There were two main concerns my husband and I had about adopting a child with Down syndrome. How would it affect us, and how would it affect our other children? As we talked and prayed through our concerns we knew that this is what God was asking of our family and we trusted that He would cover it all. The truth is every time you add another member to your family it changes the whole dynamic. There is less time, and less money. But for us what we were to gain was so much more.
We mourned the loss of the dream of a one bedroom retirement house on the beach. We mourned the empty nest that will never be. We mourned the dreams we had for ourselves. And then we allowed God to anoint us with His oil of JOY for the dreams He has for our lives, which we know FAR EXCEED anything we could imagine.
We talked with our children about the changes that were to come. We would need their help. We would be asking much of them. They were excited! They were ready to welcome another sibling into our family through adoption.
As God would have it, He took our ‘YES’ and ran with it! God brought us TWO BABIES! We took placement of our Ruby in August 2012, and Conner came home in May 2013. Both just a few weeks old when we got them, and just 11 months apart from each other. Both with Down syndrome.
I wish you could peak into my home and see what these babies have done to us. They are our little gifts. They are healers; they are joy; they are hope; they are angels from heaven. They have given us compassion and patience. My big children are undone. They would do anything for their babies; and they will defend and guard and protect them always. They walk around wearing Ergos; they hold them and feed them their bottles. They change diapers; they sing songs; they cradle and rock, play hand games, and are learning sign language together. I had no idea how God was going to use our YES and these two blessings to change each of us so radically.
As evidence of how these changes have affected our children, our 12 year old son was given an assignment to creatively express what “inspiration” is to him. His inspiration is his family. This is the video he created.
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His video won 1st place in his school, and was entered into the district competition where it also won First Place. Now it moves on to the County competition where more people will see how our family chooses to follow Jesus.
It is wise to pray and discuss and seek counsel before making an important decision like adopting a child, particularly one with special needs. We all worry about how growing our family through adoption can negatively affect our children. The truth is adoption is always hard. It is the result of brokenness. And in the hard, each of us, including our children, have the power to choose how we are going to respond. I choose to trust that God is faithful, and that even in the hard and the broken, the successes and the failures, He is ever changing each one of us to be more like Himself.