We are the Batchelders, or as I have always labeled our pictures – the Batchelder five! My husband, Kevin, and I met at college through some mutual friends. He says we met at dinner. I say we met roller skating! We dated for a year, were engaged for a year, and got married in Baraboo, Wisconsin on June 28, 1997. He is a software programmer for an environmental company, and I am a former Kindergarten/1st grade teacher. We had our first child 3 years into our marriage. Madyson was born with Down Syndrome on August 15, 2001. On April 25, 2003, God graced our home with Logan and Laurell.
Our Desire to Adopt
We had our first child 3 years into our marriage. Madyson was born with Down Syndrome on August 15, 2001. What seemed so tragic to me at the time, has turned out to be the greatest blessing of my life! I live for the daily face full of random kisses, cheerful but awkward and clumsy help I get with chores around the house, and belly giggles that are so contagious you can’t help but break out in laughter yourself!
A year after Madyson was born, I had an ectopic pregnancy and two months later we discovered I was pregnant with twins. On April 25, 2003, God graced our home with Logan and Laurell. Life with twins and a 20 month old disabled child was challenging, to say the least. There were days I was just not sure I was up to the task! As the children have grown and matured, so have I!
After years of talking about adopting, we feel that the Lord is finally opening that door and calling us forward. We strive always to be faithful in answering His call.
Our Faith in Christ
God has blessed my marriage with more peace in the last three years, and the choices and decisions we make now are more rooted in prayer and faith! I pray daily that my children will see lives of solid commitment and a passionate walk with our Lord and Savior lived out before them!
We strive daily to become more like Jesus! We want our hearts to be transfigured and our faith to continue to grow! We realize we have children watching our every step. We have a baton of faith to pass on! We are firmly committed to this cause. We believe Christ showed up on this earth as a newborn to bring us peace, hope, and life eternal through the shedding of His blood on the cross at Easter! God is good, He is good all the time! He does give the gift of hope, peace, and life!
Dear Birth Parent(s),
We are the Batchelder family. Our family is blessed to include my husband and me – Kevin and Heather, our daughter with Down Syndrome, Madyson Joy, and our boy/girl twins, Logan and Laurell. We also have two cats! We live in Anderson, Indiana, out in the country on a little over half an acre.
Both my husband and I were raised in Christian homes and accepted the Lord at young ages, rededicating our lives to the Lord in our teens, and attending a Christian College in Nampa, Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University. We attended the Nazarene Church for several years after we got married and switched to the Church of God when we moved to Indiana. Both of these denominations are Wesleyan in background. Heather and the twins are involved in Bible Study Fellowship on Monday evenings. Kevin meets with a small group of men for a Bible Study on Tuesday evenings. We also fellowship and teach 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School with another family out of our home on Sunday mornings after worship at church. We are firm believers in having our children in church at every given opportunity, but we also realize that faith is taught in the home. So we encourage our children along toward a walk with the Lord by doing family devotions, praying together, and trying to live righteously before them. Heather home schools all three children.
My two goals in life were to be a teacher and a mom. After attending college and receiving my teaching degree, I was able to find a position teaching first grade. When our daughter came along, I quit teaching to be a stay-at-home mom. After moving from Colorado to Indiana, I went back to teaching as a part-time substitute teacher since my husband works from home and could be there for the kids when they got home from preschool. Now that the children are in grade school, I am home full time teaching them . My children are my greatest joy in my life, but my daughter with Down’s has absolutely captured my heart for eternity. How precious it is to be called of God to raise a child with disabilities.
Thank- you for choosing life for your baby! When Madyson was born, we were surprised with the diagnosis. It had been a complicated pregnancy, but we had no indicators that she would be born with a disability. On August 15, 2001, Madyson Joy Batchelder entered our world! The doctor said she had Down Syndrome and would never be like the other children. Grandma said we would love her anyway! She was right about that! How could we not love a child with such a beautiful smile! As parents, we found ourselves frightened by the prospect of raising a child with disabilities and all the unknowns that come with it – severity of needs, health problems, education issues, and acceptance in public by peers and adults! We knew God would be faithful if we just trusted Him to enable us!
It did not take long before everyone in the family fell in love with her! The first moment we touched those tiny hands and feet, and the first time we looked into her beautiful sparkling blue eyes, our hearts were captured for eternity. We knew God had given us a special gift to love and raise!
We celebrated and threw a party with each and every accomplishment from small to big! It was incredible to watch Mady learn to sit up on her own, roll over, and smile at the same age as a typical baby. We cheered when she pushed up on those chubby little arms and began to inch her way around a room. We chuckled at the way she would scoot around a room on her bottom with one knee in the air, instead of crawling! It was with awe that we watched her take her first step and go straight from tentatively stepping to running!
Her enthusiasm and curiosity about everything in life is contagious! She is passionate about learning and determined to excel. By age three, she knew her ABC’s and how to count to ten. When her brother and sister came along, she became the “mother hen,” showing them how to play with a toy, entertaining them for hours on end, attempting to feed them at meal times, and helping to bathe and tuck them in at night.
There is not a person in our family or circle of friends who has not been touched by her generous spirit of love. She is constantly doling out “I love you” and kisses to anyone she can find who will take them. If someone she cares about is upset, she will come up and pat their back and hug them, just to see them smile. She has certainly taught us how to love unconditionally. Having Mady in the house is like touching the heart of Jesus on a daily basis! No matter what He loves us, and no matter what Mady loves us too!
Though we call her the “Angel Baby”, she has also had her challenges! Getting her to eat enough to thrive was our biggest challenge during infancy. Health issues have also prevailed with one surgery to repair a blood vessel in her heart at three months of age and one hospitalization for RSV and Pneumonia when she was six months old. She had two holes in her heart that we believe God miraculously healed this year, and she takes daily medicine for hypothyroidism. She still struggles with some textures, but has come a long way in what she will accept and try! Above all, dairy products are definitely a favorite, with cheese ranking right up there as a dessert!
In many ways, she is more like the typical child than not! She is mischievous, enjoys having a good time, runs, jumps, does pretend play, and enjoys Veggie Tale movies with Bob being her hero! She has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to gang up on people with her brother and sister or with her grandpa and play practical jokes on them!
As Mady continues to develop, grow, and attain new skills, we pray that God will bless her with friendship and love in ways we never imagined possible. We pray that her exuberance and passion for life will never fade and that others will see Jesus when they look at Mady. God does not make mistakes and we count it a privilege to have Mady in our family. We would not trade one moment of being her parents! These precious children need homes where they can experience the love of Christ, of parents, and of siblings who will enable them to live as independently as possible, yet take care of them and their needs all throughout life! We have enjoyed providing a loving, Christ-centered, stable home for Madyson and would love to be able to provide this for yet another child.
God Bless you and Thank you for considering us!
Kevin, Heather, Madyson, Logan, and Laurell Batchelder