Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Adopt a Child with Down Syndrome When You Already Have a Child with DS?

If I have been asked once, I have been asked 100 times.....why did you decide to adopt a child with Down Syndrome when there are so many "healthy" children in the world who need a family, too?
Can I say I would like to strangle those people??? Bless their hearts, they just don't get it.
I don't know whether we are finished with our adoption journey or not.....only God knows. However, I do know if I were given the choice to adopt a child with Down Syndrome or a child who is "normal", I would take the child who needs a family more.....the child who has the least potential of being adopted....the one everyone else is "afraid" to adopt.....the one with Down Syndrome!
What would I get in return? a child who will absolutely adore me the rest of his/her life......a child who will look for the best in every individual.....who will never notice color of skin or rank in society.....who will seek joy over anger.....who will be able to laugh at goofy things even as an adult.....who will have strong character formed through years of working diligently to overcome fingers that don't always cooperate and legs that move a bit slow......who will never tire of hugs......never feel a moment of hatred.....never get bored with life.....never worry about "fitting in" or "keeping up with the Jones's".....and I could go on and on.
Because of Hope and Charlie, our family is now part of an exclusive club called the DS Club. As soon as a person has a child with DS, he/she finds out immediately they have automatically become a member of the exclusive club. As members, we have the privilege of being involved in the lives of individuals of all ages who have DS, and it is wonderful. Through the experience, we have learned so much. When around an adult with DS, I have never experienced feelings of dread regarding Hope and Charlie becoming adults, instead, a peace fills my soul. Adults with Down Syndrome function in the world.....they add value through working regular jobs and being extremely involved in their communities. Down Syndrome has come a long, long way.
So, we didn't even hesitate when it came to having the opportunity to make Charlie a "Hollis". And our extended family has lovingly accepted our decision and have loved him as much as we do. He has a very soft, sweet nature; a person would have to work really hard to NOT LOVE Charlie.
Charlie's birth mom chose for us to have a closed adoption. At first I was hesitant about it, thinking it would be good for her to continue to be involved in his life on some kind of limited basis. Now, looking back, I realize she made the very best decision and had much more wisdom than I gave her credit for at 20 years of age. She wanted Charlie to be completely and totally ours. If she had remained involved in his life, I may not have had the opportunity to completely bond with him the way I have. I can speak for my feelings for him now.....it is as if he is a physical part of me....he is absolutely 100% my son.
I said in last night's post, and I will say it again here: Charlie's birth mom chose life when she could've chosen abortion. She was brave and strong; she carried Charlie for the full 9 months and then delivered him so he could have a good life, a full life, and a meaningful life. Her pregnancy was difficult, because folks would ask questions about the unborn baby she was carrying in her very large pregnant belly. She would keep a smile on her face and pretend she was an excited "mom-to-be", while knowing in her heart she was preparing to let her son go to be raised by another family. Can you see what an awesome young woman she is??? Our entire family will always be grateful to her for giving us such an incredible gift! We cherish our little Charlie.
I've had an interesting day with Hopey.....she is starting to feel much more like herself. I'll post a funny story tomorrow....well, it is funny now.....wasn't too funny today! When I stated above that Charlie has a soft, sweet nature.....please know, all kids with Down Syndrome are not alike. Hopey can, in fact, be a real stinker! (Even 8 days post open heart surgery)


  1. I think whether you have a DS adopted child or an interracial adoption or any kind of adoption, there will always be someone who thought you should have done something else. And there will always be those who understand. And that's all that matters.

  2. I can't believe people have the audacity to ask you why you adopted a child with DS. When I first began feeling the adoption tug as a single college girl, I knew I would adopt kids with special needs. I was working as an intern in a preschool class, half of whom had a special need of one sort or another. They were wonderful, I loved them dearly, and I cried like a baby when I had to leave them. The way I see it, babies with special needs need forever families as much if not MORE, because there are very few people to adopt them. Not everyone is cut out to be a special needs parent, and that's okay, but I think it would be selfish to adopt a "healthy" baby if you KNOW you're meant to have babies that need a little extra. I think what you did is wonderful and beautiful, and I hope God continues to grow your family. How wonderful for Hope and Charlie to be brother and sister! How much fun they must have together! This world would be a much better place if there were more people like you guys.

  3. You and your stories are such a gift! Thank you for your being so open.

    Look forward to more...So glad Hope is on the mends.

  4. Thank you for posting about Charlie. You shine in your post. You are a good story teller. Tell Charlie hello for me.

  5. Thank you for sharing your stories of not only Hope but Charlie! They are so adorable! What a wonderful family you have!! I look forward to reading your posts every morning. :)

  6. Your family is amazing. Your children are so blessed to have such a loving mom and dad. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul.

  7. Wow, your eloquent words describing our angels with Ds are just beautiful! Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel about my Annie. I know this was to be a 30 journey but, you can't cut us off now. ;-) I so enjoy reading your blog! You and your family are just beautiful.