These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
Elizabeth, Chris, and their three kids are scooching a little closer to make room for a little more love in their family!
The couple met in 2016 while Elizabeth was in in the middle of her first adoption from Eastern Europe. As the saying goes, when you know, you know, and they certainly knew! After a whirlwind two months of dating, Chris and Elizabeth got engaged and hopped on a plane together to bring their tiny son, Worth, home. On New Year’s Eve, they made it official in a sweet little pop up wedding on a bridge overlooking their city.
Worth Allen is now thirteen and thriving. He is strong, stubborn, and so full of sunshine. The Graham fam added Cleo Brave, now eight, to the crew in 2018. She is smart, silly, and overflowing with unsolicited sass! Indy Luke, who will turn one in November, made a surprise appearance in 2019. He is the extra helping of sweetness they all needed.
As the Grahams grow together, so does their conviction that children belong in families. Elizabeth and Chris are thrilled about the privilege of bringing another little boy with extra special chromosomes out of an orphanage and into their family.
Follow the Graham fam’s fundraising project on Instagram at Instagram.com/thethreehundredstitchproject
9/18/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Eric and Kelly Burton live in KY with their 3 children- Willa Kate, Sullivan, and Milo. Together, they have built a marriage of 15 years and a family that continues to grow. Their adoption story is unique! It began after the birth of their first child and secondary infertility was discovered. They attempted fertility treatments and prayed for another baby, but soon realized adoption did not have to be their Plan B. Once they began to pursue a beautiful boy in China, they stopped grieving what infertility had taken. It was clear this was their path all along!
Much to their surprise, the Burtons would soon be holding a miraculously positive pregnancy test and faced with a choice. God had answered their prayers for a baby, long after they’d stopped praying them. But their hearts were already all-in with a boy they’d never met.
Needless to say, the Burton brothers both joined the family in 2017! While it’s been a lot of hard work, saying “yes” to adoption has been the Burton family’s greatest gift. And they are ready to say “yes” again. They are praying to return to china for another special needs adoption. This time, a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease.
The Burtons are average people- a public school teacher and a stay at home mom- with hearts that beat for orphan care. They are humbly asking others to join in their efforts to bring “Luna” — soon to be named Nora Jane — home.
9/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Robert and Lara Vitter met on 9/10/06 and got married on 9/15/07. The Vitter Family has had a heart for adoption and orphan ministry since they started dating. They were pregnant with their 1st child after being married for 1 month. When their daughter was not even 1 they lived at a Children’s home for 2 1/2 years, had another baby and then moved to Italy as Christian missionaries for almost 8 years and added 3 more biological children to their family. Lara grew up in a home that adopted a terminally ill brother and they also had several foster children in their home. They have always wanted to grow their family through adoption and have been led to Cohen to join their family. They truly believe they are called by God in this way from James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” There’s never been a dull moment in their lives together and God has always called us to do ministry together as a family. We know Cohen is the next piece for our ministry “team”. They can’t wait to bring him home and have him be a part of all they do.
9/9/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
We are Emily Waterfield & Chris Brooks and we are expanding our family by adopting a little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. Originally from Virginia, we have been living in New Orleans, Louisiana for the past fifteen years. Chris works in operations and Emily has been a special education system leader for a decade. We have two young boys– Garrett and Oden- and together we love exploring City Park, eating Snoballs and crawfish, celebrating Mardi Gras and cheering for the Saints.
Our adoption began to take root years ago, when friends found their son via Reece’s Rainbow and shared their journey to bring him home. Advocating for the rights of children and specifically children with disabilities was not new to us, but the idea of adoption first seemed impossible and far fetched. Surely this was something other people were better suited for? For us, adoption became a real possibility the day we saw a picture of a little boy and there was a spark of instant recognition- this child, this boy is our son. The idea of flying across the world for him, raising money to meet the demands of this arduous process, lining up therapists and support to meet his unique needs– all of this is our reality now. We are not extraordinary. We are not wealthy. We are committed to our children and to bringing home our boy.
We have learned, it is commonplace due to poverty and social stigma for children with all types of disabilities to live in an institution all their lives, without knowing the feeling of being someone’s beloved child, having experiences such as going to school or to a park, or accessing the medical care necessary to thrive. We believe that people with disabilities are wonderful and not a burden. We believe in neurodiversity and that all great minds don’t think alike. Most of all we believe that all children belong in families.
Any contribution you choose to make, no matter how small is appreciated. We will not be officially matched or able to access any information about the little boy we think of as ours until our first trip to his country. Thank you so much for considering us and supporting visibility for waiting children with disabilities internationally.
9/8/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Lindsay, Noel and their two kids plus a multitude of scaly, feathery and furry members call the Mile High state home. Together they do all things outdoors and enjoy traveling, especially to Texas, Kansas and Florida to visit extended family. Their biggest adventure yet will be traveling to Asia to bring their little girl HOME. They cannot wait to love, honor and celebrate her! The Applebaugh Garza family truly and fully embraces the unique love, beauty and challenges that come with raising a child with different abilities. Their experience and passion began with Lindsay’s brother and aunt who influenced her to become a Special Education teacher. These experiences have continued as Noel and Lindsay raise their son who is on the Autism spectrum and now with their soon-to-be daughter who was born with an extra chromosome. They are thrilled to welcome their new daughter and support her in becoming her best, most happy and healthy self! They would like to invite you on their adoption journey @lovebugchina on Instagram! Thank you for reading, your love and your support!
9/1/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
This will be Dennis & Cindy’s 4th Adoption. They met their “CHRISTmas Miracle” in December of 2016. He came over with a group of other children through hosting. He has been coming to their family now for 4 years. They have sent him back to his orphanage 7 times, waiting to be able to begin his adoption. It is now his time to come Home.
Cindy just returned from Eastern Europe with their daughter’s Alyna & Anya; biological siblings who had never met until Cindy brought them out of their Orphanages on June 26, 2020. On July 7th they landed in America. Alyna also came to them through a hosting program when she was just 6 years old, in 2018. When they committed to adopt Alyna they found out she had a baby sister. She was called “Baby Surprise”. Alyna also came back to them in the Summer of 2019 for 3 months. one of the hardest experiences they ever had was to put their tiny little one back on a Plane to return to her Orphanage, just like their son. God kept telling Cindy, I brought them to you, you have to return them so I can bring them back Home to you. And this is exactly what He did. He brought them Home. Through a Border Closing, Quarantine and Virus, God moved, did Miracles and brought their girls Home.
They were never looking to Host. How God brought their children to them through Hosting, He unfolded His plan and He provided each time for them to come to America. With their son He even made the decision. Another incredible Story of how Our Father brings about His Plan, they have also Adopted Abraham & Sarah in 2014, Ayden in 2017. Many know of the Miracles with these precious little ones. Little Adalyn, their little one in Russia now 9 years old is still in an Orphanage in Russia due to the Ban in 20212. They were with her for a week and the Judge was trying to get them back in 2 weeks for Court, but sadly the Ban became Law a week after they returned Home in December of 2012. They still Believe, Hope, and Trust. They also have 8 incredible Biological children 41 to 24 and 11 Grandchildren.
They already have Immigration Approval which they received when they were Adopting their little girls and unfortunately he could not be Adopted then. So now they are trying to push quickly through paperwork and raise all the finances to bring him Home.
8/28/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Hi! We are the Quick family. In 2017, we traveled to Eastern Europe to adopt our dearly loved son, Mannix, who just happens to have Down syndrome. We brought him home to join his 8 older brothers and sisters when he was 9 months old, weighing just 10 lbs.
When we were in his birth country, we were able to see the conditions of his orphanage and the hospital where he was frequently sent, along with other bedridden children. We have never been able to forget these kids, who spend their days in cribs with barely enough to eat to stay alive, and no one in the world to love them.
We knew right away we would want to go back and adopt again, if at all possible. We have the room, the love, the time, and the resources to share with another child. However, we do not have the $30,000 in hand or in credit that it costs to bring a child home. We intend to work very hard at making and selling things, taking on extra jobs, selling things around the house and whatever else it takes to give another child a loving home and family. Our hopes are that our family, friends and community at large will come alongside us to make this happen, whether that be in prayer, monetarily, or time.
We thank you for your time and interest in our next journey and hope you’ll follow along.
8/26/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Meet the Bishop family! Brian and Kristin met as teenagers in their church youth group when Kristin was just 13. With many years of life to live before settling down, they both went their separate ways after high school before reconnecting in late 2008. After a whirlwind romance, they were finally married in May of 2010 and have built an incredible life in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Together they have 4 beautiful children ranging in age from 4 to 10. Brian works as a finance director for an automobile dealership and Kristin is the owner of a local insurance corporation in their hometown.
Special needs adoption is something that had always been on Kristin’s heart. For nearly 5 years it was a constant conversation in their home. In 2017, Brian accompanied Kristin on another mission trip to South America and it was there, in the mountains of Zacapa, Guatemala that Brian experienced that same life-changing desire to parent the fatherless. They welcomed their youngest son home through international adoption from South Korea in February of 2019.
Along with serving as bonus parents for teenagers and young adults needing additional support, Brian and Kristin have a convicted heart that all children belong in families. Because of that, they have decided to pursue another international adoption to bring home a little girl with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They feel overwhelmingly grateful for the love and support they have received through both of their adoptions and look forward to meeting their sweet new little one soon!
“He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
8/25/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Effhauser Family! Matthew and Sarah live with their five children on a little farm in rural Minnesota along with their two dogs, two barn cats and too many chickens to count. They are high school sweethearts and started their family soon after being married; their children now range from 13 to 2.
A few years into marriage, their eyes were opened to children with special needs living in orphanages around the world. They began supporting families in process and donating to life-saving surgeries for little ones. Soon they realized that maybe they were being called to adoption, someday. The conversations and prayers around adoption began and as they added more children to their family, worked their way through job changes and renovated their 1913 farmhouse, they kept gently hearing the Lord say “not yet”, even when their hearts wished He would say yes.
Trusting in His timing and discerning that the time to adopt was hopefully nearing, Sarah resigned from her teaching position to stay home with their youngest children in preparation to be home with their adopted child someday as well. The Effhauser family participated in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign and were thrilled to share a sweet boy with the world and the work of Reece’s Rainbow. Maybe advocacy was only what they were called to do?
Over the years, the couple had shared many pictures of waiting children with one another until one summer day they saw the face of a young boy, just a few months younger than the baby of their family and they knew, now was the time! The entire family can’t wait for their little brother to be home!
8/19/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Phil and Cole met in 2006 during their junior and senior year (respectively) of high school on a group date for Homecoming. Phil was dating Cole’s friend at the time, and Cole was there with Phil’s best friend. By the end of the night, they’d both decided that they were interested in each other. The rest is history…a total cliche. After five years of dating, they got married in November of 2011. In October 2012, they welcomed their first son, Gabe. Caroline joined the family in December 2013, and Nico was born in September 2015. After Nico was born, Cole found RainbowKids, and then Reeces Rainbow. Her mind was blown and her heart was broken by the reality of the orphan crisis. She began “preparing to prepare” to adopt someday…way in the future. A year and a half later, she and Phil brought Rosey home from Bulgaria. Shortly after bringing Rosey home, they found out that they were expecting a fifth child. They lost that baby, a little girl named Bonnie, but welcomed their rainbow baby Auggie into the family in April 2019. Early in 2020 Cole felt that familiar feeling and again began scrolling through the little faces online, looking for their baby. In March 2020 she found M, a sweet 3 year old living in Kyrgyzstan, and immediately texted a screenshot to Phil. He agreed that she was theirs, and they’ve been working diligently to bring her home ever since!
8/7/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Ben and Karaline met on the bus ride to summer camp in high school and quickly became close, getting married four years after meeting. Almost immediately after getting married, they were surprised with their first daughter, Posy and welcomed their second daughter, Felicity, a short 16 months after that. Ben is a pastor at a nearby church—he’s humorous, hardworking, and joyful. Karaline currently stays at home to care for the kids—she’s gentle, dedicated, and loving. Posy is four years old and loves to tell jokes! She’s creative, playful, and bold. Felicity is three years old and is a calm and gentle child. She’s loving, silly, and determined. We are a family that values being closely bonded to one another.
Since the beginning of their marriage, adoption was in their minds as a journey they one day wanted to walk. After giving birth to Felicity, it became clear to both Ben and Karaline that their 3rd would come through adoption. Ben and Kara are passionate about permanency for children in families! The more they learned about childhood trauma and common experiences and conditions that arise for children who need a permanent family, they were increasingly drawn to a special needs adoption. As they learned more and more in their pre-adoption classes, Ben and Kara realized that their parenting style and way of life is very conducive to parenting a child with special needs. Kara also has experience working with children with special needs and trauma backgrounds. Along with their strong support system through their large extended family, and their church community, they felt uniquely prepared to pursue a special needs adoption.
At each step, Ben and Karaline expected roadblocks and drawn-out periods of waiting. But at each step, they were pleasantly surprised by how quickly doors were being opened for them to step forward through the process. Out of the blue one day, they learned about an adorable little girl with Down Syndrome. In reading her file, talking with the doctor, and considering this possibility together, they felt huge confirmation that they could care for her needs and that she was the child for their family. The phone call saying their letter of intent was accepted is one of the most joyful moments of their lives! Their joy continues to increase the closer they get to bringing this sweet girl into their family.
They now are completing paperwork as quickly as they can for the opportunity to bring her home! Posy and Felicity have loved preparing her room and praying for her everyday as a staple of their pre-meal routine. While Ben and Kara know that adoption processes are anything but certain, they feel drawn to the world of adoption and of Down Syndrome. They await the joyous day in which they will welcome their newest daughter as a part of their family, forever. Thank you for being a part of their story of permanence as a family with their newest daughter!
7/30/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE; COMPILING DOSSIER
Joe and Jenna live in NY with their 4 daughters Brianna, Chiara, Savanna and Stella. Stella, who was born with Down Syndrome, was adopted from Asia in 2018 and now they are excited to be going back for their 5th daughter, also born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect.
Joe and Jenna’s adoption story began in 2010 when adoption was first planted in their hearts after the loss of their unborn child and the news that they were not able to conceive any more children. In 2013, their 3rd daughter and miracle baby, Savanna, was born. She was truly a blessing that they were not expecting. But the seed of adoption had been planted years earlier, and it was growing.
Even after experiencing this profound miracle, the Neri’s knew that they had so much more love to share. Faith has been the hallmark of the Neri family from the very beginning and has carried them through the most difficult times. They, like many other families, had a heart for special needs adoption. Jenna has worked with adults and children with both physical and developmental disabilities for 22 years and knew the unique challenges individuals with Down Syndrome face. Then Jenna saw a picture of a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome on Reece’s Rainbow and she knew this was her daughter. They worked hard to bring Stella home in October 2018 and now, less than 2 years later, they have fallen in love with another little girl that they know is meant to be their daughter as well.
Joe has just started his own small business and serves as the youth director at their church, and Jenna works as a Residential Manager for individuals with disabilities. They may not be a family of financial means, but they are rich in faith and love to share with another child. Despite the many uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and international adoption, they are committed to giving this beautiful girl the love, support and family she deserves.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETED
In 2013, when Nick and Val said yes to adopting a young boy from Ukraine that was being hosted in the US, they never dreamed answering God’s call would impact their lives so much. What they didn’t know was that little boy already had a family pursuing him. After much prayer they decided to continue the adoption journey in Ethiopia. After three successful and life changing adoptions of four children from Ethiopia, they felt the tugging on their heart by the Holy Spirit to adopt again. The tug they were feeling was to adopt a waiting child.
Val decided to get on Reece’s Rainbow. Right away they saw this beautiful little girl (Shelby Mae) and knew right away she was their daughter.
They are rejoicing and so thankful the for that tug from the Lord that led them to their precious daughter. His plan was made clear when they saw her beautiful face. They are excited to bring their daughter home and be family of 10.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
*** Shelby Mae has received an additional $5,000 Grant! ***