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
Megan and Jacob Zars have been together for ten years and have two children, Otto (5yo) and Caspian (4yo). They are currently waiting to bring home a little girl from India, age 1, with Down syndrome. The Zars family has been in the process to adopt since 2019, originally pursuing a China adoption but switching to India in 2021. They have talked about adding a “baby sister” to the family for a long time and the ball officially got rolling after they experienced a miscarriage of their third son, in early 2019.
For years the Zars family knew that Down syndrome adoption was a possibility and as they looked into international vs. domestic adoption, the choice came more clear. Learning of the number of children with Down syndrome left in orphanages all over the world, they felt reassured that that was the right direction for their family. “We’ve seen her face and heard her giggle. We just can’t believe that she will be part of our family! Our boys think she is the cutest and we couldn’t agree more!” shared Megan.
The Zars family enjoys exploring nature, growing a backyard garden, doing art together, and so much more. They love to spend time with their extended family and take trips together. Family is very important to the Zars family and they are grateful to have their support as they pursue adoption!
This process has been a long one but they wouldn’t have it any other way as it has led them to their sweet daughter! Thank you for supporting our family along the way.
9/22/2022 — TRAVELING in OCTOBER
Knowing just how many children in the world need loving homes, Kelley and Jon have dreamed of adoption for years. They thought their story would start with having biological children, then growing their family further through adoption. God had different plans, though. After experiencing 4 difficult pregnancy losses, they started to open their hearts to beginning the process of adoption. They weren’t sure which route they would go – foster care? domestic adoption? When an email showed up in Kelley’s inbox from an international adoption agency with pictures of a 3-year-old boy, she was intrigued and immediately requested more information. When Kelley saw the first video of this little guy, her first thought was “that’s my kid!”. After praying about it together, Kelley and Jon decided to move forward with pursuing a soft match with that particular waiting child. After being prepared for a 4-6 week wait, his country approved the soft match in only a few short days!
With so much love to give, Kelley and Jon are ready for the beautiful and challenging journey ahead. As an occupational therapist with experience in pediatrics, Kelley has a great understanding of the resources available in the community to best support this little guy’s developmental and medical needs. Since we live within an easy drive of a state school for the deaf, a wide range of resources will be available to support the learning needs of this sweet little guy.
Kelley and Jon can’t wait to bring home their first child and begin pouring love into him. The waiting will be hard, knowing that he is still living in an orphanage and not receiving medical and therapeutic interventions that are so important at this early age. They are ready to do everything possible to speed up the process. They are so grateful for any financial support to help bring this sweet little guy home and into a loving family!
9/21/2022 — COURT PASSED!
Meet the Peters family! This beautiful family is excited to be on their second adoption working hard to bring home a precious girl born with Down Syndrome. Joe and Ronda have a special admiration for people born with Down Syndrome, their fourth child being born with DS, opened their world to the beauty of everyone being born differently abled. Adoption had been something they have talked about over the years of their marriage. Both Joe and Ronda found their hearts captured after coming across a photo of little boy born with Down syndrome whom another family had been advocating for from Reece’s Rainbow. Joe and Ronda knew right away looking at that photo that he was their son. After bringing their adopted son home from Asia, God started laying on their hearts the great need of so many children still waiting for their families, most never being adopted. So, after the year anniversary of their adopted son being home and many prayers for God’s direction, they started requesting files of children. Joe and Ronda’s hearts captured once again; the Peters family is excited to be growing their family through adoption.
Adoption is a journey of love and that open-heart love makes a family. Your contribution will truly be a beautiful blessing as you will be a part of helping bring their daughter home to her forever family. Thank you for your prayers and donation.
Because the country they were adopting from is still closed for travel, the Peters family has moved on with adoption from another country. They are now planning to bring Ella home –Ella is a sweet 1 year old baby girl born with Down Syndrome.
9/9/2022 — FIRST TRIP COMPLETE; AWAITING i800
Jim and Katya came from completely different worlds. Jim was born and raised in the Midwest and had rarely traveled. Katya is from Russia and loved to travel. She spent the summer of 1998 working at a bed and breakfast in the U.S. She returned to Russia in the fall of 1998 to complete her degree not sure if she would ever come back. But, in the summer of 2000 she got the chance to return to the U.S. and that’s where things got interesting.
Jim and Katya met while taking a class at a local university in 2001 and have been together ever since. They married in 2003 and have seven wonderful children ranging in age from 5 to 18. Their youngest son, Sammy, came home from Eastern Europe in July of 2020. Sammy is deaf and has cystic fibrosis. He had undergone two surgeries since coming home, doubled his weight, can now hear with the help of cochlear implants, and is learning to communicate both verbally and using ASL. He is energetic, loves dressing up, wrestling with his brothers, going shopping and riding the bus to school. He brings so much love, joy and laughter to the Bukowski household.
A year after Sammy’s adoption was complete, Katya fell in love with Vivian (who has a genetic syndrome and hearing loss) who just happens to be living in the same orphanage as Sammy. After experiencing the amazing transformation born of the love between Sammy and his six siblings, Jim and Katya knew that Vivian was meant to be part of this family.
Jim and Katya ask that you pray for their family’s adoption, and for the health of Vivian during this process and beyond. She desperately needs medical care that is inaccessible in her birth country. There are so many amazing and deserving families on Reece’s Rainbow, and nothing makes this particular family more worthy than any other. However, if you feel moved to help the Bukowski family financially, please know that they will be forever grateful. As in addition to high cost of international adoption, they do anticipate having high ongoing medical costs due to Vivian’s needs.
May God continue to bless the Reece’s Rainbow family!
8/6/2022 — AWAITING COURT
Vivian has also received a $2000 country-specific grant from Reece’s Rainbow.
Charlie and Amanda met in high school during a school play of Hound of the Baskervilles. There were so many students interested that the school filled 2 complete casts! They were both cast as the lead character Sherlock Holmes! Perhaps the Director knew something about these two young kids and how they were evenly matched even way back then!
Since that time, Charlie and Amanda have had a long and beautiful relationship history. They knew they wanted to adopt a child at some point in their lives, and this was something they had discussed prior to being married in July of 2016. They currently have one biological daughter and have chosen to adopt a child from Bulgaria to expand their family. They believe they have a lot of love to give and are looking forward to sharing that love with their new child.
7/29/2022 — TRIP 1 in AUGUST
Meet Derek and Kristy! They have been dating for 23 years and married for 17 years! Derek and Kristy met online when they were just freshmen in high school. Kristy’s family had just purchased a brand-new computer, and the next day on October 9, 1999, she was connected to the internet for the very first time. Believe it or not, that was the day derek_guy15 met ladychick_1999 in a Yahoo! Chatroom. They dated all through high school, decided to attend the same community college, and got married in the summer of 2005. By 2012, they had completed grad school and started their careers.
Their journey to parenthood has been nothing short of a miracle. Despite two pregnancy losses and a cancer diagnosis that could have caused infertility, God has trusted Derek and Kristy with three amazing biological children. – Elise (9), Ava (6), and Cameron (2). There is nothing they love more than being their parents. Derek and Kristy believe every child deserves the unconditional love of a mother and the steadfast love of a father, and they have always known adoption would be a part of their story. In fact, while they were dating and talking about marriage and starting a family, adoption came up just as naturally and as frequently as having biological children.
Derek and Kristy believe that when God calls us to something, He equips us to fulfil His calling. They feel so much reverence and gratitude that their Heavenly Father continues to bless and equip their home with such peace and stability. With God’s grace and guidance, they are able to provide their children with security so that they feel safe and sound, and they are able to meet their basic needs: shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and protection from harm. They’re blessed to have a stable and strong marriage, to have a very rich relationship with their parents and grandparents, and to be a part of a loving church community that gives them all a sense of belonging, tradition, and cultural continuity. They also absolutely make sure their sweet children know that they will always love them. They certainly aren’t perfect parents, and they practice the art of sincere apologies and forgiveness daily, but they do have a loving and stable home and the desire to share this beautiful life with their children. Psalm 127:3-5 teaches that, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Furthermore, James 1:27 teaches that “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” For Derek and Kristy, the Bible makes their calling quite clear. They are to love and take care of one another, and they are called to make sure that every child is taken care of and a part of a family. While they can’t adopt every orphan in the world, they can do for one what they wish they could do for millions.
Derek and Kristy are thrilled to be officially matched with a little boy in Eastern Europe with cystic fibrosis who will turn 8 this summer. The journey ahead for this precious boy is a long and difficult one. Cystic fibrosis is having a big impact on his lungs and liver. The truth is, a life of difficulty with cystic fibrosis is his reality whether or not he has a family. But, oh, what a difference a forever family will make for him. He is worthy of love and the best possible care. Glory be to God that this boy will soon have a mommy and a daddy and three siblings who will stick with him through thick and thin, making sure he has the best care possible and that he is loved immeasurably all the days of his life. Derek and Kristy ask you to prayerfully consider coming alongside them to bring their son home. Your donation is greatly needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your love, your prayers, and your support.
7/1/2022 — FIRST TRIP in JULY
Hi! We are Steven and Anna, and we have four amazing kids! We got married in 2010 and immediately started talking about having a family. We knew that we wanted adoption or foster care to be part of our story, but there is no way we could have envisioned how God would bring us all together!
In 2014, after attempting to do foster care locally and having doors closed, we faced the heartbreaking reality of infertility. We decided to lean back into the idea of adopting, and began working with our agency to pursue domestic infant adoption. While in the homestudy process, we saw our son Eddie listed in an advocacy post. We immediately contacted our agency and couldn’t believe it when they said we met all of the criteria to be matched with him! We were overjoyed. Eddie is now eight years old, and has been home from Bulgaria since Fall 2015. He loves music and the outdoors with a passion!
After bringing Eddie home, we knew that our family was not complete. We also saw how quickly his health and overall development improved after leaving the orphanage, and we felt that we should act quickly. To many, it seemed overzealous to start the process again when Eddie had only been home for a few months, but we knew that if there was a little girl out there in a crib somewhere, it wasn’t too soon for her. We began the process to adopt again from Bulgaria, and were still in our homestudy phase when another Reece’s Rainbow mom contacted me to share Rosa’s photo and advocacy profile. We were immediately drawn to her! Rosa came home in late 2016. She is eight years old and loves video chatting with grandparents, playing with siblings, family bike rides, and reading books together.
Shortly after Rosa came home, we saw Victor’s photograph. We immediately knew that his needs were urgent and that it was pressing for him to get out of orphanage care. After just a few weeks, we inquired with our agency about the feasibility of starting the adoption process for the third time in two years. His adoption was completed in less than a calendar year, and he came home right before Christmas in 2017. Victor has a smile that lights up the whole room. He loves vestibular stimulation, his fiber optic lamp, and riding in the bike trailer. We are so thankful that he was able to come home to our family.
In 2019 we got an incredible gift of new life! Karyn, our biological child, was born in the Fall. It has been so wonderful to watch her grow up with such diverse family members and how much she loves them all. One of Karyn’s first consistent words was “Vic!” and she chirps his name constantly! “Vic! Vic!” Victor, who doesn’t always like a lot of touch, loves her and will even smile a little as he hears her running towards him. She has inspired Eddie to play more and has given Rosa a chance to nurture to her heart’s content. Karyn is full of moxie!
In late 2020, we realized that we had room in our hearts and home for another kiddo. As we contemplated adopting again, Anna saw an advocacy post about a specific kiddo that sent the family in the direction of Latin America. We are so thrilled to have the chance to adopt again and bring home a beloved sister and treasured daughter. Children belong in forever families, and we can’t wait to meet our little girl!
Update: Sadly, in July 2021, Victor became critically ill and did not survive his illness. While our family is deeply saddened, we are wholeheartedly committed to continuing the adoption process. We are so grateful for Victor’s time in our family and that Victor lived and died with dignity in the arms of a loving family. We are working with our agency and the central authority in our proposed child’s country to update needed dossier documents with a goal of receiving our referral in Spring 2021.
Another update: Sadly, in December 2021 the child that we were pursuing in Latin America, passed away. While deeply saddened, we still feel greatly burdened by the need for permanency for waiting children. We pivoted, and are now pursuing a waiting sibling group in Eastern Europe! We have been matched with them and hope to get their referral early spring.
9/22/2022 — COURT in OCTOBER
I remember thinking, “Will I ever return to China?” as our plane departed from our adoption trip in 2017.
We adopted our two sons on that trip, and I longed for home in the USA, but I absolutely wanted to return to China one day.
In January of 2020 we once again met the requirements to adopt from China. We sent in our application and started our home study as soon as possible. We desired to adopt a little girl with down syndrome and we were matched one day after our home study was registered with our adoption agency! Oh, the joy at opening that file and seeing her beautiful face!
But, as we all know the world hasn’t been the same since then, and adoptions from China are on hold for now. We can’t wait to travel to China and adopt her, and the updates we get every once in a while make us love her all the more and dream of the day she will be our daughter.
The orphan crisis hasn’t ended and children still wait for families all over the world. Our family has opened our hearts again to another adoption. This time in Eastern Europe, in Bulgaria. We are overjoyed at the privilege of adding another child to our family. We ask for God to guide us and to bring us together. Hope is what we cling to! We thank you for your prayers for both these children in different parts of the world.
8/23/2022 — COURT PASSED; FINAL TRIP in LATE SEPT
The Marsh family is so excited to be growing their family through adoption. They are currently parents to Alex, Sony, and Chelsea and are working on bringing home two boys. Shannon and Jay both have a long history in special needs adoption. Shannon previously adopted her two daughters as a single mom. Both Chelsea and Sony were previously advocated for by Reece’s Rainbow. Jay himself was adopted by his step-father and has a sister with special needs who was also adopted. When Shannon and Jay started dating, Shannon had no idea that Jay himself had a history of adoption. As the relationship grew, it became very clear Jay’s heart and experiences with special needs adoption aligned with Shannon’s, something that was even written into his wedding vows. Now as husband wife, they are thrilled to be able to adopt together and grow their family. Older child adoption has been at the heart of the family and everyone is excited about their new siblings coming home.
7/26/2022 — AWAITING COURT
These children have received a $2000 Country Specific grant from Reece’s Rainbow & a $5000 Older Child Grant
Mandy and Thomas have been married for fifteen years, together for twenty, and have always been overflowing with love and enthusiasm for life and excited to thoughtfully grow their family. Parents to two biological sons, they’d always wished to add a third child to their family. Adoption had been something they have talked about since meeting as teenagers, but they hadn’t been certain when the time would be right.
In 2020, Mandy and Thomas felt the pieces of life fall into place; they found and moved into their forever home, the boys were past the toddler stage and begging for a sibling, and the family was ready to seriously explore adoption. They found an incredible adoption agency and through them learned more about Eastern Europe and the need for adoption there. They had assumed they would take a traditional route to be matched and that the process might take years, but while working through the required documentation, they saw Tippi’s profile posted on their agency’s waiting child list. They felt an instant connection (it is truly impossible not to fall in love when you see her beautiful little face) and they immediately felt called to be her family. Even though the odds were against them this early in the process, they moved forward applying. Exactly a month later on Thomas’s birthday, they received confirmation that they had been matched!
“Looking at her photos and videos, we are struck by her determination, inquisitiveness, and sweet demeanor. We are in awe of her resilience, strength, and abilities after such a hard medical start to life. We talk regularly with our boys about growing our family, and both love the idea of having a little sister to dote on and teach. Our strong family bond means Tippi will be welcomed with open arms and hearts by us – her parents, brothers and community, whatever her long-term needs may be. We are so grateful for your support and love, and hope you’ll follow along on our adoption journey to bring our daughter home.”
8/2/2022 — FINAL TRIP in AUGUST
You can follow along on the Sheffer family’s blog: sheffersadopt.com
Jonathan and Maggie Casey are classically trained musicians living in Northeast Indiana. They met when they were 10 years old and started dating in college. From early in their relationship they determined that they both wanted lots of children; at the time they both had nieces and nephews they loved dearly and both of them cherish the good gift that children are. After their marriage in 2015 they hoped and waited for children in God’s time. In the intervening years, they consulted medical professionals, prayed, and sought guidance both from faithful teachers and from scripture.
In mid-2018 Jonathan and Maggie began to seriously plan for adoption. They had discussed adoption together earlier in their relationship, as a good that they would like to participate in, and they began to make concrete plans. They began to save money and to exercise strict budgetary discipline to be able to purchase a house that could accommodate their longed for children. In early 2019 they were able to purchase a house and they turned their attention to research. Over the course of 2019 and 2020 they read many books, continued to pray and save money, even while having to adjust their plans because of delays brought on by COVID.
In early 2021, Jonathan and Maggie decided to begin their long awaited quest and began the adoption process with a home study agency in their area. After much consideration, they had decided they wanted to adopt two children, based on their emotional, financial, and spiritual ability to care for them; and because they both cherish their own siblings and wanted any children to immediately have that benefit. Even as they began the home study paperwork, they were sent a profile for a sibling pair in Eastern Europe, two kids with special needs, who needed a home. They submitted a request to the government of the boys’ country and received a soft match. As of October, their home study has been completed and they are working on completing their dossier.
Jonathan and Maggie both come from moderately sized families. Each of them has three siblings and from these three siblings they have 17 amazing nieces and nephews (so far). They are part of a supportive and loving Church community, gathered around the Word and Sacraments and succored by the mutual consolation and conversation of their brothers and sisters in Christ. They both sing in the choir and Maggie plays the organ for the church school’s daily morning prayer service.
Jonathan works for an insurance company as a case manager, and has dedicated his energy and resources to making his home fit for children, particularly by letting Maggie remain in it. Maggie is a part time music teacher, and together the two of them fill their home with music, art, and books. Lots of books. Maggie’s teaching includes teaching music for a special needs organization in their area and she has several children with special needs in her private studio.
The Caseys crave your support in any fashion you can give, money being the most obvious, but foremost in your prayers. God is the author and source of every good, and it is only through His mercy and goodness that Jonathan and Maggie can know that He will bless these boys through them. If God Himself is for them, then nothing can stand against His will and favor.
5/17/2022 — FIRST TRIP in JUNE
Hello! We are the Carter Family! We have 4 boys and a beautiful little girl. In 2017, we felt the Lord calling us to adoption and began praying for the direction and timing that God would have for us. In 2020, when our daughter turned 2, we knew that God was giving us the green light to move forward. We jumped all in! We originally submitted an application in Asia and were matched. Sadly, this direction did not work out and we began praying, once again, where the Lord wanted us to go. We felt called to Eastern Europe where we have applied to be matched with a little girl that was listed as a waiting child.
Most of our funds will transfer over, but there are additional expenses. We are praying for God to move mountains to get this little girl home and make her a Carter for forever! Please help us get her home to her forever family!
7/28/2022 — FINAL TRIP in AUGUST
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
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!
3/9/2022 — UPDATING PAPERWORK
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.
3/9/2022 — AWAITING TRAVEL