Some people say, "you've got your hands full." I always reply, "better full than empty." I'm the mother of 17 children, ages 23 down to 8 months, and I love it! Our journey with special needs all started when my first set of boy-girl twins were born. My daughter was diagnosed with a rare condition that results in the blistering of her skin from friction called Epidermolysis Bullosa. Shortly after that I knew I was destined to help other children with special needs, too. Almost exactly two years later I had another set of boy-girl twins, another boy a year following that, and then I knew it was time. When considering adoption, my husband and I weren't searching specifically for a child with dwarfism, but rather one with special needs in general. My heart became captured by a little boy with big brown eyes and long eyelashes from the Ukraine.
A few years after that I traveled to China to adopt another little boy and a girl from China with dwarfism as well. After having three children through adoption with dwarfism, we no longer consider our children as having "special needs." Although, "special needs" is what they are referred to as in the adoption world regardless. People with dwarfism are just short. That is all. Our family sees each person for who they truly are and not by any particular label society has deemed necessary. We have embraced dwarfism in our family and because of these three children our lives have been changed forever.
Kullen Anton is 5-years-old and from the Ukraine. He's in Pre-Kindergarten and is too smart for his own good. Kullen is funny, crazy and silly. He looks smashing in a tuxedo. Kullen's favorite color is orange. He aspires to be either Santa Clause or a firetruck driver someday.
Rowyn Dan Zhen is 5 1/2, from China and is in Readiness Kindergarten. She's loud and obnoxious. Rowyn loves shoes and loves to be matchy-matchy with her outfits and accessories. Rowyn is very smart. In less than a year she has learned the entire alphabet and can recognize upper and lower case letters by sight. Rowyn loves dance class, singing and playing dress-up.
Zekiel Yi Kun is almost 4 and also from China. He's super silly and has the absolute best laugh. If you don't see his giant dimples when he's smiling then it's not a real smile. He says "I love you mama" over a hundred times a day. Zekiel loves helping others, being a big brother, and kissing all of the babies. They sound like your normal children, right? Well, that's because they are. They're no different than my average height kids either. Adopting three children with dwarfism is one of the best things that's ever happened to our family. It's really opened our eyes to all of the uniqueness in differences that the world has to offer.