I actually met her on the Reece's Rainbow Yahoo Group a couple of days ago and we have been emailing back and forth. I have had tons of questions for her because she adopted from the U.S., but is now looking to adopt Down Syndrome children internationally. I can't explain it, but I felt an instant bond to her. After emailing and IM'ing a few times, we decided to just talk over the phone. I actually expected to hear an older-sounding large woman with a gruff voice (isn't it funny how we "picture" people before we meet or hear them sometimes?)...but she sounded SO YOUNG...and TINY! She had the cutest little West Virginia voice. :o)
Her and her husband have THIRTEEN children right now -- TWELVE of them adopted -- and she is ONLY 31 years old!). She wants to save 3 children with Down Syndrome overseas via Reece's Rainbow. Amazing! She has one darling girl with DS, three children with autism, two who are mentally challenged...I can't remember the rest (sorry, Amanda!).
We talked for at least an hour, and just about all she talked about was how special her children were; the milestones they had reached that everyone said they wouldn't; how selflessly they all loved and cared for each other. I was so amazed. Amazing Amanda. Seriously. She didn't sound flustered about having that many children AT ALL. In fact, the only time I even heard noise in the background was when one of her children very quietly would ask her a question. She home schools all of them (yay!), too.
She especially told me just how precious it is to have a child with Down Syndrome. She talked about her daughter being the sunshine of their home and how everyone doted on her. She went on and on about how this baby girl (she is 4, but is small, only about 27 pounds, I think?) ran the house. Now, this mama is tough, too! She doesn't take any nonsense. You know she can't with 13 children. You have to be strict. Loving, but strict. Otherwise, chaos. But she told me that when her little girl with Down Syndrome looked up at her with her sweet eyes, well, she broke the rules for her a lot. Lol...so cute.
Oh, and the other things she said about Down Syndrome children just made me cry! The reason she only had one child biologically is because she had a very difficult pregnancy. She had to be fed intravenously due to severe nausea and other complications. Her husband got a vasectomy after her first child was born, but she says that if she KNEW that she was going to give birth to a Down Syndrome baby, then she would ask her husband to get a reversal IN A HEARTBEAT and go through that again and again. WHAT?!!! I was floored with that statement. She continued on about how if the world were full of Down Syndrome children that that it would be such a better place and that we might even have world peace. You should have heard her! This wasn't some weirdo...this was a woman in LOVE with Down Syndrome children! A very intelligent woman! A young woman! I'll never forget our conversation. Such a godly woman. If I can get a picture of her family from her, I will post it here if she is okay with it.
I am convinced. I am convinced that Amanda and I have become friends for a reason. I am convinced that I want to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. The way she talked, I do NOT want to miss out on one of these special babies. I must have one in my life. I was unsure before and a bit scared. Not now. I am ready. I am ready, Lord. Your will be done. Just show me what to do.