adoption, courage, down syndrome, Family, inspiration, mother

Love Knows No Bounds

Today is Wednesday, so that means another amazing story!  Today’s post is from my amazing friend Tori:

“Never in a million years did I think I would be the mother to 9 children.  What surprises me most is that  3 are  adopted and that I traveled thousands of miles to Asia to get them and that I would choose to raise children with disabilities.  So here I am loving my life and learning more everyday what a blessing these children have brought to our lives.

 When we first got married we talked about having 4-5 kids.  As each child was born our love, joy, challenges and excitement just grew and grew, bigger and bigger.   Soon we were the proud (and busy) parents of 6 beautiful and amazing children.  After having a tremendous scare from a prolapse cord during labor we decided we were done having children and were happy and satisfied with the 6 we had.

Choosing to be done having kids and being told you can’t have any more kids hit me like a ton of bricks and changed my life.   When our youngest was 5 years old, I had 3 abnormal paps and my doctor said I needed a hysterectomy to prevent cancer.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Even though we had already decided we were not having any more children it was so difficult to have that choice taken away permanently.  I didn’t understand why it had to be me, why can so many unwanted pregnancies happen, why can so many abortions take place, why can so many babies be born addicted to drugs, I was only 35, I was healthy and happy so why me.  I was mad and hurt that this was happening to me.

I fought back tears for years when people I loved had babies knowing that it was something I could never experience again. I wanted to be happy for the new mom and dad because this moment was a beautiful miracle of life. My husband was supportive and knew I was struggling.  He said if I wanted more children he would be willing to adopt.  I didn’t think I could love a child as much as my own,  I had heard adoption was expensive, we didn’t know anything about adoption and we were happy and satisfied with the children we already had so I didn’t want to consider adoption.

 For the first time in my life I started working full-time and built friendships with my co-workers .  I loved sharing stories about my children and found myself saying “I would take a baby in a heartbeat if someone wanted to give me another one”.  Maybe I was not done having kids and building our family, maybe, deep down, I felt our family was not complete.

Seven years later we started talking about adoption and researching about it.  At the same time my sister was having the same interest in adoption, so when she mentioned she was looking into adoption, guess what, us too- it was like taking a load off my chest! To know that we were not alone, and that we could share what we had learned.  And I started to become excited about the idea of adoption.

 The adoption process is a topic all on it’s own filled with love, courage, and uncertainty.  Going through the adoption process definitely taught me more about faith and prayer and how important it is to have in our lives, and how grateful we are to have it.   Looking back I truly believe we were led to each of our children from the beginning and I understand why things happened the way they did.

We started our journey thinking we would adopt one child under 2 from the USA.  One of the hardest parts of the process was getting started and having the faith to just do it (after all we didn’t have $20k+ laying around).  I researched online and every time I would search I would find myself on a web site filled with orphans that had down syndrome.  I explored the page several times for general adoption information and soon I was convinced our child also has down syndrome.

Each of our adopted children have a unique story of their own about how we found them and I know by following the spirit we were taken by the hand step by step until they were safe in our arms.  I know in my heart that these children are my children, even though they didn’t grow and develop inside my body or have my DNA they definitely belong here with us as part of our family.

By following our hearts and with a lot of help from above we ended up adopting our first from Taiwan.  I will never forget the day we met him in an orphanage, a spunky 6 year old little boy who had been waiting for us to find him.  He ran into our arms with a smile on his face, he introduced us to his friends and nannies, grabbed his bag and was ready to go.   I kept waiting for him to get homesick and the novelty of us to wear off but it never did, he was so brave and has overcome so much.  In a flash his whole world as he knew it was changed, and he has never looked back.  He was perfect, down syndrome and all and I discovered I can love a child who is not part of me just as much as I love my other children.  He is a child of God.

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Not long after bringing Isaac home we decided to start all over and do it again, and 2 years later we brought home our 8 year old son Gordy and our 2 year old daughter Dottie from China.  Adopting has changed our life for the better.  We have learned so much more about love, faith, compassion, prayer and forgiveness because of adoption.  My only regret is that I wish we would have done it sooner.”

Tori highly recommends reecesrainbow.org as a great resource.  They advocate for orphans with disabilities and they take donations for the children which are applied to the adoption fees to help these kids get home.  They are a wonderful organization!

Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation

reecesrainbow.org

And here are her three adorable adopted angels!

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I hope you have enjoyed Tori’s amazing experience with following her heart, listening to the whispers of the Spirit, and her faith that Heavenly Father knew where her other children were.  If you ever have the chance to meet Tori, you will notice that her eyes practically glow with love.  She has the kindest heart.  I remember, I had the privilege of meeting Issac not too long after he came home.  He was the CUTEST little guy.  I’m so grateful for Tori’s example of love.

For those thinking of adoption, I hope this gives you a bit of encouragement to keep on the path.

Life is Good.  Share the Good.

1 thought on “Love Knows No Bounds”

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