*As I go back and read this now, the use of “people first” language is seriously lacking…..I guess now that I know better, I do better. I have decided to leave it as is…this is the mom I was when Neely was born. She has taught me so much. She is not a Down’s child. She is a child who just happens to have Down syndrome. She has Down Syndrome, not Down’s. Thank you sweet Neely for teaching your momma, just when I thought it would be me who was teaching you……
Do you ever think God might be laughing at you?
I think He laughs at me a lot.
He laughs when I try and orchestrate my life just like I think He wants it.
Example? Ruby Kate’s arrival into our family……
Boy, did I think I had that one all figured out…He sure showed me.
And, He’s done it again…this time with this sweet, chubby face….
I have known for a long time that a Down Syndrome little one would be part of our family. I have always thought this would be through adoption and have just always had a peace about our life going in that direction.
Probably over a year ago, I came across a website called Reese’s Rainbow. It has profiles of children that are adoptable all over the world that have Down Syndrome. I can not tell you how much time I have spent pouring over that website looking at those sweet faces and wondering when it would be possible for us to actively pursue this for our family.
I will be honest that I spent a lot of time very discouraged about the cost of the whole adoption process. I have always understood that there were costs involved but just knew for our family that would be a big obstacle to overcome. We don’t happen to have $25,000 to $40,000 just hanging around the house. 🙂 We would also face the challenge of going overseas to adopt a child, especially from a country that requires multiple trips. We love our babies and the thought of being away from them to travel around the world was not comforting.
I prayed that God would provide a way for us to adopt a Down Syndrome baby or even a child through whatever means He saw fit. As I began to “plan” this out in my head, I thought pursuing being foster parents would be a good way to start. I contacted our county and they sent me a paperwork packet to get started. I have kept it on my desk because I have felt like we did not have our life in “order” enough to get started. Our house isn’t perfect, we don’t have lots of extra financial resources and on top of that we had a baby on the way so we would certainly need to wait until all that was taken care of and THEN I could get started on the paperwork. So there it sat…..
I even got an email from the county a few weeks ago, asking if we were still interested in pursuing becoming foster/adoptive parents. Have been meaning to email back and just haven’t gotten around to it.
So we’re back to this week. Monday night when we got to see Neely, I immediately noticed that her sweet little eyes were different and her little tongue was jutting out constantly. I sent Bryan back to the nursery to take a picture of her palm (looking for the characteristic Down’s Simian crease) but he couldn’t get a flat one. Scrunchy baby. 🙂 We had a discussion that night about her having Down Syndrome and felt like that was most likely the case.
While I was busy trying to “plan” how we were going to welcome a Down’s child into our home, God was busy knitting Neely Jane in my womb.
Never once was there any indication that she had Down’s. I even had multiple sonograms because of some pregnancy issues I was having. I even asked multiple times about her heart……just normal momma worry. Our wonderful sonogram nurse always saw a great looking heart and was always reassuring about our healthy little one.
Tuesday morning, Dr. Sabens came in to deliver the “news”, sat down beside me on the bed, put his arm around me and before he could even get started good, I said, “She has Down’s.” He asked what made me say that. Because I serve a mighty God. One that didn’t need my “plan”….one that had His OWN PLAN.
And it is perfect….just like Neely Jane.
I knew she was meant just for our family…not through adoption….not through the foster care system…..but God’s way.
Dr. Sabens apologized that I had spent the entire night after her birth worrying. He said he knew that must have been hard on me.
He couldn’t have been more wrong. I slept like a baby on Monday night. I knew from the moment I saw her that she was the answer to my prayers for our family. What a blessing! For so many families, a Down’s diagnosis is a shock and for us it would have normally been too. But what a peace God has given Bryan and I about our sweet little girl. She is ours, made in His image especially for our family. We have no doubts about that.
God is good….all the time.
Just a quick update: Neely is doing great! She has an AV Canal Defect that will have to be repaired when she is between 4 to 6 months old. We want her to spend the months until that time growing nice and BIG so the surgeon has larger “heart parts” to work on instead of teeny tiny ones! I’ll share more about her AV Canal Defect soon.
She is resting comfortably in her little bed and has begun taking breast milk through her NG tube that goes from her nose to her stomach. Our goal is to get her breastfeeding/bottlefeeding well so that we can go home. Since we are already here they are taking care of all the genetic testing and health tests that we would normally have had to come here anyway to have. This way is just a lot easier….to knock it all out at one time.
Our main concern right now is teaching her to nurse. Often babies with Down syndrome struggle with latching on and breastfeeding so she’s going to have a little more instruction than my other babies. I am thankful to be here so that they can help me teach her and look forward to getting home and connecting with my awesome lactation consultants there and getting their help as well! (I miss you Kim and Jennifer!)
We are spending our time watching her sleep, suffering with her when she has to be pricked or poked or prodded and just soaking in her sweet little feisty spirit. She is not in any kind of immediate danger and she is pretty much acting like a typical newborn.
Love You All and thank you for your prayers!