These families are in country now…meeting their child for the first time as a result of your life-saving donations
These families are in country now…meeting their child for the first time as a result of your life-saving donations
We are Dan and Jolene Morrison and we have three beautiful children, Sawyer, Quinn and Jax. We are your typical outgoing, fun loving, crazy family and we are in the process of growing our family through adoption. After everything that life has thrown at us we have decided that it is finally time to listen to our hearts and take this giant leap of faith.
When we moved to Southwestern Ontario two and half years ago we began our fostering journey with our local Children Aid Society and it has been a wonderful, albeit sometimes bumpy ride. We wouldn’t change our experience for the world because we learned so so much as individuals and as a family, but the pull to adopt a child with Special needs was always still there. So, after what seems like a million and one calls to multiple agencies across Canada, we came to the realization that adopting a babe with special needs in Canada isn’t something that happens very often and even less so for big families. So, we decided to look elsewhere. We got in touch with some fantastic families that had done what we are about to do, and that led us to Ukraine. So here we are planning our adventure and getting ready to travel overseas, hoping to bring not just one child home, but possibly two.
This adoption is going to take a lot of work as well as some blood, sweat and probably many tears, but the love we have to give is endless and together, we’ve got this! Selling homemade spaghetti sauce, making upcycled jewelry, hosting a Covid friendly lemonade stand for the neighbors while they shoveled snow, it’s all getting us closer to growing our family. Every little bit helps. We still have lots of work ahead of us and we are crossing our fingers that everything works out as it should. We know it will take a village, but you all, are a great village to be bringing children home to.
10/11/2021 — REFERRAL ACCEPTED
Meet the Anderson-Hansen Family! Charlie and Liz have a blended family with 5 children: Ethan (15), Savanna (13), Abby (12), Emmeline (5) and Cameron (4). Charlie and Liz each brought children from first marriages (the oldest 3), had one child together (Emmeline) and adopted one child through DCF. They are both registered nurses. Charlie works in an ICU and Liz works as a nurse for a group home agency for intellectually delayed adults.
As long as Liz can remember, she had plans to adopt internationally. She scrolled through the profiles of children on the Reece’s Rainbow site for many years, longing to bring a child home. When they met, Liz introduced Charlie to the world of Reece’s Rainbow adoption and he was hooked! After the birth of their daughter, Emmeline, Charlie and Liz researched agencies to start the international adoption process. They were placed with a newborn in 2016. It was quite the surprise! They were unable to pursue and international adoption while holding a DCF foster license, so plans for an international adoption were put on hold. Cameron was officially adopted in 2021 and the home study process is now officially underway!
As nurses, they both feel equipped to care for a child with a complex medical history and would love to adopt an older child. With the closing of a larger house in 2020, they have plenty of space and love to provide for another child. The children are very excited for the addition of a new family member and are all ready to start fundraising to bring their new sibling home from Eastern Europe! Family and friends are all supportive of this new adventure for the Anderson-Hansen Family. We know that it takes a village to raise a child and would be would feel blessed to have you all along on this journey to bring our child home!
10/9/2021 — OFFICIALLY MATCHED
William and Aubrey met over 15 years ago at a Starbucks Coffee shop in a small town in Oregon. Aubrey was working late nights and early mornings to help support her parents who were going through a difficult time, and William was working towards his Bachelors Degree. Once they met, they were inseparable. They have been married for over 14 years now and have 4 biological children together as well as one beautiful daughter whom they adopted through the Foster Care System. William works in community health and Aubrey is a stay at home mother and homeschools their children.
William has a younger brother with special needs and has always had a soft spot for children and adults that need extra supports like his brother. Over the years, God has called William and Aubrey to pursue international special needs and they are very excited to be committed to two amazing little girls.
God has proven time and time again that He will provide, and William and Aubrey know He will do so now so that they can bring home their little girls.
10/13/2021 — OFFICIALLY MATCHED; AWAITING COURT
Hi My name is Denise. I am in the process of adopting sweet little Lazar. The Lord has been leading me to him and I would like to share how. I grew up in a large family, so there were always babies and little ones around. At even such a young age, I knew I was designed and created to be a mother. Fast forward to my first marriage and we immediately began trying. We were overjoyed at the news we were going to be parents, and yet soon after we were faced with the news of our first loss. We tried and tried again to discover that my body was not going to allow pregnancy. A journey of infertility and loss and we drifted apart. I discovered a passion in the kitchens in fine dining restaurants and eventually found love again. The love of my life. He was aware of my infertility and confidently assured me we would become parents through adoption. Somewhere in the midst of it all I had a health scare where a trip to the emergency room and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure turned out to be a severe case of preeclampsia with this 29 week pregnancy I new nothing of!!! That evening, I gave birth to my miracle boy Caleb. He was 2 pounds 11/12 ounces and born a fighter and Champion for the Lord! He is now 7 years old. He is a cerebral palsy warrior and the joy of my life. My husband fought depression all through his life and ultimately lost his battle to suicide years after Caleb’s birth.
It was after losing him, I felt the call to adoption. I was drawn to a younger boy with Down syndrome. It was one of the many “one day I’ll…” Meanwhile I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Caleb and I were thriving and I started to dabble in dating. And that brought me to one of the most amazing blessings of my life. I got pregnant again. Yes the woman who couldn’t get pregnant had beat the odds twice, At least this pregnancy I was aware I was pregnant! I learned in utero he had a diagnosis of down syndrome. I also learned there was something wrong as he had no stomach bubble. I carried my sweet boy to term and had a vaginal birth. He was whisked off to the NICU right away and we discovered he was born with Esophageal Atresia and also discovered he had Hirschprung’s disease. The NICU was our home for the next 8 ½ months. He had his repair at 6 months and fought for his life to come home. We were able to enjoy several months at home with him, until he was called home to the Lord after his procedure. I was so overwhelmed at how everyone came together to bless Caleb and I. As the donations grew and grew I knew immediately in my heart what I needed to do. Go….. Adopt…. Love….. bless this little boy that I was led to. I have no idea why God needed Sebastian more than I do. I may never know. Sebastian showed me I could do the hard things. I have the room and the equipment and the space and the toys and the books and the love and the family to offer this little one. Caleb is soaring. He has begun to pull up to stand on his own. He is finding his balance on his own. I am so excited to bring this little boy home and provide a home full of love and joy.
8/31/2021 — COURT PASSED! AWAITING TRIP HOME
Hi! We are Jonathan and Melissa Pfenninger. We have two beautiful daughters named Ivy (4) and Elliott (2) and are in the process to bring home a third!
We did not start out the adoption process in your typical way. While very open to adoption, our plans were always to build our family through biological kids, begin being foster parents, and adopting later on. Of course, our plans often don’t go according to plan and ours changed in November 2019 when we first laid eyes on a girl while scrolling through social media. This little girl caught our attention not only because she needed a family but also because she has a medical condition we are very familiar with. She has Turner Syndrome (TS) which just happens to be the same diagnosis our oldest daughter Ivy has as well. TS is very rare, with only 1-2% of babies making it to birth. We both joked that we should adopt her and kept on scrolling as we normally do.
A week later, out of the blue, we both brought up to each other “the little girl with TS” who we just couldn’t get off our minds. We began to talk and pray seriously about what we could and should do. We both felt God calling us to make a move, whatever that may be. We talked about how, while not ideal timing, God had given us all the resources to be able to adopt. How could we know about her and not do anything? So we took a leap of faith and started the adoption process. We were still not 100% sure this is what God had in store for us but we believed that if this was the path we were supposed to take, it would be made known.
A couple months later, we thought we got our answer when another family was chosen to adopt Ivey instead of us. While we were sad and disappointed, we came to the conclusion that what we wanted for Ivey was to be loved and cared for and whether it was us or another family, she would be and we could be content in that. We talked about what to do now that we had started this process and we decided to make sure that we had everything in order so that if something happened and Ivey needed another family to love her, we would be ready.
Almost 10 months later we got a call that we were not expecting. Our agency was on the phone asking if we were still open to adopting Ivey! Almost immediately, we said yes. We had been praying for this little girl for almost a year now and have been loving her from afar. And now we were beginning to see God’s plan fall into place for her- us! There are so many emotions that go into an adoption but the resounding one is an overwhelming feeling of love for a little girl we haven’t even gotten to meet yet. We are excited (and nervous!) to embark on this adventure but cannot wait to see what God has in store for our family.
9/22/2021 — FINAL TRIP in OCTOBER
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.
10/4/2021 — FINAL TRIP in MID-OCT
Vinny has received a $2000 grant.
Zachary and Savannah recently celebrated four glorious years of marriage and have two beautiful children, Reese and little Zachary. They live on a farm in a small country town in southern TN, and are blessed with a slower paced, albeit full, life as a little family loving each other and growing together in the Lord!
Zack works as a mechanic and cattle farmer with his father-in-law, a job filled with hard physical labor that also allows him to be close to home and most days spend lunch break at home with his family. He appreciates all the time he gets with his wife and kids, both in the mornings during breakfast and in the evenings when he comes in from work, as well as the weekends.
Savannah is blessed to be a stay at home mama to their two little ones. Her days are filled with nurturing their children, cooking meals from scratch, keeping house, and when the time can be found, sewing clothes and making quilts. She also runs a small online fabric shop from home.
The Morgans firmly believe that God has called them to take a leap of faith in Him and plunge into the journey of international adoption. They are working diligently to bring home a precious little girl with special needs, and are trusting the Lord each step of the way in what feels like a crazy, roller coaster ride of a process. It has been His grace that has brought them to this, and His grace will be sufficient to see them through!
As each step brings them closer to their soon-to-be forever daughter, the excitement is rising! Little Zachary does not yet comprehend what is happening, but Reese understands and is thrilled to be having a sister!
The whole family anticipates the day that she is finally HOME and they are doing all that they can to help that day to come as swiftly as possible. Whether they are spending the evening working in the garden together, painting and remodeling the children’s nursery themselves, hanging laundry on the clothesline, or laying down for naps, she is on their hearts and in their prayers.
They appreciate your prayers as they continue on, completing paperwork, trying to patiently wait on approvals and paperwork processes, and fundraising to help with the many expenses. They know that God will make a way, because He is the One Who sets the lonely in families!
9/28/2021 — TRIP ONE: OFFICIALLY MATCHED
We are the Darnowski family. We just adopted three little toddlers, who don’t yet toddle, from Eastern Europe! Elizaveta (Carmen on RR) 15 mos, Yuri (Quill) 2.5 and Piotr (Kade) 2.5 years. We realized that some other families were going back again right after adopting, to adopt again. They so inspired us, that we decided we would also try to seize the opportunity while the way still presented itself to us, (while only required to have a homestudy update, vs a whole new homestudy) to get some more children to a loving home!
We saw some pretty beautiful faces while visiting the orphanages with sad, longing looks in their eyes. We saw the beauty of how our biological children love and interact with their new siblings, and the amazing strides our newly adopted children are making in just the little time they have been home. Some of the other little children in our children’s’ orphanages will soon be moved to an adult institution! (Age 5-35 years!!). We were told that while the children’s’ orphanages in their region have pretty good care including therapies, the adult ones are considered “palliative”.
We wish we could bring them all home. Will you consider doing so, or supporting us as we go on this crazy journey again? Thank you in advance for your amazing generosity which carried us through Eastern Europe adoption number one! You are amazing!!!
10/9/2021 — COURT PASSED for YEVA & COURT in LATE OCT for EMILIA
Emilia has received a $15,000 Older Child Grant!
Elizabeth, Chris, and their three kids are scooching a little closer to make room for a little more love in their family!
The couple met in 2016 while Elizabeth was in in the middle of her first adoption from Eastern Europe. As the saying goes, when you know, you know, and they certainly knew! After a whirlwind two months of dating, Chris and Elizabeth got engaged and hopped on a plane together to bring their tiny son, Worth, home. On New Year’s Eve, they made it official in a sweet little pop up wedding on a bridge overlooking their city.
Worth Allen is now thirteen and thriving. He is strong, stubborn, and so full of sunshine. The Graham fam added Cleo Brave, now eight, to the crew in 2018. She is smart, silly, and overflowing with unsolicited sass! Indy Luke, who will turn one in November, made a surprise appearance in 2019. He is the extra helping of sweetness they all needed.
As the Grahams grow together, so does their conviction that children belong in families. Elizabeth and Chris are thrilled about the privilege of bringing another little boy with extra special chromosomes out of an orphanage and into their family.
Follow the Graham fam’s fundraising project on Instagram at Instagram.com/thethreehundredstitchproject
7/28/2021 — AWAITING COURT
The Collins Family is excited to expand their family and add a new little one to the bunch! Lee & Diana have been married for 22 years and are the proud parents of 4 amazing children. Spencer is 20 years old, Trevor is 19, Emma is 12, and their youngest daughter Kenzie is 4 years old and has Down syndrome. She was adopted 3 years ago. Kenzie’s adoption had such a great impact on their lives and their family’s lives. She has changed so many perspectives, and demonstrates how worthy children with special needs truly are. Diana has a background in Child Development and Education, while Lee has a professional business background. For 11 years, they ran a preschool fitness program in their area, and worked with young children on gross motor development and fitness. A year ago they changed industries, and now own a Pool service and repair company. Lee runs the business which allows Diana to stay home with the children. The Collins family lives a very outdoorsy lifestyle. Lee & Diana enjoy going hiking, running, and on family walks. The boys grew up playing soccer their whole lives, and as they have gotten older they enjoy skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. Emma has taken on the love for soccer as well, and also enjoys bike rides with her friends. Kenzie enjoys dance class, and doing anything outdoors with her family! No matter what you find the Collins family doing, you will see them doing it together. Family and togetherness is the most important thing to them. Lee & Diana love being parents, and take a lot of pride in their children. They strongly believe that parenting isn’t only about being a parent, it’s about providing opportunity and exposure, inclusion, sharing experiences, encouragement, support, teaching acceptance, and creating strong, individuals for life. They look forward to bringing another child into their home to share the love and happiness of their family!
10/12/2021 — TRAVELING in OCTOBER
Meet the Palms! Adam and Carolyn and their kids: Doug, Adam, Veronica, Matthew, Mary, Jack, Regina, Gabriel, and Gemma.
When Adam and Carolyn were married almost seventeen years ago, they knew God was calling them to raise a family, but did not know if they would be able to have biological children. Even before they said, “I do,” they had discussed and joyfully agreed that adoption would be a beautiful way to grow a family. And then Douglas was born exactly ten months after their wedding day, and Adam Blaise two years later. The rapidly growing family was thrilled to learn that a third baby was on the way… only to suffer the heartbreak of miscarriage soon after. Adam and Carolyn began discussing adoption again, and remained open to the possibility, even as God blessed them with three more biological children, Veronica, Matthew, and Mary. When Mary was eight months old, Jack arrived! He was six days old when they welcomed him into their family. It was a private, domestic adoption, and completely unexpected… but Jack was born exactly five years after the due date of the baby they lost.
After adopting Jack, Adam and Carolyn often mused that it would be nice if he were not the only adopted one in the family (although that is a source of pride to him). As his arrival was quickly followed by Regina, Gabriel, and then Gemma, the couple really didn’t have time to pursue it. And then Gemma, only two weeks old, was hospitalized with RSV. She was in ICU for a week, and Carolyn never left her side, while Adam remained at home with the other children. During that time, a nurse checking on little Gemma remarked to Carolyn how sad it is that some tiny babies in that hospital have no one to stay with them and pray for their recovery; one little fellow with Down Syndrome was in the cardiac wing at that very moment. His parents, appalled by his Down Syndrome diagnosis, had abused and neglected him; at only a few months old, he was fearful of all people. He was in the hospital for heart surgery, and would not be returning to his parents. That baby’s story got Carolyn thinking about adoption again. Ironically, that very day, Adam was talking to his boss, who has an adult son with Down Syndrome, about the beauty of raising a child with special needs. That day was also the funeral of an eight-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, adopted from Poland by friends of theirs, whose brief little life touched so many others. Clearly, God was sending Adam and Carolyn a message.
First things first; Gemma needed to recover, which she did! And the Palms needed a bigger house before the family grew any larger. Now that Gemma is a happy, healthy one-year-old, and the family is settled in a more spacious abode, the time has come to fulfill the adoption dream again. The Palms are blessed to have dear friends who recently adopted three children with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe, and are helping them through the process. Adam, Carolyn, and the kids are all eagerly preparing their hearts and home to welcome the newest family member!
9/14/2021 — APPT DATE in OCTOBER
Douglas and Jena have been married for almost six years. Their first son joined their family from Eastern Europe through adoption just before Christmas 2019. When they brought him home, they said they would go back “in a few years.” However, much like when they saw their first son’s photo and story, they now feel called to return to Eastern Europe for another waiting child to complete their family.
10/15/2021 — COURT PASSED!
Zachary and Caitlyn Connelly are the parents of 5 biological children. They are starting the journey to adopt a 2 year old boy from Eastern Europe. They know this may seem radical to some people but being the hands and feet of Jesus is what we are called to do, right? Adoption is expensive and while they have many obstacles to overcome during this time they have faith God will provide everything they need. Knowing that not everyone can help financially they ask for your prayers above anything else. Prayers for the process and also prayers for the little boy who has some complex medical issues that may not be being met due to being in an orphanage and not having access to great medical care.
The family thanks each and every one who prays and donates. It truly takes a village and they are thankful for theirs!
10/5/2021 — FIRST TRIP in OCTOBER
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!
8/1/2021 — TRAVELING AUGUST 2021
We’re just an ordinary family living the extraordinary life by stepping out in faith in place of standing frozen in fear.
If you’d have told me last Spring that I would be once again speeding through the adoption paperwork pile I wouldn’t have believed you. So on this very day I stand in awe at just how amazing our journey to one special little girl truly is. The God wink of my advocacy for her, the very day I shared how amazing it would be for Maddie and Magnolia to be close to each other two years ago. And then the very date of our completed packet being sent to Taiwan being the two year to the day of that advocacy post. Only God! God knew on that very day as I shared that post that we were to be her forever family!
Here we are a family of six. And celebrating our journey to precious Magnolia, Snyder #7. We are blessed with our two now young adult children, two little Taiwan treasures that rock their extra chromosome and racing to our newest treasure with Cerebral palsy. Family is everything to us. The very story that is being written as our family grows has us in complete awe at just how precious life is and how unique our family story is. Each and every member of our family uniquely and perfectly created to be exactly who we are meant to be. The journey to becoming a family a true gift. Each and every moment a true blessing…
We are humbled and blessed far beyond measure that of all the families in the world God handpicked us to treasure Magnolia as our daughter. Join us on our journey by sharing our journey with others, lots of prayer and when felt lead the generosity of donation as we take the leap of faith for love and family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Lonnie, Michelle, Kaiyla, Kyle, Miles, Maddie and Magnolia
9/8/2021 — COURT in SEPTEMBER!
The Hickey Family is back again! We’re so excited to be called back on this journey for a very special someone. While we weren’t expecting to be back quite so soon, God had other plans for our family.
In October 2019, our family was blessed with our first child, Sofija, through international adoption. We had an instant connection and feeling of comfort when we met her, it was truly meant to be. Sofija is our absolute greatest blessing!
While in the process for Sofija, we became aware that Sofija had a best friend who had become like a brother to her. In March 2018, we received our last and final update prior to traveling to bring Sof home, and we were sent several photos where our daughter was accompanied by a little boy. We could instantly see the bond between the two children. We responded with excitement about the update on our daughter while simultaneously inquiring about the darling little boy. At the time, our hopes were that some day when he too was adopted, we would be able to keep the two children in contact. However, when we arrived in-country, we were made aware that while few families had inquired, no family ever committed to this worthy little guy.
We had the pleasure of spending time with him while we bonded with our daughter and we felt an instant connection; both between him and our Sof, as well as, between him and each of us. We learned that he and our daughter had been roommates since they were first born and have been nearly inseparable since. It was heartbreaking for us to leave him behind but we assured his team that we would come back, should he still be waiting when we are ready to adopt again. Fast forward to Sofija being home for a few months, and we received a very unexpected message from our team in-country that they not only wanted us to come back for this little boy, but they wanted us to reunite the two children as soon as possible. While completing back-to-back adoptions seemed logistically and financially impossible, we have continued to witness God open doors for us to bring our son home. God moved mountains for us to bring Sofija home and while these mountains seem much bigger this time around, we trust that He will continue to be faithful.
We are incredibly thankful for any help, both spiritual and financial, that you can provide!
9/7/2021 — AWAITING TRAVEL DATES!!
The Hickey family met their $5000 matching grant from RODS Racing!
Jason grew up in Oklahoma and spent most of his life in Texas and Merilee is from Georgia. Their story didn’t begin until they met while working overseas in Tokyo, Japan. After falling in love and deciding they wanted to start a future together, they were married and began the hard work of blending their families. They now live in Germany and have four children at home.
Even before they met, Jason and Merilee had a heart for adoption. It was a calling they both felt whispering in their ears for many years. They believe God has always been working in the background of their lives preparing their hearts and minds for their adoption journey. In early 2020, Merilee found the Reese’s Rainbow website and began perusing the profiles of children around the world in need of a loving home. She ran across the profile of a teenager whose biographical information stated his adoption attorney felt “since he was not good looking” his chance of finding a home before aging out was slim. She shared this with Jason and they spent a lot of time talking and thinking about the fact that children are overlooked because they are literally not “cute” enough. They knew they didn’t have enough time to complete the process to be able to pursue this young man before he aged out, however, reading his profile was the momentum they needed to propel their adoption decision further.
After a few months of researching country programs and agencies, they settled on an agency and country and began considering their options between the traditional and waiting child programs. They were leaning toward the traditional matching option until their agency passed along the file for a young girl with special needs who was newly listed with the agency. They both had heard stories of adopted mothers and fathers talking about a moment of instant recognition when seeing their child for the first time. This is exactly the feeling they had from their first look at her photo and videos. They knew she was the one they were missing to complete their family.
If you find it in your hearts to help Jason and Merilee on this journey to welcome their daughter home, they will be forever grateful. There is no gift too great or too small to help them give this child something she has never had – a family of her own.
9/13/2021 — FIRST TRIP in LATE SEPTEMBER
*** Donna has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Devin, an IT manager at an electric cooperative, and Melissa, a former teacher, have been married for six years and have two children, a toddler and a teen that make life full and fun! They love spending time together, hiking, fishing, exploring new parks and destinations.
For many years Melissa felt God placing the special needs orphan on her heart and together, their family spent several years advocating for children through Reece’s Rainbow’s Guardian Angel program. They were even able to meet one of the wonderful girls they had advocated for after her family found her. It was such a beautiful experience and they and are still in contact with that family today.
A couple years ago, the calling was clear that advocating was no longer enough and there was definitely more they could do. After a teary conversation, Devin and Melissa both committed to making the changes necessary to pursue their own adoption and give a child the home and family he has always deserved.
Melissa resigned from her career to be a stay at home mom, they added another bedroom to their home, restructured their budget, and got busy saving for the upcoming cost. They have felt God paving their way with every step and cannot wait to grow their family.
They are so grateful for everyone who finds it their hearts to help. International adoption is expensive, but Devin and Melissa are certain the expense will be nothing in comparison to what their family will gain. If you are unable to donate, they kindly request that you share their story. They believe strongly in the power of prayer and ask that you join them in keeping their child wrapped in prayer until they can bring him home. You can visit them at their blog.
9/9/2021 — FIRST (Virtual) VISIT in SEPTEMBER
We are the Allardice Family from Fall River, MA. Our family includes Erica, Ian and our 2 children Kailee 12yo and Rylan 7yo. Our story started many years ago when Ian and I were only 15yo we met in driving school. We became close friends throughout high school. We parted ways after graduation and went our separate ways. Erica to college and eventually becoming a pediatric nurse. Ian joined the United States Navy. Fifteen years after high school we reconnected and the rest is history. Ian joined Erica and her two children helping raise them and guide them through life for the past 5 years. So where does our journey take us next. To EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!
We are on God’s path to adopt a special needs little boy from Eastern Europe. Why international adoption? Children born in Eastern Europe with special needs are most often put in orphanages where they do not receive the proper care. We feel if we can save just one of God’s children and show him he is loved and wanted then we have helped in this world wide crisis. We know International adoption is however costly ranging from $25,000-40,000 so we will be applying for grants and fundraising to help offset the cost to help bring our boy home. Thank you for all your love and support.
8/7/2021 — VIRTUAL TRIP 1 COMPLETE; AWAITING COURT DATE
We are the Johnson family! Meet Dad, Kevin, and Mom Seana. Kevin raced motocross professionally for years before he retired and is now a realtor. Seana is a stay-at-home homeschool teacher to their 5 children. Our kids are Preslie (13), Gavin (10), Kenlie (8), Emmaline (5), and Everleigh (1 1/2). We are overjoyed to be adding a very special little one to our family through adoption! God has been working on our story for many years. We believe what the Bible says in James 1:27 ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.’ It is only through Him that we are able to open our home and our hearts to a precious child who needs a loving family. We are truly overjoyed to be starting this process and look forward with hope to the day we get to meet and bring home our new child!
9/9/2021 — TRAVEL DATES RECEIVED
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!
9/13/2021 — COURT PASSED
Chris and Kelli have been married for almost 10 years. They have 3 wonderful biological children and are so excited to be adding 2 more wonderful children to their family through adoption. Chris works part-time as a pastor and he owns his own small woodworking business. Kelli works with preschool and elementary age children as a speech language pathologist with the public school system. They work together to homeschool their children.
Adoption is a new world to Chris and Kelli, but they’re willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to bring their children home. They are truly grateful for all donations to help them in this process! Will you be a part of their adoption story?
9/8/2021 — APPT in OCTOBER
Meet the Bishop family! Brian and Kristin met as teenagers in their church youth group when Kristin was just 13. With many years of life to live before settling down, they both went their separate ways after high school before reconnecting in late 2008. After a whirlwind romance, they were finally married in May of 2010 and have built an incredible life in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Together they have 4 beautiful children ranging in age from 4 to 10. Brian works as a finance director for an automobile dealership and Kristin is the owner of a local insurance corporation in their hometown.
Special needs adoption is something that had always been on Kristin’s heart. For nearly 5 years it was a constant conversation in their home. In 2017, Brian accompanied Kristin on another mission trip to South America and it was there, in the mountains of Zacapa, Guatemala that Brian experienced that same life-changing desire to parent the fatherless. They welcomed their youngest son home through international adoption from South Korea in February of 2019.
Along with serving as bonus parents for teenagers and young adults needing additional support, Brian and Kristin have a convicted heart that all children belong in families. Because of that, they have decided to pursue another international adoption to bring home a little girl with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They feel overwhelmingly grateful for the love and support they have received through both of their adoptions and look forward to meeting their sweet new little one soon!
“He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
10/8/2021 — FINAL TRIP!
Lacy has received a $2000 grant!
Samuel and Leslie Briscoe both hail from the great state of TN. They met while attending Tennessee Technological University, and they have now been married for six years. While dating, Sam expressed his desire to adopt a child due to his youngest sister being adopted from China. Through his own family’s experience, he had seen first hand the love and joy that comes through adoption, and he had always desired to give a child the same kind of love that his parents gave to his sister.
Four years after being married, the Briscoe’s were blessed with a beautiful biological daughter in August of 2017. Shortly thereafter, they felt impressed by God to start the adoption process for a child. They had not planned on adopting at this time, but the impression was so strong from God, that they knew there was a child waiting for them. They felt excited and nervous about the prospect of bringing a child into their family through adoption, but they could not deny that this is what the Lord wanted them to do.
At the time they began the process of adopting a child, they had not considered adopting a child with Down syndrome. On the second day of looking at referrals of waiting children, they were sent the file of a little boy with Down syndrome. Independently they both knew that the boy was their child. However, that did not make the decision easy. Even though there were times of uncertainty, the Lord gave them glimpses of the love that they would have for him as well as the joy that he would bring into their family. After several weeks of praying and fasting they accepted that all children are entitled to be reared by a father and a mother, and that he belonged in their family.
They are very excited to bring their little boy home, and they can’t wait to officially add him to their family. Their daughter loves to kiss pictures of the baby, and asks to watch his video. They would like to thank those who have taken the time to read their story, and they truly appreciate any and all assistance whether it is through prayer or financial support.
The Briscoe family has truly been humbled by this experience, but they know God will support and uplift them as they do his work.
4/5/2021 — TRAVELING in APRIL
Brian and Patrice met in 2009 shortly after Patrice moved to the area for her work with the federal government and the rest, as they say, is history. They were married by 2012 and are now the parents to three awesome kids: Gwen (age 6), Noel (age 4) and Jack (age 2) and one scruffy little dog named Scrapple.
Professionally, Brian is an elementary music teacher at an underprivileged school in Camden, NJ and Patrice is a Technical Expert for the Social Security Administration. However, what the couple really loves is being parents. The kids are never bored at the Gannon house – from guitar sing alongs with Daddy to sleepovers and designer pancake breakfasts with Mommy, there is never a dull moment. Game nights are a regular occurrence and small trips camping and to the beach are family traditions.
Although this is their first adoption, Brian and Patrice are both professionally experienced with special needs children and, in December 2018, received a diagnosis for their own oldest child. Gwen has always had trouble walking stairs and was thought to be simply less coordinated. It was not until her little sister began to eclipse her physical milestones that the family began to take notice. Gwen was formally evaluated for muscle weakness in kindergarten and, in a very quick turn of events, was referred to her pediatrician who stated that Gwen likely had terminal Muscular Dystrophy. This was a very challenging time for the Gannons. Priorities and purpose began to come into focus, and parent was right at the top. While ultimately, Gwen’s diagnosis was downgraded to a less severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, their urge to help other children stuck around. Patrice has always been an adoption advocate and has volunteered with foster kids for many years. Little did they know, they would soon see a picture of a boy who felt like their son. And so, their adoption journey began.
8/2/2021 — AWAITING FINAL TRIP
Donnie has received a $2000 country specific grant!
Donnie has received a $5,386.93 Waiting Child Grant.
Our journey in life together has been a blend of hardship and blessing, a beautiful testimony of God’s grace, love, and power. Proverbs 24:16 says: “for though the righteous fall seven times, they will rise again.” This has been our story; one of heartache and sickness, but also one of redemption and finding our ability to rise again. God has picked us up and molded us over and over as we have been obedient to His plans.
We have been married for almost 15 years now, and have fought to build our home on a solid foundation of love: Christ’s love for us as He helps us to love each other. A foundation that then spills over into love and nurture for our children. We feel so grateful that God has blessed us in so many ways. We may not have an abundance of money but in Christ we have become rich; rich with His love and mercy that He has so graciously given to us over and over again. It is this generous love that we desire to give to others.
The heart to adopt came to us over 15 years ago when we lived in uncertainty of being able to have our own children. I (Alicia) had some issues with getting pregnant and for a time, struggled to conceive. God’s plan did, in time, bless us with 2 amazing kids of our own. Joshua is 13 and Grace is age 10.
In June of 2019, a dream of mine (Alicia) came true. Financially I was fully supported to travel to Jamaica and serve at an orphanage there. I was so amazed at the support that my friends and family gave me. I was worried that we could not financially afford this trip. But of course God provided a way, like he always does, if we trust in him!
It was in Jamaica that I met an amazing girl named Abby. Abby is now 15 and since April 26th 2021 she is “our” little girl! We are just finalizing some more paperwork and making the finishing touches on her new room! (We have to show her every zoom call because she loves to see her room!) But as our eyes met that very 1st day, something inside of me burned with such love for this little girl. Abby is not without her own struggles as she has Down syndrome. I have always had a special place in my heart for kids with special needs, but especially those with Down syndrome. I love my job working with children with disabilities. It became evident to me, as well as our team members, that there was a strong connection between Abby and I. Abby would hang onto me, lean her head back and bury herself against my shoulder. You could just feel her body relax as she found comfort in my affection returned back to her.
As I traveled home, I continued to pray, asking God to speak to my heart and my husband’s heart about “My Abby.” And again, God did what God does best. He worked and moved in Jon’s heart. As God worked and moved in Jon’s heart, He also reached our two kids, growing inside them a desire to help and to make a difference. It is a shared desire we ALL now have, to be obedient to what the Lord is calling our family to do: to turn “My Abby” into “Our Abby.” So, we say ‘Yes’ to the call that God put on my heart while serving in Jamaica. We say ‘Yes’ to the day to day steps that He will lead us to and through. We say ‘Yes’ to keep on the long journey of overseas adoption. We say ‘Yes’ to having faith bigger than our fears and worries. We say ‘Yes’ to a forever ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ to bringing Abby home.
Now we are on the final steps! After a long 2 year journey. We are just awaiting the letter for Abby’s visa hearing appointment. It is likely that we will be traveling in September!
7/30/2021 — AWAITING TRAVEL