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
Hello! We are Daniel and Markie Baird and have two precious daughters – Aslyn who is 3 and Brooklyn who will be 2 in October. Come along with us on an incredible journey of faith as we work to bring our third daughter home from Eastern Europe.
Our adoption journey begins with an Instagram post that Markie saw in February of 2020. That child was an 8 year old (at the time) whose alias name was one that she and Daniel had already picked out to name a future daughter. When Markie saw the pictures, the whole world stopped. She looked like she belonged in our family! Markie showed Daniel the post and he thought she was adorable and agreed that she definitely looked like a Baird. They had always talked about adoption and agreed that one day they would adopt but for Daniel this just didn’t feel like the right time.
After several months of praying, Markie shared her desires with Daniel and he realized that this may be something that he too would need to pray through to decide. They reached out to trusted friends and spiritual mentors to help them try to discern the Lord’s call on their lives. This felt like a weighted decision because life as they knew it would change drastically for them and their family. Markie and Daniel work as houseparents at a residential counseling center, working with teens and their families. They help navigate crisis and lead families to healing through the grace of our Lord. Pursuing adoption would mean that their ministry would change and they may not be able to house parent alongside adoption. Through months of heart searching, praying and seeking they decided together that they would pursue this beautiful work of adoption – trusting that if God was leading them to adopt, that He would open the doors necessary to bring it to completion. Little did they know that God was going to show His faithfulness and His heart for the fatherless in radical ways.
When presented with the choice to remain as house parents or pursue adoption, Daniel and Markie chose to pursue the adoption and leave their jobs, which also meant leaving their home. Though there was no guarantee of jobs, housing or even being able to continue with the adoption, they were confident that they had been called to this and that God would see them through it. Daniel was offered a job in tech almost immediately and despite a limited budget and a very competitive housing market, they also found a house.
God is paving the way and the transitions are full of excitement and expectancy. Thank you for joining us, your support and prayers are another example of God’s faithfulness in our family. We are humbled by this community and deeply grateful. We would love for you to share our story and follow along on our blog as this story continues to unfold.
1/3/2022 — TRIP ONE in JANUARY
We are the Arnold Family. We are adopting again. Adopting has led us all over the globe to find our children China, India, and Ghana. We are currently a family of seven children. We have two Reece’s Rainbow kids at home already. We can’t imagine our lives without our children. We are hoping to adopt again from Eastern Europe a girl that is 11 and in much need of the love of a family and stability. We are hoping to bring her home as soon as possible. Please consider donating to her travel expenses. The church is called to take care of the widow and orphan. If not us than who will go? We were called to adopt from Eastern Europe but many children are in need of families right here in the US. The children are many, but the families are few. Please pray for the children and the families on the journey to adopt them. Psalm 82:3 Defend the weak and the fatherless, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
1/20/2022 — TRIP ONE in FEB
Meet the Effhauser Family! Matthew and Sarah live with their five children on a little farm in rural Minnesota along with their two dogs, two barn cats and too many chickens to count. They are high school sweethearts and started their family soon after being married; their children now range from 13 to 2.
A few years into marriage, their eyes were opened to children with special needs living in orphanages around the world. They began supporting families in process and donating to life-saving surgeries for little ones. Soon they realized that maybe they were being called to adoption, someday. The conversations and prayers around adoption began and as they added more children to their family, worked their way through job changes and renovated their 1913 farmhouse, they kept gently hearing the Lord say “not yet”, even when their hearts wished He would say yes.
Trusting in His timing and discerning that the time to adopt was hopefully nearing, Sarah resigned from her teaching position to stay home with their youngest children in preparation to be home with their adopted child someday as well. The Effhauser family participated in the Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign and were thrilled to share a sweet boy with the world and the work of Reece’s Rainbow. Maybe advocacy was only what they were called to do?
Over the years, the couple had shared many pictures of waiting children with one another until one summer day they saw the face of a young boy, just a few months younger than the baby of their family and they knew, now was the time! The entire family can’t wait for their little brother to be home!
1/12/2022 — TRAVELING in MID-FEB
Phil and Kristie Graves have been married for almost 2 decades. Phil met Kristie when he became the youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Maryland in 2001. Kristie was teaching senior high Sunday school and Phil thought she was pretty nice from the very beginning.
For several years, Phil and Kristie discussed the idea of adoption. In 2017 they adopted their fourth child, Elliana, from Armenia. They have now taken the first real steps toward adopting their fifth child, a girl from Eastern Europe. They decided to adopt a special needs child through Reece’s Rainbow because they believe all kids deserve a loving home. She is a beautiful creation of God and they are anxious to get her home.
They also have three biological children. Won’t you please help them take their family from six people to seven? You can help by donating to their adoption. Thanks for your prayers and support!
1/3/2022 — AWAITING COURT
Gary and Denise became members of the Reece’s Rainbow Family in 2006. First by advocating and supporting International Adoption for Ukraine and children in Eastern Europe. After adopting both Makayla and Patrick in 2000 and 2002 they wanted to return to adopt but decided on adopting from Bulgaria Chrissie 2009, then Jake and Gennie in 2011 from Bulgaria. Sadly Gennie died of complication of organ failure from her Cystic Fibrois shortly after arriving in the US. Little Jake also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. But the Davis Family devotes their love and time to caring to ensure Jake gets the very best medical care. After Gennie’s death the Davis family hearts ached. But also the Davis family heart was for another little girl so their hearts were led to Ukraine and adopted not one but two little girls Penelope and Katya. As time quickly passed by read of a little girl Sophia who needed major ortho care and a young man they named Grayson who received a donor kidney. These two children needed out quickly to survive and without medical care Grayson would have died. And Sophia now can run and dance like other children.
Advocating for Reece’s Rainbow did not end after their adoption of Grayson and Sophia in 2019. Denise followed each child as they were listed and daily prayed each found a home. Speaking to many families through her blog she shared her journey with the assistance of Reece’s Rainbow. Many times there would be certain children or families who touched Denise’s heart. So she helped by donating and advocating to families adopting. This pass year there was a particular little girl with two healthy sisters. Her name on Reece’s Rainbow but not her given name was sitting on a couch watching her sisters play. This particular video Denise watched over and over. Each night the girls were in Denise’s prayers. Soon the entire family prayed for this little girl. She sat in an old blue pair of pajamas as her healthy sister dressed in party dresses. Both playing with dolls and pushing doll strollers. Watching a video of a small girl who so many people viewed yet never inquired or cared. As months passed she sat once again on the same couch but this time alone. Her precious beautiful healthy sisters were chosen for adoption. Makes one ask themselves why not little Cassandra also. Make children like Cassandra are over looked. Her clothes still old and mismatched. Could they have placed a pretty dress on her? Add on a big beautiful bow? Made you wonder if she knew her sisters were not coming back. Knowing this one little girl once she is 4 or 5 wll be moved to an older child’s orphanage or even worse an adult institutional setting. Yes there are thousands of orphans in the world but not one child out of the thousands chose to be an orphan. Not sure if many of you have visited an orphanage. The Davis family and their adopted children can tell you this is not a home nor a family. Children need a Father a Mother, sisters and brothers. And maybe a few cats or a dog to snuggle with and play ball with.
No child as they grow up wonder why they were not in a family. Many times families do not adopt because they are unsure or afraid.. Adopting a child involves a ton of paperwork, many tears, many prayers and yes one adoption can cost over $34,000. Without prayers, love an support of others through donation can not be possible. Please in your heart Take that Leap. The Davis Family prays that the funds they need are provided as needed during their adoption. Every dollar goes to saving a little girl or boy sitting on a couch alone or laying in a bed.
1/3/2022 — TRIP ONE in JANUARY
Robbie and Meagan’s hearts were broken after learning that over 1,000 special needs children were ready and waiting to find their forever families in India. They brought home their first daughter in Dec 2019 and became advocates for adoption, especially adoption of special needs children.
About 9 months after Nivi joined the Hart family, they began the process of applying to adopt a second child. While applying, they saw a Facebook post about a young girl from the same state as their first daughter, who had similar physical needs. Due to licensing, she was aging out of her orphanage at the young age of 6. So many people advocated for her to be moved to a new home so she would be able to find her forever family. The Harts held on to her loosely as they completed filing their paperwork, thinking someone would surely snatch up such a beautiful young girl.
In many steps that feel miraculous, the Harts have been able to reserve Lucy (name changed for security), and they are hoping to bring her home in December of this year. Lucy is 7 years old, and she really wants to do something with her life. Would you consider helping the Harts bring Lucy home?
1/5/2022 — AWAITING COURT
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.
1/18/2022 — COURT PASSED!
*** Donna has received a $2,000 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
12/23/2021 — FINAL TRIP in JANUARY
We are the Woertman family and we are having so much fun with our children that we decided we needed one more. We are hoping to adopt a little girl with Down Syndrome. We live in the great state of North Carolina. We have 5 adult children, 5 school aged children and four Grandchildren.
Fred just finished up his 25th year of teaching middle school. He is often called the “kid whisperer.” He really understands middle schoolers. Between having kids, Candy taught 13 years, but has now put her teaching career on hold while her kids are little. She is currently a Teacher’s Assistant at the elementary school that all five little ones attend.
We are excited to be on this adoption journey one more time. We are also hoping to be matched with the little girl that Candy has had on her heart for almost two years.
1/10/2022 — TRAVELING NOW!
Hello, we are Tony and Sarah Witbrod. We have six amazing children and have always planned to have adoption as part of our story. We met in college in 1999 and were married in 2006. Shortly after we were married, we accepted our referral for our daughter in Guatemala.
It was a long but amazing journey which included us moving to Guatemala and living there for the last three months of her adoption to make sure she was healthy and safe. Start to finish, it took nearly 18 months until we were able to bring our daughter home. We realized how long an adoption could take, so we started our next adoption as one of the pilot families in the Congo just a couple years later. We were luckily to bring home two children who are now 11 and 10 years old and are doing amazing after such a rough start to life. However, we had four of our babies pass away and two who are still there in the DRC, never coming home. From that anguish, Sarah started Wren’s Song in 2010 to help provide care for orphans in the Congo that we are still active with today.
Sarah has been following Eastern European advocacy sites since 2017 when her father was put on life support and she wanted to make a difference for the children who were in similar difficult situations. It’s been weighing on her heart and we feel called by God to be moved to action. We know if God calls you to do something, that he will show you the way. We are so grateful for sites like Reece’s Rainbow and for all those who donate to help those adopt.
We added three more biological children to our family in the years after the Congo. We love our six children and all the amazing memories that come from our day to day life. We have many adventures and are blessed to be going back into the adoption journey to add another child to our family.
1/3/2022 — TRAVELING in JANUARY
Sara and Shandon have been married for 17 years. Together they have 4 biological children. Aged 25, 22, 13 and 2. Shandon is a truck driver and Sara a stay at home mom. Sara had always known that she wanted adoption to be a part of her future since she was young. Her and Shandon had discussed it many times through the years, but had never felt it was the “right time”. The right time came for them in the spring of 2020 when began their adoption journey.
While scrolling through facebook posts Sara had come across a post sharing a story of a child adopted out of an orphanage, entitled “What love can do”. After reading through the post, she found Reece’s Rainbow and began reading through the pages of children in need of a family. Night after night she would go on an see all the little faces, and it made her heart ache. She had not really thought of international adoption before, however, she felt like this was where she belonged and that god had brought her here for a reason.
Her first commitment was made that summer, when she found a little boy she knew was meant to be her son. Sara and Shandon discussed the process and decided they were 100% ready to jump in and get this little one home.
A few weeks went by and she came across another post on facebook shared by Keshia Melton, called “see me Saturday”. And that is when she saw her daughter. She had seen the bio of this little one before, and had gone back to it so many times, it seemed to keep popping up almost daily, reminding her that she was still there, and waiting. She could not get this little girl off of her mind, and there came the second commitment.
Anyone who knows Sara and Shandon know that they are givers, it is not in their nature to ask for help. But the cost of international adoption is expensive, and something that they will need help with. They have had multiple yard sales, can drives, Sara makes ornaments, and Shandon has been selling paintings. They understand that times are tough for everyone right now, but are asking if you can donate to help bring these kiddos home they would appreciate it, any amount helps. If you can not donate monetarily, they ask that you share their story. They believe strongly in the power of prayer, so they ask that you join them in prayer that these 2 little ones are safe and protected until they can make it to them.
1/18/2022 — COURT PASSED!
Meet the Jagge family from Texas – Theron, Kelci, Emma (10) and Hudson (2)! In 2020, Kelci came across an Instagram video that was posted by a Reece’s Rainbow family. Seeing how this family had drastically changed a life, the Jagges were drawn to do research on special needs orphans around the world. Reece’s Rainbow and other sources opened their eyes to the devastating reality that many of these precious children will likely never know the love of a family. The Jagge family had recently been considering becoming foster parents but they quickly realized that international adoption was the path that God had placed before them.
If you had met Theron and Kelci before 2020, you would probably be surprised to hear this. They were focused on themselves and their goals of a bigger house, full bank accounts and career advancement. Foster care and adoption were acts that they admired but had not considered for their family.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” Ephesians 2:4-5
God, in his merciful kindness, completely changed both of their hearts around the same time and saved them from a path of destruction. With that change of heart came a change of priorities and a desire to share the love of Christ with others. The specific burden of adoption has grown substantially since the fall of 2020 and God has opened doors indicating to them that it was time to act on these desires.
Theron and Kelci long to grow their family through international adoption, hopefully the first of several. Emma is excited about a new sibling and they are sure that Hudson will be thrilled also, when he is old enough to understand.
The Jagges have a specific boy that they are hoping to adopt but if he becomes unavailable, they know that God has already chosen a specific child who they cannot wait to meet!
1/10/2022 — COURT in FEB
Patrick and Lindsey have devoted their lives to changing the lives of kids from all different backgrounds and abilities. They always knew they would adopt internationally, but it wasn’t until 2020 when God said to step out in faith and they decided to push forward. After fostering for over 10 years, they decided to pursue their dreams of adopting a true orphan and giving them a forever home. They first applied for a little girl seen on Reece’s Rainbow, but during the home study process another family committed to her. They prayed and God answered saying, “Do not be discouraged now there is not only one orphan who found a home, but now there will be two.” They continued the home study process and began to pray about which children God had for them. Being a registered nurse and having one daughter with cerebral palsy and another with autism they knew special needs were definitely open. As soon as they read the statistics and the outcome likely for most children with Down syndrome, they knew that was where God was leading them. They can’t wait to add another little girl to their family and show God’s great love to those around them through this great testimony and prove love really doesn’t count chromosomes.
1/3/2022 — FINAL TRIP in JANUARY
Hi! My name is Holly and I would like to introduce you to a crazy family… Mine.
I have an 11 year old son named Jakob and for a while it was he and I against the world. Then in 2014 Jake and I married Ronnie. He tripped me in Walmart, and I fell for him. Literally. Together the 3 of us built a beautiful little family. In 2015 we added Genesis to our family, and in 2017 God gave us our two boys.
We had been introduced to Reece’s Rainbow and international special needs adoption a year-ish before when our church participated in a fundraiser to help a local family to bring home a waiting child from Reece’s Rainbow. Around the same time another Reece’s Rainbow child had gone viral for their amazing transformation since being brought home. I would scroll through the photo’s of the children, share the fundraisers for the families, and pray for all. I never thought we would be one of the families! But then it happened. One day I was scrolling through the photos and I saw a face. I felt it in my whole being that she was part of our family and we jumped in heart first!
We had no idea what we were doing, and there were many hiccups along the way! We kept pushing forward though. Then in April 2018 we found out that the child we absolutely loved had passed away. My heart was shattered. Since we were in an incredible custody battle for the two boys we decided not to continue with the adoption at that time. We needed to focus on keeping the boys safe.
Then in October 2019 it happened again. I was scrolling through Reece’s Rainbow’s Facebook page and I saw a little boy who looked so much like my 4 year old that my heart just stopped. We had just purchased our new home days before. We were in a new state, new house, starting a new chapter of our lives. I showed his picture to Ronnie expecting that he was going to talk some sense into me. Instead he tells me “we actually have room for two”. So much for being talked off the ledge!
Ronnie works for the public school system with developmentally disabled children. I work for a nonprofit organization as a Direct Support Professional in residential group homes. We are NOT wealthy people by any means. But what we lack in dollars we make up for with love. God has brought us to this, and I know he will provide for us to be able to bring our children home.
Please keep our family in your prayers as we work endless hours of overtime, fundraise, and try to navigate the international adoption process.
1/18/2022 — COURT in LATE JANUARY
Amy & Kyle are so excited to welcome their first child into their lives through adoption! When they first began dating it was clear that they both wanted children and that they both had dreamed of growing their family through adoption. For Christmas one year Kyle gave Amy a card with appointments scheduled at multiple adoption information sessions and so began their journey to beginning their family!
After lots and lots of research and exploration of many many countries, they decided to adopt from South Korea where Kyle’s grandmother and mother were born. They love the idea of their child growing up around people who share their heritage and will help to preserve some of their culture.
Kyle has his master’s degree in international public health and now serves his local community empowering residents to make healthier lifestyle and food choices. Amy has her BA in Social Science with a concentration in Anthropology. She found her passion in photography and loves documenting weddings of the various cultures in California. Kyle and Amy both have a love of the world and they look forward to exposing their child to lots of travel both to South Korea and beyond while also focusing on loving our local community and bettering the world both near and far.
They have recently completed their home study and are approved to adopt a single child or twins and are open to special needs. Cardiac special needs are particularly close to their heart since Amy was diagnosed with an Arrythmia that was operated on shortly after they were married. That led them to discovering an amazing cardiac care team at Stanford hospital (who already know about and are so excited for the adoption) that would be a great resource for any heart related special needs their child may have.
2021 Update: The last 2 years have brought many changes in our adoption journey. After our dossier was sent to Korea we were matched about 6 weeks later with a beautiful baby girl who we had the honor of calling our daughter for several months until her mother was able to parent. We found out she would be going home the night before Christmas Eve in 2019 which was a time of heartbreak for us but also one of celebration knowing what a good thing it was for her and her mother to be together. We decided to continue forward and wait to be matched again when everything was finalized.
That came at a particularly rough time as COVID was hitting the world and our agency announced they would not be renewing accreditation and that we’d have to find another agency to transfer to. The wait to be matched took much longer than our first wait but soon we’d realize every moment was beyond worth it.
On May 17th, 2021, we got the call our hearts had been longing for, we’d been matched again with a precious 8-month-old little girl in South Korea! While we were still on the phone hearing the details, her photo popped into our inbox and I began to cry immediately. She was absolutely amazing and such a dream come true. Our strong girl had overcome big obstacles in her short life. Even with all she had been through, she was growing healthy, bright, and beautiful just as all who knew her had wished for her future, according to her file. She is already so beloved by us, our whole family and community. We gave her the name Evelyn in addition to her beautiful Korean name, which means ‘wished for child’ and we can’t think of a more appropriate description, she is truly a long-awaited wish come true. Since then we have been EP submitted, approved, and are now awaiting a court date.
10/26/2021 — FIRST TRIP in NOVEMBER
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!
10/22/2021 — TRAVELING NOW
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!
11/5/2021 — TRAVELING in NOVEMBER