Our decision to adopt came from a feeling we had over the course of several years. Specifically adopting a child with Down syndrome from China wasn’t initially part of our plan, but we’re so glad that we made that decision. Our little Lucy is the light of our lives. She is the joy we didn’t know we were missing. She makes every day better and makes every person in our house better. She makes us smile and helps us to remember the things in the life that are important.
The decision to adopt domestically or internationally is a very personal choice. Our family dynamics and personalities led us to international adoption because we knew that once we got our little girl home, it was final. We didn’t feel like we could handle the emotional roller coaster of foster care and the thoughts of being on a list waiting to be “picked” by birth parents was too much. We felt the pull towards international adoption largely because of the great need for parents for these precious children. Why should a child’s country of birth determine their “worthiness” to be part of a loving family? We decided to act upon what we considered the “greater need.”
Once we opened our hearts to adopting a child with Down syndrome, we felt a pull that we can’t even describe. Lucy is quick to hug and offer a smile. We knew that her joy and happiness would greatly benefit our family, and it has.
It’s a hard decision to take on a child with special needs. We know that Lucy will most likely be with us for the rest of our lives, and now that we have her in our family, we are so glad!! It was a scary step to take at first. We worried how it would affect our family dynamics. We worried about what would happen when we passed away. Who would care for her after we were gone? We worried about placing that “burden” on our other children. We no longer worry about that. Lucy is so loved by her siblings. The immediate bond has been a miraculous thing to witness. Our other children will have the opportunity to love and care for their sister for many years to come. Who wouldn’t want that glorious opportunity for their children? To have someone that will unconditionally love them forever? Priceless. Our 13-year-old son (who was the most worried about adopting) recently said to us, “I was worried that Lucy would make our lives harder, but she hasn’t! She makes our family so much better.” I know that in the future our other children will want to come back and visit us because they long to see their sister Lucy.
People don’t believe me when I say that things are nearly perfect with her in our family. But it’s true. She fit right into our family without a hitch. Honestly, the hardest part has been scheduling and making it to all the doctor’s appointments that come with a newly adopted child. But those are mostly just a one-time deal. The language difference was hard at first, but after about 5 months, we communicate really well. We aren’t very experienced travelers, so the adoption trip was hard at times, but it was such a wonderful adventure and we would go again in a heartbeat. We are so grateful for this opportunity and would adopt another child with Down syndrome without question!
It’s so hard to describe how much joy Lucy brings into our family. Sometimes words aren’t powerful enough. We have learned to be more loving, selfless, kind, and understanding. Lucy loves everyone she meets. She can bring a smile to the face of anyone. She has taught us about acceptance and has opened our eyes and hearts to all of those around us. My children are more kind to those they come in contact with at school who have special needs. They have more love and tolerance than I could have ever asked for. Lucy has brought a sense of unity to our family. We are so immensely grateful for the opportunity to have Lucy in our family and would whole heartedly recommend to any family to open their hearts and homes to a precious child with Down syndrome. Your life will be greatly enriched and you will love like you never knew possible!
For more information about adoption, and our programs, please visit our website. We are happy to offer a special grant of $1,000 in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Any qualified family who applies, contracts, and commits to adopt a child with Down syndrome during the month of October will receive the grant, in addition to MAA’s regularly available grants. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.