Our Adoption Journey Video

It’s been two years this week since we met Nic for the first time.  Here is the video that we made of our adoption journey when we arrived home for everyone who had supported us along the way. We still thank the Lord for every single person that played a role through their prayers, generosity and support.  They were just as important to bringing Nic home as we were. 

Dear Mom

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I wanted Colt and Nic to be the ones to deliver this message to moms who have recently had babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, to kick off Down syndrome Awareness month.

Dear Mom,

Congratulations!

From a mom who has two boys with Down syndrome, one biological and one adopted, I can assure you that your baby will be the greatest gift you would have never known to ask for!

God didn’t make a mistake when He intricately wove that extra copy of chromosome 21 more than a trillion times into your precious little one.  Our God who determines the number of stars and knows them by name, fashioned your baby in His image, declared him wonderfully made and chose YOU for this amazing gift.

If moments of sadness or worry come when you wonder if your child will fit into the world’s standard of success, beauty, popularity, or an “easy” life, just remember that NONE of those things bring joy or love.

True joy is only found in living our life for the purpose God has set out and this extra special chromosome was given to your child for a unique purpose for God’s glory.

I could list all the ways that my boys are talented and gifted but your child will have their own unique, beautiful gifts that light up your world and reflect the beauty and creativity of our Creator.

As with every individual their will be struggles and challenges. We can’t predict what our children’s future holds no matter how many chromosomes they have but we can love them unconditionally and be loved by them through it all.

We can teach them the gospel and our Savior’s love, but don’t be surprised when God uses the innocent, unconditional love and joy of your little one, who happens to have an extra chromosome, to teach YOU even more about His glory, His kingdom and His love than you could have ever grasped before!

 

Nic’s Adoption **Part 7

 

Throughout the adoption process I could only dream about this moment and what it would be like to finally hold Nic in my arms.

We didn’t know how he would respond and had emotionally prepared ourselves for “worst case scenarios”.

Then in one surreal moment, a woman entered the room carrying our baby boy and placed him in my arms. He felt like a soft ragdoll as he cuddled into me with the muscle tone of a newborn baby due to the first 11 months of his life being spent alone in the orphanage crib. His little hand wrapped around my shoulder.

This was probably the first time he had ever left his orphanage room since he had arrived, but he was calm and quiet as his eyes looked around the room at the new sights.

The team of facilitators and orphanage director left the room to give us time alone with Nic. Jim had sat back and given me my time to hug Nic, but now he had a chance to hold him for the first time and I just watched the love, taking in everything.

Nic didn’t know how to make eye contact. He had a funny way of shaking his head back and forth every couple minutes, a common habit formed by children in orphanages as a mechanism for soothing and stimulation in their cribs. He could only hold his head up for short periods of time.

He was expressionless and distant and my heart broke knowing that this was the first time he had ever felt love. There was no love or joy in his eyes, but I couldn’t have defined that emptiness then as much as I realize it now when looking back. I didn’t realize what was inside of him that just needed love to bring out.

We were allowed to visit him twice a day for the next week and before the week was up he was already showing us his beautiful, toothless smile. He jumped at the sound of his own giggle the first time we tickled him and he loved being held up in the air.

I was so worried that he would think he had been abandoned once again when we had to fly home to wait for our court date but I knew that it wouldn’t be much longer before he would know just how loved he was and never have to be alone again.

Nic’s Adoption Story **Part 8

On January 12, 2017 we walked out the doors of that orphanage where Nic spent almost the first year of his life. Not a single person was there to say goodbye, but he arrived home to be greeted with the hugs, kisses and love of cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings!

We celebrated his 1st birthday one week later. The first year of his life was spent alone in an orphanage crib, but he celebrated his 1st birthday surrounded by a mom, dad and six siblings! What a beautiful day!

All six of his siblings, including Colt, were in love with him immediately. They have all learned more about God's love and faithfulness and giving of ourselves for others through this process than any lesson book could ever teach them.

Day by day Nic’s smiles and giggles started coming easier .

He learned to cry because someone loved him and would answer his cries. One of the most eerie aspects of the orphanage is the silence. Rooms full of children but hallways so silent you could hear a pin drop as children have learned that their cries will not be comforted. .

His head shaking completely stopped within weeks of being home.

One of the hardest parts was his trauma in regards to food.  He would not stop eating when he was fed and became upset EVERY time the food was pulled away. His blood tests showed malnourishment when we arrived home and we knew that this would take time and healing. Today he has minimal food issues, but they are still lingering and we remain aware and sensitive to this trauma.

. We know that there might always be scars that we will be sensitive to, but by God’s grace, 19 Months later, Nic has been transformed by unconditional love.

What a beautiful picture we have been given of our adoption into God’s family. Chosen while we were still sinners, broken, hurting, with nothing to offer...Ransom paid by the precious blood of Christ...Made a child of God’s and transformed by His love. The scars of our old self might remain in this life, but we are forgiven and made new by our Father who loves us and hears our cries and nothing we can do will ever separate us from that love.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are...

1 John 3:1