by Tiffany Winslow 1 Lives Impacted
Hi there, we are the Winslow Family. We would like to share some really BIG news with you, we are adopting! We would like to thank you for taki...
Hi there, we are the Winslow Family. We would like to share some really BIG news with you, we are adopting! We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our story. Our adoption journey, we feel began a lot time ago and we are so hopeful to bring our children home!
In 2007, I met my husband, Dan. Dan was an active duty PFC in the Army and was proud to serve. Later that year, Dan received orders for a deployment to Iraq and it was his honor to go. He deployed on a 16-month stint while I was left home pregnant with our son, Daniel. Dan’s deployment did not go without complication and during a mission one of his battle buddies dropped a very large and heavy tailgate onto the top of his head. This injury was not properly treated by the medical team and everyone went on with their mission, Dan included. Over the next several months, Dan continued to serve in Iraq and my belly continued to grow with our sweet son. Due to my pregnancy being very high risk, Dan chose to not to disclose to me that he had been injured. Our adorable baby boy was born via an emergency cesarean section (a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz baby boy, with beautiful red hair) but unfortunately Dan was unable to make it home. Dan was not able to officially meet Daniel until a “rest and relaxation” was allotted Dan, to leave Iraq for 18 days to be home. At that time, Daniel was 2 months old. We also were officially married at this time. Sadly, as the months went on while he was in Iraq, Dan forgot the injury ever happened and therefore never let me know. Oddly enough, it was not until his SSGT mentioned his head injury, that a brain scan was completed. We were able to note all the strange symptoms he was experiencing but before the day she spoke up, it was a forgotten memory, and no one could understand what was going on. It was at that time that we learned Dan suffered a traumatic brain injury. Due to this, Dans “planned out future” turned into becoming medically retired from the United States Army at the age of 25.
When Daniel was 2 years old, and on Dan’s and my anniversary we decided we wanted to try to expand our family. 1 year later we became pregnant but lost the baby in a very early stage; this happened again during pregnancy number three and four. These losses were very hard on our family and especially so on Daniel. He prayed so hard for a baby brother or sister and it was heartbreaking that we were unable to bless him with that gift.
In January of 2014, Daniel was 5 years old and we were once again blessed to learn that I was pregnant, but also absolutely petrified. This pregnancy we knew had to be different and we stormed Heaven, asking everyone we knew to please pray for our sweet baby to live. Our prayers were heard, and my body made it to 24 weeks of pregnancy before the storm of labor started. I was rushed by ambulance from the local military hospital to one with a level 3 NICU, they were not certain they would be able to stop my labor and I was to remain on the high-risk floor. The hospital managed another 13 days of precious womb time, but our beautiful little girl decided to come none the less; at only 25 weeks gestation. She only weighed 1 pound and 10 ounces and was only 12.25 inches long. Before her birth, the medical team prepared Dan and I for a silent delivery, they warned that we wouldn’t hear a cry as one would expect from a full-term birth. Even with the warning, you wait for it and hold your breath in agony. In that moment, God proved how amazing His daughter would be. My beautiful little girl cried, the smallest cry we had ever heard in our lives, Dan and I looked at each other in amazement and in complete joy. In that moment, my heart felt God told me that He was with her, that she would be okay. We named our tiny girl Joslynn, and during her 95 day stay, she was diagnosed with a grade 4 bilateral brain bleed and hydrocephalus. Her stay was like a roller coaster and she had many ups and downs, but through Gods grace she made it through; one day at a time.
God has blessed us with two amazing children who are both so smart and fun loving. Daniel is now 10 years old and a very proud science geek, as he calls himself with a smile. He loves to read, play soccer, loves all things science, loves gymnastics and ninja warriors, and of course electronics. His greatest goal right now for his future is “I want to be a Doctor during the week and design video games on the weekend!” As far as Joslynn goes, she is now a rambunctious 4-year-old who has beaten all the odds! She has had four brain surgeries, a g-tube (since removed) and laser eye surgery in both eyes, but you would never know that by looking at her! She is a Jesus loving, sassy, smart, funny little girl who loves ballet, gymnastics, and playing Doctor to her baby dolls. She aspires to be a pediatric neurosurgeon and a mom “I am going to have 10 babies!” when she grows up.
Throughout our marriage, Dan and I have always had discussions about adoption, our goal has always been to have a blended family of biological and adoptive children. Daniel and Joslynn have given us so much joy and love, we are so blessed to have them as our own and they have always kept our eyes opened to blending one day. Joslynn has truly opened our eyes to what love and touch can do for a child during her neonatal days, especially for a child with special needs. Our children truly love with no limits. So, we decided many years ago that we knew as a family we would expand through adoption one day, but we felt that when the time was right, God would let us know. Well, one day I was scrolling on Facebook of all places and saw that a friend posted a picture of an adorable little boy with the sweetest grin. This sweet child was in Eastern Europe and as I read more, I learned he had a lot of the same special needs as our Joslynn. I can’t explain it in any other way then that I felt God spoke to my heart. It was as if He said, “this is your son.”
Well, it was only logical for me to hand Dan the phone and get his reaction as well. I could see it in his eyes, he felt it as well. Never had we been so called then we felt that afternoon, on Facebook of all things. It was absolutely inspiring how great it was to have this overwhelming agreement that this child is ours. Learning of the world that these special needs children are living in, its heartbreaking and we realized that God was breaking our hearts to feel his heartbreak. I just do not know of any other way to explain it. To feel Him move in you; to just MOVE. These children are lucky to live past their fifth birthdays due to all the neglect and abuse. To know of this, to see the images of this and to not want to save them… I couldn’t imagine turning away. He is ours, we felt it in our soul. Dan and I came together and reached out to friends and the adoption agency, we also decided to look at other children in the same area, see if we were called to adopt a second. The thought of saving two and growing our family with even more love… a friend of mine who has adopted three beautiful children from the same area helped us on our search. We came across so many photos, its heartbreaking to see all the children in this area of the world because they all need to be saved. Then we came across a beautiful little girl with adorable curls and it was as if we could hear her laugh through her photo. Dan and I just looked at each other and we knew.
So, here we are now wanting to bring home two sweet babies from Eastern Europe. They are both 2 years old and have extreme special needs. With their history and need for better medical care and a family to support them in love, time is of the essence to move this adoption along! Our little family of 4 is so excited to be going on this adoption journey, to save lives and build family. It is our honor to step out and walk in faith on this journey, but we really need your help. International adoption is very costly. This adoption journey will cost us roughly $35,000, but our immediate need is for a Hague approved home study and contract adoption fees to our placing agency. At this moment in time, we NEED about $7,000 ASAP to jump-start our adoption process.
This page has been started as a way to collect donations to help us jump-start our adoption process and help us on our goal to bring our babies home. We want to Truly thank you for taking the time to read our story, and we hope that you stick around to witness our adoption journey to completion. We plan to update as able and once we reach our first goal, we will have a name reveal!!
Please, if you can donate and partner with Dan and I we would very much appreciate it; our sweet Daniel has offered his entire piggy bank to bring his brother and sister home and we are praying for God to use more amazing people to grow the rest! Thank you so much
God Bless you,
The Winslow Family