Changing Hearts Near and Far: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

October 28, 2016 Developmental System, Down syndrome, October 2016 Feature - Developmental 0 Comments

I’ve typed and deleted so many times trying to find the right words for this post. You see, the truth is, our adoption of a child with Down syndrome has really been no different than any of our other adoptions. From impatiently waiting to bring her home, to bonding, to doctors appointments, and even our daily life. It all really still looks the same. I think sometimes people assume that parenting a child with special need or developmental delay will just rock their entire world. And while that can absolutely be the case for some situations, it just wasn’t for us.

We found out about her from another adoptive mama advocating for her, and we knew right away she was meant to be our daughter.

(If you don’t know our story, God was clear with me that I had a daughter and her name was Rose, back in July of 2011. You may want to keep that date in your mind for a minute…. )

The whole time I was reading about her, I was smiling from ear to ear. I decided to go ahead and ask to see her file and, honestly, I thought my hubby would just say no.

But he said he was open to it, and we both agreed to pray about it. The file was sent to me the same day I headed out of town for a weekend away with my mom’s group, and I couldn’t open the files from my phone.

I was bummed, but I just prayed and asked God to give me more of a clear answer, was this what He was asking us to do right now?

The timing was just all wrong!

We’re busy…
I’m trying to slow down with work…
It’s our 10 year anniversary and we want to take a trip…
We never had a honeymoon or any kind of tropical trip and this is our year!

The list goes on and on. You know, all those “comfort things” that make you want to run for the hills when God asks you to do hard things?!

So when I came home, I still didn’t have much clarity…. I still just wasn’t sure. After I dropped Noah off at preschool on Monday, I sat down at the computer to look through her file.

There it was.
Her birthday was up in the right hand corner.
July 30th.
The same day as mine.

Chills ran up my spine. Okay Lord, I hear you. Oh and the year? 2011…. July of 2011 was the same month and year God had whispered the name Rose into my heart.

Alright God, I got it. Loud and clear.

Just eight months later, I boarded a plane to China to bring our sweet girl home. Rosie fit right into our family, almost like she had always been there. I don’t want you to think I’m saying it’s all been sunshine and roses, because that is definitely not the case, but what I mean is that it has been more typical that I ever expected.


rosie


When we began the process to adopt Rosie, we really had a lot of fears about Down syndrome and what parenting a child with Down syndrome would look like. We just had no clue. From day 1, Rosie has blown our expectations out of the water. She’s smart, so very smart. And sassy…. like really sassy 🙂

She has picked up English really well and loves going to preschool! Her sibling adore her, and anyone who meets her falls head over heels for her.

What we were not expecting or really prepared for, is how she would change the hearts of those around her. We have always shared about adoption and our family on social media, and our family’s YouTube channel. However, when Rosie came home and people from all over the world began to see an up close view of someone with Down syndrome, hearts were changed.


rosie1


After a few months, we began to get messages from people all over the world, but many from China, saying that they had read about Rosie in the Chinese news! We were shocked to see that journalist in China were running stories about her, and what it really looks like to live with Down syndrome. That it wasn’t as scary as people thought, and some even encouraged Chinese mothers to reconsider abandoning their children born with Down syndrome.

Honestly, we still can’t believe the coverage that her story gets and the messages we receive from people who tell us how their entire viewpoint about Down syndrome has changed since watching Rosie. We are SO proud of Rosie, the walls she is tearing down, the stigmas she proving wrong, and the lives of future children born with Down syndrome that may be changing! rosie3There are so many kiddos with Down syndrome who are reaching people and changing hearts and minds, I love following Worthy, Zoey and Macy on social media. Sharing your family and your life publicly isn’t for everyone, but we have been so humbled by this journey and we are so grateful the Lord chose us to parent this amazing little girl. There is nothing she can’t do!

the Braniff Family



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