Open hearts: Couple adopts baby with Down syndrome

California couple Andy and Mercedes Lara knew from the beginning that they wanted to adopt children. Mercedes has a particular place in her heart for special-needs children and has spent the last decade working with individuals who have special needs. When she told her husband that she wanted to adopt a baby who has Down syndrome, she knew, from experience in her line of work, what she was asking for. And he agreed. Together, they chose to spend the rest of their lives caring for and loving a person who would always need them. This child may never move out and become independent – and the Laras are fine with that.

More than fine – beyond accepting the diagnosis of Down syndrome, the Laras went in search of it. And they found their dream child in Sunflower Mae, adopted at birth last summer. 

In this video, Andy and Mercedes document their journey to meet and adopt Sunflower Mae on the day she was born.


Unlike the parents and doctors of the many children who are aborted after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, the Laras believe that a baby with Down syndrome is a blessing from God. On Instagram, Mercedes wrote the following message to Sunflower:

Sunflower before we knew you we prayed for you! And I promise to always pray for you. In a broken world God uses to bring LIGHT! Joy overflows from you and their are no words for how beautiful you truly are! Always be strong and courageous my darling<3 we love you <3 Mom and Dad

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