The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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Our Adoption Story
Our Adoption Story

We are in the process of adopting Gianna, who's been blessed with the gift of Down syndrome. We were with Gianna in the NICU for a week after she was born and in the PICU for five days when she, at five months, endured open-heart surgery to correct an AV canal defect, common among babies with Down syndrome. This surgery was necessary and lifesaving. Through it all, Gianna has been an inspiration to us and numerous others, and we're ready for whatever God hands us next. We want to share Gianna's story and her sweet little face with the world in an effort to raise Down syndrome awareness and demonstrate what a true gift those with Down syndrome are to everyone who knows them.

Our adoption was divinely inspired: Having tried more than four years to conceive, we decided to look into adopting. A week and a half after making that decision, we received a phone call from someone who'd been praying on our behalf, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, at the time still in Milwaukee. He called to check in with us, as he did every so often. That is when we told him we were considering adoption. The next day he called again to ask if we'd consider adopting a child with Down syndrome, because it turned out moments after he learned we were going to seek an adoption the very next call he made was to a family who'd decided to give their child up for adoption. God's providence was clearly at work, and the Archbishop discerned that it was God's will to bring us together with Gianna's birth family.

Still four months pregnant, Gianna's birthmother was urged by her ultrasound doctor to have an abortion, despite her strong pro-life views and a chart that read "no termination." He never mentioned adoption as an option. Our hearts break thinking Gianna might not have had the chance to grace this world with her gorgeous blue eyes had her mother not been so firmly pro-life. With five boys, one of whom has severe cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care, another child with special needs was too much for her family, but they thought perhaps this baby could be a blessing for somebody else. We were that somebody else, and Gianna is most certainly the greatest blessing we have ever received. And ours is an open adoption, which means Gianna's birth family will continue to play a role in her life, and she in theirs.

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Lynn Assimacopoulos, United States, AZ
5/31/2016 4:41:51 PM
My new book called "Separated Lives" is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA), Barnes & Noble and Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

Tina Marquez, United States, TX
10/2/2013 2:22:41 AM
Your adoption story brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for all the pro-life moms, dads and families. When I was pregnant with my son, Greg, I never was officially "tested" but I felt in my heart there was something "not quite right" about my unborn baby. After I gave birth to Greg I saw his face and his floppy muscle tone and I knew Greg had Down syndrome. It was a hard time at the beginning but he has given me so much love and joy. Greg also had the heart surgery and many other different surgeries. It is tough some times but anything worth while is worth the struggles and wonderful times.

Melanie Snobl, United States, WI
8/2/2013 10:56:12 AM
Our 3Rd Child, Gunner, Was Born With Downs. There Is No Doubt He Was Put In Our Lives for A Special Reason. He Is Such A True Joy!!! We Are So Blessed Having him In Our Life And It'sAmazing How He Touches So Many Outside Our Family. I Wouldn't Change Anything About This Beautiful Child Who Has Blessed Us Beyond Our Dreams!

Deb Nevsimal, United States, WI
10/24/2011 2:27:04 PM
Out \"little rose\" keeps blooming!

traci owen, United States, TX
4/26/2011 1:55:15 PM
I am adopted and I love hearing how God works with each and every adoption

Jane Dean, United States, WI
2/3/2011 5:58:13 PM
These amazing folks go to the same church as us, so we get the chance to watch beautiful Gianna grow week by week, and see the love grow too. WAht a story of hope these two couples have blessed all of us with! Thank God for families that believe in adoption

Rita Emmenegger, United States, WI
1/31/2011 6:18:20 PM
God bless these two families. I have been blessed through adoption, 3 times. There is no greater gift.

Peggy, United States, WI
1/30/2011 10:30:11 PM
Gianna is a blessing and a gift, let us celebrate her life and let us all remeber to choose life.

Colleen Bass, United States, WI
1/30/2011 9:54:55 PM grateful to have an opportunity to vote for loving parents....all 4 of them :) and a beautiful, loving presence on earth!

Kimberly Kelly, United States, MD
1/30/2011 9:49:17 PM
A blessed child and her blessed parents. It was all simply meant to be.

Dr Mike, United States, WI
1/29/2011 1:46:48 PM
This story reminds us that every child is wanted ... by someone.

Jennie Frederick, United States, WI
1/28/2011 8:01:28 PM
Every life is so very precious and this story warms my heart. The Holy Spirit was surely at work and lIttle Gianna is truly a blessing. Thanks for sharing your story of life and love.

Jennie Chapman, United States, WI
1/28/2011 9:10:52 AM
What a beautiful story! And Gianna is a beautiful little girl. Congratulations and wishing you all the best.

Clare Lehmann, United States, WI
1/27/2011 7:01:43 PM
We see Genna in church every Sunday. She is a very happy little girl and has two beautiful parents. Chuck and Deb are so happy to have this lovely little girl. We see so much love there!

Julie Sargent, United States, WI
1/27/2011 12:03:58 PM
Chas and Deb are the most dedicated, loving, and generous people I have ever met. I had the opportunity to work with both of them at Catholic Heartwork Camp. Giana could not have asked for better parents.

Albe Hienen, United States, WI
1/27/2011 11:36:33 AM
"What a great story. Love pure Love. look at life for what it is not what you think it should be you might be surprised that GOD is always right and what a beautiful life it is. "

Monica Rausch, United States, WI
1/27/2011 10:49:52 AM
Love your story, It would be great for even more people to hear such an inspiring story. To let others know the great value of life and the beauty of individuals with down syndrome!

Deacon Ralph Horner, United States, WI
1/27/2011 9:27:06 AM
What a wonderful Pro-life story! While I do not know the birth parents, I certainly admire their decision. I do, however, know the Nevsimal family and you can see the reflective love of God in their midst and see what a wonderful gift of God Gianna is

Ann Enright, United States, WI
1/26/2011 11:34:15 PM
"God who creates life is glorified in every birth. Gianna is a blessing. She is one fortunate little girl to have Chuck and Deb as her Dad and Mom."

Dianne Pesch, United States, WI
1/26/2011 9:26:49 PM
This is truly an inspiring story, both spiritually and morally. It shows the totally unselfish love, both of these couples have for this sweet, loving little girl.

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