Two years ago, Alyssa and Drew made the decision to grow their family through adoption. While working in an orphanage in the summer of 2005, Alyssa’s heart was burdened for all the waiting children who wanted nothing more than a Mommy and Daddy to tuck them in bed at night. After following the journey of family friends who found their son on Reece’s Rainbow, Drew and Alyssa discovered the profile of a sweet, older boy who stole their hearts.
In 2014, they brought home the ten-year-old bundle of energy, “O” (Hogan on Reece’s Rainbow). O has taught his parents a lot about parenting a blind child. Most importantly, they’ve learned that blindness isn’t something to be feared.
O loves to swim and competes with the local swim team. He plays audio games and enjoys rock climbing, camping, and reading. O is learning to ride a bike and rollerblade, as well. An excellent student, O is better at math than a lot of adults.
O looks forward to being a big brother, sharing his love for story telling and music, and showing “Gabriella” how great it is to be part of a forever family. Knowing how much O has blessed their lives, Alyssa and Drew can’t wait to see what joys baby “Gabriella” will bring to their family.
10/9/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Dale and Ann McKinney are parents to 13….soon to be 14 children! All but 2 of these children have come to the McKinney family through the miracle of adoption. They have adopted many children with special needs, including a child with sickle cell, several children with prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, 3 boys with hand/arm differences, a daughter with CP, epilepsy, and a brain deformity, and a child with Beta Thalassemia.
They did not plan on adopting again so soon…..until they heard the story and saw the photos of Myles! Myles is an orphan who is not only aging out of the adoption program, but is also suffering from Thalassemia that is not being treated properly. Since the McKinneys already have a child with Thalassemia, they are very familiar with this disease, and already have medical staff in place to care for him the moment he comes HOME. He is not receiving blood transfusions often enough, he has a very enlarged spleen, gall stones, and a serious iron overload in his liver and heart. He needs to get HOME to his family, so he can get the medical care he desperately needs, and the family love and support that will be available to him!
Because of the critical health needs he has, as well as his age, his adoption is being expedited. It is estimated that he will be HOME by February 2016. This does not leave much time for the McKinney’s to raise funds for his adoption. Myles’ orphanage has reduced their fees, as well as the agency. It is estimated that the McKinneys need to raise an additional $12,000 in order to get him home quickly.
Won’t you please consider financially supporting this family, as they prepare to bring Myles home?! Every single dollar brings them one step closer.
Thank you and God bless!
10/9/15—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Palmers are happy to announce their commitment to adopt Ahren, and love him all the way home from China. They hope you’ll consider partnering with them in their efforts to complete the lengthy and expensive process of international adoption to bring him home! Ahren has a cleft palate and will need surgery shortly after coming home.
Jordan and Melissa have been married 12 years and have 2 daughters 6 and 4 years old. The girls are so beyond excited to have a little brother, they carry his picture around the house with them as they play and eat.
The Palmers believe that adoption was part of God’s plan for their family, leading them to Ahren and having no doubt that he is their son.
Palmers ask for prayer during their adoption journey and hope to bring Ahren home spring/summer 2016.
Isaiah 40:31 Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
9/24/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Meet Saam. He is one of a group of seven older boys who were friends from the same welfare center. He’s watched as six of his friends over the past several years were adopted one-by-one, and has been waiting patiently for his own forever family…until now!
This past year, we (Laura and Brandon) watched as Laura’s brother and his wife adopted two of Saam’s teenage friends from his Chinese orphanage. When they started advocating for Saam, the last boy left, and mentioned that they wanted to find someone like us to adopt him something sparked in our hearts, and we began to pray. Our prayer was for Saam to find his forever family, and if it was to be us, that God would let us know. There were a few challenges to overcome, but prayers took care of those, and soon enough, we found ourselves starting the paperwork to begin the adoption process. That means that these three friends, Saam and our newly adopted nephews from the same welfare center, will be cousins and live across town from each other!
Our three biological children are on-board and excited about the process. Saam’s sister Hayley even started telling people that we were adopting before we had made the final decision. In many ways, our children, and their cousins, were the catalysts for adopting Saam. The love these kids have for others and each other is inspiring to the adults in this family. In addition to being excited about having a new brother, our kid’s each have opinions about what English name to give Saam. Much to their dismay ‘Bruce Wayne’, even though we love Batman, has been vetoed. Fun discussions continue as to what Saam’s name should be as we journey through the paperwork and adoption process in this upcoming year and pray as a family for his safety and wellbeing until we can travel to make him ‘ours’.
Adoption was not in our original plans for our life, but God knew it was in our hearts. Seeing the impact it had on other families who have adopted touched us in ways we never imagined. One of the scariest parts of this process for us is finances, but God put this opportunity in front of us, and even though we don’t have the money saved to pay for this adoption, we know we have to take a step of faith knowing know that God will provide. Please consider helping to bring Saam home to his forever family. Our entire family truly appreciates your help and prayers and can’t wait to reunite three friends who will now be cousins, and welcome him home as a son and
9/2/15— HOMESTUDY IN PROGRESS
As a true testament to our living God, the DeGan family has been called to adopt and expand their family in a way they never imagined! Bill and Amanda have raised two biological children of their own – Ryen and Hannah and Bill has two children from a previous marriage – Brittany and Jason. All of the kids are either grown and married or in college and they felt they were all settled into the ‘empty nest’ routine when God placed a very special young boy on their heart – Peter. He was brought to them through a search on the Reece’s Rainbow website and an immediate connection was placed on Amanda’s heart when she saw his photo. The Holy Spirit said “why not you?”
After many weeks of prayer and leading, Amanda showed a photo of Peter to Bill and he immediately said – “yes, we should do this”. She then contacted the team at Reece’s Rainbow and was told that another family was “very interested in adding Peter to their adoption”. Amanda was crushed – sure they had missed God’s calling and opportunity for their lives to expand and grow in love for this little boy. After telling the team, that they were still interested should the other family choose another direction, Bill and Amanda prayed on the path they felt God was leading them down. In God’s infinite grace and power, the next morning an email arrived saying the other family wasn’t going to be able to adopt him and gave Bill and Amanda their blessing!
Thus began the process of gathering documents and seeing if they would even qualify through the home study process to bring Peter into their home. God has been faithful and generous in all His dealings and the family is blessed through this entire experience. The family so admires those who have gone before them and those who are now working through the adoption process – to expand their home and take children who often are seen as ‘the least of these’ out of a terrible environment and into a loving family.
They ask for your prayers as they respond to God’s direction in their lives and hope that you will support them in this wonderful journey!
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
8/26/15—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Jim and Dawn met in 2003, fell in love and married in 2005. They instantly became a blended family with 4 boys and 3 girls. James started his own business and Dawn was working in healthcare. Life seemed to be moving along as expected for their family.
After 4 years of marriage they found out they were expecting. Although it was not planned they embraced the pregnancy and were excited to be having a child together. Sadly a week after seeing their baby’s heartbeat for the first time a miscarriage occurred and they lost the baby at just 10 weeks. Jim and Dawn were heartbroken but decided they would try for another and put it in God’s hands.
In 2011 Dawn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who happened to have Down syndrome. Because it was a birth diagnosis they had no idea what they should expect but it did not take them long to see he would become one of the biggest blessings in their lives. There would be worry and challenges but the love and joy he brought to their lives outweighed any of that. At 7 months old Rylan had open heart surgery to correct a heart defect he was born with. The surgery was successful and Rylan is now a busy 4 year old that continues to bless their family.
Rylan’s diagnosis opened up a new world to their family. Dawn joined some online groups in support of Down syndrome. One group she was led to was Reece’s Rainbow. She followed the children and the stories for over a year when it was apparent in her heart that she wanted to adopt a child with Down syndrome.
Jim and Dawn prepared their hearts for the journey of adoption and for God to lead them to the right child. One day a video was posted of a little boy listed as Joseph on Reece’s Rainbow. After seeing Joseph’s video he never left their mind. They knew he was the one they had prayed for. They are now loving Joseph from afar and pray they will soon have him home and in their arms to love.
The Kozak’s are so excited to welcome this precious little boy into their family and ask for prayers and support as they begin their journey!
8/31/15—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Timm (with 2 m’s) and Hannah Heath have a habit of saying yes to life. They said yes to tossing wedding planning out the window and threw a simple wedding together in one week, yes to spending a year studying in Cambridge, England, yes to moving five times in their 5 1/2 years of marriage, and yes to settling down in small-town Wisconsin. They had often dreamt of one day adopting, but it was not until Hannah became a part of the Reece’s Rainbow Facebook community that they felt a sense of urgency for orphans with special needs.
This year Hannah, an occupational therapist, began advocating on her blog for children listed on Reece’s Rainbow. Timm, who is a pastor, began including prayers for orphans around the world each night during family devotions. The couple began talking about goals to accomplish before starting the adoption process; they had a few vague timelines, and felt like they were steadily heading in the right direction. If you had asked them if they were ever going to adopt their answer would have been “hopefully someday!”
But it was the words of their 3 1/2 year old daughter that called them to say yes once more. One night while tucking her in for bed, their daughter whispered in Hannah ‘s ear, “We need to get in the car right now and get Angelina because she doesn’t have a mommy or a daddy.” Angelina was one of the first children Hannah advocated for and those pure blue eyes and ready smile had haunted the Heaths for months as they prayed for a family to commit to her before she was transferred to an adult mental institution. When Hannah shared the words of their little daughter with Timm his response was perfect: “It isn’t a question of if we will try to adopt Angelina, but how, because of course the answer is yes.”
The Heaths pray Angelina joins their family soon where she can hear that yes, she is cherished, yes, she is worth it all, and yes, she has a worthwhile life to live!
8/14/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at heathandhome.wordpress.com
Marty and Mandy met in high school, dated for 2 years and were married at 18 years old. Many people said it wouldn’t last, but with God all things are possible. 15 years later, the couple has 5 children. Eli is their oldest, biological son. He is 12 years old and loves to play soccer. He is a great big brother and is the hero that the others look up to. Joseph Ivaylo is next in line at 10 years old. Vaylo is his Bulgarian name and the family kept on calling him that when he joined them 3 years ago. Vaylo came home weighing 22 pounds at 7 years old. He was unable to walk, had no form of communication and basically, existed in his own little world. Today, he is the light of his family. He weighs a whopping 45 pounds and not only walks, but runs and dances, too. His favorite dance partner is Julie. Julie is Marty and Mandy’s only biological daughter and is just five days younger than Vaylo. Julie is a competitive gymnast and loves that the family lives on a farm, where she can be surrounded by animals. She is a wonderful sister and loving example of who Jesus is to her siblings. Fourth in line is Samuel Dimitar. Sam came home at the same time as Vaylo and is 7 years old. Sam is the life of this party and often people have told the family that he needs his own TV show. He has a wonderful sense of humor and keeps everyone guessing about what’s coming next. Sam was a little sad when he first came home, because he left behind, a little girl, named Klementina at the orphanage in Bulgaria. He wasn’t sad, for long, though, because with God ALL things are possible. Today, Klemi is Sam’s sister and the two are separated by only three weeks in age. Klemi came home, just 15 months after Sam and Vaylo and like her brothers, she, also, has Down Syndrome. It has been amazing for the family to witness God’s hand in bringing their children home from across the ocean.
Marty and Mandy knew it was time to go, again. Klemi is their most recent child home and she just celebrated her 2nd “Gotcha Day.” After talking and praying for nearly a year about their next child, they had decided to look for a boy, over four years old, most likely with Down Syndrome. Well, Marty scrolled across the face of “Curtis” here on Reece’s Rainbow and even though they thought “no more babies,” God seems to have other plans. Curtis is a beautiful one year old boy with Down Syndrome. Marty saw his picture and knew he was their son. So, here we are. Once, again, the Rhodes Family is saying, “Yes!” Yes to whatever God asks. Yes to a new son. The family needs your help to move the mountain of money that stands between them and their newest, little one. Will you join them on this journey?
Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support…Do Something! For the King and His Glory…
9/2/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at gatheringrhodes.wordpress.com
Richard and Ella have committed their lives to adopting and raising children to be godly men and women. They have thirteen wonderful children and are returning to Bulgaria to adopt three more. Richard and Ella consider adoption to be their ministry. Their goal is to show the world that all children deserve a mom and dad, and that special needs children in particular bestow a special blessing from God. What better way is there to show that all people are created in God’s image and worthy of honor and respect than adopting a special needs child? What better way is there to teach us patience and perseverance, and to step outside our comfort zone? In pursuit of this goal, Richard and Ella have purchased a large foreclosed home on 11.5 acres of land. They are filling the home with children. They believe children are happy and healthy when able to work and play outdoors. And there is plenty of opportunity. They have chickens, ducks, cats, and a dog, as well as a very large garden and an orchard. There is enough to do that everyone is involved. No job is too small! What started out as a ministry of Richard and Ella has now become the family ministry. All the kids are involved in the upcoming adoption and are excited to have new brothers and a sister.
Everyone is extremely happy to have found three wonderful children. Catherine and Mark are an older brother and sister pair who are very happy to be adopted together. Richard and Ella are also excited about adopting Nicolai, a two-year old boy with Down Syndrome. They have wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome for several years. The last time they went to Bulgaria, they were blessed to adopt a child with Noonan Syndrome. Now they have a chance to show the world that children with Down Syndrome are a blessing to all.
8/12/15—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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.
11/6/15—HOME STUDY IN PROGRESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at pursuedandtreasured.blogspot.com