Chip and Joanna Gaines Help Couple Adopt Boy With Down Syndrome

Photo: Joanna Gaines/Instagram

Seriously, every time I think I can’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines annny more, they go and keep doing amazing things. Today’s fun Gaines news comes on the heels of Chip Gaines’ 2018 Chipstarter awards, where, sponsored by his book Capital Gaines, Chip gives away some cash to make dreams come true. Applicants for a Chipstarter award apply via video on his website and he and Joanna fly the finalists to their business headquarters, Magnolia Market, for a “Silobration” awards ceremony. The Chipstarter website says,

“There’s no dream or goal too big. Whether it’s a business you want to start, a new skill you want to learn, or something that you never believed you’d accomplish—know that you are capable of extraordinary things.”

This year’s finalists ranged from folks dreaming of starting a farmer’s market to parents dreaming of adding to their family through adoption, and luckily, Chip had the funds to get those dreams going. He and Joanna passed out over $85,000 at the “Silobration” to make entrepreneurial and family dreams come true. In a special surprise move, Chip awarded all six finalists the cash to get their dreams going. All six knew they were finalists, but not all knew they would win, so it was an extra special surprise for all those on stage!

One of the winners is married couple Jason and Melinda Simmons, who applied to Chipstarter seeking the extra funds they needed to complete the adoption of their two-year-old son, Ezra James, from China. Ezra has Down syndrome and the Simmons said in their application video that they strongly believe that children with disabilities deserve a forever family. They also said in the video that they’ve been fundraising on their own to complete the adoption, and were committed to doing it “debt free.”

Thanks to Chip Gaines, they will meet that goal; Chipstarter gave the Simmons the more than $16,000 they still needed to bring Ezra James home!

“The adoption process is very long and very stressful and very expensive,” Melinda Simmons said in an interview with “The knowledge that Chip and Jo were providing the last large amount that we needed in order for our adoption to be fully funded was just unbelievable. It is such a weight off of our shoulders to know where the money is coming from for this final stretch. It’s such a gift.”

The Simmons have been married for 21 years and have a 14-year-old daughter as well as twin 10-year-old sons. They said they felt a calling to add to their family through adoption and shine a light on special needs, and the publicity from being a Chipstarter finalist will certainly do that!

I happen to love people with Down syndrome, and I’m so excited to see Down syndrome adoption in the spotlight. I know in Ezra James’ birth country of China, kids with disabilities are less valued and wanted than typical children, so I am so thankful that the Simmons are able to give him a forever family where he will be cherished.

Congratulations to the Simmons family, and thanks to Chip Gaines and the Chipstarter folks for making this family dream come true!

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.