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Adopting a Child with Down syndrome

by McKenna on September 22, 2008
category: Down syndrome,Inspiration

reese.jpg Since I was a very young child I have wanted to adopt a child someday.  I loved the idea of adoption and dreamed of adding to my family through adoption someday.  When I became a Christian, adoption took on a whole new meaning for me.  I was chosen by my Heavenly Father and adopted to be His child.

When our biological daughter and first born was born with Down syndrome, my adoption dream evolved into adopting a child with Down syndrome in the future.  The incredibly high abortion rates of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome and my growing love for my own biological daughter with Down syndrome fueled my passion to adopt one of these precious children.  Over 90% of these prenatal diagnosis end in abortion.  That broke {breaks} my heart.  Shortly after my daughter’s birth, I started researching domestic adoptions of children with Down syndrome.  What I found was incredibly heart-warming.  In America, there are waiting lists of families who WANT TO ADOPT a child with Down syndrome.  Learning about the waiting lists encouraged me to start researching international adoptions of children with Down syndrome.  What I found was not so heartwarming. A lot of countries discourage families from keeping a child born with special needs and there are way too many children sent to orphanages and later institutionalized because they have Down syndrome.  Dateline recently did a special on one country’s institutions and they are under-resourced, understaffed, and basically inhumane.

While researching international adoptions of children with Down syndrome, I found Reece’s RainbowReece’s Rainbow is an adoption ministry aimed at finding homes for orphans around the world who have Down syndrome.   They have helped to save over 90 orphans with Down syndrome (or other special needs).  While they are mainly focused on saving children with Down syndrome, they do have an “Other Angels” page where they share information about children who have special needs other than Down syndrome.  Our raffle beneficiaries, the Balsis Family, is working through Reece’s Rainbow in their adoption of a little girl who has Down syndrome.

About six months ago, I started really feeling like it was time to pursue an adoption of a child with Down syndrome through Reece’s Rainbow.  Several months later, my husband started feeling a heart tug as well.  One child in particular really spoke loud and clear to both of us that NOW was the time to grow our family through adoption.  We are very excited to announce that we have committed to adopting a very special 8 month old little girl who we are calling “Reese.”   Reese has Down syndrome and also a cleft lip and cleft palate.  We are hoping to bring her home from Eastern Europe in early spring. I realize that adopting a child with special needs is not the road often traveled for most folks, but I want everyone to know that my husband and I are not “special people.”  We were given a very special gift when our daughter was born with Down syndrome and we have a very special love for her.  While we are overjoyed to save a child who needs a Mommy and Daddy, we are selfishly ecstatic to be having another daughter who has Down syndrome and to experience the gift she is going to be to our family.

There are so many ways you can make an impact in these orphans’ lives:

  • Adopt! I know this may seem like a crazy notion to most of you, but before you dismiss it completely, I encourage you to strongly think about this option.  You will be blessing a child, but will also be blessed in more ways than you can imagine!!
  • Give! We have our AWESOME raffle going on right now which benefits a specific family and gives you a great chance to win something.  However, you can also donate to children who are waiting for their forever families, children whose families are in the adoption process, or give a general monetary donation to Reece’s Rainbow.  All of these options (except for our raffle) can be found at Reece’s Rainbow.
  • Visit Reece’s Rainbow and see the many other ways you can help!

To receive information on domestic (American) adoptions of children with Down syndrome, visit the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

14 Responses to Adopting a Child with Down syndrome

  • Gravatar September 22, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

    [...] Are there things I go through that other mothers don’t have to – yes. Are there things my daughter goes through that other little girls don’t have to go through – yes. Do I worry about my little girl- what mother doesn’t? But at the end of the day, I got more than a mini-McKenna and I wouldn’t change anything about my precious little girl – not even her extra 21st chromosome!  For an exciting update on Down syndrome in our family, click here!! [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Mommy Zabs
    September 23, 2008 @ 8:43 am

    THank you so much for educating us on this. I wish all those considering aborting their down syndrome child knew there were waiting lists for adoption- maybe they would choose life? Blessings to you on your journey of adoption. I will let people know on my blog about this raffle.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Natalie
    September 23, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    This blog was great! It confirms the special place in my heart to adopt one day. Thank you for posting it because it truly stirred something inside of me once again.

    Love you!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Nikki
    September 23, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

    Good for you! “Reese” is beautiful! I know you will be blessed beyond belief.
    –mom of a daughter with down syndrome

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenna
    September 24, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

    Being a mother of a perfectly beautiful daughter with Down syndrome it saddens me to think that so many people choose to abort, especially when there are so many people out there such as you… and me that just want to save them all.

    You’re a beautiful soul and Reese is one beautiful lucky little lady to have you in her life. I can’t wait till you all can bring her home. I will do my best to spread the word about Addison’s raffle, and I can’t wait for Reese’s raffle. Many, many of us will be anxiously awaiting it. Until then I’d love to donate some money to help you along the journey. God bless and God speed.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Pamela
    October 10, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful! What a blessing she will be to your family and you to her! We had a daughter with Down Syndrome. She was stillborn. We also had 2 others who died due to genetic abnormalities. We have 5 living children, but have been praying about adopting for a few years. We are really interested in adopting through Reese’s Rainbow and hope to begin that process in the near future. God bless your family!

  • Gravatar November 10, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    [...] change anything about her.  In fact, she has brought so much joy and delight to our family, that we are adopting another child with Down syndrome .   It took some adjustments because of continuous therapy, but we very much have a life outside [...]

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Karen
    December 15, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

    I am so inspired by your story. I have always wanted a child and it never happened until now at age 44. I was just informed that my little girl has downs 21. I am a christian and live in Hawaii where the majority asian population is pro abortion under these circumstances and not accepting. I am sad because I need support. And reading your story about wanting to adopt made me have hope that their are people like you who are true Angels.
    Thank you for sharing. And may God Bless you always, Karen

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Levi
    June 9, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

    You are doing a great job, people like you are an inspiration to everyone.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kristin
    January 12, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Would love to be able to afford to adopt. I am pregnant with my 3rd child but have always dreamed of adopting a child with down syndrome. I pray that God opens that door (and my husband’s heart) to this one day!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by scott giles
    February 3, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    Thank you for careing for our kids with down syndrome

  • Gravatar
    Comment by suzanne
    March 4, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    I too adopted a little one with Down’s. We have to bio boys as well, and were not planning on a special needs adoption. But God had a plan that has blessed us more than we ever imagined. I hate it when people say we are so “special”, even though I know it is well intentioned. The joy that he has brought to us is more than anyone could ever imagined.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by John
    July 15, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    Parents who choose to abort deserve the death penalty in the Eletric Chair! Aborting any life is murder!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jesse Wagner
    August 16, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

    Hitler should have wiped out all these freaks of nature- god damn retards. Wasn’t that thing in Star Wars on Mos Eisley? Fucking Walrus Man or Daygobar?

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