Hi, and welcome to our adoption blog! We are the Olivier family and we're just getting started in the adoption process to adopt a precious little boy from Eastern Europe.
We are Joe and Bianca. We have three girls, Tristen (9), Aislinn (7), and Linden (3). During my pregnancy with Linden, we found out that she may have Down syndrome or some other chromosomal abnormality because she had a heart defect and had no nasal bone. We did not do any further testing (amnio) because we were going to love her no matter how she came to us. We continued to monitor her heart throughout the pregnancy. She was born, in the middle of a hurricane, and as soon as I saw her face when she came out, I knew. We both knew. She did indeed have Down syndrome. And, everything about Linden, from that moment on, has been a complete blessing! She is seriously a wonderful child, as all three of our girls are. A lot of it IS because she has Down syndrome.
The seed for adoption was planted a lot earlier in life. As a child, I always wanted my parents to adopt. I would scour the newspaper for the "Wednesday's Child" (a foster child of the week) and beg my parents to adopt them. I loved watching shows about adoption and just knew that I would one day adopt a child (or several!). I think that when I mentioned earlier on in our relationship that I wanted to adopt, that Joe didn't really take me seriously. When I found Reece's Rainbow in 2008, a non-profit adoption ministry for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs, my two worlds collided, Down syndrome AND adoption. I was hooked. I had watched specials on tv about orphanages and institutions so I knew what these children were headed to if they weren't adopted. I fell for a little girl and after a couple weeks of feeling so burdened for her, I asked Joe about adopting her. He wasn't too keen on it at all. I think that Linden was only 3 months old at the time. I will admit that it crushed me. I wanted to help. Knowing that adopting wasn't in the cards for me, then, I continued to pray for his heart and advocate for the children on Reece's Rainbow.
In June of 2010, I was looking through a photolisting of children available for adoption in a particular country. One little boy caught my eye. He was wearing a sailor suit and had the most captivating blue eyes. I could tell that he had Down syndrome and he was only a year old. I remember emailing his picture to the director of Reece's Rainbow, and she told me that he wasn't available for international adoption. It made me so sad for him because with having Down syndrome, he would most likely not be adopted in his own country. I told myself, "If he ever becomes available, I want to adopt him."
I never stopped praying for him. He was just too beautiful to be lost in the system.
Sometime in April of this year, I noticed that a little boy on Reece's Rainbow named "Darren" had a new picture. Something about his new picture made my heart flutter. I decided to save the picture to my computer to post it on Facebook. When I saved the picture, it went side by side with the picture of little boy in the sailor suit. I literally gasped and burst into tears because they were the same child. The little boy who I had been praying for all that time was "Darren". I just had chills all over. Oh how, I wanted to be his mama. I just wanted to swim across the ocean to bring him home. That's how strong my feelings were for him. Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to pray for Joe's heart to change. I decided to write him a letter. I never ended up giving him that letter for whatever reason. He never gave me any indication that adopting was something that he wanted to do.
In July, when a new baby girl, who looked JUST like Linden was listed for adoption, he 'let' me inquire about her. We even went as far as sending in our family profile but we were not chosen.
Last month, "Darren" got another new picture. Oh, his smile makes me melt. His little fat knees just begged for me to tickle them just like I do with Linden's fat knees. I could not stand it any longer, I had to tell Joe. I don't know if it was bad timing or what, but he shut me down. He said that nothing would change his mind. Oh, how my heart hurt. I wanted this little boy to be mine more than anything. Something about hearning no again just really got to me. I gave up. I visualized myself handing "Darren" over to God and saying "Please help Joe to love him like I do."
About a month later after not mentioning anything about us adopting, Joe came up to me and said "What would make you the happiest woman in this world?" I said, "Um, to go to Disney World at Christmastime?" He said, "No, even happier than that!" I said, "To adopt?" He said, "Let's do it!" After about me saying "Are you serious?!!?!?!" and punching him in the arm a few times, he told me about his dream. He said that a couple nights before, he had dreamed that he and I had gone to get our son in an orphanage. When we got there, our baby was tied to his crib, helpless, and Joe said to me "Why didn't we do this sooner?!" When he woke up, he knew that he had to tell me about it, but he waited a little while, mulling it over, knowing that this was a very big decision. He realized that he did, in fact, want to adopt, too.
And here we are! What a wild, crazy ride! Thank you for coming along. Tomorrow, I will tell you all about "Darren".