Saturday, December 12, 2009


This post marks the beginning of our journey through international adoption to bring Alina home! We are so excited :)!

We have a large and close family with five children already: Sara (14), Kyle (12), Brian (10), Emmy (7), and Bridget (3). Bridget was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Although the diagnosis came as a shock, we have found that Down syndrome itself is not something to fear. We adore Bridget. We see her potential and hope to help her share her special light with others.

We were not initially looking to adopt a child, but wanted to make a donation to
Reece's Rainbow for their annual Angel Tree fundraiser as a part of our holiday giving and Down syndrome advocacy efforts. We found Alina's picture and began to feel as though our lives were about to change. We soon realized that we were a perfect match for her, and quickly made the commitment to bring her home as soon as possible :).

We know that there will be challenges along the way, and that our path is full of uncertainty. We also know that what's most important is worth fighting for, and that there will be untold rewards. We move forward with hope and joyful anticipation of Alina's arrival.

Here is our family profile from the Reece's Rainbow website:

Chris and Lisa met at The Ohio State University in the fall of 1988, on the first day of classes during Lisa’s freshman year. Chris was a senior at the time. They married four and a half years later and now have five children ranging from 3-14 years in age.

Their youngest child, Bridget, was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Although they were previously unaware of Bridget’s diagnosis, they quickly came to understand that she is truly perfect, and perfect for them. Bridget is now three-and-a-half years old and is thriving. Lisa wrote a chapter for the book Gifts, 2, about Bridget and all she has brought to their lives. The entire family is involved in Down syndrome advocacy efforts. Lisa also writes and manages Bridget's Light, a blog about life with Bridget.

The Peele family was not initially looking to expand, but rather visited Reece’s Rainbow to donate for the Angel Tree fundraiser. They came across Alina’s picture and noticed that she looks a lot like Bridget. Lisa and Chris were immediately drawn to her. Lisa looked up the meaning of “Alina” to discover that her name means “light”—a major theme in their lives thus far.

They also realized that Bridget would benefit from having another sibling with Down syndrome so close in age, and that the whole family was entirely prepared to welcome Alina. Together, they decided that not only could they manage another child, but that Alina herself was meant for them, and they for her.

Chris and Lisa both feel that the events of the past 15 years have prepared them for Alina and for their journey of international adoption.

They were ready to commit to adopting her, and wanted to make sure the rest of the kids were in agreement.

The older Peele children are sensitive and compassionate and excited to welcome another sibling with Down syndrome. “This little girl needs a family, and we are the perfect family for her,” said Kyle (12). A show of hands at the dinner table was unanimous to make Alina part of the family and bring her home as soon as possible.

As a group, the family has decided to keep her name. They think “Alina” is beautiful and meaningful. They also know that she will need to adjust to many new aspects of life soon, and would like for her feel some comfort in being known by her given name.

“Alina” is a variation of Eileen, which is particularly special, as it is the middle name of Lisa’s aunt Denise, her mom’s sister. Alina’s middle name will be Caroline--after another very special family member who passed away in 1997.

Alina’s arrival in the United States is greatly anticipated by immediate and extended family and a large network of friends. She will be loved, cherished, and offered every opportunity to live a full, healthy and happy life.

Her adoptive family is committed to giving her everything she needs to fulfill her potential and her hopes, whatever each may be. They look forward, with happy hearts, to learning more about her and helping to make her dreams come true.

\a-li-na: means “light”. Origin Meaning: Arabic Noble, beautiful; Celtic Fair, beautiful; Chinese Big Bright Eyes, Yes definitely beautiful!; Dutch Outgoing; Gaelic Bright, noble, smart; German Diminutive of Adilene, From the Old German "Athal" meaning noble; Greek Light, beautiful; Irish Beautiful; Latin Of the nobility; Polish Beautiful, Bright, kind; Russian Scarlet (color, connoted in Russian with hope and anticipation of happiness); Slavic Noble, Kind; Teutonic Noble smart; Romanian To heal.

: “Joy. Song of happiness.”

Please keep us in your thoughts. Prayers and good wishes are welcome and appreciated for Alina: for her continued health, safety and comfort; and for us: for energy as we work through the details of her adoption, and for patience in waiting to bring her home.

We invite you to follow along and share in our joy as we become a family of eight!


  1. YEAH!!!!!!! I cannot believe her name means "light". This was so meant to be it brings chills!!!

  2. Alina Caroline................I love it! So beautiful!

  3. I'm so excited for all of you! I can't believe her name means light either!!!!! Amazing!!! She's three month's older than Violette! How cool!

  4. My heart is over flowing with such joy reading this post!!!!! What an incredible Blessing Miss Alina Caroline will be to your life and you to hers!!!!!

    All of our love and support!

  5. Lis, I had chills the entire time that I was reading these blogs! Let me just tell you that initially when I was 'introduced' to Alina via your very first blog (which actually introduced me to "Reece's Rainbow") in my heart of hearts I knew that the Peele family would soon be expanding. For some strange reason my little inside voice said that Alina needs the Peele family to love her as much as the Peele family needs to love her. Now that you've shared with me that her name means "light" it's apparent to me that she was simply brought to this world to bring light from one end of the world to another (literally). You all have hearts of gold and I couldn't think of one other family that would be better suited for the journey ahead. I'll keep you all in my prayers and can't wait to hear the up coming events! WOW! What's the next steps? Have you made contact with the home she is in yet? Does she have any health issues that you know of? I pray that God gives you all strength and guidance in this new world. Love you my sister in Christ! What a wonderful Christmas blessing!

  6. Hi!! Congrats!
    We are adopting Svetlana out of the same orphanage (20). We just sent our dossier off today :)
    Good Luck!!!
    www.nandantravels. blogspot. com

  7. Congratulations! What an exciting decision! Amazing!

  8. So awesome to see someone in our are adopting through RR!
    We adopted Mila from Serbia in June through RR and Hannah is from Ukraine.

    We can't wait to follow your journey! Prayers for every step of the way!

  9. Congratulations! Her b-day is exactly the day before my Goldie's. It is so heartwarming to know she has a family waiting for her. I'll be following your journey, too!

  10. Congrats!
    We are adopting "Russell" from the same baby house! We will be submitting in February.


  11. Alina is beautiful. We are where you were a month and a half ago. I went to the sight to b/c we have a 13 mo old son with DS and heard about these poor children that have no families. We are considering adopting AJ - the third little guy down on the main page. We just have to navigate all the details. Thanks for allowing us to follow your journey.


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