Adopting Gracie

April 28, 2022

Gracie Brown "" will have hip surgery May 5th at Shriners Hospitals in Greenville, SC . She will be in a cast afterwards for approximately six weeks. Her mom requests our prayers and cards.

Gracie's address: 5291 US-55, New Bern, NC, 28560

August 2, 2021 

Gracie ...  as she grows ...

As Gracie approaches eight and a half years old she has completed the second grade at Kernersville Elementary School graduating at the top of her class. She is doing a lot of painting, is starting to draw comics and has learned to skateboard.

We focus so hard on Gracie. Let us introduce you to the rest of the family.

Her twelve year old brother Aiden has completed the sixth grade at Hanes Magnet School in Winston Salem. He plays the coronet and drums, is an avid reader, with growing passions for civil and human rights. 

Gracie’s father, Frank works through the Greensboro Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) and Angelheart as a speech therapist primarily serving children with autism spectrum disorder and other sensory processing disorders.

Gracie’s mom anticipates returning to work part time in August, also through the Greensboro (CDSA) and Everyday Kids as a physical therapist primarily serving the immigrant population in Greensboro and High Point.

In April of this year Gracie received her Green Card and will be able to apply for citizenship on her eighteenth birthday. 

One area where things seemed to have really worked in Gracie’s favor in an incredible way, is with her adoption. Gracie’s family received her decree for adoption in March of 2021. The family is extremely happy and thankful for this blessing.

Gracie and her family have had a mixed year filled with both blessings and continued challenges. In May of this year Gracie was diagnosed with a Pituitary mass (HCC) in her brain. With it have come troubling behavioral changes affecting her emotions and temperament. The plan at this time is to manage the mass with hormone injections for approximately six months followed by another MRI. The cost for the injections with their insurance is $20,000.00 per injection. The family is trying to get Gracie covered by disability Medicaid.

With regards to her arthrogryposis (a condition involving multiple joint contractures and stiffness where her range of motion of joints is limited) Gracie will need another surgical revision on her hips. Hopefully this expense will be covered by Medicaid.

While a good deal of progress has been made, for which Gracie and her family are very thankful, the constant accumulation of debt and “out of the blue” surprises like the recently discovered Pituitary mass on Gracie’s brain, are taking a toll on Gracie and her family.  We ask for your continuing prayers. 

What Gracie needs from You
Please consider a financial donation to cover some of the cost of providing a safe home and a life of opportunity for Gracie.
All contributions are appreciated. You can select where and how you contribute.

While Gracie has overcome many obstacles in her eight and a half years she will always have more and greater challenges to face. 
We know that she can do this with the help of God, her family and you.
Please go to: www.adopting and make your donation.

Thank you for supporting Gracie and her family. 

Gracie and the GFM Gracie Team

July 30 , 2021 

 Gracie … and her family ...
In addition to completing the second grade at Kernersville Elementary Gracie participated in Winston Salem’s Little Theater production of “Frozen” and loved it.  Gracie is now getting excited about the “Sound of Music” planned for this summer. She and her family have also become obsessed with “Hamilton” the musical and have learned all the songs by heart at home. 

Gracie’s family enjoys vacationing at the beach and doing outdoor activities. Hiking is becoming more difficult as Gracie gets heavier. The family enjoys mutual interests in science and art and exploring the world that God has created. 
Immigration and Naturalization 
Some folks have expressed interest in learning more about the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization process. The following is an overview of the Federal laws on both ends (US and Haiti) that the family must comply with.  

This includes obtaining all of Gracie’s Haitian legal documents: birth certificates; Visa; Passport; birth certificate and identification for Gracie’s birth mother; and letters from medical providers in Haiti and the US certifying the need for medical care and the means to provide care without using state or federal funds. 

A medical visa for initial care, which expired on 9/11/2018, was not renewed on the advice of counsel.  This left Gracie in an unprotected illegal immigrant status while seeking to obtain a “Green Card”.  The family was able to obtain a protective order through our court system which gave them the time they needed to secure a green card. Now Gracie will be able to apply for full citizenship on her eighteenth birthday.

Expenses and  Debt 
Donors have inquired about the significant debt incurred by the family and what will surely be increasing in the future.  

While all contributions are appreciated, providing a general breakdown of the expenses will  allow donors to apply their contributions to their preferred areas. An individual contributor may prefer that their donation be used for medical expenses specifically, while others may prefer that their contribution be made in the form of a continuing monthly or quarterly pledge that would make their contribution more manageable.

While a good deal of progress has been made, for which Gracie and her family are very grateful, the constant accumulation of debt and “out of the blue” surprises like the recently discovered Pituitary Mass on Gracie’s brain, are taking a serious toll on Gracie and her family. We ask for your continuing prayers for Gracie and her family.

Will you please consider making a donation to help cover the cost of providing a safe home and a life of opportunity for Gracie?
All contributions are appreciated. (You can select where and how you contribute.)
Gracie has overcome many obstacles and difficulties in her eight and a half years and will continue to always have more challenges to face. We believe that she can face them all … with the help of God, her family and you.
Please go to: and make your Donation.

Thank You for supporting Gracie and her family.

Gracie and the Go Fund Me Team.

May 23, 2020 by Don Armbrust, Beneficiary
Hi everyone … 
We just wanted to update everyone on where we are and how things are progressing.
Gracie and her family have recently successfully completed the home inspection part of the immigration requirement.
We have also almost completed a revised video of Gracie at home with her family that should be on line shortly . 
Thank you again for your donations. Every dollar helps to cover both medical and immigration related expenses .

Brett & Don

Adopting Gracie *
My name is Liz Storholt and this story is about a little girl in my life, appropriately named "Gracie." A group of missionaries from Tennessee found Gracie in Carrfour, Haiti in 2013, born prematurely with significant birth defects. An exhaustive search was conducted to find Gracie's mother. Despite repeatedly reaching out to her biological mother, the mom expressed no interest in being reunited with her disabled child. In April of 2013, I went back to Haiti to remove Gracie from the orphanage and to move her into a safe home. She came home with me to Kernersville, NC in October of that year, and has been with us ever since.

Over the past six years she has had three major surgeries, including the most major,  "through the knee" amputations of both legs. She has had hundreds of doctor's visits, and thousands of hours of physical therapy. In spite of so much adversity, Gracie is absolutely thriving.

Gracie also has medical challenges other than the absence of her legs. She has phantom leg pain, a lot of trauma, and a condition called arthrogryposis.  In this case the condition is not likely genetic since we know that the mother was binding her stomach to hide the pregnancy, but the condition is the same because of pelvis deformities.  The nerves in her legs were never fully developed all the way up into the pelvis.    

Gracie is now almost seven years old. She loves music and dancing, and drives her brother crazy. She's excelling in school, makes friends easily, and is going to be in her first musical with the Little Theater in Winston Salem in "Frozen". God is so good.  

We are actively pursuing adoption because we consider Gracie to be a member of our family already. Once approved we can move for legal guardianship and a green card, a process that can take about 18 months. The next step will be to start the Haitian side of adoption, for which there is really no time line for. I've seen it take six years.

We chose adoption because it is the right thing to do, and the cost is really the biggest limiting factor in getting Gracie to the point of citizenship and ensuring that she is forever part of our family.

We really need your help. As you can see there is much to do. We are requesting $20,000.00 that includes the following:
         -Immigration and naturalization expenses, adoption, a green card, full citizenship,  Gracie's future health care needs and legal expenses.

Would you consider a gift for Gracie? Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Gracie and I thank you very much.
  • Anonymous
    • $300 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 15 mos
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
  • Lee Melber
    • $50 
    • 15 mos
  • Elfriede Kenney
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Brett Koceja
Greensboro, NC
Don Armbrust

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