Busy Georgia couple Erin and Chris Austin already had two kids on their hands in 2015, but nonetheless, they did not consider their family a handful of advocates of adoption, the pair began scouring the Internet for potential new addition to their clan. Then Erin came across a picture of a baby girl on a Facebook page, and as soon as the mom of two looked into the infant’s distinctively piercing eyes, Erin knew she was looking at child number three in 2015. Chris and Erin were both 32 and lived in the small town of Brazilian near Atlanta, Georgia. Although they operated a health and fitness franchise and had two kids under the age of ten, Madeleine and younger brother river, the married couple did not think their lives were complete.
Consequently, they took to the Internet looking for the final piece of their family jigsaw. Also, if you have not done so already, please subscribe to our channel and click that notification Bell to get inspired by these real life stories every day. Now back to the story. Scouring social media for suitable new son or daughter. Erin came across a Facebook listing with a picture of a baby girl and was instantly convinced that she was the one.
But the mom did not know how. She was so sure, as she admitted in a special Books by Special Kids video uploaded to YouTube in December 2016. I don’t understand why I don’t have any explanation, Erin said in the film feature by the Diversity charity. She just had the overwhelming feeling that she was looking at her daughter. Erin immediately sent an email to the adoption agency responsible for the photograph. She wrote, tell me about this little girl. What’s her story? But by this time, it did not really matter what the baby’s story was.
Aaron and Chris had both set their hearts on the opportunity to help write the next chapter. The Austin’s both knew that they had to have her and started the groundwork for adoption. After all, when you know, you just know, right? Unfortunately, however, the adoption process would prove not to be a smooth and straightforward one. It turned out that the little mite was lying in a crib halfway across the world in China. But not even the seemingly endless red tape involved could tie up Aaron and Chris for too long. And in January 2016, the little one arrived at her new forever home in Brazilton.
The Austin had decided to name the newest member of their family, Primrose Lynn, and they were aware that her fresh beginning in Georgia would take some getting used to. The infant had been plucked out of the only world she had ever known. According to Erin, it was a world where no one came for Primrose when she cried and a world where she struggled to feed because no one had the time or patience to teach her how to do it properly. And it was also a world without love. But most of all. For Primrose, it was a world of darkness.
Sadly, the baby had been born with a blinding hereditary condition which had turned Primrose’s eyes a piercing silvery blue color. The disorder had put many people off wanting the sightless child, including, it seems, her biological parents. Nonetheless, it was exactly this factor which had drawn Erin’s attention in the first place and convinced her and her husband that the abandoned baby belonged to them. Aaron had seen nothing like it before, but Primrose’s eyes were showing the terrible effects of congenital glaucoma. This disorder involves damage to the optic nerve caused by a build up of fluid in the eye.
Unfortunately, in Primrose’s case, the condition had made her completely lose her eyesight. On top of this, the toddler was partially deaf and unable to communicate verbally. So not only was Primrose in the dark, but she was unable to effectively communicate her fears. For a very small child living with these huge disabilities, no doubt the world can seem a scary enough place. And although Primrose had not enjoyed the best start in life, over in China, it had been the only life she knew. But now she had been plucked from the familiarity of her surroundings and popped down again halfway around the globe. When Primarose arrived home with her new family that January day, the baby was unable to support her head and had difficulty feeding. It seemed obvious to the Austrians that their youngest child did not know what it was to be loved and cared for properly. But Erin and Chris were up to the challenge. They vowed to love Primrose as much as their biological kids, Madeline, and river. On Primrose’s second birthday in late February 2016, Erin wrote a celebratory entry on the Special Needs Children Adoption support website no Hands But Ours.
In the post, she described her daughter’s first days in the Austin household. She was scared to extend her hands away from her body. She still struggles with feeling safe enough to fall asleep, but with the family’s perseverance, within weeks, Primrose had begun to show signs of understanding what it is to be loved. As Erin went on to describe, she has just now started holding our hands. She has just now started to know and trust us. Without the use of her eyes, Primrose began to learn how to rely on the power of touch. Her mom claimed that this was a sensation which was largely lacking in the baby’s crib in China during the first two years of her life. But happily now, Primrose was experiencing all kinds of stimuli.
And, you know, a lot of our life is narrating Primrose. We’re going to walk over to the chair. Primrose, you’re about to touch a doorknob.
Erin explained in the Special Books by Special Kids video.
Here’s a wall, those kinds of things because she’ll remember those. And later on when we’re walking upstairs, she’ll be like, oh, here’s my wall. I have to hold the wall to get upstairs.
But as well as the challenges Primrose was discovering, her new parents were finding their way too. They faced difficulties when their daughter became upset or sick due to her limited ability to communicate. Aaron and Chris were not always able to understand exactly what Primrose was feeling or why, so the power of love became an all important tool. Fortunately, however, Primrose had also extra love and support from her elder siblings. When Madeleine River and their baby sister were playing together, Primrose could sometimes become stressed, but the older two were always quick to comfort her. As Erin explained in the YouTube video.
Before I can even get over here, one of them has anticipated her needs and picked her up, put her chest to chest, squeezed her, rocked her.
For Chris, helping the blind, partially deaf and nonverbal Primrose navigate her immediate surroundings was both a serious undertaking and a joy.
Constantly trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with no corners.
No in pieces, he told special books by special kids.
You’re just literally trying to sort out random pieces. Sometimes you get it right, but it’s the process that’s the most fun because in the process, you can see the progress.
These days, Erin is trying to learn more about Primrose’s world and how she functions in it by watching her in action. In an Instagram caption from May 2018, the mom wrote, as much as I longed to hear her speak, I’m fascinated by how well she communicates. She’s really started trying to get her point across to us, mostly using her voice and body language. And sometimes this communication is something the Austin’s do not necessarily want to hear. It seems that Primrose is just like most other children her age, lively, curious and mischievous. As Erin informed told special books by special kids.
Adoption is hard and beautiful and brutal and most miraculous thing. I mean, the idea that a child not born to me is mine, that is a miracle.
And Erin added that if she ever finds herself stressed out or frustrated, feeling like she’s fighting a losing battle, the mom simply looks into Primrose’s eyes. After all, that is where it first started.
That’s everything that brought us together. That first picture, seeing her blue eyes, not really even knowing what that meant.
But now the Austins all know exactly what it meant and continues to mean, and it seems they love and accept it every day.
We fight for Primrose’s heart.
Erin explained in the YouTube clip.
We want her to know she’s 100% ours forever. There is never any going back.
And that’s a fight. It’s not in her brain to trust or to understand that.
So we have to show her that unconditional forever. Family love.