After being married about 3 years, Jennifer and Brandon decided to start a family, and got pregnant shortly there after. Unfortunately at about 12 weeks, Jennifer suffered a miscarriage. They thought they were "in the clear" as they had been able to see a heart beat, but were in that small percentage of pregnancies that ended after that. The doctor told Jennifer, that the cause of miscarriage, was likely chromosomal And while that didn't mean a whole lot at that time, it's been pretty instrumental in our decision to adopt.
The doctor has told Jennifer that she should be able to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, and that is the plan...someday! But, God had different plans for now!! The miscarriage gave Brandon and Jennifer a chance to think more about how their family might come to be! And adoption came right to mind. Over the summer of 2011, Jennifer was introduced to Reece's Rainbow - an adoption ministry, that advocates and helps raise grant money for orphans with Down Syndrome. After reading blog after blog and story after story about these sweet children, born with an extra chromosome, who have been rescued and given the life they so deserve, Jennifer was hooked! God was definitely work in this situation - and Jennifer didn't find it coincidence at all that the children who had stolen her heart, have a "bonus chromosome" after losing our first pregnancy to "chromosomal abnormality"! She showed Brandon the website, and he responded with a resounding "Let's do it!"
Why Down Syndrome and why international adoption?
Why not? First of all - the Bible commands us to take care of widows and orphans in their distress, and to care for the lost, the broken and the lonely. Second of all, the situation for these children is pretty dire. In Eastern European countries, being born with Down Syndrome or most other special needs, is a huge social stigma. Most of these children are orphaned at birth, simply because they have Down Syndrome. And between the ages of 4 and 6, children with special needs are transferred from their "baby houses" to adult mental institutions. Yes, you read that right - adult mental institutions. There, they are put into cribs to live out their days - without physical touch or love, without adequate nutrition, and without even the most basic of needs being met. And to quote a friend of mine - "Did you ever notice how when a house is left standing without people living in the home...caring for it...filling it with joy...it stands alone and falls apart? The same happens with our children. When they are left alone with no love, support and someone living in their hearts....they change. They fall apart and withdraw." I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything much more distressful than a 5 year old left in a mental institution.
The reasons we have chosen international adoption, are pretty much the same reasons as we've chosen special needs adoption. God showed us where the need was, and we are following His lead. Yes, we could have adopted domestically, either through the foster care system, or privately - yes, we could have adopted children with Down syndrome domestically as well. But God made it pretty clear to us, that this is where He wants us to go now. So, that's what we're doing! We have chosen to adopt two precious little girls from Eastern Europe (for privacy and safety reasons we can't publicly announce the country where they live)
Our homestudy is almost complete, and will be sent to our placing agency soon. From there it will head to the girl's country and will be translated. Meanwhile, we'll be filling out more and more paperwork, trying to get ready to take 3 trips to their country!
How can you help??
- You can donate directly to our ChipIn - which is linked to our paypal account. These funds go directly to us, but are not tax deductible. These funds help pay for our agency fees, USCIS (immigration) fees, and things like that.
- You can donate to our Reece's Rainbow Family Sponsorship Page. These funds ARE tax deductible. And will be released to us later in our process - about the time we travel. Which will be very helpful - because we will be taking THREE trips to our girl's country!!
- PRAY!!! We SO appreciate your prayers of support throughout this whole process! Leave us a comment and let us know you're praying for us!!
- Share our story!! If you're a blogger - share our story with your readers, post on facebook....get the word out! And not just because we need your help - but because there are SO many sweet little ones who need your help! We ask this, not for ourselves, but for all the other orphans around the world who are still waiting for their mama and daddy, and for the ones who are left behind.