Post written by LeAnn
I have a very dear friend named Deanne Walker that I admire so much. She is a woman full of faith and perseverance. Her husband Doug is her equal in all things. They are parents of 18 children. They have nine biological children and nine that they have adopted. The adopted children are from different countries: the US, India and China. Eight of their adopted children have special needs such as a learning disability, a drug baby, a Down syndrome, one with mild Cerebral Palsy, one with moderate Cerebral Palsy, Amniotic Bandind, a severe heart defect, and emotional and sexual abuse. They just lost their little three year old boy, Gideon following open heart surgery for the severe heart defect. He passed away on February 13th, 2014.
All of these children have been sealed to them in the temple for time and all Eternity. They are an eternal family.
At this time they have three married children with 3 grandchildren, one of which was born on February 19th. One son is home from his mission and going to school at BYU. Their biological children are mixed in between their adopted children. You will find that the older children are always helping the younger children. I love to watch them during our church’s Sacrament meeting. They take up an entire long pew about 3 – 4 rows back from the front. You hardly ever see them take a child out. They are a very reverent family. Their children are polite, kind to others, very loyal and loving with each other.
Recently, while the parents were with their little son at the hospital, I had the opportunity to care for 7 of their children. A few of them I know well. It was an amazing morning. They were completely organized and had scheduled times for their morning activities. When relating this to my friend, she herself was surprised that they had organized their day so well. They all had chores and the home was in perfect order. The oldest ones in charge were just incredible. Two of the older children made lunch and cleaned up afterwards. What a joy it was to serve them and especially to watch them serve one another.
One might ask why anyone would want to adopt that many children and especially children with special needs. I think as you read their family blog you will see how passionately they are about caring for and adopting children. You will feel their desire to raise a large posterity unto the Lord. You will walk the path with them as they go through the adoption process in China. You will learn of their challenges when picking their children up on China. You will read of their loving care for their special needs children.
You will read about each of their precious children and the love they have for each and every one. Their faith and testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation is firm and steadfast.
You will read the emotional account of the last day with their sweet little son Gideon that passed away in Primary Children’s hospital after open heart surgery on February 13th. You will read of their testimony of life after death and of this son’s purpose in passing on. They bear a strong testimony of Eternal Families. You will be greatly blessed as you read and follow their remarkable journey in raising a family such as this.
Here is their blog profile information:
We have been married for 27 great years. We have 18 children with 9 adopted and 9 biological. We have children from the US, India and China. We have been greatly blessed to be trusted to raise our Father’s children. Each one is unique and has their own strengths. We love to be together as a family and support one another. I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything in this world. It truly is “A Wonderful Life”.
Here is: “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
Deanne wanted me to also share the following links. She States these links are mainly China centered but they address things in adoption in general, like what special needs there are and adoption stories. Three of their boys came through a program named, Love Without Boundaries. They aren’t an agency but a nonprofit organization that supports the orphans of China.
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LeAnn is a wife, mother to 6 children, 30 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the occupation of nursing but most of all being a mother and grandmother. She presently serves in the Jordan River Temple one day a week. She enjoys writing histories and pursuing her ancestors through genealogy research. She loves to enjoy the moments of her life. She blogs at Living Waters