TEAM BARNETT ADOPTION 2014 ~ Felix's Heroes Wall

The following people have graciously donated to our adoption fund and have made Greta, Felix, & Romeo one step closer to becoming "An Orphan No More"!
Greta's, Felix's, & Romeo's Heroes Wall:
Linda Wade ~ TX; Tammy Johnson ~ TX; Brian & Carol Miller ~ NC; Karl & Beth Brennan ~ TX; Sammye Smith ~ TX; Barbara Balthrop ~ TX; Jeri Newman ~ TX; Shirley Bowman ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Kelly & Chay McClellan ~ TX; Heather Farester ~ VA; Terri Mauldin ~ TX; Sherry Hamby ~ TX; Laura Homan ~ TX; Cindy & Kelsey Cregar ~ MD; April Jurisch ~ TX; Danni & Rhaya Edison ~ TX; Brenda Baswell ~ AL; Anonymous ~ TX; Keshia Melton ~ New Zealand; Mistie Sutko ~ TX; Amy Epley ~ TX; Annie Trenda ~ WA; Jenny Raspberry-Martin ~ Canada; Amber Gilchrist-Anderson ~ NM; Bianca Montelaro-Oliver ~ LA; Sasha Fera-Schanes ~ CA; Gigi Glynn ~ NJ; Cordie Teddlie Everman ~ TN; Clydene Moore ~ TX; Peggy McAdams ~ TX; Kayla Groen; Kristen Abel ~ TX; Dandy Rivas Fleming ~ TX; Colleen Salinas ~ TX; Katy Pyle ~ LA; Sandra Lizcano ~ LA; Reby Lawler ~ TX; Charlette Flowers ~ TX; Mary Anne McCartney ~ TX; Colleen Krizak ~ TX; Rhonda Jackson ~ TX; Heather Woodall ~ TX; Heather Johnson ~ TX; Sherwin & Ann Lee ~ TX; Stacie Lee Mercer ~ TX; Anonymous; Wesley Barnett ~ MS; Anonymous ~ TX; Shirley Massey ~ TX; Jeremy & Mandy Danielson ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Debbie Goff ~ TX; Jamie Discher ~ TX
Reece's Rainbow: Andrea Roberts, Nancy Thornell, Debbie Hannon, Michelle Zoromski, & Lucille Brown
WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE!!! WE ARE FOREVER BLESSED AND HUMBLED!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Forever Family for Kiril, Dell, Gene, & David

I had the sweet honor of meeting a fellow Reece's Rainbow family in 2011 when David and I committed to adopting Teague,Trenton, & Maclayne.  This family had both biological and adopted children.  They were like us in that they felt led by God to travel to Eastern Europe and adopt orphans with Down syndrome.  The mom's and my shared passion for these precious children made us fast friends!

And, their support of special needs orphans did not just stop at the adoption of their own children.  It has continued through their commitment to help other precious orphans find forever homes and through their support of families desiring to adopt special needs orphans.  Their selfless commitment has manifested itself in hours upon hours of prayers lifted to God for these orphans and families.  And, it has also come though the family's generous monetary donations to adoptive families in need.  My own personal family have benefited from this family's generosity.

Therefore, I am beyond honored to help this family in any way that I can.  Can YOU help?  Can YOU find it within YOURSELF to help get these precious boys home?  Friends, it's time we step up and repay this family for their generosity toward other adopting families & orphans desperately wanting a forever family.  I just donated, will YOU?

These boys have waited for a long time for a family of their own.  They've waited a long time for a mama & a papa to love them.  Just look at their precious pictures and tell me that they are not worthy and capable of so much more...

Kiril
Dell 
Gene
David
















NOTE:  This family will be able to go public with their names and information once they have had court for Dell, Gene, & David.  They have had contact with these three boys and both the mom & dad report that they are already head over heals in love with Dell, Gene, & David.  And, most importantly, THE THREE BOYS ARE EXCITED TO HAVE A FOREVER FAMILY OF THEIR OWN!!!  It just doesn't get any sweeter than that, folks!  Praise God for His continued design of this beautiful family!!

DELL, GENE, & DAVID WILL BE HOME WITH THIS FAMILY ~ THEIR FOREVER FAMILY ~ VERY SOON!!!!!!!

The family is still journeying to bring Kiril home.  And, believe me, they are doing all they can to bring their precious boy home.  Once news of Kiril's journey home becomes available, the family will be able to make it public.  In the meantime, please pray for Kiril and the family's journey to adopt him and make him An Orphan No More.

NOW LET'S GET THESE BOYS HOME!!!!!!  WITH GOD'S GRACE WE CAN DO IT!!  IT TAKES A VILLAGE, YOU KNOW...

Click HERE to find out more about this family and to make a tax deductible donation today!  Even a $5 or $10 donation will go a long way ~ I PROMISE!!  This family needs just under $5000 to be fully funded!  It may seem like a huge mountain to us, but with God it is only a small bump!!

GOD GIVES MOST:
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;  11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.  12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.   13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,  14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.  15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10-15, NASB

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reece's Rainbow ~ five5five for families



In 2011, Reece's Rainbow graciously provided thousands of dollars for our adoption of Teague, Trenton, and Maclayne.  The adoption grant was made possible by PRECIOUS generous donors who saw the potential in our children.  This time around, RR will be providing thousands of dollars from NUMEROUS precious donors in order for us to bring Greta, Felix, and Romeo home.  Because of these lifesaving gifts, SIX orphans have a forever home and know the love of a family.  Teague, Trenton, and Mackie are flourishing in our love and we cannot wait to watch as Greta, Felix, and Romeo flourish!

Reece's Rainbow is a 501(c)3 Adoption Grant Ministry that provides money to families who are adopting orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs internationally.   (To read more about RR, please click on this link:  Why Reece's Rainbow?)  RR relies on the generous donations of people like YOU!  Their new campaign, five5five for families, kicked off a few months ago and directly benefits five different families each month who are in the process of adopting an orphan with special needs.

From the RR website:  "After 8 years, $7 million in grant funding disbursed, and more than 1500 orphans have found forever families, you KNOW how far your giving goes collectively through Reece’s Rainbow! Set up an auto-bill-pay donation from your bank, or through the PayPal link, to give just $5 a month for our adopting families!"

I just set up David's and my $10 recurring monthly donation to benefit these families and their CHOSEN children.  Although this is not a huge amount, it can be MULTIPLIED if more people will join us.  If you aren't able to do it each month, a one-time donation will also be greatly appreciated!!  Your amount does not have to be $10 ~ it can be more or it can be less.  Please give what you can.  I promise you, God will USE YOUR GIFT!!

WILL YOU PLEASE JOIN US?????

What are you waiting for?!?  Click on this link to find out more information and donate:  five5five for families

So, on behalf of Reece's Rainbow:  "Thank you for your donation to the children of Reece’s Rainbow. Your gift is truly the gift of LIFE, HOPE, and a FAMILY for an orphaned child with Down syndrome [and/or other special needs].  Your support for this organization throughout the year is greatly appreciated.  Should you have any questions, or need to provide us with any additional details about your donation, please do not hesitate to write [or email].  Be sure to browse our website, and discover all the amazing ways you can be a Voice of Hope for our waiting orphans!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GOD GIVES MOST ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;  9 as it is written,

“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;  11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.  12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.  13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,  14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.  15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Adoption Update

First let me apologize that I have not posted on my blog since May.  All I can say is that I have been super busy on the adoption paper chasing trail and with taking care of Maclayne's medical needs.  With that being said, I hope it is enough for you to forgive me.

NOW, let's get to the exciting news at hand...

THE END IS NEAR in regards to our adoption!!!  Through many months of literal blood, sweat, and tears, I have COMPLETED ALL of our adoption dossier documents!!!  Let me shout it again, even louder:

ALL OF OUR ADOPTION DOSSIER DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED!!!!!

When I faxed our last document to be checked & approved by our stateside facilitator, I fell on my knees in a heap of full-bodied sobs.  Don't get me wrong, it was a huge relief full of joy, but it was, at the same time, a very gut wrenching emotional relief.

Romeo
Months of frustration, questioning, and longing for my three beautiful children was sent along with that fax to Nancy.  It was a release, a beautiful release that renewed my hope and commitment to precious Greta, Felix, and Romeo.  In the still small voice I heard God confirming, once again, that He has called David and me to adopt these three special needs orphans from Eastern Europe.

I am now sorting and double checking all of our paperwork that is making up our adoption dossier so that I can get it shipped to our in-country facilitators in Eastern Europe.  This "paper baby" should be shipped within the next couple of days.  (I will add it to our adoption timeline on the left of this post once I send it.)  Once it reaches our facilitators in EE, they will begin translating all of those documents ~ that is not a light undertaking and we are extremely grateful to them!

We are still awaiting approval from Homeland Security/Customs & Immigration (USCIS).  Once we have our approval (the Golden Ticket known as the I-171H), we will forward it to our facilitators in EE and they will submit our full adoption dossier to the Department for Adoptions (DAP).  From there, the DAP will extend an invitation for us to visit their country for the purpose of adopting and our first travel date will be issued.
Felix

So, once again, please allow me to shout:   ALL OF OUR ADOPTION DOSSIER DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED!!!!! and THE END IS NEAR!!!!!

Would you please join us in praying that we receive our USCIS approval ASAP??!!??  The immigration officer I've been dealing with is not the kindest person on earth.  However, I am extending the officer the grace I have been receiving from the Lord and I am treating the officer with the utmost kindness and respect.  I desire to keep my witness in Christ strong because it is through Him that this adoption is even taking place.

Secondly, would you join us in praying that God provides the remaining funds needed to bring Greta, Felix, and Romeo home?  We are about $4,000 short of being fully funded.  I am in the process of starting two fundraisers ~ another t-shirt sale (it is a very COOL design!) and a game that can be played by everyone.  Details will be released next week.

Greta
In the meantime, if you feel led, you can make a tax deductible donation to our Reece's Rainbow adoption grant fund.  100% of your donation will go directly toward our adoption.  (A 3% PayPal fee will be taken out of donations made by credit card.)  Believe me when I say that even $10 donations MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!  Click on this link to be directed to our RR grant fund:  Team Barnett Adoption 2014.

Thank you for following our beautiful journey to bring our precious children home!  Your support is truly humbling and we are beyond excited that you have chosen to join us on our family's journey. THANK YOU!!

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:24-30, NASB


Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Day That Began In Tragedy and Ended In Grace and Love

Shane Deon Lee

For the last few days, I have been contemplating whether or not I would write a blog post about the significance of today ~ May 15th.  I prayed about it and I thought about it.  And, in the end, I decided that writing and posting would not only prove to be therapeutic for me, it would also allow me to once again thank the scores of people who came together for my family and me on that day and in the days that followed.  This post will allow me to get through this day by remembering and cherishing the unconditional love and support they so readily gave.  So, with a deep breath and a prayer to God to stop the tears for now, I am writing about what May 15th has come to mean to me.  The first May 15th of significance was in 2001.


This is one of a handful of pics where
Shane is smiling this big ~ the boy hated
to smile for pictures!!
Stacie, Shane, & my parents with me
on my wedding day ~ 9/13/97

My older brother, Shane, was born on February 14, 1970 and died on May 15, 2001.  He was only 31 years old.  So, today marks the 13th anniversary of my brother’s death.  And, even 13 years later, it is still heartbreakingly hard to think about that day, specifically the beginning of that day when my life was shattered and I was brought to my knees with a grief I had never experienced before.  There are parts of that day I remember as if it were yesterday, there are parts of that day that takes me a while to remember, and there are parts that I do not remember at all.  The latter is probably a gift from God. 

For the purpose of this blog post, I am not going to dwell on the sheer tragedy of my brother‘s death and that awful morning.  Instead, I am going to focus on the grace and the love that God gave to my family and me on that day in 2001 and in the days that followed.  However, in order to write about the grace and love, I do need to delve a little bit into the initial events surrounding the morning of his death beginning with the ambulance ride to the hospital.

I was fortunate to grow up in the once little town of Frisco, TX where the townspeople of “Old Frisco” still shared that small town bond in 2001.  On that unfortunate day, I was the one who rode with a couple of “Old Frisco” EMT’s in the ambulance as they worked on my brother while racing as fast as they could in order to get him to the hospital in Plano.  I was comforted by those familiar faces and I knew that they loved Shane and were doing all they could to save their friend.  David, my dad, my mom, and my sister Stacie were graciously escorted to the hospital by several “Old Frisco” policemen who surrounded the car David was driving with their police cruisers.  The policemen, our friends, did this so that David could stay directly behind the ambulance and arrive at the hospital the exact same time as Shane and me.  For that, my family will be forever grateful. 

Once we were at the hospital, it was literally minutes before scores of our dear “Old Frisco” friends began showing up to support us.  They brought food to us, held us up physically & mentally, prayed with us, and sat with us as the doctors and hospital staff worked on my brother.  They stayed with us as Shane was placed on life support in order that his organs could be harvested for donation after he was declared brain dead.  These friends took turns surrounding us at Shane's bedside to pray over Shane and our family.

Once we were at the hospital, I told David that the one person I needed the most to be there was Jim Wicker, my pastor during my teenage years and the pastor who baptized me and married David and me.  Jim was teaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth on that day and it took David about 30 minutes to reach him.  However, once David spoke to Jim, he told David that he’d be there within two hours.  He canceled his remaining classes that day and left a message with Dana, his wife, about what had happened.  Dana, who was also a professor at Southwestern, was actually teaching a class when Jim left for the hospital.  Dana graciously chose to cancel the remainder of her classes once she received Jim’s message and head to the hospital so that she could be with our family.  It was Jim who was with our family in that tiny hospital conference room when the lead doctor told us that they had done all they could for Shane and that my brother had passed away.  It was Jim who first prayed with us as we received that devastating news and it was Jim who rejoiced with us in knowing that Shane was now at the feet of Jesus praising Him because of the relationship Shane had with Christ.  And, it was Jim who preached Shane’s funeral and shared the Gospel with all of those in attendance.  Jim and Dana, thank you both.  Y’all already know how much you both mean to me.

Pretty much the rest of the time we spent at the hospital remains a blur to this day, but I do remember several of Shane’s friends coming to the hospital to show their respects.  The one person who meant the most to us and Shane was also an “Old Frisco” person.  My brother was a cowboy who trained cutting horses and owned several acres of land that he was in the process of turning into a horse ranch.  In fact, at the time of his death, Shane was completing the fencing around his roping arena.  And, at the time, his “cowboy running buddy” was Ricky Wade.  Ricky had become Shane’s best friend and his confidant.  In the months before his death, when Shane became ill and began going through a ton of stuff, it was Ricky who was always there for Shane.  It was Ricky who my parents could call in the middle of the night when they were worried about Shane because they knew that Ricky would come running to help Shane.  So, when we saw Ricky walk into Shane’s ICU hospital room, a grateful peace came over me and I know that Shane felt it too.  Ricky Wade, after all these years, my family and I are still so grateful for what you did for Shane and the friendship that you blessed him with during the last few years of his life.  We love you, brother.

Two other people who are worth mentioning for what they did for our family on that day are Sharon Griffin and Lynda Humbarger.  Sharon and Lynda are the mothers of two of my close childhood friends, Jennifer Griffin Upshaw and Shanda Humbarger Hatcher, and are also dear friends to my mother.  And, they are also “Old Frisco.”  Sharon and Lynda were both at work on that day when they received the news and, immediately, they both left work and raced to my parent’s home.  Sharon and Lynda stayed at my parent’s home to clean everything up so that we would not have to.  How precious is it to have friends willing to get on their knees and scrub away things that are unmentionable?  Later on, Lynda joined us at the hospital while Sharon remained at my parent's house to finish cleaning & arrange meals to be delivered.  Sharon and Lynda, the magnitude of what y’all did for us has not been lost on our family.  We will remain forever grateful to the sacrifice y’all made for our family.  We love you both so much.  Jennifer also left the school where she was teaching and came to be with me at the hospital.  Shanda was waiting for us at my parent’s home when we returned.  Jennifer and Shanda, dear friends, thank you for being there during my hour of need.  I love you both.

In the end, there were literally hundreds of people who met us at the hospital that day, who came to my parent’s house later that night once we returned from the hospital, and who visited us in the days & weeks that followed.  We would not have been able to make it on that day and the days following Shane’s death without our friends ~ especially those “Old Frisco” friends.  There are too many to mention, but I do feel the need to mention a handful in order to personally thank them for the love and grace they gave to our family.  Thank you to Tommy & Connie Ohm and Jenny Ohm Hardy for the wonderful meals (especially the hamburgers!) you brought us and the time you spent with us.  Tommy, thank you for the literal hours of laughter you gave us during the retelling of all the crazy & funny Shane stories and thank you for speaking so eloquently at Shane's funeral & gifting everyone there with laughter at the memory of my brother.  Gilbert Gonzalez, thank you for not only being there for us, but also for being Shane’s best friend and partner in crime since y’all’s high school days.  You know that Stacie and I consider you our brother.  The Carlos & Yolanda Liscano family, thank you for being there for us and making sure we had plenty of coffee.  Mary & Gordon Holbrook, thank you for being there for us and being such dear friends to Shane.  Gordon, thank you for all of the wonderful childhood go-cart & neighborhood memories that you & Shane have left us with.  Sarah Claunch, thank you for being there for me and being my rock when I was so broken.  Alton & Terry Garner, thank you for the countless hours y’all spent sitting with my dad on the front porch as he smoked cigarette after cigarette as a way to deal with his grief.  Janis McGee, thank you for coming to my parents as soon as you could.  You know how special Shannon was to Shane.  Because of Shannon, I know that Shane would have cherished Silas, Teague, Trenton, & Maclayne if he was with us today.  Steve & Glynda Covington, thank you both for coming to see us as soon as y’all returned from vacation & found out.  The hours you spent with my parents were greatly appreciated.  Glynda, thank you for helping us in the aftermath in our dealings with the Frisco Police Dept.  Gig Gross, thank you for the beautiful tribute to Shane that you made out of wood as a gift to our family.  Your artwork brought much needed comfort to our family ~ whether you like it or not, you are an angel in my eyes and one day I will convince you of your true worth in God.  Love you, friend, and God loves you more.

Thank you to several members of First Baptist Frisco for ministering to our family through love, grace, and countless meals.  FBC Frisco was my church growing up and where I was baptized.  I am so very thankful to have been surrounded by the love of my “Old Frisco” church where I grew in my relationship with the Lord during my teenage years.  Thank you to my old youth minister, Tommy Woodard, who came to the hospital on that day to minister to my family.  Tommy, I love that you still cared for me even though I was 26 years old; I guess I truly reminded you of a fragile heartbroken teenager on that day.  Thank you to several members of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano and our Sunday School class at the time.  All of you were rocks to David and me during the aftermath of Shane's death.  Thank you to Prestonwood’s Singles Ministry and Ron Holton, the Singles’ Minister at the time, for ministering to not only my sister Stacie, but to our whole family.  Thank you, Ron, for traveling over two hours with us after Shane’s funeral for his burial in East Texas.  Thank you for the beautiful graveside message you delivered.  Your words were a true comfort.  And, thank you for the countless hours you spent with Stacie, my parents, and me just to make sure we were okay.  I miss our talks about the Bible and the sheer joy of serving our Lord and the new ministry He was calling you & your wife to.

There are countless others who ministered to our family during the week of May 15, 2001 ~ too many to mention.  Please know that y’all are not forgotten.  My family and I remember each of you.  There are days when we remember y’all as individuals and there are days when we remember y’all as a collective group.  To go through a tragedy of such magnitude allows the positive and good things that come out of it to be seared into your heart and mind forever.  Everyone’s love, grace, and prayers for our family are the good and beautiful things that came out of my brother’s death.  For that, we are forever grateful.  We love each of you.

Finally, and certainly not least, I am thankful to my Savior Jesus Christ.  Had it not been for Him, there is no way that my family and I would have been able to endure that day and that week.  Our family experienced a tragedy so great, an unspeakable tragedy that no family should have to endure.  In John 10:10, Christ tells us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  His words rang true on that day because Satan tried to destroy our family by stealing Shane’s mind in an effort to win a victory in Shane’s death.  However, the exact opposite occurred.  Satan did not have the victory that day ~ God did!  God had the victory in the fact that Shane was called home to Jesus.  God had the victory in the fact that His love prevailed through the actions of our dear friends.  And, most importantly, God had the victory in the simple fact that our faith in Him not only remained strong, it continued to grow during our unspeakable grief.  Still to this day, I praise Him for the victories that He gave our family when we needed Him most ~ He knew how much we needed Him and He was ready to shower us with His love and grace.  Father, thank you for loving us that much.    

Shane's Tombstone ~ Dimple, TX


1 Thessalonians 1:2-4:
"2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WHY REECE'S RAINBOW???

Ever since David and I adopted Silas, any and everything that has to do with Down syndrome will prick our ears.  And, our eyes have been wide open to our “new normal” ever since.  Therefore, it was only natural that in February 2010 my curiosity was piqued when I read a “Heroes Among Us” article in People Magazine about a woman who has made it her mission to save orphans born with Down syndrome (Ds).  As I read the article, I found myself in tears because I could certainly identify with her heart.  I identified with the intense love she has for her son, Reece, who was born with Ds because that it is the same intense love I have for Silas.  I identified with her intense passion for the children born with Ds who are abandoned by their parents because of the stigma the world has placed on Ds.  When I showed David the article, he just stood there amazed.  We knew that we needed to find out more:  more about Andrea Roberts and more about Reece’s Rainbow.  Click HERE for the 2010 People Magazine article.

You see, David and I had just started talking about adopting another child with Down syndrome a few weeks earlier.  And, most importantly, we had begun praying that God would point us in the right direction as to where He would be leading us in regards to adopting again.  With a “magazine sign” in hand, I visited the Reece’s Rainbow (RR) website for the first time a few days later.  I was on the RR site for over three hours combing through every inch.  I loved reading how Andrea came about launching Reece’s Rainbow from an outreach program dedicated to serving new families of children born with Ds at a hospital in Atlanta, GA to its expansion in 2006 to include the promotion of the international adoption of orphans born with Down syndrome and other special needs.  Please click HERE for the 2012 People Magazine story update. 

I completely identified with the words she wrote about her son, Reece, being “the one constant…the beauty and innocence that a child with Down syndrome brings to the world is truly one of Divine nature.   God has led me through some very difficult times, but waiting on the other side of that “rainbow” for me was enlightenment, empowerment, compassion, mercy, and a tremendous “calling” to reach out to other children like Reece who were not as fortunate as he to have a loving, supportive family to grow up in.”  That one statement impacted me in so many ways and it allowed God to show us the ministry He had planned for our family.  Please click HERE to read more about the background of RR and why it exists.

Ultimately, we learned that Andrea was the Winner of the 2010 People Magazine's Reader's Choice Hero of the Year Award.  And, to make a long story short, David and I finally reached out to Andrea and Reece’s Rainbow in November of 2010 after several long months of prayer, discussion, pastoral advice, being grounded in the Word of God, and seeking ultimate discernment from God.  Finally, we knew we had a clear calling from God to partner with RR in order to adopt more children with Down syndrome.  It just so happened that before time began, God had already planned for three beautiful Ukrainian orphans to find their forever family at the end of Reece’s Rainbow.  And, after that initial contact with Andrea and RR, we KNEW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that God had amazingly and beautifully placed RR at our feet in order to make Teague, Trenton, and Maclayne ORPHANS NO MORE.  For that, we will forever praise God and Andrea Roberts will remain a HERO to our family.

Maclayne's RR picture
Teague's RR picture
Trenton's RR picture
         
Now, it brings me to the very reason we are choosing to partner with Reece’s Rainbow once again to bring Felix and another child (sorry, details will follow on this bombshell in a few days…) home from Eastern Europe.  Again, we know BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that God is using RR to fulfill His calling in our lives and ministry to make two more precious children with Down syndrome ORPHANS NO MORE by growing our family.  The RR stateside and in-country adoption facilitation team is amazing and we could not ask for a better group of people to team up with.  We are blessed beyond measure and cannot wait until we land on US soil with the two newest Barnett’s!!  Two more ORPHANS NO MORE and two more children who have found their families at the end of Reece’s Rainbow!

For more information about Reece’s Rainbow, please click HERE for the link to the RR website.  Even if you are not called to adopt and/or are not in a position to adopt, you will still benefit from finding out about this wonderful special needs adoption ministry.  There are many colors of support for RR:  praying for RR, sharing about RR, financially supporting RR through a one-time or recurring gift, and advocating for the many orphans on their website "because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down syndrome...".  Also, please feel free to contact the team at RR if you have questions or would like to know more.  You can also contact me about RR ~ I’d be more than happy to share more about our adoption experience with RR.

Walk By The Spirit ~ Galatians 5:13-14
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”