April will make 10 years Stephen and Rachelle have been married. They have 3 biological boys (1 is from Rachelle’s first marriage.) And four adopted boys from Eastern Europe through Reece’s Rainbow. Yes, that is a total of 7 boys ages 4 years to 17 years old: Maben is 4, Andre is 7, Silas, Felix and Tage are 8, D.J. is 13 and Ruslan is 17. Here is our story:
We came across Reece’s Rainbow in such a carefully weaved web of fate that only God Himself could create that has changed the course of our lives, the friendships that we have made and of course the way in which we have grown our family, live our everyday lives and bear witness to Jesus’ unconditional love and answer to God’s calling. And I just love to tell the story of how each person played a role in leading us to this very special place in our life in an amazing community of people whom I might never knew existed if things might not have happened exactly the way that they did.
A few years ago we were introduced to a blog by a family member went to school with the author of a popular blog, “EBing A Mommy” and the disease EB that her sweet baby boy Tripp was born with. Tripp won the hearts of so many. We began participating in fundraisers for Tripp and EB Awareness and also made some amazing friends within the EB community, both advocates and parents. A blog entry about a sweet boy in Russia by the name of Anton who was in the process of being adopted by an amazing family led us to the Reece’s Rainbow website.
WOW did we learn A LOT that we never ever knew even existed when coming across Reece’s Rainbow! Of course, like many, we became fascinated with the work of Reece’s Rainbow and hoped to one day become a part of the beautiful story that was written into the colors of that rainbow.
Many people we come across ask us the same questions “Why?” A popular Matthew West Song puts it so perfectly:
If not us, then who?
If not me and you?
It’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when?
Will we see an end?
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something
Well, sooner came rather than later, as when they saw Silas’s picture they had to DO SOMETHING and in 2012 Rachelle and Stephen embarked on their first adoption adventure.
We thought we would be adopting one child, Silas, a little boy with Cerebral Palsy. God made better plans, we came home with two little boys: Silas and Andre. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,”
Andre has Down Syndrome. Silas was very sick when he came home, weighing 17 pounds at 5 years old, and suffering violent drug withdrawals, spent a few weeks in the hospital upon coming home. He now has a severe movement disorder as a result of the high dosages of medication given to him by the orphanage. He has had brain surgery to try to help relieve the disorder, with not much help but doctors are still working on a possible solution. Andre was our surprise added child in country while some paperwork issues were worked out for Silas. Andre is a ball of energy ready to take you for a ride anywhere and everywhere you want to go!
In 2014 we adopted again. Originally we thought we might adopt a girl or two but again, God made other plans. Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” We adopted two more boys instead as the girls we had committed to had other families adopt them. One of them was a little boy whose file we were shown in 2012. He was adopted at one time but was disrupted in country. His name is Felix and he has Cerebral Palsy. His transition has been a roller-coaster but one well worth the ride. He is a sweet, loving child with an enormous amount of potential that we see no end to anytime soon! The other boy we adopted, Ruslan, was 15 and a half, just 6 months away from aging out. Ruslan is so smart, funny, happy, lively and social. He lived in a place called the “Happy Home.” While there I met several other very sweet boys. One very lively boy has stayed on our hearts and minds since coming home. We have decided it is time to go back and reunite two former roommates as brothers!
We have learned so much through this wonderful journey, met so many wonderful people, made so many friendships, more like formed new family and we are so thankful to be once again embarking on this journey to add to our family once again! Never in a million years could we have imagined how our lives would have changed so drastically (in the most amazing way) and the wonderful path we would be taking! We love this life God planned for us!
2/5/16— COMPILING DOSSIER
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at piecingourpuzzletogether.blogspot.com
The Montagues are excited to announce their commitment to bring home Tessa! They are at the end of the homestudy process and getting their dossier paperwork ready. She is part of the “Pearl Track” program which moves things along pretty quickly, with a May 9th deadline, so they are trying to raise whatever they can to help bring this sweet girl home!
This is their fourth adoption–they have adopted once from China and twice from Ethiopia. They have always said it is not the business of raising kids that is costly, it is getting them home! They know what it means to give up things other families have–fancy cars, fancy homes, expensive “stuff”–to be able to adopt, and they would do it all over again! Building a family through adoption, with a few bio babies sprinkled in, has been a wonderful journey for which they are grateful to be on.
They know there are lots of causes out there, and lots of things you can donate to, and they are grateful for any amount, small or large, that you see fit. If you can’t give anything to them, that’s OK too! Find a cause and support it with your whole heart!
Paul and Emily Jarrell are parents to two sweet babies who were born to them and one precious girl who was born to another.
Emily has always known she wanted to adopt. After meeting Paul, they were quickly married and quickly having kids. After the birth of their second child, Emily felt she should take a break from having more biological children (a feeling she didn’t expect). Within a few months, she was thinking about adoption for the first time since she was married. So, she began searching the internet for information. A few years earlier, she had spent five months in Eastern Europe; part of her time spent in orphanages. She began her search there.
She came across “waiting children”- terminology she wasn’t familiar with. She began reading and showing the profiles to Paul. “Eden” was one of the first profiles she found. She kept going back to it, despite the fact that she had never considered the adoption of an older child. So, she asked Paul what he thought about inquiring further. He said, “Go for it.” Before they knew it, they were raising funds and filling out paperwork trying to get to the little girl God had been holding for them for the past eight years.
Paul and Emily believe adoption is a picture of the gospel, of God’s grace to us. We are adopted into his family and given full rights as children, not because of anything we have to offer but because of his great love for us. Will you help them live this out?
1/28/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
John and Chris Carter call their home “Glorious Chaos”. They have six children, ranging in age from 23 down to 3 years old and love big family life. Circumstances surrounding the birth of six child and fifth daughter, Nora meant that there would be no more biological children. John and Chris always knew, from the very beginning that adoption would be a part of their story and this just confirmed it.
It was a “someday” kind of idea, but then the three youngest children began praying for an adopted child to join the family. They had watched another family walk through international adoption, and these little ones knew that it was something they wanted to do too.
Chris went on Reece’s Rainbow, thinking to choose three profiles to post on the bulletin board for the family to pray daily for.
But there were four, not three, that jumped out at her. All four were printed and tacked up in the dining room and the family began to pray.
One of those four just stayed on their minds and in their hearts. Shyla.
The rest is history! John and Chris can not wait to get this little girl in the midst of their Glorious Chaos and be the family that she deserves. It turned out that Somday was now!
“We can make our plans, but the Lord God determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9NLT
“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17
“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…” Psalm 68:6
1/28/2016—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the Carter family’s adoption journey at www.joel2twentyfive.com
We are the Zittle family, and we are beginning a new adoption journey! The Lord has revealed to us that we have more room in our hearts and home for another little child. When we began our first adoption journey in 2006, we had been married for 5 years and were going through the struggle of infertility. It was our deep longing for a child, and God began to lay adoption on our hearts. We stepped out in faith and began the process to adopt a baby from China. Three years into our adoption process, Jen became pregnant with our oldest son, Braden! As we continued to wait to be matched with our China baby, the Lord opened the door for us to adopt a second child from China. When Braden was 3, we brought these two little boys home. Joshua and Micah have blessed our lives in so many ways! Today we begin the process of adopting, Meng Ya…a 2 year old little girl from China who we have decided to name Anna Joy! As a little girl born with Down Syndrome, she will have so many opportunities here in our home and community that she might never be given in an institution. She will know she is a beautiful child, created by a loving God, Who has a wonderful plan for her life. She will also have a Mommy, a Daddy and three big brothers who will adore her. Would you consider giving financially to help us bring Anna Joy home? If that answer is yes, we thank you with all of our hearts for joining us on this journey of FAITH in an almighty God, HOPE for a little orphan and LOVE that is in all of our hearts to bring her home. You will forever be a part her story!
1/26/2016—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the Zittle family’s adoption journey at zittlefamily.blogspot.com
Robert and Serenity Andrews met while attending a Bible college in 2004. Their backgrounds could not have been more different – Robert was from the Midwest and former US Army soldier, Serenity was a child of a missionary family, who lived all over the US and in several countries including China – but they soon became close friends and were married three years later. Right from the beginning, God put the desire to adopt in their hearts. After having a biological daughter the desire to adopt was still very much there. Through a mutual friend and their adoption of a young special needs boy, Robert and Serenity were introduced to Reece’s Rainbow. Robert began reading the stories of those waiting to be adopted. When the profile for Chazz came across the screen, it was as if at that moment Robert knew that this was his son. He sent the web address to Serenity without saying anything more. Her response was “let’s do it.” God’s hand was definitely in this because when the adoption agency was contacted Robert and Serenity were told that Chazz was spoken for. They were both disappointed and yet happy that this beautiful child was going to a loving home. Days later Serenity was contacted by the adoption agency who explained that if she and Robert were still interested he could be their son. Of course Robert and Serenity said yes and now are on the long journey of meetings, phone calls and paperwork with the ultimate goal of bringing their son home.
1/25/2016—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
David and Tracy Wiggs are returning to Reece’s Rainbow for their second and third adoption. They adopted in late 2014 and their new son is thriving in his new family. David and Tracy have five biological children and three adopted children and know that this is their calling, to love the orphaned and welcome them into their loving family. David and Tracy would humbly ask for your support both financially and spiritually and would ask for your prayers as they once again set out on this new journey to adopt Gracelynn and Kristopher. Thank you, and God bless.
1/20/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Eric and Megan met in college at Moody Bible Institute, where they were introduced on a blind date by a mutual friend. They were married in 2005. Eric is a pastor and also teaches Martial Arts at a local high school. He enjoys woodworking and photography. Megan is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys homeschooling their children, as well as sewing, painting, and reading. They are both using their hobbies to help fund their adoption with their shop at www.madeheirs.etsy.com.
The Johnsons currently have four children, ages 8,6,4, and 2. While they were in the process of adopting Titus (4) from China, they saw many pictures of him together with Mei. They sought to adopt her at the same time as Titus, hoping to preserve one relationship for them both in the midst of the dramatic loss and change of adoption. Unfortunately it was not possible to bring them home together. However, God continually confirmed their desired to make her their daughter, so they began her process soon after returning home with Titus.
While visiting the orphanage, Eric and Megan met Mei and discovered that her relationship with Titus was even closer than they had guessed from pictures. The nannies reported that Titus climbed out of his bed every night to sleep with Mei. He cried out for her many times during their first nights as a family. He is still very happy every time he sees her pictures. Eric and Megan cannot wait to reunite these close friends and make Mei part of their family forever.
1/19/2016—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the Johnson’s adoption journey at www.madeheirs.blogspot.com
God has been setting the groundwork for adoption of a child with special needs in Phil and Celeste’s hearts for a while now. From Celeste’s involvement with children with special needs at a young age and then later becoming a special education teacher, to Phil and Celeste serving in their church’s special needs Sunday school class and having the opportunity to take mission trips to parts of Eastern Europe visiting orphanages. Numerous sermons, recent events, prayers, and conversations have led the Grahams to answer God’s call for them to adopt.
Immediately “Jonah” caught their attention, and through much prayer and God’s Holy intervention, He showed them “Jonah” was waiting on them.
The Graham’s have one biological daughter, Paisley.
Would you join us in the exciting journey to show God’s love to Mr. “Jonah”?
1/19/2016—HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at tobelongtobeloved.blogspot.com
Jeremy and Heather Fillmore began their adoption adventure in 2010. At the time, they had five children, ages 1-14. Heather had always had a heart for adoption, but when she found Reece’s Rainbow on the internet, she was hooked. Seeing all of those precious, “discarded gems” changed her forever. A few days later, she found Tatiana’s photo and knew that she was meant to be their daughter. Tatiana (now named Anya) was five years old and lived in a Russian orphanage because she has Down syndrome. The world of adoption and special needs was new to this family, but they instinctively knew that this less traveled, beautiful road is one that God had planned for them. Anya joined their family almost a year later.
Two years later, they returned to Russia for another little angel. Hazel stepped off the plane on December 24, 2012. It turns out that a few days later, a law was passed in Russia that halted all adoptions of Russian orphans by Americans. The Fillmores are humbled by their Christmas miracle of 2012 and often think about all of their girls’ friends who were left behind and are hopeful things will change someday soon.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread will stretch and tangle, but it will never break.” Jeremy and Heather are feeling this thread gently guide them to a sweet little boy. They can make another spot at the dinner table, get one more bed, and drive two cars to go to Grandma’s. Their hands are never too full for a child in need. Their kids have experienced first-hand, the joy that comes from watching a little person take their place in their busy family, then literally come to life before their eyes. They are elated that Liam will get to join in the fun! He has mild hydrocephalus and this adoption will not only give him the opportunity for good medical care, but also the gift of seven doting brothers and sisters and a Mom and Dad who will love and cherish him forever. Every child, no matter where they are born, or what needs they have, deserve the love of a family. Every child needs to feel precious, valued and treasured.
International adoption is very costly. Your donation will help Liam to have this gift…one that he will not receive from a family in his own country. The Fillmores thank you from the bottom of their hearts for any amount that you can share for the cause.
1/15/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
In 2009 Thad and Lorene were blessed with their 4th child – a daughter blessed with down syndrome. After her birth they became aware of the situation for many disabled orphans around the world and in 2010 they decided to adopt their 5th child – another daughter. They brought home Ember from Ukraine in 2011 and have been a happy, content family ever since. They were definitely finished having any more children. However things change. In Dec. of 2015 God whispered into their hearts. He drew Thad and Lorene to a precious girl that had just been transferred out of her orphanage, taken from everything and everyone she had ever known, and placed into an “invalid home”. No place for a child. God kept whispering and they could no longer ignore the call. This is a huge leap of faith but they trust God will provide everything that is needed for this journey.
1/13/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.addingasenti.blogspot.com
For many years, Rebecca and Jacob talked about adopting two siblings. Rebecca is the second youngest of eight children and always wanted a large family. Jacob knows the importance that parents have in the life of a child. After many attempts, the Adairs were able to have four girls: Jadalyn, Gabriella, Sierra, and Marlys. But they still felt like they had room in their hears and home for more.
When starting the adoption process, the Adairs looked immediately at siblings adoptions. Siblings have a significantly harder time being adopted. Add age and special needs to the equation and this increases the length of time these kids wait. Many of these kids age out of the system and are left to find their way at very young ages with no family to support them and no relationship with God.
Originally the Adairs looked at domestic adoptions. But when they saw Patty, Sally, and Lucy from Eastern Europe, their hearts ached for these children. After much soul searching and prayer, the Adairs realized they were called to bring these girls home to become part of their family.
1/12/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://adairfamilyadoption.com
It is in Ryan and Megan’s blood to help. A firefighter and a paramedic they feel particularly blessed to be able to have a hand in some of God’s most amazing work every day. However, a year ago, they would have had no idea that God would have put them on this path to adoption. Megan has always had a heart for adoption but God worked in wondrous ways in Ryan’s heart to also give him this great calling. Volunteering at a pregnancy center, Megan, was always around adoption stories and the like. She was always up late researching adoption and foster care whenever her husband was on shift. It was late on one of these nights that she saw Oskar’s picture and well… just knew they had to get him home, he was already written in her heart. Because it was late she did not originally realize the website, whose waiting list she found Oskar on, was international. Not until she received a response back from an email she sent inquiring about Oskar, did she realize he was in Eastern Europe. SURPRISE! When Megan showed Oskar’s picture to Ryan, he had a similar reaction to hers, and they decided to pray about it. Quickly and mightily God worked on their hearts to calm their fears about adoption (especially from a foreign country) and push them into action to bring their son home.
Once diving into the adoption process and really learning about all the children without families and just the true, heartbreaking realities these orphans (especially the ones with special needs) face did Ryan and Megan know that this was not going to be a one-time thing. They knew it was their responsibility to love and minister to the millions of forgotten orphans around the world. The whole family, Ryan , Megan, and their two daughters , as well as grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and the like all have already fallen in love with this little boy a world away. It is truly amazing the people that have come out of the woodwork to help bring this little boy home. The adoption journey is hard, scary, and long, but oh so beautiful and truly is a picture of Christ’s love for us. Through this adoption we are hoping not only to gain a son, and for him to gain a family, but for many to have their eyes and hearts opened to these children that have no one, and to the wonders of how God works. We would love and are eternally grateful for anyone who feels led to give to this adoption, but we also know that even though financing an adoption is a huge obstacle, that it will not stop the plan that is in place. Thank you and God Bless!
1/7/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at everyhearthome.blogspot.com
Ethan and Randi have been married for thirty-five years and have raised seven (of their twelve) children to adulthood. When they returned from China in April of 2015 after their fourth international adoption, they may have loudly proclaimed to God and anyone else who was listening that their family was DONE. Done, done, done! Never say never.
Even though Randi loved this little beauty the minute she laid eyes on her, they thought they were too old for a four-year-old child. So she advocated for “Susy” for nearly two years. “Susy” was in her thoughts most days, and literally haunted her dreams at night. They are thrilled that Randi’s advocacy paid off – though not exactly how they expected. THEY get to adopt this magnificent (now six-year-old) little girl!
Another adoption wasn’t on their radar or in their budget. Please rejoice with them and keep them in your prayers as they try to quickly complete all the legal steps to bring home the completion of their “baker’s dozen.”
1/7/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at lanzadoptionadventure.blogspot.com
Two years ago we brought hom our 7th child, a daughter from China. Our days were filled with doctor appointments, therapy evaluations, and all the crazy that goes along with having 7 kids.
We told God we were done.
Our family was complete.
We settled down in our comfortable life … I’m pretty sure at this point, God laughed at “our” plan. And then we saw her pictures on our adoption agency’s website. Oh. My. Word. So much cuteness! She immediately stole our hearts and we knew she was our daughter. We threw “our” plan out the window for a much better plan – a plan God knew all along.
We look forward to the day we hold Campbell in our arms. Until then, we hold her in our hearts.
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” — Martin Luther King, Jr
12/30/15— COMPILING DOSSIER
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at campbellgrady.blogspot.com
Kevin and Dara Nelson are parents to a large, busy family. They have children ranging from 4 to 28 including both biological and adopted. They are currently in the process of bringing home another son from China whom Kevin met while in China a few years ago. It was a strange twisting and turning of events that led them to finally being able to be matched with Kennedy (York). Kevin is a salesman and coaches several of their children’s soccer teams. Dara is a stay-at-homme mom that home schools their school-aged children. They are active in their church family especially in the childrne’s ministry. The Nelsons have two other special needs daughters and are certain God has prepared the way for them to add one more with special needs. To quote one of their friends, “Wheelchairs aren’t scary!”
12/30/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thenelson15.wordpress.com
My name is Jennifer and my husband’s name is Kacey. We grew up in the same area in Oregon. Kacey and I would often see each other at school or church events, we knew of each other, but that was it. After high school, we both served missions for our church. Luckily, we were sent to the missionary training center at the same time. We swapped addresses and wrote to each other throughout our missions. When we returned home, we started dating and got married in 2007. We have been blessed with three, loving, kindhearted children who have kept us busy—too say the least.
I had been feeling like there was someone missing in the family for several months then my husband Kacey mentioned something about the importance of families and children. With that tiny spark of interest in having more children, I decided to fan the flame of adoption and ask if we could look into building our family that way. Kacey agreed and I spent the next several weeks pouring over hundreds of deserving children in need of loving homes. I felt impressed to move forward with an international adoption, and started looking into pictures on the Reece’s Rainbow site. That’s where I saw sweet Ulysses. The moment I saw him I started to cry. I sobbed and sobbed to think that this sweet child with so much potential was stuck in a crib all day. Then I felt strongly that I should be his mom. I stopped crying and felt peaceful, calm and happy. I emailed my husband to tell him that this was the boy we were going to adopt. My loving, supportive husband heard me out and agreed to take this leap of faith with me.
12/28/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
You can follow the family’s journey at macpackblog.wordpress.com
Michiael and Tracy are high school sweethearts who have been married for over 18 years! They have six children, three biological and three adopted from China. This past summer, the family hosted a little girl with the intention of helping to advocate in finding her family; unbeknownst to them, they fell head over heels in love with this precious girl, feeling they were being led to be her family.
Since embarking on their first adoption journey nine years ago, Tracy has advocated for waiting children in China who are born with Congenital Nevus. Why? Because the three children they have adopted were all born with one. Precious Brandon is one of the many children Tracy has advocated for; she has watched him wait for over three years, going unchosen. After many fervent answered prayers, the family knew that he is to be their son!!!
While this adoption journey was not one the family had planned on taking, they feel very blessed to be adding two more precious children to their awesome large family!!! The family feels that they have learned so much from these journeys and willfully step forward in faith to do it again! They trust that God will bridge the funding gap to bring His children to them so that they will experience the love of a family!
The family appreciates any support from donors who would like to play a piece of these children’s life puzzles.
12/18/2015 — DOSSIER en ROUTE…Soon!
You can follow the family’s journey at wewereledtoyou.blogspot.com
Addison and Kristen are so excited to announce that they are adopting again! Addison and Kristen were married in August of 2010 and have five biological children ages 27, 25, 23, 22, and 20. In June 2015 they traveled to China to adopt 7.5 year old Paxton and 3.5 year old Corbin (Noah on RR), two precious boys with Down syndrome.
Paxton and Corbin are their only children that live at home and they have been such a huge blessing to their life. During their adoption of the boys, they felt the pull to also adopt a daughter but they knew they had to wait until their current adoption was complete before beginning the process again. They thought they would bring the boys home and possibly in a year they would begin the process to adopt again but God had other plans. Kristen felt the strong pull towards adopting a girl but since Addison wasn’t quite ready yet, she continued to pray for God to lead them to their daughter when the time was right. They continued to view the newly listed children on Reece’s Rainbow and hoped to see the little face that spoke directly to their hearts. One day Kristen came across a profile and she immediately sent it to Addison. Even though that child did not end up being their daughter (she already had a family waiting on PA), she was the one that unlocked his heart and he was ready to move forward.
Kristen has a huge heart for those with special needs, specifically those with Down syndrome. She also has a huge heart for orphans and seeing children in orphanages without families just breaks her heart. Addison and Kristen know that they cannot “save them all” but they know they can do their part and they will let God decide what that means. For now it means bringing their daughter home as soon as possible and they know they can’t do it without their friends, family, the adoption community, and Reece’s Rainbow as each of you play your part in being the hands and feet of Jesus for this family. They are so happy to have you come along beside them in their journey. They ask you to hold their family up in prayer until their daughter is safely in their arms.
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me – Matthew 18:5
1/11/16— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ourjourneytoaddilyn.blogspot.com
Mike and Beth were high school sweet hearts and have been married for 9 years. They have three girls – Leah (7), Lydia (5), and Lucy (almost 2). Mike just started working at DOT, and Beth stays home while also taking photos/knitting/beach body coaching/providing childcare for a friend a few days a week. She’s not good at sitting still. Mike and Beth have talked about adoption for pretty much their entire relationship.
Special needs adults and children have been close to Beth’s heart for most of her life. Her mom owned an assisted living home for people with various mental/physical/emotional differences her whole life.
Special needs CHILDREN became close to her heart when she started a daycare and one of her first/favorite children was Sasha. She has spina bifida but that doesn’t even come close to defining her. It is an afterthought. She is one of the best kids Beth has ever, ever had the privilege to know. Beth can’t wait to see what amazing things she does in her life.
Adopting didn’t become a serious discussion until a few months ago when a family started coming to our church. The family has three little girls – RayLee, who has Down Syndrome, Sophie, and Mila, who was adopted from the Eastern Europe two years ago and who also has Down Syndrome. The family used Reece’s Rainbow to raise funds for their special-needs adoption.
The Family are back-of-the-church people with us (unruly children 😉 ), so we got to watch them interact with all three girls several times. Beth had met the mama and RayLee years before when their girls had a dance class together. Beth somehow knew she wasn’t done with their family! One day as our family were sitting in mass, Mike leaned over to Beth and asked her if she thought it would be okay if they just stole Mila because she was being adorable and flirting with him. After that, things started happening. Amazing things. Good things. God things.
Mike and Beth started talking about adopting a special needs child. But could they afford it? Was it even a possibility for their family? They decided to pray.
Mike told Beth he wanted to get a job with great insurance before they got too serious about adopting. They prayed a lot, and a couple weeks later, Mike got a job at DOT Foods.
Then they prayed some more. They decided to talk to the family from church and see how their process went, what it was like to raise a child with down syndrome, how they managed to raise enough money to adopt, etc. Mike and Beth stayed at their house for an embarrassing amount of time. That was a Saturday.
The next day at Mass, this was the gospel:
Dearest brothers and sisters: All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
As soon as this was over Beth turned around and looked at Jill (the mama), who was holding Mila. Mila held her arms out to Beth and let her hold her for a minute before she tapped Mike on the shoulder and wanted him to hold her.
If that weren’t enough, a few days later, Mike was looking for a generator part for work. He put the number in and nothing came up so he clicked on “images”. There was nothing about a generator on the page. Only several photos of an orphanage with a photo of a cross right in the middle! That was when Beth and Mike decided to adopt for sure. They and their girls have been working to bring home baby ever since!
12/17/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
“When are we coming back?” was the question a husband asked his wife as they completed their first adoption of two girls from a rural region in Eastern Europe. Two beautiful children, perfectly created with Down syndrome had opened their eyes and hearts to adoption. The trip hadn’t been picturesque. The rural region got dark at 3:30 PM in the depths of winter, and their four bio kids at home missed them terribly. But in the end, the memory of that moment lingered, their connection to the children they were leaving behind as their daughters left their old lives in the orphanage.
The little ones soon became vivacious, loving, and beloved additions to the family. The realities of the adoption process seemed so much more doable now that they allowed themselves to believe that it truly did bring children home. And although the house is a little fuller now, the family, who has stayed active in the HHA community, began to ask themselves if this was the time to answer the question the husband had asked more than two years ago on the steps to the orphanage.
When the mom and dad saw this child’s picture again online, this time they saw their child. They knew the mountain they were agreeing to climb. They knew they could make it happen, so that mom and dad said yes, “now is the time.” Because for a little child who has spent their whole life waiting, the only time they knows is now and then. But soon, the child they hope to call theirs will learn for the first time what it means to look forward to life, to a future, to a family.
Though this family needs to commit anonymously for now, they are so grateful for any support offered in faith for this adoption.
9/20/15— HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at
Adoption is the common “red thread” that has been woven through the fabric of Steve and Katie Goar’s life. They’ve been married 23 years and have been on numerous mission trips, visiting orphanages and doing community work. They even spent their 20th wedding anniversary in Honduras staying at an orphanage, digging a well, and doing general service work. Their love for each other, willingness to embrace adventure, and tolerance for dwelling among scorpions made their 20th anniversary most unique, but perfect for them. Their connection with adoption started long before marriage. Steve is an adoptee and a life-long advocate for the beautiful life opportunity of adoption. It wasn’t until after the birth of their fourth child, Bode Chai, when they started to realize their role was evolving from advocacy into participation. Bode was born with Down syndrome, and after being confronted with this information one day after his birth, the family was ushered into a world of new information, new medical acronyms, and the welcoming arms of the special needs community. The thread that started to bring the tapestry into view was Katie traveling to Asia with their 12 year old son, Asher. They were part of a team preparing adoption file assessments. Returning from the trip, pulling into the driveway, and not even having feet on the ground, Asher turned to his parents and said, “I believe we should adopt”. For several months, the family’s eyes began to widen even more. The point came when advocacy, contributing, and prayers were no longer enough, and it was time to respond. The love story of Steve’s own adoption, the divine message of Bode’s special chromosome, and the imprint of Asia, all converged and inked their hearts with the faith and passion to find June. A little six year old girl with Down syndrome, waiting for a forever family.
In the fall of 2015, Elizabeth saw precious “Heavenleigh” – a tiny, spunky five year old girl rocking her extra chromosome. Although this was not the path she planned, she knew it was time to say “yes.” Elizabeth raced to bring her fragile daughter home. On November 9, 2015, “Heavenleigh,” named Wren by her mama, went home to Jesus.
Throughout the sorrow and heartbreak of losing this precious daughter, Elizabeth is so thankful for the hard yes. Because of Wren, Elizabeth was prepared to open her doors and heart to another precious gift – this time, a son.
Elizabeth cannot wait to bring home Wren’s big brother! He has waited so long for snuggles and love and medical care, and of course, a family of his own.
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey!
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. Isaiah 1:17
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at spreadlovelikeglitter.blogspot.com