Joe and Hannah are specifically hoping to adopt a child with special-needs. Their youngest child has several special-needs of his own, including prematurity (born at 26 weeks) and Down Syndrome. They have already learned so much through caring for their son, who is now 4 years old, and therefore feel as though they are equipped to take on the responsibility of caring for another special little blessing. Joe and Hannah also have a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son.
Both of them want to add to their family. They had talked about adoption before they even had biological children, so they knew it was always something they wanted to do. They had always dreamed of having a large family and when they realized Hannah would no longer be able to have more biological children (Hannah had to have an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 23), they knew that we were meant to adopt! They love kids and feel as though their family is not yet complete. Adoption is the perfect option for them! They have the space, the time, the desire, and most importantly, the love to give. Adoption has become a passion and a calling for their family.
Many people have asked Joe and Hannah “why are you choosing to adopt?” To them, the reason is simple – because their hearts are telling them to!
Joe and Hannah have open hearts and arms and look forward to adding an addition to their family.
11/9/15—STILL WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thentherewas6.blogspot.com
Mark and Mary have been married for 25 years and have 5 children, the last of which was adopted from China in 2013. They are in the process of preparing their dossier to bring sweet Linny home. Mark is a patient, stay-at-home dad, who provides care for the three remaining children at home. He has a history of Traumatic Brain Injury and leads an independent life including coaching baseball and basketball. His experience with therapeutic interventions will help him to be his daughter’s biggest cheerleader and support as she makes progress toward independence. Mary is a practicing Speech Language Pathologist who will assist their precious daughter to the highest level of communication independence. Mark and Mary look forward to bringing Linny home as soon as possible. Please help with your thoughts, prayers and support to bring sweet Linny home. She has waited way too long.
11/23/15—HOPE TO TRAVEL IN JANUARY 2016
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at markandmaryaske.blogspot.com
Eric and Jasmine met in high school and quickly became close friends. After two years their friendship blossomed into a relationship and the couple was happily married in 2007. Adoption had always been on their hearts, and more recently special needs adoption. The family is blessed to have Jasmine working as a full time homeschooling mom and Eric works from home 4 days a week so taking children to appointments is much easier to manage. They currently have 4 children with at home, a son (7) and daughter (4) born in Ethiopia, a daughter (5) born in Utah and a daughter (2) born in Hong Kong.
After having read through many of the child profiles, Eric and Jasmine felt God leading them to adopt again. Over their last 4 adoptions they have learned to trust more and more in God’s leading and are taking a leap of faith as they pursue adopting an older child. They are looking forward to adventure God has in store for their family!
10/20/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at countitalljs.blogspot.com
We have two beautiful homegrown girls and last year we were blessed to add our son Hironari to our family from Japan. We call him Hiro, and he truly is our little hero! He has come SO far in the year that he’s been home with us and we are so thankful God chose us to be his forever family! When he came home I mentioned in passing to our agency that if another baby with Down syndrome ever came available for adoption to please let us know because we’d love for Hiro to have someone to grow up with. Never did we think that call would come so soon. In June we were contacted about a baby who needed a family and quickly… she came home to us at the beginning of August and we were all so in love. She was pure perfection. We had her for 24 very short hours when we received the call that her birth mother had changed her mind and had decided to parent. When we brought her back a strong storm hit our area and the rain flooded the streets. The rain felt so fitting for the sadness that poured from our hearts and out of our eyes. We knew that the heavens were crying out, but as we started the drive home the rains stopped and a rainbow crossed the sky. God’s promise. We were and continue to be heart broken for the baby we prepared for. She will always hold a place in our hearts that no other child will fill. She was ours and we were hers. Just as before, we knew that there was a child out there waiting that needed us. So when a friend sent me a picture of the most beautiful baby boy my heart leapt. We prayed together about adding him to our family and the answer was yes. He will be ours and we can’t wait to welcome him into our waiting arms. Hold tight baby boy… Mommy and Daddy are coming!
10/19/15—FINAL TRIP in NOVEMBER
Doug and Jackie have been married 31 years and have been blessed with four children, two adopted and two biological, and one grandson. They live in a rural community in Southern Ohio where they are active in their church and community. They live a simple life that revolves around faith, family and friends. Doug and Jackie have continued to feel a desire to add more children to their family even though they were older than the traditional adopting parents. They felt that God was preparing them for an exciting adventure. After being asked to accompany a friend on two pick-up trips, Doug and Jackie felt even more strongly that more children were in their future and were praying for God’s guidance. When they saw Reed’s profile on Reece’s Rainbow they knew that this was the child that God had for them. They anxiously await their journey to meet the child that God is giving them.
10/22/15—FINAL TRIP NOVEMBER 10
Once upon a time, in the wild land of Montana, there lived a young boy named Chad. He grew up with two brothers and loved playing sports and exploring the mountains around his home. There also lived a young lady named Whitney who grew up in the land of Kansas, far far away. Growing up among the wheat fields, she played sports along with her brother and sister and helped around the house. Little did Chad and Whitney know, God had a very special plan in store for them.
Among many other pursuits, each of them learned to throw the javelin. Each having shown a talent for the sport, a college recruiter named Robert whisked them off to the exotic land of California where they met for the first time. Competing together for the track team, they fell in love and were married in September 2000.
They had many adventures together over the next years and moved to the land of Oklahoma, where they decided to start a family of their own. They were blessed with a son, Finley (now 6) and a daughter, Delaney (now 4) before moving again. They settled in the land of Missouri, a short journey to the east of her home land.
It was at this time that God started to open their eyes to the very special path that he had in store for them. He blessed them with another son, Grady (now 2). Now Grady would prove to change the course of their lives forever. He opened their eyes to a world that had been around them all along, but they had never truly seen. Grady, you see, had Down Syndrome. Grady, and this newly discovered world brought untold treasures and blessings into their lives. But God was not finished yet.
Over the next years, God opened their eyes to lands across the vast oceans that had countless children like Grady, that were without families. They were not seen as another of God’s precious children, but as outcasts. As mistakes that were not worthy of love and were to be discarded to the edges of society. But what Chad and Whitney saw were thousands of amazing children who had been made in God’s image, with his loving hand crafting each of them just as he meant them to be. Children, whose potential and gifts could be unlocked through simply giving them the loving family that they so desperately wanted and deserved.
One little girl touched their hearts and they knew that God was calling them to travel across the ocean to a far off eastern European country and bring her home as their daughter. They knew they couldn’t help all of the children, but they could give this one child a life and allow her to become who God had created her to be. But the ruler of this distant land would not allow them to come. They were heartbroken and pray to this day for the situation to be put right.
Time passed and Whitney continued to watch the children on Reece’s Rainbow, wondering when the time would be right. After being blessed with another son, Kelby (now 8 weeks), the day came when they knew. They saw another little girl, Francine. God gave them a peace that day, for she was the one that was meant for them. For that moment, all of the excuses, hesitation, and fear melted away and they knew that the time had come. God was calling them down this path, and they had faith that He would provide the strength, wisdom, courage and endurance to meet the challenges and obstacles to come. Only God knows what is to come for their family, but as this beautiful journey unfolds, they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
10/22/15—AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL & FINAL TRAVEL DATES
Andrea and Jesse met and fell in love on a co-ed soccer team in 2004, he was great & she was not, but they’ve been teammates ever since. Jesse works in Property Management & is the Worship Leader at their church. Andrea stays at home with their son, Jackson (adopted), and any foster children they may be loving on at the time. While serving the homeless in their city the DeBoer’s became increasingly aware that most of the people they met on the streets came from broken homes or were lacking family. The DeBoer’s both come from large families & love family life, they recognize their adoption by God is the single most significant part of their heritages, and they realized that extending their family through adoption and foster care was one way they could stand in the gap between brokenness & life on the streets. Andrea and a friend came across Reece’s Rainbow, saw one beautiful smile that stood out in particular, and was heartbroken over the plight of orphans and orphans with special needs. The DeBoer’s had no intention of adopting internationally but continued to learn more about the orphan crisis. In the time since, they became licensed foster parents & adopted Jackson. In 2013 Andrea saw a face on social media that looked familiar, went back to RR & sure enough it was that same little boy. She asked, Jesse said ‘Yes!’ and they began the adventure to bring Jaeger home to their family!
The journey is long & complicated, and the costs are high, but the DeBoers know that these boys are worth it! They would be grateful for your support, either financially or through prayer, as they go after their little men.
UPDATE: Jaeger has been adopted domestically, so the DeBoer’s will be bringing home Kjellsen and Robby!
11/20/15—WAITING FOR TRAVEL DATES
Jeff and Shanda got a bit of a non-traditional start. When Jeff and Shanda met, Shanda was a divorced single mom of two boys. They quickly merged into one tight knit family though, and were thrilled to soon celebrate the birth of a little girl. A few months after the princess joined their family, they realized she wasn’t developing at the typical speed and began seeking answers. The princess was soon diagnosed with Chromosome 15q Duplication Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Not long after that, their family expanded again, this time with the addition of an 8 yr old through kinship foster care. They were later blessed to adopt this sweet boy, who fit perfectly into their family from day one. But God wasn’t done – Jeff and Shanda then welcomed the newest addition to their family – a sweet baby boy was born in December 2012! Their family now has 4 boys, ages 15, 12, 11, & 1, and one sweet little 3 year old girl. Their family was complete – so they thought. One day they read an article about the plight of special needs kids in other countries. Their eyes were opened and their hearts were broken. Children just like their sweet princess, routinely abandoned to spend their lives in institutions. The magnitude of that injustice was beyond their comprehension. Their journey parenting a special needs child and also adopting had taught them many things. It brought their family closer together, it made them stronger. It made them realize that the important things in life are smiles and love, not IQ and test scores. They learned that every child brings pride and joy and blessings, regardless of a diagnosis or a biological connection. As a family who had seen first hand the blessings of both adoption and special needs, they had to do something. So, they prayed. They knew that it was their job as Christians to join the fight against this injustice. So they prayed about how. And soon God gave them an answer – their part is to adopt. So they made plans to adopt. Someday. But God changed that plan when they ran across a picture of sweet Antoinette! They took some time and prayed over it, and God confirmed that she is their child. God has already begun moving mountains – after a long search, they recently bought a big house that could easily accommodate another child. The purchase of the house has depleted much of their savings and made the process of adopting at this time very daunting. But God promised – if they just said “yes”, that He would provide. So they enter into this adoption completely on faith that God will move the mountains and they will soon bring home another sweet little princess.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog 15milesfromnowhere.blogspot.com
Christie and Raymundo met in June 2000 while they were both living in Hilton Head, SC. It was a chance meeting that changed their lives forever! Two people who probably would have passed each other on the street and not given it a second thought, were now on a path that neither would have predicted. Raymundo (Mundo) was born in Mexico and always had a passion for learning English and traveling to the United States. When the opportunity arose to come to the US, he seized it! The hardest part of the trip was leaving his family. However, they were (and still are) very supportive of his dreams and urged him to go. Christie is also from a loving family and, at the time had been moving around the country working for Marriott. Skip ahead almost 14 years later – Christie and Mundo have been married for 11 years and have biological daughter named Laura. Laura is 7 years old and in the 1st grade. Christie now works for the public school system in Savannah, GA as a special education teacher and Mundo works within the hospitality industry. They had been thinking of expanding their family for several years, but wanted to do it through adoption. They both felt that there were too many children who were already here in this world that needed a home and a mom and dad to call their own. They thought of fostering to adopt and made several attempts through the local social services, but it just wasn’t the right time or place. In September, Christie welcomed a new student into her classroom who had been recently adopted from Ukraine. After getting to know his family and learning about the conditions that children with disabilities face and the grim outlook for their future if not adopted, Christie felt the calling to find a child for she and Mundo. Upon finding Reece’s Rainbow and searching for children with Down Syndrome, Christie and Mundo found Evan! After much discussion, tears, and prayer, Christie and Mundo made that first step to bring Evan home to live with them. Their daughter, Laura, is beside herself with excitement and cannot wait to be a big sister! Every day she talks about the things that she is going to teach Evan to do. The Orta’s believe that they were led to Evan and that God is calling them to adopt this sweet boy into their family. Many fund-raisers have taken place with LOTS of support from friends, family, and the community! They have loved getting updates on his progress and seeing his pictures as he has grown the past several months. However, no update or picture could ever take the place of holding your child in your arms. They are anxiously waiting for the day when they can board the airplane to bring their son home.
10/19/15—USCIS APPROVED, WAITING FOR FINAL TRAVEL DATES
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at evan4theortas.weebly.com
Stephani has always wanted to be a mother. Since she was a little girl, she knew she would have a big family and at least some of her children would arrive through adoption. She thought her family was going to be starting in 2009, when she found out she was pregnant. Sadly, God had other plans and her daughter Emma was stillborn.
Stephani found Reece’s Rainbow in 2011, through a friend that was adopting, she would spend hours looking at the children, reading their stories, hoping that soon, the time would be right to adopt. In late 2013, Stephani started the process to adopt a little girl from Eastern Europe who had Down syndrome. Unfortunately, a month after her dossier was submitted, she learned that another family had officially committed to adopting this little girl. Despite this, Stephani is still determined to complete the process.
Stephani was raised by a single parent and understands the struggles that lie ahead but knows that with God’s blessing and the love and support of her family, she is ready to provide this child with a bright and happy future.
A sincere thank you to everyone for your prayers and financial support.
11/23/15—FINAL TRIP NOVEMBER 28
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at snowandhotcocoa.blogspot.com
Alison is a single Registered Nurse. She has always dreamed of having children, but has not been so blessed. Alison has worked with children and adults with special needs in the past, including Down syndrome, and has always enjoyed it. One night, she had a dream that she and her sister were looking at a website of children for adoption with Down syndrome. When she woke, she did a search on her computer, and found Reece’s Rainbow. After years of looking at the site, and much encouragement from family and friends, she decided to give it a try! There have been many roadblocks in the process, but she has finally fallen in love with the little girl she feels was meant to be her daughter!
9/8/15—TRAVELING SEPTEMBER 13
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.lorialicat.blogspot.com