The following story is from friends, Christy and Matt, who have extraordinarily beautiful hearts and an equally beautiful story. I hope you enjoy it.
We Choose You
Our journey into Down syndrome is different than most. Six years ago, our heart strings were tugged as we heard of a one year old little boy with Down syndrome on the other side of the world that needed a family. Just like someone who might get a diagnosis, we started researching and questioning what our life would look like, we wondered whether we would be capable of raising a child with special needs.
Probably the scariest "yes" I have ever muttered with mountains of unknowns was when we said "yes" to adopting our son Endale (pronounced "in-dah-lay") the Ethiopian word for "as the Lord says"). We did mounds of paperwork and jumped through all the hoops to get our boy. Nine months later, we boarded a plane to Ethiopia to bring him home to his forever family. We chose him. We chose whatever life might bring, because it was better with him in it.
This bold step and intimidating "yes" changed the course and legacy of our family. You see, Endale changed me. He changed our family and the lives of our children and everyone he meets. We began to wonder if we could do more. Indeed, we could, but again the choice would have to be made. We would have to choose this life again.
A year and a half later, we fell in love with a little girl in China that happened to have Down syndrome too. She was listed on Reece's Rainbow (www.reecesrainbow.com), an advocacy site for children all over the world with Down syndrome and other special needs that need families to choose them. We said "yes" again. During the process, we found out about another little boy at her orphanage who also had Down syndrome and well, we said "yes" to him too. Eleven months later, we brought two sweet Asian babes with Down syndrome home to the USA with their forever family.
Some might call us crazy and that's okay. We can't unsee the things we've seen in other countries. The way children with special needs are treated broke our hearts and we knew we could do something. The truth is they have changed and blessed us far more than we could ever do for them. Matter of fact, we'll be bringing home our newest daughter from Bulgaria who also rocks an extra chromosome in the next few months.
We are blessed people. Our family is forever changed. We do not think about them having Down syndrome or being from a different country or even having other birth parents. They are OURS. They are our beautiful, wonderfully made with a purpose children. What gifts they are! We would choose this life over and over again.
A little about us: Matt and Christy have been married for 21+ years and live in Rio Rancho, NM. They have 3 biological children, ages 18, 13, 11 and 3 adopted children ages 7, 7, and 8. Endale was born in Ethiopia and has been home almost 6 years. LillyAnn and Levi were both born in China and have been home almost 4 years. They are anxiously awaiting the finalization of the adoption of their newest daughter, born in Bulgaria, Glory, age 2, and hoping to have her home by Christmas. "We love because HE first loved us." 1 John 4:19
Thank you, Christy and Matt, for sharing your amazing story! Thank you for choosing these beautiful children, who are indeed wonderfully made.