These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
These are the families who have taken a leap of faith and committed to adopt one or more of our orphaned children most recently.
We are Dan and Jolene Morrison and we have three beautiful children, Sawyer, Quinn and Jax. We are your typical outgoing, fun loving, crazy family and we are in the process of growing our family through adoption. After everything that life has thrown at us we have decided that it is finally time to listen to our hearts and take this giant leap of faith.
When we moved to Southwestern Ontario two and half years ago we began our fostering journey with our local Children Aid Society and it has been a wonderful, albeit sometimes bumpy ride. We wouldn’t change our experience for the world because we learned so so much as individuals and as a family, but the pull to adopt a child with Special needs was always still there. So, after what seems like a million and one calls to multiple agencies across Canada, we came to the realization that adopting a babe with special needs in Canada isn’t something that happens very often and even less so for big families. So, we decided to look elsewhere. We got in touch with some fantastic families that had done what we are about to do, and that led us to Ukraine. So here we are planning our adventure and getting ready to travel overseas, hoping to bring not just one child home, but possibly two.
This adoption is going to take a lot of work as well as some blood, sweat and probably many tears, but the love we have to give is endless and together, we’ve got this! Selling homemade spaghetti sauce, making upcycled jewelry, hosting a Covid friendly lemonade stand for the neighbors while they shoveled snow, it’s all getting us closer to growing our family. Every little bit helps. We still have lots of work ahead of us and we are crossing our fingers that everything works out as it should. We know it will take a village, but you all, are a great village to be bringing children home to.
4/20/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
The Price Family is excited to expand their family through adoption! Joe and Amy have been married for 6 years and have 4 children; biological and adopted. Joe works in insurance and Amy is an interior designer and they live in Iowa. They are in the process of adopting a little boy from Bulgaria.
Amy adopted their daughter in 2010 as a single mom and has had a heart for adoption after volunteering in an orphanage in Russia. After they were married, adoption went on the back burner as they worked to unite their blended family and added their youngest to the mix. Amy came across Reece’s Rainbow and was drawn to the amazing children and stories of adoption. Joe slowly warmed up to the idea of adopting and they have been waiting the last couple years for the “perfect time” and lately realized there is no such thing as the perfect time so decided to jump in!
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support as we go through this adoption journey to our little boy!
4/16/2021 — HOMESTUDY NEARLY COMPLETE
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
4/16/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Nick and Joy were married 11 years ago and early on in their marriage they desired to be set apart for God. Their family verse is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Nick and Joy are examples of walking in faith as they unconditionally love and care for orphans. They are the loving parents of 6 kids: 4 biological and 2 adopted children. Their desire to grow their family through adoption started 4 years ago after their 4th child was born. They spent time researching different adoption agencies and became foster parents to over a dozen children from social services. During this time, their hearts were struck by how compassionate their children were to those with special needs and the pull they had to grow their family in this way. Their first journey to Bulgaria is laden with evidence of God’s handiwork. Joy reached out to an adoptive mom from her church who then introduced her to Reece’s Rainbow. She told Joy there was one little girl whom her heart has longed to find a family. By grace, it was the same girl Joy and Nick had already inquired about and felt so unexplainably drawn to. All the questions over the years of what God was wanting them to do were starting to be answered! Now that little girl is a loved daughter, sibling, grand-daughter, cousin, and friend. God prompted their hearts again. With more room in their hearts to love, they are preparing to bring Sawyer into their loving family. They have made preparations to their home and even have a vehicle that can provide proper transportation for their growing family’s physical needs. Your prayers and financial support will welcome Sawyer into a forever family where he will be welcomed and loved by a warm community and loving family.
4/14/2021 — HOMESTUDY UPDATE in PROCESS
The Calo family is excited to be expanding their family again via adoption!
Three years ago we hosted two sisters over the Christmas holiday. The connection with the girls was instantaneous, like we had always known each other, so we continued to host them several more times until God allowed us to begin the adoption process to bring them home permanently.
They are already teenagers and have waited their entire lives for a family and we feel like the lucky ones chosen to be theirs.
Our other children ask about their “sisters” daily and we cannot imagine our lives without them. Thank you for your help in bringing them home for good!
4/14/2021 — HOMESTUDY NEARLY COMPLETE
The Wasinger family is thrilled to announce their second adoption from Eastern Europe! They are (currently) a family of 5. Lauren and Nick, along with their two biological children, were thrilled to bring home a daughter from Bulgaria in 2011 through special needs adoption. It has blessed all of them in so many ways!
Lauren and Nick struggled for several years with understanding God’s next call on their lives, and considered foster care or domestic adoption but nothing felt right. Then a friend shared a profile on Reece’s Rainbow that hit like a bolt from the blue! By the end of that very day, the decision was made and they were submitting their application to adopt a boy from Eastern Europe. The whole family was instantly on board, and everyone was excited!
Their new child has significant and life-threatening heart defects, so they are working hard to move quickly through the process and prepare for all the medical needs that will follow. They are excited to bring their son home and show him the sort of love Christ has given us; love that is willing to take any risk and surmount any obstacle for the sake of the beloved. Will you consider supporting them as they seek miracle after miracle for their new child?
4/13/2021 — DOSSIER APPROVED
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.
4/8/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
The Marsh family is so excited to be growing their family through adoption. They are currently parents to Alex, Sony, and Chelsea and are working on bringing a sibling group of two brothers home. Shannon and Jay both have a long history in special needs adoption. Shannon previously adopted her two daughters as a single mom. Both Chelsea and Sony were previously advocated for by Reece’s Rainbow. Jay himself was adopted by his step-father and has a sister with special needs who was also adopted. When Shannon and Jay started dating, Shannon had no idea that Jay himself had a history of adoption. As the relationship grew, it became very clear Jay’s heart and experiences with special needs adoption aligned with Shannon’s, something that was even written into his wedding vows. Now as husband wife, they are thrilled to be able to adopt together and grow their family. Older child adoption has been at the heart of the family and everyone is excited about their new brothers coming home.
3/25/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
These brothers have received a $2000 Country Specific grant from Reece’s Rainbow.
The Ampe family is returning to Eastern Europe to adopt two more children. They will have a “Baker’s Dozen”! Joe and Tiffany currently have eleven children ages 2-20. Two of their children are amazing preschoolers that they adopted from Ukraine, who just happen to have Down Syndrome.
The Ampe family lives on a homestead in Michigan with plenty of animals and children. They learned of Reece’s Rainbow through the Down Syndrome community that their biological niece was a part of. While she is a treasured member of the extended family, they discovered that disabled children in other countries aren’t as fortunate. In 2018 Joe and Tiffany traveled to Ukraine expecting to adopt a sweet baby boy. Instead, they returned home with two (and gave birth to a biological baby the next day). This time, they are setting out to adopt two children. The entire family is ecstatic, hoping to be adding a five year old girl and eight year old boy. This time neither child has Down Syndrome, but instead have other significant health issues and disabilities, including hydrocephalus.
The Ampe family knows the miracles that are required to travel across the world to bring home a child. They have experienced the community that is necessary to support families financially, emotionally, and physically. There’s no way to do it alone and they are extremely grateful for those that walk beside them. Thank you for your generous prayers and financial support.
3/21/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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
Zachary and Caitlyn Connelly are the parents of 5 biological children. They are starting the journey to adopt a 2 year old boy from Eastern Europe. They know this may seem radical to some people but being the hands and feet of Jesus is what we are called to do, right? Adoption is expensive and while they have many obstacles to overcome during this time they have faith God will provide everything they need. Knowing that not everyone can help financially they ask for your prayers above anything else. Prayers for the process and also prayers for the little boy who has some complex medical issues that may not be being met due to being in an orphanage and not having access to great medical care.
The family thanks each and every one who prays and donates. It truly takes a village and they are thankful for theirs!
3/12/2021 — HOMESTUDY NEARLY COMPLETE
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?
3/3/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Hi! We are Steven and Anna, and we have four amazing kids! We got married in 2010 and immediately started talking about having a family. We knew that we wanted adoption or foster care to be part of our story, but there is no way we could have envisioned how God would bring us all together!
In 2014, after attempting to do foster care locally and having doors closed, we faced the heartbreaking reality of infertility. We decided to lean back into the idea of adopting, and began working with our agency to pursue domestic infant adoption. While in the homestudy process, we saw our son Eddie listed in an advocacy post. We immediately contacted our agency and couldn’t believe it when they said we met all of the criteria to be matched with him! We were overjoyed. Eddie is now eight years old, and has been home from Bulgaria since Fall 2015. He loves music and the outdoors with a passion!
After bringing Eddie home, we knew that our family was not complete. We also saw how quickly his health and overall development improved after leaving the orphanage, and we felt that we should act quickly. To many, it seemed overzealous to start the process again when Eddie had only been home for a few months, but we knew that if there was a little girl out there in a crib somewhere, it wasn’t too soon for her. We began the process to adopt again from Bulgaria, and were still in our homestudy phase when another Reece’s Rainbow mom contacted me to share Rosa’s photo and advocacy profile. We were immediately drawn to her! Rosa came home in late 2016. She is eight years old and loves video chatting with grandparents, playing with siblings, family bike rides, and reading books together.
Shortly after Rosa came home, we saw Victor’s photograph. We immediately knew that his needs were urgent and that it was pressing for him to get out of orphanage care. After just a few weeks, we inquired with our agency about the feasibility of starting the adoption process for the third time in two years. His adoption was completed in less than a calendar year, and he came home right before Christmas in 2017. Victor has a smile that lights up the whole room. He loves vestibular stimulation, his fiber optic lamp, and riding in the bike trailer. We are so thankful that he was able to come home to our family.
In 2019 we got an incredible gift of new life! Karyn, our biological child, was born in the Fall. It has been so wonderful to watch her grow up with such diverse family members and how much she loves them all. One of Karyn’s first consistent words was “Vic!” and she chirps his name constantly! “Vic! Vic!” Victor, who doesn’t always like a lot of touch, loves her and will even smile a little as he hears her running towards him. She has inspired Eddie to play more and has given Rosa a chance to nurture to her heart’s content. Karyn is full of moxie!
In late 2020, we realized that we had room in our hearts and home for another kiddo. As we contemplated adopting again, Anna saw an advocacy post about a specific kiddo that sent the family in the direction of Latin America. We are so thrilled to have the chance to adopt again and bring home a beloved sister and treasured daughter. Children belong in forever families, and we can’t wait to meet our little girl!
3/3/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Phil and Kristie Graves have been married for almost 2 decades. Phil met Kristie when he became the youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Maryland in 2001. Kristie was teaching senior high Sunday school and Phil thought she was pretty nice from the very beginning.
For several years, Phil and Kristie discussed the idea of adoption. In 2017 they adopted their fourth child, Elliana, from Armenia. They have now taken the first real steps toward adopting their fifth child, a girl from Eastern Europe. They decided to adopt a special needs child through Reece’s Rainbow because they believe all kids deserve a loving home. She is a beautiful creation of God and they are anxious to get her home.
They also have three biological children. Won’t you please help them take their family from six people to seven? You can help by donating to their adoption. Thanks for your prayers and support!
3/1/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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 daughter!
4/5/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
The Collins Family is excited to expand their family and add a new little one to the bunch! Lee & Diana have been married for 22 years and are the proud parents of 4 amazing children. Spencer is 20 years old, Trevor is 19, Emma is 12, and their youngest daughter Kenzie is 4 years old and has Down syndrome. She was adopted 3 years ago. Kenzie’s adoption had such a great impact on their lives and their family’s lives. She has changed so many perspectives, and demonstrates how worthy children with special needs truly are. Diana has a background in Child Development and Education, while Lee has a professional business background. For 11 years, they ran a preschool fitness program in their area, and worked with young children on gross motor development and fitness. A year ago they changed industries, and now own a Pool service and repair company. Lee runs the business which allows Diana to stay home with the children. The Collins family lives a very outdoorsy lifestyle. Lee & Diana enjoy going hiking, running, and on family walks. The boys grew up playing soccer their whole lives, and as they have gotten older they enjoy skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. Emma has taken on the love for soccer as well, and also enjoys bike rides with her friends. Kenzie enjoys dance class, and doing anything outdoors with her family! No matter what you find the Collins family doing, you will see them doing it together. Family and togetherness is the most important thing to them. Lee & Diana love being parents, and take a lot of pride in their children. They strongly believe that parenting isn’t only about being a parent, it’s about providing opportunity and exposure, inclusion, sharing experiences, encouragement, support, teaching acceptance, and creating strong, individuals for life. They look forward to bringing another child into their home to share the love and happiness of their family!
2/23/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
Meet the Anderson-Hansen Family! Charlie and Liz have a blended family with 5 children: Ethan (15), Savanna (13), Abby (12), Emmeline (5) and Cameron (4). Charlie and Liz each brought children from first marriages (the oldest 3), had one child together (Emmeline) and adopted one child through DCF. They are both registered nurses. Charlie works in an ICU and Liz works as a nurse for a group home agency for intellectually delayed adults.
As long as Liz can remember, she had plans to adopt internationally. She scrolled through the profiles of children on the Reece’s Rainbow site for many years, longing to bring a child home. When they met, Liz introduced Charlie to the world of Reece’s Rainbow adoption and he was hooked! After the birth of their daughter, Emmeline, Charlie and Liz researched agencies to start the international adoption process. They were placed with a newborn in 2016. It was quite the surprise! They were unable to pursue and international adoption while holding a DCF foster license, so plans for an international adoption were put on hold. Cameron was officially adopted in 2021 and the home study process is now officially underway!
As nurses, they both feel equipped to care for a child with a complex medical history and would love to adopt an older child. With the closing of a larger house in 2020, they have plenty of space and love to provide for another child. The children are very excited for the addition of a new family member and are all ready to start fundraising to bring their new sibling home from Eastern Europe! Family and friends are all supportive of this new adventure for the Anderson-Hansen Family. We know that it takes a village to raise a child and would be would feel blessed to have you all along on this journey to bring our child home!
3/12/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
We are the Perryman family we have been married for almost 28 years now. God has blessed us with 3 bios. Children 26 ,21,14 & a daughter in law. This is our 2nd adoption from Asia. God blessed us with Eliyahu who is now 6. We brought him home in Nov. 2018. He was born with Down Syndrome (Rocking that 3rd Chromosome) and Anal Atresia so he has a colostomy bag. We have always had a heart for special needs children. Those who have Down Syndrome especially tugs at our hearts. In 2014 God said 2 years. We were not sure what that meant at that time but during the next 2 years we had a heavy heart for the kids with special needs that needed a loving family. Seemed like everything we heard of saw was about adoption so we started looking and reading about thousands of kids waiting to be adopted & it brought tears to our eyes & pulled at our heart strings. We know without a doubt God was calling us to adopt.
In 2016 God said it is time. We went & talked to our friends that have adopted 4 special needs kids from China. She showed us some sweet faces waiting to be adopted. The next morning, she texted me a picture & said she had forgotten about this little guy, he was in the same orphanage as their daughter was. Oh, my heart that little face. I shared his picture with my husband. That night when we got home, I showed our daughter she said Mom that’s my brother. That was conformation that this little guy was ours. In March 2016 we started the process on our 1st adoption. A lot of prayers, trusting and relying on God! Nov. 2018, we brought our son home from China. In June 2019 I (Christin) felt the need to look at special need’s children waiting on a forever family & as I was looking at all of those beautiful little souls there was one little face with Down Syndrome that tugged at my heart & I knew God is blessing us with another daughter. Now all I needed to do was tell M.J.. He would probably say it was to soon, because at this time we had only had our son home for 6 months. We know God had put it in our hearts to adopt again but we were not sure when. I know my wife looks at the special needs children on Reece’s Rainbow & often prays God would be with them & watch over them. One evening when she was on Reece’s Rainbow, she came across this beautiful little girl & my wife said look at this baby. I looked at the picture for a minute then looked back at my wife (Christin) & said this is our baby girl. When my husband (M.J.) said those words, I knew that was conformation & it is God’s plan for this precious baby girl to be ours. She is chosen & wanted. We are stepping out in faith & being obedient to what God has called us to do. We are expectant and can not wait to see how God’s Grace, Mercy & Love is shown through this.
2/15/2021 — COMPILING DOSSIER
When I was in college in 1996, I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti on a service learning trip. It was there I met the most precious child, a social orphan, like so many in the world. And she planted a seed that took years to spout. In 2010, I traveled with family to Bangladesh to visit children we sponsored at an orphanage. There I realized that love could fully and completely extend beyond the boundaries of traditional views of parent and child. It was a profound time of learning about family structure.
I have three incredible children conceived through IVF; my sweet sons are Joshua, Johnathan and Gabriel. It was a time that l learned to lean fully rely on God. It taught me that hard things happen and still I can trust in Him! As I prayed for the children of my womb, I have also prayed for this little boy of my heart. I know he meant to feel loved and belong with us; he’s been wanted and longed for, for many years!
It is not in my nature to seek assistance however, this is a time, I do ask. The cost of international adoption is expensive ($35,000). I would love for you to partner with us to bring our sweet child home. Also, I believe strongly in the power of prayer and welcome prayers for ease of process, for our family as we prepare here but specially to keep our little one safe and protected till home with us.
4/20/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
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!
4/5/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Boyer family! Shane (dad) works in the manufacturing industry. April (mom) stays at home and homeschools their five children. They live on a small homestead in Ohio. Shane and April began the process to foster-adopt early on in their marriage and soon found out they were expecting their second child, so they decided to put the process on hold until their children were older.
Fast forward to 2020 and Shane and April were blessed by the birth of their fifth child who also has Down syndrome. Aside from the pandemic, 2020 was a rough year for them as they navigated their daughter’s numerous medical needs. However, Shane and April believe God used 2020 to prepare them for even more.
Shane and April believe ALL children are a gift from The Lord and know God is leading them to international special needs adoption. These children are normally put in orphanages, group homes or institutions and do not have access to proper care. Shane and April have been busy planning and looking for ways to earn the funds needed, such as chopping and selling firewood and crocheting handmade items as well as applying for grants to help with the costs. They appreciate your prayers and support. You can follow their journey on their blog at www.boyerfamilyfarm.com. Thank you and may God bless you!
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 NIV
2/4/2021 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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.
4/5/2021 — TRIP ONE COMPLETE; AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Patrick and Lindsey have devoted their lives to changing the lives of kids from all different backgrounds and abilities. They always knew they would adopt internationally, but it wasn’t until 2020 when God said to step out in faith and they decided to push forward. After fostering for over 10 years, they decided to pursue their dreams of adopting a true orphan and giving them a forever home. They first applied for a little girl seen on Reece’s Rainbow, but during the home study process another family committed to her. They prayed and God answered saying, “Do not be discouraged now there is not only one orphan who found a home, but now there will be two.” They continued the home study process and began to pray about which children God had for them. Being a registered nurse and having one daughter with cerebral palsy and another with autism they knew special needs were definitely open. As soon as they read the statistics and the outcome likely for most children with Down syndrome, they knew that was where God was leading them. They can’t wait to add another little girl to their family and show God’s great love to those around them through this great testimony and prove love really doesn’t count chromosomes.
4/1/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
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!
4/1/2021 — DOSSIER COMPLETE
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!!!
3/8/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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.
2/19/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Brian and Stephanie have grown their family in nearly every possible way: biology, step parenting, foster care and international adoption. Nine of their children are “permanent members” but a handful of extras call them mom and dad from their years as foster parents, and they have even recently added the title of “bonus grandparents” to their names.
Their kids range from 21 to 2, college students to babies, the youngest members arriving via international adoption and both rocking their extra chromosomes and both the unanimous sibling favorites.
When adopting the littlest member, Zeke, Brian and Stephanie decided at the last moment to add a second son while the world was on pause due to the pandemic. Things unexpectedly opened up again, and due to their son’s medical needs they were advised to go ahead and get him home for the medical attention he needs and return. They had already amended their home study, agency documents and USCIS approval so they are ready to head back as soon as Zeke is settled in his new family!
The McFarland-Higgins family will be adopting a third child with down syndrome, and with their paperwork ready to go, will be able to move quickly when it is time. Stephanie opened a small business in 2019 to fund the family’s adoptions and the family plans to expand their shop to employ adults with intellectual disabilities in the future. You can visit them at www.longertableapothecary.com
1/4/2021 — HOMESTUDY UPDATE in PROCESS
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.
4/1/2021 — TRIP ONE COMPLETE; AWAITING COURT
Meet the Peters family! This beautiful family is excited to be on their second adoption working hard to bring home a precious girl born with Down Syndrome. Joe and Ronda have a special admiration for people born with Down Syndrome, their fourth child being born with DS, opened their world to the beauty of everyone being born differently abled. Adoption had been something they have talked about over the years of their marriage. Both Joe and Ronda found their hearts captured after coming across a photo of little boy born with Down syndrome whom another family had been advocating for from Reece’s Rainbow. Joe and Ronda knew right away looking at that photo that he was their son. After bringing their adopted son home from Asia, God started laying on their hearts the great need of so many older children still waiting for their families, most never being adopted. So, after the year anniversary of their adopted son being home and many prayers for God’s direction, they started requesting files of older children. Joe and Ronda’s hearts captured once again; the Peters family is excited to be growing their family through adoption.
Adoption is a journey of love and that open-heart love makes a family. Your contribution will truly be a beautiful blessing as you will be a part of helping bring their daughter home to her forever family. Thank you for your prayers and donation.
12/24/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Hi! We are the Ray Family. We have been blessed with 3 bio kids, aged 16, 13, and 10, but we have felt a calling that our family is not quite complete. For a while, we were a foster care home, and while we learned a lot and were blessed by all the kids that came in and out of our home, our heart has been captivated by international special needs adoption.
We have always wanted to adopt since we married 17 years ago, and we are now finally settled down in lovely Lawrence, KS and have purchased a home of our very own. A home with room for one more!
Kevin is a 10 year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, and Emily is a teacher certified in ELL/SPED/Social Studies. Emily has had wonderful experiences working with students with Down Syndrome (and a wide range of other disabilities) who are also English Language learners in her career as a teacher, and feels a special affinity for children with special needs.
We have been following Reece’s Rainbow for many years, dreaming of the time when it would be our turn to travel to pick up our new daughter! We hope to adopt an older girl with Down Syndrome from Asia.
While the financial obstacles of adoption seem huge, we know that these children belong in families, not in institutions, and can’t wait to bring our new daughter home! Thank you for considering partnering with us by donating and sharing our story. Every little bit gets us a little bit closer to bringing our daughter home from the orphanage. With gratitude, the Rays
3/12/2021 — COMPILING DOSSIER; PRE-APPROVAL RECEIVED
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.
2/19/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
*** Donna has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Jayme and her daughter, Londyn Grace, have prayed to grow their family. Jayme is a Supervisor for a restaurant chain in Virginia. She has worked for this company for 10 years and now has the flexibility to grow her family. At first, Jayme had considered fostering a child; however, she knew that her and Londyn would always desire a permanent member to the Cunningham house. A dear friend of the Cunningham’s who has adopted 3 beautiful children from Eastern Europe has been an inspiration to Jayme and her adoption journey. God has led Jayme to Global Adoption Services where she found Blair’s profile and instantly knew she was the one that God wanted Jayme to save to make her family whole. With the financial support of Reece’s Rainbow, Jayme and Londyn’s prayers can finally come true.
4/20/2021 — AWAITING FIRST TRIP
*** Blair has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Sara and Shandon have been married for 17 years. Together they have 4 biological children. Aged 25, 22, 13 and 2. Shandon is a truck driver and Sara a stay at home mom. Sara had always known that she wanted adoption to be a part of her future since she was young. Her and Shandon had discussed it many times through the years, but had never felt it was the “right time”. The right time came for them in the spring of 2020 when began their adoption journey..
While scrolling through facebook posts Sara had come across a post sharing a story of a child adopted out of an orphanage, entitled “What love can do”. After reading through the post, she found Reece’s Rainbow and began reading through the pages of children in need of a family. Night after night she would go on an see all the little faces, and it made her heart ache. She had not really thought of international adoption before, however, she felt like this was where she belonged and that god had brought her here for a reason.
Her first commitment was made that summer, when she found a little boy she knew was meant to be her son. Sara and Shandon discussed the process and decided they were 100% ready to jump in and get this little one home.
A few weeks went by and she came across another post on facebook shared by Keshia Melton, called “see me Saturday”. And that is when she saw her daughter. She had seen the bio of this little one before, and had gone back to it so many times, it seemed to keep popping up almost daily, reminding her that she was still there, and waiting. She could not get this little girl off of her mind, and there came the second commitment.
Anyone who knows Sara and Shandon know that they are givers, it is not in their nature to ask for help. But the cost of international adoption is expensive, and something that they will need help with. They have had multiple yard sales, can drives, Sara makes ornaments, and Shandon has been selling paintings. They understand that times are tough for everyone right now, but are asking if you can donate to help bring these kiddos home they would appreciate it, any amount helps. If you can not donate monetarily, they ask that you share their story. They believe strongly in the power of prayer, so they ask that you join them in prayer that these 2 little ones are safe and protected until they can make it to them.
12/11/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
In February of 2020 Amanda and Jerry were exploring the idea of adopting, this being Amanda’s lifelong dream to be an adoptive mother they felt they were finally at a point in their lives where this was possible. After having a home built with a growing family in mind, they moved towards finding the right organization to help them on their journey. Amanda was speaking to her sister Ashley who lives in San Antonio and she told her about Keisha Melton and Reece’s Rainbow who advocate for children all over the world.
It was in that moment they decided to explore international adoption. Amanda and Jerry were on Reece’s Rainbow looking at children all over the world, Ashley was also was searching and sending photos and stories of children. When they saw Izak listed on Reece’s Rainbow it was instant. Instant love, instant devotion, the I will stop at nothing feeling. After researching and finding where he was in the world, they realized they would need to start to fundraise to be able to bring Izak home.
Amanda started a power washing fundraiser skeptical if it would take off and be something big but turned out it was just the right fit to start the process. On Mother’s Day Jerry contacted Nancy and committed to Izak. It was in that moment Amanda felt the love and devotion Jerry had to the adoption. After two weeks of starting the adoption process Nancy reached out to let them in on a little surprise. Izak has two sisters. They were shocked; they started an adoption for one child, and now there are three children. They were given the options, petition to separate the children, adopt all 3 or find another child. There was only one right answer, God had led them to Izak he knew before they knew. They knew God had planned this all along and he showed them Izak to bring them together.
Jerry and Amanda have two children at home, Andrea who is 14 this year and Jeffrey who is 2 years old. Andrea is extremely excited to have more siblings. Andrea is big on gymnastics, has been in it for over a year, decided to take a break so that the family can use the funds to bring her siblings’ home. Her devotion to her siblings has shown her parents true love, she’s pressure washing on the weekends, making jewelry after school and cutting down on wants to insure this is possible. Jeffrey is still to young to fully understand the adoption, but he knows mommy and daddy are bringing home his brother and sisters. When asked if he’s ready he says YAAAAAA. Thank you for helping bring their new siblings home!
4/5/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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.
4/5/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
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
Hi there! We are the Staley Family. Paul is a Software Developer and SharePoint Administrator and Elizabeth a stay at home mom. Why do we want to adopt? The short answer is that we love being parents and we have the time and love to pour into a couple more kiddos.
The long answer is more complicated and heartbreaking. I personally have always wanted to adopt as long as I can remember. I honestly cannot say how that seed was originally planted there. Our son in law called and asked if we would be interested in adopting a little girl from Ecuador. She was 4 and in a bad situation. We had a big house, time, great insurance and lots of love so of course we said yes. Fast forward a few weeks and many calls to attorneys in both Ecuador and here, this was not even an option. We realized then we had both been really excited about having a new little person and decided we would go forward and adopt anyway. We looked into several adoption programs and chose China. We fit the parameters, the program seemed stable and to be honest we also were dying to see China. I do believe when you choose a country, you should probably love the food and be interested in the culture because you will need to weave this into the rest of your life.
We started out to only adopt one child with an “easy” special need (Its ok to laugh here, we know better now). We signed for a little girl with albinism, but there was also little girl with a big scary special need that I thought about constantly, I stalked her advocacy page and watched as families said no to her file. I asked her advocate a million questions. Then I had dreams about her (until that moment I felt that statement “I just knew” was probably a bunch of crap), but I did just know.
Gabby had tetralogy of fallot and pulmonary atresia, she had significant lung damage from receiving the wrong surgery and poor oxygen saturation (She was in the 60’s). We adopted both girls in an expedited process and it was the trip of a lifetime. We joked that we had the best souvenirs ever. We made it through two open heart surgeries for Gabby and 3 other surgeries in very short order, we lived at the hospital for a month after the first surgery in 2015. Gabby’s vocal cords were damaged in that first surgery. She was placed on thickened liquids. The girls started therapy 6-8 appointments a week right away. We were really crazy busy. Isabella had many bonus special needs we were not expecting but we continued to try different things. Izzy had really endured such an awful time because her SN is seen as a curse. I wish those same people could see my stunningly beautiful girl now who exceeded every single evaluation thus far.
During Gabby’s second open heart surgery (2017) she was diagnosed with a rare (only 64 other cases) case of fungal mediastinitis. I called every other infectious disease team I could find NO ONE had seen it or treated it. I gave her high dose antifungal meds through a picc line every day. Only 40% chance of survival and 0% if it came back, but Gabby is tough and had an unequalled zest for life, so she survived. The thing about Gabby is no matter what was going on she would make you laugh, she could be sick or tired, it didn’t matter. Gabby is a princess superhero with sparkle and sass to spare. She introduced herself to everyone saying “Hi my name is Gabby, what’s your name?” as she shoved out her hand. She never met a stranger. Her laugh is like magic, she is sweet and kind but also brave and fierce. Guess what? Gabby beat the odds and survived!
Izzy and Gabby have had a million adventures together. They are sisters, friends, playmates and partners in crime. Gabby had been asking for another sibling for some time, so Paul and I began to discuss it. We needed Izzy to go through the ABA class (she is autistic) first and hoped she would make some progress. She would begin ABA in October of 2018. We thought we would start another adoption in late summer. We began saving for our adoption in mid-summer of 2018. In late August Gabby got her usual little fever (she has had the same thing at least 100 times), never above 101 but she still wasn’t improving on day 3 so I called the pediatrician, the cardiologist but no one was worried “It’s going around” they said. I was still unsettled and took her to the ER (calling ahead to say I think something is wrong). They were not worried. We were never even triaged. No one was worried until they took her blood. She was admitted and after 4 days passed away on August 29 after having a stent and melody valve placed. She survived the operation but had a massive heart attack and bled out, she never left the OR. Gabby was the light of my life. The fungus had returned, she had been in severe sepsis.
When you lose a child, people say the craziest things to you: People ask “Did you know”, we knew she was sick yes and she deserved a family, the real tragedy would be if we had missed the opportunity to be her parents. It was a gift. Gabby was the sort of person who comes along once in a lifetime. She was worth it. I’m grateful we got to be her parents and grief is truly the price of love, and Gabby is worth every bit of that excruciating pain now.
People say “Be grateful you have other children” right, yes this is true, I do have other children, but I’d love for them to pick one of their children they could live without. It is impossible. They say “At least it wasn’t your biological child” as if somehow we loved Gabby any less because we didn’t share DNA. I loved her with my whole heart and I’d give anything for my Superhero Princess to be here and go on the adoption trip with us, unfortunately no one asked me. Being Gabby’s mom showed me that it is ok to be afraid but still do it anyway. Gabby touched so many lives in her 5 ½ years here on earth, she sure changed everything for our family. People say the adopted child is lucky, but they have absolutely no idea, we are really the lucky ones, we met so many wonderful people, saw amazing sites, celebrated holidays and ate foods we’d have never tried had it not been for adoption.
The best thing is coming in the door and hearing the thundering of little feet running toward you to hug you around the neck with giggles and sticky hands.
We are now matched with a little girl “Stella Mae” with Down Syndrome and hope we can bring her home soon. Izzy is so excited to be a big sister and can’t wait to show her sister the ropes, share the pink Unicorn room and the play area. We can’t wait to have all the family adventures with her!
10/19/2020 — HOMESTUDY in PROCESS
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!
10/27/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Meet the Houston family made up of Wesley, Rachael and their dog Kyba! Wes and Rach met at an elementary school play of Frog and Toad, it was true love at first sight! They share a passion for music, art, exploration, the outdoors, and family. Rachael, a teacher for 10 years and now administrator, has a passion for children and a great deal of experience with children with physical, mental, and emotional special needs. Wesley is the laid back and go with the flow kind of guy. He works as an insurance adjuster by day and a recreational ultimate frisbee player by night. They are an energetic couple who loves to tackle challenges as a team!
Not too long after getting married Wesley and Rachael found out they would not be able to have biological children of their own. This was when Rachael shared that as a young teenager she felt the impression that she was going to adopt one day. At the time it seemed strange because that was not the phase of life she was even really thinking about. Although the experience was long in the past it had always stayed with her. After many hours of researching, and researching, and researching some more they made the decision to move forward with international adoption. They both love children and are egger to become parents and share their love with a child!
Darcy Joy completely stole their hearts as soon as they saw her bio! The more they learned about her the more they fell in love. Their soon to be daughter was diagnosed with postoperative lumbar spinal meningocele, also known as Spina Bifida. She is unable to walk but that doesn’t slow her down one bit. She is a favorite in the orphanage as stated by her nannies and she is a big time favorite by her soon to be family. The Houston’s feel extremely blessed to be on this journey to building their forever family!
4/13/2021 — DOSSIER LOGGED IN on 3/8
John and Erin live in Ontario, Canada. Back in 2017 they flew with their whole family to Nigeria to adopt a little girl. It further opened up their eyes to the great need for adoption. So many children living in institutions, and on streets with little love and care. It was a real adventure, but God was so gracious granting them their youngest daughter.
Since then, they desired to add another child or two to their family. Feeling they had more love to give, and that it would be nice for Favour to have someone she could relate to more.
John quit his job as a police officer, and has gone back to school to study to be a pastor, and serve the Lord where ever he will call them. They have a growing interest in Eastern Europe, and would love to be able to be a blessing to a child from there.
Erin is a stay at home mom and home schools their 5 children. She has worked for years with children with special needs, and children with Down Syndrome are especially dear to her heart! The kids are excited about adding a child to love to their family.
They have been feeling lead to adopt from Eastern Europe for years, but it hadn’t worked out. Now they finally can.Their home study is complete, and they are excited to start compiling their dossier and try to bring a child home. Thank you for your prayers, and support!
3/3/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Christian was a beach bum from Florida, and Megan was a cowgirl from the mountains of South Carolina, yet they somehow found each other and have made a lifetime of memories. Christian is a paramedic and a soldier in the SC Army National Guard. Megan was a phlebotomist who gave it all up to be a stay at home mother and teacher. They have 5 biological children, ages 10 to 18 months, 4 boys and 1 little girl. Children have been the focal point of their marriage, and that love continues with a soon to be adoption. Their love for children has remained as strong as their love for each other.
Since before they were married, Megan had always had a heart for adoption. It has been a dream and desire of hers since she was a child. She specifically wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, as they have both had experience with special needs and children with Down syndrome. Christian, however, was hard hearted and callused to the idea of adopting a child. He was content with having biological children and that was enough for him. Megan had prayed everyday for 10 years for a change of heart.
It was in the summer of 2018 that while listening to a sermon by a pastor about being adopted by his family, but also being “adopted” into the family of Christ. It was this time that Megan’s prayers were beginning to be answered. Christian’s heart was breaking down. He was beginning to see the ignorance and selfishness in his ways. He realized that if he could be adopted into the family of God, why could he not open his heart, mind, and soul to a child in need of adoption.
Their adoption journey has been a whirlwind, and has happened much faster than they ever could have imagined. It took 10 days for them to be approved for a domestic adoption with a domestic adoption agency. As they sifted through the children with special needs, there was never a child that they felt like God had placed before them. They knew the financial aspect of adoption was always a huge commitment, so they focused on staying domestic, with no sights set on an international adoption. It wasn’t until a childhood friend sent a link to an absolutely adorable baby girl to Megan, that an international adoption was on the table. This was it. This was the child that they had waited for their children had waited for, and furthermore the child that God had placed before them to bring to her forever home!
Both Megan and Christian are beyond elated with the thought of finding their baby girl and bringing her home. It has been a blessing each and every step of the way, but not only for them. On a side note, the little girl looks exactly like a couple of Megan’s family members, which confirms she was meant to be a Miller. They have included their 5 bio children in the adoption process, as well as, their two current foster children. The children have celebrated together, prayed together, enjoyed pictures, and stories of their soon to be sister! This family has been built on the foundation of love, and togetherness. The Miller family is beyond tight knit; they truly are a family who does everything together. They thank everyone for their support, for the donations, but most importantly their prayers. Without prayers, they completely believe that they would never be in a position to bring the sweetest little girl home to her forever family!
4/9/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
Meet Ian and Sara Lemin. Ian is a critical care nurse and Sara is an obstetrician/gynecologist in Ohio. As medical professionals, Ian and Sara have enjoyed several trips to Haiti for Christian medical missions. They were married in 2015 and blended their family of four teenagers. Then in 2017 they were blessed by the birth of their fifth child who was born with a musculoskeletal condition known as “arthrogryposis”. Through an online parent support group, the Lemins were introduced to the Reece’s Rainbow profile of a little boy in Eastern Europe who also has arthrogryposis. Their hearts were opened and they felt God’s calling to bring this little boy into their home where they could share their love and knowledge of his condition. They are committed to “Conrad” and are currently in the process of completing their home study. They are eagerly looking forward to the day when they can meet this sweet boy. Ian and Sara thank you in advance for your support of their journey with your donations and prayers.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
3/31/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
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.
4/16/2021 — TRIP ONE COMPLETE
Vinny has received a $2000 grant.
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
1/23/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Eric and Kelly Burton live in KY with their 3 children- Willa Kate, Sullivan, and Milo. Together, they have built a marriage of 15 years and a family that continues to grow. Their adoption story is unique! It began after the birth of their first child and secondary infertility was discovered. They attempted fertility treatments and prayed for another baby, but soon realized adoption did not have to be their Plan B. Once they began to pursue a beautiful boy in China, they stopped grieving what infertility had taken. It was clear this was their path all along!
Much to their surprise, the Burtons would soon be holding a miraculously positive pregnancy test and faced with a choice. God had answered their prayers for a baby, long after they’d stopped praying them. But their hearts were already all-in with a boy they’d never met.
Needless to say, the Burton brothers both joined the family in 2017! While it’s been a lot of hard work, saying “yes” to adoption has been the Burton family’s greatest gift. And they are ready to say “yes” again. They are praying to return to china for another special needs adoption. This time, a 6-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease.
The Burtons are average people- a public school teacher and a stay at home mom- with hearts that beat for orphan care. They are humbly asking others to join in their efforts to bring “Luna” — soon to be named Nora Jane — home.
3/22/2021 — DOSSIER LOGGED IN 3/8
Robert and Lara Vitter met on 9/10/06 and got married on 9/15/07. The Vitter Family has had a heart for adoption and orphan ministry since they started dating. They were pregnant with their 1st child after being married for 1 month. When their daughter was not even 1 they lived at a Children’s home for 2 1/2 years, had another baby and then moved to Italy as Christian missionaries for almost 8 years and added 3 more biological children to their family. Lara grew up in a home that adopted a terminally ill brother and they also had several foster children in their home. They have always wanted to grow their family through adoption and have been led to Cohen to join their family. They truly believe they are called by God in this way from James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” There’s never been a dull moment in their lives together and God has always called us to do ministry together as a family. We know Cohen is the next piece for our ministry “team”. They can’t wait to bring him home and have him be a part of all they do.
4/6/2021 — TRAVELING in APRIL
Lindsay, Noel and their two kids plus a multitude of scaly, feathery and furry members call the Mile High state home. Together they do all things outdoors and enjoy traveling, especially to Texas, Kansas and Florida to visit extended family. Their biggest adventure yet will be traveling to Asia to bring their little girl HOME. They cannot wait to love, honor and celebrate her! The Applebaugh Garza family truly and fully embraces the unique love, beauty and challenges that come with raising a child with different abilities. Their experience and passion began with Lindsay’s brother and aunt who influenced her to become a Special Education teacher. These experiences have continued as Noel and Lindsay raise their son who is on the Autism spectrum and now with their soon-to-be daughter who was born with an extra chromosome. They are thrilled to welcome their new daughter and support her in becoming her best, most happy and healthy self! They would like to invite you on their adoption journey @lovebugchina on Instagram! Thank you for reading, your love and your support!
12/12/2020 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
This will be Dennis & Cindy’s 4th Adoption. They met their “CHRISTmas Miracle” in December of 2016. He came over with a group of other children through hosting. He has been coming to their family now for 4 years. They have sent him back to his orphanage 7 times, waiting to be able to begin his adoption. It is now his time to come Home.
Cindy just returned from Eastern Europe with their daughter’s Alyna & Anya; biological siblings who had never met until Cindy brought them out of their Orphanages on June 26, 2020. On July 7th they landed in America. Alyna also came to them through a hosting program when she was just 6 years old, in 2018. When they committed to adopt Alyna they found out she had a baby sister. She was called “Baby Surprise”. Alyna also came back to them in the Summer of 2019 for 3 months. one of the hardest experiences they ever had was to put their tiny little one back on a Plane to return to her Orphanage, just like their son. God kept telling Cindy, I brought them to you, you have to return them so I can bring them back Home to you. And this is exactly what He did. He brought them Home. Through a Border Closing, Quarantine and Virus, God moved, did Miracles and brought their girls Home.
They were never looking to Host. How God brought their children to them through Hosting, He unfolded His plan and He provided each time for them to come to America. With their son He even made the decision. Another incredible Story of how Our Father brings about His Plan, they have also Adopted Abraham & Sarah in 2014, Ayden in 2017. Many know of the Miracles with these precious little ones. Little Adalyn, their little one in Russia now 9 years old is still in an Orphanage in Russia due to the Ban in 20212. They were with her for a week and the Judge was trying to get them back in 2 weeks for Court, but sadly the Ban became Law a week after they returned Home in December of 2012. They still Believe, Hope, and Trust. They also have 8 incredible Biological children 41 to 24 and 11 Grandchildren.
They already have Immigration Approval which they received when they were Adopting their little girls and unfortunately he could not be Adopted then. So now they are trying to push quickly through paperwork and raise all the finances to bring him Home.
3/25/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
Hi! We are the Quick family. In 2017, we traveled to Eastern Europe to adopt our dearly loved son, Mannix, who just happens to have Down syndrome. We brought him home to join his 8 older brothers and sisters when he was 9 months old, weighing just 10 lbs.
When we were in his birth country, we were able to see the conditions of his orphanage and the hospital where he was frequently sent, along with other bedridden children. We have never been able to forget these kids, who spend their days in cribs with barely enough to eat to stay alive, and no one in the world to love them.
We knew right away we would want to go back and adopt again, if at all possible. We have the room, the love, the time, and the resources to share with another child. However, we do not have the $30,000 in hand or in credit that it costs to bring a child home. We intend to work very hard at making and selling things, taking on extra jobs, selling things around the house and whatever else it takes to give another child a loving home and family. Our hopes are that our family, friends and community at large will come alongside us to make this happen, whether that be in prayer, monetarily, or time.
We thank you for your time and interest in our next journey and hope you’ll follow along.
4/21/2021 — USCIS APPROVED
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!
*** Brenda has been awarded a $2,000 Grant! ***
3/29/2021 — Brenda’s family has passed court, and is waiting to bring her home!
Meet the Effhauser Family! Matthew and Sarah live with their five children on a little farm in rural Minnesota along with their two dogs, two barn cats and too many chickens to count. They are high school sweethearts and started their family soon after being married; their children now range from 13 to 2.
A few years into marriage, their eyes were opened to children with special needs living in orphanages around the world. They began supporting families in process and donating to life-saving surgeries for little ones. Soon they realized that maybe they were being called to adoption, someday. The conversations and prayers around adoption began and as they added more children to their family, worked their way through job changes and renovated their 1913 farmhouse, they kept gently hearing the Lord say “not yet”, even when their hearts wished He would say yes.
Trusting in His timing and discerning that the time to adopt was hopefully nearing, Sarah resigned from her teaching position to stay home with their youngest children in preparation to be home with their adopted child someday as well. The Effhauser family participated in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign and were thrilled to share a sweet boy with the world and the work of Reece’s Rainbow. Maybe advocacy was only what they were called to do?
Over the years, the couple had shared many pictures of waiting children with one another until one summer day they saw the face of a young boy, just a few months younger than the baby of their family and they knew, now was the time! The entire family can’t wait for their little brother to be home!
2/1/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
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!
1/5/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED; AWAITING OFFICIAL REFERRAL
Mike and Robin have been married for 9 years. They have 9 beautiful kiddos, two who were adopted from Eastern Europe. Mike works as a public servant for the beautiful state of Washington and is the worship leader at Lakewood Grace. Robin is a stay at home mom and wife, and homeschools their kids.
Mike and Robin have a huge heart for adoption. After bringing their two girls home, they felt certain that they would be going back at some point. After much prayer and consideration, they decided to start the adoption process again. They discovered that a little boy they had seen a listing for a year and a half before was still waiting for his forever family. They decided that he should not have to wait any longer.
The cost of adoption can seem daunting but Mike and Robin firmly believe that God has called them on this journey and He will provide. Any prayers, donations, and shares of their story are all deeply appreciated.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27″
Joe and Jenna live in NY with their 4 daughters Brianna, Chiara, Savanna and Stella. Stella, who was born with Down Syndrome, was adopted from Asia in 2018 and now they are excited to be going back for their 5th daughter, also born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect.
Joe and Jenna’s adoption story began in 2010 when adoption was first planted in their hearts after the loss of their unborn child and the news that they were not able to conceive any more children. In 2013, their 3rd daughter and miracle baby, Savanna, was born. She was truly a blessing that they were not expecting. But the seed of adoption had been planted years earlier, and it was growing.
Even after experiencing this profound miracle, the Neri’s knew that they had so much more love to share. Faith has been the hallmark of the Neri family from the very beginning and has carried them through the most difficult times. They, like many other families, had a heart for special needs adoption. Jenna has worked with adults and children with both physical and developmental disabilities for 22 years and knew the unique challenges individuals with Down Syndrome face. Then Jenna saw a picture of a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome on Reece’s Rainbow and she knew this was her daughter. They worked hard to bring Stella home in October 2018 and now, less than 2 years later, they have fallen in love with another little girl that they know is meant to be their daughter as well.
Joe has just started his own small business and serves as the youth director at their church, and Jenna works as a Residential Manager for individuals with disabilities. They may not be a family of financial means, but they are rich in faith and love to share with another child. Despite the many uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and international adoption, they are committed to giving this beautiful girl the love, support and family she deserves.
1/4/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED
In 2013, when Nick and Val said yes to adopting a young boy from Ukraine that was being hosted in the US, they never dreamed answering God’s call would impact their lives so much. What they didn’t know was that little boy already had a family pursuing him. After much prayer they decided to continue the adoption journey in Ethiopia. After three successful and life changing adoptions of four children from Ethiopia, they felt the tugging on their heart by the Holy Spirit to adopt again. The tug they were feeling was to adopt a waiting child.
Val decided to get on Reece’s Rainbow. Right away they saw this beautiful little girl (Shelby Mae) and knew right away she was their daughter.
They are rejoicing and so thankful the for that tug from the Lord that led them to their precious daughter. His plan was made clear when they saw her beautiful face. They are excited to bring their daughter home and be family of 10.
1/5/2021 — DOSSIER SUBMITTED in NOV
*** Shelby Mae has received an additional $5,000 Grant! ***
Jack and Emily are high school sweethearts who married in 2013. The couple always knew they would someday adopt. They separately volunteered at Russian orphanages in college and fell in love with the sweet children so in need of families there. Emily remembers holding the children with special needs, designated to a back room of the orphanage, and so in need of affection. Their experiences had a profound effect on both of them as they felt the separate call to someday adopt from this region… it was truly fate.
Jack served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army and the two have lived all over the country in their seven years of marriage. They have now settled into their civilian lives in West Virginia. Jack works in manufacturing and Emily, a former English teacher, now stays at home with their children and homeschools them.
Jack and Emily have two boys, Mark and Joseph, who are 5 and 2, as well as a daughter, Eloise, who was born earlier this year and lived for a short time after birth. Eloise had a rare genetic condition, and though she was too sick to live, she changed them in countless ways and continues to do so. Jack and Emily learned firsthand how every child, regardless of health or ability, is deserving of the same love and dignity as any other child. Eloise taught them that not only did they have the capacity to love and advocate for a child with significant medical needs, but that their hearts were open to the blessings of it.
Almost a decade after Jack and Emily volunteered at those Russian orphanages, it became clear that it was time; they were now being called to adopt a child with special needs from Eastern Europe. They hold to the truth that God’s ways are above our ways and they have seen the beauty of it in their lives in so many ways, most especially with this beautiful little girl with cerebral palsy who is waiting for them to bring her home. Jack and Emily and their boys are so excited to welcome this sweet child into their family and are counting down the days until she will be here.
They thank you for your support and prayers on this journey!
2/14/2021 — TRAVELING in FEB
Gary and Denise became members of the Reece’s Rainbow Family in 2006. First by advocating and supporting International Adoption for Ukraine and children in Eastern Europe. After adopting both Makayla and Patrick in 2000 and 2002 they wanted to return to adopt but decided on adopting from Bulgaria Chrissie 2009, then Jake and Gennie in 2011 from Bulgaria. Sadly Gennie died of complication of organ failure from her Cystic Fibrois shortly after arriving in the US. Little Jake also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. But the Davis Family devotes their love and time to caring to ensure Jake gets the very best medical care. After Gennie’s death the Davis family hearts ached. But also the Davis family heart was for another little girl so their hearts were led to Ukraine and adopted not one but two little girls Penelope and Katya. As time quickly passed by read of a little girl Sophia who needed major ortho care and a young man they named Grayson who received a donor kidney. These two children needed out quickly to survive and without medical care Grayson would have died. And Sophia now can run and dance like other children.
Advocating for Reece’s Rainbow did not end after their adoption of Grayson and Sophia in 2019. Denise followed each child as they were listed and daily prayed each found a home. Speaking to many families through her blog she shared her journey with the assistance of Reece’s Rainbow. Many times there would be certain children or families who touched Denise’s heart. So she helped by donating and advocating to families adopting. This pass year there was a particular little girl with two healthy sisters. Her name on Reece’s Rainbow but not her given name was sitting on a couch watching her sisters play. This particular video Denise watched over and over. Each night the girls were in Denise’s prayers. Soon the entire family prayed for this little girl. She sat in an old blue pair of pajamas as her healthy sister dressed in party dresses. Both playing with dolls and pushing doll strollers. Watching a video of a small girl who so many people viewed yet never inquired or cared. As months passed she sat once again on the same couch but this time alone. Her precious beautiful healthy sisters were chosen for adoption. Makes one ask theirselves why not little Cassandra also. Make children like Cassandra are over looked. Her clothes still old and mismatched. Could they have placed a pretty dress on her? Add on a big beautiful bow? Made you wonder if she knew her sisters were not coming back. Knowing this one little girl once she is 4 or 5 wll be moved to an older child’s orphanage or even worse an adult institutional setting. Yes there are thousands of orphans in the world but not one child out of the thousands chose to be an orphan. Not sure if many of you have visited an orphanage. The Davis family and their adopted children can tell you this is not a home nor a family. Children need a Father a Mother, sisters and brothers. And maybe a few cats or a dog to snuggle with and play ball with.
No child as they grow up wonder why they were not in a family. Many times families do not adopt because they are unsure or afraid.. Adopting a child involves a ton of paperwork, many tears, many prayers and yes one adoption can cost over $34,000. Without prayers, love an support of others through donation can not be possible. Please in your heart Take that Leap. The Davis Family prays that the funds they need are provided as needed during their adoption. Every dollar goes to saving a little girl or boy sitting on a couch alone or laying in a bed.
2/12/2021 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Hi! My name is Holly and I would like to introduce you to a crazy family… Mine.
I have an 11 year old son named Jakob and for a while it was he and I against the world. Then in 2014 Jake and I married Ronnie. He tripped me in Walmart, and I fell for him. Literally. Together the 3 of us built a beautiful little family. In 2015 we added Genesis to our family, and in 2017 God gave us our two boys.
We had been introduced to Reece’s Rainbow and international special needs adoption a year-ish before when our church participated in a fundraiser to help a local family to bring home a waiting child from Reece’s Rainbow. Around the same time another Reece’s Rainbow child had gone viral for their amazing transformation since being brought home. I would scroll through the photo’s of the children, share the fundraisers for the families, and pray for all. I never thought we would be one of the families! But then it happened. One day I was scrolling through the photos and I saw a face. I felt it in my whole being that she was part of our family and we jumped in heart first!
We had no idea what we were doing, and there were many hiccups along the way! We kept pushing forward though. Then in April 2018 we found out that the child we absolutely loved had passed away. My heart was shattered. Since we were in an incredible custody battle for the two boys we decided not to continue with the adoption at that time. We needed to focus on keeping the boys safe.
Then in October 2019 it happened again. I was scrolling through Reece’s Rainbow’s Facebook page and I saw a little boy who looked so much like my 4 year old that my heart just stopped. We had just purchased our new home days before. We were in a new state, new house, starting a new chapter of our lives. I showed his picture to Ronnie expecting that he was going to talk some sense into me. Instead he tells me “we actually have room for two”. So much for being talked off the ledge!
Ronnie works for the public school system with developmentally disabled children. I work for a nonprofit organization as a Direct Support Professional in residential group homes. We are NOT wealthy people by any means. But what we lack in dollars we make up for with love. God has brought us to this, and I know he will provide for us to be able to bring our children home.
Please keep our family in your prayers as we work endless hours of overtime, fundraise, and try to navigate the international adoption process.
1/8/2021 — AWAITING USCIS APPROVAL
Meet the Geno family! Matt and Brynne Geno have been married for 3 years and have a one-year-old boy named Levi. Brynne works as a special education teacher and Matt is a chemical analyst in a chemical plant. They live in south Louisiana.
Both Matt and Brynne felt a call to adopt before getting married. Brynne served on two summer mission teams in Eastern Europe in 2012 and 2013. Matt served in Ukraine for 6 months doing mission work in 2013. Also, Matt’s younger sister is adopted from Ukraine. They have both felt called to adopt from Eastern Europe, specifically, due to their time serving the Lord there.
They have committed to a sweet two-year-old girl with an infectious smile. She is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and developmental delays. They are committed to her and currently wrapping up our home study. Thank you in advance for your generosity, and please keep them in your prayers!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
2/3/2021 — VIRTUAL TRIP ONE SCHEDULED