This Family Traveled to Serbia to Adopt a Boy without Limbs
Devon and Jeremy Toomey family were eager to welcome another child in their growing family—and they finally got their wish when they laid their eyes on Bowen.
Devon Toomey, already a mother to two sons, said, "We always knew we wanted to adopt. We were kind of waiting but I had a habit of looking at pictures online. But when I saw Bowen's picture, something was just different. I saw it, and I just fell in love instantly. I just knew that he was our son. […] Those big, dark brown eyes just drew me in and […] I fell in love, the moment I saw him."
Bowen faces a distinct challenge that many of us cannot even begin to imagine; Bowen was born without legs or arms. His only has one partial limb; his left arm ends just before the elbow joint. He was abandoned at a Serbian orphanage in 2009, and had been there ever since—until Devon saw his picture.
The Toomey family flew from Idaho to Serbia and adopted him when he was just 18 months old.
The couple said the emotions they felt the first time they went to the orphanage were mixed. The conditions in the orphanage weren't terrible, but Bowen spent almost 23 hours a day alone in his crib. The only time he got out was to be fed and have his diaper changed. He was hardly ever spoken to, and he never learned how to move around on his own.
Devon Toomey said they felt blessed when they were finally able to hold him for the first time.
She said, "There were some really big challenges when we first came home. He couldn't sit up, he didn't know how to chew, he couldn't roll over. He couldn't talk. He was basically at an infant stage at 18 months old. We had to teach him everything."
The Toomeys found that the hardest challenge with Bowen had nothing to do with his physical impairments. Instead, it was his speech. Because he had spent so much time in the orphanage with minimal human interaction, he was way behind in terms of communicating. He also didn't know how to chew, because he was put on a liquid diet in the orphanage. Even so, Bowen has now learned the best ways to do things on his own.
Now, the 6-year-old is a healthy boy. He loves to swim, paint, draw and play around with his brothers. Bowen even loves to ski.
Devon said, "Bowen's brothers, from the moment they met him, they just fell in love with him. They've always just accepted him into our family. […] They're fiercely protective of him." Bowen's 9-year-old brother, Heath, spoke toPeopleabout his beloved brother:
He's not weird – he can do the same stuff that I can. We shouldn't judge people by what they look like. We should judge them by their heart. Judge them by their insides, not their outsides.
Bowen has started the first grade, and he's one of the top students in his class. And despite his disabilities, he's one of the most radiant, happy kids ever.
Jeremy said, "He's happy all the time. He's the happiest kid I ever met. I don't really think he notices his limb differences."
Devon said, "He has so much joy. He's always smiling.
Video: Sarah Wayne Callies talks to refugees at the border of Serbia
How to Break up With a Married Man
How to Get Rid of Period Cramps: 8 Yoga Moves From Jessamyn Stanley
Kat Von D Stunned in a Red Gown at Her Goth-Themed Wedding
How to Say Useful Things in Romanian
Fall Winter 2013-2014 Hat Trends
How to Blow Dry Bangs
And flames are pretty
How to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood