ALEXANDER for the Schmidt family — WI

Ken and Sarah Schmidt are the parents of three girls: Grace and Isabelle, age 9 (twins) and Everly, age 3. They didn’t know when they were expecting twins that Isabelle would be born with Down syndrome and need lifesaving open heart surgery at six months old. There is not much that can prepare two young parents for that news. It took time to realize what a blessing it was to have a child with Down syndrome; it took time for them to be comfortable with the fact that their child had special needs, and their vision would not be what we had planned.

In doing research about children with Down syndrome and early intervention, they came across an advocacy group, Reece’s Rainbow, which advocates for the adoption of children with special needs who are orphaned. It didn’t take long before both Ken and Sarah knew that they would be adding to our family, another child with Down syndrome; a child that would be orphaned for the same reason they consider our family to be so blessed.

In May of 2016 Sarah and her mom traveled to China to bring home their daughter, whom they named Everly. They had the option of visiting the orphanage where their daughter lived. It was a very difficult decision, but they knew that it would be their only chance to get that information and save it for their daughter someday. Standing in the place where their daughter’s history started is the place Sarah knew in her heart that they would be back in China as soon as God would allow.

By early spring Ken and Sarah knew they were ready to start the adoption process again, and this time they knew they would like to adopt a little girl again, as that is what they’ve had experience with. They also knew they would be comfortable adding a child with minor or correctable needs, such as a limb difference or repaired heart defect. However, God knew that there was much greater work to be done. He has shown them that with the knowledge and support, our comfort zone is much larger than they anticipated.

God helped in making connections for the Schmidt family with a family that had adopted children with beta Thalassemia, and helped them to understand the needs of those with Thalassemia. Ken and Sarah were presented with the file of a BOY that is 3 years old, and he has a very severe type of anemia, called beta Thalassemia. He is getting transfusions, however; not frequently enough as his hemoglobin has dropped significantly. Also, he is not getting chelation therapy which is imperative for those who have beta Thalassemia. While this was not their plan, God is greater! Saying yes to God is often the most challenging step… watching all the pieces come together confirms the “Yes!” We know that God will continue to guide us and bless us with everything we need to get to our son and help provide the care he needs as soon as possible.


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