27562 Rayna Court, Harrison Township, MI 48045, US

Christmas Giving 2016



*Please note that ages are at time of adoption.

In 2016, the Bates family completed its 20th year of adopting families with our family and friends and our 12th year adopting families through the Macomb Infant Preschool Program (MIPP). We adopted the following deserving families with children with special needs:


Mom and Dad have a family of five. Their three children: Jeni (age 10), Andres (age 9), and Eliana (age 1) have all experienced some level of special needs. Jeni, was born with hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and later was diagnosed with spastic quad which is a type of muscle spasms. Their son, Andres, was tight in his muscles as a baby and a toddler and is progressing well. Both Jeni and Andres are thriving. Eliana was born at 36 weeks and weighed 4lbs 12oz. she had delayed development and is progressing in the right direction, but requires Mom’s full-time attention and care. Dad works, but makes just enough to get by with rent, food and bills. The family is currently renting and in hopes of one day owning a home. Right now, buying a home is just a dream because they currently struggle with buying food and often juggle between fixing the car and buying groceries. Mom says, “I feel blessed because of how close we are and the strong bond our family has. When it gets hard and it feels like the struggle will never end, we see the blessings in the most important things like us having each other, but it is hard sometimes to see that when you eat Lentils for a week and wish I could offer my children more.”


Elianna continues to be in MIPP. Her mother is expecting her fourth child and Dad's job is going well.  


Mom is a single parent and Dad is not involved at all in daughter, Sloan’s (age 16 months), upbringing or care because he is overwhelmed by her illness. After having Sloan, Mom was not able to go back to work immediately because no day care would accept Sloan due to her feeding tube and all of her medical issues. She lost her job. Sloan has speech issues due to laryngomalacia malachia which is a softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cord at birth. Because it is malformed and floppy, the tissue sometimes falls over and partially blocks the airway. Sloan has had five surgeries including one for her heart, one to repair a soft cleft pallet, one for the larynx, and two surgeries for Pierre robin sequence where the tongue and jaw are smaller and the jaw does not come forward at birth causing breathing distress. She almost died as a result of breathing distress. Mom does not have any family to help.

Since the completion of some surgeries that make Sloan more stable. Mom did find a position and has returned to work this past fall (2016). She believes that she has found an appropriate day care that is equipped to support Sloan’s new and lessened needs since her feeding tube has been removed. However, she has completely drained her savings. While off, her car was totaled during poor weather conditions and she had to buy a car. The replacement car needed work on it and new tires before winter (2016) to make it safe for driving. Jamie’s Smiles sponsor, Belle Tire on Hall Road in Macomb Township, donated new tires, tire installation and did some other work on her vehicle to make it safe for the family at Christmas 2016. The little family did move to a new place after staying with friends who helped Mom get back to work and with watching Sloan so she could start back on her feet.

By November 2017, Sloan had transitioned to the MIPP Center and was “graduated from program” because her skills were age appropriate.

This year both of our families needed and were given: Winter coats, pajamas, winter clothing, shoes, socks, boots, hats, gloves, diapers & wipes, bedding/sheets, some need comforters, books and toys.

Please click below to download the 2016 Original Christmas Email below.