It was a diagnosis most parents never want to hear.
“I hate saying, ‘Scared,’ but [I was] scared,” Sasha Job said. “It’s just so unknown. I never knew anyone with Down syndrome.”
Zoey is Job’s fourth child with her husband, Gary. While pregnant, Job says she worried about whether her little girl would enjoy the same things as the rest of their children, like listening to music and dancing.
Thankfully, those fears were quickly put to rest.
“My biggest hope for her was that she would be a happy person … and enjoy life,” said Job. “[It] was apparent pretty early on that it wouldn'’t be an issue.”
Zoey is a happy, sweet little girl who loves to play with dolls. Over her seven years of life, her mother says she’s taught the family that Down syndrome can be “amazing.”
The Job family eventually learned that there were many children with Down Syndrome living in foster care or orphanages simply because of their diagnosis, they knew they needed to help. And when she saw a photo of Ruby, she knew exactly what she needed to do.
“When I saw this little girl, I just knew I was her mom,” Job said.
Job knows that statement might sound crazy to some people. Ruby was a 5-year-old girl with Down syndrome in China. Outside of her diagnosis, her life had nothing in common with the lives of the Job family.
Still, Job says she knew that Ruby was destined to become part of the family.
“Life is busy. It will be busier. But it’s a blessing to have children and watch them grow, and watch them learn,” she said.
Bringing Ruby home
In total, the adoption process took a year. Job says the family fundraised roughly $35,000 to pay for the related expenses. Then, in late October, the day finally came for Job and her mother-in-law to set off on a two-week journey to bring Ruby home.
“Nervous and excited,” Job described her emotional state before boarding a plane at Sacramento International Airport.
Her husband stayed behind with their four children, who were able to stay up-to-date on the process thanks to Instagram.
The two weeks ticked by, and then, finally, the day was here. The family was about to reunite and expand.
Other families whose children have Down Syndrome came to the airport to be there for Ruby’s arrival. As Job had explained before the trip, “Having Ruby snuck us in the backdoor to this other world that not everyone gets to see … We know it’s beautiful.”
Beautiful is the right word to describe what it was like to see Zoey run toward her mother and new little sister as they got off the last escalator step.
And it’s the word Job used once again when asked what she felt after the plane landed in Sacramento.
“I was crying before I even saw anyone,” she said. “It was beautiful.”
As the family learned, adoption isn’t easy. Neither is acclimating a child with Down syndrome to a new language, a new country, and a new family. But their family’s story? Simply put – beautiful.