Down Syndrome Awareness Month: A Family Story
October is nationally recognized as Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so today we would like to take a moment to highlight the Amick family and their story about how God orchestrated their two adoptions from China!
Our adoption journey began several years before we welcomed a child home. After our third biological child was born, we knew it was time to begin the research. We found America World and confirmed that they were the agency for us. After much prayer, we had some conversations as a family as to what special needs we were open to. We explored all options and needs. Through a friendship with another family and watching their son, who happened to live with the special need of Down syndrome, grow from a boy to a young man, we knew a Down syndrome adoption was the answer to our prayers in our adoption story.
We let God write that story and there were days that we wondered what God was up to. Finally, in the summer of 2014, we read a story about a little girl with Down syndrome named “Li Li.” We fell in love with her the minute we read her advocacy blog, but it seemed like there were mountains of hurdles before us to bring her home. God, thankfully is in the mountain moving business!
The paper chase was fast and furious at times, slow and unsure other days. 10 months from application, we were traveling to China in mid-2015 to welcome our daughter Lia, age 3 and 1/2, into our family forever. The next few months were filled with little sleep, specialists, therapy, medical bills, and feeding plans, but also a bond was forming as our daughter was grafted into the DNA of our family. Lia had a lot of hard work to do to accomplish some core goals such as learning to feed herself and walk independently, but as we worked as a family to help her achieve those goals, we saw the glory of God shining through each time, knowing it was He that was moving those mountains. We were just blessed enough to get front row seats!
“…a bond was forming as our daughter was grafted into the DNA of our family.”
Fast forward a year later to the summer of 2016, we felt God asking us to take yet another leap of faith and pursue another Down syndrome adoption. We called America World and they celebrated with us and prayed for us each step of the way. This time it was an older child, a 9-year-old boy from the same orphanage as Lia. They were “cabin mates” we call them.
Isaac’s paper chasing process was about the same 10-month timeframe and he came home in April of 2017. He brought a whole new set of challenges with more of a language barrier due to being older, but not as many obstacles physically. We have never met a young boy that loves life as much as Isaac or smiles more. He embraces each day as a new adventure. He knows that he is wanted, worthy, and loved.
We won’t tell you that every moment of every day is filled with smiles and warmth because that’s not real life. Our kids with Down syndrome have unique needs that can be mysterious to figure out at times. But they are also unique individuals created by a loving God just the way they are. They have taught us to love and be loved by an individual with Down syndrome is an amazing honor – and to be the family of a child with Down syndrome is a blessing we would choose a million times again.
There are many children in China with Down syndrome who are waiting for a forever family!
Please contact our China team at China@awaa.org if you would like to know more about the adoption process. You can also fill out a free pre-application to confirm your eligibility to adopt from China.