Monday, May 7, 2012


As most of you know I have been away for a season. Our family has continued in our quest to bring our daughter from the darkness of a mental institution where she lingers, into the light and love of Jesus through our love as her forever family. This journey has be arduous to say the least. But what ever struggles we have faced as her adoptive family, they pale in comparison to what our sweet girl knows as daily life. I do not know if I personally could survive 21 months in a EE mental institution. I do not think I am that strong and would give up and succumb to my death. But not our girl. She is a fighter. She clings to life determined to make it out into whatever it is that awaits her, even though I am quite certain, she cannot know what that life will be like. I can only give all the glory to our Heavenly Father for sustaining her until she is completely ours. Completely home. Completely free.

When I contemplate the fact of her continuing existence, it always brings me back to the same place...why wouldn't He. She belongs completely to Him. He created her exactly as she is. He placed a mighty purpose within her, and He has never turned from her. When she was discarded, abandon, alone, and waiting, He placed an open door before us and He invited our family to "MOVE".

He offered an invitation wrapped in the most breathtakingly beautiful, awe-inspiring, miraculous little girl. He then placed that little girl within my womb to grow as a part of me. He brought that invitation to fruition through our sweet baby daughter, Lillian Grace. He then filled us with a love so overwhelming and consuming that it removed ALL fear. Our intense love for her took us on a journey that changed us forever and prepared us to willingly, joyfully, and without hesitation accept His invitation to "MOVE"...and step through the open door that to this day stands before us.

But we do not go alone, unprepared or unequipped for this journey. He has taken every step with us. He is in every conversation, meeting, appointment and written word we share. We have at times needed Him to carry us when we, because of our humanness, felt unable to keep walking. He has breathed life into us when we felt crushed and to weary to continue. He has filled us with the knowledge through revelation,and His written word, of who we are in Him. What we have in Him. Who and what we are called to in Him. And we are grateful. The love and joy we experience daily in our family home is all from Him. All for Him. Regardless of circumstance in the natural, we dance, we sing, we praise, and most importantly, we know the day is coming very soon, when we will sing and dance with our sweet girl. This victory is already won in Christ Jesus. She is our daughter. She is Katrina, Abby, April, and Lillian's sister. Together as her family we rejoice in the journey knowing that every step glorifies our Father in Heaven and He delights in our obedience and dances over us...and still there is an open door before us.

Along our journey there have been issues we have faced that has brought us to our current decision to cancel the contract we had with our agency and revoke their power of attorney to act on our behalf.
 Our personal opinion is our sweet girl should have come home over a year ago. That is what we were told when we started this journey. Two years later she is still waiting. This is completely unacceptable to us. Therefore, we have followed God and stepped out where we are completely trusting Him and His promise that she is ours and His ways are not our ways. It is completely impossible for us as humans to grasp the wisdom or workings in the mind of God. It is beyond our understanding. It is exactly where He  now calls us to walk.

We have contracted with an  organization that has the ability to help us move forward right now. We have completed a new home study with a new, highly qualified provider, world renowned in his field, who is very familiar with what is required to petition for adoption in the country we have decided to adopt from. We have approval from USCIS. We have an opportunity to travel for an appointment with the MOE to complete the required interview and accept her referral.

Although we have been blessed by so many of you through our fundraising effort, we now find ourselves in a bit of a quandary. Because we have made the choice to cancel our prior agency and move our adoption process to our current representation, those funds are not available to us at this point. All funding required for our first trip will have to come from another source.

We are not deterred or shaken. God is not surprised we have this in front of us. But I do believe he is saddened by it.  We cling to His promise to us in Isaiah 45. We declare it daily, sometimes several times a day. He has promised she is forever OUR DAUGHTER and we will not stop until she is home. Not until she is completely FREE...and still, this open door before us.

Thank you for lifting our family, our adoption process and all involved, and our sweet girl who waits in prayer. They are precious and what sustains us.

We are hopeful are 2 final trips will be a different story. We have partnered with Project Hopeful to make this happen and we are extremely grateful for their Christ like love, their example, and their integrity. I encourage you all, if you are unaware of their organization, to check them out. You too will see they are what God desires orphan care and adoption to look like. They are the real deal. I also encourage you to take 30 seconds out of your online time and cast your vote for Project Hopeful daily until the end of June to help them achieve success acquiring a $50k grant to expand their program. Funding that can make a difference for so many children who wait for a chance, for love, for a family that will take the road less traveled. A road that leads to a life so overflowing with abundant love, those who walk here cannot imagine why anyone would NOT want this.

 We have a Project Hopeful  button available for your tax deductible donation. We welcome you to share this post on social media and to share our need for support both financially and in prayer with others.

We still have an open door here...and we fully intend to walk through it.

God bless you all,
The Higbie's



Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update and reopening your blog. I am so glad to hear that you are still pursuing Lera but one has to ask what are the funds that were raised for her adoption being held for? What will RR do with those funds if they are refusing to give them to you at travel? Will those that donated be able to voice their opinion or choice as to where they would ultimately like their funds to end up?

Kimberly said...

Thank you for the update. I'm with the previous anonymous commenter in wondering what will happen with the funds we donated to RR for Lera's adoption.

Mel said...

Diane, I am so thankful for the update, and for your family continuing to follow the will of GOD despite the obstacles that have been thrown in your path!! Lera is so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving family to come home to! I'll be the next to question where the money is heading... what of those donors who fundraised for the HIGBIE family? And, since you aren't using the RR team, that makes you unable to utilize the money that was raised for LERA? I am sure that some statement will be made and people will just take RR's word for it that it is "being handled" but, really the ONLY way for it to be handled would be for you to get the money that YOU worked for to bring your daughter home. I didn't know that RR held the "rights" to all of the children in EE and could say who can and can't be adopted into which family... although, it doesn't surprise me since there have been other families who have had to face the same circumstances. I pray for the families who have been hurt, I pray for the children, and I pray for you and your sweet little girl. Hold on to Jesus Lera, your Momma is coming soon!!

Anonymous said...

We were told that we were not able to adopt a certain child from RR because the founder didn't think we ought to. Shouldn't that be opinion of the sw? I have seen it a few times that children were shuffled around and a child here and there were "taken away" from a family working to adopt them. Hopefully this is not a case where this grant money is taken from the family. This money belongs to the CHILD for her new family to use for her adoption as they see fit! I will be interested to hear more as it comes out...

Tami said...

Hi Diane and family,
I don't know if you are aware, Andrea has placed a derogatory post over on the Official Reeces Rainbow facebook page concerning your adoption and family. People there are being mistakenly led to believe that you have been removed by RR as Lera's family and that she will be relisted on the RR site because two years is long enough to wait, and you have not been truthful with them. This has infuriated me, as the same was done to us, and a RR family ended up with our son. I believe this was posted in order to deflect the fact that RR is now withholding YOUR grant account. YOU raised that money for LERA, and it should stay with YOU, no matter if you have changed agencies or not! I also believe that Lera should NOT be relisted, as you have made it clear that you are on a new road to bringing her HOME.

I am sorry that you and Lera have had to endure this great injustice, and I am praying all will be made right and I look forward to seeing your girl in your arms very soon!!

Please feel free to contact me if you need to talk, vent, cry...and please know that I support YOU 100 percent!!

Love and hugs to you and your family,

Anonymous said...

There are many families who are starting to come out and tell their horror stories about RR. We are one of them. They and their partner agencies lie and manipulate situations to their best financial advantage. Ask them tough questions... where is the money going? Who decides who can adopt a child and who can't? They are trying to destroy good families in their quest to "corner the market" on advocacy all the while taking off the top. It will all come out soon.

In the meantime, please do all you can to help the Higbies. Lera should not wait any longer for her loving family!

Anonymous said...

Hi diane and family,

I am so sorry. Just praying for you, RR, and sweet Lera. :(

Anonymous said...

So sorry to learn that yet another family has been burnt by the brightly colored organization. I am praying that God, the revealer of truth, will reveal all that needs to be revealed to the adoption community--families and supporters alike. And most of all, I'm praying for an amazing path to be opened before you so that Lera can finally get HOME with you where she belongs! God bless!

Michelle Z said...

Just a reminder -- families have access to their grant funds when they submit a dossier and it is accepted by the foreign country, and they are invited to travel. That *official travel date* is the ticket to grant funds! :)

As always, please ask if you have questions!

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree. That is not always the case or what the organization actually does. Diane praying for your family and that light will continue to reveal truth.

Patti said...

Just as an outsider...anonymous, you sure have a lot to say for not leaving a name. If you believe something, why don't you own it? I"m praying the truth is revealed too. Actually the truth has been revealed in this post. The Higbies did not submit their dossier or it was not approved, and they want their $ anyway. What charitable organization does that? "You didn't get a travel date, but here's the $ anyway?" Something is indeed fishy here.

Ellie said...

I have to agree with Patti on this one. There has to be some accountability when you are talking about such a large amount of money. Yes, people donated to "Lera" and to help her family by lessening the financial burden to bring her home. However, when donating to the child's FSP you are in fact donating to the child and to the charitable organization that is advocating for that child. It states very clearly on all PayPal pages that the money is going to RR.

Why in the world would RR just hand over money to a family, not knowing with 100% certainty that the family would indeed be bringing that child (or any special needs orphan, for that matter) into their home? You want RR to.. what, write a large check to people who are not even registered and approved in the country they are trying to adopt from? How lawful/ethical/moral would that be? I am not saying this family would do it, but if RR were to do this then who's to say the people wouldn't turn around and buy a car?

If donors are so adamant that the money goes to a specific family, then they should donate to the ChipIn as opposed to the FSP. It is clearly stated on the RR page that the FSP funds will not be dispersed until the family is fully approved and has scheduled their first trip.

Anonymous said...

Diane and family, we are standing in prayer with you all for justice to come to Lera, swiftly. I can only imagine the heartbreak the Father feels over this situation. It is hard for my heart to imagine the insult added to the injury of the injustice these littles ones suffer already. Praying the Lord would remove every stumbling block and for those whose hearts are pure/hands are clean, that He would cause righteousness to shine forth in them and through them, exposing all things hidden/unjust. Asking that the fear of the Lord would be released with might and that all would tremble at His holiness and righteousness. We look to you, LORD! Show yourself strong on behalf of the weak ones!

Anonymous said...

My concern here is Lera! With that being said there is no need in bashing/slandering a ministry who has done nothing but tried to help you. You have to follow the rules like everyone else. I am sorry that you have to hand deliver your paperwork, but RR can not give you the funds to do that. If they gave you your funds because you hit a bump in the road they would have to do that for everyone, who maybe couldn't come up with their money for their Homestudy, or sending their paperwork to the country, or USCIS, etc. All though your only option at this time seems to be go to the country and hand deliver your paperwork that is still an upfront cost and therefore you should not be allowed to have those funds, because you know the rules before you commit. Again I am really sorry you are going through this but this is not RR fault it is your original agencies fault. I will pray for all involved.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you are going through this pain and uncertainty. We too have been victims of the arbitrary nature of RR and the director. I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about our adoption through RR.

Praying for your family and a positive resolution to this situation.

Anonymous said...

Need to add to the naysayers here, defending the actions of RR. When our family traveled, RR bought the airline tickets for us WITH the FSP money. The remainder was sent to the adoption agency. We never directly received a cent of the money given to our FSP, all of it went towards our adoption, any cash we had we raised independently of RR. If things have changed it is news to me, so saying the Higbie's GET the $$$ in their hands is just plain ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I thank-you who have supported the Higbie family and those who are sharing discouraging words I have one thing to say, you don't know them. You are not hearing them say anything bad about anyone. It was other people who said things about this hard working Christian family. All they want to do and have ever wanted to do is bring Lera home.

Sarah said...

Hi Diane,
My prayers are with Lera, that she gets home soon.

There are a lot of questions that a lot of people (myself included) have. I've been following your journey since the beginning and didn't even realize you were still in the process so I was surprised to read all the new activity relating to Lera's adoption.

The questions I have are really no different than others have already asked, so I won't go through them all again, but would you please do a follow up post and explain in true specific detail your end of everything? Typically I would never ask a family to go into all the details, but seeing as this has become a very public matter that now has people questioning a charitable organization which has grown exponentially over the years, I really believe it is important for both sides to explain what is happening on their end.

From what I have observed, I am personally in agreement with how RR is handling Lera's adoption. This is not to say anything negative toward your family. Again, though, you've not really clarified many details (publicly), and I would really love to hear your side without speculation, since I don't think that is healthy for anyone involved.

Praying for Lera to come home soon.

Anonymous said...

The Higbie's CANNOT go public on some of the questions being asked to protect their adoption. In time, they will be able to share the ENTIRE journey with the entire world but for now, there needs to be some privacy. For those whom feel that they should no longer be donors to Lera's account due to unanswered questions by the Higbies, then I am sure RR will refund you your money. The bottom line is this family is chosing to go independent as this is the only option they have and they are fully aware that the RR money cannot be touched until they have the referral. They are fully aware of the rules. Diane, feel free to delete this if you want.

Anonymous said...

The Higbie's CANNOT go public on some of the questions being asked to protect their adoption. In time, they will be able to share the ENTIRE journey with the entire world but for now, there needs to be some privacy. For those whom feel that they should no longer be donors to Lera's account due to unanswered questions by the Higbies, then I am sure RR will refund you your money. The bottom line is this family is chosing to go independent as this is the only option they have and they are fully aware that the RR money cannot be touched until they have the referral. They are fully aware of the rules. Diane, feel free to delete this if you want.

Anonymous said...

The problems started when RR stopped serving God and decided to try and play God. It won't work. God knows the difference and He won't have it.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the anonymous comment posted at 11:20am.

I believe Reece's Rainbow began with good intentions, but money has a way of corrupting even well-intentioned organizations.

Lera's money goes to Lera. People gave thousands of dollars because they wanted to support the Higbie family in their adoption. It is not up to Andrea Roberts to decide that a family has taken too long when the family started off using an agency that SHE said they HAD to use (despite their lousy reputation). They have followed the rules, done what they were told to do, and now AR wants to pull Lera from them? Ridiculous! The Higbie's should be given the money when they travel, just as was promised when they began this journey. If AR cared about the kids the way she say she does, then she would be doing all she could to make this process easier for the Higbie family, not more difficult. Then again, if it were really about the kids, she would not turn away homestudy-approved families just because SHE doesn't think they should be allowed to adopt.

My prayer is that God will use this situation to blow the lid off the wrongdoing being perpetrated by AR & RR. May the light be shone brightly & may truth prevail!

Oh, and Patti? A lot of people comment anonymously because there are people associated with RR who will call CPS on a family who chooses to express their First Amendment rights on their blogs. RR people will also go harass a person via their blog. It's been the use of intimidation tactics like these that has enabled AR to keep people quiet for so long, but just because people choose to comment anonymously does not in any way diminish the validity of their experiences & words.

Anonymous said...

Again the Higbie's are NOT submitted so therefore they have no right to that money yet. That is stated when you SIGN and agree with RR. If RR changes this for the Higbies then they have to change it for everyone and then people would be asking for their money for homestudy, etc.

What if the speed limit is 55 and someone wants to go 80 should the speed limit be changed for that person just because they want to get somewhere faster. I know this is a child's life and not a speed limit, but at the same time this child has been waiting long enough and if this family is willing to do whatever is necessary than a step along the way is going over there on their own.

Anonymous said...

Right. The Higbies have not submitted but not for lack of continued effort on their part. AR MADE them sign with a specific agency, an agency that after nearly two years has yet to get job done. AR refused an agency change (I'll bet there's no kick backs when you don't use THEIR agency or THEIR other required provider. And you know what? It's not legal in Lera's country. A child does not belong to an agency! A child is not exclusively represented by an agency!

All that greed has simply left poor Lera in an adult mental institution for an unacceptable length of time.

One more thing. It's understood that the money goes to the child, but RR relisted Lera with less than 1/3 of the money that was collected. Where did it go? Did all those donors get refunds? I think not!

Jesus is weeping at RR's unChristian behavior.

Anonymous said...

RR can't not tell them who to use as their agency.

On the note of the money it is separated the money that was in Lera's account is Lera's the money that the Higbies raised is theirs in case they chose a different child. Now with that being said that it is their money it is not their money until they get SUBMITTED! Every person who has ever adopted hits bumps in the road, spiritually and financially etc. I'm sorry that the Higbie's are going through this but they can not expect RR to give them the money to go over and submit their own paperwork. Again if they done that they would have to do that for everyone!

Jesus is not weeping because of RR he is weeping because we only know part of the story from both sides and we are making up in our mind what the other part is. And I say we because we all are.

This is about a child a child who has sat too long in a mental institute.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who is in the right or wrong, a child sits in an institution, desperately needing a forever family. Let's do as Jesus would do and just look forward from this point and pray this child home. My prayers are for all involved but especially little Lera. Dear Father in Heaven, please resolve any and all conflicts and bring Lera home as soon as possible. Thy will be done! In HIM.


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