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!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas

I spent some time today reflecting on Zhen and Theo's past Christmases. What were they like? Was there any celebration at the orphanage? I just don't know. I also spent some time thinking of where they might be today if we hadn't gone crazy last year.

Zhen would be turning four next month when he would be moved to a mental hospital. It's a dark place for a timid, frightened little boy. Theo would have been moved last summer and would not likely have survived in the condition he was in. If he had survived, he would be bedridden today and every day. Staring at the ceiling or the bars of his crib.

Praise God! This was not to be. Their lives were redeemed and every time I hear the Christmas story I hear the story of Theo and Zhen. I can hardly think about it without my eyes leaking! It was a miracle and we couldn't have done it without God.

This is certainly their first American style Christmas if nothing else! Does every American boy want a Tonka truck, or what?

Zhen was sure that it was for riding on! I just love the way he gets into a chair or onto a toy by bending over and backing up. It's a total hoot!

Zhen didn't fit so well, but Elmo did.

My little Theo looking so happy and healthy.

He got a vibrating teething toy from Santa. He's got plenty of teeth, although they are a bit ground down. He loves the sensation. I may have to stock up on these!

Showing him how to open a present. He didn't really get it. Neither did Zhen. In fact, after opening his truck, he toddled off to play with it. He was done with Christmas!!

Each day Theo is showing new skills. Today he almost got his knees up under him! He's bending his knees a bit more now when he drags himself across the floor. Some days I wonder if he will ever crawl, and then there are days like today when I have hope. Every teensy tiny advance he makes is like medicine to my heart.

Poor tired but still beautiful Zhen. We do stockings after all the other presents are done. Look what he pulled out of his! Twins!

Here is a present, Theo!
No clue. I'll bet next Christmas is a completely different story. I'm looking forward to next year and all the great things that are in store for my two Ukrainian miracles!


  1. they are so cute!!

  2. Wow! I haven't looked at your blog in awhile due to the whirlwind of life with many children, so I was that much more impressed with how wonderfully healthy your boys look! So happy to see them thriving!

  3. Your blog is so touching!! What a blessing these little boys are, I can't wait to see where this journey takes your family!



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