Kevin and Monica Gerber met in college at Liberty University and have been married for over thirteen years. They have 2 biological girls and 1 adopted son from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and have been amazed how God has grafted their son seamlessly into their family. God has used a simple act of obedience to love an orphan for his glory and they have watched with joy as countless others have had their hearts softened toward the plight of the orphans around the world.
They and their children are thrilled to be claiming York (Kennedy) and Flora (Ruthie) as their own from Asia. Kennedy is unable to walk due to post-operative hydrocephalus and Ruthie has Down syndrome. It is their sincerest hope that the gospel and God’s love for the fatherless would be made famous and multiplied. They would be so thankful for your prayers and financial support.
7/24/15—TRAVELING AUGUST 6
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.facebook.com/gerber.family.adoption
Hello my name is Terri and I am a single mother with a 7 year old daughter adopted from the US. I am currently adopting a 13 year old girl from China with minor special needs. The greatest need that my daughter has now is that she is aging out and must be home from China before her 14th birthday. I have applied for several grants and I have contacted several different agencies that help families who are adopting, only to be told that they do not offer help to single parents. When I learned about Reece’s Rainbow I contacted them and they immediately told me to send my application in. As you know adoption is very expensive and requires a lot of faith. But, when you know that God is calling you to step out of your comfort zone and answer His call, He will provide for you.
I have met some of the most amazing families through adoption sites and on Facebook. I am blessed beyond words for all of the prayers and support that I have received so far. I have also been criticized and asked by those who do not understand, “Why would you adopt a child with special needs?” For me this answer is simple, God has called me to do this. When my daughter Addison and I looked at the new children that were placed on our agencies site, we knew immediately that this precious child that looked so sad was ours. She was turning 13 in a couple of weeks and no one had requested her file.
So, it was with a Leap of Faith, that we submitted our LOI to China on Thursday, August 28th and on Tuesday, September 2nd we received our PA.
I have heard many times that it takes a village to raise a child. Now, more than ever, I need that village and their support.
7/24/15—TRAVELING AUGUST 8
We are Richard and Judy Turner. We have been married for 22 years and have 3 children- Michael, 21 (almost 22), Beth, 20, and Alicia 16. We met while we were both in the Navy. I became a sty at home mom for a while and Rich retired after 21 1/2 years in the Navy. We live in Virginia Beach and spend a lot of our free time volunteering at our church and in the community. Our daughter Alicia and I traveled to Eastern Europe last summer and spent time helping run a 4-day Bible camp at a Level III-IV orphanage. Rich and I were not planning on adopting, but there was something about this young man that I couldn’t shake. As our group traveled back to Kiev, I just knew that had I to know more- God was not letting me forget THIS child! When Alicia and I came home, we had already shared this desire with my husband. He was a bit reluctant, but quickly agreed that we had to go for it! All the kids were excited and ready to take the plunge into the world of adoption! Now, we eagerly await the next step and the day we get to fly over and make this a reality for us, but more importantly for him.
7/15/15—APPOINTMENT IS AUGUST 5
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at beleivinginfaith.blogspot.com
“We looked out at the whole world and have been blessed to choose a beautiful child named Dylan to be our son.” The Gagnon family is excited to welcome home Dylan! Darren and Stacey have 5 children and know that God is calling them to bring home one more. The Gagnons are blessed with a large home, big family and lots of love to spread around. Dylan will be welcomed by three brothers and two sisters. He will be embraced by a daddy and mommy who love Jesus and can’t wait to see the wonderful plans God has for him. Daddy is a teacher and mommy is a nurse, so he will be in good hands with his medical and physical needs. But best of all, Dylan will know the love and hope of a family. The Gagnons are stepping out in faith and hoping for prayers, support and excitement at the arrival of their child. Will you join them in the rescue and ransom of Dylan?
7/15/15—FIRST TRIP AUGUST 1
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ransomfordylan.blogspot.com
Joe and Jaime have been happily married for twelve years and are the proud parents of five children who range in age from 14 to 3. After reading a friend’s blog post about their impending adoption of a special needs child Jaime found a link to Recce’s Rainbow and their lives were forever changed. There was one little girl that they could not get off their minds. Rebecca has meant so much to the family after they participated in Angel Tree and raised funds for her adoption grant last Christmas. They prayed for this sweet little girl every day and one day God made it very clear that Rebecca was not just a little girl on a computer screen, she was to be their daughter! After many months of prayer and consideration Joe and Jaime decided to proceed with their dream of adopting this little girl and bringing Rebecca home. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:5
7/8/15—TRAVELING JULY 30
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringrebeccahome.blogspot.com
Billy and Suzanne have known each other since high school. They reconnected a couple of years after graduation and have been together for 10 years, married for eight. They have been blessed with two wonderful biological children, ages four and two. They always felt a calling to adopt but never knew where to begin. They were introduced to RR and instantly fell in love with a sweet two year old boy. They were so excited to bring this little guy home. While working on their home study, they received a devastating phone call. Their beautiful boy had passed away. A void was left that no child could ever fill. Even though they continue to grieve over the loss of their son, they knew God was still calling them to adopt. They came across this adorable two year old and could not take their eyes off of him. After prayer and deep consideration they decided to begin pursuing adoption again.
We are excited to meet and bring our beautiful son home. We cannot get enough of his pictures and videos. We treasure the day we get to meet and hold this wonderful gift from God.
7/2/15—First Trip August 2
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.
7/7/15—FIRST TRIP JULY 20
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.
7/6/15—FIRST TRIP JULY 10
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at snowandhotcocoa.blogspot.com
Adam and Carin have been married for 17 years and have 5 amazing children ages 13, 11, 8, 5 and 4. Their youngest child, Pearl, was adopted from China in 2013. She has Down Syndrome. Carin imagined she would adopt children when she was a child. She also wanted to mother a child with Down Syndrome. Sometimes, dreams do come true!
Adam and Carin live an alternative lifestyle due to Adam’s job as a Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department. Their family has lived in 5 foreign countries over the past 11 years. These experiences have opened their hearts and minds to the issues of poverty and orphan care.
Carin worked in an orphanage in Mexico and taught a music class in an orphanage in Armenia. Adam volunteered at an orphanage in Russia. Together, they are trying to live out their faith in Christ and show others that each child has infinite worth and value.
They are now pursuing an adoption for a second daughter from China with Down Syndrome. They fell in love with her beautiful smile the minute they saw her picture. The entire family is very excited to add a new sister.
We are humbled and grateful that God would allow this chance once again.
7/8/15—TRAVELING JULY 25
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.diplofam.blogspot.com
The Abrams have been married for 22 years and have been blessed with 3 amazing daughters age 20, 16 and 12. They live in San Diego, CA where Tim is a firefighter and Michele homeschools their daughters. They are a silly family with lots of joy and they have always wanted to adopt. The Lord opened a door when their 16 year old daughter, Ember went to China on a mission with close friends. The Abrams fell in love with all of the disabled orphans Ember cared for. But one sweet blind boy stole their heart and the Lord began to give them faith to adopt him. They are working hard to get their dossier finished and bring their son home.
7/1/15—TRAVELING JULY 12
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.adopttimmy.com
Justin and Codi Howell are high school sweet hearts. They have been best friends for 12 years and married for 8. Codi has wanted to have a large family and to pursue adoption ever since she was a little girl and Justin was adopted himself so adoption has always been “something for some day” for them. In 2010, their daughter Emelyn was born with a very rare birth defect and died one hour and six minutes after she was born full term. Since then, their hearts have been turned toward individuals with special needs. When their fourth child, Claire, was born with Down syndrome, Hirschsprung’s disease and heart defects, they jumped right in, ready to embrace her and to help her reach her fullest potential. The couple also has a daughter Anna, who is five, and a son, Levi, who is three. Codi’s heart began stirring toward adopting a child with Down syndrome specifically while Claire was still in the NICU and when the couple found Mimi on Reece’s Rainbow, they knew it was their time. They are already connected with a phenomenal medical team and therapy center and have created a support network for Claire that Mimi will easily fit right into! They were even chosen by Claire’s care team as the “featured family” for their local Children’s Hospital’s Festival of Trees last Christmas for their positivity and commitment to advocating for Claire, something that they are excited to do for Mimi as well. If you were to ask the Howells why they are pursuing international, special needs adoption, they would answer that it is what they were made to do.
7/8/15–TRAVELING JULY 18
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at clairemichellehowell.blogspot.com
Eric and Blythe met in college in 2006 and soon married in 2007. While they were dating, they would talk about how they knew adoption would play a big part in our their family would grow. After their first son, Hendrix, was born in 2009, they started seriously looking into adoption and how the process of domestic adoption worked. God placed Emma Kate into their lives in 2011 and their family has never been the same! She is a spunky, loud, sweet, adorable, strong-willed little princess. When Emma Kate was 5 months old, Eric and Blythe got the surprise of their lives….they were pregnant! They had been told that they would never get pregnant on their own but it turns out that the Lord had other plans.
Bennett was born in 2012 and soon after his first birthday, Eric and Blythe started having friends who were adopting internationally. This really open their eyes to a side of adoption that they had never considered. After praying for several weeks, they decided this was the time and they would be adopting again!! They started looking at profile pictures on RR and just begging the Lord to show them their next child. Blythe was looking at the profiles during nap time and one day she came across Astor’s picture. She immediately called Eric and directed him to Astor’s profile. The rest is history!
They are extremely overjoyed to be starting the process of bringing him home. He already has two brothers and one sister that cannot stop talking about him. They are continually asking, ‘Does he get to come home tomorrow!?’. Astor is already loved by so many of our friends and family and now we are ready to fight to bring him home! Please consider helping us through prayer, encouragement, and financial donations. We are taking a huge step of faith and trusting that our Lord will provide everything we need.
3/18/15—FIRST TRIP MARCH 27
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringinghomeastor.wordpress.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.
7/2/15—TRAVELING JULY 10
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at evan4theortas.weebly.com
The Stacey Family have 4 biological children, one who has Down syndrome. They are pursuing the adoption of a little boy with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe. They always wanted a large family and having their son with Down syndrome opened their eyes up to parenting children with special needs. They are passionate about advocating for children and they love helping others along the way. They have followed the Reece’s rainbow site for several years and are excited to be a family bringing home a little one. Jared recently retired from the US Army and Tera is a Nursing student. Jared and Tera are trusting that God will lead them all the way through this new journey and they hope you will follow their journey as well!
6/25/15—FIRST TRIP JULY
“Mom, we need to talk. I don’t know if it’s a thought that God keeps putting in my head or a thought that I keep putting in my head, but I think we should adopt a little boy.” “I don’t care which of you put it there, you need an eraser!” This was the conversation between my then 10 year old daughter and I in November 2009; a conversation that changed our lives forever. It was the springboard that flung us into the world of adoption! Within two weeks I went from being a single divorced mom of two biological daughters, to a committed adopting mom of a Russian son with Down Syndrome. Fourteen months of paperwork, praying, fundraising, paperwork, praying, 2 trips (5 weeks!) in Russia, and oh, paperwork and praying, my daughter and I brought home our little prince, Maxim Alexey. After a crazy journey, I was committed to a 5 year old little boy in China, but his file hadn’t been prepared because “he isn’t as smart as the other children so nobody will want him.” Well, that was all it took for me to know that he’s a Stickley! They said that it would take a year to get his file prepared and that I would be looking at almost 3 years for the adoption to be complete. Did they really think that was going to scare me off? I decided that not only is he not “unlovable,” he is worth the wait! Then, less than a month later, I was approached about adopting a little girl from China who was 13 and only had 5 months to be adopted. The timing was perfect in that I could adopt her while waiting for the little boy’s file to be compiled. Several agencies told me that it would be impossible to complete the adoption in the 4 month time-frame. Well, we proved them wrong! We have now had Ava Monet home for two months! God’s timing is perfect! While in China, I got to meet some of the wonderful orphanage workers from Ava’s orphanage. I told them that I advocate for families for these children and asked if they had any other children for whom they would like for me to try to find families. They said that they would give me a website, but then we just all stood around socializing for a long time. Next thing I knew, they introduced me to a seven year old little boy, and the power between us silenced the room! “Mom, we have to come back for him!” So, I am a blessed mom of two biological daughters (22 and 14), an adopted son from Russia (5), an adopted daughter from China (14), and I’ve just been approved to adopt BOTH little boys! Oh, did I mention that all 4 of my children from another mother have DS? Three of the four of them were listed on Reece’s Rainbow. So, adopting two little boys right on the heals of a previous adoption has caused me to reach beyond my financial comfort zone and step out in faith. Any help and support will be greatly appreciated and I pray that God multiplies it in return to all donors! Thank you!
6/6/15—TRAVELING JULY 19
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog tinastickleyadoption.blogspot.com
Chris, Kami, and their two young daughters’ journey toward adoption started before they even recognized it as such. Even upon marriage, Chris and Kami talked hypothetically about a desire to adopt “one day.” In the midst of losing three sweet babies to miscarriage over the course of 12 months in 2011-2012, God revealed that “one day” was much sooner than they would have guessed. Slowly and surely, they have been reading and researching, praying for waiting children, supporting others’ adoptions, and prayerfully seeking God’s timing for their blessed opportunity to give a child a family. They are excited that the time has come! They feel unequivocally called to adopt a waiting child from an Eastern European orphanage. They are excited to pursue little Ladybug to give her a family, the chance to learn about Jesus, and the opportunity to reach her highest potential. They acknowledge that this will be difficult work. But they know that our God is our Redeemer, our Comforter, and our Strength. And, they simply believe that every single child is a blessing – regardless of his or her abilities, history, future, or labels the world has attached to them. They covet your support in this endeavor and ask for your prayers for Ladybug and their family.
7/8/15—COURT IS AUGUST 3
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog forgoodblog.wordpress.com
Ron and Laura Eby have been married for more than 22 years. They have 6 children and 4 grandchildren. Their 2 youngest daughters were born in China. The family likes to spend lots of time together, outdoors if possible! Laura is a stay at home mom who has always dreamed of a large family with bio as well as adopted children and was blessed with a husband who loves kids and is willing to help make that dream come true. Ron is a fireman in his “spare” time and one of the favorite parts of his job are the talks he gives to the local kids during Fire Safety month. The Eby’s thought that their family was complete until they saw Lydia Rose’s beautiful smile. While gathering their dossier documents to bring Lydia Rose home Laura saw a little girl who was being advocated for. The little girl had many families look at her file but wasn’t chosen. Laura started advocating for her too but eventually they knew that this little girl was meant to be their youngest daughter and final child. No child should be left in an orphanage, considered unable to benefit from the love and care of a family. Especially when there is a family that wants them. Very, very much. Ron and Laura are so excited to be adding Lydia Rose and Lacee to their family and can’t wait for them to come home!!
6/12/15—TRAVELING JULY 20
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog dancingwithstarfish.blogspot.com
Ernest and Ruth Chaves have eleven children. Four of these children are biological children who are grown and on their own. Seven of their children joined them through the gift of adoption and reside with them in their home. Ruth and Ernie felt early in their marriage a desire to adopt. However when they first began to pursue their desire they found they were expecting their first child and decided to wait. Four children later the urge still present they started to talk and look for ways to adopt.
In 1997 they received a ministry letter from dear friends who lived and ministered in Haiti at Maranatha Children’s Home. In this letter were pictures of beautiful children who were in need of forever families.
And so it began. Calls made, papers gathered, money raised, and after just over a years time they brought two beautiful little girls home from Haiti. And the wonderful story of love and family in adoption began. Since that time they have brought home 5 other children, from the countries of Haiti, Vietnam and China. Each addition brought deeper joy to their hearts and home.
And again love has gripped their hearts and they have heard the cry of a sweet little boy known as Nathaniel on RR but to them Zebadiah Brighton and the process begins again. The process to bring home a little boy who will add joy and laughter to their home and hearts. This precious little boy has touched the heart of many in his four years of life and much prayer has gone before him. It is time he comes home to join his family, forever his. Please continue to pray and stand behind this family as they seek to make this child their own.
6/22/15—APPOINTMENT is JULY 12
It’s only been 9 months since Angie and Jason brought their first daughter, Claudia, home after finding her on Reece’s Rainbow, but once again, they feel God calling them to abandon their plans, and to bring their son Chance home. Neither thought that they would be pursuing adoption again so soon after the first, but after seeking God’s will, and with the counsel of their close friends and family, they are ready to once again step out in faith.
Update, May 2014: Angie and Jason have felt God calling them towards older children since shortly after starting the adoption of Chance, and they made the decision to add Callie to their ongoing adoption after praying and seeking the council of friends and family.
Callie is going to be their oldest child (by almost 6 years!) and Angie and Jason are actually just barely old enough to be able to adopt her. They have high hopes that she will be a great big sister to Claudia and Chance, and look forward to seeing her thrive in a loving family. The VanHalles would greatly appreciate your prayers, and can’t wait to see God in action this time around.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at followingourcallingdaily.blogspot.com
The Dewberrys have been married for 15 years. They have six adopted children from Eastern Europe, Kolya 17 years, Angelica 17 years, Kristjan 15 years, Bogdan 11 years, Tania 8 years & Stopha 6 years. Kolya was adopted as a teen from Eastern Europe. The Dewberrys hosted him through a International Hosting Program. Tania, Stopha have the diagnosis of HIV. Nicole found Tania on RR when trying to locate an HIV child for a hosting program she volunteered for at the time. They were not looking to adopt at that point but God had different plans. When they found Tania they had just returned from Eastern Europe after losing a teen, Sergiy they went to adopt. They had hosted this young man but the pressure from his peers caused him to buckle. Joe and Nicole had used all their personal financial resources available to adopt Kolya & then Sergiy. There were no funds left to adopt Tania. Folks gathered around the Dewberry’s in the most moving & amazing way & helped raise ALL the funds needed to bring Tania home. When they were in country adopting Tania, Joe and Nicole could not figure out why funds were continuing to come in, then they met Stopha. Those extra funds along with fundraising brought home little Stopha. Stopha had a laundry list of medical issues along with his HIV but it was very clear with the right medical care he could have all his medical needs met in the US and flourish.
The Dewberrys over the years after Sergiy returned to Eastern Europe to adopt teens that they were lead to or reached out to them like a young man that sought Nicole out personally knowing she did mission work in Eastern Europe and advocated for teens. Each one was a massive loss as these boys buckled under the pressure or lies of others. There is much rejoicing in these losses as there has been redemption and relationships mended and the Dewberrys are still in touch with all the boys they lost. Gods word does not go void nor the love you show. Each loss was a hard hit to their family but they focused on God and what he wanted them to do. They now had a dossier ready to go but no child with their last loss. So they decided to adopt a child with a special need (HIV). That is when they found Bogdan on Reece’s Rainbow. They had to choose to waste a whole new dossier or jump. They prayed and decided to make the move. Nicole and her oldest son, Kolya left for Eastern Europe not even fully funded too adopt Bogdan but trusted God to meet their needs along the way. He did and while in country adopting Bogdan, doing mission work and advocating for children they met Angelica and Kristjan. They wanted a family but after spending time with Nicole they said only if it was their family. God orchestrated such an awesome set of events in what looked like an impossible adoption God made it possible. During the adoption Nicole was short on funds as she remained in Eastern Europ for 4 months until she and all the kids could return home together. God met their needs literally daily. They would have one days money worth for food and a donation would come in. There were times when the kids would ask Nicole how will we eat tomorrow. She would respond God will provide as He has and He did. They prayed for God met the need. And once gain the hands and feet of Christ, you all gathered around the Dewberrys to see them all home. Once they arrived home a grant had just arrived to cover all the remaining adoption expenses they owed. God is good! Good is faithful.
The heart and passion of the Dewberry family is to serve others no matter where they are at & where God leads whether is be with teens, special needs or our servicemen. Joe & Nicole together have been working with at-risk youth for a combined 22 years. Joe works as a Network Engineer. Nicole retired from her dog-training center to be a stay at home mom & foot solider for God. Nicole and her children go back and forth to Eastern Europe doing missions work reaching out to teens to teach them about Christ, show them love & advocate for the ones that want a family. In this past several years Nicole & Joe have witnessed the spiritual battles for these teens like no other time in their life in Ukraine and here in the United States. The Dewberrys know God does not make any promises when He calls you to seek after His children, the orphans but they do know He does call you to make a move. Even if it I just praying for a family adopting. Prayer can and will move mountains. God never gave up on the Dewberrys so they believe they have no right to give up on anyone. They know it is not about them but about being Christ centered & in the service of others.
How did the Dewberrys meet Daniel and Bo? Bo is nicknamed Banana by a joke he told Nicole thinking she would walk away. It did not work, Nicole made a wise crack back at him. The two of them connected at that point. Nicole and Kolya would go to his soccer games and cheer Bogdan and Bo on. Bo and their son, Bogdan were best friends. The last times Nicole was with him he called her Mama across the yard in front of all the school and staff, then a couple days later said he hoped for a family to come for him and he wanted to be adopted. Nicole wanted to adopt him but wanted to make sure if was Gods calling not her own so she knew the best way was to advocate for him and see the family God would bring fourth. For over 9 months she advocated for him with many families wanting to adopt him but no one fully jumped. Daniel, Nicole met him through a young man that is very dear to their family as this was his little brother. Nicole had no idea the plans God had for adopting Daniel as many had inquired as well to adopt him, but no one jumped. But over the 9 months of advocating for him, the last 5 months as the family was praying over the remaining boys they were advocating for and they felt lead they were the family for him as God impressioned Daniel deeply on their hearts like Bo. Daniel had told Nicole he wanted a family, and told his brother to relay messages to Nicole over the months that he still wanted a family and would do anything to help them. He would work or clean, just to have a family. But as tradition goes with the Dewberrys, they knew they needed to push the boys back out there and let God lead. Then The Dewberrys were all brought together as it has been 9 months and they knew it was time to jump for these two boys that mean so much to them. They are ready to see them home.
Our family thanks you for all your prayers and support & helping us bring home our children that have made it home & the ones that have not. We know the Lords word does not go void nor does the love given. He will always be glorified no matter the outcomes!
6/20/15—APPOINTMENT JULY 20
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at andthisonematters.blogspot.com
David and Priscilla have always known that special needs adoption would be woven into their marriage somehow. Priscilla was adopted herself and grew up with a brother with significant special needs. David’s niece was adopted, and his father was differently abled. In November 2012 they brought home their daughter McKenzie, who was listed as Xenia on Reece’s Rainbow, and she has been the brightest light in their lives (along with their biological sons) ever since. McKenzie has taught them a lot about parenting a child with special needs, and they feel led to go back and give another child what McKenzie was denied for so long, hope. Life might now be easy when you choose to parent a child with significant special needs, but it is always worth it. The blessings they bring to your life absolutely overflow your heart each and every day. This time, a little boy grabbed at their heart strings, and they just knew they had to get him out of the situation he was in. No child deserves to be left in an orphanage, but this child reminded Priscilla so much of her own brother, that there was no way she couldn’t bring him home. Her brother had several of the same conditions, and passed away at the age of nine, but he left an imprint so deep on her heart, that she credits him fully with her passion for children with special needs. They are firm believers that God calls us to care for the orphan, in whatever capacity we can, and for them, that calling is through adoption. They are so excited about embarking on this journey (again!) and completing their family. Please keep Cliff in your thoughts and prayers. He has a fighter’s heart, and we know he will bloom just like his sister once he’s home and experiencing the love of family for the first time in his life.
6/3/15—FIRST TRIP JULY 4
*** $1100 MATCHING GRANT! FSP needs to read $27,785 to meet the match. ***
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at 2byland-2bysea.blogspot.com
While they were in Eastern Europe adopting Wesley, Patricia found “Mercy” on Reece’s Rainbow and fell in love with her! They began to pray for her and for her forever family. She began to weigh very heavy on both of their hearts and Patricia began to share her profile on Facebook and started advocating for her to be adopted. Deep down they both new that this was their daughter. They both were fearful of the unknown of another adoption so quickly and the fact that they are still planning on getting Mirabel as soon as she becomes available. Over time it became so crystal clear that God was saying the time is now! They both felt an overwhelming peace that this is what God was calling them to do.
They know that this journey will not be easy, but if they keep their eyes focused on Jesus He will provide a way. They both feel like Peter when he got out of the boat and walked on water, but their goal is to not take their eyes off of their precious Jesus. They were both recently reminded that in this teaching we often overlook the 11 other disciples who were too afraid to get out of the boat and missed the opportunity to walk on water. Even when Peter began to sink Jesus extended his hand and pulled him out of the water. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even though adopting again after being home from the last adoption for only six months may seem crazy in the world’s eyes the Hollands know nothing is to big if you are following God’s calling on your life.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
(Oceans, Hillsong United)
Their daughter (almost 3 years old) already loves her sissy and they can’t wait to see the interaction and love shared between all four children when “Mercy” comes home. James’ and Patricia’s prayer for the last year has been for God to break their hearts for what breaks His and loving the “least of these” is exactly what God has called them to do. They suspect that their adoption process will go very quickly and to be honest they do not have near enough funds for this, but they know God will show them a way one step at a time. Step one was to step out of the boat and say “yes” to Mercy and they look forward to seeing God work the rest of the steps out. It’s hard for God to get the glory when you have every step completely figured out but when you step out in faith He receives all the glory for how the process works out. Thank you for getting to know their story and God bless!
6/12/15—APPOINTMENT IS JULY 13
Adoption has been heavy on my heart for the past few years but has always been a hope since I was young. After a year of researching and praying over the souls of so many children to have a family, the only thing that stood in the way was myself. I feared that even though God had placed this desire in my heart that I would never be able to gather the resources to pay for the process of adopting a child in need of a family to nurture them and lead them towards His love. But as soon as He placed this precious little girl in front of me I knew I could no longer let fear stand in the way of moving towards the promise God had for her: a family, our family.
As a single mama to one beautiful little girl, I am so joyful to be able to start the journey towards adopting another beautiful soul.
Follow the Williams family adoption on their blog at www.thelittlegirlinstripesandpolkadots.blogspot.com
6/12/15—WAITING FOR COURT
Grant and Susan Lee have been married for 10 1/2 years and currently have six children. The breakdown of the half a dozen kids includes, four children from prior marriages, one child of our own, and one adopted child. Susan has always had a passion to adopt in her heart at a very young age, while Grant did not. When we, as a family adopted our youngest child Soo Min from South Korea seven years ago, Susan was elated as her dream of adopting a child finally came true. Grant was excited but did not share the same passion as Susan. As time passed by, Grant realized the passion for adoption and began to share these same feelings. The idea of giving his son a new life full of unconditional love became very important and special to Grant and he knew that they would adopt again. This feeling is shared passionately with our children. Our kids realize that they are so fortunate that God has provided all of them with a life full of love, grace, and opportunity. They also realize that they are all children of God and they need to have open sensitive hearts, to bring another one of God’s children to our family. A baby girl named Comfort is our child who were are bringing home. Comfort is HIV positive, our family knew immediately just by looking at her that she is the chosen one to join the Lee family. We will work together as a family to make sure she has all the medical care and love she deserves. We are often reminded of Galatians 3:26 – For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. We are all children of God and we need to help other children. The Lee siblings help each other, Grant and Susan help each other. It is now time for our entire family to bring Comfort into our home through the grace of God.
4/27/15—FIRST TRIP MAY 25
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thejourneyisonlybeginning.blogspot.com
Brian and Nissa have been married for 23 years and are the parents of nine children. Adoption was always part of the plan for the Gadbois family, since before they were even married. They have been around adoption for many years as orphan hosts and adoption advocates.
Brian is an ordained deacon and an electrical engineer. Nissa is a stay-at-home mother and a professional photographer. The Gadbois Family operates a 300 acre farm in central Massachusetts with the help of their adult children. They make maple and birch syrups and honey, raise vegetables, dairy goats, and sheep. They also run a herd of cattle for another local farmer. All nine children still live at home and lend a hand on the farm.
Their special ministry is to the family, believing firmly in the mandate to care for widows and orphans, and in their responsibility to build up and strengthen all families. The Gadbois’ eldest daughter Catherine is in homeless ministry, working with expectant mothers.
“Nigel” and “Nellie” came to the Brian and Nissa’s attention at a time they didn’t think they could adopt. Many weeks had passed when someone else recalled this beautiful brother and sister to them. It was obvious that the Holy Spirit was prompting them to move forward. After some prayer and discussion, they decided to step out in faith to make these two beautiful children a part of their family. Thus far, as needs have arisen, God has provided. They are trusting in His goodness, and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who will read about them and their children to bring to fruition what God has planned for this family.
7/2/15—USCIS APPROVED, WAITING FOR COURT
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at gadboisfamily.com
Jim and Valerie met when they were 13 and kept in touch writing letters all through high school. They actually didn’t start dating until many years later. Having been married for almost 14 years now, Jim and Valerie feel so fortunate with all that God has blessed them with! God has blessed them with 5 biological children and Jim and Valerie could not be more grateful. Yet they feel called to reach out to children who need a family. It breaks their hearts to see so many children with no families. Another adoptive mom on Reece’s Rainbow recently said that they didn’t need another child in their home but there was a child out there who needed a home. The Clarks want to help a little boy with special needs to join his forever family. They have been considering this for many years and are taking a leap of Faith that God will help them down this daunting path with the emotional and financial struggles. Their children couldn’t be more excited to welcome their new sibling home! And their son can’t wait to play football with his little brother!
7/24/15—WAITING FOR COURT
Ted, Torey and Leslie Bowen are excited beyond measure at the prospect of welcoming this wonderful child into their loving home. Ted and Torey have been married for 13 years, and adopted Leslie, now 8, from Guatemala in 2007. Leslie’s February 8 Gotcha Day is always a day of joyful reflection and giving thanks in the Bowen home. Torey herself was adopted from Greece at 14 months, and the knowledge that she spent time in an orphanage inspired her to adopt three children before “Faith”, soon to be named Phoebe. In addition to Leslie, Torey has two adult children, adopted from Arkansas and Colombia respectively, both leading happy and productive lives. Torey is a Rabbi involved in the Jewish reform movement, and teaches Hebrew and Judaica at a temple on Long Island. As an ordained member of the clergy, Torey also officiates at life-cycle events including weddings, baby naming ceremonies, and funerals. Ted, a proud Celt of Welsh decent, is the Assistant Director of Customer Relations for Metro-North Railroad, the second largest commuter railroad in the US. Leslie is a gregarious third grader at PS 139 in Queens with remarkable artistic talents and an affinity for animals. The Bowen home is not only filled with love, it is also filled with all kinds of music, pets and spirituality. In addition to two dogs and a cat, there are hamsters, a ferret, frogs, a guinea pig, and fish! This family of the world looks forward to adding another flag to the Greek, Welsh, Guatemalan, Colombian, and American flags already waving in their home, and they are very grateful for any assistance.
7/9/15—COURT IS AUGUST 10
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at toreysstories.blogspot.com
Ben and Melanie have been together for close to 10 years, having met on a blind date. In that time we have been down some crazy roads that have grown us, stretched us, and bent our hearts more and more toward a life of surrender to the Lord. Early in our marriage we both shared our hearts toward adoption with one another, having no clue what the future would hold. In the last 8 years we have grown our family from 2 children to 6. In the fall of 2010 we first heard of Reece’s Rainbow. It wasn’t long before God broke our hearts for a little boy across the ocean with Down syndrome living in a mental institution. In the Summer of 2011 we were able to bring that little rascal home and it has been an amazing and wild ride ever since. He was known as Brady on RR and is now our beloved Judd. While we were visiting Judd in his institution we met another boy. We have prayed about him for the last 3 1/2 years and have told anyone that would listen about him. Just recently God began to make it very clear to us that we needed to go back for the one we left behind. His name is Grady on RR and we are committed to doing everything in our power to bring that boy home before his chances at a family are lost forever. Please pray for us and if God pricks your heart, help us. Thank You.
5/30/15—APPOINTMENT IS JULY 1
Follow the Hartman family’s adoption journey on their blog at happyhartmanfarm.blogspot.com
Chad and Kayla have been together for 10 years, and just celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary. Kayla has and in home daycare, and Chad works for a local coal mining company. They have been blessed with 4 beautiful children. Bella is 11, and Chad adopted her when they got married. Asher is 7, Cylus is 4, and Peerson is almost 2.
Chad and Kayla always knew that they would adopt. A friend was in the process of adopting and added them to a group on facebook that had profiles of waiting kids. 6 months later they saw a 3 year old boy named Beckham that was beautiful. They knew he would get a family quickly, but every time they would see his picture, they couldn’t help but think he could be their son. He had a family committed to him, but something happened and he was listed as available again. Chad and Kayla talked about whether now was the right time to adopt. Beckham has untreated hydrocephalus, agnesis of the corpus callosum, and a cyst on his 3rd ventricle, so they had to make sure the care he needed would be available in their area. They got the confirmation that every month a team from mayo would be 45 minutes away, and wanted to take Beckham as a patient. This was the time, this was their son! He would finally have his forever family, and they would have the final piece of their puzzle.
6/5/15—COURT PASSED, AWAITING FINAL TRAVEL DATES
A six year old boy, an ocean away
Lay in his crib day after day
Never a touch or an I love you
Not enough food, neglect and abuse
And then by God’s amazing grace, his mama from afar saw his face
And now today, home at last
A little boy is full of life and happiness!
Adoption is the reason he lives……
Sergei and Crosby, 2 former Reece’s Rainbow kiddos came home spring of 2014! Only by God’s goodness and grace and support of all of you was this possible and two lives were saved. So stepping out in faith again, Brian and Laurie are adding number 10 and 11 to their family! Prayers and support are very much needed to make this happen the second time around! They would be honored for you to join them on this journey. The blessings from adoption are too numerous to count!! Brian and Laurie and their family want to say thank you in advance for donations and prayers that help lives change and miracles happen.
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
5/26/15—APPOINTMENT IS JUNE 4
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at amillionstepstosergey.blogspot.com
Matt & Sara met in college and have been married for nearly 13 years. They have 5 biological children ranging in ages from 11 down to a newborn, 3 girls and 2 boys. They had discussed the possibility of adoption in the past, but thought it was a long time away, someday after they were done having children of their own – and then domestically.
A few weeks after their son was born, a friend happened to post a picture of Eloise. Sara passed it along to Matt, praying hard and hoping against hope that he’d feel what she felt – a strong bond & connection. Surprisingly to both of them, he did! It was completely out of the blue, and they had no inkling God was about to add to their family again so soon and in this way, which is why they decided to pursue adopting Eloise.
The kids are very excited to have another sister and have been asking tons of questions. The whole family is excited to meet Eloise and bring her home where she belongs as quickly as possible before she is transferred out of the orphanage and no longer available for adoption. That is a very real possibility as it sounds like she is the oldest there.
Please pray as Matt, Sara, and family take up this journey for a child in need. Your support and prayers are appreciated!
5/29/15—APPOINTMENT IS JUNE 30
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at postzero.com/adoption_journey/
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.
5/28/15—FIRST TRIP JUNE 11
Two years ago Tim and Cathy set out on a journey to bring home a teenage boy with cerebral palsy from Ukraine. They jumped through all the hoops and by the grace of God they arrived in Kiev with high hopes and great expectations. Ten days later the couple was headed home empty handed and broken hearted. Their almost son decided to stay in Ukraine, thinking and planning at such a young age, that his future was brighter there. To this day they stay in touch with him and while his path has not been an easy one, there is at least hope. Fast forward two years and here they are again, ready and eager to embark on another journey to a different country for another child in need. They are again hopeful and trusting completely in the providence of the Almighty to bring this adoption to fruition. The three Daughton boys are excited about having a little sister and Nadia will have a small army of her own to command when she finally arrives. They will love, help, protect, cherish, and watch over her as big brothers are supposed to do. Many plans have already been made as the boys have begun to explore creative ways to help her over come her physical challenges. There is no doubt that she will receive the lion’s share of attention in this household, but no one is complaining. Nadia is a beautiful, charming, and sweet little girl who is making great strides in her ability to walk, speak, and even learn English; she just needs more one-on-one time and attention. She will benefit enormously from having her own home and family with resources that will help her grow and overcome her less than ideal start in life. She is a radiant child who needs the hope of a family and the shared love of Christ so that her warmth and enthusiasm never fades. The family is eager to bring her home and know that her presence will have a profound and radical impact on each of them. The family humbly asks for your prayerful support as they continue along this exciting path that God has laid before them.
6/1/15—FIRST TRIP JUNE 27
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!
6/25/15—FIRST TRIP JULY 11
The Grahams are a family of six living in South Carolina. Simon and Kelli have been married for 14 years and it was this summer that the Lord placed a burden on their hearts to pray for a bright-eyed, sweet-smiling girl in a pink skirt and purple tights. “Whitley” is six years old and deaf.
The journey they are on is one that they had never imagined for themselves, but the Lord is providing all needs as they step out in faith. Kelli is a former sign language interpreter and flight attendant turned homeschooling mom while Simon works hard for the family. They enjoy time together at home and with their fabulous family and friends as well.
They look forward to traveling to Poland to bring “Whitley” home in late Spring of 2015.
4/7/15—TRAVELING IN LATE MAY!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/graham-family-adoption/201171
Jared and Jamie met and fell in love in high school. It was love at first sight and they were living their happily ever after with their three biological children when they found the picture of a sweet little boy who just happened to have Down syndrome. They hadn’t planned on adopting at all but his picture rocked their worlds! They leapt in and rushed full speed ahead to bring home Eli in 2012.
Even though Eli was in a good place, their hearts were forever changed when they saw the other children who had to be left behind and so desperately wanted a mommy and daddy too. Once Eli was home and settled, they committed to bringing home two more children who also happened to have an extra chromosome. The girls came home in Feb 2014.
The family settled into a daily routine and was happily trucking along when they saw another little picture that stopped them in their tracks. A sweet little set of brothers who just needed a Mama and Papa to call their own. So they leapt once again, and are so eager to bring the boys home forever!
This will be their third adoption (4th and 5th adopted children) in 3 years and any financial help is most welcomed!
5/6/15—FIRST TRIP MAY 30
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at sunshinedaysandpeacefulnights.blogspot.com
Chris and Jennifer were married in 2010. They talked and dreamed about the size their family would be like many newlyweds do. Adoption was never considered an alternative for them but something they wanted to pursue in God’s time. Since then they have been blessed with three beautiful biological children (two boys and a girl). After their second child was born the real pull towards adoption started.
Jennifer found Reece’s Rainbow and began praying for children listed. Much time was spent by Chris and Jennifer researching many types of adoption and special needs seemed to pull at their hearts. When Chris was five he lost his foot in an accident. He has undergone many surgeries and therapy and today it does not hinder him. Seeing the life Chris leads and knowing the difference a family makes led the Stums to start looking at children with limb differences. Yet it still didn’t appear to be God’s timing. When they saw Sally they both knew that God planned for her to be their daughter. So, with much prayer and consideration the family stepped out in faith and started their journey of adoption to bring their beautiful daughter, Sally, home.
With God’s provision the Stums are excited to provide Sally with a loving home, the knowledge and love of Christ, and the care and support she needs to overcome the many obstacles she will face. Chris and Jennifer feel very blessed to be able to add Sally to their family and are very thankful for your prayers and support.
5/6/15—FIRST TRIP JUNE 7
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at cayleighscurlz.blogspot.com
Katherine has worked with children as a social worker for almost 14 years. Around 6 years ago she decided she was ready to become a mom. After carefully researching different options she decided on international adoption. She was hoping and praying for the perfect toddler to add to her life. After waiting for a referral for a year she found her first daughter in Bulgaria on the waiting child list. Katherine quickly updated her dossier to match her daughter’s age and special needs and excitedly prepared for her. Maria came home from Bulgaria June 2012 and Katherine entered parenthood with a preteen. The past two years Katherine has been focusing on managing Maria’s spina bifida and ensuring that Maria has the opportunities to experience life fully. Katherine also spent time helping Maria’s close friends find from the orphanage adoptive families. Over the past two years it has been obvious to Katherine that their family is not complete and that Maria misses having the close sibling relationship she had with specific peers in the orphanage. Over the past year Katherine has considered starting the adoption process, but that was put on hold this past spring due to Maria needing 3 unexpected surgeries. Thankfully Maria is recovering well. This summer Katherine saw Layla and knew that she would be the perfect little sister for their family.
7/26/15—FINAL TRIP AUGUST
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at adoptingsinglemom.blogspot.com
Almanzo and Heather have felt God’s call on their lives to adopt into their family those who are neglected or abandoned. Last March they took a step of faith and adopted a little girl who is visually impaired, from Armenia. Aida turns 9 this year and adds so much to their lives.
They decided to wait longer to adopt again… as they have other children in the home. Lane is 8. Anna is 6. Grady is 5. And Wade is 3…and felt busy enough. And everyone was content.
But God had other plans…
Heather first came across Rita’s story several years ago. And didn’t realize she was available for adoption. Until she saw her story through Maya’s Hope and spoke to Maya about the desperate care Rita needed. Almanzo and Heather felt burdened and ready to trust God in his provision. They only recently realized that Reece’s Rainbow had been advocating for this sweet girl.
While getting around paperwork, they learned that Rita has an older sister. A sister who will turn 16 in November and age out of the program. They decided that they would also proceed and try to adopt Rita’s older sister as well. It is ultimately her choice, but it will be her last chance at finding a forever family.
Would you please consider and helping the Erb family make this step of faith?
4/10/15—APPOINTMENT IS MAY 6
Back in 2002, Lynn was raising her two children and going to the University. One afternoon she received a phone call from her sister, who was on a work trip in Nevada. Her co-worker John was with her at the time. John picked up the phone and began to chat with Lynn. They discovered a similar sense of humor and many mutual interests: hiking, kayaking, traveling, books, music, etc. History was made.
Fast forwarding several years, after being a family of four, with two growing children, their family grew even more and they were blessed with 2 more wonderful children. Their family now includes four extraordinarily bright, talented and loving children including a son (20) in college, a daughter (15) and two younger sons (7 and 5). With their oldest son enjoying success in college and getting out on his own, the time seemed right to try to fulfill a dream of trying to help a child in need.
As a teenager, and after reading of the struggles of Eastern European orphans, Lynn dreamt of being able to help, to be able to give them the life that every child deserves with a loving family. John, who has an adopted cousin, was on board with the idea. Both John and Lynn believed that no child should be denied the basic things we often take for granted. Loving parents, a supportive family, education, and good healthcare, in a place where people with disabilities may enjoy every opportunity.
In their search, it only made sense to reach out and try to help a special needs child, one of many such children all too often overlooked by adoptive parents because of the potential challenges they may bring. Little Joaquin was challenged at birth with Achondroplasia , a common form of dwarfism. He also has minor heart defects, and developmental delays, most likely for institutionalization. He will need continued monitoring for hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and orthopedic problems that are common with his condition.
Joaquin touched their hearts from the moment his sweet little face showed up in their search. The more that they learned about him, the more that they realized how very well he would fit in to their family. If already felt as though Joaquin were a part of the household. Gage, the youngest in the family wrote Joaquin a poem about how much he loves him. Matthew the next oldest is trying to find the perfect spot to put Yoan’s firetruck bed. The older children just cannot wait to meet their baby brother. The whole family is excited and anxious to help bring him home to his “forever family”.
Now, John and Lynn are trying their best to expedite Joaquin’s adoption. He has already been an orphanage for too long. He is behind in his development and needs to come home to bloom and flourish. John and Lynn’s desire to speed up Joaquin’s adoption are further fueled, by the knowledge, that in Bulgaria, when a child turns 4 , they will most likely be transferred from the “baby” orphanage into one for all older children. Imagining the fear a child would go through leaving the only people he has known to go to a whole new orphanage, John and Lynn decided to do whatever they could to try to avoid that and to make his next move be to their family instead.
Please join them along their journey to give Joaquin the life, love, family, and opportunities he deserves. Any help with fundraising and prayers to allow them to complete this process before he has to move again would be greatly appreciated. Blessings from our family to you and yours.
7/15/15/—FIRST TRIP AUGUST 8
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bringingjoaquinhome.blogspot.com