I have always been drawn to people with Down Syndrome. They radiate love. I’ve also always had the desire to adopt an orphan. When my husband and I put those two things together it created our desire to adopt a child with Down Syndrome from an orphanage. We found her on Rainbow Kids in March of 2014. In one of the few pictures that we received from her profile, she had her arms up reaching towards the camera. We felt that she was actually reaching for us. That began our journey.
It was hard. It was long. It seemed like the endless paperwork and driving here, there and everywhere to get documents signed, notarized and mailed would never end. The excitement and anticipation of getting her here was the only thing that kept us moving.
A couple of questions we constantly get are, “Why a child with Down Syndrome?” and “Why Armenia?” Valid questions. The answer is pretty easy- Because our daughter has Down Syndrome and happens to be in Armenia. We felt that she was ours and knew that no matter her disability that she needed a home and a mom and dad. Someone asked us, “What if you get her here and she is just too hard because she’ll be more difficult?” To answer that, it was a chance we took with every child I carried and delivered (4). Is it risky? Probably, but so is pregnancy and childbirth.
We were committed to her and sent in the paperwork as fast as we possibly could. We were invited to go meet her in March of 2015. Meeting her was an experience that we will never forget. We were finally meeting our daughter!! The hard part? Leaving her. That being said, we knew that she was in good hands! The caretakers work hard and truly love the children. They do their best to keep them happy and healthy.
After many tears shed we left her there. The wait from the first trip to the second trip was 6 months. It felt like 10 years. Waiting is the HARDEST part of it all! We waited eagerly for an update on her. We constantly prayed that we’d hear something, anything. When our phones rang we’d run to it, hoping that it would read that CAS was calling. Finally they did call with the news we had been waiting for! In September of 2015 we were invited back- this time to bring her home.
We were in country for just over 3 weeks. While we were there it was very clear to me why it is that mothers choose an adoption plan for their babies with a Down Syndrome diagnosis. They simply do not have the special programs and accommodations for them!
It was so fun to get acquainted with Brielle and see who really is, but we were so ready for her to meet her siblings. On October 8, 2015 we finally got her where she belongs—HOME!!
Since arriving home we have already taken her to the doctor. Her health description in her profile was exactly what her pediatrician told us here in the U.S. She has started physical therapy, speech therapy and preschool.
Many people have told us how much we have blessed her life. This much I will tell you, she has blessed our family far more than we will ever be able to bless hers. She brings our family so much joy and love. Despite her disability we wouldn’t change her for anything!!
We documented our adoption journey, and shared our adoption video on our Facebook page, Bridge to Brielle.