Edgar and Rachael Mendez met and fell in love at work when they both worked for the same Pest Control Company. Rachael was an insect specialist and Edgar was the Branch Service Manager. Their shared love of insects is what bonded them and allowed them to spend a lot of time together on problem accounts. Two years later, in July of 2009, the priest that married them told their friends and family he had never before had anyone fall in love because of bugs! Theirs is a happy marriage filled with similar values and a desire to build a family despite their cultural differences.
It was not until three years later, that Rachael found out she was pregnant. On Valentine’s Day, Rachael went into early labor and delivered a 2- pound baby boy. Although he was tiny and fragile and stayed in the hospital for 105 days, there was a fighting spirit in him, and he soon became the center of the universe for the Mendez Family. Two weeks after his birth, this tiny boy was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. So, Edgar and Rachael immediately started reading and preparing for how to bring home a special needs micro-preemie. Now six years old, Nicholas loves Mickey Mouse, horseback riding, swimming and basketball, and with a lot of extra tutoring is very advanced with reading. And what a personality!
But Edgar and Rachael knew in their hearts that their family was not complete. After two miscarriages, one of which almost took Rachael’s life, and giving birth to a stillborn baby girl, the Mendez’s decided to turn to adoption. One night, Rachael stumbled across Reese’s Rainbows and discovered the plight that special needs orphans face abroad. Picturing their own son in this predicament, they suddenly felt called to do something. After clicking on the list of waiting boys, Rachael discovered Bodey and instantly felt the connection. His little baby photo, showed him sitting with his little hand fanned out beside him the same way their own son used to sit as an infant. Abandoned at 3 months old and sitting quietly in an orphanage with no one interested, Bodey needed a family to call his own. Yes, he needed to come home! After requesting his file, the Mendez family found more and more similarities between their two boys, especially with their shared love of basketball. Additionally, a friend of the family is from the same area and has toured the orphanage Bodey is living inside. It is the dream that these two little boys will grow up together in such a loving household, so now the Mendez’s are trying to prepare financially to take the leap and bring their son home. The cost of adoption will stretch them very much, but they could not leave Bodey behind. Please keep Bodey and the Mendez Family in your thoughts and prayers. Any contributions to bring Bodey home faster would be greatly appreciated.
9/26/2019 — TRAVELING OCT 23
The Mendez family met their RODS Racing matching grant!
Steve, a special education teacher, and Stacy, a science teacher, have always known they would grow their family through adoption. Since first starting the process to adopt from foster care in 2008, they have walked an adoption path that has turned out to be long and winding, hope-filled and heart-breaking, and, ultimately, one of surrender. After a recent, failed international adoption of a dearly loved and known daughter, Steve and Stacy began questioning how – wait things out, switch countries, adopt from foster care – or even if they could or should proceed – maybe their dream hadn’t been meant-to-be, afterall.
And then a series of seemingly random events led Stacy to see the photos and videos of a precious, adorable, funny, mischievous, and joyful little girl named Yia. Stacy’s heart melted and exploded at the same time.
Stacy gathered up the courage to discuss this unexpected adoption possibility with Steve and the boys, Kye (17) and Kade (14). ALL of them agreed that nothing about it made any sense: Yia was from a country that would require them to switch agencies, countries, and start back at square one with their paperwork, Yia had a lot of medical unknowns (though they love that she is a heart warrior just like their son, Kye), Yia was younger than they had considered, and, financially, their failed adoption left them completely unprepared to pursue her adoption. And yet, they have decided to step out in faith because it is clear, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Yia is their daughter. They are believing and trusting that Yia has been the plan all along, and, so far, each step of this new journey has confirmed that.
The Bartletts are excited, scared, hopeful, cautious, optimistic, anxious, but most of all certain that Yia is their sister and child. They would be forever grateful for your support as they run to bring Yia home!
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5
9/26/2019 — TRAVEL APPROVAL RECEIVED
Yia has received a $5,000 Older Child Grant.
Yia has also received a Waiting Child Grant of $1,102.65.
Sheryl and John met while supporting adults with disabilities, most of whom have Down syndrome, and married five years later. Early into their relationship, they were committed to adopting a child with Down syndrome. That plan was put on hold when their second child was born with Down syndrome. He was closely followed by his little brother. Tragically, their middle son passed away suddenly after his fourth birthday.
John and Sheryl again recommitted to parenting a child with Down syndrome, and brought home a Reece’s Rainbow child with Down syndrome in February of 2018. They tried to bring home another little boy at the same time, but rule changes went into effect which prohibited this plan. A vow was made that, if everyone in their family was adjusting well from the adoption, they would go back for the other boy. And the time has come!
The Kincinas family is excited to travel back to Asia this summer to bring home Marshall. He has been in their hearts for nearly two years and they are eager to have him in their arms. Their kids are thrilled to have another sibling to run around with, and are looking forward to another adventure in Asia.They thank everyone who has advocated and prayed for Marshall and appreciate any financial help that is given.
9/25/2019 — TRAVELING in OCTOBER
Steve and Kim Tiller have been married since 2005, but their story began long before then. Not really running in the same circle of friends initially, both Steve and Kim have been active Kingdom workers in New Hampshire and globally since the 1990’s. They even got to spend the turn of the century serving together with others on a short-term mission trip, helping to clean up and prepare an orphanage building in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. Not long after, Kim trained for and transitioned to working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Kyiv, Ukraine. While applying the love of Jesus through volunteering, she felt God’s calling to adopt a young boy with Down Syndrome named Taras (Ty). Kim and Ty traveled back to the USA in late 2004. Very impressed by God’s provision and Kim’s faithfulness, Steve was blessed to spend lots of time with Kim and Ty in the early weeks of 2005 (which resulted in them getting married in August of that year).
In July of 2006 their son, Jacob, was born with Down Syndrome. Jacob’s path of visiting doctors, being helped by feeding & swallowing specialists, and receiving Early Intervention was blazed beforehand by his older brother. Jacob is the Tiller family’s little director and has been acknowledged as well to be the king of the schools he has attended (starting in preschool)!
A few months before Jacob turned 3, the Tiller family was expanded by another son, Zachary. Though not having Down Syndrome, Zachary is compassionate, a great friend and advocate for his brothers. The Tillers have been blessed beyond measure by these three boys & the community of friends and family that surround them.
Kim has always had a desire to adopt more children, especially kids with Down Syndrome. The impact of her first-hand experience of seeing what institutional life can be like for children with special needs and the corresponding challenges in their early years has motivated her to be an adoption prayer warrior. In 2012, she stepped up her prayer efforts with the help of Reece’s Rainbow website, spending significant time lifting up the children in the various stages of adoption and those yet to be adopted. The Tiller boys would also join her by praying for specific children and would rejoice when some would come home with their new families.
The Tillers are excited to share the news that one of these precious children will be joining their family. They have agreed that it is time to welcome home a little girl with Down Syndrome. Julie’s sweet smile drew them right to her! They are looking forward to sharing in God’s upcoming blessings with her and showering her with the love of a family. Ty, Jacob and Zach will be fantastic big brothers. Zach in particular is especially ready for her to come home soon!
Your prayer & financial support has a huge impact in God’s Kingdom and is a true blessing to the Tillers!
9/25/2019 — TRAVEL APPROVAL RECEIVED
Hey there! We’re the Fosters. I’m Kristin, a stay at home mommy. My husband is a sales manager for Apple Valley Organics. We have three beautiful biological children. Carter (7), McCoy (2), & Oakley (1). While we may look like a typical family, I can assure you we are anything but. Our story is quite unconventional, but it’s truly my biggest honor parenting with Taylor, and raising these amazing little ones.
In September 2016, we happily welcomed our second son into this world. He arrived fast and furious, while stealing ALL the hearts in the delivery room. Little did we know, the coming days would test our faith completely. We were told that McCoy would require genetic testing, as they suspected he had a syndrome. McCoy, our perfect son, has Down Syndrome. We cried (A LOT), we googled everything there was to know, & we mourned the child we expected to have. Time seemed to speed up and slow down all at once. The weeks blurred together. What we did do was immediately jump into early intervention services. We attended Feeding therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Speech therapy, and countless other medical appointments each week. At these appointments I felt the crushing blow more and more. At times it felt all encompassing. It consumed us. Would we ever go a day without talking about Down Syndrome?
Then one day, almost as swift as a tornado hits, we realized the life we had been blessed with is even better than we thought it would be. We stood up straighter, laughed easier, & embraced ALL humans with love and acceptance. We found meaning in the meaningless. Light in the dark. Good in the bad. He turned our views completely upside down. McCoy ignited a fire so big in our bones, a fire we couldn’t subdue. We started to see our reality in a shifted view. We no longer drew the short end of the stick like society wanted to tell us, but rather, we were selected to become a part of the lucky few. Life was good.
Fast forward to January 2019. We were a very complete, happy, and content family of five. Taylor was travelling for work and while he was gone a friend of ours reached out to me. She sent a message with a video of a young boy attached. I opened the message and was immediately captivated by the little face on the other end of the screen. A soft melody played while the video showed this little guy laying in a crib playing with his hands and a small rattle. Three minutes had elapsed, and I found myself restarting the video. I watched the video randomly throughout the day, each time shedding major tears. There was something big about this small little one. I decided to send it to Taylor and ask for his prayers on a family for the little boy. The video itself had over 90,000 views on YouTube and over 10,000 comments inquiring on how to adopt him. Surely someone was already in the process of adopting him.. right?
Taylor felt the immediate connection too. He posted the video on his social media to help spread the word and urged those interested in adopting to check the video out. The following morning, Taylor called with an idea that would spark what would be our biggest adventure yet. An adventure so grand, we had no concept of the highs and lows we would experience. Taylor asked me, “Why not us?”. Confused, I responded with, “Why not us for what?”. It was that simple. Once we were on the same page, we both agreed, WHY NOT US! Wasn’t that little ball of love worth fighting for? It quickly became crystal clear that it would a big leap of faith, but we said YES without hesitation! We would fight relentlessly for him.
The special needs life is scary, unwanted, and full of “I’m sorry’s” from those who misunderstand its beauty. Ironically, both Taylor and I have been prepared for these children well before their existence. My Bachelor’s degree is in child development and family relations. While I don’t use it clinically, it has served its greatest purpose inside the walls we call our home. Taylor’s youngest sister was also adopted and has FAS and ADHD, which taught him from a young age that children are only as capable as you allow them to be. That everyone is worthy and brilliant. Ultimately, our destiny would prove that this was divine intervention after all. That life turned out completely different than expected, but embracing the path paved for us has set our family free. That beauty is truly not far off the beaten path, and that having faith in the journey will be the best blessing of them all. Thank you so much for reading about us and our sweet babies! I surely hope you know what this process means to us, and any help bringing him home would be so greatly appreciated. Truly, thank you.
Sincerely, Kristin & Taylor Foster (Anxious Adoptive Parents)
10/1/2019 — OFFICIALLY MATCHED
The Foster family was in process to adopt Augustus, who passed away in July 2019. They are heartbroken, but moving forward to adopt another boy. Augustus’s grant fund has been added to the family’s FSP.
Brett and Jessica met 17 years ago while attending college in upstate New York. They currently live in Maryland with their 5 biological children. Clayton (13), Ava (11), Lyla (9), Allen (4) and Pierce (2), are the loves of their lives. Brett is a mechanical engineer and works as project developer at Ameresco Inc and Jessica owns an early intervention preschool for children diagnosed with Autism. They enjoy spending time as a family going for bike rides, playing board games and spending time outside. After Pierce was born they thought their family was complete, however God had other plans. In August 2017, Brett and Jessica started considering International Adoption. After working with children with special needs for over 15 years, Jessica knew that if they decided to adopt, they would adopt a waiting child with special needs.
Brett and Jessica believe that serving those who are the most vulnerable is one of life’s biggest blessings. When you pour love and compassion into those who need it the most, your dreams will start to come true. They are working hard and praying to raise enough money to bring their child home as soon as possible. The country requires 3 trips to finalize the adoption. Thank you for your support and prayers to help bring our precious child home.
7/30/2019 — AWAITING REFERRAL
For those of you who know Jode and Kelley, you know they have felt for years that their family was not yet complete. Yes, they already have seven beautiful children at home, but when God laid it upon their hearts to once again adopt, they could not ignore the calling.
Inasmuch, they are pursuing a child (or two) from an Eastern European country – one which they have loved dearly and missed greatly. They look forward to going back and seeing those who have become like extended family.
Having completed five international adoption, they know that adoption can be expensive. However, they also know that God is faithful. Experience has proven that where He leads them, He will also supply all that they need. If you would like to support their efforts, please hit that donate button. Your generous financial gift is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
The Robinsons will be adding updated posts to their blog as things progress. If you would like to come along on this journey, please follow their blog. As always, your fervent prayers are greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance for coming along with us on this amazing journey!
9/24/2019 — APPT on SEPT 30
Adam and Siri Caudill enjoy life in beautiful rural WA. They are blessed with a biological daughter, Pia, born in September 2016. She is a sweet, smart and delightful girl who loves dolls as much as dinosaurs and trucks. Adam is a stay-at-home father and Siri is a veterinarian. They had both long felt the call to adopt a child, Adam having an adopted sister. Their hearts were reminded of this in an unexpected way.
They were overjoyed to become pregnant with a second child, a boy named Riku, who they lost in the second trimester of pregnancy. Riku had Down syndrome. Siri and Adam were prepared to parent a child with special needs and were devastated by this loss. As a result, they were made aware of the need for international adoption of children with special needs. They are thrilled to be in the long process of welcoming a young boy (“Myrtie” on Reece’s Rainbow) into their family from Eastern Europe. They found his profile and immediately felt drawn to him. He has spina bifida and associated hydrocephalus. Even though he is unable to walk and does not yet have a wheelchair, he does not let this hold him back. His spirit has captured their hearts. His personality is often described as sunny and he exudes a great joy for life. As every child deserves a loving home, they long to give him the love and medical care that he needs to continue to be such a happy boy.
They are deeply appreciative of any support they receive in the efforts to bring their son home.
9/2/2019 — FIRST TRIP in SEPTEMBER
*** Myrtie has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Sara and Ben are high school sweethearts, married since 2005, and had always hoped for a large family. In 2010, they were blessed to welcome their first child, Oliver, into their lives. Two years later in September of 2012, they were excitedly awaiting the arrival of their daughter Charlotte. Unfortunately Sara experienced complications during the delivery of Charlotte. Sara’s placenta ruptured and mistakes were made by the doctors and hospital in recognizing and responding. Their beautiful daughter Charlotte lived for 8 hours and then passed away in their arms. Sara lost nearly half her blood volume and they were told she was lucky to survive.
After that tragedy, they grew closer as a family, Oliver was their saving strength. A few years later they discussed growing their family again. Pregnancy for Sara was no longer an option and they were lucky to have a family friend offer to be a gestational carrier! It took some time and losses but their son Lincoln was born in April of 2015.
Today, they want to expand their family again and the thought of adoption gives their family excitement, hope and optimism. They are lucky to have a world class Children’s Hospital only a few minutes away, so they looked specifically for a child with medical needs that would otherwise fail to thrive in an orphanage. Their hopeful daughter has been diagnosed with heart disease, VSD, prematuring and an unspecified brain disorder. They plan a full evaluation once they get her home but they expect to spend quite a bit of time and money at the hospital and with potential heart surgeries. But again, they feel lucky to even have that ability to give her a chance here.
Their family is fun, they love each other and they spend their free time just being together hiking, cooking, playing board games. But they are all very excited about this opportunity to adopt. Their youngest son points at every airplane and asks if his new baby sister is on it yet. Their older son downloaded a language app and they have been practicing the language together (Brat = brother, so that one has been very popular around their house now). I know they will be blessed to add to their family through adoption, they already have been.
9/10/2019 — APPT in MID-SEPTEMBER
Franklin and Stacy began their family soon after their November 2007 wedding. Sabrina was born in 2010 and Sophia in 2012. In the same month that Sophia had her first birthday, a friend shared information about the plight of the orphans in China. As they spent several months reading everything they could about adopting from China and they felt a clear calling for them to grow their family through adoption. The paperwork was grueling but they quickly realized what a blessing it was to be able to bring their sweet daughter Sarah home. After having seen first hand what life is like in the orphanage, they knew they wanted to adopt again, thus Susannah came home.
Their hearts continued to feel the call to adopt but their family needed some time to adjust to growing by four children in just six years. During the time since their last adoption, they knew they wanted to adopt again but this time felt drawn to bringing home a child with Down Syndrome. They were encouraged by other families with both biological children and adopted children with Down Syndrome. The Eatons are anxiously awaiting the day they can bring home their newest daughter, Stella Faith, preciously advocated for as Jenna. They hope to travel in mid-October.
9/11/2019 — TRAVEL APPROVAL RECEIVED
*** Jenna Leigh has received a $5,000 Older Child Grant! ***
Jeff and Devin have been married for 11 years. They talked about adoption being a part of their family planning before they were even married. Devin is an adoptee, and Jeff’s sisters are adoptees, so it was always something they both felt strongly about. They have 2 biological children: a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Now they are working towards adopting another son and daughter from South Korea. Jeff’s sister is a South Korean adoptee and so his whole family is excited to be a part of this process again. The Beach family is taking Korean language classes and Kuk Sool Won, a Korean martial art, together. The kids especially cannot wait to bring their new brother and sister home. The Beach family is so ready for their adventure in South Korea and to start this next exciting chapter in their lives.
9/4/2019 — TRAVELING in MID-OCTOBER
Nathan and Jennifer adopted their first child in 2012 from Pleven, Bulgaria after seeing the documentary “Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children”. Nathan, Jennifer, and Jennifer’s mother all took shifts staying in Bulgaria for several months to ensure Daniel would be healthy enough to make the trip home. After he arrived home, a local physician remarked that it was “the most profound case of neglect he’d ever seen”. A few years later, they adopted Max from China. Among several other medical issues, Max had been born with a facial cleft and was left on the street, as happens with many of China’s orphans.
Recently, Nathan and Jennifer felt called to adopt from the most overlooked group and selected an older child with more acute needs from Eastern Europe. They committed to “Jackson”, but tragically, he passed away as their home study was being completed. With tremendous grief, they selected “Kayden” and recently made their first trip to meet him. They found that besides Kayden, there was only one other adoptable child at the institution. He is severely disabled and been passed over his whole life, so that he is now close to aging out. Nate and Jen are currently racing against the clock to bring this child home as well.
9/12/2019 — SECOND TRIP (Court for KAYDEN) in SEPTEMBER
+ APPT for SECOND BOY
Kayden has received a $3,709.40 grant.
Andrew and Michelle will celebrate their ten-year wedding anniversary this year. They have had adoption on their hearts long before they were married. The desire to grow their family through adoption strengthened after their biological daughter was born in 2011. Andrew and Michelle brought their Deaf daughter home from the Philippines when their biological daughter was just two-years-old. They went on to adopt their other children in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 from Ethiopia, China and one domestic adoption. Andrew and Michelle currently have seven children at home. Five of their children are Deaf. One of their daughters has Down Syndrome and mild hearing loss. The family uses ASL as their main mode of communication at home.
Michelle and Andrew agree strongly with the popular adoption quote, “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” Leaving children behind in an orphanage in the Philippines who were screaming out “Mommy! Daddy!” and gripping at their clothing is an experience that will be forever etched on the minds of both Andrew and Michelle. From that point on, the couple says, “We have never been the same.” Andrew and Michelle left the Philippines with their first adopted daughter with an even greater purpose and a calling that has been burning in their souls ever since.
They have welcomed six children into their family by way of adoption and have daily seen God’s miracles unfolding in and through their children. Psalm 68: 5-6 states that God is a Father to the fatherless and that He sets the lonely in families. Andrew and Michelle are confident that although expanding their family through adoption in quick succession has not always been easy emotionally or financially that God will continue to provide exactly what is needed to bring their two newest daughters home from Eastern Europe. They continue to stay open to whatever road God desires to take them down.
Andrew and Michelle’s oldest “daughter to be” is Deaf. The youngest is non-verbal and very frail. They are unsure of her hearing ability. It is important to them that they get to the girls as quickly as is possible. Michelle and Andrew mentioned that some have asked how they can assist in bringing home their newest girls. Andrew and Michelle were not planning on adopting at this time, it would be a huge blessing if they were able to raise the extra funds needed that adopting two children simultaneously adds to their adoption costs. They stressed that they do not want anyone to feel pressured into donating, but for those who have questioned, “How can we support adoption?” this is just one avenue that would tremendously bless their family. First and foremost, they covet your prayers for their daughters and their family as they walk this journey to bring their girls home.
8/20/2019 — FIRST TRIP COMPLETE
His family is so excited to add this darling boy to their family! They’ve met him and are officially matched, and will be traveling back soon for his court date.
9/10/19 — WAITING FOR COURT
Meet Heath, and Stacey Russell! They met 13 years ago and have been talking about adoption since their very first date! They both have a special place in their hearts for children. Together they are raising five boys who are beyond excited to have a sister to love and spoil!
In 2010 they were told that all the numbers pointed to their son having Down Syndrome. They were given the option to have an abortion. This was obviously not an option for them! During her pregnancy Stacey did a lot of research and was shocked to find out that the abortion rate for a prenatal diagnoses of Down Syndrome was 65% in America and up to 96% in other countries. She couldn’t believe how high those numbers were!
During her research Stacey ran across https://reecesrainbow.org. This is when she began advocating for the waiting children and participating at buddy walks. During this time it was clear that God was preparing their hearts for a child who may have special needs, but it wasn’t their son. The doctors were wrong.
This experience is what brought them to Reece’s Rainbow where they found their daughter. (Clara L21 on Reece’s Rainbow) At birth, Clara was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Tetralogy of Fallot (a congenital heart condition presenting a combination of four defects in the structure of the heart).
This heart condition causes her heart to pump oxygen-poor blood into her body, which makes breathing difficult and any physical activity very hard on her little body. She is now 6 years old and is still in desperate need of medical care to help repair her heart.
It has now been two years since the Russell family started their adoption journey. Stacey and Heath jumped in with nothing but faith. They had no idea how they were going to accomplish this, but they knew that God would provide a way.
Now, Stacey and Heath are thrilled to say that their Dossier will soon be submitted to the Ministry! It took a lot of finances, a lot of prayer and a long time for them to get here and they couldn’t be more excited!
However, they aren’t done just yet. They are praying for a referral in the next 2-4 months. Once they get this, they will need to make 3 trips, one of which they both have to travel for 3-4 weeks! This seems difficult, but not impossible! Their girl has been in this orphanage for 6 years, she is very sick and desperately needs out! The Russell’s know if they can just get her here, they will love her and make sure she gets all the medical care and love she deserves!
If you feel led, I pray that you will please help the Russell family provide hope, love and a new future for this precious girl! They would greatly appreciate your prayers and any financial support as they prepare to bring her home!
9/12/2019 — FIRST TRIP SEPT 20
Eric and Blythe are really excited about starting this adoption journey to bring Tabitha home! They believe that she will be the perfect little girl to join their family and all of their other kids agree! Eric and Blythe currently have five amazing children and this will be their fourth adoption. Adoption is an important part of their family’s story and they are so thankful and humbled to have the opportunity to walk through it again.
They know that their youngest little girl is waiting, an oceans lengths away, and so they are running as fast as they can to get to her! Eric and Blythe have seen, time after time, how God makes the impossible POSSIBLE! They are fully putting this adoption in His hands and believing that He will provide the energy and the funding to make it all happen. They are thankful for each and every person that joins them in helping to bring Tabitha home.
10/1/2019 — COURT PASSED
There are times in our life when God is calling us to step out on faith and trust in Him and no one could have given us a more profound love and help us have a greater faith and trust in our Lord than our precious second born son Jake. Born with a terminal illness that left him severely handicapped and medically fragile, Jake opened our eyes to a whole new world of special needs, chronic illnesses and medical fragility that we never knew existed. Yet through all the struggles, we found the true face of God, our Rock, our Redeemer, our great Comforter. Because of his pure and selfless love, having Jake as our son has completely transformed our lives and we are forever changed by God’s blessings and His goodness. He has blessed us in this life with 3 wonderful sons and although shortly after his 3rd birthday, we were stricken by life’s greatest tragedy in losing our precious and beloved Jake, we can’t help but be thankful that we have been chosen for such a treacherous journey because through the storms, our eyes have been opened to see the beauty of God’s precious orphans that are in need a mother and father to show them the love and comforts of a family.
Because of Jake, we have a heart for God’s special children living in orphanages that have been “thrown away” and otherwise forgotten. To others they may seem damaged but we see the true beauty that God sees in them and we know the full potential they possess if only given the chance. We feel that God is tugging at our hearts to adopt our 4th son whom we believe God has already chosen for us; a precious angel who was placed in a orphanage simply because he was born with Down Syndrome. What his birth mother saw as a burden, we know if a gift from God and we want to show him how worthy and loved he truly is but we need your help to make him ours. We are fully stepping out on faith and trusting God to make a way financially for us to bring our next child home. We trust in Him and know that He will provide for our needs. We want to thank you in advance for helping us bring our precious angel home and give him a wonderful family who will give him the life he deserves.
9/4/2019 — FIRST TRIP COMPLETE
“Be strong and courageous, do not fear. The Lord your God is with you…wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This verse was chosen for our beloved baby, Joshua Eric. We were very happily surprised to find out we were expecting in the summer of 2017. We have a beautiful blended family, and were thrilled to welcome our first-born son together. In the early Fall of 2017, a routine ultrasound showed our baby had a severe congenital heart defect and likely, Down syndrome. We realized that God had a different plan for our family. Plans were made for our son to undergo open heart surgery around the age of four months. During the remainder of Alycia’s pregnancy, medical plans were made and they learned all they could about Down syndrome and the amazing community they were welcomed into locally and throughout social media. Joshua’s siblings, extended family and friends were so excited and eager to welcome Joshua into our family.
When Joshua was born we knew Down syndrome was nothing to be feared and quite possibly one of our favorite things about him. He was beautiful and perfect in every way. He underwent his first heart surgery at one week old and made a steady recovery. His sweet little soul won the hearts of all who loved him…his nurses, doctors, extended friends and most of all his siblings and parents. However, as the weeks in the hospital progressed, Joshua went into early heart and lung failure. He had to undergo several open heart surgeries to repair his heart…much younger than expected. Very tragically, Joshua passed away from complications post- surgery at the age of 6 weeks and one day old. As painful as it has been to walk this grief journey and loss of their son, they feel they were given the beautiful gift to have their own hearts and minds opened to the beauty of special needs.
Alycia has always considered adoption a very real calling on her heart. However, it always seemed elusive. Too far out of reach to be able to. After Joshua passed, she began bringing the idea of possibly adopting a child with Down syndrome up to Eric. Their family thought and prayed about this, feeling as time went on, the tugging on their hearts and souls was for such a time as this. They talked with their older kids and everyone was wholeheartedly supportive. They experienced true, unconditional selfless love for their special needs infant and their hearts were cracked wide open to the needs of other babies who are orphaned. They realized that Joshua could have been born in any other country, or at any other time in history and not experienced the amount of care and love he received.
Knowing our family has an immense amount of enduring love to give an orphan, we have committed to the adoption of a baby boy who also has Down syndrome. We feel incredibly blessed to be entrusted with this calling. In the midst of much devastation with the loss of our first son, God has been doing something. In His way and in His timing, new hope has begun to grow. We know only God knows the full story and He is doing what only He can do. We believe that God is picking us to personally live out one of His promises… “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” John 14:18
We ask for your continued prayers as we move forward with paperwork, towards funding our adoption and eagerly awaiting the time we can bring our baby boy home to the safety of our arms. We know God is right here with us. We cling to this hope. Believe this hope. Live out this hope as He creates beauty from ashes. Fully. Completely. Perfectly. With Him.
9/27/2019 — COURT on OCT 21
Bryan and Dana have searched for their son for five years, and they’ve [finally!] found him in Eastern Europe! The Lankfords began their journey in 2014 when they became dual licensed, foster to adopt parents in Dallas, Texas. They have loved on and provided stability to more than 20 children since opening their hearts and home, but the child they waited for eluded them.
During Thanksgiving 2017, Bryan and Dana saw a smiling, hopeful face on an international adoption website. They inquired and, less than a year later and after a whirlwind of paperwork and travel, they were overjoyed to become the proud parents of a happy, healthy, well-adjusted 16 year old Eastern European beauty who is the light of their lives. Yet there was an empty chair at the table.. the son who remained missing. They continued to search both domestically and internationally for him.
Mario is a 15-year-old Eastern European boy diagnosed with Epilepsy who will age out and become unadoptable in November, 2019. Mario has been listed on the international adoption register for the past six years. Six years of being passed over in favor of younger, healthier children; housed in an uncaring Bulgarian orphanage and then foster home in a remote, small town where his hopes and dreams fade alongside his chance of finding a loving family to call his own. Videos and photos show the light leaving his face as the years pass. Bryan and Dana have stepped forward for this precious child, confident that funds for his adoption can be raised before Mario ages out of the system and he loses his last chance for wholeness. Your donations are working miracles! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
8/19/2019 — FIRST TRIP EARLY SEPTEMBER
An experienced adoptive family is heading back overseas to another two to their family!
99/18/2019 — APPT DATE in SEPT; REFERRAL ACCEPTED
Matt and Christy Sellers have been married for 21 years. They have 6 children, 3 of which were adopted internationally and just happen to be rocking an extra chromosome. Their love for children and Down Syndrome has led them to pursue another sweet girl to add to their family — and she will soon be named Glory.
They love investing in the lives of children. Seeing each child grow and change has been one of their most exciting seasons of their marriage. It has grown them to be more like Christ.
Adoption finances are challenging, but so worth the work. If you would like to be a part of bringing their little girl home, please consider donating. They are trusting that God will provide the means to bring her home. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do!
9/20/2019 — AWAITING COURT DATE
*** Tina has received a $2,000 Grant! ***
Dennis and Tia Azevedo have been happily married for nearly 3 years now and have a your’s, mine and ours family – three beautiful children. Tia was one of those orphans they called “the crib babies of Romania”. By the grace of God, she was adopted by an American family and given a beautiful chance to live. Many were not!
Adoption has been a part of Tia’s life for several years as her family adopted internationally several times, so special needs and adoption is not a new thing for her. When Tia was very young, she thought everyone was adopted. As Tia grew, she realized how unique and special it was to be chosen and she wore it like a badge of honor
When Dennis and Tia married, they spoke of having a one or two biological children and then adopting. After the very terrible and almost life-threatening birth of their daughter Isabel who was born between 34/35 weeks gestation, they decided not to risk another pregnancy and they kept adoption on their radar. A few months after Isabel’s birth Tia had a hysterectomy because of some health issues pertaining to her pregnancy and delivery.
Tia started to look on Reece’s Rainbow daily, praying and then she fell across a sweet girl and shared her with Dennis and they immediately knew that she belonged in their family!
They are excited to start this journey of adopting their own sweet “orphan” who is soon to be called “daughter”.
Keep thy heart in all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
9/20/2019 – AWAITING COURT
Life is a gift. This is something that we as a family cherish, and through such seek to return to God the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. We are a quirky bunch who seek to enjoy the joys of life through a family rooted in Christian beliefs. We are bi-lingual, in that five of our nine children are deaf (we carry a recessive gene which causes Pendred Syndrome- progressive hearing loss). Our second child Ambrose passed at 25 months of age in 2006 from a pulmonary embolism after a surgical procedure.
The gift of his life is what brought Bernadette and I to seek out Foster Care for medically fragile and special needs children. We worked through a local Non-Denominal Agency called House of Samuel. We encountered an amazing group of people, especially the children. It was such a beautiful time that taught us so much, and we experienced God’s love in a whole new form. We stopped doing Foster Care once our family grew, and the needs of our biological children became apparent.
Bernadette and I met while serving as Missionaries for NET Ministries in St. Paul MN, we were on the same team for our year commitment. Both of us were committed to religious life and found fellowship in the support of each other’s calling. Towards the end of the year we both found a love for each other, however, not wanting to stand in each other’s way planned to go our separate ways. I was going to return to Canada, and my now wife to Ohio, however, it was apparent to us something was happening in the life of the other. I returned to Ohio with Bernadette and her family, and we found profound peace in the sense of Marriage and by His grace were marriage on May 31st 2004.
Christ is foremost in each of our lives, with me now working in Healthcare we remain active in ministry at our Parish through teaching: both youth and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes. We have been blessed with a beautiful marriage, and the joy of nine children: Josephina 15, Ambrose (past 2006), Augustine (deaf)11, Sebastian 9, Emilia(deaf) 7, Ignatius 6, Maximus(deaf)5, Juniper 2, Tiberius (deaf) 11mths, they are a lively bunch who continue to add great adventure in this journey.
Dima was brought to our lives by one of the Clinical Managers I work aside. She had heard of Dima and thought of us immediately because of his deafness. Other families had tried to adopt him but had backed out because the language barrier was too great of a hurdle for them. Our hearts were pierced by his story, the fact that he was deaf, our enduring thoughts and prayers led us to foster/adoption again, he is a gift from God. We prayed and know this was the road we had to walk, and time was of the essence. Orphans have until their sixteenth birthday for someone to apply for their adoption and Dima was one week shy of his sixteenth birthday. We answered the call and said yes!
The journey has been tiring at times, but the thought of him being left without a family, it is all that he has experienced in life that calms the awkward times and we press on. The children call him their brother, and he is lifted in our daily prayers, for peace, patience, and trust- we are coming. Dima already seems apart of us in many ways, we facetime and message daily. The remaining hurdles of finance will pass, and one day we will look back and smile at the lessons God taught us in this time.
We humbly ask for your support, to consider our family, and our choice of adoption, the reception of funds will ease some of the process ahead. Thank you for considering your partnership in our journey to bring Dima home.
9/20/2019 — AWAITING COURT DATE
Rachael and her daughter Shyna have been anticipating the day that they would bring home the child destined to join their family. As adoption can have so many turns, the Jacksons have taken each one of them. Towards the end of the 17 month process of the adoption of a little girl from an Eastern Europe country, the course took an unexpected stop. So many emotions that come with loving this child who has entered their hearts before entering their home. To lose this referral was heartbreaking, but they know that God’s plans are always perfect.
Rachael waited on Him, and a few months later received an email from her agency and a picture of a 2 year old beautiful boy from a different Eastern Europe country, who’s file was only with them for a few more days. His special needs are very similar to children Rachael closely works with in her nursing career, and she instantly felt she could be Maxton’s momma. It wasn’t long after seeking His approval, God clearly said move and she confidently took the step forward in seeking approval for the match of this precious boy. After a month of waiting, the answer arrived! It was a Yes! Rachael is now moving quickly to bring him home. As there are increased fees for this country, Rachael is working towards fundraising and saving. Your donations are truly a blessing. Thank you for helping this family come together!
6/13/2019 — FIRST TRIP in JUNE
Jake and Jada Allen have been married for just over two years. Although they do not have any children yet, they do have four dogs that they consider their family. Jake and Jada met straight out of high school and got married around two years later. Jake works as a district manager and Jada is a teacher in a special needs classroom.
They have both always dreamed of growing their family through adoption, but thought it would be later on in life as they are both very young. Jake is just 24 and Jada is just 23. They have both always known friends and family that have adopted internationally as well and were familiar with the process. One day a friend of Jada’s shared some waiting children on her Facebook profile from Asia. While Jake and Jada were not old enough yet to adopt from Asia, this really sparked Jada’s desire to begin the process of adoption.
After talking with Jake, they decided to reach out to the agency to officially begin the adoption process. Due to their young age, one country was the best fit for them. At first they wanted to go the traditional route because it usually takes a longer time and would have given them time to save up money and prepare to become first time parents. They both took a look at the waiting child list and immediately found their daughter.
They are matched to a three-year-old little girl who will shortly be turning four years old. Although she faces multiple medical problems, she is smiling and happy in all of her pictures and videos. Jake and Jada did a medical review with the International Adoption Clinic and the doctor described their little girl as one who has already defeated all of the odds.
Jake and Jada have taken a great leap of faith in adopting internationally but they know that God will provide to bring their little girl home. They greatly appreciate you for taking the time to read their story and your consideration of a tax-deductible donation to their adoption fund. Please continue to pray for them as they get ready to become first-time parents to their beautiful little girl.
9/20/2019 — COURT PASSED; AWAITING PICK UP
Jody and Michelle Duncan have been married for almost 24 years and have four beautiful daughters, ages 19 to 7. For several years they have had a burden for orphan care. After walking with their friends through an adoption journey, they learned of the staggering number of orphans in the world and the dire state in which so many of these children live. As Christians they felt the scriptures that instruct believers to care for the orphan were spoken in a very personal way to them, but they often made excuses of why they could not adopt. These included the fact that they could not afford it, were busy with their own children, and not equipped to deal with the special needs an adopted child would have.
On two different occasions the family hosted orphans in their home for the Christmas holidays. The Duncans were open to adopt the hosted children but for various reasons those children could not be adopted. However, after the last hosting experience, they were ready to finally act and move forward with being obedient to what God was calling them to do. The Duncans desire to adopt an older child because these children have a small chance of being chosen.
The Duncans are not wealthy nor do they have many financial assets. However, they do have a longing to offer a home to a child who has none. Psalm 68:5-6 tells us that God is a Father to the Fatherless and that He sets the lonely in families. Even though they have been blessed with four biological daughters, they know that there is room in their hearts to love and care for another child.
10/18/2019 — TRAVELING in LATE OCT
Inga has received a $7,500 Older Child Grant.
Kurt and Rachel live in rural Oregon and are the parents of 7 children. Growing up overseas Rachel had many opportunities to volunteer at orphanages & adoption was always a passion of Rachel’s. After having 6 biological children they were overjoyed to adopt Nicole two years ago from Vietnam. She has been a joy to their family & opened their eyes to the beauty of adoption. They are excited to adopt again, this time a son from Eastern Europe. As a family they love to play board games, go camping & hiking in the summer & have dance parties in the kitchen all year long.
9/27/2019 — FIRST TRIP in SEPTEMBER
Boyd has received a waiting child grant of $1,945.76.
Hugh and Janet Berckmueller were college sweethearts and have been married for 26 years. Hugh and Janet always knew they wanted a big family, and they were blessed with six biological children. Their sixth pregnancy was medically complicated, and after his birth, it was determined that little George had Down syndrome. He spent two months in the NICU, but since that time, he has grown to be a healthy and energetic little boy, and a very special addition to the Berckmueller family! George’s diagnosis opened up their view to the plight of children around the world who are abandoned because of Down syndrome. In August 2016, the Berckmuellers brought home sweet little Elsa from Asia, who also has Down syndrome. Watching her bloom and grow with the love of a family over the 2 1/2 years since she has been home has been truly amazing. After seeing firsthand the conditions of children in orphanages, particularly children with special needs, and seeing what the love and care of family can do for a child, it made Hugh and Janet want to pursue adopting again. They decided they had a little more room, a lot of love to share, and the heart to add another child to their family. Jaxon is living in the same orphanage where Elsa grew up, so they already feel a special connection to him. The Berckmueller family is so excited to welcome home this precious little boy!
9/30/2019 — TRAVELING LATE OCT
We are the Umstead family and we are so excited to add Caroline to our family! I am Heather and my husband is Tom. We have been married 26 years and have 4 biological children, 3 boys and a girl. One adopted son, and are in the process of bringing Caroline home to our family. Our biological children are all grown up and all but one are out on their own. That’s when God put adoption in our hearts. December 4th 2017 we traveled to Asia and brought home our son Samuel. Samuel has doubled the joy in our family! While we were in Asia we met Caroline who happened to be Samuel’s “bunk mate”. They had been together a long time and cuddled together during the cold nights because there wasn’t heat in their orphanage. We knew that one day we would return for her and we will name her Joy! The joy God has allowed us to experience on this journey, that is hard and sometimes ugly but also full of love and joy at sometimes.
9/27/2019 — TRAVEL APPROVAL RECEIVED