 adoptions in 3.5 years! They are stepping out in faith that God will provide funding to help bring their daughter home where she will receive medical attention, nutrition, and LOVE! Thank you for joining the Marshall’s on their journey and supporting them with your prayers and donations.
6/17/2020 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
In December of 2018, the Wallaces brought home their son Dima, adopted from an orphanage in Western Ukraine. He was the first child adopted from that institution. He has settled in well and is an amazing kiddo. He’s made major strides! But there are so many children still there waiting. One of Dima’s friends desperately wants a family and is about to “age out” which means he would be ineligible for adoption and would have to be in that institution for the rest of his life. His story is tragic and the thought of him never having a chance for life outside of the orphanage broke their hearts. They have started the process to bring him home to their family where he will be a loved son, and where he will receive therapy and education. He dreams of traveling, he loves learning, and best of all he will be able to be with his best friend Dima. Please help them to bring him home! Help to give him a hope and a future! They are so thankful for the community of love and support for him!
9/13/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
Rusty and Kristin Kruse are the parents of seven children, ranging in age from 31 years old to seven years old. Rusty and Kristin met in the Army at Ft. Hood, Texas in 1994. They were married later the same year.They have lived in many different areas of the US.
Rusty recently retired from the Army and now works as a civilian on a military post. Kristin is working on a college degree in Biblical Studies. They are at a very stable, very blessed point in their lives, and have decided that they would like to share their love with a little boy in Eastern Europe who has no family of his own.
Kristin has been a prayer warrior for many children on Reece’s Rainbow for years, and has a deep love for orphaned little ones. She is so grateful to God for blessing her and her family with another child.
Rusty and Kristin ask for your prayers as they work to bring this adoption to completion, as well as prayers for the well-being of the tiny boy they are hoping to adopt. “Behold, children are a gift from the LORD…” Psalm 127:3
2/17/2020 — HOMESTUDY NEARLY COMPLETE
Doug and Adele met on a website, Catholicmatch.com! They were married a year later. Due to a cancer diagnosis early on before marriage, Adele did not know if she would be able to have children. Doug and Adele looked into adoption soon after marriage. Amazingly, within the first six months, a little boy was conceived, and so the adoption went on the back burner. After a second boy was born, they began the adoption process from China! Little Therese was a waiting child with “Lobster claw” syndrome and learning issues. She came along when she was two and a half years old, and joined the family! For the first six months, the Darnowskis did not realize that Therese was also hearing impaired. It was such a relief when they finally found out the diagnosis of LVAS and hearing impairment. It explained a lot! Seven more children came along after Therese. Among these were two sets of twins (back to back!) girls and then boys. God really has a sense of humour! Sometimes you really get what you pray for! They were extremely grateful for all of the amazing blessings that they knew they did not deserve. After a number of early miscarriages, and an empty place In their hearts, they attended the funeral of a little adopted boy with Down Syndrome who died of a severe heart defect, although his life expectancy far exceeded the doctor’s expectations. After talking to Max’s mother, and hearing that many of these children die alone in orphanages with no one to care at all, and after looking around the room at the funeral at all the love, and tears, and visitors and flowers offered for little Maximilian, the Darnowskis felt the tug to look into Reece’s Rainbow, and consider adoption again!
9/10/2020 — TRAVELING LATE SEPT
Nathan and Tina Scheid met in high school in their small hometown of Saranac, MI, and were married just a few years after. While they are from Michigan, Nathan’s career in the United States Marine Corps has taken them to several states that they have called home. They currently live in San Diego, California and Nathan works on Miramar Air Station. Tina has been able to stay home and take care of their children while they were little, and be there for them with their extra activities they are starting to enjoy now that they are getting older. They have three daughters, ages 14, 12. and 10, and their son Teddy, who is 6.
The Scheid’s actually found Teddy’s advocacy profile one day when they were scrolling through the list of waiting children on the Reece’s Rainbow website. They quickly started the adoption paperwork for him, and welcomed him into their family in March of 2016.
The Scheid family is so excited to announce they are adopting again. They can’t wait to bring another son into their family. Please pray for the health and safety of their new son they are in process for, and pray for the adoption process to be a smooth one.
8/4/2020 — OFFICIALLY MATCHED! AWAITING VIRTUAL TRIP 1
Emmett has received a $2000 grant!
The Edwards are back for their 3rd adoption. They brought home Avalyn (Crystal on RR) in 2013 and Ian (Micah on RR) in 2018. They are both from the same orphanage in a small Asian country, and they both have Down syndrome.
Two months after Ian came home, Beth was on Facebook watching their agency’s Superkids trip to that same orphanage her children were in, because her friend was adopting her second kiddo with Down syndrome and the agency team was going to be seeing her on their trip. As Beth watched, a different little girl (Annabelle) came into the room with her infectious giggle and Beth’s heart jumped. She didn’t say anything to anybody, but instead started advocating for Annabelle by showing her to all of her friends and praying that God would send her a family. By summertime, nobody had come forward to become Annabelle’s family and Beth started to feel like maybe they were supposed to be her family. As much as she already loved this little girl, adopting another little one with Down syndrome felt pretty crazy and the pile of paperwork and the fundraising was something that she was not wanting to do ever again. Still, there was that little face that was already tugging at her heart. For every reason she could come up with for why they shouldn’t adopt again, there were so many more reasons why they should. There were so many ‘what ifs’ that floated through her head.
What if we hadn’t adopted Ian and Avalyn? What if we had not been open to Down syndrome? What if we had missed out on the beautiful journey? What if….
There were so many things we could’ve missed. Honestly, that idea is pretty devastating. We are so much better because of them. Honestly, we don’t deserve the gift of these children, but we’re so thankful that we get to be their family.
Still another adoption process felt pretty terrifying. One of Beth’s friend’s was talking about something entirely not adoption related and said something that stuck with Beth. She said, “Do it afraid.”
Beth mentioned it to Kyle. He gave the go ahead to send the initial email. With shaky hands on the keyboard, Beth sent that first email. The subject line was: We’re not crazy. I promise. Actually, in hindsight, it may be the teensiest bit crazy, but love makes you do crazy things sometimes.
So, here we are, completely afraid, but doing it anyway. We’re looking forward to getting to be this precious little girl’s family and we’re excited to watch those fears melt away as step by step we work our way through another process. In the end, we’ll remember how scary this was, but mostly we’ll know that love is greater than fear and some of the best things in life take a little crazy love.
Thank you for your support and joining us on this journey!
7/29/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL
The Hickey Family is back again! We’re so excited to be called back on this journey for a very special someone. While we weren’t expecting to be back quite so soon, God had other plans for our family.
In October 2019, our family was blessed with our first child, Sofija, through international adoption. We had an instant connection and feeling of comfort when we met her, it was truly meant to be. Sofija is our absolute greatest blessing!
While in the process for Sofija, we became aware that Sofija had a best friend who had become like a brother to her. In March 2018, we received our last and final update prior to traveling to bring Sof home, and we were sent several photos where our daughter was accompanied by a little boy. We could instantly see the bond between the two children. We responded with excitement about the update on our daughter while simultaneously inquiring about the darling little boy. At the time, our hopes were that some day when he too was adopted, we would be able to keep the two children in contact. However, when we arrived in-country, we were made aware that while few families had inquired, no family ever committed to this worthy little guy.
We had the pleasure of spending time with him while we bonded with our daughter and we felt an instant connection; both between him and our Sof, as well as, between him and each of us. We learned that he and our daughter had been roommates since they were first born and have been nearly inseparable since. It was heartbreaking for us to leave him behind but we assured his team that we would come back, should he still be waiting when we are ready to adopt again. Fast forward to Sofija being home for a few months, and we received a very unexpected message from our team in-country that they not only wanted us to come back for this little boy, but they wanted us to reunite the two children as soon as possible. While completing back-to-back adoptions seemed logistically and financially impossible, we have continued to witness God open doors for us to bring our son home. God moved mountains for us to bring Sofija home and while these mountains seem much bigger this time around, we trust that He will continue to be faithful.
We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
7/3/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
The Hickey family has a $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing! When their FSP reaches $6173, they’ll receive an additional $5000!
Meet the Carper family from central Pennsylvania. Jason and Candid met the 2nd day of their high school senior year in 2001 and have been together ever since. Jason and Candid were married after dating almost 4 years and Candid competed nursing school. They have 2 boys, Colton who is 11 and Jackson who is 6. They also have 2 labrador retrievers named Gracin and Hope and a cat named Callie. The Carper family enjoys camping with family and spending time together playing outside.
From a very young age, Candid could see people’s ability not their disability and has always been drawn to helping people. In 2007, she began researching adoption, but the timing was not right. She attended nursing school and worked in a long-term care facility for the first few years but felt called to pediatric nursing. She then went to work for an agency that provided care in children’s homes with special needs. After working 7 years for the agency she was blessed with their second son, however he would require a short-term NICU stay. She took time off to help him grow. When she returned to work, she started a new job as a school nurse at their local school district but always felt the call to return to special needs nursing. Candid returned to the pediatric home care and remains there taking care of children with multiple special needs. She has always felt the call from God to adopt but the timing was not right for their family due to caring for Jason’s grandmother for 7 years as well as 2 children.
Jason is the main family provider. He works very hard to be sure that his family is taken care of. Growing up with his grandparents and working on the family farm taught him many skills in life. Jason knows what unconditional love is and is looking forward to a new journey with a daughter.
Colton and Jackson both helped to care for their great-grandmother and showed great compassion in her care. They helped prepare her meals, attend medical appointments and hold her hand to guide her as she was blind. Both boys have been recognized in their school for helping others and having a loving heart. They are looking forward to a sister and being her protector.
In 2019, the call from God became greater and Candid began researching adoption again. She began praying for her family and for their future daughter. In July of 2019 she came across an advocacy post of a little girl with down syndrome. She then began having dreams of her and she just knew that she was who God had placed on her heart for her family to adopt. The Carper family began praying about adoption and in October they submitted their application to bring home a precious little girl.
They are now home study approved and have sent in their LOI and I-800A forms. Please pray for their family and little girl as they are excited to bring her home and become a family of 5.
3/13/2020 — DOSSIER IN TRANSLATION
Here is the Vierstra family! Kendall and Christinna recently adopted a wonderful little girl named Milana Grace (known as Dolly on Reece’s Rainbow). She has brought so much joy into our new home and has developed into a bright and loving little girl! Christinna has been working with Milana with physical therapy and she is getting stronger and more mobile every day.
Now Milana would love to have a little sister! She is also a special needs child from Eastern Europe who deserves to have a loving family. Please help them bring their little girl home. God bless you for being a great part in their journey!
9/14/2020 — DOSSIER NEARLY COMPLETE
Meet the Howard Family! Greg and Angelina are college sweethearts who were on a mission to serve the Lord, wherever He may call. After graduating their first year, they got married and started their family. Before they had biological children they had a discussion that some time down the road, they hoped adoption would be a part of God’s story written on their family.
The Lord blessed them with 4 beautiful children, one of which has special needs. It was the most difficult time during their marriage when they found out that their son of 7-months had Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. Yet with all the unknowns of their future, they accepted their fragile child and trusted that God had a plan for them, despite the pain and hardship and 24/7 care for their son. They knew God would be faithful to their family even when things just didn’t make sense.
Angelina, who was born in Ukraine, realized how blessed they were to be living in America and had access to so many resources. They had a support system from doctors, school, family, church, and support groups. Unfortunately, in many Eastern Countries that is not the case and most parents with special needs children are encouraged to place them in orphanages.
The Howard family hearts were greatly burdened for other children just like their son that would never have access to the support and medical care that has allowed them to thrive. Throughout the last three years, they have been following other families through Reece’s Rainbow. Through this organization they have witnessed countless testimonies of such children being adopted into loving homes, provided medical care and love, and seen those children thrive as a result! Regardless of what condition a child is born with or what our limited perception of their abilities and potential of them are, they all belong in families.
Out of conviction, they simply began praying that God would so kindly show them how to move forward with adoption. More specifically, that the Lord will place a particular child in their hearts and show them who to adopt. One night after laying the children down to bed, they saw the profile of a certain boy and felt that confirming peace and love in an instant. They just knew that the Lord answered their prayer! Since then, they have not been able to escape the thought of how much Jesus loved them and gave His own life to them. We were all adopted into Gods family and they feel it is God’s love in them compelling them to love this boy unconditionally.
“We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19
Unfortunately, with international adoption there are many moving parts. Please consider partnering with them through prayer and financial support to bring their new son home.
9/2/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Brian and Patrice met in 2009 shortly after Patrice moved to the area for her work with the federal government and the rest, as they say, is history. They were married by 2012 and are now the parents to three awesome kids: Gwen (age 6), Noel (age 4) and Jack (age 2) and one scruffy little dog named Scrapple.
Professionally, Brian is an elementary music teacher at an underprivileged school in Camden, NJ and Patrice is a Technical Expert for the Social Security Administration. However, what the couple really loves is being parents. The kids are never bored at the Gannon house – from guitar sing alongs with Daddy to sleepovers and designer pancake breakfasts with Mommy, there is never a dull moment. Game nights are a regular occurrence and small trips camping and to the beach are family traditions.
Although this is their first adoption, Brian and Patrice are both professionally experienced with special needs children and, in December 2018, received a diagnosis for their own oldest child. Gwen has always had trouble walking stairs and was thought to be simply less coordinated. It was not until her little sister began to eclipse her physical milestones that the family began to take notice. Gwen was formally evaluated for muscle weakness in kindergarten and, in a very quick turn of events, was referred to her pediatrician who stated that Gwen likely had terminal Muscular Dystrophy. This was a very challenging time for the Gannons. Priorities and purpose began to come into focus, and parent was right at the top. While ultimately, Gwen’s diagnosis was downgraded to a less severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, their urge to help other children stuck around. Patrice has always been an adoption advocate and has volunteered with foster kids for many years. Little did they know, they would soon see a picture of a boy who felt like their son. And so, their adoption journey began.
7/3/2020 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Donnie has received a $2000 country specific grant!
Donnie has received a $5,386.93 Waiting Child Grant.
Hi! We’re Kristy and Dale, and we’re the Galaleo family!
Dale and I first met in 2008 at the gym in where Dale was a spinning instructor and I was an admiring student. By day, I managed an aquarium and Dale built cool unmanned deep ocean gliders. We didn’t start dating until one Friday the 13th in 2012 and were fittingly married on Friday the 13th in May, 2016 at a beautiful waterfall in Connecticut. Two of our dogs, Trooper and Kopper served as our best men.
The end of 2016 and most of 2017 were rough for us as we lost some of our beloved animals and Dale’s adopted sister passed away unexpectedly. But 2017 also brought us a silver lining — one that redefined our definition of family and may change our lives forever. After his sister’s passing, Dale’s adopted brother came to live with us. We spent much of 2017 reconnecting with Dana, who was diagnosed with schizophrenic tendencies and other behaviors that would now fall on the spectrum for Autism as well as very poorly managed diabetes, and helping him get situated in an adult rehabilitation program that brought new purpose to his life.
Because he was such a great benefit to the program, they offered him housing in one of their newly built quadraplexes. Watching Dale’s brother grow and finally achieve a fulfilling life at 59 helped us realize that we might be able to help someone else.
As you can see in our photo, we have adopted several “handi-capable” dogs over the years. We’ve poured our love into them, but I’ve always felt like something else was missing. I have previously served as a respite provider for foster parents, and I know the need for caring parents and safe homes.
Dale and I have often thought about adoption, influenced by Dale’s experience as a younger brother to two adopted siblings and my experience fostering. However, I found myself in a job that required too many hours to bring a child home for good. If we were going to adopt, we knew we would both need to make some life changes.
I left the field of marine biology for interior design more than a year ago. Now, I’m able to leave work on time and don’t bring work home with me. We’ve moved to Florida and settled into a less hectic routine. There’s no time like now for us to grow our family, but we need help.
In October, Dale and I committed to adopting a beautiful 5-year-old girl from Asia. One night I was Googling “adopting children with special needs” and came across Reece’s Rainbow. I clicked on their waiting children link and started clicking through the various ages of children with Down syndrome. I remember being saddened by how many children there were and how long some of them have been waiting for a family of their own. As I scrolled through the “girls 3-5” I came across an adorable full face with the most genuine smile. Her name on the site is “Della” (we won’t know her real name until our home study is completed). I watched the videos that were posted and in all her videos she just seems to smile. Now her smile melts our hearts every time we watch the videos. We realize adopting a special needs child may require more work on our part, but there is no denying that our hearts are ready for this journey.
We have been working diligently on all the paperwork. Our home study is near completion, and we’re already researching all the best options to support for our daughter to ensure she blossoms in our care. We appreciate that you’ve read our family’s story and thank you in advance for anything you can give to bring us a step closer to uniting us with our new daughter.
6/17/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Ross and Rachel were first introduced to international adoption, China specific, through Steven Curtis Chapman and his families’ journey of adoption. Ross and Rachel are both musicians and have always been inspired by Chapman and his music. What led them to their first consideration of international adoption was their struggle with infertility. At that time, they did not meet the adoption criteria so they continued to pray for the blessing of children. He answered, God blessed them with 2 wonderful children. Even as they had their first and second pregnancy, adoption was always something they desired to do.
Their son has Aspergers and Sensory Processing Disorder. They have had witnessed both trials and miracles through his disability. The valleys were tough, real tough…but the mountain views have been worth every moment of trial and hard work. Their son is now proactive and diligent in his academics making straight A’s, he is a respectful young man and has the kind of creativity one would only dream of having. Their daughter has the most beautiful pure heart of anyone they have ever known and has always friended the outcast due to her extreme passion for children with special needs. She has developed a new friendship with the little boy with trisomy 1 that Rachel babysat for 10 years through her high school/college years. With Ross and Rachel’s personal therapy experiences and with the heart of these two siblings, they thought it only appropriate to adopt a child with special needs. They are adopting Reeces Rainbow “Maura” who is 3 years old.
This family cannot wait to get their wildflower home! Due to all of her standing medical conditions, they are trying to set aside personal financial resources for post-adoption medical care while also fundraising and funding the adoption. They are looking forward to the day they hold her in their arms which is not too much longer away!
7/8/2020 — LOA RECEIVED in JUNE
The Anglen family has a $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing! When their FSP reaches $5019.40, they’ll receive an additional $5000!
Jon Hamilton has always had a huge heart for taking care of others. He takes pride in the ability he has to defend the defenseless and care for those in need. Since becoming an adult he has devoted his life to taking care of others. Jon joined the Marine Corps right after graduating high school so he could serve his country. After returning from his second deployment he met his wife Jessica. The two started a family and he decided the deployments were not as family friendly as they hoped. After fulfilling his commitment with the Marines he immediately began pursuing his career in the medical field. After obtaining his Associates degree as a paramedic he went on to obtain his certification as a firefighter. Jon currently serves his community now as a professional firefighter and paramedic.
Jessica Hamilton has only ever dreamed of taking care of others and being a mother. She attended college to pursue her nursing degree but put it on hold to stay home and care for her children. She was once told “there is no higher calling than that of a mother.” She feels that God has blessed her tremendously as a mother and her job is to be the best mother she can. She says that being a mother is a never ending, more fulfilling job than ever imaginable. Jessica devotes her life entirely to being the best mother she possibly can.
Jon and Jessica had always talked about adopting one day but never thought it would be possible due to the financial aspect. Their priorities are not going to change. Money doesn’t come first in our household. Unfortunately Jon’s career in doing for others doesn’t pay as well as other careers may pay. And Jessica staying home with their children is a huge priority and obviously doesn’t pay monetarily at all. Knowing that things were not going to change drastically enough for them to afford an adoption they decided to put their faith in God to make it all possible. The entire family prays nightly that God provides for this adoption.
Jon and Jessica both share the desire to have a large family. Being able to raise their children to be respectful, kind hearted, christ following is very important to them. Both are very open with their children and they are all very excited to be able to add to their family through adoption.
They describe adopting as “a crazy long and expensive process that no one could have ever prepared them for, and certainly one they don’t think is possible without their faith”. Their case worker sent them a file for a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome, who is 19 months old. It was never about them wanting another child. It was about them wanting to share their love with another child, one that truly needed them. They hope to truly touch the life of others through Christ’s love. There are so many children out there who desperately need people to open their hearts and minds to special needs adoption. It shouldn’t be about what your child will be able to do for you but what you will able to do for your child.
They both feel the only obstacle for them will be the financial aspect. Jon and Jessica say how shocked they are already with how much support they have received from friends and some close family. Those who have given to their adoption so far, they know truly gave from the heart, certainly not just because they had the extra. It’s hard for them to ask for so much but they know it’s not really for them., it’s for their new daughter. They vow to spend the rest of their lives making sure she lives the happiest, most fulfilled life they can possibly give her. With what they lack financially to adopt, they make up for with love and determination. Both truly feel that where there’s a will, there’s a way. As long as they’re committed to do all they can, God will provide for them.
1/8/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Jacob and Jacqueline met in 2000 at a Spirituality Retreat in the Pocono’s. They had a traditional courtship and wrote letters for the first many months of dating. They were both clear that they wanted to have a family someday. Jacqueline was called to work with adults with developmental delays which she has been doing for over 23 years. Jacob is both an artist and an Activities Coordinator for an agency supporting adults with developmental delays.
Once it was clear that they were ready to start a family, Jacqueline knew in her heart that she was meant to be a stay at home mother. They didn’t know how they would be able to do that as they depended on 2 incomes just to get by. They decided to pray about it. A prayer that has seen them through so many times.
“Dear God, Show me Your will, Give me direction, and please make it obvious!” They prayed that prayer and literally the next work day, Jacqueline noticed her co-worker looked really sad. Jacqueline asked if there was any way she could help. Her co-worker replied with her head in her hand, “Only if you have a place in your home for my client to sleep tonight for an emergency placement!” Jacqueline knew at that moment that was something she could offer. She called Jacob and he agreed. That was 12 years ago. What was going to be one overnight turned into a lasting, meant to be situation. It is considered adult foster care here in Vermont. The tax free stipend allowed Jacqueline to work from home by supporting a lovely woman with a developmental delay, while also being a stay at home mom.
When their first child was born they found out that he had a rare medical condition. They did everything they could to offer their child all the care he needed. It was a very challenging beginning. Their faith in God carried them through. Though they had a 50/50 chance of passing this gene on with another pregnancy, they loved parenting so much and truly felt called to have another baby. This time, a baby girl. Their children are now 8 and 10 years old and are best friends. Jacqueline homeschools the children and they have welcomed another woman with developmental delay into their home 6 years ago. Supporting and volunteering with Special Olympics is a big part of this families activities.
The support group they are involved with posted a child who needed to be adopted. Jacqueline showed Jacob, and the next morning Jacqueline called the listing adoption agency. They are now officially matched with Luke. Everything seems to be moving at lightning speed. Luke turns 13 this February. The family is working very hard every day to prepare for welcoming a new child to their family.
9/3/2020 — LID RECEIVED
Susan knew that one day she would build her family through adoption after watching a 20/20 episode on an orphanage in Romania back when was she was 11 years old. Susan grew up with a sister that is 13 years older than her and always longed to have a large family. Grant was raised in a larger family and knew that he wanted a large family of his own. Susan shared her passion for adoption when she first started dating Grant. When Grant and Susan got married they came into the relationship with two biological children each making them a blended family.
They have now been through the international adoption process twice. Their first adoption was their son Soo Min who was adopted from South Korea in 2008 when he was 3 ½ years old. Soo Min has a form of primordial dwarfism, failure to thrive, and PDA. He is doing amazingly well, thriving, and bringing our family so much joy. Grant and Susan started their last adoption in 2014 with hopes to bring home their daughter, Eden, from Ghana. They traveled there, had her in their care for two weeks and even passed court. What they did not know was that everything was falsified information and she was never legally adoptable. To say they were all heartbroken was an understatement. One month after losing Eden, Susan became pregnant with their son Hudson. It is amazing the way God works.
This decision to adopt again wasn’t taken lightly. The decision this time around had many things to consider and time needing to heal from the failed adoption in 2015. Knowing and understanding the permanence of adoption is why the last time was so painful: Eden is still somewhat part of the family, and the reason the Lee children always say there’s eight children in the family. The Lee family started to pray about adoption again and researched programs that have a long history of success. This is what led them to Asia this time. Susan would lay in bed for hours scrolling through Reese’s rainbow looking at children waiting to be adopted. When Susan saw Alisa, she knew she was her daughter. She went back and forth between many kids and something was calling the Lee family to Alisa. They have a current Home-Study, have submitted their I-800A, and are compiling their dossier paperwork.
3/13/2020 — DOSSIER LOGGED IN
It is with a joyful heart that I share with you the journey that Kourtney and Josh Chavira are on. It has always been heavy on both Josh and Kourtney’s hearts to one day adopt a child, which is no surprise to the people who know them! Josh has served 6 years in the United States Army, including two deployments to Afghanistan and Kuwait. While serving in the military and being away from his home and loved ones, Josh held on to the knowledge that nothing is more important than family. It is then that he confirmed the passion he felt to adopt and give a child a loving family that every child so deserves to experience. Kourtney has supported and often started up fundraisers to benefit special needs children who need assistance with medical bills, equipment for physical therapy, surgeries, etc. Many of these fundraisers were very successful for the families. Kourtney followed her dream of becoming a registered nurse. During her first year in her new career, Kourtney had the privilege of working in the homes and caring for families who had special needs children each day. This daily experience has only made the desire to adopt grow more and more for Kourtney.
Josh and Kourtney have been trying to have a baby since they became married in 2017. With no success, they sought medical advice. Kourtney was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Kourtney and Josh are hopeful that with treatment, they will one day be able to conceive a baby. During this wait, they feel called to open up their hearts and home to a sweet baby boy with Spina Bifida.
If you find it in your hearts to help Josh and Kourtney at this time, it will not go unnoticed. Even by just sharing their story and spreading the word, they will be forever grateful.
12/23/2019 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
The Calkins family lives in West Michigan in their blended home of six wonderful children.
When Michael and Jade met and started getting serious in their relationship, Jade expressed her long time desire to adopt. Fortunately for Jade, Michael was completely on board. They decided to have a biological child together as well, and were blessed to become pregnant shortly after their wedding. They were excited to be expecting a little girl they planned on naming Luna Eleanor. Unfortunately while several weeks pregnant they learned that their baby girl had passed away due to a chromosomal disorder. They were devastated but knew that they would have loved and raised her no matter what.
Not too long after their baby’s passing, they were able to get pregnant again fairly quickly. They welcomed a healthy baby boy, albeit prematurely, that they named Corbin. While Jade always knew that she wanted to adopt special needs, she didn’t ever consider Down syndrome (Ds), but not for any particular reason. She works with adults that have Ds and has been blessed to know and love several people in her life with Ds, but when she pictured adopting she thought about adopting children that had other special needs. Michael was the one that suggested they adopt a child with Ds, and with how much they loved Luna for the short time they carried her, it seemed like this was the best decision for them.
In the Summer of 2019 they saw three little girls listed on Reece’s Rainbow and had hoped to adopt all three girls. Due to circumstances completely out of their control, they’re only able to move forward to adopt one child at this time. They will continue to advocate for the sweet girls they weren’t able to adopt.
They thank you for your support in their adoption as they move forward with heading to Eastern Europe. If the child that they intend to adopt is no longer available for adoption when they arrive, they will still be adopting a little girl with Ds.
9/9/2020 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Jared and I got married on October 1st 2011. After only knowing each other for a couple of months. We started our new life together in Hawaii with our son Tayler who was 8 years old at the time. Jared joined the Army in 2008. He has had 3 deployments (soon to be 4) countless rotations and months of school. We have moved together as a family 5 times in these last 8 years (it feels like more!)
We had Matthew in 2013, Noah in 2015 and in 2017 we were pregnant again! I went in for a gender scan and found out we were finally having our girl!!! (I also had another son in 2005 that passed away from SIDS). We had a wonderful announcement with a piñata that the kids got to hit, filed with everything pink! The very next day I got a phone call that would change our lives forever.
The ultrasound tech that did the gender scan saw some fluid on the back of our daughters neck. A couple days later we went to see the MFM and found out she had a Cystic Hygroma and hydrops. We were told she either had Turner Syndrome or Down syndrome and would likely not make it. We were recommended to terminate the pregnancy. I told him to never mention that to me again, how dare him! After testing, it was confirmed that she had Turner Syndrome. We prayed so hard for our girl and had so many people praying as well. A couple weeks later, the hydrops was gone and the Hygroma was resolving. Our daughter was born in September 2017. She is part of the 1-2% that make it to birth. We are so blessed.
We have talked about adoption on and off over the years. We thought it would be much later down the road. But other plans were in the making for us.
A friend of mine messaged me telling me about a little girl with TS that was an orphan living in Eastern Europe. I immediately fell in love with her and shared her story all over FB. She was absolutely beautiful she has a full head of beautiful dark hair, the prettiest eye lashes and a smile that can brighten anyone’s day. Everyday I’d look at her pictures, think about her and pray for her.. I felt such a strong bond to her, I just knew she was my daughter. After talking to Jared, we decided to bring her into our family. Our boys are so excited and our daughter looks at her pictures and calls her sister. They ask about her everyday and look at her pictures. We can’t wait to have her home!
5/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
The Slate family has received a $2000 grant for the girl they are adopting.
Tim and Julie Whitten have been married for 17 years and have been blessed with three beautiful children, Mason (12), Molly (8) and Pedro (4). Tim has worked in ministry for several years and most recently works for the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church as a Hurricane Recovery Director helping families impacted by Hurricane Florence rebuild their homes. Julie has owned a graphic design and promotional company for almost 20 years. Her job provides flexibility to work from home and set her own hours, which allows her the ability to stay home with their children. Through her job, she can also use her artistic talents and creativity. Both Julie and Tim enjoy art, Julie enjoys painting while Tim is an accomplished potter.
The Whitten family has always had a heart for missions. By giving their lives and hearts to God, He has opened their eyes to the needs in the world and helped them move out of their comfort zone. Through this, Pedro was brought into their lives when he was 6 months old, during a mission trip to Haiti. Pedro has significant special needs and the Whittens have repeatedly watched God step into their lives meeting challenge after challenge. Pedro is well loved, enjoys life and the entire family has grown in their faith exponentially.
When the Whittens look into the precious face of Chrissie, and each of the orphaned children, they remember that God tells us not to let the world pollute our thoughts, but to remain focused on God and what He commands us to do, especially to care for orphans and widows. They find strength in the knowledge that Jesus would not be sitting on the couch, but instead be in the orphanage holding those children, His children, who do not have a person to claim them as their own. The Whittens have been blessed with two biological children and claimed one child as their own through adoption. They have experienced first hand the love of God with each child and realize that He lives and loves in the hard times. They welcome and embrace each challenge as it allows them to experience God more.
8/12/2020 — AWAITING COURT
Chrissie has received a $2,000 Grant!