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.