These families are in country now…meeting their child for the first time as a result of your life-saving donations
These families are in country now…meeting their child for the first time as a result of your life-saving donations
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
4/16/2021 — AWAITING COURT
Lacy has received a $2000 grant!
The Lewandowski family are in the process of adopting an aged-out boy – or two – from Eastern Europe.
Kevin and Natalia met online. Both grew up in totally different communities, totally different surroundings, and totally different countries. Kevin was raised in family-oriented Polish community and has always seen his own role as a person who is supporting strong family bonds.
Growing up in a Ukrainian blue-collar family, Natalia always had a heart for those who were in need. Living and volunteering in Ukraine and the USA for multiple church and community services gave her opportunities to reach out to those who were living below the poverty level such as the elderly and people with disabilities. There was something special about Ukrainian orphans though that was always on her mind over the past 2 decades: orphanages are meant to provide shelter, clothes, and basic nutrition, but cannot ever be a substitute for real FAMILY.
Kevin and Natalia hosted a 16-year-old boy during the summer of 2019. It was not an easy summer, but it gave them a chance to feel an orphan’s emotional pain and trauma. Kevin and Natalia understand that it may take a lifetime to help their son learn to cope with the physical and emotional trauma caused by institutional and parental neglect. The other boy they are considering was also hosted but his family, after deciding to adopt, was not able to proceed. Other families that had been interested in this boy assumed he was being adopted, and by the time the family discovered they could not proceed, it was too late for another family to do anything because he had aged out.
Raising funds for a teenager’s adoption is not easy task, but both Natalia and Kevin strongly believe that they were called for this adoption and God will provide by using people’s hearts and hands. Please consider teaming up with this family in this financial challenge that will change ONE orphan’s life, or maybe even TWO.
5/17/2021 — APPT DATE RECEIVED
Samuel and Leslie Briscoe both hail from the great state of TN. They met while attending Tennessee Technological University, and they have now been married for six years. While dating, Sam expressed his desire to adopt a child due to his youngest sister being adopted from China. Through his own family’s experience, he had seen first hand the love and joy that comes through adoption, and he had always desired to give a child the same kind of love that his parents gave to his sister.
Four years after being married, the Briscoe’s were blessed with a beautiful biological daughter in August of 2017. Shortly thereafter, they felt impressed by God to start the adoption process for a child. They had not planned on adopting at this time, but the impression was so strong from God, that they knew there was a child waiting for them. They felt excited and nervous about the prospect of bringing a child into their family through adoption, but they could not deny that this is what the Lord wanted them to do.
At the time they began the process of adopting a child, they had not considered adopting a child with Down syndrome. On the second day of looking at referrals of waiting children, they were sent the file of a little boy with Down syndrome. Independently they both knew that the boy was their child. However, that did not make the decision easy. Even though there were times of uncertainty, the Lord gave them glimpses of the love that they would have for him as well as the joy that he would bring into their family. After several weeks of praying and fasting they accepted that all children are entitled to be reared by a father and a mother, and that he belonged in their family.
They are very excited to bring their little boy home, and they can’t wait to officially add him to their family. Their daughter loves to kiss pictures of the baby, and asks to watch his video. They would like to thank those who have taken the time to read their story, and they truly appreciate any and all assistance whether it is through prayer or financial support.
The Briscoe family has truly been humbled by this experience, but they know God will support and uplift them as they do his work.
4/5/2021 — TRAVELING in APRIL
Hi My name is Denise. I am in the process of adopting sweet little Lazar. The Lord has been leading me to him and I would like to share how. I grew up in a large family, so there were always babies and little ones around. At even such a young age, I knew I was designed and created to be a mother. Fast forward to my first marriage and we immediately began trying. We were overjoyed at the news we were going to be parents, and yet soon after we were faced with the news of our first loss. We tried and tried again to discover that my body was not going to allow pregnancy. A journey of infertility and loss and we drifted apart. I discovered a passion in the kitchens in fine dining restaurants and eventually found love again. The love of my life. He was aware of my infertility and confidently assured me we would become parents through adoption. Somewhere in the midst of it all I had a health scare where a trip to the emergency room and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure turned out to be a severe case of preeclampsia with this 29 week pregnancy I new nothing of!!! That evening, I gave birth to my miracle boy Caleb. He was 2 pounds 11/12 ounces and born a fighter and Champion for the Lord! He is now 7 years old. He is a cerebral palsy warrior and the joy of my life. My husband fought depression all through his life and ultimately lost his battle to suicide years after Caleb’s birth.
It was after losing him, I felt the call to adoption. I was drawn to a younger boy with Down syndrome. It was one of the many “one day I’ll…” Meanwhile I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Caleb and I were thriving and I started to dabble in dating. And that brought me to one of the most amazing blessings of my life. I got pregnant again. Yes the woman who couldn’t get pregnant had beat the odds twice, At least this pregnancy I was aware I was pregnant! I learned in utero he had a diagnosis of down syndrome. I also learned there was something wrong as he had no stomach bubble. I carried my sweet boy to term and had a vaginal birth. He was whisked off to the NICU right away and we discovered he was born with Esophageal Atresia and also discovered he had Hirschprung’s disease. The NICU was our home for the next 8 ½ months. He had his repair at 6 months and fought for his life to come home. We were able to enjoy several months at home with him, until he was called home to the Lord after his procedure. I was so overwhelmed at how everyone came together to bless Caleb and I. As the donations grew and grew I knew immediately in my heart what I needed to do. Go….. Adopt…. Love….. bless this little boy that I was led to. I have no idea why God needed Sebastian more than I do. I may never know. Sebastian showed me I could do the hard things. I have the room and the equipment and the space and the toys and the books and the love and the family to offer this little one. Caleb is soaring. He has begun to pull up to stand on his own. He is finding his balance on his own. I am so excited to bring this little boy home and provide a home full of love and joy.
8/31/2021 — COURT PASSED! AWAITING TRIP HOME
Hi! We are Jonathan and Melissa Pfenninger. We have two beautiful daughters named Ivy (4) and Elliott (2) and are in the process to bring home a third!
We did not start out the adoption process in your typical way. While very open to adoption, our plans were always to build our family through biological kids, begin being foster parents, and adopting later on. Of course, our plans often don’t go according to plan and ours changed in November 2019 when we first laid eyes on a girl while scrolling through social media. This little girl caught our attention not only because she needed a family but also because she has a medical condition we are very familiar with. She has Turner Syndrome (TS) which just happens to be the same diagnosis our oldest daughter Ivy has as well. TS is very rare, with only 1-2% of babies making it to birth. We both joked that we should adopt her and kept on scrolling as we normally do.
A week later, out of the blue, we both brought up to each other “the little girl with TS” who we just couldn’t get off our minds. We began to talk and pray seriously about what we could and should do. We both felt God calling us to make a move, whatever that may be. We talked about how, while not ideal timing, God had given us all the resources to be able to adopt. How could we know about her and not do anything? So we took a leap of faith and started the adoption process. We were still not 100% sure this is what God had in store for us but we believed that if this was the path we were supposed to take, it would be made known.
A couple months later, we thought we got our answer when another family was chosen to adopt Ivey instead of us. While we were sad and disappointed, we came to the conclusion that what we wanted for Ivey was to be loved and cared for and whether it was us or another family, she would be and we could be content in that. We talked about what to do now that we had started this process and we decided to make sure that we had everything in order so that if something happened and Ivey needed another family to love her, we would be ready.
Almost 10 months later we got a call that we were not expecting. Our agency was on the phone asking if we were still open to adopting Ivey! Almost immediately, we said yes. We had been praying for this little girl for almost a year now and have been loving her from afar. And now we were beginning to see God’s plan fall into place for her- us! There are so many emotions that go into an adoption but the resounding one is an overwhelming feeling of love for a little girl we haven’t even gotten to meet yet. We are excited (and nervous!) to embark on this adventure but cannot wait to see what God has in store for our family.
8/24/2021 — AWAITING FINAL TRIP
Carly is an elementary school nurse in Fort Worth, TX. Her adoption journey officially began in July 2020, but really started back when she was 19 years old. The summer of her sophomore year of college, a good friend of hers invited her to work at Charis Hills Camp- a small camp in Sunset, TX for children with autism and ADHD. That summer for her was completely lifechanging, as she saw the incredible way the Lord loves and pursues all of His children. She decided then that she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to children with special needs. During her time in nursing school, she provided respite for one of the camper’s families who lived in her same city, and then returned to camp the next summer. After graduating with her nursing degree, Carly moved to Virginia to continue her life’s passion. She began working at Jill’s House in Vienna, Virginia- an overnight respite care facility for children with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or other special needs. Her time here was invaluable, as she was able to work with hundreds of children with varying disabilities. She gained invaluable experience working with children who were medically fragile as well. Carly moved back to Austin in 2017, working remotely for Jill’s House camps. During this time, she also began providing in home respite care for a young boy with physical and developmental disabilities. She was able to see what day to day life looks like when you have a child with disabilities- from therapies, to doctor visits, to just hanging out at the house. She is so incredibly thankful for this time in her life.
It was during this time, that she first saw the profile of the child that she now in the process of adopting. She had been following Reece’s Rainbow on social media for a while, because she followed along with many of the family’s stories as they adopted and brought their children home. However, in 2017, when this child’s profile came up, she knew something was different. She was too young at the time to be able to pursue adoption, so she felt there was nothing she could do about it. A year later, the child was still on her mind. She set an alarm on her phone every day for 11:30am and titled it the child’s RR name. She began to pray for him every day at this time that he would find a family. She moved back to Fort Worth in August of 2019. It hit her that after 2 years of praying that this child would find a home, that he was still waiting. It was during this time that she realized that she may have been praying for her SON this entire time. After a lot of reflection, prayer, and seeking counsel from others, she knew it was time to take that next step. When she told her family and friends that she was hoping to begin the process soon, she was met with incredible support. She is now working hard to bring him home!
Carly is so thankful for the journey that led her here. She believes everything in her life has been preparing her for this, and she’s excited to become a first-time mom.
9/7/2021 — COURT in SEPTEMBER
Vinny has received a $2000 grant.
I am happy to introduce you to the Umstead family. They are a family of 11! Tom and Heather have 4 biological children who are all adults. Tom, along with his brother-in-law, father-in-law and son, own their own business where they cut trees and sell the timber. Heather stays at home with the kids and grandkids and cares for the home duties.
The Umsteads had their children young and were just reaching the time in life where things were starting to slow down, and they were looking forward to more time with each other and possibly some traveling. About that time, they began to feel a nudge from God to be completely surrendered to Him. They wanted to give their lives back to God so He could use them as a blessing to others. That is when adoption was placed on their hearts. Not just adoption but they researched and found the greatest need was children with Down syndrome. Asia in particular had a great number of boys with Down syndrome in orphanages.
Enter their 4th son, Samuel! Samuel was adopted in 2017; he was 3 when the Umstead’s brought him home. He has Down syndrome and an extra surprise of Autism. Samuel fit into their family like only God could do. Autism was not a disability they thought they were open to, but they would not change a thing about Samuel. They were over the moon about Samuel and did not plan on a return trip to Asia. However, during the visit to the orphanage, Tom met Joy (formerly Caroline on RR). Joy shared a crib with Samuel, and they lived in that small space together for 3 years. So as soon as they returned to the US they began advocating for Joy. When their year was up, and no one submitted for Joy they knew they had to go back for her. Joy came home in 2019. Joy rocked the extra chromosome along with a heart defect that eventually will need another surgery, but you would never know! Joy is amazing! She is such a quick learner and is thriving in her new family.
Prior to adopting Joy, the Umstead’s learned of a little guy in the same orphanage as their children. His name is Auden, and they were drawn to him. During the visit at the orphanage when adopting Joy, they asked to see and spend time with Auden. They were able to see him but were not given permission to interact with him. Auden was not doing well. They committed at that moment to return for him as soon as possible. They spoke with friends and were able to get Auden out of the orphanage and into a healing home until they would be permitted to return for him.
That takes us to today. The Umstead’s have submitted their dossier and they are just waiting for the travel suspension to be lifted so they can make their final trip to bring home their last son, who will be named Moses John. Along with your financial support (because fundraising is hard with Samuel and Joy) they would appreciate your prayers.
3/16/2021 — AWAITING TRAVEL
Here is the Vierstra family! Kendall and Christinna recently adopted a wonderful little girl named Milana Grace (known as Dolly on Reece’s Rainbow). She has brought so much joy into our new home and has developed into a bright and loving little girl! Christinna has been working with Milana with physical therapy and she is getting stronger and more mobile every day.
Now Milana would love to have a little sister! She is also a special needs child from Eastern Europe who deserves to have a loving family. Please help them bring their little girl home. God bless you for being a great part in their journey!
9/7/2021 — COURT PASSED for BOTH!
Brian and Patrice met in 2009 shortly after Patrice moved to the area for her work with the federal government and the rest, as they say, is history. They were married by 2012 and are now the parents to three awesome kids: Gwen (age 6), Noel (age 4) and Jack (age 2) and one scruffy little dog named Scrapple.
Professionally, Brian is an elementary music teacher at an underprivileged school in Camden, NJ and Patrice is a Technical Expert for the Social Security Administration. However, what the couple really loves is being parents. The kids are never bored at the Gannon house – from guitar sing alongs with Daddy to sleepovers and designer pancake breakfasts with Mommy, there is never a dull moment. Game nights are a regular occurrence and small trips camping and to the beach are family traditions.
Although this is their first adoption, Brian and Patrice are both professionally experienced with special needs children and, in December 2018, received a diagnosis for their own oldest child. Gwen has always had trouble walking stairs and was thought to be simply less coordinated. It was not until her little sister began to eclipse her physical milestones that the family began to take notice. Gwen was formally evaluated for muscle weakness in kindergarten and, in a very quick turn of events, was referred to her pediatrician who stated that Gwen likely had terminal Muscular Dystrophy. This was a very challenging time for the Gannons. Priorities and purpose began to come into focus, and parent was right at the top. While ultimately, Gwen’s diagnosis was downgraded to a less severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, their urge to help other children stuck around. Patrice has always been an adoption advocate and has volunteered with foster kids for many years. Little did they know, they would soon see a picture of a boy who felt like their son. And so, their adoption journey began.
8/2/2021 — AWAITING FINAL TRIP
Donnie has received a $2000 country specific grant!
Donnie has received a $5,386.93 Waiting Child Grant.
We (Brion and Jenn) have been part of the adoption community for most of our lives. Brion’s family, including his father, aunts, and uncles, as well as niece and nephew were adopted. Before Jenn met Brion, she spent many years working with organizations that supported orphans and community health in Vietnam, China, Mexico, and Honduras. Adoption has always been a plan for our families for both Brion and Jenn, even before they met. We believe family is the greatest gift a person can give to another. We have put our family first in all we have done in life and we have been blessed in return with the most amazing children. We cannot imagine life any other way (even if it meant it was easier). We adopted three of our five children. Adoption has been an amazing experience for our entire family. Our last two children, Michael and Emily were adopted together from China two years ago. Their journey home has brought us closer than ever as a family. Throughout this journey, we connected with many families and orphaned children. The connections and the experiences we have had with adoption have motivated us to pursue adoption again. We believe all children belong in families. And we have decided to pursue adoption as the way to further expand our family. Down Syndrome adoption (which is what we are pursuing now) was a dream of ours since before we were married. Our adoption of Emily in 2018 and the connections we have made in the Down Syndrome community has inspired us to adopt our sixth child, who will also have Down Syndrome- or what we like to refer to as “FLAWLESS”.
Our formal adoption journey formally began in 2006 when we pursued the adoption of Olivia from Vietnam. Our journey to her was incredibly challenging, as Vietnam closed the adoption program in 2008. We were still able to bring Olivia home. When we discovered her traumatic brain injury, we felt peace knowing she was with her forever family. In 2017, we decided to grow our family again. We were well prepared with the requirements of raising children with exceptional needs and had the resources to provide for another child. Our initial plan was to adopt one child from China (Emily). After much prayer and consideration, we decided to adopt a second child with her (Michael). We brought both children home in March of 2018. In August of that year we learned Michael had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This diagnosis came as a shock to us, as we had no idea of this disease, and were devastated to learn the tragic path and terminal outcome. Through our grief and processing, we found ourselves in a place of peace and joy knowing that Michael would have a family who would love him forever and would care for him when his disease takes his mobility and eventually his life. Most people would probably find it sensible to stop growing their family at this point. After all, we have two children with diagnoses that we never imagined. But the truth is, Michael and Olivia affirmed our belief that a family supports, sustains, and loves no matter if… not matter what.
In 2019, we decided to continue our parenting journey with our present adoption. Our experiences with Down Syndrome adoption, the community, and our family structure has opened our family to adopt another child with Down Syndrome. We
have been matched with an almost 4-year-old girl with Down Syndrome. She also has a severe heart condition (due to congenital heart defects). When we saw her face on Reece’s Rainbow and heard the most precious giggle ever….we knew we found our daughter.
10/20/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL
Ross and Rachel were first introduced to international adoption, China specific, through Steven Curtis Chapman and his families’ journey of adoption. Ross and Rachel are both musicians and have always been inspired by Chapman and his music. What led them to their first consideration of international adoption was their struggle with infertility. At that time, they did not meet the adoption criteria so they continued to pray for the blessing of children. He answered, God blessed them with 2 wonderful children. Even as they had their first and second pregnancy, adoption was always something they desired to do.
Their son has Aspergers and Sensory Processing Disorder. They have had witnessed both trials and miracles through his disability. The valleys were tough, real tough…but the mountain views have been worth every moment of trial and hard work. Their son is now proactive and diligent in his academics making straight A’s, he is a respectful young man and has the kind of creativity one would only dream of having. Their daughter has the most beautiful pure heart of anyone they have ever known and has always friended the outcast due to her extreme passion for children with special needs. She has developed a new friendship with the little boy with trisomy 1 that Rachel babysat for 10 years through her high school/college years. With Ross and Rachel’s personal therapy experiences and with the heart of these two siblings, they thought it only appropriate to adopt a child with special needs. They are adopting Reeces Rainbow “Maura” who is 3 years old.
This family cannot wait to get their wildflower home! Due to all of her standing medical conditions, they are trying to set aside personal financial resources for post-adoption medical care while also fundraising and funding the adoption. They are looking forward to the day they hold her in their arms which is not too much longer away!
9/25/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
The Anglen family has met their $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing!
We are Jaime and Gary and we hope that our story can help you understand why we have chosen the wonderful yet difficult path of adoption. We are the parents to three internationally adopted children from China, Shawn 8, Ryan 5, and Robin 3. We are often asked why we chose to adopt internationally rather than have our own biological children. We answer them how Vernon Pierce, a pastor and foster parent, does. He describes the mirrors between adoption and Gods love. He says “I like to tell people that we were the people in the back of the filing cabinet with the red stamp saying: Do not adopt. You look at the file on humanity and it says: Prone to rejection, prone to running away, prone to disobedience. There is no reason why God should have loved us and yet God did love us. He set his love upon us and it was a redemptive love to reconcile us to himself, to restore us to himself and restoring a people to himself. We were meant to be part of the family of God. We fell away and God still brings us back to himself”. When we adopt, we willing to choose the “red stamps” of life; those who are hurt, both physically and emotionally. We as parents set our love upon them and watch as Gods redemptive and restorative power work through us to directly change our children. It’s a truly powerful and miraculous thing to watch. It is also why we believe that the most profound thing we can impart to our children is the love of Christ. While we set our love upon our children we also disciple them with this message, that it is only Jesus who can save and change a heart from the inside.
In 2012 we started our journey with the adoption of a 2-year-old boy, Shawn, born with a cleft lip/palate. We followed his adoption up with two others in 2016 and 2017. Ryan was adopted at 3 and was diagnosed with Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion causing intellectual disabilities, speech impairments, and ataxic muscle movements. Little Robin arrived home at the age of one. She was diagnosed with cleft lip/palate, a heart defect, and hearing loss. As with all institutionalized children, their early childhood trauma and fear manifests in various ways. We meet them where they are, set our love upon them and trust God to redeem and restore the broken, just as Christ does for us.
Each one of our children has their own individual stories. Yet, they all share a similar heritage and can relate to each other through their medical needs. While they recognize the others struggles or disabilities they don’t capitalize on them but overlook them; the abled helping the disabled, the better signer helping the non-verbal to communicate more effectively, playing as a sibling unit despite ability.
We are seeking to adopt Caleb, a 7-year-old with arthrogryposis. We had the privilege of speaking with Caleb’s American foster family and gaining insight into his personality. His foster parents describe Caleb as a peacemaker with a sweet personality. He tries to find ways to accomplish tasks on his own despite his physical disability. Caleb also lives with foster siblings that have a variety of needs, ranging from Trisomy 21, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Clefts. His foster parents feel that Caleb would thrive as a middle brother who could not only look up to his older brother but also be a helper to his younger siblings. Caleb is receiving excellent care at his healing home but cannot reach his full potential there. He has already had seven surgeries and will require several more to achieve greater range of motion in his extremities. We have a translated letter written by Caleb expressing his desire to be adopted. You can also hear the sadness in his voice as he feels overlooked while he watches all of his friends be adopted.
We are humbled that you have taken the time to read our profile and thank you as you consider donating to help us bring Caleb home!
11/19/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Tim (James) and Jennifer Hayden have been married for almost 5 years. Tim has 2 adult children from a previous marriage, and Jennifer has 4 children ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old. Jennifer is an RN who has worked with children with special needs since high school, and Tim has a natural gift with people that have extra challenges. One of Jennifer’s daughters was adopted from Uzbekistan 10 years ago and has taught this family a great deal about the world of special needs parenting. In fact, it was during her involvement in the Special Olympics that Tim and Jennifer fell in love with children and adults with Down Syndrome.
With all their children growing up, Tim and Jennifer felt that God was telling their hearts that they weren’t quite done with parenting. Out of a wish to give a child a family that needs one and also the desire to have the experience of raising a child together, they believe adoption is the best way to accomplish this. With Jennifer’s past experience with international adoption, and many friends in their church family coming from Asian heritage, adopting from China seemed a natural fit. After years of following Reece’s Rainbow’s ministry, they fell in love with LOUIS several months ago and prayed for him to be their son if it was God’s will. After many months of preparation, they have now been pre-approved for his adoption!
3/16/2021 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Louis has received a Waiting Child Grant of $15,100.00.
Kathy will be adding another aging out child to her family! She returned home in May of 2018 with an almost 16-year-old with Down syndrome from Armenia. She is now working to bring home another daughter with DS from East Asia. This precious one has been on the hearts and minds of a lot of people who love her and have prayed for her. She was hosted in the US in the summer of 2016 by a family who hoped to adopt her but were unfortunately denied due to rules changing in the country. Kathy is grateful for the knowledge, experience, and love the family provided to her while she was here, and continue to provide.
Kathy’s first hands-on experience with international adoption was when her daughter and granddaughter, also with DS, returned home in December 2015 from Armenia. Her daughter is also in the process of adding another little one with DS to the family! While following her daughter’s first adoption and the years since, Kathy has helped as many families as she could, financially and prayerfully. She has also advocated for many children in need of families. Reading story after story about the life altering effects of adoption – for the child and parents – has been an inspiration to her.
After reading about the conditions children who have aged out face, and knowing those children would never know the love of a family, she knew she needed to do more. For the last few months Kathy has been contemplating and praying on what more she could do to help these children. So she is excited to announce that she is once again crossing the ocean to adopt again before this girl ages out and loses the chance to live happily ever after knowing the love and joy of having a family!
Any prayers and support, financially or emotionally, are greatly appreciated during her adoption process!
11/19/2020 — LOA RECEIVED in MAY; AWAITING TRAVEL
Jonathan and Leanne have known each other for as long as they can remember and have loved each other for over half of their lives. They were high school sweethearts which mostly consisted of passing notes to each other at church. They impatiently waited until Leanne was in college before they were allowed to officially date/court each other. After several challenging yet wonderful years, Jonathan and Leanne were able to get married while Jonathan was in college at Texas A&M and Leanne was teaching at a local elementary school.
The summer after Jonathan’s graduation and commissioning into the US Air Force, Leanne gave birth to their oldest daughter, Emily. Soon after her birth, they moved to Germany, and Jonathan started work as a second lieutenant. After almost ten years married and seven years in the military, Jonathan and Leanne have three biological children: Emily (age 7), Michael (age 5), and Ellen (age 3). Through adoption, they hope to add to their family very soon!
They are an active military family who have been blessed with adventures all over the world including (but not limited to) Texas, Germany, Alaska, and New Mexico. In 2013, they began their adoption journey with several attempts (international and through the foster system). Each ended with God closing the door. During this time, God opened their hearts to becoming foster parents. They have been licensed foster parents in both Alaska and New Mexico. Right after they became licensed in New Mexico in June 2019, they found out that they qualified to adopt Daniel (an eight year old boy from China with Down syndrome) who they had already tried to adopt the previous year. After several heartbreaking months of thinking it would be impossible to adopt Daniel, God miraculously re-opened this door! They are so excited to finally be moving forward with this adoption! With only months to go, they don’t want finances to be what delays them from going to adopt him and bring him home. God has provided exactly what they need so far, and they are thankful that you are considering being part of Daniel’s amazing adoption story!
11/13/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
Nathan and Stephanie Faught have been married for eleven years and have five wonderful children- three biological and two born in their hearts. During their engagement, the Lord started drawing them to hurting children through a ministry that serves families in the inner city. With big hearts and an open door policy, Nate and Stephanie quickly began filling their home with children to love, both biological and through the inner city ministry. Within the first five years of their marriage, they were parents to three babies/toddlers, and a teen. Although it seemed crazy to many, the Lord was all in it! He was clearly leading them down a path unlike what they had planned. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us…”The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” From early on, they just wanted their steps ordered by Him.
In year 8 of their marriage, the Father brought them a handsome brave seven year old boy! What a gift this boy was to them. Amazingly, he is now their son. Many asked how they were able to take on so much, and their response always pointed others toward God. They continuously re-mind others that this journey of adding children to their family is His call on their lives. Adoption has come with it’s challenges; yet through the hard times, the Lord has always been faithful.
Fast forward to the following year… at a time when Nate and Stephanie just knew they couldn’t handle anymore changes in their lives… the Father placed a precious three year old girl into their laps. She came to them “just for respite”… two to four weeks max. God sure has a sense of humor because that little sweetness is now their daughter. AND… the most incredible part is that she has Down Syndrome. A special need the Faughts had never considered. In fact, they were quite intimidated by raising a special needs child…. BUT GOD… when they saw her picture… they did not see a child with Down Syndrome. They saw HER! She was a precious soul in need of love. They quickly learned that she was no different than the other children the Lord had brought them!
Adding her to their family has changed all of them in such a beautiful way! It’s one thing to read about the millions of orphans living in institutions and feel sad for them. But when someone be-comes mommy, daddy, or brother to one of those children, a true passion is developed. They’ve experienced first hand how being orphaned truly affects a child, and they all long to see each of these children find a forever family! The Faughts have also been shown the true value of these precious ones with special needs-specifically those with down syndrome. The Father showed them that while many have labeled these children a burden, they are truly one of His greatest treasures…fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.
This summer, a dear friend of theirs had an amazing opportunity to visit an orphanage in Asia to check on a handful of waiting children. The day she visited them, the whole Faught family was praying that each child would feel the Father’s love through her and that they would finally be found by their forever families. When the friend returned home, she posted pictures of the children she had met. Stephanie and her children sat at the table looking at their precious faces. When they came to a picture of a little girl with down syndrome dressed in yellow, their oldest son proclaimed, “Mom, that is our sister! Can we adopt her?” The other children quickly chimed in, “yes, mom, please!!!” Stephanie simply replied that they would just have to pray about it. When Nate returned home from work, he was met at the door with a picture of this sweet girl and begging little boys. He echoed Stephanie’s response that they just needed to pray. The brothers united together telling him that they pray for orphans all the time and they just knew this one was their sister. That week, they watched as their children prayed with such fervor. Nathan and Stephanie prayed too and the Lord confirmed that she was indeed their child! When Stephanie reached out to her friend to get some more information, her friend told her that the little girls advocacy name was “Stephanie”. She laughed out loud and thought to herself, “well, of course it is”.
The whole family is so excited to bring Stephanie home, hopefully early next year. They would love to see others join them on this journey, and they thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support!
Follow their journey on Instagram @bringinghomeveraellen or Facebook @ Bringing Home Vera Ellen.
9/28/2019 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
Dan and Tara Brooke are parents of four beautiful children. The oldest three were born biologically to the Brooke family, while their fourth, was born in their hearts. In 2016 the Brooke family was gifted with their youngest child, George, through adoption. Dan and Tara had felt a call to adopt, but didn’t know exactly what that meant until 2014 when they felt the call to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. George was an instant match to the Brooke family and has been such a tremendous gift to their lives. He has gifted them with more joy and love than they ever imagined. In late 2018 the Brooke’s felt a call again. They were unsure how they were going to make adoption work financially in their lives again, but knew that they were supposed to adopt once again. Early in 2019 they began that process. They have been matched to Zack Qi and are in the midst of dossier and immigration paperwork. They hope to travel late 2019 or early 2020 to bring Zack home to their family and make him a Brooke too! Zack is already a member of their family, the love is already there, they cannot wait to hold him, love him, and care for him.
9/28/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
Roderick and Melissa have been happily married for eight years and reside in a small town in Illinois with their five wonderful children Adeson (12), Emery (11), Jacob (9), Ella Grace (7) and Casey(5). Four of their five children were adopted internationally, two from China and two from Ethiopia. Rod and Melissa have been committed to adoption, and both they and their extended families have been foster parents, adoptive parents, and advocates for humanitarian and children’s rights. They are also parents to Melissa’s seven children from her first marriage of 17 years Brandon (34), Ryan (deceased), Alex (25), Matthew (23), Sara (20), Emily (17) and Antonio (17), Alex, and Antonio were also adopted, one at age eight and one at age four from Russia and Guatemala. They believe their family is their calling and feel blessed to have had the blessing of family and friends throughout their life journey.
The cost and process of international adoption, while intimidating they believe is far worth the journey. Rod and Melissa believe that completing their family through adoption is the right thing for them and are very excited about bringing home their new son who they found through Reece’s Rainbow, whom they will call Noah. If you can help them support their adoption journey, their family would be grateful.
You can also follow their journey at https://www.facebook.com/rockwellhopkinsfamily/
12/21/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES
The Rockwell-Hopkins family met their $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing!
Hi, we are the Cochran family, Mike, Grace, Natalie (5), and Jason (3). We are a military family stationed on the beautiful island of Okinawa. Mike is an EOD tech (explosive ordinance disposal) in the US Marine Corps. He has served 10 years and plans to retire. Grace is a stay at home homeschooling mama. We have been married for 9 years. We have had a heart for adoption for a very long time but it wasn’t until this year that we felt God telling us that it was our time. We took a leap of faith with a whole lot of nothing in our pocket back in June of this year. We watched God use what little we had and multiply it. Within a months’ time we had enough to fund our first payment and homestudy for our China adoption. In July Mike came home from deployment and we got to work. Within a month’s time we managed to compile our dossier and complete our homestudy (yes it is doable!) During that time frame I came across an advocacy post for this precious little girl with Down Syndrome. We knew she was the one! She will be 2 years old this October and shares the same birthday as her soon to be daddy. We hope to travel early next year. This journey has not been easy and we still have so far to go but every day is one step closer to her. We know that God has such amazing plans for her life, so much bigger and more beautiful than we can imagine. Thank you for the honor of sharing our story with you. Most importantly thank you for the prayers and support.
11/19/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
We are Galen & Yalonda Horst. We have been married 21 blessed years and God has touched our hearts and lives with 7 children; 4 biological children and 3 through the miracle of adoption. Our first 2 adoptions were from Guatemala and the last one was from China.
Adoption has touched our hearts and lives in a way that has changed us tremendously. We never dreamed, when we did our first 2 adoptions from Guatemala, that God would lead us to adopt a child from China who has Down Syndrome, but it has been another beautiful experience!
The transformation that Kyla has made in the past 2 years is nothing short of amazing! It was beautiful to see her personality unfold and come alive after coming to us as an unresponsive, shutdown, infant-like 2 year old. Now 2 years later she is hardly recognizable as the same child! She is so full of love, mischief, and humor!
So when another sweet little girl with Down Syndrome jumped off an advocacy page at us, we prayed fervently for an answer as to whether or not this was truly God calling us again. After much prayer, we felt God was telling us to step forward. So… we’re on our way to Asia again!
Our prayer for Kristi: “I pray that God would hold you in His arms until I can hold you in mine own!”
11/4/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
Greetings from the Wood Family! We are Brian, Kristen, Graysen, Emma Rae, and Blake and coming soon, a new daughter to be named Katie! We have been married for 10 wonderful years, and we have 3 amazing children. Brian is a student pastor at Point Harbor Church and Kristen is a Registered Nurse working in an elementary school.
Shortly after being married, we started talking about adoption and really felt a tug in our hearts early on specifically for China. About 4 years into our marriage, some friends of ours adopted their sweet girl from China and that started a ripple effect and we soon were surrounded with so many friends who said “YES” to their children in China. This only fueled our hearts more for China.
After we moved to VA, we were introduced to another family who has adopted 3 babies with Down Syndrome from China. Down Syndrome had never been on our radar, however, we fell absolutely in love with these amazing children. Although we always had a peace about China, God began to break our hearts specifically for children with Down Syndrome.
We were “introduced” to our daughter on Reece’s Rainbow site. Katie has Down Syndrome, CHD, and repaired VSD and PFO. She is an absolute doll and we cannot wait to have her in our arms. Katie will be 2 years old in July and we want to have her home as soon as we can. She has 3 siblings who are over the moon for her already and are so ready to have their sister home.
Please help our family to bring our daughter home! We plan to travel with our two oldest children, who are 11 and 9 yrs old. We greatly appreciate all prayers and financial support as we continue our adoption journey to complete our family!
9/28/2020 — TA RECEIVED in JANUARY; AWAITING TRAVEL
Brandon and Jessica have been happily married for 13 years and reside in a small West Texas with their four sweet children Beckett (11), Blaire (9), Brooklynn (8), and Beau (3). They have always believed that adoption would be a part of their family story. Their family is very excited to have a new sibling and pray/talk about them on a daily basis.
The cost and process of international adoption can be intimidating but they know this is where God is calling their family and will provide. If you feel called to support them in their adoption journey your prayers and donations would be greatly cherished! Thank you for your time, consideration, and prayers as they pursue their sweet child in China.
3/13/2020 — AWAITING TRAVEL APPROVAL
Twenty years ago, Elijah and Tiffany Jackson fell in love. Two years later, they got married and built a home on the century-old family farm. They started a family, having two wonderful little boys fairly close together. Five years later they were blessed with a little girl with Down syndrome, and oh, how her brothers loved her!! It didn’t take any of them very long to realize Down syndrome was not something to fear or avoid, but something to celebrate and cherish! The thought had come to them while their little girl was still a baby that they should think about adopting a child with Down syndrome, so they checked Reece’s Rainbow here and there, but didn’t know how to take the first steps of such a big journey! So, for a time, the idea was forgotten. 10 years later, Heavenly Father made it very obvious that it was still in His plan for the Jackson’s to add to their family through adoption! With the help of a good friend, they got right to work. They are so excited and ready to have little sister in their home and to be in their family forever!
9/29/2020 — TA RECEIVED in JANUARY; AWAITING TRAVEL
Matching Grant through RODS Racing has been met!
Zachary and Savannah recently celebrated four glorious years of marriage and have two beautiful children, Reese and little Zachary. They live on a farm in a small country town in southern TN, and are blessed with a slower paced, albeit full, life as a little family loving each other and growing together in the Lord!
Zack works as a mechanic and cattle farmer with his father-in-law, a job filled with hard physical labor that also allows him to be close to home and most days spend lunch break at home with his family. He appreciates all the time he gets with his wife and kids, both in the mornings during breakfast and in the evenings when he comes in from work, as well as the weekends.
Savannah is blessed to be a stay at home mama to their two little ones. Her days are filled with nurturing their children, cooking meals from scratch, keeping house, and when the time can be found, sewing clothes and making quilts. She also runs a small online fabric shop from home.
The Morgans firmly believe that God has called them to take a leap of faith in Him and plunge into the journey of international adoption. They are working diligently to bring home a precious little girl with special needs, and are trusting the Lord each step of the way in what feels like a crazy, roller coaster ride of a process. It has been His grace that has brought them to this, and His grace will be sufficient to see them through!
As each step brings them closer to their soon-to-be forever daughter, the excitement is rising! Little Zachary does not yet comprehend what is happening, but Reese understands and is thrilled to be having a sister!
The whole family anticipates the day that she is finally HOME and they are doing all that they can to help that day to come as swiftly as possible. Whether they are spending the evening working in the garden together, painting and remodeling the children’s nursery themselves, hanging laundry on the clothesline, or laying down for naps, she is on their hearts and in their prayers.
They appreciate your prayers as they continue on, completing paperwork, trying to patiently wait on approvals and paperwork processes, and fundraising to help with the many expenses. They know that God will make a way, because He is the One Who sets the lonely in families!
9/17/2021 — APPOINTMENT in LATE SEPTEMBER
William and Aubrey met over 15 years ago at a Starbucks Coffee shop in a small town in Oregon. Aubrey was working late nights and early mornings to help support her parents who were going through a difficult time, and William was working towards his Bachelors Degree. Once they met, they were inseparable. They have been married for over 14 years now and have 4 biological children together as well as one beautiful daughter whom they adopted through the Foster Care System. William works in community health and Aubrey is a stay at home mother and homeschools their children.
William has a younger brother with special needs and has always had a soft spot for children and adults that need extra supports like his brother. Over the years, God has called William and Aubrey to pursue international special needs and they are very excited to be committed to two amazing little girls.
God has proven time and time again that He will provide, and William and Aubrey know He will do so now so that they can bring home their little girls.
9/17/2021 — APPT in LATE SEPT
We’re just an ordinary family living the extraordinary life by stepping out in faith in place of standing frozen in fear.
If you’d have told me last Spring that I would be once again speeding through the adoption paperwork pile I wouldn’t have believed you. So on this very day I stand in awe at just how amazing our journey to one special little girl truly is. The God wink of my advocacy for her, the very day I shared how amazing it would be for Maddie and Magnolia to be close to each other two years ago. And then the very date of our completed packet being sent to Taiwan being the two year to the day of that advocacy post. Only God! God knew on that very day as I shared that post that we were to be her forever family!
Here we are a family of six. And celebrating our journey to precious Magnolia, Snyder #7. We are blessed with our two now young adult children, two little Taiwan treasures that rock their extra chromosome and racing to our newest treasure with Cerebral palsy. Family is everything to us. The very story that is being written as our family grows has us in complete awe at just how precious life is and how unique our family story is. Each and every member of our family uniquely and perfectly created to be exactly who we are meant to be. The journey to becoming a family a true gift. Each and every moment a true blessing…
We are humbled and blessed far beyond measure that of all the families in the world God handpicked us to treasure Magnolia as our daughter. Join us on our journey by sharing our journey with others, lots of prayer and when felt lead the generosity of donation as we take the leap of faith for love and family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Lonnie, Michelle, Kaiyla, Kyle, Miles, Maddie and Magnolia
9/8/2021 — COURT in SEPTEMBER!
Devin, an IT manager at an electric cooperative, and Melissa, a former teacher, have been married for six years and have two children, a toddler and a teen that make life full and fun! They love spending time together, hiking, fishing, exploring new parks and destinations.
For many years Melissa felt God placing the special needs orphan on her heart and together, their family spent several years advocating for children through Reece’s Rainbow’s Guardian Angel program. They were even able to meet one of the wonderful girls they had advocated for after her family found her. It was such a beautiful experience and they and are still in contact with that family today.
A couple years ago, the calling was clear that advocating was no longer enough and there was definitely more they could do. After a teary conversation, Devin and Melissa both committed to making the changes necessary to pursue their own adoption and give a child the home and family he has always deserved.
Melissa resigned from her career to be a stay at home mom, they added another bedroom to their home, restructured their budget, and got busy saving for the upcoming cost. They have felt God paving their way with every step and cannot wait to grow their family.
They are so grateful for everyone who finds it their hearts to help. International adoption is expensive, but Devin and Melissa are certain the expense will be nothing in comparison to what their family will gain. If you are unable to donate, they kindly request that you share their story. They believe strongly in the power of prayer and ask that you join them in keeping their child wrapped in prayer until they can bring him home. You can visit them at their blog.
9/9/2021 — FIRST (Virtual) VISIT in SEPTEMBER
Chris and Kelli have been married for almost 10 years. They have 3 wonderful biological children and are so excited to be adding 2 more wonderful children to their family through adoption. Chris works part-time as a pastor and he owns his own small woodworking business. Kelli works with preschool and elementary age children as a speech language pathologist with the public school system. They work together to homeschool their children.
Adoption is a new world to Chris and Kelli, but they’re willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to bring their children home. They are truly grateful for all donations to help them in this process! Will you be a part of their adoption story?
9/8/2021 — APPT in OCTOBER
We are the Johnson family! Meet Dad, Kevin, and Mom Seana. Kevin raced motocross professionally for years before he retired and is now a realtor. Seana is a stay-at-home homeschool teacher to their 5 children. Our kids are Preslie (13), Gavin (10), Kenlie (8), Emmaline (5), and Everleigh (1 1/2). We are overjoyed to be adding a very special little one to our family through adoption! God has been working on our story for many years. We believe what the Bible says in James 1:27 ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.’ It is only through Him that we are able to open our home and our hearts to a precious child who needs a loving family. We are truly overjoyed to be starting this process and look forward with hope to the day we get to meet and bring home our new child!
9/9/2021 — TRAVEL DATES RECEIVED
Meet the Palms! Adam and Carolyn and their kids: Doug, Adam, Veronica, Matthew, Mary, Jack, Regina, Gabriel, and Gemma.
When Adam and Carolyn were married almost seventeen years ago, they knew God was calling them to raise a family, but did not know if they would be able to have biological children. Even before they said, “I do,” they had discussed and joyfully agreed that adoption would be a beautiful way to grow a family. And then Douglas was born exactly ten months after their wedding day, and Adam Blaise two years later. The rapidly growing family was thrilled to learn that a third baby was on the way… only to suffer the heartbreak of miscarriage soon after. Adam and Carolyn began discussing adoption again, and remained open to the possibility, even as God blessed them with three more biological children, Veronica, Matthew, and Mary. When Mary was eight months old, Jack arrived! He was six days old when they welcomed him into their family. It was a private, domestic adoption, and completely unexpected… but Jack was born exactly five years after the due date of the baby they lost.
After adopting Jack, Adam and Carolyn often mused that it would be nice if he were not the only adopted one in the family (although that is a source of pride to him). As his arrival was quickly followed by Regina, Gabriel, and then Gemma, the couple really didn’t have time to pursue it. And then Gemma, only two weeks old, was hospitalized with RSV. She was in ICU for a week, and Carolyn never left her side, while Adam remained at home with the other children. During that time, a nurse checking on little Gemma remarked to Carolyn how sad it is that some tiny babies in that hospital have no one to stay with them and pray for their recovery; one little fellow with Down Syndrome was in the cardiac wing at that very moment. His parents, appalled by his Down Syndrome diagnosis, had abused and neglected him; at only a few months old, he was fearful of all people. He was in the hospital for heart surgery, and would not be returning to his parents. That baby’s story got Carolyn thinking about adoption again. Ironically, that very day, Adam was talking to his boss, who has an adult son with Down Syndrome, about the beauty of raising a child with special needs. That day was also the funeral of an eight-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, adopted from Poland by friends of theirs, whose brief little life touched so many others. Clearly, God was sending Adam and Carolyn a message.
First things first; Gemma needed to recover, which she did! And the Palms needed a bigger house before the family grew any larger. Now that Gemma is a happy, healthy one-year-old, and the family is settled in a more spacious abode, the time has come to fulfill the adoption dream again. The Palms are blessed to have dear friends who recently adopted three children with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe, and are helping them through the process. Adam, Carolyn, and the kids are all eagerly preparing their hearts and home to welcome the newest family member!
9/14/2021 — APPT DATE in OCTOBER
Meet the Breckenridge Family! Scott (dad), Jenna (mom), Aeson (13), and Rowan (8)! They are a fun loving family who enjoy the little things in life. They reside in Iowa, but love to travel as much as possible!
The Breckenridge family is looking to bring home 3 boys from Eastern Europe very soon! While they have met 2 of those 3 children, through hosting, they have not met their third, but do have their eye on a very special little guy on Reece’s Rainbow and can already see their future with him in their family!
They received their USCIS ‘receipt’ on 1/6/2021 and are awaiting their biometrics appointment, while they square away all their dossier documents.
The adoption journey, so far, has been a wild ride (thank you, Covid) and the Breckenridge family feels truly blessed by anyone that has helped in any way possible. They realize that adopting does in fact take a village and want you to know that any size of donation gets them one step closer to bringing their children home forever, so THANK YOU!
6/22/2021 — FIRST TRIP LATE JUNE
We are the Darnowski family. We just adopted three little toddlers, who don’t yet toddle, from Eastern Europe! Elizaveta (Carmen on RR) 15 mos, Yuri (Quill) 2.5 and Piotr (Kade) 2.5 years. We realized that some other families were going back again right after adopting, to adopt again. They so inspired us, that we decided we would also try to seize the opportunity while the way still presented itself to us, (while only required to have a homestudy update, vs a whole new homestudy) to get some more children to a loving home!
We saw some pretty beautiful faces while visiting the orphanages with sad, longing looks in their eyes. We saw the beauty of how our biological children love and interact with their new siblings, and the amazing strides our newly adopted children are making in just the little time they have been home. Some of the other little children in our children’s’ orphanages will soon be moved to an adult institution! (Age 5-35 years!!). We were told that while the children’s’ orphanages in their region have pretty good care including therapies, the adult ones are considered “palliative”.
We wish we could bring them all home. Will you consider doing so, or supporting us as we go on this crazy journey again? Thank you in advance for your amazing generosity which carried us through Eastern Europe adoption number one! You are amazing!!!
9/9/2021 — COURT in LATE SEPT & EARLY OCT
Emilia has received a $15,000 Older Child Grant!
We are the Allardice Family from Fall River, MA. Our family includes Erica, Ian and our 2 children Kailee 12yo and Rylan 7yo. Our story started many years ago when Ian and I were only 15yo we met in driving school. We became close friends throughout high school. We parted ways after graduation and went our separate ways. Erica to college and eventually becoming a pediatric nurse. Ian joined the United States Navy. Fifteen years after high school we reconnected and the rest is history. Ian joined Erica and her two children helping raise them and guide them through life for the past 5 years. So where does our journey take us next. To EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!
We are on God’s path to adopt a special needs little boy from Eastern Europe. Why international adoption? Children born in Eastern Europe with special needs are most often put in orphanages where they do not receive the proper care. We feel if we can save just one of God’s children and show him he is loved and wanted then we have helped in this world wide crisis. We know International adoption is however costly ranging from $25,000-40,000 so we will be applying for grants and fundraising to help offset the cost to help bring our boy home. Thank you for all your love and support.
8/7/2021 — VIRTUAL TRIP 1 COMPLETE; AWAITING COURT DATE
Jason grew up in Oklahoma and spent most of his life in Texas and Merilee is from Georgia. Their story didn’t begin until they met while working overseas in Tokyo, Japan. After falling in love and deciding they wanted to start a future together, they were married and began the hard work of blending their families. They now live in Germany and have four children at home.
Even before they met, Jason and Merilee had a heart for adoption. It was a calling they both felt whispering in their ears for many years. They believe God has always been working in the background of their lives preparing their hearts and minds for their adoption journey. In early 2020, Merilee found the Reese’s Rainbow website and began perusing the profiles of children around the world in need of a loving home. She ran across the profile of a teenager whose biographical information stated his adoption attorney felt “since he was not good looking” his chance of finding a home before aging out was slim. She shared this with Jason and they spent a lot of time talking and thinking about the fact that children are overlooked because they are literally not “cute” enough. They knew they didn’t have enough time to complete the process to be able to pursue this young man before he aged out, however, reading his profile was the momentum they needed to propel their adoption decision further.
After a few months of researching country programs and agencies, they settled on an agency and country and began considering their options between the traditional and waiting child programs. They were leaning toward the traditional matching option until their agency passed along the file for a young girl with special needs who was newly listed with the agency. They both had heard stories of adopted mothers and fathers talking about a moment of instant recognition when seeing their child for the first time. This is exactly the feeling they had from their first look at her photo and videos. They knew she was the one they were missing to complete their family.
If you find it in your hearts to help Jason and Merilee on this journey to welcome their daughter home, they will be forever grateful. There is no gift too great or too small to help them give this child something she has never had – a family of her own.
9/13/2021 — FIRST TRIP in LATE SEPTEMBER
*** Donna has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Douglas and Jena have been married for almost six years. Their first son joined their family from Eastern Europe through adoption just before Christmas 2019. When they brought him home, they said they would go back “in a few years.” However, much like when they saw their first son’s photo and story, they now feel called to return to Eastern Europe for another waiting child to complete their family.
7/29/2021 — USCIS APPROVED; AWAITING COURT
Hi, we are Hannah and Paul! We have been married for eight years and have an 18-month-old son. Paul grew up in a rural area of California, and Hannah was raised in Dorset, in the South of England. Like many couples we met through a mutual friend; more unusually, we met at a bluegrass house gig in Coventry, England, and have a long previous address history. We share a love for music and traveling, and enjoy spending time with our lovely son and two dogs – a poodle and a schnoodle!
From the outset, we have talked about special needs adoption. Hannah and her family has long worked with kids and young adults in special education, and Hannah always wanted to adopt special needs kids. This also deeply resonated with Paul, and we have been waiting for the right to time to start the process. Since putting down roots in the DC area and settling into parenthood, we know this is the right to time to grow our family through adoption. We originally looked into adopting from India, as Hannah is Indian, but when we read about a specific child in an Eastern European orphanage, we felt a huge tug. We are excited to be on this journey and look eagerly look forward to the day we can bring our second child home! Thank you for reading our story – perhaps we will connect along the way!
9/13/2021 — COURT PASSED
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
7/28/2021 — AWAITING COURT
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!
8/1/2021 — TRAVELING AUGUST 2021
The Hickey Family is back again! We’re so excited to be called back on this journey for a very special someone. While we weren’t expecting to be back quite so soon, God had other plans for our family.
In October 2019, our family was blessed with our first child, Sofija, through international adoption. We had an instant connection and feeling of comfort when we met her, it was truly meant to be. Sofija is our absolute greatest blessing!
While in the process for Sofija, we became aware that Sofija had a best friend who had become like a brother to her. In March 2018, we received our last and final update prior to traveling to bring Sof home, and we were sent several photos where our daughter was accompanied by a little boy. We could instantly see the bond between the two children. We responded with excitement about the update on our daughter while simultaneously inquiring about the darling little boy. At the time, our hopes were that some day when he too was adopted, we would be able to keep the two children in contact. However, when we arrived in-country, we were made aware that while few families had inquired, no family ever committed to this worthy little guy.
We had the pleasure of spending time with him while we bonded with our daughter and we felt an instant connection; both between him and our Sof, as well as, between him and each of us. We learned that he and our daughter had been roommates since they were first born and have been nearly inseparable since. It was heartbreaking for us to leave him behind but we assured his team that we would come back, should he still be waiting when we are ready to adopt again. Fast forward to Sofija being home for a few months, and we received a very unexpected message from our team in-country that they not only wanted us to come back for this little boy, but they wanted us to reunite the two children as soon as possible. While completing back-to-back adoptions seemed logistically and financially impossible, we have continued to witness God open doors for us to bring our son home. God moved mountains for us to bring Sofija home and while these mountains seem much bigger this time around, we trust that He will continue to be faithful.
We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
9/7/2021 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES!!
The Hickey family met their $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing!