Four years ago Nathan and I traveled to Hong Kong with our oldest son. After 18 months of paperwork, fingerprints, classes, more paperwork and endless waiting, it was finally time to meet our youngest son for the first time.
When I walked through the door of his foster home, I looked down and saw my son. He looked up and saw a stranger. He was quite happy to have these three strangers in his home giving him their undivided attention. But then these people who smelled odd, talked funny and looked different took him away from his home and onto this giant flying machine away from everything he knew.
I look back at the pictures of our time with him in Hong Kong and see a few smiles, but a lot of uncertainty on his little face.
He clung to Daddy most of the time and was happy to have big brother there to play with. Thankfully, we knew a family that had recently adopted their son and who also preferred Daddy in the beginning. It helped prepare me to just let him be with whoever brought him the most comfort during all the transition.
After arriving home, he loved having his older siblings to play with and did pretty well while he was awake. But when it was time to sleep and after waking up he would cry this deep sobbing cry. It was hard to watch him as he mourned losing everything and everyone he had previously know. We did a lot of snuggling and a lot of singing to him during this time. After a few months, the crying began to stop as the new become normal.
It’s hard to believe it’s been four years already. He is an active little boy who loves to be involved in everything that’s going on around him. He also loves to help. I often find him sweeping, clearing the table or washing the table. There’s also a stubborn streak and we’re slowly learning to tap into his helpful side without drawing out his stubborn side!
He is very vocal, although much of it is sounds (very loud sounds!) rather than words. There’s a few words he can say, but verbal speech has been difficult for him. He’s done well with picking up sign language and we’re working to add more signs to his vocabulary. He’s an eager learner and I have to be careful to add only a few signs at a time so I can remember what he’s trying to say.
There are many wives that have a heart to adopt children with special needs, but their husbands are not on board with the idea. At first Nathan was one of those husbands. Special needs and Down syndrome were intimidating and he just wasn’t sure he was ready for that. Thankfully, he took the time to pray and listen to the plan God had for our family. Once he felt God’s leading to follow the road of special needs adoption he never looked back. I am grateful for Nathan’s willingness to step into the unknown. I am thankful for this little boy who is now a Mason. As it turns out, Down syndrome is a part of our lives with him, but it does not define our lives. He is a wonderful little boy, who has a little something extra on his 21st chromosome and has brought an extra little wonderful to our family.