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‘This is My Brother’

By Brittany Black
Buckner International

HALLSVILLE, Texas — At five weeks old, Abraham Vallery had two broken femurs, 27 broken ribs, a fractured skull and bleeding in his brain. Doctors thought he was going to die. He was put into an induced coma and was fed through a feeding tube.

Now at 27 months, Abraham, known as Abe, is running, laughing and learning to speak. He has found a home with Jason and Sydnie Vallery, who finalized their adoption through Buckner Children and Family Services’ foster-to-adopt program on July 23.

Jason and Sydnie have two birth children, Ellie, 4 and Oakley, 5, but they say they have always wanted to adopt.

“We found out his medical issues were more than we realized, but we fell in love with Abe,” said Jason.

Because of the severity of his injuries, Abe walks with braces on his legs; his arms are slightly bent; he takes seizure medicine and he has trouble with his fine motor skills.

“He used to have a bad drooling problem; his whole shirt would be wet,” Jason said. “He had problems closing his lips and he didn’t know how to swallow.”

The couple agrees that he has improved drastically since they first met him.

“It takes him two to three times longer to succeed at a normal task,” Sydnie said. “But he never gives up; one way to describe him is perseverance.”

The Vallerys’ work with Abe by stretching and massaging his muscles twice a day and helping him practice his vocabulary. He started with a vocabulary of 10 words and now it is up to at least 200, Sydnie said.

After being with the family for eight months, Abe has settled in saying, “Mama” and playing with the other children. Even though the finalization took some time, Sydnie considered Abe a part of the family the day they first got him in early December.

“It’s a blessing he fit in [with the family] just perfectly,” Sydnie said.

The Vallerys’ first expected jealousy to be an issue with their two older children but say that never was a problem. The family prepared the kids for an adopted sibling by talking to them about it before the process even began.

“Let’s adopt a kid; let’s adopt a kid,” Ellie and Oakley told their parents.

“They take a lot of pride in him,” Sydnie said. “They stand up next to him and say, ‘This is my brother.’”

In fact, the Vallery children still want more, they said: Another sibling and a trampoline.

“We are possibly considering adopting more,” Jason said. “Once we come across that we will pray about it.”

Jason said they were glad to work with a Christian organization like Buckner and they learned a lot from the adoption process. They both think more people should adopt.

“God might have something different planned than what you originally thought,” Sydnie said. “People need to open their minds.”

The Vallerys don’t know what the future holds for their son, but they have faith he will overcome any obstacles before him.

“No one should experience what he did in those first five weeks,” said Jason. “We are helping him get a better life.”

To learn more about adoption through foster care, visit www.beafamily.org.

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