special need highlight: focus on down syndrome

From a very young age, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) have attracted my attention. As a result, I have spent more time with the DS population than the average 38-year-old woman. In June of 2012, when my husband and I came to a place where we were both ready to add a child through adoption to our family, we only checked ‘Down Syndrome’ on the special needs worksheet. We were matched off of the Chinese Shared List with an almost two-year-old girl named Yang TuYuan. Her referral picture sealed the deal for the entire family—a cute, pudgy, rounded face crowned with two pigtails pointing straight up! We were in love. As with all adoptions, the paperwork separating us from our daughter took longer to complete than we imagined, but on May 27, 2013 our little girl who we named Pearl Katherine TuYuan, walked into my arms.

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We were amazed by her exceptional fine motor skills. Even though she didn’t know any English and we didn’t know any Chinese, she was able to clearly communicate exactly how she wanted things to happen! We began teaching her sign language, which she picked up immediately. After six months Pearl has mastered about 30 signs that she uses daily to communicate her needs. This has been my first experience using sign language with one of my children and YouTube and Signing Times are great resources for novices like me! We purchased an indoor trampoline which has been key to strengthening her leg muscles and core. She has learned to climb stairs, run and kick a ball. She loves the Kindermusik class we attend together each week and leads dance parties with her brothers and sisters.

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Pearl is a beautiful child. She attracts positive attention wherever we go. People seem to be drawn to her in some mysterious way. It is rather humbling to us to think that in China she was cast aside and considered a curse but here in our community she is a bit of a celebrity. God’s plans for her are so much better than any human plan.

We haven’t been without struggles over these six months but I do not believe those have anything to do with Pearl having Down Syndrome. She has felt every loss she has experienced in her life to the same degree as a ‘normal’ child. She is still grieving those losses. The only marked difference I see between Pearl and other children her age is her language development. It will be a slow process with lots of help from trained professionals and a very determined Mommy.

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I feel strongly that God prepares individuals for the life long task of bringing a child with Down Syndrome into a family through adoption. It doesn’t mean that those people have all of the answers, or that there aren’t any struggles along the way. It means that they are able to look past the stereotypes of DS and see each child as a gift to this world; a gift with great potential. I know that there is someone who is reading this right now that has been prepared in advance by God to give a child with DS a family. I know that they need to hear these words, IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? I read those words on a car repair billboard on the day we stepped out in faith and accepted Pearl’s file. There was no one else who could be Pearl’s family. I am so thankful that we said YES to her and YES to Down Syndrome. Feel free to visit our family blog for more on life with Pearl.

Waiting Children with Down Syndrome

Meet Amelia

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Beautiful Amelia recently turned two years old. Amelia has Down Syndrome but has no other health issues. Her caretakers say the following about her: “Amelia could crawl and stand up holding onto something. She could hold toys with both hands and watch adults’ actions. Now she can walk, pick out things from a cup and search for things she has dropped. She is attached to her familiar caretaker and enjoys making various sounds, although her speech is not clear yet. She gets along well with the other children and is not afraid of strangers. She is considered to be a generous and passionate child.”

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Look how DARLING SHE IS!!!!!!!

For more information contact Wasatch International Adoptions. Grant funding in the amount of $2500 is available for qualifying families. You will be asked to complete a parent eligibility form when requesting information on this child.

Meet Genevieve

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Genevieve is a beautiful little girl who is 7 years old. She came into care when she was 2 years old. She has Down Syndrome, and her development has been close to target…except speech. She is able to speak, but she is not yet forming long sentences. Genevieve was found to have a VSD (a congenital heart defect). This was repaired shortly after she came to the orphanage, with excellent results. Genevieve has had great development and good nutrition since her surgery. She is able to care for her own needs, and is a good helper to the nannies. Genevieve is not afraid of strangers. Actually, the director describes her as being, “extroverted and bold”! She talks to everyone. Genevieve loves to play with her friends, and enjoys painting. She is a very curious little girl, and loves to dance and sing. Genevieve’s medical states she is Hep B positive. She is a sweet and very personable little girl! She needs a family, and will be a very loving daughter!

Go to Bring Hope to Children to see Genevieve’s video and request information. Genevieve is also featured on Reece’s Rainbow where she has a grant available to an adoptive family.

Meet Quentin

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Quentin is a beautiful little boy who is about to turn 5. His special needs are Down Syndrome and a heart defect (acleistocardia). UPDATE Spring 2013: “Last time I saw Quentin was in early March and he was doing GREAT! I am so proud of his progress over the past year and a half. Not only is he walking steadily, but also making progress figuring out and doing things on his own, for example, climbing up the stairs to the slide and sliding down, stacking up chairs and stools to get in and out of his bed on his own. In the past the only noises he would make was to cry when he was sad or mad (which is rarely) but last time I saw him he was making noises like baby talk which to me was a good sign that he is wanting to try and talk/communicate…imitating noises, etc. He is also more and more affectionate and loving…coming up behind you to steal hugs and kisses. He’s a treasure, and I can’t WAIT for some family to find him and take him home! He is SO smart and SO ready to have a family of his own!”

Quentin is such a special little boy who is ready to love and be loved by his forever family! Quentin has a fund-raising page on Reece’s Rainbow and so far a fund of $2202.00 has been raised to be applied toward his adoption! Let’s find his family soon!

Meet Kimberly

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Precious Kimberly is 6 years old. Her special needs are Down Syndrome, congenital heart disease, hypothyroidism, and mental delays. Kimberley is predominantly cheerful. In the orphanage she is described as a sociable, smiling, loving, quiet girl who enjoys being with other people. Her sleep is normal. She enjoys eating pretty food, so the orphanage gives her vegetables, eggs, iron, etc.. However, they still give her vitamins and avoid foods with lactose. Kimberly usually communicates through gestures, cries and guttural sounds. Kimberly has general gross motor and fine motor delays which is common for a child with Down syndrome. She participates in group activities and plays in partnership with other children. She is cautious with strangers but she adjusts quickly to their presence.

$4003.82 is available towards the cost of Kimberly’s adoption, including $1384.22 from Angel Tree.

Meet Robbie

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Robbie is described as an active little boy. He was born in January of 2011 and is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. At the time of his report, when he was 2.5, he could roll over, crawl, band blocks together, pick toys up out of a cup, feed himself biscuits and track people with his eyes as they move. He recognizes people, imitates sounds, recognizes his own name, understands facial expressions and waves his hands to say good-bye. Robbie laughs out loud and he has a good appetite. What a precious little boy who would thrive in a loving home!

Meet Luke

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This sweetie really needs a family! Luke has Down Syndrome, resolved pulmonary hypertension, and postoperative duodenal ileus. He also has had patching for his crossed eyes. Luke crawls and scoots. His favorite hangout is to crawl into the bottom of the exersaucer (the saucer part) and hang out there, staring at his hands. He is quiet, and easily entertains himself. Luke is on the shared list, so his file could be locked by a family with any agency!

The following family blog is another one that may encourage a family who is interested in a child with Down’s Syndrome:
A Table for Six

For more information on any of these children or questions about beginning the adoption process contact the Advocacy Team.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this blog posting. I’m adopting a 5-year-old boy with DS from Colombia. I wholeheartedly believe that God has brought us together. I am just starting to share my exciting news, but unfortunately I am being met by many who are wondering why I am doing this. I continually tell them that “Why?” isn’t the question to ask. “Why not?” is the question to ask. It’s nice to know you know the right question to ask. Here’s a quote I shared on Facebook that I think you’ll appreciate: “If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.” I’m counting on it!! Thanks! Greta

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