The Allen family is adopting again! This will be their 2nd (& 3rd) adoption of a deaf child. Their story really began 21 years ago, when Jamie went to college to be a Sign Language Interpreter, but then became a stay-at-home Mom; always wondering why she was given such a passion for the Deaf community. Eleven years ago, John and Jamie met. When they married a year later, they were immediately thrown into the life-long task of “blending” their family, since John had 2 children and Jamie had 3. Through 4 additional years they added 2 more biological children to their blender. Fast forward to 3 years ago, when John and Jamie went with a group from their church to an adoption conference to see what the group could do to help in Orphan Care. During that conference, John & Jamie were both lead to adopt. They thought God would want them to adopt through the US Foster Care System. They quickly realized, as doors shut in their face, that God wanted them to go to China to adopt a particular little boy, who was deaf. Tobias has been home 11 months now and is thriving! They are going back to China to adopt Devin, a 5 yr old girl, and Archer, a 12 yr old boy, who are both deaf. Deafness is a special need that seems to cause undue fear in people, which is apparent in the amount of waiting deaf children in China. They weren’t sure which child they should bring home, knowing both needed language as soon as possible. God has opened the doors wide to adopt both children at once! Their family knows American Sign Language to some degree, which will give both of the children, parents, and siblings they can communicate with, laugh with, and blend with. Soon the Allen family will have 5 boys and 5 girls. Lord have mercy, that’s a lot of noise, fun, and love in one 2500 sq. ft. house!
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.” – Bob Goff
Our family is so glad we decided to say, YES! Yes to God’s plan for our lives, yes to our son waiting for us in China, and yes to the journey ahead. We are Jason and Areka Blain and we are thrilled to announce our commitment to adopt and bring “Douglas” home from China. We have three wonderful children; Ava, Rowan, and Violet, and this is our first adoption. It is our belief that every child is deserving of a loving home. Our family means everything to us and part of our motivation to adopt comes from our deep love for our children and our Christian faith. It is heartbreaking to know that so many children (orphans) worldwide are without the love of a family. God has blessed us abundantly with our sweet kiddos, a strong marriage, and a great community of family and friends. It has been our heart to share these blessings with a waiting child, to adopt a little person that no one else was coming for. While researching, we were drawn to the large number of children who wait in China, specifically those with medical needs. We have followed Reece’s Rainbow for several years and when we came across Douglas’ profile, we knew he was our son. It has been a journey in and of itself to arrive on this path and we are so grateful to serve a big God, and for his love and grace. We cannot wait to bring “Douglas” home. He is loved and chosen!
“But here is the glory part. When we utter even the weakest yes, we find God to be big. Bigger than we once thought. Bigger than our lack. Bigger than our doubt. Bigger than the needs before us. Bigger than we can comprehend. Bigger. And He proves Himself good, steady, intentional, on time, able, strong, and sovereign.” – Rebecca via nohandsbutours.com
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support during this time. Our family is eternally grateful!
1/26/16—AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
You can follow our adoption at email@example.com
Dennis and Rita have been married for 14 years, and are parents to five biological children, between the ages of 11 and 1 year. They had casually discussed adoption for several years, but late in 2014 felt compelled to look into more seriously. They didn’t know exactly what type of child they were looking for, only that God had asked them to, and that they would keep an open mind and heart to whomever God had in mind for them. When they saw Louise’s file, they felt strongly like she was the one they were being led to.
Dennis is a program manager for the local electric company and Rita is a registered nurse, though she is blessed to only have to work one day per week outside the home. They both come from very large families. They are an active family that enjoys the outdoors and traveling.
1/28/16—HOPE TO TRAVEL END OF FEBRUARY
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at merrickfive.blogspot.com
Tasha had always assumed that when she and Jeff adopted, it would be in birth order. In her mind, the way you add to the family is with a baby. Over the last year she had actively advocated for waiting children and knew in her heart that one day her family would bring one of those children home. She had felt compelled to adopt, but Jeff had never agreed. Tasha prayed for over a year that when the time was right and the child was right, Jeff would say yes. She would wait.
In March of 2015, Tasha reviewed Erika’s file, like she had many files, and began to occasionally advocate for her on facebook. She reviewed the file again toward the end of May, and even called the placing agency for more information. She asked why no one had adopted Erika, considering she had such large grants. The answer: because she has Down Syndrome. Tasha has a heart for people with Down Syndrome and that answer felt personal and offensive. Still…
A few days later, the agency rep emailed to ask if the family was interested in adopting Erika. Tasha replied that she would talk to her husband over the weekend, and then she promptly put the file in a desk drawer and closed it.
On July 7th, Tasha saw another post on facebook advocating for Erika, and it hit her like a sucker punch. As the morning continued on, God really convicted Tasha’s heart. Why should she reject a waiting child based on her age? What made her think that she got to choose who her child was? Waiting children were not shoes to be shopped for. It was a very hard and humbling day.
Reluctantly, Tasha decided that she would take Erika’s file out of the drawer and show it to Jeff when he got home that night, and when she did he said, “Okay….I’ll think about it.”
Jeff has always cared about orphans. But the idea of actually…in real life…adopting??? They didn’t have the money. Their house needed repairs. They had just gotten out of the diaper phase after 10 years and 4 kids. Kids with Down Syndrome and the health concerns involved were kind of scary.
Jeff had never said he “would think about it” before. That is such a simple sentence, but it spoke volumes. AND IT FREAKED TASHA OUT. Remember, she had always thought that when they did adopt it would be a baby. Erika’s file eased many of Jeff’s concerns about adopting, but Tasha was out of her comfort zone. As she went to bed that night, she prayed to God that if adopting Erika was His will, He would give them a clear sign.
The next day a package arrived from China. FROM THE VERY CITY IN WHICH ERIKA LIVES. This is not a well known city. The package was a birthday gift, ordered for Jeff and Tasha’s youngest child’s birthday. Ordered by Jeff’s parents who live in Arizona. A dress. That gift had been ordered while Erika’s file lay in a closed drawer. Tasha knew, beyond any doubt. It took Jeff another 2 weeks, but he agreed. Erika was to be Norah, daughter of Jeff and Tasha, sister of Isaiah, Quinn, Emmett and Josie. God had chosen this child for them.
1/28/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at norahmakes5.wordpress.com
The Doloski family is growing again! Michael and Jennifer have been married for 20 years. Their children are Rebecca (17), Anna (14), Pavel Joshua (9) and Daniel (8). Joshua (formerly “Patrick” on Reece’s Rainbow) came home from Eastern Europe in 2012. While Michael and Jennifer were visiting with Joshua, they had a chance to meet and bond with his best buddy in the Baby House. “James” was funny, polite, kind, and so very handsome. Months after coming home, they were still talking about him, wondering how he was, and feeling like they had left him behind. They have made many inquiries over the last three years, hoping to bring “James” into their family as well. Each time, they were told “James” was not available to be adopted, his paperwork was not in order, and, finally, “this boy is not available and probably never will be.” As “James” moved from Baby House to older children’s orphanage and in and out of the care of his family, the Doloskis tried hard, with the help of a local charity, to keep track of the boy they loved. Hoping to help him stay in his family’s care, they even offered to raise the funds necessary for surgery to correct his special need – an issue routinely repaired successfully on infants in the United States. Many months ago, they were told “James” was back with his family. They thought – hoped – that his story had a happy ending. On Christmas Eve 2014, however, they received a picture from the local charity. “James” was back in the government’s care, this time for good, as his family could no longer care for him. However, he was not pictured alone. He was photographed embracing his little brother, “John.” After weeks of prayer and discernment, knowing they could not leave behind the boy who won their hearts so long ago, the family decided that the only thing to do was put up another set of bunk beds and do everything they can to bring these boys home. These adoption plans were, truly, unexpected, and, as a result, the family is hoping to earn and raise everything they need to cover adoption expenses between now and the beginning of September. Donations are sincerely appreciated. (Philippians 2:12-13)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at doloski.blogspot.com
Joe and Hannah are specifically hoping to adopt a child with special-needs. Their youngest child has several special-needs of his own, including prematurity (born at 26 weeks) and Down Syndrome. They have already learned so much through caring for their son, who is now 4 years old, and therefore feel as though they are equipped to take on the responsibility of caring for another special little blessing. Joe and Hannah also have a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son.
Both of them want to add to their family. They had talked about adoption before they even had biological children, so they knew it was always something they wanted to do. They had always dreamed of having a large family and when they realized Hannah would no longer be able to have more biological children (Hannah had to have an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 23), they knew that we were meant to adopt! They love kids and feel as though their family is not yet complete. Adoption is the perfect option for them! They have the space, the time, the desire, and most importantly, the love to give. Adoption has become a passion and a calling for their family.
Many people have asked Joe and Hannah “why are you choosing to adopt?” To them, the reason is simple – because their hearts are telling them to!
Joe and Hannah have open hearts and arms and look forward to adding an addition to their family.
12/9/15—DOSSIER APPROVED, WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thentherewas6.blogspot.com
The Rebers are thrilled to announce that they are adding to their family! Their newest daughter, Lacy, is 9 years old, and is currently living in an orphanage in China. Kim teaches children with disabilities, and Greg is a music teacher. They met in 1991 at the elementary school where they were both teaching, and have been married for 22 years.
Kim and Greg believe that adoption was God’s plan for their family. He has blessed them with three beautiful girls through international adoption. Kaitlyn Taomei and Jessica Taoli are 19 year-old identical twins, who were adopted from Nanchang, Jiangxi, China in October 1996 when they were 11 months old. Ashley Heejung is 14, and was a waiting child in S. Korea due to spina bifida, failure to thrive, and other medical needs. She was 16 months old when she came home.
Lacy has spina bifida (spinal meningocele) and bilateral club feet. She spent most of the past year in the hospital and has had multiple surgeries for her meningocele and club feet. Lacy is now living at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village, an American run children’s care center for medically fragile orphans. Lacy loves arts and crafts. She is a smart, sweet, and loving girl, and is very eager to have a family of her own.
Lacy’s big sisters can’t wait to meet her! Kaitlyn and Jessica are Communication Design (art) majors at Kutztown University of PA, and Ashley is in middle school. Lacy’s adoption is being medically expedited and the Rebers will be traveling to China in March to bring her home to join their family!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11
2/9/16—TRAVELING MARCH 3
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.hope4joy.com
Eric and Jasmine met in high school and quickly became close friends. After two years their friendship blossomed into a relationship and the couple was happily married in 2007. Adoption had always been on their hearts, and more recently special needs adoption. The family is blessed to have Jasmine working as a full time homeschooling mom and Eric works from home 4 days a week so taking children to appointments is much easier to manage. They currently have 4 children with at home, a son (7) and daughter (4) born in Ethiopia, a daughter (5) born in Utah and a daughter (2) born in Hong Kong.
After having read through many of the child profiles, Eric and Jasmine felt God leading them to adopt again. Over their last 4 adoptions they have learned to trust more and more in God’s leading and are taking a leap of faith as they pursue adopting an older child. They are looking forward to adventure God has in store for their family!
1/13/16—APPOINTMENT IS FEBRUARY 10
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at countitalljs.blogspot.com
We are a family of 8, soon to be 10.
I’d like to tell a little story if I could so please bear with me. A month or so before Xavier went into the hospital Andrew and I had come to the conclusion that we were going to go back to China. It had been 2 years since the boys came home and everyone was healthy and calm. We had our schedules down, we weren’t scheduled for any surgeries, the kids were rocking in school. We were a family of 8.
It was time. And so we started the paperwork for a special someone who has been in my heart since I started advocating 4 years ago. And then Xavier went into the hospital.
And the world stopped turning. It never crossed my mind in that first week and even into the second week that we wouldn’t be leaving the hospital with him. He had pneumonia. RSV. That was it. Lots of kids get it. We would just get through this, go home, obsess over the medical bills and quietly panic every winter when the other kids got sick. And then it started getting weird. They started pulling in specialists from every department to try and figure out what was going on. Heart, kidneys, genetics, autoimmunity, GI, and on and on. And even when his kidneys failed and they put him on the ECMO machine, I lived in denial. He was coming home and worst case scenario was that we would have to do dialysis short term. My husband allowed me to live there because it kept me sane. And best case was that we now had every department on board and we would finally be able to figure out why he wasn’t growing, why he wasn’t thriving… Something I had been working to get since he came home! And frankly denial is a good place to live in when your head is telling you one thing but your heart won’t listen. Life without my guy just wasn’t an option. We had always known he wouldn’t have a long life like the other kids, but two years?? TWO YEARS?? No. Not happening! And so we fought. And fought. And God let us fight. We had hope. It was a daily roller coaster. Sometime hourly. And just when we had climbed the mountain and could see the other side (the lungs were clearing and they were going to slow down dialysis), we found the spot on his cheek. And then they realized that the spot on his hand had grown 10x larger within a day. And we fell back down the mountain never to find our footing again. We prayed, we cried. I made deals with God. So many deals. Anything to not lose my son. Anything to take him home with me. Please just don’t take him. Give me another 2 years with him. Another 6 months. Anything but now.
And everything was quiet. He was still.
We came to a point where we knew we had done everything we could. We had a meeting with all the doctors and they said the same. And so we made the decision to end life support. It was the hardest thing I will ever do. Ever. Even once the decision was made in my mind, it was getting the words out. Because once it’s said…
I kept wondering how I got here. We just came in for pneumonia. A cold. And now we were having to say goodbye? How could that be?
But as painful as it was, I was at peace. I don’t know how that could be, but I was. I knew we weren’t alone. We felt the prayers, I felt my Grandma close by, my best friend, Kim, my MIL. I go through so many emotions every day. I cry, I laugh, I hide. I keep expecting to see him when I enter the kitchen, when I go into his room in the morning to wake up Ethan. And I miss him so much. Sometimes my heart aches because I miss him so much.
In those moments I have to remind myself that our lives aren’t over and his has just begun. And that is my one comfort. I WILL see him again. I know I will. And I know he is whole now. He is running and jumping and laughing and singing. And as someone pointed out to me, he is pointing down at me from heaven and telling people “That’s my mommy and she loves me so much!”
It’s crazy to think that all roads lead back to adoption. We took a beautiful risk when we adopted him and we have been forever
blessed because of it. In fact, so many people have been blessed because of Xavier. The messages and letters I have received from people saying that they are going into nursing, physical therapy, missionary work, advocating, special needs teaching and so on because of Xavier has been incredible! We’ve seen it in our own children. My Maeve is set on becoming a special needs teacher because of her love for him. To think that our son was on this earth for 5 short years and he accomplished more than some do in their entire lives. He has changed lives for the better and all because of his smile, his innocence, his love of life, his will to live. And so I will continue to advocate for orphans in his name. And we will continue to adopt as God sees fit. We will continue to bring children home, whether into our family or by helping others, because that is what life is all about. Moving forward. Bringing families to children. James 1:27 “To look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
And so with that being said, yes, we do have an announcement. We are continuing our paperwork and bringing home two children. Yes, two. We had started the paperwork for one but when Xavier passed away we felt like we could now give this second one the attention and medical that was needed. A child that I wouldn’t have dared to bring home in my past life. And so we are bringing home two. We need prayers. We need prayers for calm, for peace, for certainty. The children are excited for their new siblings and I think this will really help with the healing process. Because of Xavier’s special needs, no child is now a “special need”. They are a child. And so whatever the future brings, it brings hope. It brings family. Our daughter, Bevin Grace, is one that I have been advocating for over 4 years! I have watched her go from a sweet little toddler to a beautiful young girl. And our +1 is a sweet child who will be the baby of the group and spoiled rotten. They will both have family and we are so excited!
Daniel is an engineer and Stacy is a speech-language pathologist turned stay-at-home and homeschooling mom. They have been married for 9 years and have 5 children. Three biological children: Noah (5), Eli (3), and Emma (1), and two daughters through adoption: Selah and Haven (“Lisi”). Haven passed away before they could bring her home from China but she will forever be their daughter. Selah (2) from Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. However, although her adoption is complete she is unable to come home due to an exit letter suspension that has been in place since September 2013. They are hopeful she will be released from DRC and able to join her family soon.
Thru the process of waiting for Selah, Daniel and Stacy knew God was stretching them. He was teaching them lessons on waiting, perseverance, and that anything worth having is hard. They began to focus more on Selah and the children waiting rather than their dream to adopt a young baby. They began to realize that no adoption is a non-special needs adoption. All children come home with some sort of special needs. The things that used to scare them, such as disabilities, didn’t seem so scary anymore. After all, it’s not about fulfilling our needs as parents but about the children. It’s about giving a child a home that needs one. And knowing it will be messy and hard.
Daniel and Stacy had felt the call to adopt for many years and knew God had led them to adopt from Congo. However, after completely emotionally drained, they didn’t know if they would ever adopt internationally again.
One night, Stacy found a little girl listed on an adoption photolisting. She was nearly 3 years old and had down syndrome. Daniel and Stacy spent much time in prayer and research. They both felt drawn to this little girl. Finally, the agency sent a couple of videos and when they saw Lisi smiling at the camera, they both broke down in tears. They knew she was their daughter. They made it official with the agency on Lisi’s 3rd birthday.
Daniel and Stacy raced to submit their dossier to China and bring Lisi home. They were DTC in September and was hoping to bring her home soon. But everything changed with one phone call. On October 8th, “Lisi”, our Haven, passed away tragically in an accident at the foster home. Daniel and Stacy have mourned the passing of the daughter and will always wonder why they weren’t able to bring her home.
However, they felt that Haven started something within them. A desire to adopt a child with Down syndrome. In time, they knew God would lead them to a precious child with Down syndrome. And He did just that.
Daniel and Stacy are moving forward and adopting “Nissa.” While adopting Haven, Stacy loved Nissa from afar. She is an incredible child and will be a gift! Now Haven’s legacy is that she ignited a desire for a child with Down syndrome and ultimately led them to Nissa.
Adoption is hard and Daniel and Stacy’s journey has been filled with loss and heartache and uncertainty. However, the call to adopt remains clear in the hearts and they have no regrets. Loving Selah and fighting for her for 3 years (and counting), loving (and losing) Haven, but being a forever family in Heaven, and now loving Nissa and praying to bring her home. These children are precious and worth it!
Daniel and Stacy are hopeful they will bring Nissa….our Zoey Hope…home soon. Thank you for your prayers and support.
2/2/16–AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at abbacry.blogspot.com
Ernie and Jennifer have been married for 16 years and have 8 kids, 7 of whom have been adopted from around the world. After their most recent adoption (“Breck” on Reece’s Rainbow) they had planned to spend some time recovering from the financial challenges associated with so many adoptions. However, they couldn’t stop thinking about their daughter Hannah’s foster brother who continued to wait for a family long after they had brought her home. He was diagnosed with arthrogryposis and had limited use of both his arms and legs. Ernie and Jennifer knew there weren’t many people eager to adopt a child who couldn’t walk, had limited use of his arms, and would need numerous surgeries and lifelong treatments due to his special needs.
However, they also knew that while his medical needs seemed significant, his need for a family was truly his greatest need. He and Hannah had been very closely attached to one another. Hannah continued to carry his picture around talking about him on a daily basis. Their other children had started asking to adopt him while Hannah was still in China (he was with Hannah in many of the pictures they received while waiting to bring her home). They couldn’t let this child spend another minute waiting for a family when they knew the only concern in adopting him was money. They would simply have to step out in faith that once again God would provide to get this precious boy home.
Adopting even one child can be a huge financial challenge. With this being their 8th adoption in 10 years the family has made many sacrifices to cover the enormous financial expenses associated with so many adoptions, even moving to a smaller home to help financially, but they have always considered the blessing of their children to be far greater than the sacrifices involved to bring them home. While they worked hard to cover most of the adoptions completely on their own, with the most recent adoptions they learned that by allowing others to contribute to the adoption expenses they not only receive much needed help but also that others are able to experience the joy of helping an orphan to become a beloved son or daughter. They greatly appreciate all who desire to be a part of God’s provision to help bring Jacob home to the love and care he so greatly needs.
12/22/15—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at mysonsfromafar.blogspot.com
Dale and Ann McKinney are parents to 13….soon to be 14 children! All but 2 of these children have come to the McKinney family through the miracle of adoption. They have adopted many children with special needs, including a child with sickle cell, several children with prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, 3 boys with hand/arm differences, a daughter with CP, epilepsy, and a brain deformity, and a child with Beta Thalassemia.
They did not plan on adopting again so soon…..until they heard the story and saw the photos of Myles! Myles is an orphan who is not only aging out of the adoption program, but is also suffering from Thalassemia that is not being treated properly. Since the McKinneys already have a child with Thalassemia, they are very familiar with this disease, and already have medical staff in place to care for him the moment he comes HOME. He is not receiving blood transfusions often enough, he has a very enlarged spleen, gall stones, and a serious iron overload in his liver and heart. He needs to get HOME to his family, so he can get the medical care he desperately needs, and the family love and support that will be available to him!
Because of the critical health needs he has, as well as his age, his adoption is being expedited. It is estimated that he will be HOME by February 2016. This does not leave much time for the McKinney’s to raise funds for his adoption. Myles’ orphanage has reduced their fees, as well as the agency. It is estimated that the McKinneys need to raise an additional $12,000 in order to get him home quickly.
Won’t you please consider financially supporting this family, as they prepare to bring Myles home?! Every single dollar brings them one step closer.
Thank you and God bless!
2/4/16—LOA RECVD, AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.Thereisnohighercalling.blogspot.com
Catrina grew up in Point Pleasant Beach. She loves doing every day things, like going to the beach, hanging out with friends, or even staying around the house. Billy, loves sports, he is a boys varsity soccer and an assistant coach for the girls basketball team.
They are both deaf. Catrina’s mother found out she was deaf at about two years old. All of her family is hearing, except for her. Billy’s parents found out he was deaf at about 4 months old. Catrina and Billly both attended The New Jersey School for the deaf. They both now work at NJSD teaching and helping students, just like when they attended school. Billy has been teaching there for 15 Years, and Catrina 10 years. Billy’s mother was also a teachers aide there, too, which is how Billy and Catrina actually met. They started dating in 2006 and fell in love instantly. Billy proposed on March 6th, 2008 and soon to follow the engagement, they got married on September 6th, 2008. From that point on they knew they would spend their lives together, buying a house and starting a family of their own.
But some things didn’t come easy for them. They have tried to become pregnant, but they faced many challanges. Catrina became pregnant in 2010 with twins. What should be and exciting time for a family, became a tradgey on April 29, 2010, She lost both babies. Later in the year they became pregnant again. December first was another day of sadness when they lost their third baby. After all the surgeries and trauma to her uterus, Catrina had to have a hysterectomy and can no longer become pregnant.
Catrina, no longer being able to carry a baby, mentioned one of her dreams since she was 17 to her husband, which was adopting a baby from Asia. If any of you have ever been in this position, you will know adopting a child is a very long process and costs a lot of money, but for some its the only option to have their own family. They began the adoption process in April. They were put on a waiting list until they found their match the last week of June 2015. Their match was a beautiful four year old girl from China, Ramona. Ramona is a sweet little girl, who loves to be around people. Ramona is also deaf.
The family’s goal is $20,000.00. This money would be spent completely on the adoption fees, flights, hotels, and the visas. Already they have spent $4,000.00 on the home study and being put onto the waiting list. They need $5,000.00 by December to complete the adoption. They must fly to China to meet with the adoption agency before anything can be complete, and if all goes well, they will be able to bring her home. Flights, and hotels alone are expensive, and applying for visas. They will stay in China for 2 weeks and will bring our daughter Ramona home.
Ramona is deaf and 4 years old. She has no parents, but lives in an orphan home. She had heart surgery when she was a baby and paralysis face. Ramona is very friendly and loves to be around people. She loves to play with the children and adults. She points what she wants; she doesn’t know sign language yet, but she will learn from her new family.
1/22/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://nowrey.wix.com/journeytoramona
Glory is a two year old little girl with so much life to live. She suffers from chronic brain hemorrhage and cerebral atrophy. The Knapp family is working diligently to bring her home for much needed treatment, so that she can live a life full of love and family.
John and Takisha Knapp have been married for nearly 13 years. They have five children, two via adoption and three biological. This is their second adoption, they adopted two children with Down syndrome five years ago. The whole Knapp family is looking forward to adopting Glory from Africa. Just last year John became a saved man, and they have thrown themselves into various local and international ministries, working together as a family to reach out to those in need.
They thank you for your support and would covet your prayers for their journey, for Glory to make it home in time for the necessary medical intervention, and for her recovery.
1/7/16—STILL WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at dailybeginagains.com
“Care for the orphans in their distress!” James 1:27. 160 million orphans in this world! Love at least one!
Adoption is the mission field of the Winslow family of New Hampshire. With nine adopted children (one of which lives in heaven!) and 2 biological children, they are fulfilling God’s call on their lives!
Last year they brought home their 2 Bulgarian blessings! What a joy this has been for them! God has told them that they are NOT done yet! They said, “send us God”, and He is sending them again. To familiar territory for yet another blessing!
This one is a precious 5 year old girl with Down’s Syndrome. They already love her!
Thank you for taking the time to encourage and support the Winslow family! They sure do appreciate it and love you all greatly!
1/7/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED, AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at winslowsix.blogspot.com
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
God has done amazing things in our lives – far above whatever we could have ever imagined. (Eph 3:20). We have seen Him working in each detail. When we first began hearing Him call us to adopt again, we found an amazing little girl that we wanted to claim as our own. But as we went forward, we found that we would not be allowed to adopt through this agency due to some areas that we could not come to agreement on with them. As we prayed about it, we knew we needed to move onward and we began another adoption with a different agency. But we didn’t understand why God had closed the door. We could not forget her beautiful little face.
When we were about halfway through our new adoption, through a series of circumstances that could have only been directed by God’s Hand, we found out that this little girl was available to host for the summer. We were completely shocked and once again began praying that God would show us what to do. The hosting agency contacted the government of Mary Lauren’s country and were told that we would be allowed to go ahead with her adoption as soon as our other beautiful daughters were home. We were amazed and scared all at the same time. Another set of back-to-back adoptions… another step out by complete faith. God gently pushed us forward and we hosted “Mary Lauren” this last summer. We are completely and utterly in love.
As we discussed it at the time we thought God may have arranged this because He knew we would be so worn out from the current adoption, that it would be easy to ignore a little picture on our fridge. But we could never ignore a little girl that we had held and loved and rejoiced in!
However, we know now that His ways are not our own. God, in His Sovereignty, chose to take one of our new little daughters to heaven just 4 days after coming home. Our hearts are broken. But as we have wrestled in prayer, we know we cannot leave our girl in China though our hearts are crushed. We realized that it would not bring our daughter back nor would it honor her memory to leave another child without a family. So we are once again trusting Him, in a whole new way, as we continue forward to bring “Mary Lauren” home, whom we will call Lucy.
UPDATE! The family will also be bringing home Quentin!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at redemptionwhispers.blogspot.com
1/7/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
Leon and Sheri Ricord have been married 10 years. They have an 8 year old daughter Lauren who is in the 3rd grade and attends a Spanish Immersion elementary school. The Ricords also have a 3 year old son Aaron who will begin Chinese Immersion Preschool this fall to prepare him for his future Chinese Immersion elementary school.
For many years now, the Ricords have seriously contemplated special needs adoption as they currently feel their family is not quite complete. Sheri, being a nurse, felt confident she could provide care and support to a child with special needs. In 2011, they began the journey of foster care parenting/adoption but that journey was cut short due to their wonderful surprise pregnancy of their son. The adoption journey was then halted but not forgotten.
Sheri first came upon the Reece’s Rainbow website and Facebook group in April 2014. She has felt very blessed and thankful to follow so many amazing adoption journeys. Sheri then became more and more involved in the Reece’s Rainbow adoption community and discovered the courage to possibly consider international adoption for her own family. The Ricords are no strangers to special needs care as both of their children were born extremely premature, requiring complex healthcare support following their births. Thankfully, their children are healthy and thriving, despite their very rough beginnings.
In January 2015, the Ricords discovered Perry, a precious beautiful 5 year old boy in China who has been waiting for an adoptive family his whole life. Perry has never experienced or understands what it means to have a mother and father care for him. Despite this harsh reality, Perry’s smile lights up a room. He is described as a true delight and joy to those who care for him in China.
Leon, Sheri, Lauren and Aaron cannot wait until they bring Perry home to be a part of their family. The Ricords look forward to providing him a loving and nurturing home life with the added comforts of the Chinese culture and language at his future public school! We trust he will truly thrive and grow in our humble little family.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at … Coming Soon!
We are Peter and Daphne Lang. We have been married for 23 years. We had discussed adoption prior to getting married due to medical issues I had, but the Lord surprised us with our beautiful daughter after 10 years of marriage. It was an extremely difficult pregnancy and it was a miracle when she arrived 2 months early weighing just over 3 lbs with few complications. We were so thankful for this gift from God! The Lord then surprised us with another miracle. This time a precious baby boy (Pierson) that we adopted from Taiwan. This private adoption was a huge blessing from the Lord as the costs were minimal compared to most international adoptions. Several years have passed and our home was full of love and joy but someone was still missing. The Lord then led us to our son Cargan who was an older child with special needs waiting in China. He has been such a huge blessing.
After being home 2 years we still felt that our family was not complete. After much prayer and continually looking at all the precious children on Reece’s Rainbow, the Lord led us to our precious little daughter waiting in Asia. She is a preemie, who weighed just over 3 lbs like our older daughter. We are praying for a miracle to bring “Shelly”, whom we have named Moriah home as we only had the funds to start the process and have a huge mountain before us. This will be a very difficult and humbling journey as we wait upon the Lord to provide. We have been so encouraged by so many families that have walked before us and we look forward to all the Lord will do. We hope you will come and join us on this incredible journey.
1/6/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
You can follow our adoption at provinceoflove.blogspot.com
We love our life!
God has used the trials and challenges in our life to strengthen us and show us his purpose for our family. Adoption is a glorious gift that we feel so lucky to be a part of. We have four children, two biological daughters and two adopted sons who have Down syndrome. We all feel like we won the lottery when they joined our family. They have been an amazing gift to us all. Their sisters love watching them grow and learn new things and they have become strong advocates for people with special needs. The boys have made us all better people.
This time we weren’t looking for a child to adopt when a video of Tamarix was shared by a friend who thought she would fit perfectly in our family. God began to work in our lives and made it very clear to us that this was our daughter and we must go and get her!
Tamarix is deaf, and so is our 12 year old daughter. We all use American Sign Language in our home. Tamraix now uses her home country Sign Language. We love to debate, What American sign will we show her first?
We have stepped forward with faith, trusting in God’s grace that he will make a way.
There is a Chinese proverb that goes like this…
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
We hope that you might somehow be a part of our story, and we thank you for any donation you can make to finally give Tamarix what every child deserves, hope for her future.
12/29/15—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at werhutson.wix.com/seejennyjuggle
Andrea and Jesse met and fell in love on a co-ed soccer team in 2004, he was great & she was not, but they’ve been teammates ever since. Jesse works in Property Management & is the Worship Leader at their church. Andrea stays at home with their son, Jackson (adopted), and any foster children they may be loving on at the time. While serving the homeless in their city the DeBoer’s became increasingly aware that most of the people they met on the streets came from broken homes or were lacking family. The DeBoer’s both come from large families & love family life, they recognize their adoption by God is the single most significant part of their heritages, and they realized that extending their family through adoption and foster care was one way they could stand in the gap between brokenness & life on the streets. Andrea and a friend came across Reece’s Rainbow, saw one beautiful smile that stood out in particular, and was heartbroken over the plight of orphans and orphans with special needs. The DeBoer’s had no intention of adopting internationally but continued to learn more about the orphan crisis. In the time since, they became licensed foster parents & adopted Jackson. In 2013 Andrea saw a face on social media that looked familiar, went back to RR & sure enough it was that same little boy. She asked, Jesse said ‘Yes!’ and they began the adventure to bring Jaeger home to their family!
The journey is long & complicated, and the costs are high, but the DeBoers know that these boys are worth it! They would be grateful for your support, either financially or through prayer, as they go after their little men.
UPDATE: Jaeger has been adopted domestically, so the DeBoer’s will be bringing home Kjellsen and Robby!
11/20/15—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Robert, Elizabeth, and their children are a loud, vivacious, always-busy family of eight. Robert and Elizabeth met as young teenagers at their local shopping mall. Their first encounter, at the Blockbuster music store, consisted of Elizabeth questioning Robert with, “What are you listening to?” And his enduring reply, “Skee-Lo”. It was a genuine alignment of the stars.
In 2001, at the ages of 20 and 18, Robert and Elizabeth were married. A year and a half later they had their first biological child and then, one by one (except the last two… they came together!), five more followed. With such a busy household, they thought they were in for a nice, lengthy break from adding more children to their family.
They were wrong.
In March 2014 God got their attention in an undeniable way and told them: “You’re adopting from Latin America”. After the shock began to die down, they somewhat skittishly agreed. Very soon afterward God once again got their attention in a way they could not work around and He informed them (and confirmed in multiple ways) that they were to pursue a particular little girl. Her name is Lene. If they were to be totally honest, they’d have to admit to being caught by utter surprise that God pointed them in this little girl’s direction. Why? Because Lene has Down Syndrome. A child with that type of special needs was never on their radar. While God was busy softening their hearts toward what this would entail, He also began building a love for Lene inside them. Once they laid all of their fears and hesitations down at the feet of their Lord, they were changed. God had done a work in their hearts that was not possible in the natural realm. Not only did they say yes to God and to sweet little Lene, but suddenly they saw themselves with only her in mind. Regardless of legalities, this family feels that Lene is already a part of them and they are doing everything in their power to bring her home as quickly as possible!
11/23/15—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.amerrychaos.blogspot.com/
The Goodhue family is excited to add another little boy to their family!
Larry and Maria met in high school in 1986 and married in 1992. Having been told by multiple doctors that they would never have children, they were thrilled to find out they were expecting their first child within their first year of marriage. Over the last 22 years their family has grown year after year. They have nine boys and two daughters, unfortunately one daughter went to be with Jesus in 2011. Children have always been an important part of their family and they desire to let God bless them through whatever means He chooses.
Their daughter, Alyssa happened upon Reece’s Rainbow when she was just 13. She has advocated for many of the children on Reece’s Rainbow, as well as, helped many families raise funds for their adoptions. Throughout the last six years, her knowledge of the conditions these children endure while they wait for a family to come for them, their different special needs and the process each family goes through to bring these children home has grown. She has shared with her parents and all of her siblings (all boys!) all that she has learned. The Lord has used her to work in the hearts of her parents and they are excited to take the next big step in their family! The response from their children when they were told they were adopting was…”I can’t believe it! It seems like a dream!”
2/2/16—FIRST TRIP FEBRUARY 21
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at our-family92.blogspot.com
We are Sam and Stacie Morgan. Sam is a US Army helicopter pilot and I am a stay-at-home mommy We have a 20 year old daughter, a 9 year old daughter, a 5 year old son (adopted from China in 2014), a 3 year old son (adopted from China in 2013) and our waiting son who is almost 13 (in China). We have always had a heart for the aging out children and as soon as we saw “Gene’s” face we knew he was ours. We can’t wait to bring him home.
2/5/16—TRAVELING FEB 27
Jay — soon to be named Dominic — is vision impaired, with a diagnosis of Congential microphthalmus . He is currently being cared for in a facility dedicated to the blind and vision impaired orphans. When Dominic saw a friend recently go home with his new forever family, he asked, “When will my Mommy come?”
“Mommy is coming, Dominic!” Heidi would like him to know.
Please consider helping to bring Dominic home.
Heidi is the loving single Mom to two wonderful sons adopted from China. Ben (cleft l/p) was adopted at 3 ½ in 2006, and Evan (profoundly deaf) was adopted at age 6 in 2012. Heidi is a former elementary school teacher with a huge heart for children and passion for advocacy for orphans with special needs.
“Being Mom is the greatest blessing of my life,” she explained. “I saw my new son Dominic’s profile, and immediately new he was meant to join our family. As a single mother, the expenses to adopt can be scary, but one morning I passed a church sign that said, “God doesn’t ask if you are ready, He asks you to trust him.”
Dominic will be a part of a loving family with 2 terrific older brothers and a loving Mom. He will have a loving extended family with Aunties and cousins to dote on him. He will get the medical and educational support he will need to thrive in life. Thank you and God Bless you for all that you do to help children join forever families!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.dominicmakes3.blogspot.com
Effie was found abandoned at the age of 2 months and she was placed in an orphanage where she currently lives. She turned 5 in October, 2015.
Effie has a Tessier Facial Cleft and congenital malformation of her nose which has not been corrected.
Effie’s country has granted me preliminary approval to adopt her and bring her home to live with our family.
As a single parent, I created my family through the miracle of adoption and have been blessed with two beautiful daughters and a fabulous young son, all from Asia. I also have a wonderful adult son who I adopted as a toddler here in the United States.
There is still plenty of love to spread around and we look forward to giving this little girl the love and medical attention she needs to reach her full potential.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://adoptivemomof4.blogspot.com/
Because they are led…Cecil and Cathy met 15 years ago of all places commuting back and forth on the bus for their jobs. They have been married now 13 ½ years. Cecil has grown children, in addition to a grandson and Cathy is now a stay-at-home mom and homeschools their two youngest. They started their family through adoption in 2007 with their daughter at 16 months old, now 9, then again in 2009 for their youngest son at 22 months old, now 7, and one more time in 2011 for their son at 12 years old, now 16. They have all been adopted from China with various special needs.
Adoption has always been a part of Cathy’s life as she is adopted also. She knew she always wanted to adopt at least once and here they are adopting #4!
They believe this is their calling in life and very excited to be adding another daughter and sister to their growing family and they feel led to add as many children as God wants them to have! They would be grateful for prayers and support to help bring their daughter Ceilie into their family.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
2/3/16—USCIS APPROVED, AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at babyjellybeans.com/web/do/site?pg=747782
The Laveys are happy to announce their commitment to adopt Ryan, a 5 year old boy from Eastern Europe with Down syndrome. They hope you’ll consider partnering with them in their efforts to complete the lengthy and expensive process of adoption and bring Ryan home!
The Lord has blessed Andrew and Mary with 3 biological children and 1 adopted child: Abigail (17), Stephen (15), Lydia (12), and Jonah (4 1/2). Jonah came to our ho me when he was 1 mth old. Jonah has Down syndrome.
Their decision to adopt Ryan is not complete without telling the story of Jonah’s adoption. In 2009, the family cared for a foster baby who had Down syndrome. Their time with this precious baby lead them to start thinking about adopting a baby with Down syndrome. They realized Down syndrome was a condition they felt comfortable with and had some knowledge about. They were also made aware of the tremendous amount of resources such as early intervention therapies that are available to a child with Down syndrome. God worked in such amazing ways to bring Jonah to their family in the fall of 2010. They are extra blessed because of the beautiful relationship they continue to have with Jonah’s birth family.
Then in the fall of 2014, God started working on their hearts again – only this time instead of domestic adoption, God was pushing them towards international adoption. They “met” Ryan and fell in love and wanted him to be part of their family. Another driving force in their desire to adopt was when God revealed to them this difficult truth: The future for children like Ryan is that even if they are in good orphanages, this is not a substitute in any way for a way for a family. Also, eventually these children will age-out of the orphanage system. They next home for them will be a mental institution. The Laveys want to give Ryan a future with a family who loves him. They long for him to have a place to call home that is not an institution.
They are praying the same prayer for Ryan as they did for Jonah during his adoption process:
“Lord, you alone are [Ryan’s] portion and [his] cup; you make [his] lot secure. Let the boundary lines fall for [Ryan] in pleasant places; [and that he could] surely have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6
It is the Lavey’s desire that their home would be Ryan’s “pleasant place”.
Follow the family’s adoption journey through their blog “His Pleasant Place”
1/1/16—USCIS APPROVED; DOSSIER in COUNTRY
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at hispleasantplace.blogspot.com
Michelle is a single mother to her seven children. She has four biological children and three children that were added to her family through adoption. Her oldest daughter and son-in-law have blessed her with a four year old granddaughter, a one year old grandson and another granddaughter due in 2015. She has a son currently completing the Police Academy and is top of his class. She has a daughter who is going to school to get her degree to work as an adoption social worker. She states she plans to have 3 biological children some day and 3 children who join her family through adoption. She has a son who will be graduating high school in a few months and plans to complete his college studies with a major in Equine Studies. Michelle adopted a medically needy sibling group from the US Foster Care system. They were biological siblings but never lived together until she adopted them. Her son has Arthrogryposis of his upper and lower limbs and is a double amputee with amazing Iron Man prosthetics. He is no longer medically needy. Her daughter has had numerous surgeries on her hip, has lower limb difference, wears leg braces, has had ankle reconstructions, and her cancer is in remission. She is also no longer medically needy. She adopted a 3 year old little boy from China in 2014. She traveled with her second oldest daughter and fell in love with the culture and her heart hurts for those left behind. Before her trip to China she fell in love with a beautiful bald little girl with amazing dimples who had waited on the shared list for over 5 years. When she saw how there was no future for her in China she knew she had to return to adopt her. She received an update shortly after submitting her letter of intent and she now has a beautiful head of hair and the same glowing dimples!
1/21/16—USCIS APPROVED, AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringinghomefamily.blogspot.com
Rachel Lawrence is beyond excited and blessed to soon be a mother for Austin. She is an intervention specialist (special education teacher) and also runs a horseback riding program for kids with special needs. God is in control and he has been blessing and paving the path to help bring Austin home. This is her first adoption and she is beyond grateful for all the support and prayers of those around her. Rachel is a single mother who has always known that she wanted a family through adoption. When she came across Austin on Reece’s Rainbows, she just knew it was time to begin her family and Austin was who she needed to bring home! Rachel can’t wait to meet and hold Austin. He will be growing up on a small farm with family and friends close by. Thank you for your prayers and support during this process!
You can follow our adoption at rachelsadoption.weebly.com
Mike and Shannon met in 2005 while working together as singers at a theatre in Savannah, GA. They were married 5 years later, had their first daughter in 2011, and their second in 2012. Both Mike and Shannon have always felt the pull to adopt, separately in their lives, and then surprised when the other also felt that calling.
Through many months of research, they decided on China as the country they would adopt from, and through advocacy, they decided that they were comfortable with the special needs program.
They found the profile of a Chinese boy who was blind and loved music, and were in love with him from the start. He was the same age as their oldest daughter, and he was from the same province as Shannon’s distant relatives in China, and shared a birthday with Shannon’s only brother. While not believing in signs, but not disbelieving, they requested his file, consulted specialists, and spoke with friends and family about this child. They are confident that he will blend perfectly into their family.
Their oldest daughter has told them numerous times that THIS boy is her brother, long before Mike or Shannon had made a decision. She is excited to teach him how to sing and dance, and hold his hand to teach him to walk around the city. She is also very excited about learning Chinese.
Before submitting for Donnie, however, they decided to wait and see if their agency could find them a second child that would fit their expanding family. In June of 2015, they saw their first video of their one year old little boy who has no special needs. After reviewing his file and talking with their family about this child, they decided that this boy would complete their family. Their children are very excited to have a new baby to take care of!
The Zaller family is excited to expand their family, and is thankful to everyone who has helped them thus far on their journey!
12/17/15—WAITING ON TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thethousandmileblog.wordpress.com
While Todd and Melissa always felt a calling to adopt, their real adoption story began 3 years ago when they started the process to bring two boys home from Eastern Europe. Since that time they have learned so much more about the hearts and needs of children all over the world who are hurting and alone, waiting for a family to take a chance on them. A few months ago they started hearing that still small voice telling them their family wasn’t yet completed and they began once again seeking wisdom to know what this calling would look like for their family. After a lot of prayer and consideration there was one little face that stood out and said “Pick me!” A 7 year old little girl who is in severe need for medical intervention and simply someone to care about her. Much like Lance, the Schmitt’s 5 year old son, she is not able to sit up or roll over and suffers from severe muscle spasticity. The Schmitt’s have learned so much from Lance in the past 2 years that a physical inability to do these things does not mean they are incapable of joy and love. As they watch Lance laugh and smile (things he wouldn’t do when he first came home) they want to be able to provide this little one with that same opportunity to experience joy, love, warmth, physical contact, and a full belly every day without question.
They feel honored to be called parents to each and every one of their children and are excited to embark on the journey one more time. They would love for you to share in this process with them and thank you for taking your time to read their brief story and consider supporting them. More than anything they covet a spot in your prayers as this is a long, emotional journey.
2/10/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at onemorelightofmine.blogspot.com