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Adopted toddler with Down syndrome officially becomes part of a family

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Last May, California parents Andy and Mercedes Lara shared the incredible story of Sunflower Mae, a little girl they adopted just days after her birth. Sunflower was born with a joyful spirit, exuberant personality, and Down syndrome.

Sunflower’s loving parents have documented their journey of adoption, special needs, and growth with countless individuals through social media.

On March 11, after years of waiting, Sunflower’s adoption was finalized. For World Down Syndrome Day, the Laras sent Live Action the following video, celebrating their journey with their adopted daughter.

Tragically, individuals with Down syndrome are often undervalued, and many babies with Down syndrome are aborted. Sunflower’s story is a testimony to the beauty of all life, and her parents are a beautiful example of unconditional love.

Sunflower’s father, Andy, shared his excitement and relief to know that Sunflower Mae is officially a permanent member of their beautiful family. Andy told Live Action:

To sum up the past 21 months, in waiting to finalize her adoption, we feel honored and blessed to be her parents.

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Last Wednesday was filled with joyful tears, smiles, and cheers. While we’ve been her parents since we took physical custody of her, something changed for me once we finalized.  I did feel a deeper sense of connection to her – maybe a richer understanding of my responsibility and love for her, knowing that completely and legally, she is ours to care for and raise as our own. We feel a great sense of conclusion, as we’ve been waiting for this for some time.

Every adoption is different. It all comes down to subjective timelines determined by state offices approving your funding options, and all that causes delays in one way or another.

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For us, it took 21 months to get to this day; for some, it can be shorter, and for some longer.

Having her though since she was three days old helped to pass the time, as she needs so much love and care.  We’re very happy to be through her finalization!

You can read about what it’s like to raise a child with Down syndrome from  Sunflower’s father, Andy, here

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