Lesbian couple adopts a child with Down syndrome
In Canada, paramedic Holly Graham and firewoman Alex Dudley met and fell in love. Once married, the inseparable couple had a slightly unusual wish.
After tying the knot, they wanted to adopt a child – but no ordinary child. They wanted a baby with Down syndrome. But there was a good reason for this rather curious wish, as Holly explained in her blog. In her youth, she was best friends with a girl who had Down syndrome; this friendship made a lasting impression on her and had a hand in her decision to have children.
In 2013, Holly and Alex decided to begin the adoption process. Not wanting to spend too much money, the couple knew that they were in for a long wait.
They started by applying for adoption at the Child and Family Services (CFS) in Alberta, Canada, but found that only two children with Down syndrome had been adopted in the past seven years. This prompted them to go through a private agency.
Alex and Holly found an excellent organization and were very optimistic about becoming parents soon. Yet months went by as the private adoption agency waited for a response from the CFS, leaving them feeling increasingly frustrated.
But after what seemed like an eternity, the adoption agency called them up one day while they were on vacation. Holly remembers the call going something like this...
"6 weeks, Down syndrome, AVSD [atrioventricular septal defect, heart defect], heart surgery, hospital, feeding issues, birth mom, adoption plan, immediate placement, ARE YOU INTERESTED?"
They could hardly believe that their time had finally come. They flew back to Canada and drove to the birth mother. On the journey there, they admittedly had some doubts about whether they were actually ready for the adoption. But these worries were soon cast aside after seeing their future son for the first time at the children's hospital in Alberta.
"It was the most overwhelming experience in my entire life. We took the journey to his room, in what seemed like an eternity and this is what we walked into…
... Welcome to our family, Jaxson! We were in love with you before we laid eyes on you.“
Their love will surely help the young boy get the best start in life. Many children with Down syndrome are often born with other conditions, such as heart defect in Jaxson's case. This means that unpleasant procedures are sometimes necessary.
But the couple didn't allow that to dampen their spirits, as you can see in the following video:
In the meantime, this special family has returned to normality. Jaxson has been growing quickly and is looking magnificent. He's now attending kindergarten and is learning more hand gestures and words like "mama" every day; Jaxson is even able to form full sentences. His two mothers are extremely proud of their son.
The couple will certainly be doing their utmost to ensure young Jaxson James has a bright future. Though adoptions often involve a lot of anger and tears, this story shows that they can also have a happy ending.