November 17, 2017

Why Adopt a Special Need’s Child?


His name is Edison. We met two weeks ago.

He has changed my life forever.

Bringing my new nephew home from Ecuador to his forever family in the U.S. has been one of the greatest privileges I have been granted. This adoption journey, for which I have had a front row seat, has been a four year fight. A fight not just against political red tape and legislation, but a literal battle against the powers of good and evil.

I can’t begin to summarize Edison’s first life chapter in a blog post. Every page turned whispers God grace in miraculous ways, yet I can let you embrace the heartbeat behind this remarkable journey from Edison’s daddy, my big brother, and father of now eleven children.

In my brother’s words…

“Our first full day at home with our new son, Mateo ‘Edison’ V.E., was National Adoption Day.  That seemed to us quite fitting, in God’s timing, because it had been a long journey that seemed to call for a day of special remembering.

Many people have told me, as the provider for this family of now 11 children, that I am crazy to adopt another.  I respond to them that, actually, this little boy with Downs Syndrome is a critical, strategic part of my estate plan.

You see, my wife Rachel and I wanted to place an emblem of the prize in the fight for ‘The Culture of Life’ right in the middle of our family – a remarkably special person who would speak into the lives of our children and others we meet.  And that is what this little boy now is.

We first met him five years ago next month.  He was named for the policeman who took him to the orphanage called For His Children.  According to the police report, which I carry with me daily, he was discovered by a ‘carpenter,’ crying inside a trash bag on the outskirts of the city dump.

That’s my story; that’s our story.

In a spiritual sense, I’m the kid in the trash bag on the outskirts of the dump, discovered by The Carpenter. That Carpenter pursued me and made me worthy to be His son through His great sacrifice on my behalf.

So how could I do any less for another orphan, like me?

What a stunning journey – meandering through the years.  Rachel has said this was her hardest delivery yet (the other 10 are natural born). But as we see Edison light up our home, and dole out thousands of hugs and kisses as if he were our designated ‘Ambassador of Love,’ we are deeply grateful – grateful to God for this boy’s preciousness, grateful to the orphanage for their loving care, grateful to our family and friends who prayed him home and helped in so many other ways, and grateful for our new life together!

That makes for quite a Christmas here in North Carolina.”

For more on Edison’s story, read “This picture says it all.”



  1. Amazing! I’m wiping my tears away Thanking the Lord above for you & your family!

    What a Christmas gift for both you & this little Edison!

    Congratulations & Merry Christmas!!!!


  2. I only had time to read a couple of blogs this morning–am I ever glad I came here! I’ve just read the whole post at incourage, and I must say that this is one of my favorites. How wonderful to have this beautiful child to remind you of the love of the Child born in Bethlehem–born to save Edison and all of us. Your heart must be so full, Tia Jen–thank you for letting the love spill over and for sharing it with us!


  3. Hi, Jen! My family & I got to meet sweet Edison at my mom’s church on Sunday in Greensboro! Our son has Down syndrome also. Rachel & I could not stop talking in the little bit of time that we had :). It was so neat for our kids to meet him after reading the updates on your blog!


  4. Lennette Daniels says:

    As an aunt of a little boy with Downs Syndrome, I applaud you and your family for welcoming Edison into your lives. He is so beautiful. God Bless!!


  5. Your link to (in)courage is broken.


  6. what a precious gift from God he is!


  7. Such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing.


  8. Jenny,
    That is so amazing. I remember Mark and Jane talking about them thinking of adopting a special needs child years ago… and now to see and meet sweet little Edison on your blog, just awesome. Oh, and his story of where he comes from, my heart just breaks. But to see the family he has now become a part of, my heart rejoices in that. Beautiful, just beautiful.


  9. What a beautiful little boy!! Children and adults with downs have always held a special place in my heart!! I’m sure he is a wonderful addition to the family! I loved hearing about your trip to pick him up:)He seems to feel right at home!! Thanks so much for sharing this all with us!



  10. Wow, Jen! All I can say is Praise God!


  11. This brought me to tears. Of course, being the softie that I am, that isn’t difficult. You and your family are heroes in my eyes! Congratulations to all of you!


  12. Jen — I am looking forward to finding a moment to read the rest of the story! Before I hit the pause button on my PhD, I was studying Theology & Disability — and more specifically the relationship between prenatal testing and attitudes toward people with disabilities already in the world. This is so close to my heart. I am so glad you’re sharing, and look forward to hearing more as this amazing story continues to unfold! Thank you!


  13. Beautiful, Jen. I am brought to tears. So precious!


  14. What a story!

    Thanks for sharing this. My husband and I are trying to adopt. We recently applied to a special program for special needs children in China. We are hoping and praying God will find us a truly special little girl to complete our family.



  15. Great story! I have a bio child with Down syndrome, as well as an adopted daughter from Russia with Down syndrome. They are blessings to everyone who meets them. 🙂


  16. I love this!! he is so adorable and what you guys are doing for him is amazing!! God bless you guys with what you guys are doing! I know the hugs and kisses never stop!!


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