Meet Sam & Nate, brothers who are rocking that extra chromosome like a boss.
I know I have been featuring each of the kids that came in to see me in a separate blog post, but these two guys are brothers and have the most amazing story. I wanted to combine their blog post so you could see what an amazing gift their parents have given then, and how they saved each other.
Here are some words from Sam & Nate’s mom:
We met our Sammy in Ukraine when he was 14 months old, but we had loved him from a distance for 8 months. During our adoption process Sam’s paperwork in Ukraine was delayed repeatedly. Eventually, our facilitator told us we would need to choose a “back-up child” because there was a chance that Sam’s paperwork would not be ready when we arrived in Ukraine. Nate became our “back-up child”.
A series of miracles led us to decide to change Nate from a back up child to our son. When we arrived in Ukraine, Sam’s paperwork was not ready and so we accepted two and a half year old Nate’s referral and traveled to his region to meet him. He was very sick and had a serious heart condition in need of surgery. We were told he might not survive the flight back to the US. In the meantime, because we were in Ukraine, our facilitator was able to get two federal workers to travel down to Sam’s region to track down his dossier. They uncovered a scandal and stacks of dossiers unprocessed. We were told we would have to travel back to the US and then come back after the paperwork was processed.
Leaving Nate was one of the hardest things we have ever done. We came back 3 weeks later and we were able to have court to adopt both little boys. We are convinced that Sam and Nate saved one another. Without surgery, Nate would have died. Had Sam not had those delays in his paperwork, we never would have considered a second child. Had we not added Nate and traveled to Ukraine, Sam would still be in a crib in his orphanage and his dossier would still be sitting in a stack unprocessed. They truly saved one another.
Sam is a ray of sunshine. He loves all things furniture and especially enjoys HGTV. He watches home tours on YouTube and gets very excited about cleaning and organizing. He tries to move around and rearrange our furniture all the time. We delight in making him giggle and smile. When his daddy gets home from work, Sam signs “fly” and waits for his dad to pick him up and fly him around the house. When he is put down, he signs “again”. Sammy is considered non-verbal but he use some sign language and also uses an ipad to communicate. Sam experienced a regression when he had been home for about 2 months. He lost his ability to make eye contact and did not interact with us. He eventually received an autism diagnosis. He teaches us everyday to value human connection in any form and to appreciate the journey.
When Nate came to us, we knew that he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in addition to Down Syndrome. He was two and a half and not able to sit up or hold on to a bottle. He had been in a crib his whole life. He was sitting up before we made it back to the US. He had open heart surgery after being home for 1 month. He slowly made more physical gains but walking was a big struggle. Eventually we discovered that he had hip dysplasia. At age five, he had both hips repaired and wore full spica casts for eight weeks. He can say only a handful of words but he definitely knows how to get his point across. Nate attends a multi-age 2nd/3rd grade class and loves being included with his peers. He loves to use his blue scooter to transitions between special classes and therapies at school. His challenges have never held back his amazing smile and enthusiasm for life. He can dance like crazy!
Oh, the places you will go, boys!
It was a pleasure to do a special photo session with some kiddos from Western New York who have Down syndrome for the third year in a. row. I am hoping to spread awareness locally on messages of acceptance and beauty to individuals with Down Syndrome.
Our local news station aired the story last year to shine a beautiful light on our photo shoot experience. You can watch the story here.
BETHANY CHASE PHOTOGRAPHY IS A TRUSTED AND EXPERIENCED PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER IN ROCHESTER NY THAT CREATES CUSTOM NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY, MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY, BABY PHOTOGRAPHY, CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCES FOR CLIENTS ALL ACROSS THE AREA. BETHANY CHASE PHOTOGRAPHY CURRENTLY SERVES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING NEW YORK AREAS: ROCHESTER, WEBSTER, PENFIELD, PITTSFORD, BRIGHTON, PERINTON, FAIRPORT, HENRIETTA, SPENCERPORT, GATES, CHILI, IRONDEQUOIT, GREECE, CHURCHVILLE, MENDON.
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