The Hike: Adopting a Child with Down Syndrome

Scott and his wife, Haley, adopted Eden from China as an aging out child with Down Syndrome. Listen to his story about how God calmed his heart about adopting a child with different abilities and then amazed him with the value and beauty of her precious life.


“Three years ago, I was terrified at what I felt God was calling our family to—adopt a child with Down Syndrome. All I could think about was the challenges that would come with raising a child with a mental disability. I resisted and resisted until one day three years ago I was on a hike by myself in North Carolina, asking God, “Is this what you want for my life?” It was a strenuous hike that took a while. I made it to the top and was overwhelmed by the beautiful waterfall and surrounding area and thanked God for such a beautiful reminder of His creation but still didn’t hear a response to my question. I headed back down and when I got to the bottom I thought to myself, “I guess I won’t hear from God today.” I then passed a couple getting started on the hike and they asked, “Is it worth the hike?” I quickly responded, “Absolutely! Wait ‘til you get to the end. The view is amazing!”

I got three steps past them and stopped dead in my tracks as I heard God whisper, “There’s your answer. Wait ‘til you get to the end. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be strenuous. It’s going to take a toll. But. Just. Wait. You are going to be AMAZED.”



Today, I stand amazed at what God has done. He knew a little girl unknown by the world. He knew what she could become. He knew her beauty. He just needed someone to come and give her everything she needed to grow into the beauty He had created. He has taken this little girl and made a BIG DEAL out of her. She is not forgotten. She’s on the front page of the US Tennis Association – Florida website, for Pete’s sake!

I don’t normally get “preachy” but I can’t help it. Folks, this is my Father in Heaven. He is my daddy, my “Abba Father.” Just as much as he saw Eden and knew what she could become if she just had a family to love her and call her their own, He sees you and loves you and wants to make a BIG DEAL about how much He loves you. I hope you know that.

And if you do know that, what “hike” is He asking you to take? Whatever it is, I guarantee you it’s going to be worth it. Just you wait.

Written By: Scott Long, Lifeline Adoptive Dad