We are the Romero family. We have six children ages 12-2. We learned that our youngest was gifted with an extra chromosome shortly after his birth in July 2014. The truth of Psalm 139:13 — “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” — became that much more intimate as we explained to our children that God added the extra copy of chromosome 21 more than a trillion times. We knew that God made our son and every one of us uniquely, in His image, for His glory and there are no mistakes.
We had never thought about adoption before but through our son’s birth the Lord opened our eyes to the needs of children all around the world with a special calling to those with Down syndrome and special needs.
When we learned about Reece’s Rainbow at our first Buddy Walk and read that in other parts of the world these children are viewed as outcasts with no ability to learn or be functional members of society, languishing in mental institutions, hidden away from the world in shame, our heart broke for these children. We see their faces and picture our son being born into those circumstances. Our family knew that we had been called to serve these children.
We stared at the Reece’s Rainbow magnet on our refrigerator and their web site for months, praying for the children and saying that we will adopt “one day”. Until we finally realized that the only thing holding us back was fear, fear of traveling, fear of all that is involved and a lot of financial fears. We thought about how powerful our God is and the fact that the bigger the “task” the greater glory we see in His hand in it. We were reminded of Gideon whose army was dwindled to 300 just so that the glory would go to the Lord and the miracles that Christ did throughout the Bible. He is the creator of this universe. How could we fear or doubt His power in this? We know it won’t be easy but we have trust in Him.
We are so excited to bring Domenic home to our family. We are so anxious to wrap our arms around him and show him the love of a family and the love of our Savior! In our minds and hearts he is already our son. We know that not everyone is called to adopt and not everyone is called to adopt an orphan with special needs, but some are called to pray and pray earnestly and some are called to give and give generously. What an amazing picture of the body of Christ at work, all for the love of this one precious baby. Thank you for joining us and may all glory go to our amazing God!!
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/domenic.png287320Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-07-26 10:26:162016-07-26 10:26:33DOMENIC for the Romero family -- TN
Martin and Jennifer Quinn have 7 amazing children. Three biological and four adopted from Reece’s Rainbow! In 2013 they brought home two young boys with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. In 2014 they returned to bring home an infant girl with Down syndrome and a young boy with Hydrocephalus, Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. During their first adoption they met a beautiful young girl with the saddest eyes in the orphanage their sons were at. She ran to Marty calling him “papa”. He promised one day he would return for her. That time has come! The Quinn’s are excited to fulfill their promise and finally give this beautiful orphan girl, with the sad eyes a loving forever home!
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/chelsea-2016.jpg960684Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-07-21 23:13:072016-07-22 13:08:56CHELSEA for the Quinn family -- FL
Shawn and Kara live in Memphis TN with their two beautiful daughters adopted from China. Shawn works at St. Jude children’s hospital by day and as an artist at night. Kara works from home as an artist. Their adoption story begins when they brought home Chandler in December 2012. In 2014 Perry joined the family. Suddenly life got very busy and with two fun feisty six year olds and the family seemed complete. That is until they saw a picture of a girl with intelligent eyes and a dazzling smile. Keely has Cerebral Palsy which affects her mobility. She will be soon be thirteen years old. For orphans, birthdays are not always happy occasions; if she is not adopted by fourteen she will lose forever her chance to have a family. When the family saw her profile on Reese’s rainbow they knew they would be going back to Asia. They are thrilled and cannot wait to bring their daughter and sister home.
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/Keely.jpg167199Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-07-20 18:06:412016-07-21 20:43:32KEELY for the Young family -- TN
The Bison family lives in North Carolina and is excited to be growing their family through adoption again! John and Heidi have two biological children, Ariauna and Jaeden (ages 15 and 13) and adopted Grace (age 9) in March of 2015. Grace has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome as does their new son!
John and Heidi first heard the Lord’s calling on their life in February of 2014 to grow their family through special needs adoption. The Bison family had no idea just what that would look like or how much it would impact their life. But they are blessed beyond measure with their three children at home and can not wait to add their son to the family!
John and Heidi covet your prayers on their behalf as they journey through this adoption process and especially for their waiting son!
“For we walk by faith and not by sight” 2 Cor. 5:7
7/15/16—DOSSIER EN ROUTE
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog
has been donated towards the cost of our adoption!
We have been blessed by adoption a few times over now but that doesn’t dampen the excitement of welcoming a new child into the family. We are absolutely thrilled to bring Cullen home and love him like he deserves!
We appreciate your continued prayers and support for our family and this boy who has waited so long for a family to choose him. Thank you!
7/13/16—HOME STUDY in PROCESS
has been donated towards the cost of our adoption!
Adam and Carin first saw Dex’s picture in April of 2012. They had just decided to start the process of adopting a child with Down Syndrome from China and Dex’s file was the first they ever saw. Carin instantly fell in love with his chubby cheeks, crooked smile and droopy eye. Through events out of their control, they were not able to pursue the adoption of Dex and instead they adopted their daughter Pearl in May of 2013. Another daughter, Molly, joined the family through adoption in August of 2015. But Dex still waited to be chosen. In December of 2015, the family began praying for a family for Dex. Two months later, God revealed that Adam and Carin were to be his family. They are grateful and humbled that after 5 years of waiting, Dex, who they will name Samuel, will have a mom and dad, 4 sisters and 2 brothers! They also know that a way is being prepared ahead of them— emotionally, spiritually and financially. They have no fear, only love for this little boy. God has and will provide all and more than their family needs to bring him home.
7/12/16—HOME STUDY in PROCESS Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at diplofam.com
has been donated towards the cost of our adoption!
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/Dex-1-200x300.jpg300200Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-07-12 11:14:362016-07-12 11:14:53DEX for the Vogelzang family -- TX
The McLaughlins met their first adopted daughter while living in China and volunteering in an orphanage. They had the rare and amazing opportunity to foster her until she and her new younger sister were adopted in Dec 2013. After returning to America, they learned their oldest daughter has a terminal muscle wasting disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Learning of this disease and having spent time with so many children with all different diagnoses in Asia, one comes to know intimately that every life has value and meaning despite any “limitations” they face. They describe their oldest daughter with SMA as passionate, vivacious, a winner of hearts and a changer of lives. Last year when they received news of another girl with SMA whose first parents wanted to dissolve their adoption, they knew undoubtedly they were being asked to step forward for her and to celebrate this precious child. She became part of their family in the fall of 2015. The McLaughlins have a heart and a calling for the medically fragile and for the aging-out whose life without a family is a scary prospect. To think of these children left to their own devices with limited or no education, no family, and no support, they feel called to action. “Our children are so much more than a disability or statistic by which they are defined as orphans. We cannot wait to bring our newest daughter into the precious folds of family and love, to call her Daughter. Our hearts and home are ready. Will you commit with us and help bring our daughter home?”
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/Lucinda-21.jpg236188Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-07-05 10:34:182016-07-23 13:33:20LUCINDA for the McLaughlin family -- SC
We are the Gehrung Family, Nancy, Brian, Collin (22), Shannon (20) and Ava (10). We have been wonderfully blessed by Ava since we brought her home 5 years ago. We are currently in the process of adopting another beautiful little girl from Asia.
Our story is a bit long in detail because so much has happened in these last 5 years. These details are so important to our story and all of these details have lead us to our newest daughter waiting for us, Aliza Rose. Here’s our story…
Brian and I met about 12 years ago. I was a divorced, single mom working full time as a kitchen designer, raising two kids, two dogs and a guinea pig. Collin was 10 and Shannon was 8. Brian was (and still is) a full time sales and service clerk at the Menomonee Falls Post Office. Once we met, we never looked back. We dated for 4 years and were married on November 8, 2008 with Collin and Shannon by our sides.
Brian, Collin, Shannon and I are all “little people”. We each have Achondroplasia Dwarfism, the most common type of genetic dwarfism, just like some of those on the TLC shows “Little People, Big World” and “The Little Couple”. I am the youngest of 3 children in my family, plus I am the only girl and the only one in my family with dwarfism. Brian is the youngest of 5 kids and he is also the only one in his family with dwarfism. We all belong to the group “Little People of America” (LPA) a social/support group for Little People.
A few years after we were married, Brian and I began to think about adding to our family, but since I have several chronic yet stable neurological issues related to my dwarfism, another pregnancy could be very difficult for me, so we began looking into adoption. But the idea of adoption tugged at our hearts for a few other reasons too. With our involvement in LPA, we had learned there were many dwarf children around the world in need of families and in our hearts, we knew we wanted to adopt a child with dwarfism. Plus, we had learned that in some countries around the world, children and adults with dwarfism are ostracized and treated as outcasts. This sad fact weighed heavy on our hearts. How could we not reach out to one of these dwarf children? Since all four of us grew up as little people in the US where we were accepted and given many opportunities, we simply felt called to bring one of these children home and to make them a part of our family, a family who truly understands the many physical, emotional and social struggles little people can encounter during their lives.
Then one day in June of 2010, we learned of a 5 year old little girl with Achondroplasia living in China, through LPA’s adoption group. After mountains of paperwork, many appointments and a whole lot of prayers, we met our daughter Ava Rose, our first little LOVE from China, in May of 2011.
Soon after bringing her home, Ava received a devastating medical diagnosis. Her doctor had ordered a CT scan of her brain, because we and he suspected Ava might have Hydrocephalus (water on the brain), which can be common in those who have Achondroplasia Dwarfism. Before we even arrived home from having the test completed, the doctor’s office called. As I answered the phone, my stomach began to ache. I had a gut feeling that they were not calling so soon with good news. I began to cry as I heard the nurse tell me… “Ava doesn’t have Hydrocephalus, instead, the CT revealed that she’d had a massive stroke either in utero or at birth. It affected 75% of the left side of her brain, it affected her speech, left her with right sided weakness and cerebral palsy, she will probably have life long cognitive and physical challenges and delays and there is a good chance that she could have seizures.” We were stunned… but we pulled it together and began to learn about these new diagnoses and set out to get her the best medical care and therapies we could find. Ava was at high risk for SUDEP, Sudden Unexplained Death due to Epilepsy and that was terrifying to us. Since no medication could control Ava’s seizures and since they were focused in one area of her brain, a 2 stage neurological surgery became our only option. The first surgery in November 2014 itself went smoothly, unfortunately, Ava’s recovery was anything but smooth. Amazingly though, eight days after surgery, Ava was strong enough to be released to go home. Unfortunately, two days later, we brought her to the ER and she was admitted for an infection. She finally began to seem like her old self in April of 2015, but in May, we began to see new and increasing seizure activity. In June, her neuro team confirmed the need to plan for another surgery to stop her seizures all while dealing with a blood clotting disorder. Thankfully, with a lot of teamwork, planning, testing and an amazing little test called a “MEG Scan”, Ava’s second surgery was set. This time, surgery and recovery went much smoother and was successful. Ava has only had a few seizures in the last year and a half. Making the decision for Ava to undergo these two complex brain surgeries were two of the hardest decisions we have had to make. But we are so happy we choose these surgeries. Today, approximately 18 months since her last surgery, Ava is growing and thriving both cognitively and physically. She still has and will probably always have many cognitive and physical challenges, but at least for now, she is seizure free.
In the summer of 2015, a happy, healthy Ava started asking for a little brother or sister. That August, we were blessed to be able to visit with several of Ava’s former caregivers. During that visit, we learned that a sweet, almost 2 year old little girl with Achondroplasia had just arrived at the same institute that Ava was in. After many thoughts and prayers, we knew she was meant to be ours and we began the process of bringing home our 2nd little love from China. We as a family of 5 have experienced a few bumps (that were out of our control and that temporarily side-tracked our momentum) along our adoption process, but we are now working as quickly as possible to bring her home and to fundraise too. Ava just can’t wait for her little sister to come home and neither can we. Thank you for reading our story and thank you for your support, positive thoughts and prayers!
http://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/Gehrung.jpg628613Michellehttp://reecesrainbow.org/wp-content/uploads/10logo4x4-3.pngMichelle2016-06-26 19:28:502016-07-04 20:20:58ALIZA ROSE for the Gehrung family -- WI