by Amy, mom to Hope from China with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS)
When we set out to adopt after having four biological children – we were looking to adopt a girl that was younger than our youngest son, who was 20 months at the time. Since we were already the parents of 4 young children — we were looking at needs that were on the less severe side, because we wanted to make certain that we were able to give all of our children the time and attention that was deserved.
When my agency called and mentioned a just-turned two year old adorable girl that had limb differences of all four limbs — I said that she probably was not the baby for us, since she was only 4 months older than our youngest. Time went on, and in a casual conversation my agency mentioned this little one again and asked if I knew anyone that might be interested in this darling girl. I asked her to read me a bit more about her — so I had information to advocate. She mentioned a girl who was active, intelligent, curious and funny. She could be obstinate. She also said she liked to practice things over and over to get “bigger progress than her peers” — in other words, she sounded JUST like my other kids. My heart jumped a bit while listening — since I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with her “description” of this baby… but yet I did! I asked if she could send me her file, and she asked if I was sure since once I looked at her adorable face she was pretty sure there was no going back!
We got her file the following day, October 13th, 2007, and my husband and I opened it together and honestly felt as if we had just given birth — truly that same rush of feelings!! We were in love with her pictures:
In these pictures we did not see a child that had a disability — we did not see a child that would be “out of order” with our other children — we did not see anything but OUR child. She was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. Some of her fingers were shorter than others, and she had “missing” or webbed toes. She also did not walk flat on one of her feet. Despite this she was said to run like the wind-climb stairs and “cleverly” use chopsticks!
We adopted Hope on March 31st 2008. We could only marvel at her cuteness and ENERGY!! Everyone in out travel group commented on her abilities! Most had ask what her need was since they did not notice. She was clearly loved at her SWI. When we visited we were stormed by her nannies. She was a star! She had better physical abilities than most of the “able bodied” children in our group. She has now been home 19 months. She is BRILLIANT — no seriously — she is! I am not just bragging (well maybe I am a little) but she is very smart. She is determined in all that she does — almost to a fault! She is so capable, is in dance and is starting gymnastics. She is so funny, and adorable.
She had surgery in October 2008 to separate fingers on her one hand and to do tendon lengthening for what we found out was a club foot due to ABS. She was in a cast for 8 weeks and did just fine — in true Hope spirit she found a way to get around. She now wears a brace at night for that foot, but honestly, is more coordinated than her brother the same age! (Don’t tell him that!) She is best buddies with all of her siblings and adores her new baby brother — adopted this year from China — also a limb difference baby!
We are so blessed and thankful that we thought “outside of our box” and adopted this beautiful child that was such an incredible fit for our family!!
Here she is today:
Feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about ABS!
Follow our journey to Hope at www.babyjellybeans.com (password hope dinello)