Our adoption experience was wonderful! I’m so glad we decided to choose Catholic Charities as they helped us all along the way. Being new to the process they helped us be at ease through the home study and were ready to listen and assist us. And the most awesome happening of all was the adoption!! Everything went so smoothly and what a blessing we have!! Thanks so much to everyone at Catholic Charities for helping us fulfill our dreams!!



Our adoption journey began fairly promptly after we got married and we jumped “head first” into the tumultuous decision of choosing an agency. An acquaintance of ours recommended Catholic Charities for at least our home study, and so I contacted Rhea Newman.  We ended up not pursuing placement through them (because of us not being married long enough at the time); but I truly cannot imagine the ups and downs, joys and sorrows of the last 4 years without Rhea walking beside us.  She (and her co-workers/superiors) went WAY beyond the call of duty as she supported and guided us through various adoption losses.  She was also invaluable as we journeyed through the adoption of our daughter, which was a long, drawn-out 21 month ordeal. It was a domestic infant adoption, but there were various factors which complicated things greatly, and made the journey to finalization rather grueling.  But Rhea was there for us—always offering assistance, support, prompt responses to ANY emails, willing to listen when I just needed to “blow off steam”, etc.  We know we can always trust our Catholic Charities professionals to be honest, which, unfortunately, is not a “given” in the adoption world.  Even if it was hard stuff, Rhea was always tactful but straightforward with us.  Everyone wants an honest, pro-active, knowledgeable, capable adoption professional to work with. In our experience, Catholic Charities can offer you that. But they went above that “call of duty”. Rhea is no longer “just” our social worker—she’s truly our friend, too!

~Reuben & Judi Butikofer


Brent Sue Amber ProudfootGod works in mysterious ways. Sometimes when things happen we try to find a reason into why it happened and we don’t always find the answers. It wasn’t until about 5 months ago that some things in my life were brought into a different perspective. When I was 16 years old I gave premature birth to my only daughter Amber, at only 22 weeks, and she passed away 45 minutes after she was born. When this happened I questioned a lot why this happened…there really was no answer. After many years I came to the realization that I was just too young to be a Mom and God knew that and he needed her more. After having 2 more high risk pregnancies and giving birth to 2 healthy boys, I had my tubes tied. I got divorced from my first husband and remarried with my new husband having 2 daughters and me having 2 sons, we had talked about having a child of our own. I told my husband that if we were going to have a baby, I would like it to happen before I was 38 years old. We checked into a reversal and at that time it was $7,000 upfront….we researched my medical history and found out that my tubes were burned and not tied, so that bridge was burned and we accepted it.

It was only recently these thoughts had come rushing through my mind. Guess how old I was when I became a Nana for the first time? Yep 38!!! God helped create this beautiful little girl that I never knew was going to be such a HUGE part of my life. I NEVER searched out a plan to have this child as my own…..The circumstances in this little girl’s life led her to be with us on a more permanent basis. Again I questioned while all this was happening…..the whys? After almost 2 years of her living here, my husband and I discussed adopting her(our granddaughter)……everything fell into place and we were so BLESSED to have adopted her on September 8th  2014… So when I look back at everything…..! now have MY little girl….and my husband and I have a child together. We are not her BIRTH parents (who will still remain a big part of her life), But we are her FOREVER parents…..and we are truly happy with that…… So when you question why things happen….sometimes you don’t get the answers you are looking for…..but they will reveal themselves in due time……EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON!!!!

With all that being said, Catholic Charities was awesome to work with. We learned a lot through the entire adoption process. Examples: chronological age vs real age, sensory processing disorder, birth parenting is different from adoptive parenting and so much more. And we hope to continue working with them through all of our parenting years. Thank you so much to Catholic Charities for giving my husband and I a second chance to be parents again and to give our “daughter “(still not used to that) a FOREVER home filled with love, security and stability.

~Brent & Sue


Exactly 5 years ago, we sent our application materials to Catholic Charities to begin the long journey to adopt our daughter from China. It was exactly one year ago that we traveled to the other side of the world and our daughter was finally placed into our arms. With two biological children, and our daughter from China, our family is finally complete! Our adoption journey was one filled with many ups and downs. China has had numerous delays in their international adoption program, and what started out as a 9 month process beginning in 2005 stretched into a 4 year wait. Catholic Charities stood by our sides from the very beginning (with the application process), clear to the end (with the 1 year post-placement report). During that time, educational opportunities and learning resources were always made available to us.

Emily Prendergast was our Social Worker until September of 2006. When Emily was re-assigned, Rhea Newman became our Social Worker and remained until the end. Words that come to mind when we think of Emily and Rhea: compassionate, flexible, empathetic, organized, concerned, knowledgeable and always available to us. Because of the unpredictability of the China adoption program, there have been many occasions where Emily and Rhea have gone above and beyond to help move our adoption case through the maze of red tape. This journey that we call adoption is an emotional roller coaster and is often wrought with frustrations as well as financial challenges. Emily and Rhea were always available to listen and provide words of hope and comfort. Our journey has now moved us from the adoption process to parenthood. Emily and Rhea have forever been woven into the fabric of our family’s lives and enriched this experience in ways that would not be possible had we gone with a different adoption agency. We whole-heartedly recommend Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse as an adoption agency. Our family has been blessed to have Emily and Rhea take part in this miracle called adoption that has touched our lives

~Erik & Krista


This month our little girl is turning four. It is amazing to think of these last years and what all our family has experienced. It was a little over four years ago that we started our first adoption. I was nervous with questions and afraid that I couldn’t ask them. My wife was excited and wondering what the process would look like. As we began the process we found Catholic Charities. Through this process Catholic Charities has been family to us. It was through our home study at Catholic Charities that we found greater comfort in our decision to adopt. We were so encouraged by how it prepared us for the amazing day of bringing our daughter home. When she came to live with our family, our social worker walked with our family through all of the joyful and difficult times of adopting.

A little over a year after Ana came home we brought our son Durant home from Ethiopia. Catholic Charities played a vital role in preparing us as a couple as well as our son Carter and our daughter for the arrival of Durant. Now, we are two months from bringing two more children home from Ethiopia. We are comforted that throughout the preparation that Catholic Charities has provided, plus the experience we have gained, we will be able to raise these boys in a loving, healthy home. God has richly blessed our family. Our home is so much more complete, happy and lively than I ever imagined. We have learned that family transcends bloodlines. Family is a matter of the heart. Our family is honored to have been a part of Catholic Charities and grateful that they have helped to bring us together.

~Matt & Nikki


Words cannot express our appreciation for Catholic Charities. We researched several adoption agencies before choosing Catholic Charities. The level of caring, dedication and integrity was clear from the very first call through the process of adoption. Our adopted child is the joy and blessing of our life. We also observed the Catholic Charities level of care, understanding and support given to a birth mother and birth father. We send pictures and updates to the birth mother and birth father several times each year. Catholic Charities was the perfect solution for everyone, especially one very happy little child.

~Rick & Nancy