Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jun '12


I just had to pause tonight to write a little about our son Wes. It’s because I’ve been following the adoption journey of a local family who is preparing to bring home a three-year-old girl with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe.

They just returned home from their first of three(?) visits that they’re required to make, visiting the girl in her orphanage, before the adoption can officially take place. They’re scheduled to bring her home in August.

Every time I read their updates online I am so touched by their experiences: what struggles they’ve had making the decision to adopt (especially since this is their SECOND time adopting like this); how they’ve been touched by the amazing love and personality of their almost-daughter that they’ve only just met; and their realization that if they didn’t provide this little girl a better home her life would be far different, spent in an institution for disabled starting the day she turns four years old (which is in September this year).

I love the organization that helps get the ball rolling on these overseas adoptions of kids with special needs, especially Down syndrome. It’s called Reece’s Rainbow. Take a look.

I just find myself really thinking about what it means to have my son Wesley.

I can’t understand why so many parents give up their kids when they discover he or she has a condition like Down syndrome. Just. Don’t. Understand. AT ALL. Whether it’s up for adoption, or abortion, it makes me a little (a lot) crazy to try to comprehend this. I know much of it is born from lack of education and understanding, and perhaps some lack of compassion.

Nonetheless, I can’t wrap my head around why these moms (and dads) do not see their child as a PERSON. A whole, unique, WONDERFUL person. They’re not looking ahead two years when their son takes his first steps. They don’t know how excited they’ll be to see that. They are not thinking about how much fun it will be to tickle their child and make him giggle uncontrollably, or how awesome it will be to hear him say his first words, or to learn a new skill. They discount all these amazing accomplishments, and their part in them, when they give their child away.

I didn’t adopt Wes. He was a gift. He only cost me 36 weeks of pregnancy, eight hours of labor, and about $20,000 in hospital bills (although not really because that was back when we actually had good insurance. Thankfully).

I didn’t know he was coming as packaged, but I’m so glad he did. He is Wes. My Wesley.

We have a daughter, Carissa, who is no less amazing and wonderful. She is so fun and makes me smile every day. She is a doll. I’m just as grateful to have her.

It’s just that when I read stories like the ones from this family adopting a girl like Wes from the other side of the world, and I hear what the living conditions are like, I can’t help but put Wes in her place and wonder what it would be like if he hadn’t come straight to us.

I think about Wes living without a mom and dad to love him, and for him to love. I think about him turning four, or five, or six (depending on the country) and being sent to live in an institution for mentally disabled people. All by himself. No family. No home. No school. No church. My heart breaks to think of all that he would miss out on and never know. It aches to think of him not having a mom and dad to love him, to tickle him, to play with him, to feed and clothe him. It hurts to think of him receiving an ounce less love and appreciation than he deserves. To think of him growing up in a place like a mental institution where people are considered less than they really are. Yet there are so many kids that live this life.

Here’s a video from ABC News with Diane Sawyer about a different local family who last year adopted a little girl with Down syndrome from Ukraine. Can you picture Wes there?

I know things happen in the world that we’re not able to understand, that God understands, and maybe someday I’ll understand too. I’m just so glad that Wes is here, home, with us. Happy, healthy, growing, learning, developing new loves and talents and skills nearly daily.

Today I was tickling him and thinking that there is nothing better than his smile. I love to make him laugh.

Lately he has been becoming the expert pray-er in our house. Here’s a sample of his praying skills. (I should have wiped his nose first; sorry.)

Rough translation:

Dear Heavenly Father,
(Thank you for the) food today.
(Please bless) Mom, and Dad, Wesley, Carissa, Mommy, Gramma, Grampa, cousins, and Mommy.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

Wes and Carissa painting.

So capable. So wonderful. So full of everything good and glorious. So glad he’s here.

1 Comment »

One Response to “Wesley”

  1. tara72 Says:

    Sweet post. *sniff*

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