Our Story


We are an Adoption/Foster Care/Orphan group that advocates for all. We provide support, training and education in all focuses so that more children will find their forever families.

We bring awareness to the needs of the Fatherless and prepare families to be equipped in Adoption or in the support of Orphan work domestically or abroad.

Connected by Grace was founded by Lavonne Dideon an adoptee and a mother to 4 adopted children.  Since 2003 she has been exposed to adoption as a parent and with each adoption discovered new things and met other parents experiencing similar situations, but not having the knowledge or resources to get the right support. Over the past year it became evident that the door was now open to help others in a more professional manner and in August 2010, the light went on to move forward to make Connected by Grace a reality.


With many couples seeking adoption and not knowing which way to go – there needed to be a safe place to ask questions and not feel pressured to sign up with an agency.  When families come home with their child(ren), there is the honeymoon phase and then like marriage you learn each other’s secrets and realize it is not always as easy as it appears from the outside.  Many kids have had hard journey’s they have traveled before joining your family and with this comes issues like Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Attachment issues.  Many feel just loving these kids is enough to make it all go away.  Yet this is an unrealistic view of adoption and one that delays these children from getting the help they really need.


These parents later on get discouraged, dejected and feel they are all alone on this journey and there is nobody else like them.  We want them to have a safe haven to rest and be built up. You are not alone and there is a team to help you on this journey.  We have tools, resources, classes which can equip you before and after adoption to make it an easier transition.


We look forward to having you join us at one of our events or support groups.

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Founder:


 

Lavonne Dideon


Lavonne was adopted at 10 days old in Vancouver BC Canada.  Her parents became pregnant with her sister 3 months later.  Lavonne and Alison were just under a year apart in age.  Always having an interest in adoption and knowing many whom were adopted as well, she read what she could in a time when adoption was becoming more accepted and information was more available.


Getting married later in life to Scott Dideon, the chances were less that they would be able to have their “own” children.  Around 4 years into their marriage, they decided to look at their options since getting pregnant was not happening.  They first started the journey to fertility and determining the issues that were preventing them from getting pregnant.  Within a month Lavonne was having surgery for Endometriosis to have fibroids removed, Four weeks later they were pregnant and excited to start this new journey toward parenting.  Three weeks later Lavonne miscarried and followed with many more Chemical (or known as 24 hour) pregnancies.  The pain of the losses and unknowns with the pressure of losing precious time was hard on them. 


Ten months after they started – they moved to another state and Lavonne took on a job with lots of traveling which limited them in getting pregnant.  They decided to move to adoption and heard of a young girl who was wanting to give up her daughter.  They were in contact for almost two months when the girl broke to her mother’s pressure and kept the child. Heartbroken again, they decided to switch to International Adoptions with Bethany Christian in MO. 


Scott and Lavonne chose Guatemala and China as their first and second choices.  Lavonne had traveled and done mission work in both countries and felt a connection.  While living in MO they felt a child from South America would fit in well.  They went to task to get all their paperwork done and 6 months later as they were finishing their last papers, the US government suspended all adoptions to Guatemala indefinitely.  Again, questions to why all this was happening and what to do next?  Their social worker Cindy had suggested because of our ages we consider the Waiting Child program in China since it was taking only about 9-10 months.  That night Lavonne had a dream and felt a direct call to adopt a Cleft Lip and Palate child from China.


The next morning both Scott and Lavonne went to their agency to share their decision and right away their social worker shared she had just received a file of a little 11 month old boy with CLP. Right away Lavonne noted this was her son.  She knew right then and there the journey was over and they were now going to China to be parents to a precious little boy. Nine months later on February 4, 2004 Reagan was placed in their arms.  He was now 18 months old and a precious little guy who needed surgery and lots of love.  Six months later Scott told Lavonne she needed a daughter and the journey began for a girl. They flew to China in June 2005 to get Kaitlyn who was 21 months old.  She had been diagnosed with an ASD (hole in her heart) but once home she was found to have healed naturally.  Kaitlyn and Reagan became best of friends and kept their parents busy.


Approximately six months later Scott and Lavonne felt a calling to adopt again but this time felt the desire to get twins and hopefully a boy and girl mix that would connect as well as Reagan and Kaitlyn were.  However, this time they hit roadblocks with China and it did not seem like it could happen.  In April 2006, they found themselves moving to Seattle, WA and within months Lavonne found an agency that allowed families to adopt two special needs children from the same orphanage.  They felt it was their answer and proceeded to find their children.


This time the adoption journey was long and hard, they finally could only adopt Taylor their daughter since midway China changed the rules.  They adopted Taylor in August 2007 at 3-1/2 years old.  Taylor has a rare condition called Poland Syndrome that has many physical deformities. However, both Scott and Lavonne even after reading…. Were not prepared for the condition their daughter was in.  Taylor had lived 3-1/2 years in a crib with little outside stimulation except for the odd inside play time, feedings and bathing.  She was emotionally more like a 10 month old in a 4 year old body. She was still on a bottle and could not talk.  It was a long hard journey in therapies, support and strong structure to pull Taylor out of the dark hole she had been living in. 


Two months later, they suddenly found their son Winston.  His file was being returned after 8 months and it was the last call when Lavonne saw someone’s email advocating for someone to adopt him.  Winston had Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) of the heart and was scheduled now to have surgery to repair it through Love Without Boundaries.  This would make him more adoptable.  Scott and Lavonne took a huge step in faith to adopt Winston; - they were broke and did not know where the money would come from?


Things happened quickly and within a month their home study was in process and at each step the right amount of money would come in. This time they would have to fundraise and were able to raise close to half the money needed.  On June 15th, Scott and his step-father Jim met Winston – this was an extra special day being that it was also Father’s Day and 3 generations of men were together. Winston gained a father and grandfather and a forever family.


Scott and Lavonne feel that each of their children were handpicked for them and were chosen.  Each of their four children is very different and has their own set of unique talents.  Reagan is their artist who by aged 2-1/2 was drawing people in detail.  Kaitlyn is their leader, reader and studious one, Taylor is Ms. Personality and loves life to the fullest at full speed. Winston is their comedian, scientist and future race car driver.


They have not ruled out adopting again and have a heart for the children who age out of the system.  They are open if it is meant to be to adopt a 13 year old girl or boy from China down the road.

For the current time, raising their children and supporting others in adoption, foster care or orphan care is the focus and passion.

 
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Connected By Grace - About Us