Wednesday, July 9, 2014

From Terry, Kennedy's mom:
Kennedy was born 12/21/13 at a planned home birth. We were very excited to finally have her because we just went through still birth in February 2013. My labor was very easy. So easy in fact that it was more like a comedy show. My whole family was there and I was still cracking jokes until 1 hour before she arrived.
When she was born we all knew quite quickly that she most likely had Down syndrome. The midwife performed her examination and we had some bonding time. My mother was concerned about bluing on her hands and feet, but we knew that it was normal for that to occur. The midwife finished her work and left at about two hours and we were waiting for a call from the pediatrician on how to handle the suspected Ds.
About 30 minutes after the midwife left I began to notice bluing around Kennedy's lips and knew at that point that we had to go to the hospital. We drove to the local hospital and they sent her by helicopter to the closest children's hospital. They were concerned that she had gotten an infection because the bluing was from low temperature. They immediately put her on antibiotics while we waiting for the genetic testing.
Thankfully we found out that she did not have an infection, however they did confirm Ds. We were in the NICU for 9 days while we made sure everything was alright and that her eating was on track. Thankfully she does not have any heart conditions or any medical concerns. Our biggest struggle right now is making sure that she is gaining weight appropriately.

She is my only daughter and I am so happy to have her. She is a typical baby and loves to cuddle. As of now, there has been no real differences between her and my other babies (except the 9 days in the nicu). The biggest difference is that I have to pump breast milk more often to supplement pure breastfeeding.   Her older brothers just think the world of her.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pim, from the Netherlands, shares the family story:
We are very happy with our son Wim. He really changed our lives. At only 3 months old he got life threatening meningitis. His body fought and fought for days and he survived while chances were slim.  We live in the Netherlands and more and more facilities for the disabled people are disappearing due to cutting costs. This is something we worry about a lot!  
We envy his way of looking at the world, without worries and in a pure way. We should learn from this.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Conner and Cooper's mom tells us:   
God blessed us with 3 biological children.  Then, in 2008, He opened our eyes to the orphan crisis. God has blessed us with 8 additional children, who joined our family through adoption. Most of those children have special needs. One of those children was only with us 7 months before God took her to heaven to heal her fully. She went to dance eternally with Jesus in May 2010, following complications from open-heart surgery. Cooper and Conner joined our family in March 2012 (both are adopted from Ukraine). Both boys were nearly dead when we adopted them.
Conner is the boy dressed as Bob the Tomato. His biggest strength is charming people with his precious smiles and lighting up a room with joy simply by his presence. Conner is a hero. He was nearly dead when we adopted him. He was six years old, yet only weighed 16 pounds. His organs had already begun to shut down when we adopted him. He spent a week in our local children’s hospital his first week home from Ukraine, where he began the process of being nursed back to health. Conner was born with a heart condition that repaired itself in Ukraine. He also has gastroparesis (where his stomach doesn’t digest and move the food/stomach contents out of his stomach), and he also has hypothyroidism. He doesn’t let any of that slow him down and keep him from being who God created him to be. He is so full of joy and love. He is truly a blessing to everyone who meets him.

Cooper is the boy dressed as Larry the Cucumber in the photo. Cooper’s biggest strength is perseverance. He has persevered through all kinds of trials. Cooper was born with bilateral club foot, which went unrepaired because he was born in a country where his life wasn’t valued. He spent the first six years of his life confined to a crib 24/7, without any stimulation, toys, or love. He was unable to stand due to his clubbed feet. At age six years, almost seven, when we adopted him, Cooper weighed 21 pounds. He had his clubbed feet repaired in the first 3 months of being home, and he started walking independently that same year. He went from not being able to bear weight to walking in the same year! Cooper also has autism, hypothyroidism, anemia, and a sleep disorder. He was also severely malnourished at the time we adopted him, and he also spent a week at our local children’s hospital where he began the process of being nursed back to health.
Cooper and Conner are both non-verbal and severely delayed due to their six years of institutionalism; however, we think their dreams have already been answered:  to have a FAMILY!

Having two sons who have Down syndrome has brought more joy to our lives than we ever imagined.   ALL are precious in His sight! Not one life has slipped through His hands. Every life is precious.