Ivy is a feisty, silly, and determined two-year-old who lives in Lamar, Colorado with her mom, dad and five siblings. She loves her dad, the family dog and ice cream. Ivy’s light shines bright and is a ray of sunshine in many lives.
We invite you to watch her video, read her story and subscribe to our podcast to listen to an interview with her mom and dad.
After a four-year battle with infertility and four heartbreaking miscarriages, Kari and Bryon had two daughters, Tessa (18) and Ruby (15). Adoption had always been on the couple’s heart and it became even more important after learning that Kari had a medical condition related to pregnancy. The couple grew their family by adopting Leo (10), KiKi (7) and Emmett (3).
After Emmett’s adoption, Kari and Bryon’s eyes were opened to the great need for families to adopt children with medical needs. The couple requested to join the Medically Fragile Adoption program. “These babies are so worthy. They need families,” Kari shares about their passion.
In April of 2019, the couple got a call from the adoption agency about a 4-month-old baby girl with a rare form of dwarfism. As soon as they read her description, they knew this baby was meant to join their family. Byron, who lives with a disability, felt a strong connection to the baby and wrote a letter to the agency expressing why they would be the perfect placement for her.
The family welcomed Ivy into their home when she was six months old. “From the moment she was placed in my arms, she changed my life. She has made me a better mom, a better person, and she has opened my eyes to a different world,” Kari shares. Ivy brings joy to her family with her feisty personality, resilient spirit and a smile that lights up the room.
Ivy was diagnosed at birth with Diastrophic Dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism which affects 1 in 500,000. It affects all areas of Ivy’s body: hands, feet, neck, spine, hips, knees, bones, cartilage and her hearing. It also affects the cartilage in Ivy’s narrow airway, which affects her breathing and places her at high risk for complications with anesthesia and respiratory illnesses. Even through Diastrophic Dysplasia is a degenerative disease, Ivy’s family chooses to stay positive and present in the moment.
Ivy’s biggest obstacles will be mobility and pain management. Kari explains, “Her mobility is not only about her legs and her actual walking, but it is about her breathing too.” Byron built Ivy a walker and a climbing toy perfect for her size.
Ivy’s diagnosis is so rare that the family travels from Colorado to Delaware every six months for specialized care. They are discussing future surgeries on Ivy’s feet and hips with her care team.
Ivy’s light shines bright and is a ray of sunshine in many lives.
Time to get loud shouters!
Throughout the month of February we will be shouting loud for Ivy!
So click here to shop now where every purchase in February will help cover travel expenses from Colorado to Delaware for specialized medical care. To help support kiddos like Ivy every month, click here to start a monthly subscription.