“In the spring of 2009 we found out we were expecting our fourth child. When we were told we would have a baby girl -I was thrilled! We were also told that our baby had enlarged brain ventricles – we had never encountered any issues with our first three babies, so this was all new and very scary. At a follow up ultrasound it was also found that our little girl had at least one hole in her heart. We were told this could indicate a chromosomal disorder -it was suggested I have an amniocentesis because “you only have about a week”.I was shocked that termination was being presented …and I was sure to make it known that I didn’t care about diagnosis -termination was not an option.

That fall, I did the amnio and found out our baby had Down syndrome.The unknown is scary, I was absolutely scared … especially about the health concerns. By this time we also knew our sweet baby had a serious heart defect (thankfully the swollen ventricles were improving). I held onto hope in regards to her health, I remained optimistic (for the most part) and excited to welcome this sweet girl to our family. One day I decided to look up the meaning of a name that had been on our list for years … when I found out that Zoey means “life” – I knew that was her, she would be Zoey!

On January 23, 2010 we finally got to meet our little miracle, Zoey Grace Mabel! I knew right away she was worth anything we may face with her – we adored her! She spent five weeks the NICU, fighting to get stable enough to go home – to gain weight before surgery to repair her heart. At three months old she had open heart surgery. We were amazed by how quickly she changed – suddenly our weak and frail baby had energy and sass! That first year was tough, but since then her health has truly been amazing!

Life with Zoey is just so beautiful, I can’t imagine our lives without her! I can’t imagine a world without the joy she brings…it is because of that joy that we have felt led to adopt! We are so excited to be adding another sweet girl -complete with an extra chromosome and a heart defect -to our family. We hope to bring this sweetheart home from China later this year!”

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