The Family that Adopted Six Children with Down Syndrome (And One with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)


tell me about your family my mom is amazing
I did the precepts and she came she was 9 years old and about 18 pounds image is
a first Tommy is ycu Buffalo because a while Asha is Yahoo watch it watch it go
George what is that sure is animal monkeys
first actually see ya from this year is here graduate and it
came excellent the sweetest can ever yeah yeah he loves everyone
he’s a caretaker when I was going to do an answer when I would come home after a
chemo treatment he would come home and he’d cover me with a blanket and asked
me if I needed water he’d put lotion on my head woman and um by if I was he a
butterfly back why is a cocoon that came out the first time you met Angela what
did you think uh she talked a lot hey welcome to SBS K join me as I travel
around the world an interview individuals living with a condition to
prove no matter how communicate but what obstacles you face
you’re always deserving of love and acceptance so without hesitation let’s
meet today’s friend yeah sure I came here to be your friend lots of people
can see you you can wave them if you like
great job waving if you would like to be friends just give me a big high five yeah I’m really happy you want to be my
friend mm-hmm double high-five I’m really happy
we get the be friends I’m really happy I get to spend time with you and I’m even
happier that you want to be friends with me thank you where did your desire to
adopt stem from um once we found out the conditions of kids with disabilities
particularly Down syndrome in Eastern Europe what I don’t understand is how
people who are human can treat other humans the way our kids were treated how
one human being can completely neglect somebody like that I’m good friends with
you I look at this two bros hanging out I think it made a new best friend today
he latches on to everybody so that was his survival skill in the institution he
was confined in this room and the only way for him to get out of that room that
he was in was to latch on to somebody so if somebody came into the room
maybe it was a caregiver cuz often the kids were just locked in the room with
no caregiver maybe it was a caregiver or maybe it was a cleaning lady or somebody
he would latch on to them and get a hug and then he wouldn’t let go well thank you for giving me a hug thank
you for being here with me I’m having a lot of fun and you did amazing in that
part of the interview that was his survival skill was to latch onto
somebody we’re at basics survival instincts like a dog or an
animal has that’s what we’re dealing with when they come how would you
describe a she is kill me he couldn’t make eye contact at all and I’ll never
forget the day he looked at me around his bottle and he screamed and looked
away and grinned again and then he reached up and touched my face and I was
decrying all huh that was when we knew we were getting attachment because he
was trying to touch somebody’s face and making eye contact and and I would say
of all of the adopted kids he is the most attached Hey goodbye hmm
everybody here is really accepting of everybody when a new kid comes they’re
like okay another new person the kids who have acquired language have been
very quick to start teaching the new kids sign language pointing out objects
and labeling them and it’s really interesting to watch and I am pretty
sure that they remember how it felt to not understand anything are you ready
for the interview if somebody wants to be your friend what should they do have
a red key a red key do you like the color red there are not many people in
the world particularly kids who use a treadmill as a reward but um for able
the treadmill is a big deal we can pretty much get him to do anything if
there’s a treadmill involved so at school he earns treadmill time at school
he runs a mile or two at school and he runs a mile or two at home
afternoon five miles a day is this average that’s about where we cut him
off so he likes red keys because the treadmill has a red key so usually asks
everyone if they have a red key in their pocket how do you feel when you run I like it raised up high so you have to go
really fast mm-hmm he likes the incline on the treadmill as high as it will go
then he likes to go as fast as he can but we go for endurance versus speed I
don’t like treadmill videos do you watch travel videos yeah oh one able first
came home things were pretty rough day was a long time ago wasn’t it so Abel
had never been in a car before he had never been outside of the facility that
he was housed in and um he was what is commonly referred to as a feral child I
came here because I wanted to be your friend would you like to be friends with
me do you think about food a lot yeah the Serbian authorities had told us
peanut butter the Serbian authorities had told us that they had never
presented his file to anyone before but they knew us well by then they knew that
we could manage somebody havior bread you want bread you want peanut butter
bread okay later okay you want a sandwich later yeah yeah
with cookies okay um and he was starving mm-hmm so old ladies food he was 10 and
a tiny little guy right no your big strong man I had a lot of fun with you
today mm-hmm loud noisy love train mm-hmm
I love loud trains too yeah and I’m happy my friends thank you
well he’s got a lot of information in his head that we don’t always know it’s
there because he gets stuck on certain topics like treadmill some food trainers
you like your Polar Express movie hmm what’s your favorite part of Polar
Express the sleeping boy the boy is sleeping and what happens when he is
sleeping that’s your favorite movie right hmm hmm what what’s out there oh you want me to put it on the TV
not today good try your silly will you feel disappointment if they
never function independently no no and well I don’t know there’s a little part
of me that is disappointed only because I know what they are capable of I know
that they would be capable of doing this but their history prevents it and tells
her her favorite thing they yep why does she like cows
um we think that in the institution the only thing she had to play with was her
bedding and so really the only thing she does anything with is bedding or towels
sir stuff like that they’re her favorites so
for Christmas and birthdays she gets all kinds of different colored towels and
different textures and she checks them out very thoroughly so in her room she
has a big bin full of all kinds of towels we wanted to be able to function
in the world and method that are all gone and just to get him to function in
the world she wants to hold your hand thanks for holding my hand do you ever think about what would have
happened if she did have that sensory input and that love we do all every day
every day with every one of the kids that enters my mind every single day
because there’s always something more I think would you be able to do this you
know whatever it is in the moment that they’re not able to do or that’s too
much for them or overwhelming for them I ever there isn’t a day that goes by that
I don’t think that if you had to describe your family to the world what
would you say perfect my dad asked I’m dad and I’m why a man
and my mom asked by my mom she is aa good
Angela described you as wild and you as awkward awkward wild
oh you’re wild just get it all wrong she might have flipped it she by that
how would you to describe her wild wild yeah while she answered right for the
party yeah she is always the life the party I came here today I really want to
be your friend what should I do so I can be your friend
oh my games what kind of game sorry I like sorry thank you that’s a fun game
yeah what else should I do to be your friend
um duh major all together yeah what type of things do you like to draw uh uh sent
me I could go of application yeah got your poetry I when you do that do you
pretend you’re on vacation yeah what’s your favorite thing about your family uh
my family um big draw do you say the dog dog what animal is roaming one way
Agia why is he an alligator because not be if somebody wants to be your friend
what should they do go talk to me and say how are you so hey Roman yeah well
how are you good what’s so good I don’t know so Roman has
fetal alcohol syndrome and Tourette’s are his in language impairment are his
primary diagnosis so the language impairment is probably the most
difficult for him um he it takes him a while to process what’s asked of him and
because he’s not very confident in himself um so he just tends to say I
don’t know or I don’t remember because that’s easier what in the world makes
you the happiest I don’t know Roman is just a really sweet sweet kid and he
gets pretty frustrated with with his difficult areas like the language
processing if you had to describe your family to the world what would you say
and they are awesome wait I Roman is the most courteous teenager I
have ever met and helpful you always help everybody want you yes I
do like without even I’ve never met a teenager who will go empty the garbage
without being asked what’s so awesome about them hmm
they are good people and they are nights when you meet someone new how can you
tell if they’re gonna be your friend they do nice to wait and do something
nice for friend huh how do you feel as you sit beside your family fit awesome
grateful grateful okay maybe a ms/ms has taught me to slow down a little bit I’m
always in a hurry and always rushing around somewhere and Amos has a
different pace than everyone else in the family and sometimes he reminds me I
just need to take a breath and slow down right because you like to just look
around at the world a little bit more don’t you when somebody meets your
family for the first time what do you hope they think that we’re not crazy it
takes everything in oh yeah that’s one of the biggest problems at school is at
bus time he doesn’t want to walk because he just wants to sit and watch all the
buses come in and all the kids walk to the buses and off and on the buses he
just wants to see all that activity happen and then he’ll get up and go the
seam here when we’re all getting ready to go somewhere sometimes he just wants
to sit and watch all of it and process at all before he’s ready to do his part
right is there anything you’ve learned through
raising so many children with different backgrounds it would be beneficial for
other people to know to never give up never give up keep your expectations and
I expect succession he was in a laying down room so um he saw nothing but the
sights of his crib and maybe a caregiver when they walked past what does a laying
down room mean um none of the kids are walking they’re all laying down most of
the time those kids are there till they die and so I think that now he just it’s
so much to process the world happening around you and he just wants to take it
all in and see everything and figure it all out in his head right yeah you know
I’m your Cutler it’s not very many people not very many families walking
around like ours but at the same time these guys are just brothers and sisters
they pester each other like brothers and sisters they love each other like
brothers and sisters do what is axles animal no – laughs – was
he a giraffe dang it next guy tall you know yes
yep that’s my watch you asked earlier about thinking about how they would be
had they been born in a family raising a family their whole life’s and then we
think with him I mean he would be perfectly capable of living completely
independent but communication this is whole back yeah do you to love one
another love her a lot
yeah and uh fish have you come to enjoy the quirks oh sure oh yeah I mean you
have to if it irritates ya any of their quirks it shouldn’t be here
yeah it’s it’s a it’s fun to watch them can I remember then at 3:00 a.m. when
Andres banging on along yeah well that’s why I sleep on this site because I can’t
hear out of that side when somebody takes the time to understand evil what
will they see they will see a very funny young man he’s got a very quick wit and
he can make anything into a joke but if you don’t know him you won’t realize
that you are the butt of the joke peanut butter cake mm-hmm I know communication
is largely nonverbal and you’re communicating of me so many things
yeah that’s us two buddies two bros you two besties thanks for watching SBS k we
believe the world is a better place when everyone takes the time to understand
one another if you want to be part of the community of people who believe that
click the big yellow SBS K button to subscribe thank you and see you next
time

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