Thursday, September 27, 2012

From Down Syndrome to Cerebral Palsy - An Adoption Story

I would have never chosen to be the mother of a child with special needs. Nonetheless, our second daughter, Nichole, surprised us with an extra chromosome and a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Dealing with her diagnosis was extremely difficult. All of sudden I had become the mother of a child I was not prepared or ready to parent. 

Yet, something significant took place during those first few months. I began to connect with other moms that had children with Down syndrome. These moms offered me courage, they gave me hope, they allowed me to dream big for my child. Nichole’s diagnosis of Down syndrome became a part of who she was, and not what defined her.

As we navigated the new world of special needs, we learned of the fate of children with disabilities in other countries. It broke our hearts to know these children were not valued in their cultures, and they were sent to orphanages and then mental institutions at the young age of four or five years old. We could not imagine life without our Nichole, and she had already contributed so much to our family. Her life had great value, it had meaning, and it was hers!

When we were ready to add another child to our family, we began to consider adoption. And not just any adoption, but the adoption of a child with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe. As we searched the many faces of beautiful kids with Down syndrome, it was the face a little girl with cerebral palsy that caught our eyes. Her diagnosis, however, scared me. I realized then how comfortable I was with Down syndrome, and how well it “fit” with our family. Cerebral palsy on the other hand, seemed daunting, difficult, maybe too much. 

I am guest blogging today at, click HERE to continue reading!

Disclaimer: I did not write the snippet about the adoption organization mentioned in the post (although we did use them when we adopted Nina) this was written by the blog owner.

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