In Canada, paramedic Holly Graham and firewoman Alex Dudley met and fell in love. Once married, the inseparable couple had a slightly unusual wish.
After tying the knot, they wanted to adopt a child – but no ordinary child. They wanted a baby with Down syndrome. But there was a good reason for this rather curious wish, as Holly explained in her blog. In her youth, she was best friends with a girl who had Down syndrome; this friendship made a lasting impression on her and had a hand in her decision to have children.
In 2013, Holly and Alex decided to begin the adoption process. Not wanting to spend too much money, the couple knew that they were in for a long wait.
They started by applying for adoption at the Child and Family Services (CFS) in Alberta, Canada, but found that only two children with Down syndrome had been adopted in the past seven years. This prompted them to go through a private agency.
Alex and Holly found an excellent organization and were very optimistic about becoming parents soon. Yet months went by as the private adoption agency waited for a response from the CFS, leaving them feeling increasingly frustrated.
But after what seemed like an eternity, the adoption agency called them up one day while they were on vacation. Holly remembers the call going something like this…
“6 weeks, Down syndrome, AVSD [atrioventricular septal defect, heart defect], heart surgery, hospital, feeding issues, birth mom, adoption plan, immediate placement, ARE YOU INTERESTED?”
They could hardly believe that their time had finally come. They flew back to Canada and drove to the birth mother. On the journey there, they admittedly had some doubts about whether they were actually ready for the adoption. But these worries were soon cast aside after seeing their future son for the first time at the children’s hospital in Alberta.