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, June 11, 2011

Theo hurts.

Theo tried some new things today! He's really grown so much!

We must have spent an hour in the bounce house! He loved being jiggled! He crawled around and looked out the windows. Precious!

He's doing so well. So much better than I imagined when I met him. And yet, he struggles. We struggle. I don't talk about it much. I don't even really think about it much because I'm so in love with him.

It's nearly midnight here and Theo has just now settled down to sleep. He had a difficult time tonight, like many nights. He flips and flops and cries out. My mommy instincts tell me that he is in pain. Is it reflux? Is it growing pains? Is it fear?

He can't tell me. And that breaks my heart.

I don't know why I wanted to share this tonight. Perhaps I'm frustrated with all the romance surrounding adoption. It's all warm and fuzzy and lovey when you are striving to accomplish the adoption. Then reality hits you.

And I haven't even touched on Zhen's issues. I want to be real with you, so I'm pledging not to sugar-coat our experience. So many families are not properly prepared for the realities of post-institutional children. It's work. Hard work. It's heartbreak. But, honestly...I believe...

it's worth it.


  1. Thank you!! Love ya girlie!! :) Mel

  2. I "prepared" for the worst, but I think no matter what, it's still hard. I always tell people that want to adopt that you have to KNOW that this is your child. If you do, then of course you will do whatever it takes.
    I know we have a very hard road ahead of us. I am blessed with an amazing husband that is totally in love with our new boys, and wonderful family and friends. Encouraging and REAL words are vital.
    Thank you for sharing and keeping it real:)

  3. i couldn't agree more. our child came home after being institutionalized for 3.5 years. that was 3 years ago...we are still dealing with lots of issues, and i think we will be for life.
    love, love, love your blog even though i'm not much of a commenter.


  4. Wow...I`m tearing up here. I understand some of this heartache and we are just at the very beginning. Although Judd(brady) was an amazing trooper on the go all week. This morning he seems to be coming off the high so to speak... He is crying sometimes and I too feel so helpless, Is he in pain, Is he scared, Is he overwhelmed, crazy as it sounds does he miss his friends at the Institution??? As a mama, I love him more than I couldv`e Imagined... Like I`d given birth to him and he had been taken away and treated terribly. I want to nourish his body, mend his heart. I am hurting too... For all of the children I saw and met. I feel so glad to be home, but all alone in the sense that nobody else really cares or understands. When we got home my mom fled... It hurt so much, all she said was "I hope you`ll be ok"... I told her we`d be just fine. Will others learn to love him as we do? All in all, I am so happy to finally have him HOME! But the emotions of mama and baby will keep coming I think.

  5. Thank you for keeping it real. I too find myself struggling about the information out there, the loneliness and reality once you get home. Our family is doing much better. I am doing much better, this is now a year later...... Im thankful for other bloggers. its hard when the "friends" dont have real arms to embrace you when you cry, or stop by "just because", no phone calls to check in. ( I have two friends that check in on us. One every 5 months and the other bi-weekly.) The promises of play dates and such havent materialized. God knows our needs and in time I am sure we will find people really willing to walk along side by side with us. ( I had warned others about the bonding process so that might have made things worse?) She has bonded beautifully with us and I can tell its only uphill from here. There is delay that we need to keep in mind. x amount of delay for every month spent in an orphanage.(in our case 4.5 years!) Then we add delays due to Down Syndrome and other specialness. (Gs blindness and we now hearing loss.)That is why she will not start kindergarten this year. Still more bonding and learning to do. (in certain situations she regresses)



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