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An Adoption Story: JD

In 2008 we adopted a little girl from China and were active at that time on the chat room for our agency. One of the moms on there always posted older kiddos in need of families and one of the children she posted was Aiden. He was 8 years old with achondroplasia dwarfism. I saw his picture and thought he was adorable! Since we weren’t adopting again, I prayed for him and went on with my life.

“Adorable Aiden”

The following spring, “Aiden” came back to my mind and hit me hard! I felt a little panicked about him and the urge to know if he had a family yet. I contacted my friend Karin again to see if she knew if he had a family. She jumped into action, and the emails flew back and forth for several days. I finally got the word…no family had chosen him.   I instantly started crying thinking of this sweet boy with no future and prayed hard.   I knew getting my husband on board for an adoption again was going to be tough. I broached the subject, and we prayed about it for a few days.  Finally, hubby said YES!!  Wooohooo!!  Although our boys were a little reluctant to add another sibling, once they heard about his dwarfism they were on board.   We haven’t looked back since and moved forward to adopt the little boy we would name JD.

We were so eager to get JD home, but reality was scary.  Would he accept us?  Would we accept him?,  Although achondroplasia is the most common type of dwarfism with little health risks, we wondered if we would be able to handle it or afford any problems that might occur.

Gotcha Day

In May 2011, we finally went to China to get JD. I traveled with my mom and my 16 year old son, and we all fell in love with JD the second he walked into the room.  He bonded so quickly with my older son and his grandma; however, he was more reserved with me.  I knew it would come and was right….he’s now a mama’s boy!   We were able to skype home to talk with his dad, other brother and new little sister, and it made our homecoming so much easier as he already “knew” them.   He had a few meltdowns while in China and also once we came home, but he was able to be consoled and kept that smile on his face. I do believe his size allowed the bonding process to happen more quickly as we needed to carry him at times.  At those times he hugged and kissed us freely (and vice versa).

JD’s transition to our family was remarkably smooth and easy.  He has really bonded and attached to us all and has made his spot in the family known. He is always smiling and asking many questions. JD and his younger sister do fight…quite a lot really, but then most siblings do!  He loves to play games, paint and color, play legos, ride his bike, and skateboard.

We have been to many medical specialists, and JD is a healthy, happy nine-year-old boy!  We have been involved with our local LPA (Little People of America) and have made many friends. JD is lucky to know other kids like him (with average parents) and also to have adults that are little people to be great role models for him. He is struggling a bit in school academically, and the school feels he should be farther along than he is.  However, he still goes eagerly each day and can’t wait to see friends and teachers.

For us, dwarfism has been easy! Our experience with an older child was great. We would recommend both and have no regrets. JD is part of our family for life, and we are proud to be his forever mom and forever dad.

~Steve and Liz Freeby

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