Liam and Sara joined our family through adoption in 2012. After they joined our family, we became the Lucky 7! And boy do we feel lucky to love and be loved by our children. We initially fostered Liam from the time he was just a wee baby. He was our first and only foster care placement and after a while of caring for him, we got permission to adopt him. It was a long and winding road but it led to a beautiful destination.
Liam was born with many complications and health concerns. His pediatrician always felt like he had a syndrome that tied all of his different anomalies together, a syndrome that we just didn’t know about. After 2 years of fighting with our insurance company, we got approval to have chromosome testing done. Liam was diagnosed with a chromosome deletion called 16p13.11. Basically he is missing part of his 16th chromosome. Although it didn’t change the way we care for Liam, it gave us answers that we long awaited for. Liam has many new diagnoses that go hand in hand with his deletion, Autism, ADHD and Anxiety Disorder to name a few. He also has a Gtube which provides most of his nutritional needs.
Liam has taught us that special needs isn’t scary, it’s just a different “normal”. We also feel that he prepared our hearts to adopt his baby sister Sara, his soul mate. The night of Liam’s adoption, we committed to adopt a baby girl who was living in an orphanage 6000 miles away in Ukraine. She was born with Down syndrome and was given up at birth because of her extra chromosome. The minute we saw her picture on Reece’s Rainbow’s website, we knew she was the one. She looked familiar and there was no doubt she was meant to be ours. After a 5 month process which required us to travel to Ukraine, we brought Sara home where she belonged. Since that day, she and Liam have been inseparable.
Our family not only grew in size in 2012, our hearts did too. Although we love all of our children dearly, Liam and Sara add that little extra to our ordinary family. They bring so much joy and happiness to our lives and we can’t imagine life without them. Saying this doesn’t mean it has been easy because there have been many trying days, but at the end of the day they are worth every minute of frustration and every hour of exhaustion. They have taught us compassion, acceptance, tolerance, and bravery in ways that we would have never learned without knowing them. Our lives have been changed for good. Although Liam and Sara were born 13 months apart, to different birth moms, and in 2 different countries, they were a match made in heaven. With Liam missing part of a chromosome and Sara having an extra they really do complete each other and make each other whole! We are the Lucky 7 and we have experienced firsthand that love doesn’t count chromosomes and Liam and Sara are just enough!!
Pictured: Jodi Lutkin and her children, Liam and Sara
Mom's clothing, hair and makeup provided by: Lulu Bella Boutique
Photographer: Jenny Lyn Photography
Location: White Space Studio
For more information about the United Angels Foundation, visit www.unitedangels.org