Two months have passed since we landed back home in North Carolina, and every day her little smile melts my heart with so much joy. Every day I look at her and I see nothing but God's love for us. This little sweetness is such a breath of fresh air. Just take a moment to look into those eyes...
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Monday, November 30, 2020
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Can you not have your own kids?”
“You think you can handle a kid with special needs?”
Anyone who has adopted knows what I’m talking about. These responses seem to be very common. With every similar comment, I felt I was hearing a child - my child - wasn’t worthy. When you say “YES” to having a child, you open the floodgate to an endless amount of worry and outcomes, whether you are adopting or having biological children. We wanted to have a child and a child needed a family, it seemed simple to us. We had love and a home to give, so we did just that. We, in no way, felt attached to the idea of having biological kids, so why would we try? There should be no shame in that.
As far as having a child with special needs, we felt that it would just be a different path in parenting - one we felt we needed to take. There seems to be these stigmas attached to adoption that I wish we could squash. In adoption - and in life - I feel it’s only necessary to listen to your heart and your partner. Those are the only true things that matter. There is no wrong path in choosing to adopt - every child deserves a family.
I guess I’m hopeful that by being so open and honest, someone may read this and know that adoption doesn’t need to be their "Plan B". And others may be more aware of their own reaction when hearing the news of a friend that is pursuing adoption. It’s a decision that no one takes lightly. The adoption process involves much soul searching, discussion, and a tremendous effort goes into this journey. Only encouraging things should be said about that.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
were both over thirty when we were married, getting pregnant wasn’t
easy, so our family was initially formed through adoption. Sam came to
us when he was 1 day old and Skylar arrived when she was 2 ½ yrs old.
Our adoption journey through foster care was a three-year emotional
roller coaster. Finally, we got the phone call that we had been matched
to be their forever family! Despite suffering through five years of
infertility, we found out we were pregnant with Rileigh just one month
after that call. We knew, right then and there, that God had a special
plan for our family, and adoption was going to be a big part of our
lives. Two years after Rileigh was born, we were pregnant with Quinn and
our lives were full. Or so we thought…
Recently, our church has become more mission focused and helping the widows and the orphans is high on the agenda. We have followed two families’ adoption journeys and supported them as they recently brought three beautiful children home from China combined. We prayed, we read, we were inspired. That inner feeling lingered for days, for weeks, for months. Finally, one day my husband said to me, “Let’s adopt again!” My heart jumped for joy!
We searched through the various advocacy sites and the children with Down syndrome pulled at my soul. I thought, “They are so lovable, but I couldn’t do that… I don’t even know anyone with Down syndrome.” But these precious children lingered in my mind, so I prayed and just a month later (again, just took one month) God answered that prayer and placed a little girl with Down syndrome in my preschooler’s class. My daughter became friends with this little girl, and I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with her mom too. Turns out, Down syndrome is not so scary after all. As I was checking one of the Down syndrome waiting child advocacy sites, we saw a delightful little girl with a mischievous smile and we knew… she would fit perfectly into our family and we would be blessed to have her. We will name her Joy.
We have had Joy home now for almost two years. She has just been amazing to parent. She is so incredibly sweet and loves to play with her older brother and sisters. She wants to be included in EVERYTHING we do. If another child gets to ride on the tube on the back of the boat at the lake, then Joy wants to do it too. If another child gets to go snow skiing, then Joy wants to do it too. She is a bright light in this world and her smile delights everyone she meets. She loves others with every ounce of her being.
We were prepared for all kinds of behaviors, since children who are adopted come from hard places and some behaviors are more common with children who have Down syndrome, however we haven’t experienced any behavioral concerns with Joy. She gets along well with other children. She is a good listener and does very well at her medical appointments. She has no medical conditions or other diagnoses. She sees our pediatrician once a year, sees an ENT once a year to have her ears checked, and gets her eyes checked for glasses each year. She is simply a regular kid! We have to work with her a little differently as we go through Kindergarten but we have seen her make tremendous progress with her verbal communication, her colors and letters, and even sight reading with the So Happy to Learn program.
Adopting a child with Down syndrome may sound crazy to some, but I can assure you that she is worth every extra effort we make. She literally fills us with JOY...every single day.
- Dianna Conboy
the New Testament, we don't find our gift through self-examination and
introspection and then find ways to express it. Instead, we love one
another, serve one another, help one another, and in so doing we see how
God has equipped us to do so.”
― Russell D. Moore, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches