While we can all speculate what we would do in a given situation, it’s doesn’t always go that way when we are actually confronted with the issue face to face. We may all say that we are going to react a certain way, but realistically the result sometimes turns out very different. Imagine that you are told you are pregnant with twins who have down syndrome. What would you do?
After running all the necessary tests for a pregnant woman over 40, Julie and Dan McConnel were told that they were pregnant with non-identical boys that had down syndrome. Because Julie was 40, she was aware that her chances of conceiving a baby with down syndrome was 1 in 100, a drastic increase from a woman in her early thirties. The news was devastating for the couple.
Considering Julie already had three kids from a previous marriage and the couple had a young son together, they felt that they wouldn’t be able to handle two additional children with special needs. It also didn’t help that she was getting up there in age. So, the couple decided that they wanted to give the boys up for adoption. While they found a family who was interested in adopting them, they ended up putting off the paperwork and eventually declined because they were afraid of the responsibility involved in raising two children with down syndrome. Julie and Dan took this news as a sign and decided to investigate raising children with down syndrome. They wanted to get a feel for what it would really be like so they immersed themselves with educational tools.
By the time Julie approached the third trimester, the couple decided to keep the babies. It didn’t take long for them to realize that they had made the right decision. As soon as baby Milo and Charlie were born, their fears of the unknown disintegrated.
“My heart came out of my chest when I saw them. I was so smitten,” said Julie, who is grateful for the change of plans. “It’s hard to imagine life without them, but I think I’d miss them every day if we had decided not to keep them.”
Julie and Dan’s story is a perfect example of how you never really know where life is going to take you and you can find blessings in disguise when you follow your heart.
In the video below you can witness just how much joy Milo and Charlie have brought to Julie and Dan and their family. The family of six is now a happy family of eight and while life certainly isn’t easy, it is filled with joy and gratefulness every day. The video chronicles Milo and Charlie’s many smiles in their first year of life. There seems to be no shortage of happiness, as both boys along with the rest of the family have ear to ear smiles in every photo in the slideshow. “When life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.” That is certainly what Julie and Dan did.