Reese was born in Ukraine with Down syndrome, a cleft lip and a cleft palate in December 2007. We were hesitant to begin the adoption process until we saw her picture. It became very clear, very fast that she was our little starfish and was meant to be in our family. She landed on American soil on March 31, 2009 and we are head over heels in love with her. She has bonded very well with her Mommy, Daddy, her big brother and her big sister. Her sister also has Down syndrome and the girls seem to already have a very special relationship. Reese’s cleft lip was repaired in May 2009 and her cleft palate was repaired in July 2009. She recovered remarkably well from both surgeries. Reese is thriving in our family. We call her our little “love sponge” because she soaks up every ounce of love she can get. We are very blessed to have this precious child in our family and thankful that God has allowed us the gift of parenting her. Reese’s adoption is a testimony of God’s provision and grace. We hope she knows someday just how much she is loved, not only by us, but also by her Savior who ransomed His life for her.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at haagadoption2.blogspot.com
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at newboldfamilyadoption.blogspot.com
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thekaysers.blogspot.com
On January 24th we finally arrived home with our three angels! The flight from Ukraine was quite eventful. Ethan (previously known as Dima) broke out in chicken pox a few days before we flew home so he was incredibly uncomfortable. He also had pneumonia. We were quite shocked but thankful that he was cleared by the doctor to fly home. All our family was waiting at the airport for us with screams of joy, hugs, tears and lots of kisses.
The past two months have been truly amazing. The boys are doing new thingsevery day and astounding their therapists. Sasha (previously Sam), our 6 year old, had a hard time when he first arrived. He would scratch us, bite us, pull our hair and scream at night. Now Sasha is a completely different child. He is at peace and doesn’t act out in a negative way at all. He loves all the love he is receiving and we love giving it to him.
Ethan (previously Dima), is 5 and has the body of a 1 year old. He is a completely different child as well. We were told he would not be able to function mentally and physically beyond where he was at the time we met. He was 11 pounds when he left the orphanage and is now 23 pounds. He laughs and interacts with all of us with so much life! He was unable to even stand at the orphanage. Now he is able to stand (leaning on something) for 20 minutes at a time.
Our 2 year old, Silas (previously Roman), is a joy bug. He keeps us laughing all the time. He was weak and had a terrible rash and nose infection when we brought him home. Now he’s much healthier and stronger. He will have surgery in June to close the hole in his heart and we are thrilled with the good reports from his doctor!
We just returned from a weekend vacation celebrating the boys arrival. We all spent 2 days the “Great Wolf Lodge,” here in Kansas City, where we all splashed at the indoor water park and celebrated our expanded family! The boys absolutely loved it and their sisters had so much fun swimming with them. The Lord has been so good and faithful to us, providing all we have needed along the way. Thanks for your prayers and support! It is so good to be home!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thelouxfamily1.blogspot.com
With nineteen children between us, we had thought our family was complete, but Heavenly Father knew differently. Last summer I was drawn to all of the beautiful children on the Reece’s Rainbow website and inquired about a few of the older boys. For one reason or another, none of them worked out. Finally one day in August, Andrea emailed me, “How about Olena?” This was a very tiny six-year-old girl in Ukraine with an unrepaired heart condition as well as Down Syndrome and no one knew, with her serious medical condition, just what her prognosis would be. After I consulted with a pediatric cardiologist, I hesitantly presented her profile to my husband. Both of us knew with a certainty that this little girl needed a family and that family was us.
We fast-tracked our paperwork, and with a very pro-active social worker and USCIS officer, a few months later our dossier was submitted. We traveled for the first time before Christmas to meet the little girl we would name Mattea and my heart broke to see her even smaller than my 2-year-old son, and only 23 pounds.. Since my husband was over the age limit, I was adopting her as a “married individual” and we worried that this would complicate the case, but our wonderful facilitators got us through court without a hitch. I traveled back in January to bring our new little daughter home. When we first met her she was not walking independently and needed to be fed chopped food from a spoon. She had no idea how to put food in her own mouth. She had spent six years of her life in a playpen. After only three months at home, she is blossoming like a little flower. She is now walking on her own and is able to finger-feed with soft foods. She is social and seeks out affection. She now weighs 31 pounds, and today she had her very first haircut. Her health is much better and we are hoping to be able to have her heart fixed. We are so blessed to have her in our family. We believe the words of Jeremiah— “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at foreverfamilyadoption.blogspot.com
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ourversionofnormal.blogspot.com
We have been home for 2 months now, and Georgiy is adjusting wonderfully. He has learned so much in such a short time! Where has the little boy gone who walked with a stagger and who could not even suck on a bottle? His walking has improved tremendously. He graduated from figuring out how to suck milk out of a bottle to drinking from a sippy with a valve in a matter of weeks. He is crazy about his siblings (that feeling is certainly mutual!) and acts as if he has lived with us his whole life.
Our little Ukrainian miracle is getting ready to celebrate his first Christmas with us. We are all so grateful for him, words really don’t do it justice at all. It was a long road to Georgiy, but he was worth every tear and every moment. We will continue to pray for Andrei though. Andrei is the son we ended up not being able to adopt but he led us to Georgiy.
We are crazy about our little man and forever grateful to God and Reece’s Rainbow for this child!
Time sure does fly when you are having fun! It’s hard to believe that Nadia Hope has been home with us for just over a month now, wow!
Nadia has been such a tremendous blessing to our family. Several times a day I can?t help but think “Oh my, I love this little girl so much!” and just praise God for bringing her home to us.
Nadia has come a long way since she has arrived home. She came home very frightened of new people. While she is no longer terrified, she is not quick to go to just anyone. She is loved & spoiled by our 2 other children in our home (Yana-12 & Anthony-13) and will happily go to them. She is a Mama’s girl and will snuggle, kiss and hug Mama as much as her little body will let her but unfortunately, she has been much more hesitant to go to Papa. We are praying that Papa will soon know how it feels to hug and kiss his baby girl but for now, we are thankful that Nadia is no longer afraid of Papa. Nadia will lovingly interact with Papa and they will even take turns feeding one another Cheeze-Its; these are moments we treasure.
Nadia’s CP does not appear to be as severe as we had anticipated. While she is not yet walking, we are confident that once she is working with the physical therapist (beginning in the next week or so) she will have a walker of her own and will quickly be cruising along. We have great expectations for our sweet girl and even believe she will someday walk independently! She is a very smart girl and can already sing her ABCs!! No matter what, we will forever love her and be so grateful that God brought her into our family in His perfect timing!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at tillgodbringsthemhome.blogspot.com
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at findinghiddentreasures.blogspot.com
Amanda has been home 3 months; we can see our tiny little girl changing daily. The most striking and heartwarming change is having Amanda come to us for attention, she scoots to us and stands up next to us, and this is her way of asking to be held. When we pick her up, she gets a huge smile on her face and giggles with happiness as she reaches for a hug.
We had been worried about her aloof manner since we picked her up from her orphanage, and though many of her old behaviors remain, many positive behaviors are emerging and we see the old less and less. We love to hear her laugh, to see her smile, and to hear her saying Mama when her Mommy takes her out of bed in the morning. We have faith the positive changes will continue as the months go by. She is our beautiful flaxen-haired little sweetheart; we sure do love her a lot. We are grateful she is in our lives, we feel so blessed to have another precious daughter.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com
It has been a little over a month since we brought our new son, John Paul, home. He is a miracle in every way to us and we simply cherish him and are so grateful for the opportunity to have him as our son. God even gave us the miracle of adopting him on what would have been our daughter?s third birthday.
It is so amazing to watch him grow and change every day. We hardly recognize him as the same little boy that we went to meet in June. He is just transforming right before our eyes and it is unbelievable how quickly he has adjusted and how well he is doing. Smiles were few and far between when we first brought him home, but now joy just shines in his eyes and in his smile, almost constantly. He had some behaviors that he had learned while in the orphanage that he used to cope with the stress/frustration of being confined, without the nurturing and consistency that a family would have provided him. He would hit himself in the face and grind his teeth constantly. L He has since replaced that behavior with smiles, giggles, and babbling to us. He has emerged from the darkness that he lived in for the first four years of his life and is embracing his new world and learning what it means to be loved by a mommy and daddy that think the world of him. He?s becoming the little boy that God created him to be and we are in awe by how God is healing him from the wounds of his past through love. Love truly does heal all wounds.
He has a way of making you stop and notice all of the beauty that God has placed in this world for us to enjoy. When he first walks outside each day he stops to feel the grass. He waves at trees, flowers, and shrubs while smiling and babbling at them. What a miracle it is to be a part of this special angel’s life and to experience with him the newness of his world.
He has learned to walk independently for the most part and is even learning to go up and down the stairs (on his bottom). J This is amazing since when we first brought him home he would only walk if he could hold our hand. When we first got him he was terrified of baths and cried every time, but now he loves them! Now he cries because he doesn?t want to get out. He originally would only play with infant toys and would push more difficult toys away. He has ventured out in the playroom and has gravitated toward the toddler toys now. It took a few weeks, but he has learned to wreak havoc on the playroom like a four year old should. It?s so wonderful to not only see him make a mess, but for me to have another child here that makes me so proud to have one to clean up! Teaching him to clean up will come later. J It?s so wonderful to have him here!
We are so grateful for the miracle of adoption and for being blessed with our little John Paul!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at newboldfamilyadoption.blogspot.com
My family and I cannot believe our handsome little boy Zechariah has been home for almost two months now! It seemed as if it took forever to get Zechariah and now we cannot hardly believe how time is flying by with him. Before, I had always imagined how perfect and wonderful Zechariah was going to be once we got home. Now, after meeting him and finally having him home, his greatness far surpasses everyone’s expectations. He is very active and loves to entertain the entire family. People tell us when meeting Zechariah how lucky he is to be with a family who loves him so much. We truly believe we are the lucky ones. Everyday we get to see this marvelous little boy learn and adapt to new surroundings with a smile that could melt even the coldest of hearts. It seems as Zechariah has fit into our lives as if he has always been here. We thank God daily for allowing Zechariah to be a part of our hearts. My family and I all agree that we cannot imagine life without Zechariah. Thank you Reece’s Rainbow for helping us find this marvelous blessing.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at dawsonfamilyadoption.blogspot.com
Our sweet David has been home with us for 6 weeks now, and I never want to go back to life before David! Our adoption journey began when we committed to David in December of 2007. We prayed that we would be holding him in our arms by his 2nd birthday, and God answered our prayers! We met David on May 30th, celebrated his 2nd birthday with him in Serbia on June 2nd, and brought him home on June 10th of 2008. We praise God for His faithfulness!
David is such a wonderful addition to our family. He has a sweet personality, and each day he seems to become more comfortable with his surroundings. I can only imagine how it feels to come into a family when you are used to living in an orphanage. He has a giggle that will melt your heart, and reserves his best smiles and giggles for his big brother Matthew! We are so blessed! So often people tell us that he is “lucky” to have been adopted, but we know that we are the ones who are blessed. Our lives will never be the same!
Thank you Reece’s Rainbow~I remember the email that I got from Andrea that said… “I have the perfect little boy for you!” Boy, was she right!
Six months ago I was totally happy with the size of our family and then I started looking at the Reece’s Rainbow web site. Now our family has grown by one which makes us a family of 5! Alex is a high energy 4 year old boy who likes to explore, laugh, swim, swing, play, snuggle, wrestle, eat, ride in the car, go shopping, go on carnival rides and even likes to help with chores like bringing the dishes over to the sink, sweeping and mopping! I was a little nervous about how our 6 year old son with Down Syndrome, Franklin, would react to Alex since he is so shy, but he loves having Alex around and tries to give him lots of kisses. Some of Alex’s energy is rubbing off on Franklin since we have been home for almost a month now — Franklin has learned to jump and is swinging in a big kid swing and some of that shyness is fading away too.
This 4 month adoption journey has been an adventure of a lifetime and we are all forever changed by this experience. We are one of the few families that brought our kids overseas for the adoption and it actually went very well. What a wonderful feeling it is to be safe at home with our new boy and a great future ahead for all of us. THANK YOU Reece’s Rainbow!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at hopfenspirger.blogspot.com
When people ask me why we adopted, I tell them “Max was a lightening bolt.” By that I mean, when you ask for a sign of guidance in your life, usually the signs are subtle and quiet. But this decision was one that was undeniably right for us. I found Reece’s Rainbow through a friend who is adopting (The Spencer Family) with no intention of adopting at this time. Well, lightening struck and we fell in love. When we chose Max we just knew he was supposed to be in our family. It felt like we had a child on the other side of the world and we had to get to him and bring him home where he belonged. It took ten months of paperwork and waiting but we brought Max Andre Huff home on May 17, 2008. He is such a ray of sunshine! His smile is so big, his eyes so bright and his spirit is full of life. He has been such a blessing to us. In the few months he has been home, he has gained 6 pounds, learned to pull-up, learned to cruise furniture, wave bye-bye, and clap and say “Yeah!” Thank you to Reece’s Rainbow for introducing us to our son. He is a perfect fit!!!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at 4wildangels.blogspot.com
REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA
This is has been the experience of a lifetime and our family feels so fortunate that we were blessed with the desire and ability to have brought Luka into our home. He is adjusting quite well and has already brought us a lot of joy. We’ve only been home 2 1/2 weeks and he seems already right at home. He giggles and plays and gives lots of hugs, and best of all…he sleeps great at night. LOL. We all love him so much already and Ethan our 7 y/o with Down syndrome has decided it’s his job to help care for him. Isn’t that sweet!?
It seems to me, nothing short of a miracle, how our adoption of Cody and Logan all came together. They are such a blessing to our family, we love them more than I can put into words. I am so thankful to Andrea, all of the Reece’s Rainbow group, our generous financial supporters, and About a Child Adoption Agency, for helping to make our adoption possible.
The boys are growing and changing so fast. Logan has had successful open heart surgery and is a happy, lovable, little character. Cody is curious, active, and all boy, a regular athlete. They will both be starting pre-school soon. We are so very fortunate to have them as part of our family.
Our second adoption was a quick and easy process. Our timeline was less than 4 months from the date we committed to adopt until we were home from Serbia with our son. Grifyn is an absolute delight! He is charming and very smart. In just a few short weeks home, he is saying words in Elnglish, using sign language and following simple requests with verbal cues. He has bonded beautifully with our family. We are already seeing the advantages of having 2 children with Down Syndrome and we are so very thankful that our boys will grow up together.
Our family will be forever grateful to the ministry of Reece’s Rainbow for helping us to find Grifyn and Xander. We are so very blessed to be their parents and we are looking forward to watching them grow and reach their full potential.
It’s hard to believe that we went from 2 to 4 just a little while ago as everything has adjusted better and smoother than we could have ever imagined! Emma and Micah are a perfect fit from God for our family and we know the miracles that brought them to us are the first of many to come for our family. Both children are learning to sit, express their wants, and know that their needs willbe fulfilled. Kristopher and Brianna love their new “babies” and have taken to them so well. A little too well sometimes! We are absolutely in love and cannot imagine life without all four of our little blessings. I am in awe of each of their accomplishments and wait expectantly for what God has for our future together.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at cornishadoptionjourney.blogspot.com
We are finally home. Our plans changed on our journey but our little Lera is so much a part of our family that we cannot imagine what life would have been without her addition. We are happy to report that she adores her brother Michael, is skeptical about the cats, and while she and Caelia have differences of opinion on who gets the pink purse and who wears the big hat, they are quickly becoming inseparable. Caelia is speaking much more clearly now that she has a buddy to talk to and Lera is quickly learning English. As an aside, this morning I heard Lera speaking and then I heard Caelia answer “Da” to some question that Lera posed. Lera repeated “Da” and they went on with their coloring! Adopting this child has been one of the most fulfilling decisions we have ever made as a family.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thesunflowerchronicles.blogspot.com
I love you so much and I am glad that you’re not an orphan anymore and that you are my sister and I want you to come to my birthday party and all my friends can come and watch me do ballet.”
What began as an adoption dream and a prayer over a Jamaican anniversary vacation 9 months ago has resulted in a sweet little 4 yr. old girl now sitting on my lap grinning at me as I type up this Homecoming page write-up. How can I even begin to describe the joy that this little girl has brought to our family in these short weeks since returning home with her from Ukraine? She is beautiful, a miracle. She has not only been transferred from one home to another, one country to another country, but from one kingdom to another Kingdom. We have been honored, privileged, thrilled to be the avenue that God has chosen to bring her to safety and redemption. We look forward to watching her develop and blossom into the beautiful woman that God created her to be. We rejoice to have Ava Alina Grace in the Urban family.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at urbanfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
We find it hard to believe that Caleb has already been with us here in Idaho for one month. With his sparkly blue eyes, adorable smile and wonderful giggle, we all just love him to pieces. He gets tons of attention from his 4 older brothers and sisters as well as from Mommy and Daddy. Which sibling gets to sit by him, change him and feed him are still matters of discussion. Both the paperwork stage and the 5-wk stay in Ukraine seemed overwhelming and unending at times but now that Caleb is actually here, the struggles fade in significance. I am so grateful to Reece’s Rainbow for bringing him to our attention and to God for allowing my dream of international adoption to become a reality at last.
We arrived in Taiwan on Saturday January 26th at 8:00 p.m. and the next morning we were off for just a visit with our daughter and we were all comfortable and fell immediately in love so we were able to bring her back to the hotel that afternoon where we played and became more comfortable. She immediately bonded to Daddy, she wouldn’t leave his arms…so precious! He couldn’t leave her sight. We respected that so I would play with her while she was on Daddy’s lap! We had a wonderful trip. The people of Taiwan are very kind and generous. Abigail enjoyed going out to shops and walking around Taipei, greeting visitors who wanted to talk with her.
We left Taiwan Thursday at 2:00 pm (lost a day in between) and arrived back in Rochester, New York Thursday evening Jan 31st at 11:45. There we were greeted by several family members and friends. In the car ride home, Abigail grasped her brother and sister’s fingers and wouldn’t let them go…they wouldn’t let her go either!
She has adjusted very well, she is on a regular eating, sleeping and playing schedule. It is like she has been a part of our family forever! She is talking in English and using sign language already! She will begin receiving early intervention services in March! What a great country we live in. God has truly blessed us beyond every blessing! We are so thankful for safe travel, friends, family and of course to God for all he has provided us.
When we began our international adoption journey in March 2007, we never could have imagined the incredible blessings that the Lord had in store for our family. After committing to adopt our son Joshua from Uzbekistan, we began to feel the familiar nudge of the spirit that someone was still missing. From the first moment I laid eyes on our sweet Evan, I knew that he was the little boy that my heart had been searching for and that he was meant to be our son. We committed to adopt Evan in July 2007. In November 2007, we traveled to Ukraine to complete his adoption and in December 2007 we welcomed him home to his forever family!
Our lives have been forever changed because of the gift of this beautiful, smart, sweet, funny, determined little boy! Evan has adjusted remarkably well to our family and we cannot imagine living life without him. He is thriving with the love of a family and with the medical intervention that he so desperately needed, but never would’ve received in Ukraine. His 1000-watt smile lights every corner of our lives and we thank our Heavenly Father each and every day for his beautiful and perfect plan that allowed us to make Evan a part of our hearts and our home.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at fromthetrenchesofadoption.blogspot.com
Our Kara is a remarkable little girl, so smart, funny, and such a daredevil we have to watch her like hawks! She has had to adjust to so many new things in such a short time, and we think she has done remarkably well. We are in awe of her coping capabilities and love her sweet spirit. Her giggles and smiles brighten our days! She is our Ukrainian princess!
Meghan and she are learning to play together, there are still bumps in that road, but like sisters, they will work it out. Meghan is a little jealous of Mom and Dad hugging another daughter, she has to be part of the hug and a group hug ensues.
As we sit back and think about the last year and a half, we sometimes think about the obstacles we had to overcome and the heartbreaks we experienced; but what we remember most are the friends who donated their time and their money to help us get Kara home. We could not have completed our adoption without them. We thank Reece?s Rainbow, the members who supported us; and Andrea for going above and beyond for us. We are grateful to our agency About a Child who performed a miracle in getting our referral for Kara in one day.
While our adoption journey was more of a crooked trail than a straight line, in the end we brought home our beautiful Kara. We are so happy she is the child God chose for us.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at ukieadoptmom.blogspot.com
Simon Daniel Kulp (Dang Da Nian) has been home with us since Nov 28th 2007! Our quiet home of 2, has now been transformed into a family of 3 with glorious shrieks, giggles and daddy/son wrestling matches! He is now 3 1/2 years old. We have absolutely loved our first 8 months with our new son who has taught us about a completely new kind of love that we have never felt before! Our family has been kept hopping, between PT, OT, Speech Therapy, Special Ed, an unexpected hernia repair, (along with some other unexpected “boy part surgery”) and of course playing, swimming and napping!!! We are so pleased with how our precious boy has progressed and grown, grown, grown. It’s amazing what some vitamins, weight-bearing, moisturizing and scrubbing up can do for a boy! In December he couldn’t stand on his own, now he is practically running laps around me. He is a sign language whiz thanks to Signing Times videos, and his vocabulary is s-l-o-w-l-y expanding. You should have heard him say Grandpa for the first time yesterday! We are so thankful to God, for the smooth transition Simon made into our life. We can hardly remember life without him!
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at thekulpchronicles.blogspot.com
It’s been a long time in coming, but our baby has arrived! He’s not as much of a baby any more, he was 3mos old when we started and is 22mos old now, but he’s still our baby. He’s small for his age and even for a child with Down Syndrome, but he has come along remarkably well within the last four months since he was put into a different foster home. He has blossomed with the love of his foster family and we have even seen great improvement in the two weeks since we first got him and the one week we’ve been home.
Our trip to Guatemala was uneventful (thankfully) and we are now back with our family. Jonathan has been surrounded with love and affection. He sleeps well, eats well and is a very happy content child. We are blessed beyond words! His older brothers and sister think he is the most wonderful baby ever.
We are looking forward to adding Anh (Anah) to our family within a few months. She is on the RR site, she is 10 and is in Vietnam. I pray for all the children who get adopted, but mostly for all who don’t. I would just like to say to any who are considering adopting a child/children with DS, walk out in faith, the Lord will provide if it is He who sends you forth.
Paige is home and doing wonderfully. She has adjusted so well and we just cannot imagine what life was like before she came home. Other than the “waiting”…we don’t miss that part one bit. LOL But, it was so worth it! She has mastered using a sippy cup. Whew….that took about a month, but then she got it. She is trying to feed herself now and walking with assistance. She is finally gaining some more weight so the doc is pleased. She will always be a tiny little thing. She is signing several words and even tried to say a few. She just needs to muster up that confidence and she could do it. One of my favorite times of the day is just after you put her to bed. She does one of two things…begins to sing and “coo” herself to sleep, or chats with her sister, Sophie, in the crib next to hers. They are so sweet together. And Joy just loves being the big sister to both of them. They are definitely “3 peas in a pod!”…with Joy as the BOSS. Or so she thinks. Paige is pretty spunky and now that she feels she has grounds (been here long enough) she tells Joy like it is. She loves Barney and any music. She can dance a “jig” with the best of them. She is STILL a daddy’s girl, but sure does love to snuggle with Mommy…..which mommy eats right up. The older kids have just fallen in love with her sweet nature and spunky spirit. She is truly a blessing and we just cannot thank God enough for sending her to us.
“Adopting that child will be the best thing you could ever do for Alaina”
Those were the words of advice from our dear friend Florence. She should know. She adopted her son Josh after his birth mother placed him for adoption when he was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after birth. Florence’s biological son, James who also has Down syndrome was only a year old at the time. Today, Josh and James at the ages of 26 and 27 are as close as brothers can be. They are now living on their own together. They look out for each other and maintain a very busy social calendar, together. After finding Reece’s Rainbow and our beautiful Kristina, we decided that we wanted to do for our Alaina what Florence did for James….to give her a sister to grow up with and a life long friend.
We watched that friendship start to bloom within 24 hours of bringing Kristina home from Ukraine. Now after 2 months, they are the best of friends. They love each other and do not like to be separated. We know that together, Alaina and Kristina will let others see how much potential people with Down syndrome have and how their abilities far out weigh their disabilities. They will educate thei.r world just as much as they will learn from it. We are blessed to have been given the opportunity to parent these 2 beautiful children.
The question that we always get asked about our adoption is “Why would you choose a child with Down syndrome?” My simple answer is always this: “We prayed, God answered and we obeyed.” And our family has been blessed beyond measure through our obedience. We have a perfect little boy with a sparkle in his eye that reminds me each time I look at him that there is no price to be put on the life of a child. Our adoption journey took just 2 days shy of 8 months from the day we found Reece’s Rainbow. At times it seemed like an emotional rollercoaster, but the ride was well worth the end result: our forever child. I consider it an honor to say that I am the mother of this precious gift from God. We are looking forward to the challenges and rewards of extra chromosomes!
Because of Reece’s Rainbow we found an adorable little girl that was in need of a forever family and we were a forever family in need of an adorable little girl! What a perfect match!
After staring at her picture for several months it still amazes us all that she is really here enhancing our lives and passing out hugs and kisses. It took Macey about 5 days to adapt to our family, she and Carley are best friends and love each other very much! Our lives have now been changed dramatically, and who knew that quiet little girl we met in Ukraine would turn into such a sweet, happy, energetic, intelligent, mommy?s girl!
We definitely caught the attention of the courts, caretakers and all involved knowing that we traveled over 5,000 miles for this special little girl. We stood there adamantly stating that this was the little girl we wanted in our family, how she would be an asset to society and live a fulfilling life! We told them she would be cherished and loved forever by our family, friends and community. We pray that our adoption and presence in Ukraine opened some doors and minds.
WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO RR, OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR MAKING OUR DREAMS COME TRUE!
Katya is such a joy! While we didn?t start out wanting to adopt a child with Down Syndrome it has been one of the biggest blessings of our lives. We worked for two years to bring a child home to our family. God knew all along which little one would be ours. Katya has fit right into our family. I think not knowing anything about Down Syndrome has actually been a plus for us. We didn?t have any idea of what she was capable of so we just expect her to be a little girl. And that is what she is.
It’s hard to believe we have had Masha home with us for three months already. In some ways it seems like she’s been here forever while in other ways it seems like just yesterday we were anticipating her arrival. Luckily, Masha has transitioned into our lives very easily. Our friends and family even think she looks like us (it must be the short haircuts). Masha is a joyful little girl who takes pleasure in every new thing she does.
As we celebrated her fourth birthday, we quickly realized that she loves to be the center of attention-which may cause some problems as our other four year old thinks she is the queen. Anyway, we are so grateful that we were sent a link to Reece’s Rainbow in June of 2006. Who would have thought one e-mail would bring such a delightful dolly girl into our world?
Mousumi did wonderful on the 30+ hours of airports and flights!!! She is getting along great with Natalie and Wesley and eating and sleeping well! It’s like she’s always been here! Thank you again everyone for all your support and prayers! Thank you Andrea for helping us find our little girl, We love her so much!!!
We began our adoption journey to Joey back in 2004 when we decided we wanted to adopt one or two, up to three children, from Ukraine. Through prayer, we decided we wanted an older girl (age range 10-14) with a younger brother (age range 5-9), preferably for the younger brother to have Down syndrome. We have 5 bio children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome and autism. We felt we could handle another child with Down syndrome, since we knew what we were in for, and figured that probably not many other people were standing in line waiting for them.
We found, through another family who had adopted just a few months previously, a wonderful brother and sister pair who fit our “wish list” perfectly, except the little boy did not have Down syndrome. He had some other correctable medical problems, and in April 2004, James and Catie joined our family. Their adjustment was smooth, and we were enjoying them so much, but still felt that God could possibly be calling us to adopt another child with Down syndrome.
We heard about Daniil, saw a couple of pictures, and I was smitten. Jim was not quite as anxious as I was, since Daniil was much younger than we had originally planned, so we waited and prayed for guidance. Life goes on, but every few months I was drawn back to those pictures, then every few weeks, and soon, I was studying them daily, and felt sure God was calling us to Daniil. Through the fall and early winter of 2006 we prayed for guidance, and that if it were not God’s will for us to have Daniil, that He provide another family for him. Through a series of events in February 2006, we came to be sure it was us, and we began our paperwork in earnest, finishing it just in time for the NAC to close down, as it was being turned into the SDA!
Updating paperwork as needed, and anxiously awaiting for the SDA to reopen, we finally got paperwork submitted in February, and got a May 2007 appointment. On June 11, 2007, Daniil became Alexander Joseph Stolz, (“Joey”) and came home with us at the end of June. He was 6 years 10 months old, and such a joy. He now has 3 brothers and 4 sisters, and a mom and dad, and lots of extended family who love him.
Our adoption journey this time was very eventful. We arrived in Bogota, Colombia on May 27th and received our newest girls on Monday. Their names are Lilyanna Hope and Gabriella Joy. Our meeting was fantastic and they adjusted very well. The Lord sent us two very precious girls and we know they are meant to be a part of our family. We have now been home for 3 weeks and are still adjusting. We have been running to DR’s appointments and just spending time as a family. Our stay in Colombia lasted one month and then we returned to Alabama. We feel it is such a honor to be the parents to children with Down Syndrome, and we just love watching them grow and develop each and every day. It is like watching a caterpillar in a cocoon and turning into this beautiful butterfly. they are all unique and have many hidden dreams just ready to share with the world. You may read about our family in the July 31st edition of Woman’s Day Magazine that will hit newsstands on July 24th.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at andrewscrew.blogspot.com
The adoption of our sixth child, Tatiana Alexandra Premont, was a whirlwind event in many ways. From the day I was “called” to adoption to our court date was about 40 weeks- the length of a typical pregnancy! In so many ways, that was exactly what it felt like too. I never doubted God had a plan with a child intended for us; a baby meant just for our family. Our adoption journey was not without hardships. At times it even felt like the world was against us! So we prayed for aid and wisdom. Friends and family answered our prayers in many ways: financial, emotional and spiritual. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the many individuals who made it their personal goal to rescue Tatiana. She undoubtedly has a very special purpose. In the short time she has been home she has touched many with her sweet smile and contagious laughter. She is a true joy; beautiful, loving, and intelligent. We are forever blessed.
Our family photo above, as we arrived back to the airport in Texas, sums it all up….the elation, the relief, the pride, and the overwhelming joy of knowing we had just saved this little girl’s life. Her future was worth every penny and every aggravation we faced. “Our cup runneth over”….
Born on August 8, 2006
My name means “helper”
Although we do not have a way to contact Ofelia’s family, as she was placed directly through her agency, the agency has told us that she IS home now.
It was a year ago that I picked up my little Ella for the first time in Cali, Colombia! In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year and in other ways I can’t believe we haven’t always had her!
It is amazing the difference a year has made. At first she was the most emotionally and physically unresponsive child I have ever seen…she slept and ate and not much else. Slowly, slowly, she started to respond to our love and affection for her and blossomed into a loving and affectionate daughter. At first she never cried or complained, just looked at us with those deep, dark eyes. I never thought I would be relieved to hear her cry, but I was because it meant she finally trusted us with her pain. I think she is still in the process of blossoming, but she has come so very far.
We all adore her, we always have. We are all thrilled that she is here and is a Spicer and that she will always have her family’s love to count on for the rest of her life. Ella is a blessing to us and we count ourselves blessed beyond measure to have her in our home.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at www.wherelearningflows.blogspot.com
We had an absolutely awesome time in Hong Kong.
Our social worker was an excellent tour guide and we saw many of the sights and learned about the history of the city. It was a once in a lifetime experience for all of us, and that does not include the most wonderful part of the journey!!!! Jacob took to our family immediately, he must have felt the love that we have had for him for so long. The orphanage staff was wonderful to us and our family. There was a very tearful goodbye when we took Jacob home.
The staff could not grieve for very long, because they had other children to care for that are still waiting for their forever families. I do not think that I will ever have the right words to express how we all felt, all I can say is that he is the most precious gift our family has ever received. He is funny and engaging and is already flirting with Emily and Erika’s friends.