Remember? I’m reminded of it every time I see twins. Every time someone announces that they are having twins. Every time. And for a long time, I had a really tough time with it. We were supposed to have twins.
We found out that there were two babies when I was 7 weeks along. Two heartbeats. They were there. So was the excitement. So much excitement. At 13 weeks I had a regular appointment. The doctor used the doppler and heard two distinct heartbeats. One here, one there. Two. Up until that point, I was still very worried about losing one. I had read about “vanishing twin syndrome”. But into the second trimester, that becomes increasingly rare, especially if they’ve seen and then heard both heartbeats (less than 2%) We were in the clear. Right?
Two weeks later we learned that one had stopped developing. I was never really comfortable saying it “died”. It doesn’t really feel like that. It just stopped living. Stopped developing.
I was heartbroken. I just didn’t see the point. If “everything happens for a reason” why did I need to get pregnant with twins at all? Why go through that? I decided to believe that it was nature. That I had gotten pregnant and one just didn’t survive. Things happen, and that was all.
Now to the present. I have seriously debated writing this. I’ve gone back and forth over and over again. One of the people I did tell this to wasn’t exactly happy with the news, only because they have been there and seen how much we’ve struggled with what is already on our plate. But I keep going back there. The feeling that I, we, have about this is so strong that we can’t keep it secret much longer.
Abby’s twin has Down syndrome, too, we’re pretty sure. She was born to a mother somewhere . A mother who could not care for her and placed her in an orphanage with lots of other children with Down syndrome. She’s there. Waiting for us. It hurts my heart to feel that. To feel like I have a daughter somewhere and we can’t get her RIGHT NOW. Because I want to do it right now.
And so does Lance. It’s what really got this whole thing going. We watched the video (watch!) I put on the bottom of the Beyonce post together. He looked at me and said he wants to adopt through Reece’s Rainbow, too. That we have one more waiting for us. I was beyond shocked. I had thought about it a lot, but never in a million years thought it would have been Lance that brought it up. But Lance is also VERY rational. He knows we can’t do it now. It’s just not possible. I’m not sure when. It costs A LOT of money plus it means a trip or two over to Europe for an extended period of time. I’m not sure how we’ll do that with Casey. He can’t stand me being gone longer than a couple of days. A trip like that would really mess him up.
So for now we’re praying. A lot. If it turns out that it’s not right for us in the next year, then I’ll have to live with that. But the feeling I have about it is so strong that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to keep it down. It’s crazy. I’m aware. We already have four kids, half of whom have special needs already. It just doesn’t make sense. But neither did my marrying Lance when I had just barely turned 19. But the feeling that I had to do it was stronger than anything that made sense. And so it is with this. I’ve learned that when I follow those feelings, I will never ever be wrong.
I peek at the Reece’s Rainbow site a lot. I’ve caught Lance on there a lot, too. They’re such beautiful children. I want to take them all home. The one that keeps me up at night is this beauty:
Her name is Ashlyn. We’d keep that name. She’s 7 months older than Abby, but they’d be in the same grade because her birthday is in November. I told Melissa (I tell her everything) that maybe she’s not supposed to be ours, maybe she’s just there to hold a place in my heart until we can get our lives in order to find the child that IS supposed to be ours. Hold a place for another little girl. But then again, maybe she is. We’ll see. If nothing else, she keeps me thinking about it. Keeps me longing for her…
It changes everything. Again. It means actually choosing to have a child with Down syndrome. I did not make this choice before. I did not choose to have a child with autism or a child with Down syndrome. This life chose me. A life less ordinary. But not because I chose it. I’ve had to rise to the occasion, and it’s something I still really struggle to do. It means that everything I struggle with right now would be harder. It means another fragile life. It means more doctors’ appointments and more therapy. It means more late nights listening to a baby breathe. It means more heartache.
But it means so much more. It means another little life like Abby. Another spirit like hers. Another little being that came to this world so perfect that God could put her in an imperfect body knowing she’d still have the ability to change the world. It means more joys in triumphs. It means more giggles. It means more love. It means the chance to save the life of a child. Children with Down syndrome in these countries if not adopted do not end up living happy or long lives.
And it means Abby HAS a twin.
32 thoughts on “Abby had a twin.”
Love this!! I'll be praying for you guys and this new journey.
I could not love this post any more if I tried. LOVE THIS. So excited to see where this road takes your family!
I will keep your family in my prayers as you wait to find your baby. You know something cool about vanishing twins? Sometimes, one twin absorbs something of the vanished twin. Sometime its something like an extra arm, but it could have been something more… like a life saving organ, or a part of its brain. Maybe, just maybe, the vanished twin had a purpose you never knew. Maybe that twin gave Abby something she needed to make it. Or maybe, just simply, it was meant to put a hole in your heart that would one day be filled by your adopted daughter. I can't believe life doesn't always have a purpose, even if we never know for sure what it is.
Once you start the fundraising, Ken and I will donate to it. Its fantastic!
Love. And did you know there's a family in your 'hood adopting through RR?
OMG awesome!!!! There are ways to raise money for the funding because let's face it, adopting is not cheap. I will help in any way I can. Just let me know how.E
I didnt comment on your Beyonce post- I was disappointed. I do want to comment here and let you know that it is a long beautiful journey, When the time is right you will know it, and God will provide. I promise, He did it for our little G. He loves the orphan and will move mountains to place them in a family.
I debated posting this. I have a friend who is related to the couple from the special on reese's rainbow. Here is their personal blog. Perhaps you can delete it after making note of the address. I don't know how wide spread they want that. Anyway, I'm sure they would love to talk with you about how they managed the expenses, etc.http://kkcox.blogspot.com/
"Another little being that came to this world so perfect that God could put her in an imperfect body knowing she'd still have the ability to change the world."I love this so much. My daughter was born with a brain injury and this is exactly how I feel about her but could never verbalize so eloquently. Thank you!
That is wonderful Lexi! I would love to help with fundraising also.
I don't think the Cox family minds having their blog info posted–if they did, they wouldn't have it as a *public* blog. And they wouldn't have talked to the media and let news crews film their story.
Oh, and congrats and I'm so excited and yadda yadda yadda. But you already know all that.
Thank you all for your positive comments. It helps a lot. I get how crazy this all is. I do. It was really REALLY hard to come out with this. I live in fear of people telling me the honest truth- that it's hard, that it's going to be tough, that maybe I'm crazy, etc because the feeling I have about it is so strong. I wish I could say that I'm not one that cares what people think, but I do. A lot. Just the "I was disappointed" comment made me panic a little. That's also why I like it when you DO tell me what you think. Because then I don't have to worry about why you'd be disappointed. Does that make any sense at all? Ugh. I keep thinking about quitting posting at all because people actually read what I have to say. That scares me. This blog just used to be a place where I could go and vent and know that VERY few people saw it. But it's my journal more than anything. And I like being able to go back and see what I was thinking and feeling.SO MUCH DIGRESSING! but not digesting because I haven't eaten in a LONG time. Anyways, thanks again, guys. I like you.
Here's the thing. It IS scary, and it IS a big deal, and it WON'T be easy-peasy (gag). But guess what? Those kids need someone to rescue them, or they die. I think something like 90% of them die within the first year after being transferred to the mental institutions, right? It's crazy that all these kids need is a FAMILY to love them and nurture them so they can thrive and learn and grow, and they don't get that because they're different. I think it's fantastic that some of the parents in these countries are going against doctors' and social workers' advice and saying, "This is my child, and he/she will stay with me, and I will love and teach him/her, no matter how impossible you tell me it is." It's happening slowly in the Ukraine–they're at the same place we were in the US, what? 50 years ago? (And look how far we've come since then.) But it just takes a few parents to start the movement that bucks the norm and fights for their kids. And then it takes a while for everyone else to catch up. (And I'm guessing in some countries they'll always just stay backwards and prejudiced. But also, really, really poor, with no access to great services like we have here….) In the meantime, the kids who were already left behind by parents who were told their child would cause them nothing but grief and work and pain NEED families. They don't necessarily need families who are wealthy or perfect–they just need families who have *enough*. Enough love, enough resources, enough motivation, enough compassion. And why can't that family be yours, Lexi? I think it's fantastic. Plus, you have to do it first so I can learn from your mistakes, just like I have been with Abby and Colin. Haha.
"Another little being that came to this world so perfect that God could put her in an imperfect body knowing she'd still have the ability to change the world."I am not a crier but this post made me well up. Bless you both. God knew who to give to you to parent.
What a wonderful way to look at the halt in development of Abby's twin…it is an opportunity. Good luck finding your fifth little angel!
OH!!! I so hope things work out for you soon! So happy for you and this road you are wanting to go down. I hope we go down that road someday. I can't and won't harp on my husband and get him to join in this road of adoption – it's too important not to have him 100% on board and ready. Who knows what the future will bring! I'm so glad you are both on the same page, even if it means waiting a bit. I've loved little Ashlyn too – that smiling face is just so irresistable. Her spirit just jumps through that sweet face. Yes, many will help fundraise! Some of us can make things to giveaway/auction (I make some good little handmade items) and just get the word out there.
Phil and i were talking about you guys last night and I mentioned how amazing I thought you guys were…and all BEFORE I read this. Wow. You guys can do it, and what a lucky little girl she will be!
I've started and erased so many replys to you over the past several months, one was posted a long time ago I believe. Your medicine blog about your son was like reading my own diary, with a little more insight and knowledge. My child doesn't have a clear diagnosis, so much involved and now she is an "adult".Talk about digression, my point, you are doing everyday what you feel is right. Adopting a child is huge, but amazing. The fact that Lance is on board is a huge plus. Being the co-dependant I am, I've wanted to adapt every child ever abused or abandoned. Cause i could save everone (yea roll eyes here)I say that not because of what your doing, but having your husband feeling the same is huge and means just time before your other child gets home to you. I've knowm Magnussons long enough to know things will get done.So many things I wanted to say but must not be appropriate today. I started this at 9 am, it's now 1pm. . . Talk about worrying what others may think!! I don't really care what people think of me, you don't have to like me, it's the judging I can't handle. Thank you for the insight, especially with Casey's situation it gave me some things to think about in how i could change some things for my child.BTW-how excited are we for Leslie and Casey? Love them and this new adventure for them!! :)I
Hey, you can always email me. I'm not going to judge and you'd have to be pretty hateful to make me not like you. that doesn't seem in your nature.
Just reread my post, crap i have a problem with redundancy! Thanks I just might email next time i have a run on thought full of redundancy. 🙂
I don't know if you know Michelle Z. She is the donations coordinator at RR and a dear friend. The very reason she adopted her Lily is because she lost one of her twins, Lydiah. I interviewed her last summer, because I loved that story so much…you can email me if you want to read. And I will purposely not link here 😉
Thank you! Always ALWAYS post links if the site owner doesn't mind. There are others here who it may be helpful to.
Oh this sounds like some pretty exciting news! Praying that it all works out the way it is supposed to! It doesn't sound crazy at all.And, I was just going to tell you about Michelle Z as well, but see Patti already did 🙂 Michelle's blog is open, the link is on my blog – it's Zoromski Chronicles.Her story is pretty amazing too. Pregnant with twins, but one was stillborn. Then they found Lily on RR. Lily is also a twin, but her sister doesn't have Ds. So Michelle looked at it as they had a daughter who was missing her twin, and there was a twin in EE who was missing a family. It's a beautiful story.Good luck with everything!!
Thanks Michelle! I'm going there now.
Hi Lexi! I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog. Twins are always bitter sweet for me. I love my girls — we are raising 2 twins, but they aren't each others twins. Losing Lydia was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to us, but I don't know that Lilya would be our daughter if we'd never lost her. If Ruby had been a singleton, I don't know that we would have ever considered adoption… who knows. I'd love to chat sometime!
Wassup! Just wanted to let you know I added your blog to the families list at Real Life | Down syndrome. 🙂 A few of us are trying to reactive this site I created awhile ago … let me know if you do NOT want to be listed! 🙂 Thanks!http://reallifedownsyndrome-resources.blogspot.com/2010/02/families.html
Just found your blog thru your comment on Adrienne's. We 'chose' our little guy with Ds, too. Go after that twin!!
Go get your daughter!!! How exciting and heartwarming and I love the way you wrote this entry.If MONEY is the ONLY thing holding you up, know that I have seen that mountain MOVED in a single day! The people who rally around the RR families who are in the process of adoption are amazing. I've seen 20 and 30 thousand dollars raised overnight and I've seen it happen in a few months. So if the RANSOM for Ashlyn (or whoever your daughter is) is the ONLY barrier, then I say DON'T WAIT!! Inquire NOW, find out if you qualify for her country and if you do, commit to her NOW and watch what God does. I love that your husband planted this seed. Often I have read where getting the husbands on board was one of the barriers. You don't have that barrier. God speed! Go get your baby 🙂
Adopting through RR will cost you a lot more than it would to adopt a child with special needs from Serbia or Bulgaria or Ukraine using alternate facilitators than those associated with RR (their fees are twice as much as other facilitators). There are a lot of things that are not on the "up and up" at Reece's Rainbow. One example going on right now can be read about here: savinglera.blogspot.com You might want to look into Eli Project (http://www.eliproject.org/#) if you don't want to risk any shenanigans with your adoption.My family adopted 2 girls with Down syndrome from Ukraine. Yes, the children need families to love them, but it's really important to realize that love is not always enough. Both of my daughters have also been diagnosed with severe autism. One also has Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD is very common amongst children who live in orphanages & mental institutions. I am NOT telling you to not adopt… absolutely not saying that at all! I am advising you to go in with your eyes wide open and don't fall in love with a picture & then imagine what that child will be like because it is extremely rare that the real child matches up to the image you will form in your head from one picture. I know many moms who have a child with Ds and then went on to adopt a child with Ds & were shocked by how different their internationally-adopted child was from their bio kiddo. Again, I wholeheartedly support adoption & I will give financially to any family adopting, BUT get as educated as you can about issues common to international adoption (especially attachment issues) so you can be as prepared as possible when you bring your daughter home.