Nataley joined our family through adoption. We first met her in March of 2015 while visiting a care center in central China. She danced with our daughters and combed their hair, she made us laugh and she bossed us around, she grabbed a piece of our hearts that day and never let go. We returned home from that trip and almost immediately I asked our adoption agency about her. They were well aware of who she was, as many other visitors had inquired about her, but unfortunately there was no adoption file prepared. I filled out paperwork anyway, very specific to her, in the hopes that one day her file would be made. I emailed regularly asking if there was any news. Finally in August 2016 her file was ready and she could be adopted! We were at the top of the list for a child with her needs, “do you still want to see her file”? So much had changed since we first met her, we adopted our sweet Leeya who sadly passed away, we were currently matched with another precious little girl and working to bring her home, but we knew Nataley was a missing piece to our family puzzle. On January 9, 2017, Nataley became our daughter (along with Molly but that’s a different story), we were hers forevermore.
Nataley was almost 6.5 years old when we adopted her. She has Down syndrome. She has a congenital heart defect. She has pulmonary hypertension. She has hypothyroidism. She has severe sleep apnea. And, she has a cataract on her right eye. Because of those things she has doctor appointments, surgeries, therapies and daily medicine routines. All of that is time consuming and can be scary. For some people, all of that makes her unworthy of having a family.
We chose to see past those things, see past the diagnosis’, and see Nataley! A little girl who is so very worthy of a family. We see the joy. We see the silliness that brings so much laughter. We see the compassion that wipes someone else’s tear. We feel the gentle pats as she hugs us. We see the excitement when she learns something new. We see the light that she shines every single day. We see a little girl that loves dolls and books, loves to play outside and jump on the trampoline, loves hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries and ice cream, loves to swim, and loves to snuggle. I could go on and on, she is just a little girl that loves life!
We chose Nataley. And we would do it over again every day. We chose to say yes to a little girl that needed a family. She is a blessing and we are the lucky ones that get to call her daughter.
If you have ever thought about special needs adoption, please reach out to us, we would love to help answer any questions you may have.