Meet the Howard Family! Greg and Angelina are college sweethearts who were on a mission to serve the Lord, wherever He may call. After graduating their first year, they got married and started their family. Before they had biological children they had a discussion that some time down the road, they hoped adoption would be a part of God’s story written on their family.
The Lord blessed them with 4 beautiful children, one of which has special needs. It was the most difficult time during their marriage when they found out that their son of 7-months had Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. Yet with all the unknowns of their future, they accepted their fragile child and trusted that God had a plan for them, despite the pain and hardship and 24/7 care for their son. They knew God would be faithful to their family even when things just didn’t make sense.
Angelina, who was born in Ukraine, realized how blessed they were to be living in America and had access to so many resources. They had a support system from doctors, school, family, church, and support groups. Unfortunately, in many Eastern Countries that is not the case and most parents with special needs children are encouraged to place them in orphanages.
The Howard family hearts were greatly burdened for other children just like their son that would never have access to the support and medical care that has allowed them to thrive. Throughout the last three years, they have been following other families through Reece’s Rainbow. Through this organization they have witnessed countless testimonies of such children being adopted into loving homes, provided medical care and love, and seen those children thrive as a result! Regardless of what condition a child is born with or what our limited perception of their abilities and potential of them are, they all belong in families.
Out of conviction, they simply began praying that God would so kindly show them how to move forward with adoption. More specifically, that the Lord will place a particular child in their hearts and show them who to adopt. One night after laying the children down to bed, they saw the profile of a certain boy and felt that confirming peace and love in an instant. They just knew that the Lord answered their prayer! Since then, they have not been able to escape the thought of how much Jesus loved them and gave His own life to them. We were all adopted into Gods family and they feel it is God’s love in them compelling them to love this boy unconditionally.
“We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19
Unfortunately, with international adoption there are many moving parts. Please consider partnering with them through prayer and financial support to bring their new son home.
1/15/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Brian and Patrice met in 2009 shortly after Patrice moved to the area for her work with the federal government and the rest, as they say, is history. They were married by 2012 and are now the parents to three awesome kids: Gwen (age 6), Noel (age 4) and Jack (age 2) and one scruffy little dog named Scrapple.
Professionally, Brian is an elementary music teacher at an underprivileged school in Camden, NJ and Patrice is a Technical Expert for the Social Security Administration. However, what the couple really loves is being parents. The kids are never bored at the Gannon house – from guitar sing alongs with Daddy to sleepovers and designer pancake breakfasts with Mommy, there is never a dull moment. Game nights are a regular occurrence and small trips camping and to the beach are family traditions.
Although this is their first adoption, Brian and Patrice are both professionally experienced with special needs children and, in December 2018, received a diagnosis for their own oldest child. Gwen has always had trouble walking stairs and was thought to be simply less coordinated. It was not until her little sister began to eclipse her physical milestones that the family began to take notice. Gwen was formally evaluated for muscle weakness in kindergarten and, in a very quick turn of events, was referred to her pediatrician who stated that Gwen likely had terminal Muscular Dystrophy. This was a very challenging time for the Gannons. Priorities and purpose began to come into focus, and parent was right at the top. While ultimately, Gwen’s diagnosis was downgraded to a less severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, their urge to help other children stuck around. Patrice has always been an adoption advocate and has volunteered with foster kids for many years. Little did they know, they would soon see a picture of a boy who felt like their son. And so, their adoption journey began.
1/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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.
1/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
It is with a joyful heart that I share with you the journey that Kourtney and Josh Chavira are on. It has always been heavy on both Josh and Kourtney’s hearts to one day adopt a child, which is no surprise to the people who know them! Josh has served 6 years in the United States Army, including two deployments to Afghanistan and Kuwait. While serving in the military and being away from his home and loved ones, Josh held on to the knowledge that nothing is more important than family. It is then that he confirmed the passion he felt to adopt and give a child a loving family that every child so deserves to experience. Kourtney has supported and often started up fundraisers to benefit special needs children who need assistance with medical bills, equipment for physical therapy, surgeries, etc. Many of these fundraisers were very successful for the families. Kourtney followed her dream of becoming a registered nurse. During her first year in her new career, Kourtney had the privilege of working in the homes and caring for families who had special needs children each day. This daily experience has only made the desire to adopt grow more and more for Kourtney.
Josh and Kourtney have been trying to have a baby since they became married in 2017. With no success, they sought medical advice. Kourtney was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Kourtney and Josh are hopeful that with treatment, they will one day be able to conceive a baby. During this wait, they feel called to open up their hearts and home to a sweet baby boy with Spina Bifida.
If you find it in your hearts to help Josh and Kourtney at this time, it will not go unnoticed. Even by just sharing their story and spreading the word, they will be forever grateful.
12/23/2019 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Michael and Jade met at work and soon fell in love. When they knew they were getting serious, Jade expressed to Michael her long time desire to adopt a special needs child internationally. Michael said that he would also love to adopt. After a very short engagement, they eloped in Hawaii on the Island of Kauai. When they climbed the cliff at Keoneoloa bay to take some wedding photographs, Jade looked up at the moon and remarked to Michael and their photographer that she felt they had a daughter near, but also felt that she was very far away. She brushed the feeling out of her mind for the time being but thought of it from time to time.
When they returned home to their now blended family of 5 children, they discussed if they wanted to have a child biologically. They decided they would try and were blessed to become pregnant very quickly. Unfortunately when Jade was several weeks pregnant, they found that their little baby had passed away. They opted to have testing done and found that their baby had some chromosomal issues. A few weeks later, they decided to go ahead and try again and were blessed to become pregnant with their son, Corbin Anthony, who was born several weeks early. They moved when Corbin was 2 weeks old into a larger home to accommodate their growing family. Jade would often look through waiting child profiles on Reece’s Rainbow. In August of 2019, she happened to look through waiting little girls with Down Syndrome. She came across Perla’s photo and something jumped out at her and said “This one.” Jade saw that her birthday was in 2017 and thought that adopting out of birth order would be too hard, so she ignored her intuition. Through this time, Jade advocated for Perla, asking friends to consider opening their homes and hearts to adoption. She prayed a lot, and thought that they may pursue another waiting child, but her and Michael never felt completely peaceful about it.
One day Jade had received a message from a woman that she did not know asking her if she would like to adopt Perla. Jade told her that she would love to, but was not sure about the logistics of an out of birth order adoption. Jade was able to get the information she needed and asked Michael what he thought. He said he would love to adopt Perla, and once they came to that decision, they both felt peace beyond understanding. Also, Perla was born in the month that they got married, so they took it as a sign that she was the daughter Jade felt was near. Michael and Jade are aware that things are not always guaranteed in adoption, and have decided that if for some reason they are unable to continue to pursue the adoption of Perla, they will choose to adopt another child with Down Syndrome in that country. They are excited to bring their new daughter home, and their children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their baby (and big) sister.
12/19/2019 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
We are the McCallums! Corey and I met in 2005, were married in 2008, and have four sons age 3-10. Corey is one of 5 kids, one having Downs Syndrome, and I am one of 13 kids, some of them adopted. We had always talked about adoption, since I grew up around it, it was always something I considered. With Corey having a special needs brother, we were open to special needs adoption but I figured we’d do it the “easy” way and find a child locally!
A few years ago I found myself on the Reece’s Rainbow website and was aimlessly scrolling through profiles. One profile caught my eye, a little girl with blonde hair and big blue eyes. But my eyes then drifted to her location and list of diagnoses and I almost immediately decided that was not the ideal situation for us. I had zero desire to go to Eastern Europe and I had never even heard of some of her diagnoses! I tried to put her out of my mind but I couldn’t. As time went on, people were put in my life that helped me see that all these things that were scary to me were completely doable! I kept telling myself she’s so cute, someone else will go get her. One night I reminded myself of that and I so clearly heard God say “YOU go get her.” From that moment on I decided I would do everything in my power to do so! I made my “presentation” to Corey and to my surprise he didn’t look at me like I was crazy. We made the decision to commit to her that night and sent paperwork the next morning! The process has had a lot of ups and downs with us and has taken longer than I would have wanted. But at the end of the day, it will all be worth it to get her home and settled into a life with her very excited brothers!
12/4/2019 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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!
11/27/2019 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
The Slate family has received a $2000 grant for the girl they are adopting.
Jonathan and Leanne have known each other for as long as they can remember and have loved each other for over half of their lives. They were high school sweethearts which mostly consisted of passing notes to each other at church. They impatiently waited until Leanne was in college before they were allowed to officially date/court each other. After several challenging yet wonderful years, Jonathan and Leanne were able to get married while Jonathan was in college at Texas A&M and Leanne was teaching at a local elementary school.
The summer after Jonathan’s graduation and commissioning into the US Air Force, Leanne gave birth to their oldest daughter, Emily. Soon after her birth, they moved to Germany, and Jonathan started work as a second lieutenant. After almost ten years married and seven years in the military, Jonathan and Leanne have three biological children: Emily (age 7), Michael (age 5), and Ellen (age 3). Through adoption, they hope to add to their family very soon!
They are an active military family who have been blessed with adventures all over the world including (but not limited to) Texas, Germany, Alaska, and New Mexico. In 2013, they began their adoption journey with several attempts (international and through the foster system). Each ended with God closing the door. During this time, God opened their hearts to becoming foster parents. They have been licensed foster parents in both Alaska and New Mexico. Right after they became licensed in New Mexico in June 2019, they found out that they qualified to adopt Daniel (an eight year old boy from China with Down syndrome) who they had already tried to adopt the previous year. After several heartbreaking months of thinking it would be impossible to adopt Daniel, God miraculously re-opened this door! They are so excited to finally be moving forward with this adoption! With only months to go, they don’t want finances to be what delays them from going to adopt him and bring him home. God has provided exactly what they need so far, and they are thankful that you are considering being part of Daniel’s amazing adoption story!
10/17/2019 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Nathan and Stephanie Faught have been married for eleven years and have five wonderful children- three biological and two born in their hearts. During their engagement, the Lord started drawing them to hurting children through a ministry that serves families in the inner city. With big hearts and an open door policy, Nate and Stephanie quickly began filling their home with children to love, both biological and through the inner city ministry. Within the first five years of their marriage, they were parents to three babies/toddlers, and a teen. Although it seemed crazy to many, the Lord was all in it! He was clearly leading them down a path unlike what they had planned. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us…”The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” From early on, they just wanted their steps ordered by Him.
In year 8 of their marriage, the Father brought them a handsome brave seven year old boy! What a gift this boy was to them. Amazingly, he is now their son. Many asked how they were able to take on so much, and their response always pointed others toward God. They continuously re-mind others that this journey of adding children to their family is His call on their lives. Adoption has come with it’s challenges; yet through the hard times, the Lord has always been faithful.
Fast forward to the following year… at a time when Nate and Stephanie just knew they couldn’t handle anymore changes in their lives… the Father placed a precious three year old girl into their laps. She came to them “just for respite”… two to four weeks max. God sure has a sense of humor because that little sweetness is now their daughter. AND… the most incredible part is that she has Down Syndrome. A special need the Faughts had never considered. In fact, they were quite intimidated by raising a special needs child…. BUT GOD… when they saw her picture… they did not see a child with Down Syndrome. They saw HER! She was a precious soul in need of love. They quickly learned that she was no different than the other children the Lord had brought them!
Adding her to their family has changed all of them in such a beautiful way! It’s one thing to read about the millions of orphans living in institutions and feel sad for them. But when someone be-comes mommy, daddy, or brother to one of those children, a true passion is developed. They’ve experienced first hand how being orphaned truly affects a child, and they all long to see each of these children find a forever family! The Faughts have also been shown the true value of these precious ones with special needs-specifically those with down syndrome. The Father showed them that while many have labeled these children a burden, they are truly one of His greatest treasures…fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.
This summer, a dear friend of theirs had an amazing opportunity to visit an orphanage in Asia to check on a handful of waiting children. The day she visited them, the whole Faught family was praying that each child would feel the Father’s love through her and that they would finally be found by their forever families. When the friend returned home, she posted pictures of the children she had met. Stephanie and her children sat at the table looking at their precious faces. When they came to a picture of a little girl with down syndrome dressed in yellow, their oldest son proclaimed, “Mom, that is our sister! Can we adopt her?” The other children quickly chimed in, “yes, mom, please!!!” Stephanie simply replied that they would just have to pray about it. When Nate returned home from work, he was met at the door with a picture of this sweet girl and begging little boys. He echoed Stephanie’s response that they just needed to pray. The brothers united together telling him that they pray for orphans all the time and they just knew this one was their sister. That week, they watched as their children prayed with such fervor. Nathan and Stephanie prayed too and the Lord confirmed that she was indeed their child! When Stephanie reached out to her friend to get some more information, her friend told her that the little girls advocacy name was “Stephanie”. She laughed out loud and thought to herself, “well, of course it is”.
The whole family is so excited to bring Stephanie home, hopefully early next year. They would love to see others join them on this journey, and they thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support!
Follow their journey on Instagram @bringinghomeveraellen or Facebook @ Bringing Home Vera Ellen.
10/16/2019 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE