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!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 - you were awesome!

We have experienced heaps of blessings this year as a family. This year was all about saving two boys, Zhen and Theo, from a dismal life in an Eastern European mental institution.

They try. They really do, the doctors and staff of the orphanage. There was simply no way they could have known what Theo needed was growth hormone treatment. There is no way they could have provided it for him. His time was running out. I doubt he would have survived another winter.

I get a little choked up when I see how strong and happy he is these days. I love this boy something fierce! Look at the life in those eyes.

And Zhen. So much stronger than many of the children there, physically anyway. Emotionally he was weak. They try. They really do, the doctors and staff of the orphanage. The kids are clothed and fed and pushed around in strollers. There is just not enough staff or time for hugs and snuggles and teaching and toys.

I fall in love with this beautiful boy a little more each day. He's learned to seek and accept affection. When I kiss one cheek, he always offers me the other. He thoroughly enjoys all of the toys in the house, especially the linky rings.

He brought his linky rings to the doctor's office the other day. As he was fiddling with them the doctor asked me if he was getting good at putting them together. I said no. I put them together and he rips them apart.
Just then he brought the rings up right in front of his nose and he snapped them together! Don't you just love it!

Now that Zhen and Theo are home and safe I'll be turning my attention to the "lost children." The children who are left behind. I cannot let myself forget them. I carry an ache around in my heart for them. If the pain ever goes away, if I ever forget them they will cease to exist for me. I won't let that happen.
I don't know what 2011 has in store for us, but I'm looking forward to it a great deal. I cannot wait to see more lost children be found. I cannot wait to see how God moves and shakes. Life just keeps getting richer and more interesting every year!
Happy and blessed new year to you!!


  1. Wow. What a difference just a couple months make! Beautiful boys!

  2. They look like different children! Amazing what love and a family does for a, just wow!

  3. Oh Stephanie, I am sitting here just crying for joy. I am so thankful that you said "yes" to God. These beautiful boys are very fortunate to have you as their momma!

  4. Stephanie!!! (through tears) Just wow..WOW!

  5. Happy New Year Stephanie!!!

  6. Oh my word seeing that first picture of Theo and then the second where he is doing so amazing...well it made me cry, cry like a baby! Bliss!

  7. What a year! I'm blessed to have "met" you and to have seen the tremendous change in these boys. God is GOOD!

  8. It is amazing to see the difference in these children...thank you so much for sharing their stories through your blog. Blessings to your family in 2011! Jennifer

  9. God bless!

    I am a mother of a son with DS and have recently found your blog. I love watching your boys grow and thrive!

    It made me cry to see the before pictures, and cry with JOY to see the "after" photos of your beautiful sons thriving in the presence of your family's love. What a difference in them both!

    God bless you for your amazing advocacy work. I will be making a donation to RR tomorrow because I believe all of these precious kids deserve a forever family. Your advocacy work makes a difference!


  10. It is wonderful to see the change in Zhen and Theo. Theo's face is really filling out and he is just gorgeous with his longer hair. Looking at his big, brown eyes, I ca see how you could "fall" for him. Zhen looks as if he is just thriving, especially on all the love and attention- he doesn't have that dull look in his eyes anymore. I do want to say that your other children are also very very beautiful. Many blessings to you and your family.

  11. Wow, the boys look AMAZING!! Happy & healthy & just beautiful! Amazing :)

  12. I just posted this to my FB. Your little ones give me so much hope and things to look forward to when we bring our Gabe and Levi home
    Thank you for sharing!!

  13. How old were Zhen and Theo when they came home?
    We hope to adopt soon too!




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