|Joy (6 yrs)|
This is our niece, Joy Sa-Rang. Joy provided the inspiration and motivation to bring home Baby Z. When my sister-in-law, Rachel, told me that she had always been drawn to children with Down syndrome and that she had even entertained the idea of adopting a child with Down syndrome, I thought, "That's nice. I am glad somebody is willing to do that." At that time I would have never imagined pursuing the adoption of a child with Down syndrome.
Joy introduced us to Down syndrome (Ds). Joy is Joy. Joy isn't Down syndrome, Joy isn't a stigma, Joy isn't a genetic mutation, Joy isn't an abnormality... Joy is Joy. And Baby Z will be Z.
In the US we abort a high percentage of babies with Down syndrome. The prenatal diagnosis is virtually a death sentence. For the sake of convenience, babies are murdered and families never know the joy they are missing by denying these children their right to life.
My first real interaction with a child who had Ds was in Romania. My friend, Jody, was in love with a baby named Elana. Because Elana had Down syndrome, she received very little attention or stimulation from staff at the baby hospital. Children with Down syndrome were called "half-brains" and marginalized. In the US, we are much more "humane" - we exterminate them before they are born. In other countries they continue to be discarded and marginalized.
While our motivation to adopt Baby Z is not to make a statement, adopting Baby Z certainly will make a statement. The statement is this, "We value life." Baby Z will be a blessing to our family, our friends, and our community. We are thankful for his sweet life and look forward to bringing him home. We have been "surprised by Joy" (to shamelessly steal from C.S. Lewis).
|Joy in Korea|
|Joy the week she came home (1 year old)|
|Joy 2 years old|