Adopt a Child with Down syndrome

Two Different Experiences From Two Different Moms

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To adopt a child with Down syndrome is not a common circumstance, but it happens more often than many imagine. There are more and more cases of families, who decide to adopt a child with Down syndrome; while sharing with the world, their pride and joy for having found the perfect child to complete their homes.

To go deeper into the subject of doption, I am going to talk about two different experiences from two different moms: Ana María Zahzu from Argentina, and Alicia Llanas from México.

Ana María Zahzu, is the mother of two kids, both of them are adopted. Her first child, Iara; was adopted as a baby. Iara was 11 years old when she became a “big sister” to Santiago. For more than 7 years they had to wait for another child. Finally, on December 13, 2011 the Zahzu family was contacted by the Adoption Services offices, letting them know that a 45 days old baby with Down syndrome, was waiting to be adopted.

With no hesitation, and completely sure of their desire to become parents one more time, Ana María and her husband appeared in front of the judge the next day at 8 a.m. Custody was ceded immediately, and the process for picking up the child from the disability center, was expedited.

Since then, Santiago is part of this family. He’s already two years old, and his sister Irara is 13.

Ana María, told us “We are truly happy. I’m grateful with God for giving me these two children. I’m also very grateful with my husband for agreeing to take this challenge along with me, as a family. I always tell everyone, that I must have done something real good, to deserve such an honor to become the mother of these two wonderful human beings; Iara and Santiago”

Our next story is a bit different, when Alicia Llanas’ biological son with Down syndrome, Elías; was 6 years old, Alicia decided to adopt Eva, a four year old girl with Down syndrome.

Alicia expressed to her husband her desire to adopt a child; a girl; a girl with Down syndrome, as a way to highlight her unconditional love for he son, as a typical child living with Down syndrome.

The path wasn’t easy, there have been many challenges, starting with the process of adopting, going through the process of adaptation of Eva to her new family. Eva lived for four years at a orphanage, so for her, achieving the assurance of finding a family forever, was harder than expected.

After two years being part of the family, Eva is finally fully integrated and is greatly advancing along with her brother Elías. Alicia shares her family story in her Spanish blog, www.aliciallanas.com

On one of her last posts, Alicia expresses the satisfaction and pride of seeing Eva as part of the family, like this: “I know she has finally realized that she’s part of this family, I know she certainly knows we are here for her. She feels loved, protected, and she knows we’ll stay, and she’ll stay with us. This is the first time we saw her enjoying her birthday with no concerns. Being a typical girl”

How can you Adopt a Child with Down syndrome?

In Alicia´s case, it was possible trough the support of Reece’s Rainbow Foundation, an international non-profit foundation, available in United States too; that facilitates the adoption of kids with Down syndrome around the world. In her personal case, the process was harder, as Eva was already 4 years old when she was adopted.

As Ana Maria, relates in her story, in her case everything went smoother. She’s from Argentina, and the process of adaption was pretty typical with no complications of any type. As you may know, adopting a baby is always easier, as they don’t need to cross a period of adaption before going home with their family.

In Spain, there are several non-profit organization that promote the adoption of children with Down syndrome, you can learn more on the following links:

Adopting a Child with Down syndrome

Discapnet – Cómo adoptar un niño con síndrome de Down – How to Adopt a Child with Down syndrome

Children with Down syndrome are not different than any other, and have nothing less to offer than a typical child. They all bring love to her adoptive families, completing the lives of those in seek of love.

At the interview with these two moms, I asked a common question: “Why adopt a child with Down syndrome?” They both agreed on the answer “Why not?”

Why not give ourselves, and why not give these kids, the chance to love and be loved, with no prejudices of any kind.  Isn’t that real love?

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