When a woman was told the baby she wished to adopt was not deemed worthy of adoption, she bravely went against the status quo and inspired several other families to do the same.
All children need a family and a stable environment to be loved, cared for, and understood. Ironically, many kids spend a life of deprivation, longing to have a loving home with parents and siblings who value them.
Many people have stepped forward to raise their voices for children in orphanages and foster care in recent times. Moreover, many couples have started to choose adoption to complete their families.
[Left] Desiree White pictured holding Isaac; [Right] A candid shot of Desiree lovingly gazing at Isaac. | Source: facebook.com/desiree.white.104
THE LONGING TO ADOPT A CHILD
Desiree White from Tacoma, Washington, shared similar feelings and had a heart that felt deeply for children. She had wished to adopt a child ever since she was a teenager. Later in life, she realized she wanted to adopt a kid with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that results in developmental delays and intellectual differences. As a pediatric trauma nurse, White had an incredible experience dealing with young Down syndrome patients.
She recalled that many pediatric nurses fought to work with Down syndrome kids because they were fun to look after. White's pediatric nursing background had equipped her with the needed skill-set to look after a child with special needs.
ADOPTING A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
The Tacoma resident knew that kids with special needs had to wait longer to find forever families. So, she contacted Bethany Christian Services, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1944 that provided adoption and foster care services.
Here's a story that follows a similar theme, and it's about a couple who adopted two girls with Down syndrome despite friends telling them it would ruin their family.
White expressed she wished to adopt a child with Down syndrome. There was complete silence on the other side of the phone for a while, and then a worker from Bethany told White that many children with special needs were considered 'unadoptable.'
Elisabeth McGinnis, a project coordinator at Bethany Christian Services, explained that special needs kids had limited options. If not adopted, some of them spent their entire lives in an institution, while others were left on the streets.
White became more committed than ever in her quest to adopt a kid with special needs. Six months later, she was matched with a boy in China, Isaac, who was only 11 months old at the time.
Nine months after seeing Isaac's picture in November 2011, White traveled to Guizhou Guizhou province in Southwestern China to bring her son home. White said she knew she was going against the status quo, but all she cared about was her boy.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Her first meeting with Isaac didn't go as planned. She went through a dilapidated building and eagerly waited for a glimpse of her son. Finally, a woman brought him along, dressed in bright green clothes. White recalled:
"He kind of toddled over to me and smacked me in the face – that was our first love tap."
At that moment, White shared she knew Isaac was meant to be her son forever. Isaac was one of the first kids with Down syndrome to be legally adopted from China.
THE BAMBOO PROJECT
Isaac's adoption was the first of its kind and required White to share her feedback with the Chinese authorities on her son's condition. He thrived in White's care and attended a neurotypical preschool.
In 2013, the Chinese government released adoption files for 14 more 'unadoptable' kids with Down syndrome. White's adoption paved the way for other children like Isaac to be adopted, giving birth to the Bamboo Project.
Many American couples adopted kids with Down syndrome from China through the project. Dan and Jessica Watson from Minnesota adopted two-year-old Emi through the Bamboo Project after being inspired by White's story.
ANOTHER ADOPTION STORY
The couple spent five years saving money to adopt a special needs kid. In 2015, they traveled to China to adopt Emi. When they brought her to the U.S., the doctors found two holes in her heart and permanent lung damage.
After many corrective surgeries, Emi recovered. The Watsons described their girl as loving, funny, and mischievous and said she gave their life a new perspective.
Thanks to White and the Watsons, Isaac and Emi had a renewed chance at life and a bright future. Many couples have begun to open their hearts and homes to special needs children in present times, opting for domestic and international adoptions.
Here's a story that follows a similar theme, and it's about a couple who adopted two girls with Down syndrome despite friends telling them it would ruin their family. You can read the whole story here.
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