Saturday, January 9, 2010


We wrote this to our family today and wanted it to be the first message on our blog:

Dear family,
We have some news for all of you. After Julia came back from India in 2007, we talked about and believed that we would either adopt or do foster care. We planned on waiting until the boys were older, and especially in light of the massive curriculum project we’ve undertaken, (we are writing a homeschooling history curriculum) later was better than sooner. The economy and poor business prospects also made us believe that delaying was for the best.
Sometimes God has other plans. About three weeks ago Julia saw a picture of a little boy on a website, He was being featured because he had just been transferred to a mental institute for special needs children. His name was Aaron and he was born in 2004. In the Eastern European countries, when a special needs child reaches the age of 4 or 5, he or she is transferred out of the orphanage and placed in a mental institute. For the majority of these kids it is a death sentence. This little boy caught Julia’s eye because he was cognitively normal, considered high functioning and looked a bit like Rob with the deep dimples. He suffered from a condition called arthrogryposis, which limits the movement of his hands; but from the description, his case seemed fairly mild. We e-mailed Reeces’s Rainbow to see where he was located. While waiting for a response we stated emphatically that if he was from one particular country, we weren’t interested. This particular countries adoptions are tough, expensive and require a lot of travel. The e-mail came back within a few minutes, and he was indeed from exactly where we didn't want to go. We walked away thinking that was it.
Within a day, Julia came across a blog of a college student named Molly who was advocating for the adoption OF THIS SAME CHILD! Molly was passionate about finding him a family and trying in her own way to raise money for his ‘forever family.’ For the next week Julia was haunted by Aaron’s face and his need. After several completely sleepless nights and periods of intermittent weeping it was clear that God was moving in her heart. Last Sunday night at 3:00 she woke up sobbing. Rob was downstairs sleeping in his chair (back pains drive him out of bed most nights) and after thirty minutes of crying and praying alone Julia knew she needed to dump it all in Rob’s lap. We spent the rest of that night and the next several nights talking, processing and praying. By the end of the week we came to the realization that Aaron needed to be part of our family despite the huge financial hurdle set before us (24-26,000 dollars), the reality that Aaron could be damaged beyond repair where he is currently located, the medical issues associated with his condition and the toll it will take on our family. We both strongly believe that God has moved in our hearts and we have decided to step out in the biggest leap of faith either of us has ever taken. We are going to try adopt Aaron. We submitted our first form today.
We know this is a bit of a shock. It is for us too. All four of us feel overwhelmed, scared, and excited. We definitely feel a deep need for support from our families in this decision. It has an element of foolishness - crossing the globe to save one little boy who we only know through a picture and a paragraph. Why him, why now and why there?
We need you to pray. First and foremost that Aaron will be protected where he is located. All that we have heard about the institutes in Eastern Europe is horrific. We know that the orphanage he was in loved him because they approached Reece’s Rainbow to find Aaron a family. This was the first time that particular orphanage had had any contact with Reese’s Rainbow, so that speaks volumes. We need you to pray that our little guy will have people in the mental institute where he now lives who will guard him, take care of him and make sure that he is fed. So many of these children die of starvation. Please pray!
We also need you to pray that we can move through the paperwork quickly. We have been told that we could have him as early as late summer if all goes well. The less time he is stuck in a crib, the better! We had friends who just went through an adoption from this same country, and their experience was rough. Their difficulties made us reluctant to pursue adoption there. For Aaron’s long-term mental and physical health, it is important that we get him as soon as possible.
We need prayers that God will provide, financially and emotionally. This is going to take a toll on us in both realms.

We are trusting in God and excited to see what He is going to reveal to us through the life of this one little boy. We are hoping that next Thanksgiving and Christmas, his little dimples will grace our family gatherings!
In Christ’s abiding love,
Rob and Julia


  1. Julia, I have chills!! I will do everything in my power to raise this money with you! I know that your family can do this! My little sister is starting a Reece's Rainbow club at her High School to raise money for Aaron, and now for your family. I'm not sure how we will raise the money, but we will do this.

    Thank you for being his miracle. I panicked when I saw he was transferred. I actually sat in my dorm room and cried. I look at his face and I cannot imagine him sitting in his crib for the rest of his life. Little does he know that today his life has changed. That today, there's a family in America fighting to bring him home. I have full faith that you can do this and that he'll be home with you this time next year.

    I too have had many nights where I just sat and looked at Aaron's face. He's my computer background and my cell phone background and he's on my wall with all of the other RR babies. I knew that if he never found a home it would haunt me forever. Sometime after Christmas I got very calm about it, I just had a feeling that he would find his family before the end of the month. This happened around the same time you found him.

    I just told my sister how much money you need to get him home and she said "We can do it!" and my mom said "Totally!". So thank you for being his forever family, and like I said, we're going to raise this money together! He will be home with you!

  2. Thank you for listening to your heart! Aaron will bring you blessings beyond measure. I know it's a scary journey, we are on it too, but the end goal is overwhelmingly wonderful. We travel in 2 weeks to Ukraine to get our little Hunter, we are with Reeces Rainbow also. So, welcome to 'the family' and I'll pray for your journey to your new son!

    Jodi Lewandoski

  3. What a beautiful letter!! Aaron will bless you beyond words. My husband and I completed a Ukraine adoption last fall and it really wasn't that hard at all, in fact, it was quite a bit simpler, easier, and more comfortable than the 3 Russian adoptions I'd done previously! We are hoping to go back one more time, and we are pretty stuck on making sure that it's Ukraine again!!

    There are families that struggle, but I've heard families that struggle not only in Ukraine, but Russia, China, Korea, India, Thailand, etc. Remember though, that MOST of the families that adopt don't have ANY trouble at all!!

    If God brought you to Aaron (and it sounds as if He did!!) then you should just sit back, and enjoy the process as much as you can. Aaron's time is precious, being where he is, but you can get it done!! And I'd think you could go before the end of summer if everything goes well...

    You have several hundreds of friends at RR cheering you on and will do whatever it takes to help you!! You are adopting a VERY special little boy!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!


  4. Congrats!!
    We are also adopting a child with arthrogryposis. She just turned 6 and is also in Ukraine.
    We hope to travel in February.
    Aaron also weighed on our hearts.
    So happy he has a family!!

  5. Congratulations on your decision to bring Aaron home! We have also been advocating and praying for him since the moment he was listed on Reeces Rainbow and we were overjoyed to see that his family had finally found him!

    Our oldest son, Evan (adopted from Ukraine in 2007), also has arthrogryposis. There is a WONDERFUL support group at . There you will find HUNDREDS of individuals and families effected by AMC. It is an incredible source of information and support and they will become like family. If you ever have any questions about raising a child with arthrogryposis, please don't hesitate to contact us (

    Congratulations again! We are so excited to see Aaron come home to your wonderful family and we will continue to pray for you and him as you journey to bring him home!


  6. Congratulations! We've done an adoption from Guatemala and Vietnam, as well as a private domestic, we are now praying about a foster care adoption. Your adoption to Ukraine will be helped by a wonderful RR staff, primarily Meredith, who has adopted two little ones from there. There are MANY people that have adopted from Ukraine on the RR group, so you will have much support along the way. And how can you fail? You have God and Molly on your side!!!

  7. We are thrilled you are following God's heart in adoption. Our blog lays out our experience adopting Mary, who was a Reeces Rainbow other angel as well. She had turned 5 and was in imminent danger of instiutionalization. She has been home just over a year now, and we still sit back in "wow!" at all God did to bring her home. It was an adventure of faith like none other, and continues to be. We commit to pray for you as you journey to your son, and will support in any way we can.

  8. I've been following him on Molly's blog. I am just so thrilled that your hearts have met and you have found your son!!!!

  9. Ohhh I am sooooo excited to read this. I have been hoping & praying Aaron found his family, he has waited so long! I'm 22 & I too have Arthrogryposis, like Valerie said all the people from will be there as you raise Aaron! We are one big happy family!

  10. So excited for you guys as you seek to add Aaron to your family!! We adopted from Ukraine in 2007 and had a great experience. We came home with a son who was so obviously chosen by God for our family (he was 5 when adopted, and is now 7 years old). And we love Ukraine, its culture, its people. In fact, we are now in the process of adopting from there again! Praying for your journey and for sweet Aaron!


  11. Let God bless you! That’s great there are such kind people like you on the globe. You may be interested in reading info about the orphanages in Ukraine


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!