Jon and Carly have been married for 10 years. They have known each other since grade school and started dating in high school. They have 3 biological children, ages 9, 8, and 6 and they adopted their 8 year old son with Down syndrome in November of last year. They found their son through Reece’s Rainbow and they thought they were done, but God had other plans! Just 4 months after bringing their son home they saw the picture of Hannah Joy (Bree on RR), also with Down syndrome, and they knew God was calling them to go back and bring her home. Their first adoption took a year and a half, but this adoption will be much faster. Hannah Joy (Bree) will be aging out when she turns 14 on December 1st of this year, so Jon and Carly need to travel before that. That gives them less than 8 months to complete this process. Jon and Carly are once again stepping out in faith, trusting that God is going to provide the needed funds just like He did with their son. They ask for your prayers and they would be so very blessed if you would be a part of their journey to bring their daughter home.
Follow the Duvall family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringinghomeasher.blogspot.com
Colleen and James first met in college. Colleen was a freshman and James was a junior. After James graduated, they parted ways, then five years later they started dating. Two years after that, they got married, and they have been married for two years. After exploring state adoption and not really agreeing with their system, Elijah’s file basically fell in their lap, and James and Colleen knew he was theirs. Colleen and James have always wanted a big family, through adoption and biological children. Elijah will be their first child and they couldn’t be any happier. They cannot wait to show him the world.
7/15/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Nathan and Tina met in high school. He was a football player and she was a cheerleader. They were married in 2004 and have had 10 lucky, wonderful, always changing, years together. Shortly after being married, they found out the were expecting the first of their three daughter’s. Nathan lost his job and was having a difficult time finding another one that would support their family. This lead them down the road of being a military family. They’ve been a military family now for over 9 years and life’s been an adventure. They can’t wait to go on this new adventure that the Lord has put before them. There are three little girls that can’t wait to have a little brother, and two parents who are so excited to have a son! Please pray for them as they go on the adventure they have become calling, Operation Scheid Family, to bring home little Tobias.
7/12/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the Scheid family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.operationscheidfamily.blogspot.com
The Warinners are happy to announce their commitment to adopt an orphan girl from Eastern Europe. They hope you’ll consider partnering with them in their efforts to complete the lengthy and expensive process of adoption and bring her home! Derek and Sarah became interested in adopting from Eastern Europe through a large family newsgroup, when a prayer request introduced 4 brothers who needed a family. As they followed this story until they were adopted by another family – they got to know about orphans in the region including several with special needs. After several months they were introduced to “Casey” and “Iggy”, two orphans with cerebral palsy who were nearly too old to be adopted (both were 15 years old at the time). Derek and Sarah felt that Casey and Iggy would have difficulty thriving in an adult institution, so they acted quickly to make the proper government filings to become eligible to adopt them before they “aged out”. After completing their home study and fundraising, they made the trip to meet them. They bonded quickly with the children and, after prayerful contemplation, decided they should become part of the Warinner family! In March 2014, Casey and Iggy became Lucas and Matthew, the newest (and oldest) Warinner children. Derek and Sarah have enjoyed having Lucas and Matthew in their family and have put considerable effort into accelerating their development. After only a year it’s clear the kids are making great progress!
Derek, Sarah, and their 7 children Maria, Jeremiah, Michael, Daniel, Gabriel, Lucas, and Matthew, anxiously await the adoption process approvals and arrival of Arielle into their family. They are fundraising to obtain resources to cover the international adoption costs, travel expenses, and Arielle’s process to enter the US. Thanks for your partnership and support!
6/12/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE, AWAITING STATE APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at adoptionarielle.blogspot.com
Joe and Jenny met working EMS and fell in love. They have always known they wanted a big family. They started creating their bundles of joy and now want to add more. They have been together almost 20 years and love their family with all of their hearts. They have 5 beautiful children who are so alike, but so different. Three are home grown and two are Ukrainian Princesses. They have meshed into one big, happy family. Now the kids are wondering when the family can bring more love into their home. They live in the wild wonders of the UP of Michigan where they live life to the fullest. Their children are well loved and accepted in the community and are missed when they are unable to attend events. They are excited to begin this newest adventure for their family. Adoption can bring such exciting adventures and bring so many people together.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at vandyckfamilyofhowmany.blogspot.com
Michelle is a single mother to her seven children. She has four biological children and three children that were added to her family through adoption. Her oldest daughter and son-in-law have blessed her with a four year old granddaughter, a one year old grandson and another granddaughter due in 2015. She has a son currently completing the Police Academy and is top of his class. She has a daughter who is going to school to get her degree to work as an adoption social worker. She states she plans to have 3 biological children some day and 3 children who join her family through adoption. She has a son who will be graduating high school in a few months and plans to complete his college studies with a major in Equine Studies. Michelle adopted a medically needy sibling group from the US Foster Care system. They were biological siblings but never lived together until she adopted them. Her son has Arthrogryposis of his upper and lower limbs and is a double amputee with amazing Iron Man prosthetics. He is no longer medically needy. Her daughter has had numerous surgeries on her hip, has lower limb difference, wears leg braces, has had ankle reconstructions, and her cancer is in remission. She is also no longer medically needy. She adopted a 3 year old little boy from China in 2014. She traveled with her second oldest daughter and fell in love with the culture and her heart hurts for those left behind. Before her trip to China she fell in love with a beautiful bald little girl with amazing dimples who had waited on the shared list for over 5 years. When she saw how there was no future for her in China she knew she had to return to adopt her. She received an update shortly after submitting her letter of intent and she now has a beautiful head of hair and the same glowing dimples!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringinghomefamily.blogspot.com
Because they are led…Cecil and Cathy met 15 years ago of all places commuting back and forth on the bus for their jobs. They have been married now 13 ½ years. Cecil has grown children, in addition to a grandson and Cathy is now a stay-at-home mom and homeschools their two youngest. They started their family through adoption in 2007 with their daughter at 16 months old, now 9, then again in 2009 for their youngest son at 22 months old, now 7, and one more time in 2011 for their son at 12 years old, now 16. They have all been adopted from China with various special needs.
Adoption has always been a part of Cathy’s life as she is adopted also. She knew she always wanted to adopt at least once and here they are adopting #4!
They believe this is their calling in life and very excited to be adding another daughter and sister to their growing family and they feel led to add as many children as God wants them to have! They would be grateful for prayers and support to help bring their daughter Ceilie into their family.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at babyjellybeans.com/web/do/site?pg=747782
Brice and Jessie are an ASL fluent family pursing a deaf toddler. Having been married for almost 5 years, they always knew they wanted to expand their family through adoption one day, but had no idea God would have it happen quit this soon. Shortly after experiencing their second miscarriage they were contacted about this child. They have been working hard on their house ever since in pursuit of this child ever since! As they begin preparing to move and spend the required 4-6 months in country to bring this precious child into their home, they covet your prayers. They are in desperate need of funds as the in country stay and fees required are quite staggering, an estimated $40,000.00! Having exhausted their resources in order to get their home ready by adding bedrooms to meet adoption requirements, they are trusting God for the money to bring this child home!
6/2/15—COMPILING DOSSIER, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ourdeaflife.blogspot.com
Nathan and Savannah have always had a heart for adoption. They are foster parents and have had many foster children over the past 5 years and have adopted two of those beautiful children, they know the pure love and joy that comes from bringing children into their family that maybe would not have had a mom and dad. The process is amazing and God’s hand has been all over their life in bringing these children to their forever family. They also have 1 biological son who was an answer to many, many prayers and a true miracle from God.
Nathan and Savannah feel deeply that God is calling them to a new avenue of adoption and that is international adoption. They feel so deeply and so passionately about adopting a child with Down syndrome and cannot wait to be one of the lucky few blessed with Down syndrome in their lives.
Nathan and Savannah’s life has been blessed immeasurably and they cannot wait to bring another miracle into their family, so that he too can know the warm embrace of a mother and father and know what it’s like to be loved every day for the rest of his life. This truly is God’s work for this family and they couldn’t be more excited to begin this adventure! Please join them as they bring home “Isaiah” — soon to be named Samuel!
7/15/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
You can follow this amazing journey with the Hawkins family at: www.samuelone27.blogspot.com
Jason and Erin first got to know each other in high school on a missions trip to Lithuania. Over the years they have been back several times and involved in English Bible camps and DVBS in a Children’s Home. Having seen the children and their needs first hand, adoption has been on their hearts for quite some time.Shortly after they were married they became pregnant with their 1st son. Erin had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, like Princess Kate, and they struggled with whether or not to try for another pregnancy. They did, and she again had the same medical issues with their 2nd son. After much prayer they decided to adopt a daughter from the country that means so much to their family.
The plan had been to start the process in 2016. God had other plans and made it clear that now was the time. They found the agency that works with L adoptions and applied. The new plan was to take this year to get through the paperwork and home study and save the needed finances. Again God’s plans were much better and different! They saw a picture of Kasmira and were in love! Their 4 year son is very excited about his new sister, he has been praying for her for months. The little 1 year old son has no idea what is happening but they are sure he will love another sibling to play with.
The Ballards are now moving as quickly as they can to get through all the required paperwork, home study, ect and bring their little girl home by the end of 2015.
7/15/15—STATE APPROVED, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the Ballard family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.tobelongandbeloved.wordpress.com
Stephanie and Sean are at it again. They have been married since the beginning of time and have 5 children. Their oldest, Danielle, is 22 years old, a recent college graduate and growing into a fine young lady. Next is Cody. He is 20 years old and in college now and working with special needs adults. The youngest three came to the family through adoption. Cole is 8, adopted from Ukraine at age 4. Caden is 6, adopted from Ukraine at age 2. Cooper is 8, adopted from Ukraine at age 5. We thought we were done, but God had another plan. They both love Ukraine and thought if they ever adopted again, it would definitely be from there, but when they saw Noah, they knew he should be part of the gang. The little boys are affectionately called the “DS Mafia” and we are all excited for Noah to be a part of that. Please help offset the cost of the adoption by donating to Noah’s grant. Thank you in advance.
5/6/15—COMPILING DOSSIER, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at carmichaeladoption.blogspot.com
The heart wants what the heart wants. When in Eastern Europe for their second adoption in 2013 Kevin and Andrea both fell in love with a little boy and felt that they were supposed to be his parents. Finding it hard to believe that God was leading them to adopt again before they even got home with the girls, Masha and Kylee (Charity) was hard to believe. Given the opportunity to add him to the adoption they did everything they could but were unable to make all the puzzle pieces fit in time. Since then their whole family has felt that he was missing and have been striving to get back to bring their son home. Andrea’s grandmother had a son with Spina Bifida that passed away when he was just three years old and after she passed away they felt even stronger that they needed to go now. She was such an example of selfless love and adopting is the best way they could honor her memory.
6/24/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Adam and Karen LaDuke have been married for 16 years. They have two daughters- ages 12 and 10. They have so enjoyed parenting and feel so strongly for the plight of the orphan that they hoped to add to their family by adopting again in 2013. After attempting to adopt little sisters and having the process end differently than they had planned, they were put on a waiting list. For seven months they waited and prayed and mourned, not knowing what God had in store for their future. Finally, “Julia” was informally referred to them. Without much initial information, they prayed over the situation and asked God to show them if she was meant for their family. While praying, Adam felt he suddenly knew “Julia’s” name. Within hours of telling Karen, an email arrived confirming Adam’s realization. This little girl was meant to be theirs! “Julia’s” soon-to-be older sisters are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their little sister, as are Adam and Karen. God’s plan is always best- even when it catches us by surprise!
Joel and Stephanie Conner met at Calvary Chapel of Charleston, S.C., but fell in love while on a short term mission trip to a Mexican orphanage. They have been married for 10 years and have 2 children, both with special needs. Their first child was adopted from Mexico while they were teaching for 3 years in the same orphanage where they had first fallen in love. After the adoption was complete, they had to return to the USA because of their son’s medical needs. But orphan care and adoption was still their passion. They’ve experienced first hand the need for adoption, and also the JOY of adoption, especially regarding orphans with special needs. They have wanted to adopt another child with special needs for a long time and are excited that the door is finally opening! They are so thankful for God’s gift of little “Zhen” and can’t wait to bring him home to join Team Conner! They’ve decided to name him Gideon Gui Conner.
Follow the Conner family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.conneradoption.nationsbridge.com/
Lawrence and Michele Conklin met as teenagers at Church youth group. They started with a friendship that gradually became a relationship. They have now been married over 20 years.
Lawrence worked hard at providing for their family as they welcomed Lawrence Jr in 1992 and Zachariah in 1995. They thought their family was complete however God had other plans. Michele felt a strong pull to do foster care and they began their foster care journey in 2007. Since that time they have fostered over a dozen children, adopting 4 of the children.
Emily is 14, Jack is 8, Nickolas is 7 and Michael is 5. And in 2011 they added a daughter in Law to their family when Lawrence Jr. married Kimberlee and they welcomed their first child the Conklin’s first grandchild Jayda Renee in 2013.
In the summer of 2013 God rocked their world once again, they were called to host a sweet 14 year old boy from Eastern Europe. Igor filled a spot in their family they did not know existed all the kids got along and when he had to go back the family soon realized the family would not be complete without Igor.
It has been long hard process raising funds etc. to bring him home and God in his wisdom decided to speak to their hearts once again and to compel the Conklins to rescue a child from RR while they were over there and that is when sweet Janelle caught their hearts. The Conklins feel strongly that the Lord has brought them this far and he will continue to grow their family as he sees fit.
4/14/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
The Doloski family is growing again! Michael and Jennifer have been married for 20 years. Their children are Rebecca (17), Anna (14), Pavel Joshua (9) and Daniel (8). Joshua (formerly “Patrick” on Reece’s Rainbow) came home from Eastern Europe in 2012. While Michael and Jennifer were visiting with Joshua, they had a chance to meet and bond with his best buddy in the Baby House. “James” was funny, polite, kind, and so very handsome. Months after coming home, they were still talking about him, wondering how he was, and feeling like they had left him behind. They have made many inquiries over the last three years, hoping to bring “James” into their family as well. Each time, they were told “James” was not available to be adopted, his paperwork was not in order, and, finally, “this boy is not available and probably never will be.” As “James” moved from Baby House to older children’s orphanage and in and out of the care of his family, the Doloskis tried hard, with the help of a local charity, to keep track of the boy they loved. Hoping to help him stay in his family’s care, they even offered to raise the funds necessary for surgery to correct his special need – an issue routinely repaired successfully on infants in the United States. Many months ago, they were told “James” was back with his family. They thought – hoped – that his story had a happy ending. On Christmas Eve 2014, however, they received a picture from the local charity. “James” was back in the government’s care, this time for good, as his family could no longer care for him. However, he was not pictured alone. He was photographed embracing his little brother, “John.” After weeks of prayer and discernment, knowing they could not leave behind the boy who won their hearts so long ago, the family decided that the only thing to do was put up another set of bunk beds and do everything they can to bring these boys home. These adoption plans were, truly, unexpected, and, as a result, the family is hoping to earn and raise everything they need to cover adoption expenses between now and the beginning of September. Donations are sincerely appreciated. (Philippians 2:12-13)
7/15/15—STATE APPROVED, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at doloski.blogspot.com
Along with their children Pearson, Henry and Winnie, Chris and Stephanie are thrilled to announce their intention to adopt “Penny” from China.
Chris and Stephanie have been married 16 years and have 2 wonderful biological boys who are 12 and 10. In 2013, they travelled to China to adopt Winnie, a beautiful 5 year old with Down syndrome. Winnie is the light of their lives, and she brings so much joy and sunshine to everyone she meets. Since bringing Winnie home from China, this family has been so fortunate to experience the tremendous blessing of adoption. Parenting Winnie for the past year and a half has been such a gift, but Chris and Stephanie know that her life has not always been full of happiness and love. After their visit to the orphanage in China, Chris and Stephanie are heartbreakingly aware of the orphan crisis that remains in China and throughout the world.
Chris and Stephanie saw “Penny” listed on Reece’s Rainbow just two months before they travelled to China meet Winnie. She has been on their hearts and minds for all this time, and they are so excited to be able to bring her into their loving family now. Pearson and Henry are overjoyed to have another little sister, and they cannot wait to see “Penny” and Winnie grow up together forever.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support during this journey of a lifetime. Chris and Stephanie know they couldn’t do this without the wonderful community support of their family, friends and Reece’s Rainbow.
6/26/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at mamaonawire.blogspot.com
Greetings! We are the Gautreaux family. We would love to introduce you to our newest family member, “Sulley”. In our 15 years of marriage we have been blessed abundantly! Recently God has brought us to our 6th child through the miracle of adoption. He is still waiting in China while we complete the adoption process. As our 3rd son, we will have an even count now, three boys and three girls! Our youngest daughter was also adopted from China 2 1/2 years ago. She and Sulley both have Spina Bifida, a medical condition that we have learned is easily managed here in the United States. We also know the road of adoption very well. We know the joys and challenges that come along the journey. Yet the reward of having our son in our arms will be worth the wait and all the struggles. Sulley was abandoned as a newborn and has been in the loving care of Little Flower Foster home in China. At 9 years old, Sulley has waited a long time for a forever family. Yet he has touched so many lives already. We are so very grateful that we get to be his forever family. We will have front seats in watching how he will touch this world! Will you please pray for our family and our precious son as we journey closer to each other?
5/19/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at loveneverfails-gautreaux.blogspot.com
Ernie and Jennifer have been married for 16 years and have 8 kids, 7 of whom have been adopted from around the world. After their most recent adoption (“Breck” on Reece’s Rainbow) they had planned to spend some time recovering from the financial challenges associated with so many adoptions. However, they couldn’t stop thinking about their daughter Hannah’s foster brother who continued to wait for a family long after they had brought her home. He was diagnosed with arthrogryposis and had limited use of both his arms and legs. Ernie and Jennifer knew there weren’t many people eager to adopt a child who couldn’t walk, had limited use of his arms, and would need numerous surgeries and lifelong treatments due to his special needs. However, they also knew that while his medical needs seemed significant, his need for a family was truly his greatest need. He and Hannah had been very closely attached to one another. Hannah continued to carry his picture around talking about him on a daily basis. Their other children had started asking to adopt him while Hannah was still in China (he was with Hannah in many of the pictures they received while waiting to bring her home). They couldn’t let this child spend another minute waiting for a family when they knew the only concern in adopting him was money. They would simply have to step out in faith that once again God would provide to get this precious boy home. At the same time, their hearts continued to be pulled towards older children with Down syndrome who had literally been waiting YEARS for a family. With each passing year these children become even less likely to find a family. Ernie and Jennifer knew they could easily love one of these children. Their other children were eager to have another sibling. It took only one look at Yvonne’s profile on Reece’s Rainbow for them to know SHE was the one they should adopt. The children all eagerly joined in praying for Yvonne to become their sister. After several weeks of hearing their children’s prayers Ernie and Jennifer knew THIS was the answer they had sought concerning God’s will for their lives and this adoption. While their initial pull to adopt yet again had been to bring home Hannah’s foster brother, they would also be bringing home a new daughter. Adopting even one child can be a huge financial challenge. These two newest children will bring the number of children adopted into this family to NINE. The family has worked hard to cover the financial expenses associated with so many adoptions, even moving to a smaller home to help financially, but they know that it’s only through God’s great provision they will be able to bring home these two new children. They greatly appreciate all who desire to be a part of God’s provision to help bring these precious children home to the love and care they so greatly need.
7/26/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at mysonsfromafar.blogspot.com
Margaret and Danny have volunteered and worked with people with special needs since their high school and college years. They met 29 years ago while volunteering at the Special Olympics. After they married, Margaret took time off while they raised their 4 children. Benny and Sammy are working and living on their own. Helen is a sophomore in college and Harry is in middle school. Margaret and Danny talked about and looked into adopting a child with special needs. Their search started and ended with Reece’s Rainbow when one beautiful smile from Rania captured their hearts! The whole family is very enthusiastic and excited about adopting Rania and their children are looking forward to having a new sister!
6/24/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at margierose25mc.blogspot.com
We have a great love for children. After I had a very difficult pregnancy and then I almost lost my life having my son, God laid adoption on our hearts. We went by way of the foster care system to adopt our daughter, Sarah. Emotionally, it was very hard knowing we had no legal rights to her. We eventually were allowed to adopt her.
I heard about the baby girls in China needing families. I traveled to China in 1996 and when I saw the overcrowded conditions in my Rebekah’s orphanage I felt God’s leading to adopt 9 more children in orphanages in China and Vietnam. Eight were born with cleft lips and palates.
We felt our family was complete until we saw an “Aging Out” boy named Joseph. God laid him on my heart. I have to be in China to adopt him before his 14th birthday in October. We need help with funding to bring him home.
UPDATE: The Wheeler family will also be bringing home a second boy, 12-year-old Dixon!
The Evensen family is growing again! God loves adoption, and so do the Evensens. Three years ago they were blessed with two amazing Ukrainian boys, Gideon and Micah, to add to their family of five, and the following year they were blessed again with the adoption of their daughter from US foster care. Six kids might sound like a lot to some, but to this family, it still feels like there is somebody missing. And in a few months they are hoping to welcome their sweet girl home! She has been waiting far, far too long.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at addtothebeauty-e.blogspot.com
When Nickolas Kupper makes a decision, he does it quickly. When he was 14 and in freshman Honor’s English, for example, he saw Crystal and decided on the spot that they would someday marry. She, however, needed convincing. After three years of intense research on “How to Woo a Wife in 137 Easy Steps,” (a book that has yet to be written; he doesn’t want to give away his secrets!), Nick was stunned when Crystal took a cue from the whole Laura-and-Urkel saga and caved. It was the best defeat and sweetest victory either of them have ever had.
With all the wisdom of teenagers, they married at 19. Today, at the much wiser age of 30, they are parents to Jack (7), Jude (4) and Avinly (2). As an Air Force family stationed in England, Crystal had no idea how literally she would have to take the “I will go wherever you go” part of her vows. Nick, meanwhile, had no idea that he would still be in the military after his first six-year commitment. But 11.5 years later, he’s still one of the Air Force’s best.
Crystal is a freelance magazine writer who grew up in a foster and adoptive family. Besides the Oregon Ducks winning their first national football championship, the thing she has wanted more than anything is to use her special needs experience through adoption. Despite that obvious decades-old passion, Nickolas played it cool until he saw Abigail on Reece’s Rainbow. He asked a few questions about her medical needs and possible future treatments. Approximately five seconds later, he asked, “What would you think about us adopting her? Look into it.” And just like the first time he saw Crystal, he knew that this girl was supposed to be with him.
Abigail has extensive medical needs. She also has an extensive ability to melt your heart with her smile and voice. Won’t you join the Kuppers on their adoption journey to the most beautiful girl in Eastern Europe?
7/15/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.crystalkupper.net/blog
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!
6/25/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.amerrychaos.blogspot.com/
“Care for the orphans in their distress!” James 1:27. 160 million orphans in this world! Love at least one!
Adoption is the mission field of the Winslow family of New Hampshire. With nine adopted children (one of which lives in heaven!) and 2 biological children, they are fulfilling God’s call on their lives!
Last year they brought home their 2 Bulgarian blessings! What a joy this has been for them! God has told them that they are NOT done yet! They said, “send us God”, and He is sending them again. To familiar territory for yet another blessing!
This one is a precious 5 year old girl with Down’s Syndrome. They already love her!
Thank you for taking the time to encourage and support the Winslow family! They sure do appreciate it and love you all greatly!
7/13/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at winslowsix.blogspot.com
We are Jordan and Bethany Whiteley, and we are so excited to announce that we are adopting Mikah! When he joins our family, Mikah will become a brother to our two biological children — Jimmy (5) and Katherine (3). We are a happy family that loves God, loves life, and loves each other. We look forward to making Mikah a loved and valued member of our family!
For a number of months, we saw Mikah’s profile on Reece’s Rainbow, and along with many others, wished that a family would step up for him. We had no clue that we would be that family! Recently however, we received word that Mikah was suddenly being moved into a bad situation, and God laid it on our hearts to adopt him! After much prayer and discussion (and some encouraging words from some close friends), we made the decision to make him our son! We are now working to get him home as soon as we can.
Through all of this, we remember the compassion and love Jesus Christ had for us when He sacrificed His own life for us, and see how we are called to give the same love and compassion to those in need around us.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and truth.” I John 3:16-18
To us, adopting a child is wonderful picture of what God has done for us — He adopts us to be His children, loves us unconditionally, and makes us heirs to eternal life. In the same way, we plan to take Mikah up into our arms, and give him a new life where he is loved and valued, and able to reach his full potential. We thank you for your help!
7/8/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at cardboardfort.net/adoption
The adoption journey started several years ago. Having 2 beautiful biological children but feeling that the Lord wanted us to use some of our circumstances to help other children.
On a cold January day our 4 month old son, became the victim of abuse. What occurred after that was a numbing event of emergency craniotomy surgery, several eye surgeries, years of therapy and legal battles.
During the several years that we had intense therapy and medical issues with our son we learned how frustrating and hopeless parenting a special needs child can be BUT we also learned that love has no bounds and our love for him did not wavier based on his ability to walk, talk, swallow or learn. We were blessed with a group of friends that came beside us and provided support in unimaginable ways. We learned the ropes of applying for Medicaid, maneuvering thru the school system special education programs and working with insurance companies to ensure therapy sessions for our son. We also feel immensely blessed that we were able not only to see God’s grace but we were able to experience it firsthand. Having gone thru this with our son has strengthened our walk with Christ and we have learned to lean on him for all things, giving thanks always. Although we would not wish this circumstance on anyone we see the experience as a gift from the Lord. Thru this life experience we changed, grew and learned to love more deeply.
Fast Forward several years, our son went thru years of therapy and although we were told his prognosis was grim and he probably would never walk or talk, he entered 1st grade at a Christian School and was a “normal” student for the first time ever.
He plays sports, sings in the choir and makes straight A’s in school.
It was about this time that we began to seriously consider adoption and using the knowledge we had gained to help another special needs child. We researched several programs and decided on adoption from foster care. It was a year long process and although there were ups and downs we were very blessed to be able to adopt an 8 year old boy. Our son was considered special needs as well since he had encopresis and often soiled himself many times a day.
We have now had our adopted son in our home for 5 years and he was legally adopted on 12/20/2010. He has been such a blessing and our biological children have done very well “sharing” their parents. Our adopted son’s encopresis has all but stopped. We worked with him diligently using positive reinforcement and making changes in his diet and at this time he seems to be symptom free.
After our sons adoption we found ourselves with 3 happy healthy children and we still feel the call to help special needs children. So we decided to adopt internationally this time because we know that every child deserves to have a family and to know what love is. We choose to adopt our 4th child, a girl with down syndrome and many other medical problems. We were privileged to bring our daughter home in November 2012 and we treasured the sweet beauty that the Lord blessed us with. In March 2013 our daughter passed away. Although she was with us such a short time we count it one of life’s greatest gifts to have been her family. During her short time with us she impacted many lives and upon her death we worked with the school she attended to build a special needs playground in her memory.
In many countries these children are unwanted and seen as a hardship and we feel this is our opportunity to extend the Love of Christ to a child that might otherwise never get to experience that. Although we will never lead a large congregation and we may never see hundreds saved on the mission’s field, we can serve one. We can bring the Love of Christ to this child; we can offer her medical care and a loving family. Her future will be bright for we firmly believe that “I can do all things thru Christ which strength me” Phil 4:13.
As a family we are confident that this is what the Lord has called us to do and we are filled with anticipation as we follow his leading in this next chapter of our lives.
Jeremy and Aubrey met in 2006 and married in 2008. They are both from upstate New York. Jeremy enlisted in the Army in 2007 as a Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember. In 2009 they PCS’d to Germany. Inspired by Jeremy’s hard work, Aubrey joined the Air Force. Today, they are still living in Germany. Aubrey is a Dental/Prophylaxis Technician for the Air Force and Jeremy is in the Army Reserves and attending college. They have a one year old daughter.
While living in the military communities of Vilseck & Ramstein, they have been blessed with many good Christian friends who took the time to mentor them in God’s Word. One such family adopted 7 children and showed them the important role faith in God has had in their decision to adopt from around the world. After many wonderful Tuesday night dinners with them and learning about their unique family, Aubrey & Jeremy wanted to follow their example.
Ellis’ sweet little smile and the sparkle in his eyes melted their hearts, and they knew the time to adopt is now.
7/16/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
In 2007 by Gods grace my husband and I brought our two family’s together and became one. I had six children, three biological and three adopted, he had one daughter. Sense then we’ve adopted two children and have recently been called to adopt three more from Eastern Europe. This is our first international adoption and we are so thrilled to be a part in Gods perfect plan. We are adopting two girls and one boy, Velia and Emil are from Reece’s rainbow. Our hearts have felt for these particular children because they will be aging out of there orphanages soon. We are blessed to have been given this opportunity. Wouldn’t want to leave out how extremely thankful we are for the people who have and will help us in our journey. If God leads you, please lift us up in prayer.
This was the third trip to China for the Hall family. With each trip, Josh and Shauna volunteered at the same orphanage installing wood floors and working with the children. And with each trip, a seed of love from god was planted in their hearts. The Halls knew it was a blessing and an honor to travel to China to help change the lives of the children for the better, but little did they know that one of those children was going to change the Hall’s life forever. The trip was getting near to the end and the job was almost done before Mrs. Hall walked up on Wyatt standing outside of his home with his nanny. And from that moment, it was love at first sight for Shauna. Shauna grabbed Josh to introduce him to Wyatt and the trio seemed like an instant family and that’s when they knew god’s seed bloomed in their hearts and he was to be their son. The Hall’s proceeded with the adoption the minute they got home and the rest is history. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the Hall’s story as they hope it might plant a seed of love from god in your hearts. In remembrance of the “Waiting Children”.
3/31/15—HOMESTUDY COMPLETE; USCIS APPROVED
Eric and Jasmine met in high school and quickly became close friends. After two years their friendship blossomed into a relationship and the couple was happily married in 2007. Adoption had always been on their hearts, and more recently special needs adoption. The family is blessed to have Jasmine working as a full time homeschooling mom and Eric works from home 4 days a week so taking children to appointments is much easier to manage. They currently have 4 children with at home, a son (7) and daughter (4) born in Ethiopia, a daughter (5) born in Utah and a daughter (2) born in Hong Kong.
After having read through many of the child profiles, Eric and Jasmine felt God leading them to adopt again. Over their last 4 adoptions they have learned to trust more and more in God’s leading and are taking a leap of faith as they pursue adopting an older child. They are looking forward to adventure God has in store for their family!
7/8/15—HOME STUDY COMPLETE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at countitalljs.blogspot.com
Derek and Kaylee got married in 2012 were so excited to start a family. They were blessed with a little boy in March of 2014 and have had their hands full ever since. Kaylee has wanted to adopt for most of her life inspired by mission trips and her love of children, she knew that somehow orphan advocacy would be a part of her life and her family. Derek took a little more convincing and as Kaylee waiting “patiently” for God to move in Derek’s heart she kept a close eye on RR and soon she fell in love and could not hold back and neither could Derek. It was amazing how quickly their hearts attached to the little faces they saw and they decided it was time to move forward. It has already been an amazing journey watching God lead their hearts towards their little boy, Kaylee and Derek are so very excited to see this redemption story continue to unfold as they strive to bring him home.
7/15/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at immeasurablymorejourney.blogspot.com
Effie was found abandoned at the age of 2 months and she was placed in an orphanage where she currently lives. She turned 4 in October, 2014.
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. Because Effie has significant special needs, all of my paperwork and a significant portion of the fees associated with the adoption, must be submitted prior to July 1, 2015.
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 life she deserves.
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.
7/15/15—DOSSIER COMPLETE, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at justusholts.blogspot.com
Trevor and Jodi met in Scotland while Jodi was studying abroad in 1998 (Trevor was a native Brit!), and their adventure as a married couple began in 2000. The Lord blessed them with four daughters by birth before God first knocked on their hearts about adoption. They adopted their one and only boy (so far!), Niko, from Bulgaria in 2012. While they were meeting him, a little girl also stole Trevor’s heart. They went back and brought Delia home in 2013. (And in the meantime, God graciously also gave them two more daughters by birth!)
At first, they thought they might be done adopting with their two Bulgarian blessings now home, but Jodi was never able to make herself stop looking at faces on Reece’s Rainbow, and we all know where that leads! A casual chat on a long road trip over the summer revealed that both Trevor and Jodi were feeling more open to adopting again than they expected. “Maybe someday” quickly turned into “let’s pray about Caden until Christmas!” (This was in September.) Less than a week later, Trevor sat down at the lunch table and announced, “I was thinking at church this morning…” We all held our breath and waited, until our oldest daughter Pippa (10) finished his sentence hopefully,”…that we should adopt Caden?!” And that was it! We called our social worker the next day to begin the process. We are all so very excited to bring this little boy with the sweetest face ever home as our son. Probably no one is quite as excited as Niko, our only boy among seven sisters, who will finally have someone to share bunk beds with.
4/4/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at theyoungpages.com/jodis_blog
Robert and Shelley’s journey with adoption started when they had 1 son, 2 daughters and a plan to add one little boy through adoption to complete their family. They completed that “plan” with the adoption of a little boy with Down syndrome from Ukraine in 2007. It was during that trip that the Lord opened their eyes to the plight of orphans with special needs. Armed with the knowledge of what happens to orphans with special needs in Eastern Europe as they age, and the conviction, “If not us, then who?”, they went to Serbia in 2008 and brought home a 2nd son with Down syndrome. Later that same year, Shelley was contacted by an attorney in Bulgaria who had found her blog and reached out with a request on behalf of an orphan in Bulgaria. Shelley advocated for that child and when, in 2009, the family felt the prompting of the Lord to go “one more time”, they made the decision to go to Bulgaria and adopted an older boy with Down syndrome that was already living in a mental institution. During the trip to meet their future son, a tiny little girl busted out of a group of children and latched herself to Shelley’s leg. Looking down into those big almond shaped eyes, Shelley promised that little girl that she’d find her a family. Ten months later, the Lord made it clear that they were to be that little girl’s family and once again, the family embarked on a “one more time” journey to bring home a daughter with Down syndrome. Vowing that they were “really done this time”, the family has spent their time over the past few years advocating for orphans and supporting other families through their adoption journeys. In early 2015, their children started talking about a baby sister. After much discussion and a lot of prayer, they made the decision to return to Bulgaria one more time to complete their family with a little girl with Down syndrome. This journey has been different because the family chose to start the home study and dossier paper work without having a child pre-identified. They have covered all the initial costs to complete their home study and dossier. They are approved to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome and hope to be matched with a little one very soon!
Updated: Robert and Shelley have been officially matched with a beautiful little girl!
The Sotolongo family recently adopted their son “Nevada” as named on Reece’s Rainbow. The Sotolongo’s have four other children all under 6 years old. Nevada’s first year has been nothing short of a miracle. He has undergone corrective heart surgery, which in his country was deemed impossible based on his condition. He is flourishing in a family, learning to sign words and perform daily tasks. He bond’s and interacts very well with his siblings. While adopting Nevada, the Sotolongo’s met a few other children at the orphanage that grabbed their hearts. When leaving, the Sotolongo’s already felt that they would be back. The Sotolongo family is very excited to revisit Nevada’s orphanage and leave with new additions to their family. The Sotolongo’s want to thank you for your support and prayer as they continue on this adoption journey.
7/25/15—COMPILING DOSSIER, AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at pursuedandtreasured.blogspot.com