It has been such a blessing to share these amazing families with you over the last two days. I love it! Today’s post is the second in a series on incredible families who are raising God’s treasures on this earth–His amazing children who are born “special.”
I love sharing stories of people who know how to love unconditionally, how to live purposefully, and how to serve God radically. I learn so much from them and it is such a joy for me to share them with you too.
If, by chance, you sent me a photo of your child/ren and have not seen it posted here, please e-mail me and let me know. I think I have everyone, but just in case your e-mail ended up in my spam or my ever-overflowing inbox and I missed it, please let me know so that I can add your lovies.
Also, a few people have asked me if the families featured here have blogs. I know for sure that some do. So, if you are a family featured either on this post or the one I did yesterday, please leave a comment stating who your angel is (and their special need) and your blog address. Thanks!
Thank you to every family who was willing to put their story out there for the world to see. I appreciate it! I am so thankful for people who are are willing to live out loud–declaring into the heavenlies that every child created in the womb is a blessing from the heart of our Father in heaven.
Once again, everything shared below comes straight from the hearts of moms who love their children so passionately, in their own words.
I am ever so blessed. First I was a doctor, then married a wonderful man, had three children, retired from medicine with the birth of my fourth…who taught me more about really truly taking care of people. Can you just imagine a world in which every pediatrician and family doctor had to have their own special needs child before being allowed to tell you what do to with yours? Danny is just amazing. He has cerebral palsy and a metabolic disorder, is on oxygen and is tube fed, but is the single most charismatic person I have ever met. It is not easy to be physically handicapped and intellectually gifted, and he has struggled with this sometimes. I have grown more tending to his spirit than any other experience in my life. And then fifth was William, with prematurity and Down Syndrome. We didn’t get to keep him. His brief time with us was life-changing, too…. because our grief about William was because of losing him, not because of his disabilities. So when George was born, also with Down Syndrome, there was no grief about his trisomy, only profound rejoicing that God had given us another beautiful son to love, and this time we got to keep him. Next came metastatic breast cancer for me. Thank goodness we had already learned to face challenges together as a family. My children have brought me joy through the hardest parts of my ongoing treatment. They have motivated me to continue despite a very poor prognosis. They have taught me that it is my presence, not anything that I do, or make, or clean… just my being here each day…. that is what is essential to their lives. And some people just don’t understand why we feel so blessed.
When people told us that they were changed for the better when they received a child with Down Syndrome, we eventually believed them. And then we learned how so many, many children with special needs are without homes, families, or proper care. The day my son arrived home, my heart was enlarged and now I am so blessed to be his mommy! I so look forward to being his mother for the rest of my life… whether he grows up and moves out or not. 🙂
I have six children, four of them have challenges. I love all six and I’m grateful to God for giving me each and every one of them. In my single days I said I didn’t plan to have children. I didn’t think I’d be good enough to be a mom. Yes, I have made mistakes along the way. Yes, I lose patience sometimes, but I’m thankful that at the end of the day, my kids know that I love them more than anyone else in the world and I’d do anything for them to help them become the best people that they can be. Having children with challenges has taught me how to be more accepting of others, recognize the special gifts that people have if you open your eyes to see them, not to judge people too harshly because you don’t know what they’re dealing with, love people as they are- not as you wish they were because God made them this way for a reason; to teach YOU something, not your child.
Raising two children with special needs has changed me forever. Every surgery, every therapy, every milestone, every setback, every doctors appointment, every hug, every tear, every moment of laughter, and every second of every day, I would not trade being there for them for anything. They inspire me, they have taught me more than I could possible express, and have changed the coarse of my life forever. The privilege and honor to be the mother of children with special needs is something I am so grateful to God for. Their lives were not a mistake, but are filled with so much purpose.
Parenting Violet Xin Ni is an absolute joy! Violet has significant limb differences and no left foot, yet she defines ability to all who meet her. She teaches us courage is a choice and perspective is everything! The future holds much for Violet…especially because we know who holds her future! Life gained new sweetness when Mia Hui-Leigh joined our family. Having beta-thalassemia, she needs blood transfusions every three weeks. Her condition is life-threatening and it was hard at first to consider adopting a child that we could someday loose. In the end, God poured His peace into our hearts and we’re so glad we said yes. The chance to share Jesus with this wounded heart has been the privilege of a lifetime!
By looks, one would not see her areas of struggle, but we have joined the Lord in her fight for wholeness. Karrington joined our family at age 12 from foster care. Birth-age 8 she lived in a neglected home, then over the next 5 years temporarily lived with many foster families, one of which was a failed adoption placement. When we met, she was failing out of school, facing childhood obesity and was walking through a host of issues. But she was walking through these hardships alone. Enter: God. Enter: A family! We were chosen to be her family! After a year in our home we finalized Karrington’s adoption and now have been a family for two years. Would it have been easier to give up- yes! BUT GOD! We have been so grateful for our support team, our family, friends, church family, tutors, counselors, social workers… all have played a major role in helping sew her little broken heart back together. We have learned to LOVE. Love when it hurts the most. Love like Jesus, when your flesh would rather run away, you are called to face the giants and rise up and fight for freedom. We have two other children, adopted from Vietnam, and Karrington is the most loving big sister! She is talented, gifted, jumped 4 school level grades this year through homeschooling, she loves to make crafts and is so very much loved by the Lord and by her family. We have been refined through all our adoption processes and would not be who we are today without these three precious gifts from Him.
The JOY this “child of God” adds to our lives is immeasurable! This is Nevin, he is 22 years old and can make just about anything fun. In the wise words of his older brother “we wouldn’t be who we are without him in our family”, and in the wise words of his older sister “he makes us better”. He gives us more than we can ever give him. He finds joy in each and every day.
Here’s a photo of me and Ladybug. Because she is still a foster child, I cannot show her face or release her name. She’s a preemie born to a 16 year old into a toilet. Her mother walked away from her that day she turned 18. She has horrid oral fixation, sensory processing disorder, low body awareness, low muscle tone that gives her horrid reflux, she developmentally and cognitively delayed, we are also in the process of getting her Nuero and vision consults. She will have blood work done soon to deny or confirm Down Syndrome. She’s a beauty of a child with a smile to melt your heart! We are praying for the day that she will become our forever child! She’s been passed through the system her entire life of 22 months. We love her!
Unbeknownst to us at the time of his adoption, Rex has an extremely rare complex syndrome, caused by a difference in his genetic make-up, which presents on a wide spectrum of life-long physical and developmental disabilities. Knowing what we do now, it is amazing what Rex was able to accomplish at the orphanage with no therapies or helping hands. He’s been blowing us away with his hard work and progress since he came home last July. Rex is a resilient, curious, determined, and joyful boy who is so very worth the unexpected and sometimes difficult journey of growing and learning and changing our life to meet his needs. We love our son beyond measure and are grateful to be by his side as his wide open future unfolds.
I am Tina. Mom to Cody (left) and John (right). They are twins and are turning 6 ½ in a few days.
Cody (left) has ADHD and a speech impairment which after 4 years of therapy, has totally overcome. John (right) is an IUGR survivor who suffered brain damage in utero as a result of his placenta not providing enough nutrients and on occasion, oxygen. He has mild CP (mixed tone) and has been diagnosed with PDD-Nos and more specifically, he fits the Aspergers profile. He is deemed “e2”… meaning he is highly gifted intellectually (top 1% they told us) but has areas where is behind as well. The boys were born just shy of 36 weeks. They are the apple of my eye and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. I am the most blessed person in the universe it seems and I am proud to be their mom.
My little girl Zoe who has Moebius Syndrome (caused by a stroke in utero) and one of Zoe with her sister Abigail. Being a mom to my sweet girls is, by far, the most rewarding job I will ever have, and being a mom to my special needs sweetheart is no different, except that it has taught me so much more. Zoe is my second child, and with the first, I kept a close eye on with milestones she should be achieving with each month, and it was very important. Zoe has taught me such patience and appreciation for each and every little moment, regardless of when it “should” happen…because now I know that it really doesn’t matter. She has inspired us to start the process to add another special needs angel to our family, this time, through adoption.
This is me and my beautiful daughter Annika. I am a proud mommy to 7 children. 5 are here at home and 2 we are in the process of adopting. Two of our 5 children at home were born with special needs. Annika has 1q deletion syndrome, and her brother Jonathan has Cerebral Palsy and is legally blind. We are now three years into this journey after adopting both of them. I have grown in much wisdom. I have learned much about the value of every human life and that worth or potential worth does not have to be determined by “typical”. I have learned of the supernatural power of God’s grace. I daily choose joy, when circumstances may not dictate it. I celebrate simple mile stones that mothers of typical children skip right past. Being a mother of special needs children has taught me to slow down and appreciate so much!
Bringing these precious children into our home has opened up enormous opportunities to teach US as a family in a way that only tangible “life-lessons” can teach. They keep life in “perspective” thus teaching and reminding us to do the same every moment. They are constantly teaching and demonstrating to us that life is truly about love, joy and embracing every moment! That the smallest milestone is truly a time of rejoicing and the struggles of life are temporary and embracing joy is critical. It’s a daily reminder that that every single life has a plan and purpose and every child with Down Syndrome has such great potential if nurtured and given a chance. And the gift they will bring to others along the way—priceless. Raising a special needs child will require a little more patience, a few more smiles, but in the end the triumph and celebrating is far more rewarding than any of the personal cost required. They teach us more than we could ever teach them. In a nut shell—they give to us far more than we could ever give to them! It’s a joy to GET to be apart of their journey!
This is my precious Aiden, who was born prematurely in Daegu, S. Korea. As a result of his prematurity, he has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and uses leg braces and a walker to aid him in walking. We have seen him overcome so many obstacles! It’s not always easy for Aiden and sometimes he gets frustrated, but he never gives up! We are so proud of him and thankful he’s our son.
Eight years ago, I had no idea how much my heart needed molding, but God did. He used a beautiful, baby girl, born with many special needs, to release me from so much pride, and showed me just how perfect everyone is because He created each one of us. Not only have I changed, but extended family and friends have seen just how special she, and others that are different from themselves, truly are. I pray that God continues to use Laura to open the eyes of those around her to the beauty of every person, each created in the image of God.
This is Lillian Grace. Wrapped up in this breathtakingly beautiful, awe- inspiring, miraculous little girl is God’s invitation to move, to grow, to become who he created and called me to be. His invitation to know not only Him more intimately, but walk in the revelation of how much He loves me. To see the world around me the way He does. To love the way He loves. To be filled with a love that is so overwhelming and consuming that it removes ALL fear. My intense love for Lillian has taken me on a journey that has changed me forever and prepared me to willingly, joyfully, and without hesitation, accept His invitation to MOVE wherever He calls me to go. She is my tangible, kissable, daily reminder of His love for me, and that He is willing, He is able, He is faithful and in Him I have all I need… FOREVER.
Leiney Grace had unrepaired Tetralogy of Fallot when we adopted her. She has since had heart surgery and is doing fabulous now. This child, our 8th child and 4th SN adoption from China, has blessed my life beyond measure. She is such a joy! I can’t imagine our life without her and thank God almost daily that my husband (although he was reluctant at first) and I heeded His call to be “radical” and adopt another of “the least of these” . It is a privilege to be her mother and my heart just melts when Leiney Grace calls me “Mama” and says “I love you too!” Thank you Jesus!
My Ugandan daughter’s special needs aren’t always obvious to the world. I think we’re alot alike that way. My Maleah has taught me the simplicity and also the complexity of this world. This 5 year old beauty has shown me in myself a warrior, a lamb, and a believer.
After a few short visits, Gabriel came home when he was 86 hours old. Gabriel’s birth mom refused the suggestion of an abortion after a horrible inuetero diagnosis and gave birth to one of God’s biggest miracles. Time after time Gabe has defied doctors diagnosis’ (we’ve even had a doctor ask if a lot of people were praying for him) and shown the medical professionals that God is much bigger than a medical diagnosis. Despite 4 times a week therapy appointments, various doctors visits and lots of work at home, Gabe has the sweetest disposition, the best smile and is so full of joy. Before Gabe was born I never knew how deep, how fierce or how all encompassing the love of a mother could be; now… being Gabe’s mom, watching him be everything God created him to be, I couldn’t imagine anything better, special needs and all.
When my husband and I decided to adopt, we were seeking a non-special needs infant girl from China, but God had other plans. I saw Clare’s picture on the Love Without Boundaries blog, and we realized in an instant that God was showing us our daughter. Then, when we traveled to China to adopt Clare, we met her little friend, whom she called “mei mei”; little did we know that she, too, was our daughter and that she would join our family 2 1/2 years later. We are humbled every day because God has entrusted us to help lead these precious souls to spend eternity with Him in heaven. It is often said that children who are adopted are “lucky” to finally have a family, and this is true, but we have been blessed and amazed beyond words to see these little souls blossom. Thank you, Jesus!
Jackson was born in 2006 and we learned immediately after his birth that he has the most severe form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele (like sweet baby Beth you have been blogging about). I was so unprepared for the diagnosis and wondered how I would ever be the parent he needed. Sometimes I still wonder. However, Jackson has changed our little family as well as our extended family so much. He is a living miracle and we are so grateful that God chose us to be his parents. He is so strong (and strong-willed), brave and funny. I can’t imagine life without him and I pray for those who don’t understand the compassion and overwhelming joy children (ALL children, including those with special needs) bring to the world.
Destiny, she was our complete and total world for so long. She pulled us together and made us stronger. Taught us what it really means to be happy and healthy. And she taught us to take and cherish each and everyday, with the ability to see the things that REALLY matter. She was such a joy, always smiling and happy. Now safely in the arms of Jesus.
Raul has taught me what true courage is. His perseverance inspires me to be a better person, and to never give up on my dreams.
Ryker is almost 10 years old and was diagnosed with Autism/Aspergers right before he turned 3 years old. He is amazing:) He has come a LONG way in 7 years and is an absolute JOY to us. God has worked some amazing miracles in Ryker’s life. I wrote a blog post for his birthday last year http://
Since finding out prenatally that Josie would be born with Down syndrome, our lives were changed forever. Though that is her diagnosis it is far from her prognosis and she is doing amazing things that we don’t put limits on. She has opened our hearts to wanting other children in our home with special needs which led us to Jake and then we felt the call again only to Bulgaria this time. Our lives are completely different now…. we are completely different now… We treasure the things that people take for granted and we love every single minute of our lives. I thank God almost every day for entrusting us with Josie, Jake, Landon and Evelyn (along with our “typical” kids)… they have made our lives so much better and brighter!
We adopted Levi and his younger foster brother last May from China. Levi is 14 years old and was one month away from aging out and never having the chance to be adopted when he became our son. He has cerebral palsy and septo-optic dysplasia. We never planned to adopt a teen but God made it clear that Levi was our son and how glad we are that we listened. Levi has an open and loving heart, despite a very difficult past, and he is very demonstrative in his love for our whole family.
This is a picture of Mikisa and me shortly after I met her. She had been abandoned on the streets of Kampala and was severely malnourished. She has multiple physical and cognitive disabilities, but she had a fierce determination to beat the odds! Being her mom has changed my life. I never knew what it meant to truly love until she taught me. I have learned about joy and heartache, gratitude and pain, beauty and loss. And I have tasted the goodness of God’s incredible redemption and His unwavering love. Mikisa Mae, welcome blessing, you are LOVED!
In March, we adopted two SN older children from China. I had not realized that my agency’s listing of mild developmental delay was code for mental profound intellectual disability. Now home, we understand that our 13 year old will never live independently. Funny, when we were accepting what special needs we were OK with, we were scared of the “severe” ones. Now that I have these two gems, we are praying on adopting again. This time I will intentionally choose Downs syndrome or another lifelong care SN. These children have taught me the worth of every child and to trust the Lord’s plan and loving provision.
Our daughter is missing a part of her left arm, but she is one happy, clever girl who never ever gives up and finds a solution to anything that might cause difficulties for her. She has taught us the definition of perseverance. We love her unconditionally and feel extremely blessed with her as our daughter.