Susie’s Story

Adoption STAR Founder & CEO Michele Fried and her daughter Susanna Fried co-author to discuss their special needs adoption journey.

Michele Fried

Who would have guessed that the little girl in the yellow dress that I met on the day she turned two (not at my office) but in another state far away from the one my husband and I and three sons lived in, would one day understand that she has Down Syndrome and that she was adopted.

I always wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome and after years of experience working with children with disabilities and working in the adoption field, you would think I would have imagined that she would have the ability to understand somewhat what being adopted means. But it still surprises me.

Raising Susie has been an experience ~ I will readily admit there were days when parenting her has caused stress and tears but along with those days there have been more days where we have experienced incredible laughter and joy. She has certainly taught our family to never set limits and that you never know what can happen next or what will be said next.

During a recent weekend home, Susie asked what I was doing and I said that I was writing an article for the Adoption STAR Blog. She said she wanted to do that too and found a pen and paper and wrote the following:

About Adoption

Started in April 21 I was born that mind’s me get adopt from Isreal
my birth family didn’t take of me then
I have to move
also I want to my adopt mom Michele fried office
I waited for her to adopt me
she looked at me
she want me
then trained me to be myself
I was baby I can start my life to be adult soon

About Down Syndrome

For DS to make me speacil
To me because every body is diffent
Is’nt something I do because they work
A lot other people like to do lot stuff fun for DS
They have choseme is the syobal
Than other is listed for you to show what it is mean it is on the book
For you already

Susanna’s Life

For adulthood I want to do is go to college than get job for myself
I do like DS because make me speaicl also I like my group home
and go to my family because I love them so much…
I want to go shopping for myself for my amparnt like all the stuff I want
I want job someday also be aunt because it is hard work but it is fun to be aunt
also I want is to be my amparnt
I can do something speacil holiday’s like Passover, hankkah, thanksgiving.
I want is come over for Shabbat I will cook chicken, potatoes, peas, soup
I make something for my mom then my family come over we can light the candle together then go to temple to listen to the rabbi then go back home
I like to do stuff fun
I like partys because I like so much I am party person myself
this is my life

Mom’s translation of the above

It all started on April 21 when I was born. That means I was adopted from Israel.
My birth family did not take care of me then.
I moved to the United States and I met my mom, Michele Fried.
She waited for a little girl and once she looked at me she knew I was the one.
She has helped me become the person I am today.
I am now an adult.
I happen to have Down Syndrome and I feel that makes me special because everyone is different.
People with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome.
I have a book about Down Syndrome that explains this.

Now that I am an adult I want to finish college and then get a job.
I like having Down Syndrome because it makes me special and I also like living in my group home and visiting my family because I love them very much.
If I had my own apartment I would go shopping for all the stuff I would want.

I hope to be an aunt some day. I know that would be hard work but I know it would also be fun to be an aunt. I also want my own apartment.

If I lived in my own apartment, I would invite people over for special holidays like Passover, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving. I would like people to come over for Shabbat and I would cook them chicken, potatoes, peas and soup. I would make something for my mom and my family and we would light the candles together and then go to Temple to listen to the Rabbi.

I like having fun and doing fun things.
I like parties too.
This is my life!

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