Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Brian and Julie Swegle are the parents of 7. After raising their 6 birth children, they decided that they were still young enough and brave enough to add more children to their family through adoption. Because Julie is a teacher for the visually impaired at a school for the deaf and the blind, they felt particularly equipped to parent children who are blind. So, 1.5 years ago they welcomed a daughter from China (who is deafblind) to their family. She was such a joyful addition to the family that they decided to grow their family through adoption for a second time.
Through a series of seemingly well-orchestrated circumstances, Madeline and her need for a family to adopt her immediately came to the attention of the Swegle family. When they read Madeline’s story they fell in love with her and realized how well she would fit into their growing family. Brian and Julie are hoping to bring Madeline home as quickly as possible. They are so grateful for the opportunity to be Madeline’s parents and for all those who are joining them in helping Madeline. Thank you for joining the Swegle family on their journey to Madeline!
1/5/2021 — DOSSIER NEARLY COMPLETE
Hi! We are the Quick family. In 2017, we traveled to Eastern Europe to adopt our dearly loved son, Mannix, who just happens to have Down syndrome. We brought him home to join his 8 older brothers and sisters when he was 9 months old, weighing just 10 lbs.
When we were in his birth country, we were able to see the conditions of his orphanage and the hospital where he was frequently sent, along with other bedridden children. We have never been able to forget these kids, who spend their days in cribs with barely enough to eat to stay alive, and no one in the world to love them.
We knew right away we would want to go back and adopt again, if at all possible. We have the room, the love, the time, and the resources to share with another child. However, we do not have the $30,000 in hand or in credit that it costs to bring a child home. We intend to work very hard at making and selling things, taking on extra jobs, selling things around the house and whatever else it takes to give another child a loving home and family. Our hopes are that our family, friends and community at large will come alongside us to make this happen, whether that be in prayer, monetarily, or time.
We thank you for your time and interest in our next journey and hope you’ll follow along.
12/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet Ian and Sara Lemin. Ian is a critical care nurse and Sara is an obstetrician/gynecologist in Ohio. As medical professionals, Ian and Sara have enjoyed several trips to Haiti for Christian medical missions. They were married in 2015 and blended their family of four teenagers. Then in 2017 they were blessed by the birth of their fifth child who was born with a musculoskeletal condition known as “arthrogryposis”. Through an online parent support group, the Lemins were introduced to the Reece’s Rainbow profile of a little boy in Eastern Europe who also has arthrogryposis. Their hearts were opened and they felt God’s calling to bring this little boy into their home where they could share their love and knowledge of his condition. They are committed to “Conrad” and are currently in the process of completing their home study. They are eagerly looking forward to the day when they can meet this sweet boy. Ian and Sara thank you in advance for your support of their journey with your donations and prayers.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
12/10/2020 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Hi! My name is Holly and I would like to introduce you to a crazy family… Mine.
I have an 11 year old son named Jakob and for a while it was he and I against the world. Then in 2014 Jake and I married Ronnie. He tripped me in Walmart, and I fell for him. Literally. Together the 3 of us built a beautiful little family. In 2015 we added Genesis to our family, and in 2017 God gave us our two boys.
We had been introduced to Reece’s Rainbow and international special needs adoption a year-ish before when our church participated in a fundraiser to help a local family to bring home a waiting child from Reece’s Rainbow. Around the same time another Reece’s Rainbow child had gone viral for their amazing transformation since being brought home. I would scroll through the photo’s of the children, share the fundraisers for the families, and pray for all. I never thought we would be one of the families! But then it happened. One day I was scrolling through the photos and I saw a face. I felt it in my whole being that she was part of our family and we jumped in heart first!
We had no idea what we were doing, and there were many hiccups along the way! We kept pushing forward though. Then in April 2018 we found out that the child we absolutely loved had passed away. My heart was shattered. Since we were in an incredible custody battle for the two boys we decided not to continue with the adoption at that time. We needed to focus on keeping the boys safe.
Then in October 2019 it happened again. I was scrolling through Reece’s Rainbow’s Facebook page and I saw a little boy who looked so much like my 4 year old that my heart just stopped. We had just purchased our new home days before. We were in a new state, new house, starting a new chapter of our lives. I showed his picture to Ronnie expecting that he was going to talk some sense into me. Instead he tells me “we actually have room for two”. So much for being talked off the ledge!
Ronnie works for the public school system with developmentally disabled children. I work for a nonprofit organization as a Direct Support Professional in residential group homes. We are NOT wealthy people by any means. But what we lack in dollars we make up for with love. God has brought us to this, and I know he will provide for us to be able to bring our children home.
Please keep our family in your prayers as we work endless hours of overtime, fundraise, and try to navigate the international adoption process.
1/8/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Hi, we are Hannah and Paul! We have been married for eight years and have an 18-month-old son. Paul grew up in a rural area of California, and Hannah was raised in Dorset, in the South of England. Like many couples we met through a mutual friend; more unusually, we met at a bluegrass house gig in Coventry, England, and have a long previous address history. We share a love for music and traveling, and enjoy spending time with our lovely son and two dogs – a poodle and a schnoodle!
From the outset, we have talked about special needs adoption. Hannah and her family has long worked with kids and young adults in special education, and Hannah always wanted to adopt special needs kids. This also deeply resonated with Paul, and we have been waiting for the right to time to start the process. Since putting down roots in the DC area and settling into parenthood, we know this is the right to time to grow our family through adoption. We originally looked into adopting from India, as Hannah is Indian, but when we read about a specific child in an Eastern European orphanage, we felt a huge tug. We are excited to be on this journey and look eagerly look forward to the day we can bring our second child home! Thank you for reading our story – perhaps we will connect along the way!
10/27/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
John and Erin live in Ontario, Canada. Back in 2017 they flew with their whole family to Nigeria to adopt a little girl. It further opened up their eyes to the great need for adoption. So many children living in institutions, and on streets with little love and care. It was a real adventure, but God was so gracious granting them their youngest daughter.
Since then, they desired to add another child or two to their family. Feeling they had more love to give, and that it would be nice for Favour to have someone she could relate to more.
John quit his job as a police officer, and has gone back to school to study to be a pastor, and serve the Lord where ever he will call them. They have a growing interest in Eastern Europe, and would love to be able to be a blessing to a child from there.
Erin is a stay at home mom and home schools their 5 children. She has worked for years with children with special needs, and children with Down Syndrome are especially dear to her heart! The kids are excited about adding a child to love to their family.
They have been feeling lead to adopt from Eastern Europe for years, but it hadn’t worked out. Now they finally can.Their home study is complete, and they are excited to start compiling their dossier and try to bring a child home. Thank you for your prayers, and support!
10/5/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Eric and Kelly Burton live in KY with their 3 children- Willa Kate, Sullivan, and Milo. Together, they have built a marriage of 15 years and a family that continues to grow. Their adoption story is unique! It began after the birth of their first child and secondary infertility was discovered. They attempted fertility treatments and prayed for another baby, but soon realized adoption did not have to be their Plan B. Once they began to pursue a beautiful boy in China, they stopped grieving what infertility had taken. It was clear this was their path all along!
Much to their surprise, the Burtons would soon be holding a miraculously positive pregnancy test and faced with a choice. God had answered their prayers for a baby, long after they’d stopped praying them. But their hearts were already all-in with a boy they’d never met.
Needless to say, the Burton brothers both joined the family in 2017! While it’s been a lot of hard work, saying “yes” to adoption has been the Burton family’s greatest gift. And they are ready to say “yes” again. They are praying to return to china for another special needs adoption. This time, a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease.
The Burtons are average people- a public school teacher and a stay at home mom- with hearts that beat for orphan care. They are humbly asking others to join in their efforts to bring “Luna” — soon to be named Nora Jane — home.
1/5/2021 — DOSSIER NEARLY COMPLETE
Christian was a beach bum from Florida, and Megan was a cowgirl from the mountains of South Carolina, yet they somehow found each other and have made a lifetime of memories. Christian is a paramedic and a soldier in the SC Army National Guard. Megan was a phlebotomist who gave it all up to be a stay at home mother and teacher. They have 5 biological children, ages 10 to 18 months, 4 boys and 1 little girl. Children have been the focal point of their marriage, and that love continues with a soon to be adoption. Their love for children has remained as strong as their love for each other.
Since before they were married, Megan had always had a heart for adoption. It has been a dream and desire of hers since she was a child. She specifically wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, as they have both had experience with special needs and children with Down syndrome. Christian, however, was hard hearted and callused to the idea of adopting a child. He was content with having biological children and that was enough for him. Megan had prayed everyday for 10 years for a change of heart.
It was in the summer of 2018 that while listening to a sermon by a pastor about being adopted by his family, but also being “adopted” into the family of Christ. It was this time that Megan’s prayers were beginning to be answered. Christian’s heart was breaking down. He was beginning to see the ignorance and selfishness in his ways. He realized that if he could be adopted into the family of God, why could he not open his heart, mind, and soul to a child in need of adoption.
Their adoption journey has been a whirlwind, and has happened much faster than they ever could have imagined. It took 10 days for them to be approved for a domestic adoption with a domestic adoption agency. As they sifted through the children with special needs, there was never a child that they felt like God had placed before them. They knew the financial aspect of adoption was always a huge commitment, so they focused on staying domestic, with no sights set on an international adoption. It wasn’t until a childhood friend sent a link to an absolutely adorable baby girl to Megan, that an international adoption was on the table. This was it. This was the child that they had waited for their children had waited for, and furthermore the child that God had placed before them to bring to her forever home!
Both Megan and Christian are beyond elated with the thought of finding their baby girl and bringing her home. It has been a blessing each and every step of the way, but not only for them. On a side note, the little girl looks exactly like a couple of Megan’s family members, which confirms she was meant to be a Miller. They have included their 5 bio children in the adoption process, as well as, their two current foster children. The children have celebrated together, prayed together, enjoyed pictures, and stories of their soon to be sister! This family has been built on the foundation of love, and togetherness. The Miller family is beyond tight knit; they truly are a family who does everything together. They thank everyone for their support, for the donations, but most importantly their prayers. Without prayers, they completely believe that they would never be in a position to bring the sweetest little girl home to her forever family!
12/8/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
James and Colleen met when Colleen was freshman and James was a junior, in college. We started dating five years after that and we married 2012. We found out in 2014 we couldn’t have children biologically. As it broke our hearts, we immediately knew we were meant to adopt. Before we got married, we spoke about the possibility of fostering and adoption, as Colleen knew as a young girl she wanted to adopt. At that time, we found Reece’s Rainbow, and instantly we found our son. We adopted Jacob in 2016 from Bulgaria and he will be 7 in July. Four years later, a little girl in Eastern Europe has our hearts and God has very clearly said go, just like what happened, four years ago.
1/20/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
Meet the Effhauser Family! Matthew and Sarah live with their five children on a little farm in rural Minnesota along with their two dogs, two barn cats and too many chickens to count. They are high school sweethearts and started their family soon after being married; their children now range from 13 to 2.
A few years into marriage, their eyes were opened to children with special needs living in orphanages around the world. They began supporting families in process and donating to life-saving surgeries for little ones. Soon they realized that maybe they were being called to adoption, someday. The conversations and prayers around adoption began and as they added more children to their family, worked their way through job changes and renovated their 1913 farmhouse, they kept gently hearing the Lord say “not yet”, even when their hearts wished He would say yes.
Trusting in His timing and discerning that the time to adopt was hopefully nearing, Sarah resigned from her teaching position to stay home with their youngest children in preparation to be home with their adopted child someday as well. The Effhauser family participated in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign and were thrilled to share a sweet boy with the world and the work of Reece’s Rainbow. Maybe advocacy was only what they were called to do?
Over the years, the couple had shared many pictures of waiting children with one another until one summer day they saw the face of a young boy, just a few months younger than the baby of their family and they knew, now was the time! The entire family can’t wait for their little brother to be home!
1/21/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
Chris and Melina were longtime friends before they started dating the summer before her senior year. It didn’t take long for each of them to realize that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Although Melina was young (just about to turn 19) when they got married, she was the oldest and only girl in her family of five children and she knew she was ready to get married and start a family. Chris was also from a big family of eight children. Both Chris and Melina knew that they wanted to have at least four children. A couple of months after they got married, they were excited to find out that they were expecting. Ten months later, Ella was born. When Melina was seven months pregnant with her second child Ian, the couple found out that Ella had a genetic condition called Angelman syndrome. There were so many unknowns for this young couple, but they devoted their time to making sure Ella received the therapies and things she needed to thrive. About four years after the diagnosis, Chris and Melina talked about adding more children to their family. It didn’t take long, and Bensen, Liberty, and Lila were born into the family.
In July of 2020 Melina was browsing through Facebook and saw a fundraiser for a little girl with Angelman Syndrome. When she finally took the time to click on the link to see the little girl, it was like God was calling Melina to her! She thought about her all afternoon! She gathered all the information she could because she wanted to be prepared with as much information as possible could be when Chris got home from work
When Chris got home that evening, Melina couldn’t wait to tell him and show him this angel’s sweet picture! Chris thought she was crazy (it’s not the first time in their 14 yr marriage he has thought this, and things usually turn out ok lol). Being the amazing man he is, it didn’t take long and he was on board! This is their first adoption, but they know they can give this little girl a great life with parents and siblings who will love her unconditionally! They are extremely grateful for any help that is given to them as they work their hardest to get their girl home!! Much love and God Bless.
1/25/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Meet the Houston family made up of Wesley, Rachael and their dog Kyba! Wes and Rach met at an elementary school play of Frog and Toad, it was true love at first sight! They share a passion for music, art, exploration, the outdoors, and family. Rachael, a teacher for 10 years and now administrator, has a passion for children and a great deal of experience with children with physical, mental, and emotional special needs. Wesley is the laid back and go with the flow kind of guy. He works as an insurance adjuster by day and a recreational ultimate frisbee player by night. They are an energetic couple who loves to tackle challenges as a team!
Not too long after getting married Wesley and Rachael found out they would not be able to have biological children of their own. This was when Rachael shared that as a young teenager she felt the impression that she was going to adopt one day. At the time it seemed strange because that was not the phase of life she was even really thinking about. Although the experience was long in the past it had always stayed with her. After many hours of researching, and researching, and researching some more they made the decision to move forward with international adoption. They both love children and are egger to become parents and share their love with a child!
Darcy Joy completely stole their hearts as soon as they saw her bio! The more they learned about her the more they fell in love. Their soon to be daughter was diagnosed with postoperative lumbar spinal meningocele, also known as Spina Bifida. She is unable to walk but that doesn’t slow her down one bit. She is a favorite in the orphanage as stated by her nannies and she is a big time favorite by her soon to be family. The Houston’s feel extremely blessed to be on this journey to building their forever family!
10/14/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Carly is an elementary school nurse in Fort Worth, TX. Her adoption journey officially began in July 2020, but really started back when she was 19 years old. The summer of her sophomore year of college, a good friend of hers invited her to work at Charis Hills Camp- a small camp in Sunset, TX for children with autism and ADHD. That summer for her was completely lifechanging, as she saw the incredible way the Lord loves and pursues all of His children. She decided then that she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to children with special needs. During her time in nursing school, she provided respite for one of the camper’s families who lived in her same city, and then returned to camp the next summer. After graduating with her nursing degree, Carly moved to Virginia to continue her life’s passion. She began working at Jill’s House in Vienna, Virginia- an overnight respite care facility for children with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or other special needs. Her time here was invaluable, as she was able to work with hundreds of children with varying disabilities. She gained invaluable experience working with children who were medically fragile as well. Carly moved back to Austin in 2017, working remotely for Jill’s House camps. During this time, she also began providing in home respite care for a young boy with physical and developmental disabilities. She was able to see what day to day life looks like when you have a child with disabilities- from therapies, to doctor visits, to just hanging out at the house. She is so incredibly thankful for this time in her life.
It was during this time, that she first saw the profile of the child that she now in the process of adopting. She had been following Reece’s Rainbow on social media for a while, because she followed along with many of the family’s stories as they adopted and brought their children home. However, in 2017, when this child’s profile came up, she knew something was different. She was too young at the time to be able to pursue adoption, so she felt there was nothing she could do about it. A year later, the child was still on her mind. She set an alarm on her phone every day for 11:30am and titled it the child’s RR name. She began to pray for him every day at this time that he would find a family. She moved back to Fort Worth in August of 2019. It hit her that after 2 years of praying that this child would find a home, that he was still waiting. It was during this time that she realized that she may have been praying for her SON this entire time. After a lot of reflection, prayer, and seeking counsel from others, she knew it was time to take that next step. When she told her family and friends that she was hoping to begin the process soon, she was met with incredible support. She is now working hard to bring him home!
Carly is so thankful for the journey that led her here. She believes everything in her life has been preparing her for this, and she’s excited to become a first-time mom.
9/24/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Robert and Lara Vitter met on 9/10/06 and got married on 9/15/07. The Vitter Family has had a heart for adoption and orphan ministry since they started dating. They were pregnant with their 1st child after being married for 1 month. When their daughter was not even 1 they lived at a Children’s home for 2 1/2 years, had another baby and then moved to Italy as Christian missionaries for almost 8 years and added 3 more biological children to their family. Lara grew up in a home that adopted a terminally ill brother and they also had several foster children in their home. They have always wanted to grow their family through adoption and have been led to Cohen to join their family. They truly believe they are called by God in this way from James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” There’s never been a dull moment in their lives together and God has always called us to do ministry together as a family. We know Cohen is the next piece for our ministry “team”. They can’t wait to bring him home and have him be a part of all they do.
1/12/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Leah is a lifelong Navy sailor who grew up as a dependent and is now active duty. When she was a young girl living in Hawaii, her stay-at-home RN mother fostered several children under 2 who had special needs for a few months and one at a time while they were between more permanent homes. Even though she was only 5 years old at the time, she fell in love with a baby named Emily whose smile she can still remember and was old enough to understand that adopting meant adding a child who didn’t come out of her mommy’s tummy. Since then, adoption has been at the forefront of her mind when it comes to adding kids to a family of her own.
In 2015 while stationed on a ship, her church hosted an adoption agency that talked about older child adoption. They told her that even single women who work full time on a Navy ship can adopt. Leah knew that her time was coming when she would add to her family of one.
In January of 2019, a friend shared the Reece’s Rainbow page of a girl who was aging out and Leah felt the tug on her heart. She began prayerfully considering adoption in the near future and knew it was almost time. Almost one exact year later, another girl with the same special needs was shared to Facebook by a friend who had already completed an adoption for a child on Reece’s Rainbow and was working on her second. Leah knew it was time and began her home study that month.
First time international adoption can be a long and difficult process and the child that Leah is working toward adopting doesn’t have much time! Any kind of help is welcomed and appreciated and thanks to all who follow this journey to make the Davis family go from one to two!
1/12/2021 — COMPILING DOSSIER
The Lewandowski family are in the process of adopting an aged-out boy – or two – from Eastern Europe.
Kevin and Natalia met online. Both grew up in totally different communities, totally different surroundings, and totally different countries. Kevin was raised in family-oriented Polish community and has always seen his own role as a person who is supporting strong family bonds.
Growing up in a Ukrainian blue-collar family, Natalia always had a heart for those who were in need. Living and volunteering in Ukraine and the USA for multiple church and community services gave her opportunities to reach out to those who were living below the poverty level such as the elderly and people with disabilities. There was something special about Ukrainian orphans though that was always on her mind over the past 2 decades: orphanages are meant to provide shelter, clothes, and basic nutrition, but cannot ever be a substitute for real FAMILY.
Kevin and Natalia hosted a 16-year-old boy during the summer of 2019. It was not an easy summer, but it gave them a chance to feel an orphan’s emotional pain and trauma. Kevin and Natalia understand that it may take a lifetime to help their son learn to cope with the physical and emotional trauma caused by institutional and parental neglect. The other boy they are considering was also hosted but his family, after deciding to adopt, was not able to proceed. Other families that had been interested in this boy assumed he was being adopted, and by the time the family discovered they could not proceed, it was too late for another family to do anything because he had aged out.
Raising funds for a teenager’s adoption is not easy task, but both Natalia and Kevin strongly believe that they were called for this adoption and God will provide by using people’s hearts and hands. Please consider teaming up with this family in this financial challenge that will change ONE orphan’s life, or maybe even TWO.
6/16/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Mike and Robin have been married for 9 years. They have 9 beautiful kiddos, two who were adopted from Eastern Europe. Mike works as a public servant for the beautiful state of Washington and is the worship leader at Lakewood Grace. Robin is a stay at home mom and wife, and homeschools their kids.
Mike and Robin have a huge heart for adoption. After bringing their two girls home, they felt certain that they would be going back at some point. After much prayer and consideration, they decided to start the adoption process again. They discovered that a little boy they had seen a listing for a year and a half before was still waiting for his forever family. They decided that he should not have to wait any longer.
The cost of adoption can seem daunting but Mike and Robin firmly believe that God has called them on this journey and He will provide. Any prayers, donations, and shares of their story are all deeply appreciated.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27″
Jon Hamilton has always had a huge heart for taking care of others. He takes pride in the ability he has to defend the defenseless and care for those in need. Since becoming an adult he has devoted his life to taking care of others. Jon joined the Marine Corps right after graduating high school so he could serve his country. After returning from his second deployment he met his wife Jessica. The two started a family and he decided the deployments were not as family friendly as they hoped. After fulfilling his commitment with the Marines he immediately began pursuing his career in the medical field. After obtaining his Associates degree as a paramedic he went on to obtain his certification as a firefighter. Jon currently serves his community now as a professional firefighter and paramedic.
Jessica Hamilton has only ever dreamed of taking care of others and being a mother. She attended college to pursue her nursing degree but put it on hold to stay home and care for her children. She was once told “there is no higher calling than that of a mother.” She feels that God has blessed her tremendously as a mother and her job is to be the best mother she can. She says that being a mother is a never ending, more fulfilling job than ever imaginable. Jessica devotes her life entirely to being the best mother she possibly can.
Jon and Jessica had always talked about adopting one day but never thought it would be possible due to the financial aspect. Their priorities are not going to change. Money doesn’t come first in our household. Unfortunately Jon’s career in doing for others doesn’t pay as well as other careers may pay. And Jessica staying home with their children is a huge priority and obviously doesn’t pay monetarily at all. Knowing that things were not going to change drastically enough for them to afford an adoption they decided to put their faith in God to make it all possible. The entire family prays nightly that God provides for this adoption.
Jon and Jessica both share the desire to have a large family. Being able to raise their children to be respectful, kind hearted, christ following is very important to them. Both are very open with their children and they are all very excited to be able to add to their family through adoption.
They describe adopting as “a crazy long and expensive process that no one could have ever prepared them for, and certainly one they don’t think is possible without their faith”. Their case worker sent them a file for a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome, who is 19 months old. It was never about them wanting another child. It was about them wanting to share their love with another child, one that truly needed them. They hope to truly touch the life of others through Christ’s love. There are so many children out there who desperately need people to open their hearts and minds to special needs adoption. It shouldn’t be about what your child will be able to do for you but what you will able to do for your child.
They both feel the only obstacle for them will be the financial aspect. Jon and Jessica say how shocked they are already with how much support they have received from friends and some close family. Those who have given to their adoption so far, they know truly gave from the heart, certainly not just because they had the extra. It’s hard for them to ask for so much but they know it’s not really for them., it’s for their new daughter. They vow to spend the rest of their lives making sure she lives the happiest, most fulfilled life they can possibly give her. With what they lack financially to adopt, they make up for with love and determination. Both truly feel that where there’s a will, there’s a way. As long as they’re committed to do all they can, God will provide for them.
1/8/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Hello! We are Madisen and Allen Crapo. We are so excited to finally be in this place and would love to share a small part of our story with you. When we were dating and things began to become serious, I (Madisen) brought up the possibility of adopting a child with DS in the future. I was nervous to hear his response, but he was equally as excited and on board. We always knew adoption would be part of our lives, though we didn’t know what a large part it would play. As teenagers, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl, who we chose to bless another family with. We were not prepared financially or emotionally at the time for a child and are so blessed with our new family. We were thrown into the adoption community, and we have learned so much.
Through our new found friends, we found Reece’s Rainbow. The plan was eventually, when everything was perfect, to adopt from an Eastern European country whose children we felt a strong pull to. God had other plans, and a few years ago placed a sweet boy in our hearts. We became determined to start the process much sooner than planned. We had to wade our way through school and starting careers while trying to wait patiently. We are so grateful that we saw his picture, while available, to give us that extra push to have faith. Though we know there is no guarantee of receiving his referral, we have already seen countless miracles in our process that confirm to us we are on the right path. Our daughter (5) is so nurturing and we are excited to see her welcome her new brother and become officially outnumbered (our son is 2). We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
3/4/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Jared and I got married on October 1st 2011. After only knowing each other for a couple of months. We started our new life together in Hawaii with our son Tayler who was 8 years old at the time. Jared joined the Army in 2008. He has had 3 deployments (soon to be 4) countless rotations and months of school. We have moved together as a family 5 times in these last 8 years (it feels like more!)
We had Matthew in 2013, Noah in 2015 and in 2017 we were pregnant again! I went in for a gender scan and found out we were finally having our girl!!! (I also had another son in 2005 that passed away from SIDS). We had a wonderful announcement with a piñata that the kids got to hit, filed with everything pink! The very next day I got a phone call that would change our lives forever.
The ultrasound tech that did the gender scan saw some fluid on the back of our daughters neck. A couple days later we went to see the MFM and found out she had a Cystic Hygroma and hydrops. We were told she either had Turner Syndrome or Down syndrome and would likely not make it. We were recommended to terminate the pregnancy. I told him to never mention that to me again, how dare him! After testing, it was confirmed that she had Turner Syndrome. We prayed so hard for our girl and had so many people praying as well. A couple weeks later, the hydrops was gone and the Hygroma was resolving. Our daughter was born in September 2017. She is part of the 1-2% that make it to birth. We are so blessed.
We have talked about adoption on and off over the years. We thought it would be much later down the road. But other plans were in the making for us.
A friend of mine messaged me telling me about a little girl with TS that was an orphan living in Eastern Europe. I immediately fell in love with her and shared her story all over FB. She was absolutely beautiful she has a full head of beautiful dark hair, the prettiest eye lashes and a smile that can brighten anyone’s day. Everyday I’d look at her pictures, think about her and pray for her.. I felt such a strong bond to her, I just knew she was my daughter. After talking to Jared, we decided to bring her into our family. Our boys are so excited and our daughter looks at her pictures and calls her sister. They ask about her everyday and look at her pictures. We can’t wait to have her home!
1/6/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
The Slate family has received a $2000 grant for the girl they are adopting.
The Marshall Family is adopting again! 2.5 years ago the Marshall’s welcomed Ping (Pepper on RR) and Liam into their family and went from a family of 4 to a family of 6. One year after bringing Ping and Liam home, Laura saw an advocacy post for a little boy. He was so tiny and had the most piercing eyes she had ever seen. His file indicated many medical issues and he had Down Syndrome just like Ping and Liam. The Marshall’s fell in love with him and rushed to get him home. Due to his needs he was medically expedited and came home January 25, 2019. It has been a busy year for the Marshall family and a year of great growth; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Marshall Family now consists of Billy and Laura who have been married for almost 14 years, Tessa Grace 16 years old, Bella Charity 12 years old, Ping Joy 10 years old, Liam Worth 6 years old, and Asa Courage 4 years old. Recently, Laura and Billy felt the familiar tug towards adoption and discovered one of the little girls they have loved for a while is still waiting. They made some inquiries and decided she will be the next Marshall, Ember Faith “Emmy”. The Marshall’s are hoping to bring her home by the end of 2020 which will be 4 adoptions in 3.5 years! They are stepping out in faith that God will provide funding to help bring their daughter home where she will receive medical attention, nutrition, and LOVE! Thank you for joining the Marshall’s on their journey and supporting them with your prayers and donations.
9/28/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
Hi! We’re Kristy and Dale, and we’re the Galaleo family!
Dale and I first met in 2008 at the gym in where Dale was a spinning instructor and I was an admiring student. By day, I managed an aquarium and Dale built cool unmanned deep ocean gliders. We didn’t start dating until one Friday the 13th in 2012 and were fittingly married on Friday the 13th in May, 2016 at a beautiful waterfall in Connecticut. Two of our dogs, Trooper and Kopper served as our best men.
The end of 2016 and most of 2017 were rough for us as we lost some of our beloved animals and Dale’s adopted sister passed away unexpectedly. But 2017 also brought us a silver lining — one that redefined our definition of family and may change our lives forever. After his sister’s passing, Dale’s adopted brother came to live with us. We spent much of 2017 reconnecting with Dana, who was diagnosed with schizophrenic tendencies and other behaviors that would now fall on the spectrum for Autism as well as very poorly managed diabetes, and helping him get situated in an adult rehabilitation program that brought new purpose to his life.
Because he was such a great benefit to the program, they offered him housing in one of their newly built quadraplexes. Watching Dale’s brother grow and finally achieve a fulfilling life at 59 helped us realize that we might be able to help someone else.
As you can see in our photo, we have adopted several “handi-capable” dogs over the years. We’ve poured our love into them, but I’ve always felt like something else was missing. I have previously served as a respite provider for foster parents, and I know the need for caring parents and safe homes.
Dale and I have often thought about adoption, influenced by Dale’s experience as a younger brother to two adopted siblings and my experience fostering. However, I found myself in a job that required too many hours to bring a child home for good. If we were going to adopt, we knew we would both need to make some life changes.
I left the field of marine biology for interior design more than a year ago. Now, I’m able to leave work on time and don’t bring work home with me. We’ve moved to Florida and settled into a less hectic routine. There’s no time like now for us to grow our family, but we need help.
In October, Dale and I committed to adopting a beautiful 5-year-old girl from Asia. One night I was Googling “adopting children with special needs” and came across Reece’s Rainbow. I clicked on their waiting children link and started clicking through the various ages of children with Down syndrome. I remember being saddened by how many children there were and how long some of them have been waiting for a family of their own. As I scrolled through the “girls 3-5” I came across an adorable full face with the most genuine smile. Her name on the site is “Della” (we won’t know her real name until our home study is completed). I watched the videos that were posted and in all her videos she just seems to smile. Now her smile melts our hearts every time we watch the videos. We realize adopting a special needs child may require more work on our part, but there is no denying that our hearts are ready for this journey.
We have been working diligently on all the paperwork. Our home study is near completion, and we’re already researching all the best options to support for our daughter to ensure she blossoms in our care. We appreciate that you’ve read our family’s story and thank you in advance for anything you can give to bring us a step closer to uniting us with our new daughter.
1/25/2021 — UPDATING PAPERWORK
Douglas and Jena have been married for almost six years. Their first son joined their family from Eastern Europe through adoption just before Christmas 2019. When they brought him home, they said they would go back “in a few years.” However, much like when they saw their first son’s photo and story, they now feel called to return to Eastern Europe for another waiting child to complete their family.
1/20/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Elizabeth, Chris, and their three kids are scooching a little closer to make room for a little more love in their family!
The couple met in 2016 while Elizabeth was in in the middle of her first adoption from Eastern Europe. As the saying goes, when you know, you know, and they certainly knew! After a whirlwind two months of dating, Chris and Elizabeth got engaged and hopped on a plane together to bring their tiny son, Worth, home. On New Year’s Eve, they made it official in a sweet little pop up wedding on a bridge overlooking their city.
Worth Allen is now thirteen and thriving. He is strong, stubborn, and so full of sunshine. The Graham fam added Cleo Brave, now eight, to the crew in 2018. She is smart, silly, and overflowing with unsolicited sass! Indy Luke, who will turn one in November, made a surprise appearance in 2019. He is the extra helping of sweetness they all needed.
As the Grahams grow together, so does their conviction that children belong in families. Elizabeth and Chris are thrilled about the privilege of bringing another little boy with extra special chromosomes out of an orphanage and into their family.
Follow the Graham fam’s fundraising project on Instagram at Instagram.com/thethreehundredstitchproject
1/23/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE