An Adoption Aid Update: Hope Heidebrink

January 10th, 2018

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This month marks three years since the Heidebrink family brought their new daughter, Hope, into her forever home. Her transformation is a true testament of what God can do when a family makes the courageous decision to internationally adopt a child with special needs. Here is their story…

We have been home now with Hope for almost three years and she has made amazing strides! People who don't see her regularly are just in awe at her progress and what God has done in her!

When we adopted Hope from China, she was so traumatized and checked out to the world around her. She was so small you could see her spine and ribs and, at two and a half years old, she fit in the bathroom sink for a bath. She was unable to crawl or walk, she couldn't eat anything, nor could she safely drink liquids without aspirating them. She had no means of communicating, and would grind her teeth so loud you could hear it across the room.

But God was with Hope, and He has restored her and continues to restore the years that were robbed from her as an orphan. Today Hope walks, she plays, she tries to run, she laughs, she is learning to swim, she is learning to ride a bike, she is learning to write her name, she is able to eat a few solid foods and has mastered a pureed diet. She drinks her thickened liquids like a champ! Hope loves books so much that we call her our little librarian, and she is so engaged with music it is amazing. Recently Hope started music therapy and she loves it so much! Music lights up Hope’s body and really engages her. She loves sign language and will try to use it when communicating with us. She has learned so many signs, and one of her favorite things is for us to sing the ABCs in sign.

We can't say enough about what God has done to heal Hope and transform her into the little girl she is today. We often talk about how we feel sad that other families don't get to experience the true JOY of having a child with Down syndrome or special needs. She teaches us so much and teaches our other children so much about loving others different than themselves. It’s amazing to watch friends come over, and at first be hesitant of Hope and not sure how to interact with her, but then to see her brothers come right up and show everyone that Hope is just their typical sister who loves to wrestle with them, steal their UNO cards, and clap for them while they do just about anything to entertain her. Even if it means singing her favorite songs a hundred times over!

We are so grateful for the gift that God gave us in Hope and for the Tim Tebow Foundation's huge part in helping to bring her home!!


Jolene for the Heidebrink Family

This year we will award a grant to 12 families making the courageous decision to internationally adopt a child with special needs. To donate and help us fund adoptions like Hope’s, visit

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