The first time I visited Taiwan was at the end of a 2 week trip to China. I was with the Gladney’s Superkids team and we had visited orphanages and seen many children over the prior two weeks. I was tired and ready to get home to my family, but our team was also excited to meet children who needed advocacy in Taiwan.
Just after we arrived in Taipei we got the news that a typhoon was headed straight for Taiwan and we would not be able to see most of the children we were planning to see. We were obviously disappointed and wondered why we were even there. But we were there, and we weren’t going to be going anywhere for a few days!
That first afternoon, before the typhoon hit, we saw 3 children one of whom was this darling little baby boy with Down Syndrome. I was wearing a maxi skirt and he loved the way it swished around my feet. He was pulling himself around on his little belly and every time I looked down he was playing with my skirt. He had the cutest hair that stood straight up. To see him was to fall in love. We gave him the advocacy name of Miles and wrote a blog post entitled Magnificent Miles highlighting him.
Little did we know where meeting little Miles would take us! But I’m going to let his mom and my friend, Michelle, tell you the next parts of this beautiful story.
The very picture and short article sharing information about a sweet little one with Down syndrome named Magnificat Miles came through in my email one morning. His perfectly fluffy hair, almond eyes and baby toes stole my heart at first glance. This was our son! Within hours of requesting more information we had our first call to learn the next steps of our adoption journey.
In the wait I happily jumped onboard to join the advocacy team to learn all I could. The very first trip to Taiwan with the team I was blessed to meet another young boy with Down syndrome. He and Miles were sweet besties. It was also that very trip I had the privilege to enjoy a meal with the Taiwan team and share my passion for helping to find families for the children with Down syndrome.
Fourteen months from seeing Miles’ picture in my inbox he was placed in my arms forever. Our adventures together had just begun. He hadn’t just stolen our hearts with his total sweetness he had many people surrounding him with love. He was our whole world and we were blissfully enjoying life through his eyes. His amazing charismatic personality radiating in every single thing he was a part of. He was blooming so much! We were learning so much together.
Oh and during the time we were bonding and learning our new world with our little guy… we were telling everyone about his bestie that still awaited his forever family. We were so excited to learn he had a family coming for him.
Then one day a new little one with Down syndrome came through on the waiting for a family list. We knew Miles would be the best big brother ever. We eagerly asked for more information. A little girl that just so happened to have a bit more of a complex medical history. We said yes and our 17 month journey to our precious Maddie began.
During the wait we learned that two more of the littles ones with Down syndrome the team had been advocating for had forever families coming! Such amazing news!
The very moment Miles and Maddie saw each other was a moment I’ll never forget. Miles was over the moon that Maddie was his little sister and he could help mama care for her. Their bond grew stronger each and every day.
Fast forward to today… six years from when Miles joined our family and just over three from when Maddie joined. We couldn’t imagine our lives without our two special littles that so happened to both have Down syndrome. They have shown us that they are able to accomplish anything. The sky is the limit. Their zest for life and eagerness to do their best melts my mama heart each day. Truly I stand in awe at just how amazing both Miles and Maddie are. Perfectly who they are meant to be and such a special part of our family. We cherish every moment and look forward to all the adventures ahead. Living life through their eyes is a true gift.
We especially enjoy sharing in celebrations like 3/21 by wearing our silly socks and sharing the science behind what having Down syndrome means. Taking the opportunity to share our littles uniqueness is something we find important. Not every family can say they’re just as unique as ours. We are blessed beyond measure to share life’s journey with our extra special Miles and Maddie.
A special thank you to the team of advocacy volunteers that share such an amazing part of our families story. Adoption and advocacy for special needs children has forever changed our lives.
Michelle and her husband would go on to add another precious little girl from Taiwan, so now Miles has 2 little sisters and Maddie is a big sister! They came to visit us in November and all 3 of their littles are thriving! So I'll close with one last picture of me with all of their little ones.
Today is World Down Syndrome Day and Michelle is on a mission to let the world know that different isn't scary...it is just different. And different can be amazing!