Corey - Adopting from Foster Care
A little over 9 years ago our son, Gabe, was placed in my arms. With no prenatal diagnosis, I lovingly looked into his beautiful almond shaped eyes and announced very “matter of fact”, “he has Down syndrome.” From that moment, I knew God would use this precious boy for many blessings.
After we got settled in at home, I decided to try and find a support group for parents of kiddos with Ds. What I found by “accident” would change the trajectory of our lives forever! It was in fact a support group, just not the kind I was looking for... It actually was more than that, it was an agency that helped babies with Down syndrome across the globe find forever families. The waiting children list was staggering...heart breaking...My husband and I wept, and we both knew, but Bill said it first...”we need to adopt” “ yes” was my only response.
We were not able to go the international route although we did do a lot of donating and advocating, but 6 years later I found NDSAN and again, the trajectory of our lives took another shift... We had no idea how many children in our own country are in need of adoption! Kids with special needs or who are medically fragile are “hard to place” so we knew this was where God called us. There was a sweet little boy with Ds in our own state that was available and even though we weren’t home study approved yet, Stephanie encouraged me to put together a quick family profile in hopes his social worker would work with us. He ended up going to a family member, but we went through home study and treatment foster care classes anyway so we could be ready.
And then... Corey... I saw this precious boy and I knew he was my son! His profile said New England families. We were 390 miles away, but we knew God could knock down boundaries....so I called Stephanie again!! And again she encouraged me to make a family profile specific to Corey and send everything in as soon as our home study was done. I did. The waiting is agony!!! Finally, in February 2018, Stephanie emailed and said Corey’s worker loved our family for him but a family in New England was found and they wanted him to stay in his state. We were devastated... Time passed, our oldest son got married and moved out, we were getting ready for our summer vacation and our TFC license was about to expire. I felt kind of numb...hopeless, but I felt God nudging me to check the NDSAN page the week before vacation.
My heart dropped into my stomach...it was MY SON! MY COREY! How? Why?...It didn’t matter how or why he was listed again, I called immediately!!! That was on August 14, 2018. On February 4, 2019, after a good, hard fight, mounds of paperwork and an interstate compact, we brought our precious boy home... FOREVER!! Having/Adopting children with Down syndrome is not a journey many will take, but it is a journey worth taking!!! We are so thankful for the love, commitment and support of the NDSAN for all they do to bring families together!! Without them, our son and so many others would still be waiting for their FOREVER!