Goodness in Purpose: Adoption and Down Syndrome

Goodness in Purpose: Adoption and Down Syndrome

We’re privileged to tell Caitlin and Nate’s continuing story on today’s blog. Caitlin Smith writes about their journey to Down Syndrome adoption, from brokenness to redemption.


“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

This has been my favorite scripture for quite some time now. But I have grown to interpret what it means more fully as I’ve walked this road to motherhood. I think that’s how it works – I can sit on a certain verse for so long, thinking I fully understand the depth and weight of it on my life, until God grows me and reveals something new; that what he is communicating has absolutely nothing to do with me.

The phrase “more to love” has quickly become a sort of motto for Nate and I in the last six months. Our family stands on the call that God has more people for us to love: more children, more orphans. And best of all, for this moment in time: more chromosomes to love.

When we first started the adoption process, the Lord quickly (or so it seems now) revealed to us that His plan for us was to pursue a child with Down Syndrome. There are so many details to this part of the story, but the best is this: all these details wrote a story that is leading us to our daughter.

This little girl is fearfully and wonderfully made. Although her story starts in brokenness, I am so thankful that God has a plan for the redemption of it. Just like he had a plan to redeem me: a broken girl who was lost in her mess.

Down Syndrome has taught me so many things as a teacher, in ministry, as an advocate, and now as a mom. Lord willing, I will find ways to share these things as Nate and I continue on this journey, but for now I will leave you with this:

Down Syndrome is not a problem.

The dictionary defines problem as a source of trouble or worry; something difficult to deal with. When I think of the people I love who have Down Syndrome, problem is the furthest thing from my mind. My daughter has an extra chromosome. My human nature could easily jump to worry ; but God reminds me that this extra chromosome just gives us more to love. She has an extra storage tank for all the love she has to give. A local writer, who is a source of inspiration for Nate and I, puts it this way in his book An Uncomplicated Life:

“If you believe there are no coincidences, you have to at least entertain the notion that Number 47 has a purpose beyond sadness. If you are anything other than terminally pessimistic, you believe Number 47 contains a lot that makes us good. It has to. Somewhere in that bonus wiring is a connection to compassion and kindness, a plan for how to be better. Number 47 isn’t a governor on Jillian’s aspirations. It’s an extra storage tank for all her good stuff.’’

Like Romans 8:28 says, I know that in all things God works for my good. For Nate’s good. He works for our daughter’s good. But good doesn’t always mean easy. Hard isn’t bad. Hard is hard, and we are going to step out of the boat and do hard things. I believe Down Syndrome is part of God’s good.

Some people get beautiful sunsets or a divine word in the quiet as gifts from God. I believe Down Syndrome is my gift on this side of heaven. We hope our story shows that God can take ordinary lives and make them extraordinary. He truly, truly works for your good if you step out and trust Him.

Would you join us in staying connected to our story? Here are three easy ways you can follow, support, and pray for us:

  • Our blog, One More to Love, just launched! Follow the continuing journey here.
  • As we are in the process of waiting on immigration forms to process and our official legal paperwork to come from Kyrgyzstan, would you join us in praying we stay strong in believing that God has this little girl for us? Would you pray that anxiety (I could write a whole post just about this topic…) would have no room in our lives as we make travel plans?


Written By
Caitlin Smith

I was born and raised in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. I am the middle of three girls. I might be a classic middle child, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I attended the University of Cincinnati where I majored in special education and am currently working as an intervention specialist teaching 5th graders. I’m a lover of all things ice cream (as long as it’s not chocolate), naps, coffee, wine, puppies, and Jesus. I’ve always had a love for the arts, crafts, and most recently, writing.