When Julie McConnel remarried, she already had three kids from a previous marriage. And after she and her new husband, Dan, had a son together, they wanted to give him a little sister.
However, the couple quickly learned that you can’t always plan how your life will go: Julie learned she was pregnant with fraternal twin boys.
“As women get older, our eggs start firing off willy-nilly, so we weren’t too surprised to learn that we were having twins,” she told Caters News.
After the age of 40, a woman’s odds of having a child with Down syndrome increase to 1 in 100. Julie and Dan decided to have all of the necessary tests done to determine if their sons would be born with Down syndrome… and they learned that the babies would.
At her age of 45, Julie felt that she couldn’t handle raising two sons with special needs. The couple found a family to adopt the twins through the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network but kept putting off the paperwork.
“We wanted to do our due diligence, so we connected with the local Down syndrome association,” she said. “They were hosting a picnic, so we went and met with some wonderful families who shared their experiences with us.”
Julie and Dan realized that they were letting fear get in the way of expanding their family.
“You love your kids no matter what. When we finally decided that we weren’t going to let our fear stand in our way, it was easy to make our decision,” Julie said.
They decided to keep their sons during Julie’s third trimester. When Milo and Charlie were born, all those fears subsided.
“My heart came out of my chest when I saw them. I was so smitten,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine life without them, but I think I’d miss them every day if we had decided not to keep them.”
See more of Milo and Charlie below, and please SHARE Julie and Dan’s incredible journey of acceptance.
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