“(Finding DSRF) was the beginning of a new blossoming for Sarah.”

When the Schouten family chose their daughter Sarah, they chose hope.

“We adopted Sarah six years ago,” says her mom, Phyllis. “We were ready to grow our family, and we knew there were kids that needed a family as well, so it was kind of a natural step.”

Sarah has already faced a number of challenges in her young life, including heart problems and several eye surgeries. In addition, her development has been delayed in many areas, including her speech, behaviour, toileting and walking.

But just as Sarah found a supportive family to care for her, so too did the Schoutens. When Sarah was four and a half, she began attending the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, a step that Phyllis describes as “literally life-changing.”

“It was the beginning of a new blossoming for Sarah,” she affirms. What began with weekly speech therapy sessions has expanded to include occupational therapy and reading lessons. Each step of the way, Sarah has grown remarkably.

Through their involvement at DSRF, the family’s vision for Sarah’s future has gotten bigger, too. “The hopes that we have for Sarah are similar to the hopes that any parent has for their children,” says her dad Johannes. “She can do even more than I can hope or imagine right now.”

Posted by: Down Syndrome Research Foundation on December 20, 2016.