Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Thank you for your generous gift of life and love!
Phil and Cole met in 2006 during their junior and senior year (respectively) of high school on a group date for Homecoming. Phil was dating Cole’s friend at the time, and Cole was there with Phil’s best friend. By the end of the night, they’d both decided that they were interested in each other. The rest is history…a total cliche. After five years of dating, they got married in November of 2011. In October 2012, they welcomed their first son, Gabe. Caroline joined the family in December 2013, and Nico was born in September 2015. After Nico was born, Cole found RainbowKids, and then Reeces Rainbow. Her mind was blown and her heart was broken by the reality of the orphan crisis. She began “preparing to prepare” to adopt someday…way in the future. A year and a half later, she and Phil brought Rosey home from Bulgaria. Shortly after bringing Rosey home, they found out that they were expecting a fifth child. They lost that baby, a little girl named Bonnie, but welcomed their rainbow baby Auggie into the family in April 2019. Early in 2020 Cole felt that familiar feeling and again began scrolling through the little faces online, looking for their baby. In March 2020 she found M, a sweet 3 year old living in Kyrgyzstan, and immediately texted a screenshot to Phil. He agreed that she was theirs, and they’ve been working diligently to bring her home ever since!
8/7/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Ben and Karaline met on the bus ride to summer camp in high school and quickly became close, getting married four years after meeting. Almost immediately after getting married, they were surprised with their first daughter, Posy and welcomed their second daughter, Felicity, a short 16 months after that. Ben is a pastor at a nearby church—he’s humorous, hardworking, and joyful. Karaline currently stays at home to care for the kids—she’s gentle, dedicated, and loving. Posy is four years old and loves to tell jokes! She’s creative, playful, and bold. Felicity is three years old and is a calm and gentle child. She’s loving, silly, and determined. We are a family that values being closely bonded to one another.
Since the beginning of their marriage, adoption was in their minds as a journey they one day wanted to walk. After giving birth to Felicity, it became clear to both Ben and Karaline that their 3rd would come through adoption. Ben and Kara are passionate about permanency for children in families! The more they learned about childhood trauma and common experiences and conditions that arise for children who need a permanent family, they were increasingly drawn to a special needs adoption. As they learned more and more in their pre-adoption classes, Ben and Kara realized that their parenting style and way of life is very conducive to parenting a child with special needs. Kara also has experience working with children with special needs and trauma backgrounds. Along with their strong support system through their large extended family, and their church community, they felt uniquely prepared to pursue a special needs adoption.
At each step, Ben and Karaline expected roadblocks and drawn-out periods of waiting. But at each step, they were pleasantly surprised by how quickly doors were being opened for them to step forward through the process. Out of the blue one day, they learned about an adorable little girl with Down Syndrome. In reading her file, talking with the doctor, and considering this possibility together, they felt huge confirmation that they could care for her needs and that she was the child for their family. The phone call saying their letter of intent was accepted is one of the most joyful moments of their lives! Their joy continues to increase the closer they get to bringing this sweet girl into their family.
They now are completing paperwork as quickly as they can for the opportunity to bring her home! Posy and Felicity have loved preparing her room and praying for her everyday as a staple of their pre-meal routine. While Ben and Kara know that adoption processes are anything but certain, they feel drawn to the world of adoption and of Down Syndrome. They await the joyous day in which they will welcome their newest daughter as a part of their family, forever. Thank you for being a part of their story of permanence as a family with their newest daughter!
7/30/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE; COMPILING DOSSIER
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!
10/5/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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!
10/13/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
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!
10/14/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Carly is an elementary school nurse in Fort Worth, TX. Her adoption journey officially began in July 2020, but really started back when she was 19 years old. The summer of her sophomore year of college, a good friend of hers invited her to work at Charis Hills Camp- a small camp in Sunset, TX for children with autism and ADHD. That summer for her was completely lifechanging, as she saw the incredible way the Lord loves and pursues all of His children. She decided then that she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to children with special needs. During her time in nursing school, she provided respite for one of the camper’s families who lived in her same city, and then returned to camp the next summer. After graduating with her nursing degree, Carly moved to Virginia to continue her life’s passion. She began working at Jill’s House in Vienna, Virginia- an overnight respite care facility for children with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or other special needs. Her time here was invaluable, as she was able to work with hundreds of children with varying disabilities. She gained invaluable experience working with children who were medically fragile as well. Carly moved back to Austin in 2017, working remotely for Jill’s House camps. During this time, she also began providing in home respite care for a young boy with physical and developmental disabilities. She was able to see what day to day life looks like when you have a child with disabilities- from therapies, to doctor visits, to just hanging out at the house. She is so incredibly thankful for this time in her life.
It was during this time, that she first saw the profile of the child that she now in the process of adopting. She had been following Reece’s Rainbow on social media for a while, because she followed along with many of the family’s stories as they adopted and brought their children home. However, in 2017, when this child’s profile came up, she knew something was different. She was too young at the time to be able to pursue adoption, so she felt there was nothing she could do about it. A year later, the child was still on her mind. She set an alarm on her phone every day for 11:30am and titled it the child’s RR name. She began to pray for him every day at this time that he would find a family. She moved back to Fort Worth in August of 2019. It hit her that after 2 years of praying that this child would find a home, that he was still waiting. It was during this time that she realized that she may have been praying for her SON this entire time. After a lot of reflection, prayer, and seeking counsel from others, she knew it was time to take that next step. When she told her family and friends that she was hoping to begin the process soon, she was met with incredible support. She is now working hard to bring him home!
Carly is so thankful for the journey that led her here. She believes everything in her life has been preparing her for this, and she’s excited to become a first-time mom.
9/24/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
*** 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!
10/14/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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.
9/29/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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!
9/1/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
We are Emily Waterfield & Chris Brooks and we are expanding our family by adopting a little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. Originally from Virginia, we have been living in New Orleans, Louisiana for the past fifteen years. Chris works in operations and Emily has been a special education system leader for a decade. We have two young boys– Garrett and Oden- and together we love exploring City Park, eating Snoballs and crawfish, celebrating Mardi Gras and cheering for the Saints.
Our adoption began to take root years ago, when friends found their son via Reece’s Rainbow and shared their journey to bring him home. Advocating for the rights of children and specifically children with disabilities was not new to us, but the idea of adoption first seemed impossible and far fetched. Surely this was something other people were better suited for? For us, adoption became a real possibility the day we saw a picture of a little boy and there was a spark of instant recognition- this child, this boy is our son. The idea of flying across the world for him, raising money to meet the demands of this arduous process, lining up therapists and support to meet his unique needs– all of this is our reality now. We are not extraordinary. We are not wealthy. We are committed to our children and to bringing home our boy.
We have learned, it is commonplace due to poverty and social stigma for children with all types of disabilities to live in an institution all their lives, without knowing the feeling of being someone’s beloved child, having experiences such as going to school or to a park, or accessing the medical care necessary to thrive. We believe that people with disabilities are wonderful and not a burden. We believe in neurodiversity and that all great minds don’t think alike. Most of all we believe that all children belong in families.
Any contribution you choose to make, no matter how small is appreciated. We will not be officially matched or able to access any information about the little boy we think of as ours until our first trip to his country. Thank you so much for considering us and supporting visibility for waiting children with disabilities internationally.
9/8/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Rusty and Kristin Kruse are the parents of seven children, ranging in age from 31 years old to seven years old. Rusty and Kristin met in the Army at Ft. Hood, Texas in 1994. They were married later the same year.They have lived in many different areas of the US.
Rusty recently retired from the Army and now works as a civilian on a military post. Kristin is working on a college degree in Biblical Studies. They are at a very stable, very blessed point in their lives, and have decided that they would like to share their love with a little boy in Eastern Europe who has no family of his own.
Kristin has been a prayer warrior for many children on Reece’s Rainbow for years, and has a deep love for orphaned little ones. She is so grateful to God for blessing her and her family with another child.
Rusty and Kristin ask for your prayers as they work to bring this adoption to completion, as well as prayers for the well-being of the tiny boy they are hoping to adopt. “Behold, children are a gift from the LORD…” Psalm 127:3
9/22/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Leah is a lifelong Navy sailor who grew up as a dependent and is now active duty. When she was a young girl living in Hawaii, her stay-at-home RN mother fostered several children under 2 who had special needs for a few months and one at a time while they were between more permanent homes. Even though she was only 5 years old at the time, she fell in love with a baby named Emily whose smile she can still remember and was old enough to understand that adopting meant adding a child who didn’t come out of my mommy’s tummy. Since then, adoption has been at the forefront of her mind when it comes to adding kids to a family of her own.
In 2015 while stationed on a ship, her church hosted an adoption agency that talked about older child adoption. They told her that even single women who work full time on a Navy ship can adopt. Leah knew that her time was coming when she would add to her family of one.
In January of 2019, a friend shared the Reece’s Rainbow page of a girl who was aging out and Leah felt the tug on her heart. She began prayerfully considering adoption in the near future and knew it was almost time. Almost one exact year later, another girl with the same special needs was shared to Facebook by a friend who had already completed an adoption for a child on Reece’s Rainbow and was working on her second. Leah knew it was time and began her home study that month.
First time international adoption can be a long and difficult process and the child that Leah is working toward adopting doesn’t have much time! Any kind of help is welcomed and appreciated and thanks to all who follow this journey to make the Davis family go from one to two!
8/15/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
The Lewandowski family are in the process of adopting an aged-out boy – or two – from Eastern Europe.
Kevin and Natalia met online. Both grew up in totally different communities, totally different surroundings, and totally different countries. Kevin was raised in family-oriented Polish community and has always seen his own role as a person who is supporting strong family bonds.
Growing up in a Ukrainian blue-collar family, Natalia always had a heart for those who were in need. Living and volunteering in Ukraine and the USA for multiple church and community services gave her opportunities to reach out to those who were living below the poverty level such as the elderly and people with disabilities. There was something special about Ukrainian orphans though that was always on her mind over the past 2 decades: orphanages are meant to provide shelter, clothes, and basic nutrition, but cannot ever be a substitute for real FAMILY.
Kevin and Natalia hosted a 16-year-old boy during the summer of 2019. It was not an easy summer, but it gave them a chance to feel an orphan’s emotional pain and trauma. Kevin and Natalia understand that it may take a lifetime to help their son learn to cope with the physical and emotional trauma caused by institutional and parental neglect. The other boy they are considering was also hosted but his family, after deciding to adopt, was not able to proceed. Other families that had been interested in this boy assumed he was being adopted, and by the time the family discovered they could not proceed, it was too late for another family to do anything because he had aged out.
Raising funds for a teenager’s adoption is not easy task, but both Natalia and Kevin strongly believe that they were called for this adoption and God will provide by using people’s hearts and hands. Please consider teaming up with this family in this financial challenge that will change ONE orphan’s life, or maybe even TWO.
6/16/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
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.
7/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETED
We are the Rinehart family and we are adopting! This will be our third and final adoption from Asia. We have six grown children and multiple grandchildren. Our home and family are full of people and love. Our two youngest daughters (ages 8 & 6), adopted in 2017 and 2018, are eagerly awaiting their little sister! We began our adoption journey in 2016 after the Lord laid in on our hearts over a several year period to adopt. The journey was like chipping away at stone to reveal the diamond underneath. The first time we saw her picture we were hooked! Little did we know then that we would repeat the process two more times. Like her sisters before her, our newest little one has stolen our hearts and we know that she is our daughter! We hope to bring her home this fall. With all of the uncertainty in the world, we would appreciate your prayer. Please pray for our family to get through this process quickly and that travel would be safe and available when it comes time to travel. If the Holy Spirit moves you to donate, we would certainly appreciate that as well. Thank you!
5/18/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Meet the Carper family from central Pennsylvania. Jason and Candid met the 2nd day of their high school senior year in 2001 and have been together ever since. Jason and Candid were married after dating almost 4 years and Candid competed nursing school. They have 2 boys, Colton who is 11 and Jackson who is 6. They also have 2 labrador retrievers named Gracin and Hope and a cat named Callie. The Carper family enjoys camping with family and spending time together playing outside.
From a very young age, Candid could see people’s ability not their disability and has always been drawn to helping people. In 2007, she began researching adoption, but the timing was not right. She attended nursing school and worked in a long-term care facility for the first few years but felt called to pediatric nursing. She then went to work for an agency that provided care in children’s homes with special needs. After working 7 years for the agency she was blessed with their second son, however he would require a short-term NICU stay. She took time off to help him grow. When she returned to work, she started a new job as a school nurse at their local school district but always felt the call to return to special needs nursing. Candid returned to the pediatric home care and remains there taking care of children with multiple special needs. She has always felt the call from God to adopt but the timing was not right for their family due to caring for Jason’s grandmother for 7 years as well as 2 children.
Jason is the main family provider. He works very hard to be sure that his family is taken care of. Growing up with his grandparents and working on the family farm taught him many skills in life. Jason knows what unconditional love is and is looking forward to a new journey with a daughter.
Colton and Jackson both helped to care for their great-grandmother and showed great compassion in her care. They helped prepare her meals, attend medical appointments and hold her hand to guide her as she was blind. Both boys have been recognized in their school for helping others and having a loving heart. They are looking forward to a sister and being her protector.
In 2019, the call from God became greater and Candid began researching adoption again. She began praying for her family and for their future daughter. In July of 2019 she came across an advocacy post of a little girl with down syndrome. She then began having dreams of her and she just knew that she was who God had placed on her heart for her family to adopt. The Carper family began praying about adoption and in October they submitted their application to bring home a precious little girl.
They are now home study approved and have sent in their LOI and I-800A forms. Please pray for their family and little girl as they are excited to bring her home and become a family of 5.
3/13/2020 — DOSSIER IN TRANSLATION
Dave and Erin Briar have been blessed with eight children – two boys, five girls and one older “daughter-of-the-heart” – Alicia. Dave and Erin met Alicia at church while serving overseas in the US military. They quickly bonded with Alicia, invited her into their home, and “adopted” her at age 20. In essence, a daughter-of-the-heart. They love all their kids from oldest at age 28 to the youngest at age 12. Caliana will be a much-loved and welcome addition to their family — another daughter-of-the-heart.
The last five years have brought a lot of change to the Briars’ lives. Dave retired from active duty. The family moved back to their home in Tok, Alaska, where Dave works for an Alaska-based company. Several other aspects of their family situation changed and they felt the Lord wanted them to be doing something different. That ‘different’ was being introduced to Reece’s Rainbow by one of their daughters. From the very beginning Caliana caught Erin’s heart. After much prayer and talking it over as a family (who are all very much excited by another sister!) they have started the journey to bring home another daughter-of-the-heart!
Dave served in the US Air Force for 30+ years and the Briars moved around quite a bit before settling in Tok, Alaska. The Briars have lived in Texas, Delaware, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Nevada, Maryland, and Alaska. They also lived in Germany for six consecutive years and South Korea for a total of six years on three separate assignments. In addition, Dave did an unaccompanied tour in Honduras and two combat tours in Iraq. As a result, the Briars are no stranger to overseas living and culture. But living in a foreign country never slowed down their desire to grow their family. In fact, four of their children were born overseas – two in Germany and two in Korea. They feel that having a daughter born in Eastern Europe will further add to the international flavor of their family. And Caliana will ensure that the Briars born overseas outnumber those born in the US!
11/4/2020 — USCIS APPROVAL
Jon Hamilton has always had a huge heart for taking care of others. He takes pride in the ability he has to defend the defenseless and care for those in need. Since becoming an adult he has devoted his life to taking care of others. Jon joined the Marine Corps right after graduating high school so he could serve his country. After returning from his second deployment he met his wife Jessica. The two started a family and he decided the deployments were not as family friendly as they hoped. After fulfilling his commitment with the Marines he immediately began pursuing his career in the medical field. After obtaining his Associates degree as a paramedic he went on to obtain his certification as a firefighter. Jon currently serves his community now as a professional firefighter and paramedic.
Jessica Hamilton has only ever dreamed of taking care of others and being a mother. She attended college to pursue her nursing degree but put it on hold to stay home and care for her children. She was once told “there is no higher calling than that of a mother.” She feels that God has blessed her tremendously as a mother and her job is to be the best mother she can. She says that being a mother is a never ending, more fulfilling job than ever imaginable. Jessica devotes her life entirely to being the best mother she possibly can.
Jon and Jessica had always talked about adopting one day but never thought it would be possible due to the financial aspect. Their priorities are not going to change. Money doesn’t come first in our household. Unfortunately Jon’s career in doing for others doesn’t pay as well as other careers may pay. And Jessica staying home with their children is a huge priority and obviously doesn’t pay monetarily at all. Knowing that things were not going to change drastically enough for them to afford an adoption they decided to put their faith in God to make it all possible. The entire family prays nightly that God provides for this adoption.
Jon and Jessica both share the desire to have a large family. Being able to raise their children to be respectful, kind hearted, christ following is very important to them. Both are very open with their children and they are all very excited to be able to add to their family through adoption.
They describe adopting as “a crazy long and expensive process that no one could have ever prepared them for, and certainly one they don’t think is possible without their faith”. Their case worker sent them a file for a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome, who is 19 months old. It was never about them wanting another child. It was about them wanting to share their love with another child, one that truly needed them. They hope to truly touch the life of others through Christ’s love. There are so many children out there who desperately need people to open their hearts and minds to special needs adoption. It shouldn’t be about what your child will be able to do for you but what you will able to do for your child.
They both feel the only obstacle for them will be the financial aspect. Jon and Jessica say how shocked they are already with how much support they have received from friends and some close family. Those who have given to their adoption so far, they know truly gave from the heart, certainly not just because they had the extra. It’s hard for them to ask for so much but they know it’s not really for them., it’s for their new daughter. They vow to spend the rest of their lives making sure she lives the happiest, most fulfilled life they can possibly give her. With what they lack financially to adopt, they make up for with love and determination. Both truly feel that where there’s a will, there’s a way. As long as they’re committed to do all they can, God will provide for them.
1/8/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Meet the Luckow family. They are finally excited to expand their family to a party of 3! Lauren and Drew were both born and raised in south Florida. After meeting through mutual friends they were inseparable. Moving forward to being happily married for 3 years, settling into their homes and careers, they have chosen to move forward with adoption.
In their hearts they have always wanted to adopt, and specifically adopt a child with Down syndrome. Over the past few years Lauren & Drew have volunteered with the Special Olympics, Starability and other local organizations. With spending time with the athletes and children, they knew they wanted to start growing their family with adoption, despite being able to conceive on their own.
They spent a lot of time educating themselves on international adoption and looking through advocacy websites. Coincidentally both Lauren and Drew came across “Clementine” through different advocacy sites and felt very strongly God saying, “This is your child.” This is just the start for the Luckow family. In time they would like to expand their family. Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated in this process. Thank you!
5/5/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER
Brian and Julie Swegle are the parents of 7. After raising their 6 birth children, they decided that they were still young enough and brave enough to add more children to their family through adoption. Because Julie is a teacher for the visually impaired at a school for the deaf and the blind, they felt particularly equipped to parent children who are blind. So, 1.5 years ago they welcomed a daughter from China (who is deafblind) to their family. She was such a joyful addition to the family that they decided to grow their family through adoption for a second time.
Through a series of seemingly well-orchestrated circumstances, Madeline and her need for a family to adopt her immediately came to the attention of the Swegle family. When they read Madeline’s story they fell in love with her and realized how well she would fit into their growing family. Brian and Julie are hoping to bring Madeline home as quickly as possible. They are so grateful for the opportunity to be Madeline’s parents and for all those who are joining them in helping Madeline. Thank you for joining the Swegle family on their journey to Madeline!
7/7/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
Hello! We are Madisen and Allen Crapo. We are so excited to finally be in this place and would love to share a small part of our story with you. When we were dating and things began to become serious, I (Madisen) brought up the possibility of adopting a child with DS in the future. I was nervous to hear his response, but he was equally as excited and on board. We always knew adoption would be part of our lives, though we didn’t know what a large part it would play. As teenagers, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl, who we chose to bless another family with. We were not prepared financially or emotionally at the time for a child and are so blessed with our new family. We were thrown into the adoption community, and we have learned so much.
Through our new found friends, we found Reece’s Rainbow. The plan was eventually, when everything was perfect, to adopt from an Eastern European country whose children we felt a strong pull to. God had other plans, and a few years ago placed a sweet boy in our hearts. We became determined to start the process much sooner than planned. We had to wade our way through school and starting careers while trying to wait patiently. We are so grateful that we saw his picture, while available, to give us that extra push to have faith. Though we know there is no guarantee of receiving his referral, we have already seen countless miracles in our process that confirm to us we are on the right path. Our daughter (5) is so nurturing and we are excited to see her welcome her new brother and become officially outnumbered (our son is 2). We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
3/4/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
Jared and I got married on October 1st 2011. After only knowing each other for a couple of months. We started our new life together in Hawaii with our son Tayler who was 8 years old at the time. Jared joined the Army in 2008. He has had 3 deployments (soon to be 4) countless rotations and months of school. We have moved together as a family 5 times in these last 8 years (it feels like more!)
We had Matthew in 2013, Noah in 2015 and in 2017 we were pregnant again! I went in for a gender scan and found out we were finally having our girl!!! (I also had another son in 2005 that passed away from SIDS). We had a wonderful announcement with a piñata that the kids got to hit, filed with everything pink! The very next day I got a phone call that would change our lives forever.
The ultrasound tech that did the gender scan saw some fluid on the back of our daughters neck. A couple days later we went to see the MFM and found out she had a Cystic Hygroma and hydrops. We were told she either had Turner Syndrome or Down syndrome and would likely not make it. We were recommended to terminate the pregnancy. I told him to never mention that to me again, how dare him! After testing, it was confirmed that she had Turner Syndrome. We prayed so hard for our girl and had so many people praying as well. A couple weeks later, the hydrops was gone and the Hygroma was resolving. Our daughter was born in September 2017. She is part of the 1-2% that make it to birth. We are so blessed.
We have talked about adoption on and off over the years. We thought it would be much later down the road. But other plans were in the making for us.
A friend of mine messaged me telling me about a little girl with TS that was an orphan living in Eastern Europe. I immediately fell in love with her and shared her story all over FB. She was absolutely beautiful she has a full head of beautiful dark hair, the prettiest eye lashes and a smile that can brighten anyone’s day. Everyday I’d look at her pictures, think about her and pray for her.. I felt such a strong bond to her, I just knew she was my daughter. After talking to Jared, we decided to bring her into our family. Our boys are so excited and our daughter looks at her pictures and calls her sister. They ask about her everyday and look at her pictures. We can’t wait to have her home!
5/22/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
The Slate family has received a $2000 grant for the girl they are adopting.
The Marshall Family is adopting again! 2.5 years ago the Marshall’s welcomed Ping (Pepper on RR) and Liam into their family and went from a family of 4 to a family of 6. One year after bringing Ping and Liam home, Laura saw an advocacy post for a little boy. He was so tiny and had the most piercing eyes she had ever seen. His file indicated many medical issues and he had Down Syndrome just like Ping and Liam. The Marshall’s fell in love with him and rushed to get him home. Due to his needs he was medically expedited and came home January 25, 2019. It has been a busy year for the Marshall family and a year of great growth; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Marshall Family now consists of Billy and Laura who have been married for almost 14 years, Tessa Grace 16 years old, Bella Charity 12 years old, Ping Joy 10 years old, Liam Worth 6 years old, and Asa Courage 4 years old. Recently, Laura and Billy felt the familiar tug towards adoption and discovered one of the little girls they have loved for a while is still waiting. They made some inquiries and decided she will be the next Marshall, Ember Faith “Emmy”. The Marshall’s are hoping to bring her home by the end of 2020 which will be 4 adoptions in 3.5 years! They are stepping out in faith that God will provide funding to help bring their daughter home where she will receive medical attention, nutrition, and LOVE! Thank you for joining the Marshall’s on their journey and supporting them with your prayers and donations.
9/28/2020 — USCIS APPROVED
Here is the Vierstra family! Kendall and Christinna recently adopted a wonderful little girl named Milana Grace (known as Dolly on Reece’s Rainbow). She has brought so much joy into our new home and has developed into a bright and loving little girl! Christinna has been working with Milana with physical therapy and she is getting stronger and more mobile every day.
Now Milana would love to have a little sister! She is also a special needs child from Eastern Europe who deserves to have a loving family. Please help them bring their little girl home. God bless you for being a great part in their journey!
9/14/2020 — DOSSIER NEARLY COMPLETE
Hi! We’re Kristy and Dale, and we’re the Galaleo family!
Dale and I first met in 2008 at the gym in where Dale was a spinning instructor and I was an admiring student. By day, I managed an aquarium and Dale built cool unmanned deep ocean gliders. We didn’t start dating until one Friday the 13th in 2012 and were fittingly married on Friday the 13th in May, 2016 at a beautiful waterfall in Connecticut. Two of our dogs, Trooper and Kopper served as our best men.
The end of 2016 and most of 2017 were rough for us as we lost some of our beloved animals and Dale’s adopted sister passed away unexpectedly. But 2017 also brought us a silver lining — one that redefined our definition of family and may change our lives forever. After his sister’s passing, Dale’s adopted brother came to live with us. We spent much of 2017 reconnecting with Dana, who was diagnosed with schizophrenic tendencies and other behaviors that would now fall on the spectrum for Autism as well as very poorly managed diabetes, and helping him get situated in an adult rehabilitation program that brought new purpose to his life.
Because he was such a great benefit to the program, they offered him housing in one of their newly built quadraplexes. Watching Dale’s brother grow and finally achieve a fulfilling life at 59 helped us realize that we might be able to help someone else.
As you can see in our photo, we have adopted several “handi-capable” dogs over the years. We’ve poured our love into them, but I’ve always felt like something else was missing. I have previously served as a respite provider for foster parents, and I know the need for caring parents and safe homes.
Dale and I have often thought about adoption, influenced by Dale’s experience as a younger brother to two adopted siblings and my experience fostering. However, I found myself in a job that required too many hours to bring a child home for good. If we were going to adopt, we knew we would both need to make some life changes.
I left the field of marine biology for interior design more than a year ago. Now, I’m able to leave work on time and don’t bring work home with me. We’ve moved to Florida and settled into a less hectic routine. There’s no time like now for us to grow our family, but we need help.
In October, Dale and I committed to adopting a beautiful 5-year-old girl from Asia. One night I was Googling “adopting children with special needs” and came across Reece’s Rainbow. I clicked on their waiting children link and started clicking through the various ages of children with Down syndrome. I remember being saddened by how many children there were and how long some of them have been waiting for a family of their own. As I scrolled through the “girls 3-5” I came across an adorable full face with the most genuine smile. Her name on the site is “Della” (we won’t know her real name until our home study is completed). I watched the videos that were posted and in all her videos she just seems to smile. Now her smile melts our hearts every time we watch the videos. We realize adopting a special needs child may require more work on our part, but there is no denying that our hearts are ready for this journey.
We have been working diligently on all the paperwork. Our home study is near completion, and we’re already researching all the best options to support for our daughter to ensure she blossoms in our care. We appreciate that you’ve read our family’s story and thank you in advance for anything you can give to bring us a step closer to uniting us with our new daughter.
6/17/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
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 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)
10/19/2020 — HOMESTUDY COMPLETE
James and Colleen met when Colleen was freshman and James was a junior, in college. We started dating five years after that and we married 2012. We found out in 2014 we couldn’t have children biologically. As it broke our hearts, we immediately knew we were meant to adopt. Before we got married, we spoke about the possibility of fostering and adoption, as Colleen knew as a young girl she wanted to adopt. At that time, we found Reece’s Rainbow, and instantly we found our son. We adopted Jacob in 2016 from Bulgaria and he will be 7 in July. Four years later, a little girl in Eastern Europe has our hearts and God has very clearly said go, just like what happened, four years ago.
10/15/2020 — COMPILING DOSSIER