What It’s Really Like to Adopt a Child With Down Syndrome

Down syndrome, adoption, chinaWhen Stephanie and Todd Huffine first began their adoption journey, they didn’t think they could handle a child with special needs.

“I had always wanted to adopt, but my husband wasn’t on board. We already had four biological kids,” Stephanie said. “So I just prayed that God would give him the heart for orphans. God can do more than we have ever imagined.”

After praying about it, Todd was soon on board and the family began the adoption process with AGCI. “At first we were just open to very mild or correctable needs,” said Stephanie. “We did not go into this thinking we would adopt a child with Down syndrome.”

And then, Stephanie saw a photo of Bo (her soon-to-be-son) on AGCI’s Waiting Child page, and was instantly drawn to him. “I feel like God just puts the child that’s meant to be yours on your heart. If you’re obedient to God He’s going to start changing your heart,” Stephanie said.

“I forwarded his picture to my husband and his initial response was, ‘no way, we aren’t equipped to adopt a kid 1 838x1024 1with Down syndrome,’” said Stephanie. “And then a week later, we came home from work and said to me, ‘God’s telling me we’re supposed to get him.’ And that was it.”

While the Huffines had their doubts and worried that they wouldn’t be able to give Bo everything he needed, Stephanie found comfort in the verse, Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

“This verse just gave me the courage to know that we could do it. We could give him rest and a home and love him with all our hearts,” Stephanie said.

With Bo now home and the Huffines adjusting to life as a family of 7, Stephanie shared that parenting Bo has been, “nothing but awesome.”

Initially, Stephanie and Todd were concerned that adopting a child with Downs would take away from the needs of their four biological children. Instead, Stephanie shared that, “He’s just brought our family closer together. The way he has fit into our family is nothing short of God. The kids love him and he is just the happiest, sweetest little guy.”

7The adjustment has been very smooth for Bo and the entire family. “I think his personality and Downs have been so amazing for making his transition easier,” said Stephanie. “He is just so filled with joy. He’s no different from any of my other children—he may be delayed, but he can do everything else that they can do.”

Want to learn more about what adopting a child with Down syndrome can look like for your family? Reach out to us!