VALENTINE for the Lafreniere family — MI

Don and Erin Lafreniere met on amateur radio when they were in high school and began an international on-the-air romance (Don lived in Canada and Erin in the United States). These high school sweethearts celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in January 2018. Erin, a former teacher, is now the stay-at-home/homeschooling mom of 13-year-old Peter, 6-year-old Simon, and 1-year-old Clara. The Lafreniere family has lived in both the US and Canada but now lives in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a wonderful place to raise a family. They enjoy visiting Lake Superior beaches, hiking in the woods, and visiting waterfalls together.

After years of Erin being interested in adoption and Don feeling reluctant about it, Erin saw 10-year-old “Valentine” in a summer hosting photolisting and recognized him as a child listed years earlier on Reece’s Rainbow. Knowing that being hosted would significantly increase his chances of being adopted, she convinced Don to host him in the summer of 2017. Once they started hosting, the whole Lafreniere family fell in love with Valentine and Don saw how desperately Valentine needed a family. Seeing his joy in simple things like seeing wildlife, jumping on the trampoline, and running through the sprinkler on a hot day, his pride in learning new skills like riding a bike, playing card games, and telling time, and his obvious desire to belong, and knowing the bleak future that awaits him in his country if he is not adopted, Don and Erin decided to pursue their first international adoption to make him a permanent member of their family.

Now they are trying to raise the funds to make it possible. They can’t wait to welcome Valentine back to their home to stay permanently, to build on the bonding developed during hosting and to continue to share their love with him.

Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at

$4,097.75 has been donated towards the cost of our adoption!

Make the most of your gift, consider sending a check! Online donations to children with committed families incur a 3% PayPal transaction fee.

Valentine has received a $2400 Older Child Grant.