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There is nothing quite like the feeling of a new arrival in the family.
Usually it`s a newborn, but adoption also brings great joy.
A Minot family is anticipating the arrival of a child from Ukraine.
She is a happy, four-year-old with Down syndrome, and her family couldn`t be more excited.
"We feel called to this. Excited about it," says Paula Burckhard, the expectant mother.
Whether they knew it or not, the Burckhard family has been preparing for this for a long time. Last week they submitted their paper work to adopt a little girl from Ukraine. While the adoption process has taken only six months, their journey began in 2000 when their third child Grace was born with Down syndrome.
"When Grace was born, after the doctors placed her in our arms, we realized she was different than our first two children. She wasn`t really the child we were expecting. Soon after that we realized God had something else in store for us. Something better than we had planned," says Kevin Burckhard.
Of course having a child with Down syndrome comes with its share of challenges, but the same can be said about any child.
"We love our three children and each child has brought with them a different set of blessings and joys. We are just excited to see kind of what this new child will add to our family," says Paula.
When the Burckhards began seriously considering adoption, they discovered there were over 200 families waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome in the U.S. Through Reece`s Rainbow, an organization which connects special needs children throughout the world with adoptive families the Burckhard family found their new addition.
"One day we just happened upon a little girl named Brandi. Her birth name is Bogdana. We will move that to her middle name and call her Bella," says Paula.
In many countries, including Ukraine, when a child is born with down`s syndrome they are placed in an orphanage until they turn four and then they are sent to an institution. The quality of life at most of these institutions is not very good and many children die within the first year. The Burckhards believe they are saving Bella.
The family has been working hard to prepare Grace as much as possible for her new little sister. After all, this is a big step for the whole family.
"We hope that by using sign language like we used with Grace to help develop her language, we`ll be able to bridge those language gaps. We`ll start with things like more cookies please," says Kevin.
In just a few weeks the Burckhards will travel to Ukraine to meet Bella, and by July will welcome her home.
You can read about the Burckhard`s adoption journey on their blog. Visit, http://www/beautifulgiftfromgod.blogspot.com.
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Articles about children with Down Syndrome