Psalm 68:5-6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

I am Stepanie Nance. My family adopted two little boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine in 2010. I hope to educate and to inspire you. I hope to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Come along for the ride. It's a wild one!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My visions.

I have been following adoption blogs and dreaming about the beautiful children on the Reece's Rainbow website for years. For years I imagined what it would be like to make my own adoption journey.

I would go through different scenarios in my head. One goes like this: our family and friends catch our vision immediately. They all offer material and moral support. We are overwhelmed with well wishes and completely covered in prayer. The paperwork falls together effortlessly. We get all our approvals in record time. We have great adventures travelling to meet our wonderful, sweet boys. There is a great big party waiting for us at the airport when we all return home.

Another goes like this: our family and friends cannot understand why on earth we would want to add any more children to our already larger than socially acceptable family. They spend much energy trying to convince us that we are ruining our current children's lives. We pull together as a family. It's us against the world! The paperwork falls together effortlessly. We get all our approvals in record time. We have great adventures travelling to meet our wonderful, sweet boys. All our friends and family have a change of heart and there is a great big party waiting for us at the airport when we all return.

Funny, huh?

Really nothing has yet happened according to any of the scenarios I had imagined. OK, my whole life has not lived up to my original visions. (that's a good thing, by the way) So, really it's no great surprise. Here is what I have found so far:

  • The people that I thought would be supportive have not been supportive. The people that I thought would be negative have been surprisingly encouraging. Fundraising is painfully slow.
  • The paperwork has NOT fallen together effortlessly. The crazy this is that there is nothing really hard about the paperwork. It's mainly that you are counting on other people to do things right. And they don't. And then you have to point that out to them. And ask them to try again. Then they hate you.
  • My children get it. They are forever hunting for pennies for the adoption jar and even dropping in tooth fairy money. Ralph gets excited and signs "brother" when he sees the boys' photos. I hope they are as understanding when I'm gone for a month!

Ask me about the ease of approvals and travel later. We'll have to see how they live up to my visions of perfection. I have high hopes for adventure and my beautiful new boys.


I just checked our family sponsorship page at Reece's Rainbow and we now have $300 in our grant fund! After battling paperwork today, I really needed to see that. God bless you, whoever you all are!


  1. A year from now you will not remember any of this "pain" as in childbirth you will only remember the happy day of coming home with your boys!I am sure it will all work out, and be very worth it in the end! I really envy you that you have the courage to do this!

  2. I know exactly how you're feeling, Stephanie. When we announced our plans to adopt, the people I most looked to for support were very negative, which broke my heart, but thankfully not my resolve. It was so difficult to realize that some of our closest friends and family members didn't share our vision. But the flip side was, the Lord encouraged us through people we'd never have guessed would be supportive, which helped to soothe our wounded hearts.

    I believe the Lord allowed us to experience negativity to strengthen us and test our commitment to follow Him, no matter what anyone else thought, which was a huge deal for me. I've always been a people pleaser, so when I encountered the negative attitudes, it really made me examine my motives and make sure we were hearing from God. When I still felt peace after praying and seeking the Lord's will, I was even more determined to follow through with our plans, and it taught me the lesson to not strive for man's approval, but to only seek to please the Lord.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, as long as you know in your heart that you are being obedient to the Lord's call, then don't let anyone else's opinion of your plans discourage you. Think of this adversity as God's way of refining you like gold...he's hammering out your imperfections as he molds you into a beautiful crown, readying you to hold all of those precious jewels, which are His reward for your obedience & faithfulness to follow Him wherever He might lead.


  3. Ok, my heart just melted when I read about Ralph signing brother. And you just tell me when you'll be arriving at the airport w/ those two boys, and we'll def have a party waiting!!



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