Here we go again!
When I entered the adoption world I heard the term “Repeat Adopters” and couldn’t help but laugh. I couldn’t imagine how or why someone would or even how they could go through the process of international adoption, come home with their new child and turn around and do it all over again! We are living that out in real life at the moment. Bill and I met through mutual friends a little over 4 years ago; I had a houseful already with 5 bio kiddos and 2 adopted through Foster care, but he was ready for the challenge! Little did he know how we would grow! Shortly after our wedding I asked him if he was ready to start an adoption, he wasn’t super gung-ho but he didn’t say no so I ran with it! 9 months after our wedding we were flying home from Serbia with our first child together! Rowen was 4 and super cute and I was looking at child profiles before we were home with him! 3 months later I saw Macy (Silvie on RR) and knowing China was not a fast program I was able to talk Bill into once again jumping into another adoption! While we waited on China I attended the Reece’s Rainbow Reunion in Kentucky (summer 2014) there I met the cutest little spitfire ever and couldn’t wait to find his Mom to talk to! When I finally found her I found out she was hosting him and that he would go back to the orphanage at the end of summer I was devastated and was in tears at the thought of it. I never thought I could be his Mom because we had just received PA from China for Silvie and there was no way to do two International Adoptions at once! Or was there? I called our agency and found out that while it would be a lot of paperwork and expense it WAS possible! That was all it took and I left the reunion to head home to start working on two homestudies and two dossiers! Eastern Europe is a much faster process so we left for our referral appt on Nov. 30, 2014. Simon (Valera) became ours on December 16 and finally came home on January 30, 2015 just 2 days before Rowen’s 1st anniversary home. Simon walked into our lives and home like he had always been there and the transition has been absolutely amazing. We continued to plug away at Macy’s adoption (our dossier was submitted to China while I was in Eastern Europe on our pickup trip!) We had some unusual hiccups that held us up a bit but I finally came home with our little China Doll on November 5, 2015, almost exactly 18 months after seeing her picture on Reece’s Rainbow for the first time! She is an absolute joy and is totally enjoying her new life and family!
While we were in Eastern Europe it was difficult not to fall in love with the other children we met. Simon was the first international adoption from his facility so we knew most of the kids would never have a chance at a real family. So even though it sounds crazy and we aren’t sure how we are going to pull this off once again WE KNOW these are our children and that they NEED US and we NEED THEM! Ross James turned 16 on August 9; USCIS received our application on August 4 saving him from an uncertain future in Ukraine and allowing us a little more time to let God show off once again!
Jade is 14 and her future is just as uncertain. We covet your prayers and well wishes as we work to bring our children home. And of course we can use all the financial help we can get; we have faith that the funds will be there as we need them but it is hard not to worry when your children are on the other side of the world waiting for you!
4/27/16—USCIS APPROVED, DOSSIER EN ROUTE
The Schultz family currently has a $10,000 matching grant!! When their FSP total reaches $11,119.16 — another $10,000 will be added!
Jacob and Sarah live in Texas with their 5 little ones. Sarah is blessed to stay at home with the kids and Jacob works in Oil and Gas Risk Management. They are a very active family and most days can be found at the ball fields or park. While they have always dreamed of adopting, they got serious about it about 3 years ago. The first 2 children they fell in love with will always be a part of their family. Although politics and war have prevented them from coming home, there is still a dream of bringing them home some day. For now they are thrilled beyond measure to add baby Joy to the family. After viewing many files with no one jumping out, they saw Joy and immediately started paperwork. Everyone is so excited and the kids already talk about her as if she’s always been in the family.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at justusholts.blogspot.com
Eric and Blythe are very excited about the adoption of Mark! This will be their second international adoption in a year and they couldn’t be more thrilled about adding to their family again so soon. Mark has down syndrome and he desperately needs a family. They have four children already at home, two are adopted and two biological. Mark’s siblings are very excited about having a baby brother and they constantly ask if its time for him to come home yet!
Since they just recently finished an adoption, with the help of Reece’s Rainbow, of a special needs child, they are praying for people to rally around them once more to help bring this little boy home. They greatly appreciate any support that is given whether it be financially, prayerfully or just an encouraging note!
4/21/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at FourLittleOaks.wordpress.com
Nora and Patrick Tomasik have been married for ten years, and have three biological children, Patrick 9, Caden 6, and Eli 2. Family is always the first priority for the Tomasik family, and the only thing they put above family is God. Nora had prayed for years for God to use her in His way, and to have the blessing of glorifying Him. That chance came when she stumbled upon Reece’s Rainbow, and in particular Kory. Although the thought of adopting a child had never occurred to either Patrick or Nora, once they saw Kory, they knew that he needed a home.
Kory, a beautiful boy in Eastern Europe that just happened to have Down syndrome. A beautiful gift from God, who simply needed the love and support of a mother and father. Nora could not get this small boy out of her head. Daily the thought of him hit her over the head. While at dinner with her family, she thought of Kory, at the zoo, thoughts of Kory, at the library, thoughts of Kory. What was Kory doing now? What was life like for him in that orphanage? What kinds of activities was he missing out on every single day of his life? How will he reach his full potential without the supports and therapies that he needs? There were many heartfelt conversations between Nora and Patrick. Was this God’s plan? How could they possibly afford it? How would they get others to understand why they were perusing the adoption? All of those questions, without any real answers. Doubt and worry started to enter their minds.
Sitting in church one day, their Pastor started to talk about God being the leader of your life, and that he had plans for your life. Plans that would glorify Him. Plans that you would prosper and not fail. This conversation spoke to the Tomasiks. This was what they needed to hear. God had a plan for them, this adoption was His plan for them. God WILL find the way for them to prosper in this endeavor. Kory had been given what he needed from God, the love and strength of a family in a northern suburb of Illinois. Parents willing to put in the work, effort, worry, tears, and strength to proceed through the process, even with so many obstacles in the way.
Will you help the Tomasik family follow through God’s plan? Will your family help bring another family together forever? Can you help Kory come home?
4/19/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://noratomasik.blogspot.com
Palmers are happy to announce their commitment to adopt Ahren, and love him all the way home from China. They hope you’ll consider partnering with them in their efforts to complete the lengthy and expensive process of international adoption to bring him home! Ahren has a cleft palate and will need surgery shortly after coming home.
Jordan and Melissa have been married 12 years and have 2 daughters 6 and 4 years old. The girls are so beyond excited to have a little brother, they carry his picture around the house with them as they play and eat.
The Palmers believe that adoption was part of God’s plan for their family, leading them to Ahren and having no doubt that he is their son.
Palmers ask for prayer during their adoption journey and hope to bring Ahren home spring/summer 2016.
Isaiah 40:31 Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
3/15/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
Meet Saam. He is one of a group of seven older boys who were friends from the same welfare center. He’s watched as six of his friends over the past several years were adopted one-by-one, and has been waiting patiently for his own forever family…until now!
This past year, we (Laura and Brandon) watched as Laura’s brother and his wife adopted two of Saam’s teenage friends from his Chinese orphanage. When they started advocating for Saam, the last boy left, and mentioned that they wanted to find someone like us to adopt him something sparked in our hearts, and we began to pray. Our prayer was for Saam to find his forever family, and if it was to be us, that God would let us know. There were a few challenges to overcome, but prayers took care of those, and soon enough, we found ourselves starting the paperwork to begin the adoption process. That means that these three friends, Saam and our newly adopted nephews from the same welfare center, will be cousins and live across town from each other!
Our three biological children are on-board and excited about the process. Saam’s sister Hayley even started telling people that we were adopting before we had made the final decision. In many ways, our children, and their cousins, were the catalysts for adopting Saam. The love these kids have for others and each other is inspiring to the adults in this family. In addition to being excited about having a new brother, our kid’s each have opinions about what English name to give Saam. Much to their dismay ‘Bruce Wayne’, even though we love Batman, has been vetoed. Fun discussions continue as to what Saam’s name should be as we journey through the paperwork and adoption process in this upcoming year and pray as a family for his safety and wellbeing until we can travel to make him ‘ours’.
Adoption was not in our original plans for our life, but God knew it was in our hearts. Seeing the impact it had on other families who have adopted touched us in ways we never imagined. One of the scariest parts of this process for us is finances, but God put this opportunity in front of us, and even though we don’t have the money saved to pay for this adoption, we know we have to take a step of faith knowing know that God will provide. Please consider helping to bring Saam home to his forever family. Our entire family truly appreciates your help and prayers and can’t wait to reunite three friends who will now be cousins, and welcome him home as a son and
3/29/16—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Robert and Serenity Andrews met while attending a Bible college in 2004. Their backgrounds could not have been more different – Robert was from the Midwest and former US Army soldier, Serenity was a child of a missionary family, who lived all over the US and in several countries including China – but they soon became close friends and were married three years later. Right from the beginning, God put the desire to adopt in their hearts. After having a biological daughter the desire to adopt was still very much there. Through a mutual friend and their adoption of a young special needs boy, Robert and Serenity were introduced to Reece’s Rainbow. Robert began reading the stories of those waiting to be adopted. When the profile for Chazz came across the screen, it was as if at that moment Robert knew that this was his son. He sent the web address to Serenity without saying anything more. Her response was “let’s do it.” God’s hand was definitely in this because when the adoption agency was contacted Robert and Serenity were told that Chazz was spoken for. They were both disappointed and yet happy that this beautiful child was going to a loving home. Days later Serenity was contacted by the adoption agency who explained that if she and Robert were still interested he could be their son. Of course Robert and Serenity said yes and now are on the long journey of meetings, phone calls and paperwork with the ultimate goal of bringing their son home.
3/17/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
The Montagues are excited to announce their commitment to bring home Tessa! They are at the end of the homestudy process and getting their dossier paperwork ready. She is part of the “Pearl Track” program which moves things along pretty quickly, with a May 9th deadline, so they are trying to raise whatever they can to help bring this sweet girl home!
This is their fourth adoption–they have adopted once from China and twice from Ethiopia. They have always said it is not the business of raising kids that is costly, it is getting them home! They know what it means to give up things other families have–fancy cars, fancy homes, expensive “stuff”–to be able to adopt, and they would do it all over again! Building a family through adoption, with a few bio babies sprinkled in, has been a wonderful journey for which they are grateful to be on.
They know there are lots of causes out there, and lots of things you can donate to, and they are grateful for any amount, small or large, that you see fit. If you can’t give anything to them, that’s OK too! Find a cause and support it with your whole heart!
4/19/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)
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
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.
Joe and Audra May knew that a seed had been planted in their hearts and that adoption was in their future when they left a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in February of 2002. Expecting their first of what was to be 3 biological daughters at that time, they didn’t know when that might be. However, they committed to praying and seeking the Lord. 10 years later their bio daughters now 9,6 and 3, God had indeed called them forward to adopt, as they had already started the process in July of 2011. They were seeking to adopt a special needs little girl through China’s waiting child program. At the end of February 2012, they had found their daughter, Emmalin. She was living at Maria’s Big House of Hope, the same home co-founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth Chapman in honor of their daughter Maria. God had brought the connection to Steven and the seed for adoption had blossomed in their hearts and came full circle.
After traveling to China and visiting not only the orphanage Emmalin spent time in but also Maria’s Big House of Hope, as well as experiencing the miracle of adoption, their hearts had been forever changed. Joe and Audra began to pray and seek the Lord’s plans for their lives and whether God was calling them to adopt again. They had also learned and were very heartbroken for the thousands of little boys, more than little girls waiting for their forever family in China. February 2014, Audra stumbled upon the picture of a little boy on a waiting child page and she was immediately smitten. She was also surprised to realize that he was the same age and had the same medical condition, a form of Spina Bifida, as their daughter Emmalin. After sharing the little boy’s picture with Joe, who wasn’t ready to leap yet, they committed to praying. After a few weeks of prayer God revealed to them that the little boy was indeed their son and they were blessed to be able to pursue adopting him. This adoption, as was Emmalin’s was a complete leap of faith. Having no adoption funds to begin, God continued to pour out his blessings and opened the doors as they pursued Samuel. Joe and Audra knew that God can easily call the able to adopt but he often calls the willing and that’s what they are, willing to do the Lord’s work and to go where he calls them. They brought Samuel home in March 2015!
In early October 2015, Audra was reading on an adoption blog when she came upon the picture of a little girl who had the same medical condition as Emmalin and Samuel. The little girl was being advocated for and Audra was able to read about her and watch her video. Heartbroken after watching her video and seeing her pictures, the May family committed to praying for her family to find her. They would continue to pray for over a month or more, only to find out that God intended they be her family and her parents. They are naming their new daughter, Violet Joy, which is a name they have had in their hearts since Emmalin’s adoption.
The May family is very excited and eager to bring Violet home. They will become a family of 8! They have trying to expedite this adoption process, as Violet is 2 years old and severely malnourished, weighing only 13 lbs. at two years of age. They are praying to travel to bring Violet home this summer!
The May family would so appreciate your prayers for their family and Violet as they journey to bring her home. Having just traveled in March of 2015, 9 months before God revealing Violet to them, they have no adoption funds saved. This adoption journey as were the two before is a complete leap of faith! They would be so very thankful for any financial blessing they receive, no amount is too small.
3/17/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.mayblessingsflow.com
We (Tim and JoLynne) are thrilled to announce our commitment to adopt Marla! We want nothing more than to bring our little girl home and we are asking that you consider coming along side us with prayer, financial, and emotional support. God has been calling us to adopt for quite some time, and our answer is finally YES!
While on a recent trip, JoLynne got to see first hand the reality of orphanages in Eastern Europe. The call to adopt has always been there for her, but suddenly orphans were no longer a blurry image in her mind– but names and faces– hands she held and feet she washed. Her heart was broken for these children without parents. The call to adopt became urgent. When she arrived home she found comfort with her children, Dexter and Beatrix, but Tim could see her devastation. Unbeknownst to JoLynne, God had been working in Tim’s heart– growing in it a love for orphans.
Two years after JoLynne’s trip, and one more biological child later (Simon), We (Tim and JoLynne) are at last stepping out in faith and declaring that Marla will be an orphan no more.
The story of adoption is about so much more than us- so much more than our story. It is about a Father that seeks out His child. A Father who says, “No matter where you are and no matter where you have been- I long to call you My own. No matter the cost- you are wanted and you are LOVED more than you can possibly fathom. I will change your status from lost to found and I will keep you in the palm of My hand.”
Thanks to God who sent His son to die on a cross for our sin- we can claim this promise of a Heavenly Father. We want to be Marla’s earthly parents and to ensure she knows that she is loved and wanted.
4/7/16—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.writteninyourbook.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!
3/3/16—WAITING FOR USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://followingtheredthreadtoscarlett.blogspot.com/
Adoption is the common “red thread” that has been woven through the fabric of Steve and Katie Goar’s life. They’ve been married 23 years and have been on numerous mission trips, visiting orphanages and doing community work. They even spent their 20th wedding anniversary in Honduras staying at an orphanage, digging a well, and doing general service work. Their love for each other, willingness to embrace adventure, and tolerance for dwelling among scorpions made their 20th anniversary most unique, but perfect for them. Their connection with adoption started long before marriage. Steve is an adoptee and a life-long advocate for the beautiful life opportunity of adoption. It wasn’t until after the birth of their fourth child, Bode Chai, when they started to realize their role was evolving from advocacy into participation. Bode was born with Down syndrome, and after being confronted with this information one day after his birth, the family was ushered into a world of new information, new medical acronyms, and the welcoming arms of the special needs community. The thread that started to bring the tapestry into view was Katie traveling to Asia with their 12 year old son, Asher. They were part of a team preparing adoption file assessments. Returning from the trip, pulling into the driveway, and not even having feet on the ground, Asher turned to his parents and said, “I believe we should adopt”. For several months, the family’s eyes began to widen even more. The point came when advocacy, contributing, and prayers were no longer enough, and it was time to respond. The love story of Steve’s own adoption, the divine message of Bode’s special chromosome, and the imprint of Asia, all converged and inked their hearts with the faith and passion to find June. A little six year old girl with Down syndrome, waiting for a forever family.
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”
4/7/16—OFFICIAL MATCH RECVD, WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at hispleasantplace.blogspot.com
Kevin and Dara Nelson are parents to a large, busy family. They have children ranging from 4 to 28 including both biological and adopted. They are currently in the process of bringing home another son from China whom Kevin met while in China a few years ago. It was a strange twisting and turning of events that led them to finally being able to be matched with Kennedy (York). Kevin is a salesman and coaches several of their children’s soccer teams. Dara is a stay-at-homme mom that home schools their school-aged children. They are active in their church family especially in the childrne’s ministry. The Nelsons have two other special needs daughters and are certain God has prepared the way for them to add one more with special needs. To quote one of their friends, “Wheelchairs aren’t scary!”
3/17/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thenelson15.wordpress.com
Ethan and Randi have been married for thirty-five years and have raised seven (of their twelve) children to adulthood. When they returned from China in April of 2015 after their fourth international adoption, they may have loudly proclaimed to God and anyone else who was listening that their family was DONE. Done, done, done! Never say never.
Even though Randi loved this little beauty the minute she laid eyes on her, they thought they were too old for a four-year-old child. So she advocated for “Susy” for nearly two years. “Susy” was in her thoughts most days, and literally haunted her dreams at night. They are thrilled that Randi’s advocacy paid off – though not exactly how they expected. THEY get to adopt this magnificent (now six-year-old) little girl!
Another adoption wasn’t on their radar or in their budget. Please rejoice with them and keep them in your prayers as they try to quickly complete all the legal steps to bring home the completion of their “baker’s dozen.”
4/13/16—DOSSIER SUBMITTED (LID)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at lanzadoptionadventure.blogspot.com
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!
4/7/16——OFFICIAL REFERRAL RECVD, WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.amerrychaos.blogspot.com/
God miraculously opened the door for Todd and Greta Poweska to start the process to adopt a little boy, Moses, from overseas. Although they only felt led to adopt one child, their caseworker and immigration officer approved them to adopt “up to three” children. After they had already had their dossier approved and received travel dates, they were given the opportunity to adopt five year old “Kaden” as well! Both boys are in the same orphanage and the Poweskas are thrilled that they will be able to grow up as brothers!
If you can give it’s so appreciated. If you can’t, pray for us, friend us, and follow along with us as we turn these orphans into treasured, beloved sons!
3/24/2016—DOSSIER SUBMITTED; TRAVELING SOON
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at
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.
2/24/16—HOPE TO TRAVEL IN APRIL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thentherewas6.blogspot.com
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.
You can follow our adoption at provinceoflove.blogspot.com
Hi! We’re the Pattersons. We’ve been married for 22 years (Wow, time flies!) and currently have five children. Our two oldest are in college, our next two are in high school and our youngest is in fourth grade. Two years ago we adopted our youngest, Joseph (Igor on Reece’s Rainbow) from Ukraine. The past two years have been challenging but SO rewarding.
For over a year we have wanted to adopt again. When we saw Vienna’s picture on Reece’s Rainbow we were so excited! We had been praying about who our next child would be and hoping that we could adopt a little girl with Arthropryposis. Joseph was born with Arthropgryposis and we have become quite familiar with the ins and outs of the medical procedures and therapies that are necessary. So, when we inquired about Vienna and were accepted to pursue her adoption we were thrilled! Despite the unknowns, we are ready to plow through the paperwork to bring our little girl home as soon as possible!!
We appreciate your prayers and support so much as we begin this journey.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at hiskindness.wordpress.com
Starr is the mother to four grown children. Her husband passed away in 2001, and after many years of grieving she decided it was time to adopt the little girl from Asia that she had always longed for. She began the process in late 2006, and was on the ‘healthy child’ track.
In 2010, she realized the wait would be very long, so she decided to adopt “Zoie”‘s brother, as she didn’t want to raise an only child, since her other children were all grown and out in the world of work and college. Ziggy Lion Yared came home from Ethiopia in 2011, when he was 14 months old. Every year she would ask God if “Zoie” was on the special needs list, but he said keep waiting. Now she knows why — because she wasn’t even born yet!
In 2013, after a move from California to Washington, before she was even unpacked God revealed she had to re-open her adoption case of Zoie Love because she was on the special needs list, and she was ready. Starr was over the moon! She brought Zoie Love Mi home from China in April 2015. She was diagnosed with Developmental Delays. She is now 3 1/2 years old, and she is an absolute blessing in all their lives and they adore her so. Ziggy and Zoie are best of friends.
Starr was absolutely sure she was done and so very thankful she never had to go through this process again. She had even named Ziggy and Zoie with a Z signifying the end of her procreation so to speak. But God had other plans for them. After a couple months home, everything was perfect and everyone was adjusting so well. Then she heard God whispering, so very clearly – and that is how she ‘met’ Daisy.
She had seen a picture of a little girl with Down Syndrome while browsing the photo listings while waiting for Zoie back in 2014.
She was the sweetest child and there was just something so familiar about her. After a couple of months with Zoie, she decided to check on Nani — soon to be named Daisy! — and see if she had been scooped up; but there she still was. Her file had gone to several agencies throughout the year and several parents looked at her file, and no one chose this sweet child.
That’s when Starr knew she was her daughter — but she had no money at all for this adoption. She asked God what he was thinking, and how could all this money come to her? Then almost straight away, as if God was answering her, a friend said she could reuse her Dossier from Zoie’s adoption and it would save a lot of money, and she also told Starr about grants she could apply for.
After starting the process, Starr was told she was too old, and she couldn’t get approval to adopt Daisy. She was absolutely gutted.
At Zoie’s first post-placement visit, she shared her heartache with her social worker — who suggested she talk to his boss. His boss was able to get the waiver for Starr’s age, and she was absolutely euphoric!
Daisy is a Special Focus child, as she has Down syndrome. Starr’s years of childcare make her confident she can help Daisy be the best she can be. Starr and her family live a very simple life, and she can easily provide for her children, Daisy included.
She is totally going on Blind Faith, for this adoption, so soon after Zoie came home. The first two adoptions were entirely paid for on her own, and she didn’t have to fundraise, so this is definitely a new experience. She has muddled through all the initial fees, and God is telling her to have FAITH. So she does. Money will NOT be a reason Daisy will not have a Family to call her own.
Starr, Zoie and Ziggy cannot wait to bring Daisy home and give her love and the life she so deserves!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at starrsnewblog.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.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at norahmakes5.wordpress.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.
3/13/16—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://adoptivemomof4.blogspot.com/
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!
3/4/16—REFERRAL RECVD, HOPE TO TRAVEL SOON!
God has been setting the groundwork for adoption of a child with special needs in Phil and Celeste’s hearts for a while now. From Celeste’s involvement with children with special needs at a young age and then later becoming a special education teacher, to Phil and Celeste serving in their church’s special needs Sunday school class and having the opportunity to take mission trips to parts of Eastern Europe visiting orphanages. Numerous sermons, recent events, prayers, and conversations have led the Grahams to answer God’s call for them to adopt.
Immediately “Jonah” caught their attention, and through much prayer and God’s Holy intervention, He showed them “Jonah” was waiting on them.
The Graham’s have one biological daughter, Paisley.
Would you join us in the exciting journey to show God’s love to Mr. “Jonah”?
3/29/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at tobelongtobeloved.blogspot.com
Luke and Jennifer Webster are the proud parents of 5 (soon to be 6!) blessings. Their 3 oldest children are 12, 9, and 6. Their two youngest children, adopted from China in July of 2012, are 4 and 5. The entire family is absolutely thrilled to be bringing home “Simon” who will be their Benjamin. The Webster family stepped out in faith to begin Benjamin’s adoption and have seen God’s hand in each and every step.
“Simon” is visually impaired and currently resides at a foster home for children with visual impairments. The Websters are not new to children with VI or with special needs in general. Their youngest two children have multiple special needs. Their son, Caleb, has low vision due to a traumatic brain injury and has opened their hearts to children with visual impairments. They look forward to welcoming “Simon” into their home and hearts. The Websters would love for you to follow in their walk to bring Benjamin home.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at faithwalkingfamily.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
4/7/16—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
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.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at werhutson.wix.com/seejennyjuggle
When God calls, answer, say YES, and watch HIM work! Our journey up to this very day, our adoption of TWO children from China was planted in our hearts years ago. I always dreamed of adopting children. Steve, too, has always had a heart for orphaned children. God reminded us of what He says in His word about “the least of these”, the orphans and the widows. We asked God to break our hearts for what breaks His. He led us to Skippy, who will soon be named Patrick: Our son. We said YES when we began to pray for him. We said YES when we were approached to host him. We said YES when God said “Adopt him. He is yours.” Then the fun began! God is orchestrating and conducting the most beautiful experience of our lives. Things happened quickly, money showed up at our front door, the perfect amount at the perfect time.
We were incredibly blessed to have Patrick with us for the month of December. It was the most incredible month of our lives. This boy, our son, was here! Four weeks flew by too quickly. It ripped our hearts out to have to send him back to China. But we knew that God was in this and Patrick would be coming back to our family forever. That is the confidence and hope that we have.
All that Steve and I really have had any control over in the whole adoption process is prayer. We pray unceasingly and fervently for God’s grace and His will to be done. God knows our hearts and our fears. Finances are always at the forefront of those things, but HE has gone before us and paved the way thus far. HE is faithful and we know that all things work for the good of those who are called according to HIS purpose. We said YES, He said “Now watch me work.” We gave Him “God Space” to move in our lives. And He is.
Which brings us to another YES moment…not only did we pray for Patrick, but Jessika was on our hearts as well. Steve particularly fell for this angel. Her smile and her dimples snatched Steve’s heart, (and mine). God spoke to us about Jessika, quietly but incessantly. As we were preparing our fundraising events, we got a phone call. Jessika is available, and now is the time to go and bring her home. We said YES! (Surprised?) Again, we didn’t know how, but we knew who and why: Because HE is GOD and HE called us.
The journey has been nuts! Piles of paperwork, passports, reports, documents, exams, all the fun stuff that goes with the adoption process has been worth every minute, even the money factor. Who but God can speak to people and place them at your doorstep, literally, with your exact need and at the exact moment? Who but God? Not one. Sure, it sometimes feels overwhelming, but each step gives us affirmation that we are that much closer to bringing Patrick and Jessika home. He designed this for us, He wrote our story. We are obeying and living our each chapter at a time with His loving direction. He wrote Patrick and Jessika’s stories, and we are blessed to be part of their book of life. We are their family and they are ours.
It does take a village, as we have often heard. Our village is full of incredible supporters, friends, family, and believers that pray daily for our family. Give your Father “God Space” in your life.
4/15/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE (DTC)