Why a Minnesota couple chose to adopt 5 children with Down syndrome

MINNESOTA mother, Leah Spring, 51, together with her partner Dean Ellingson, 61, has decided to do an incredibly selfless thing — they gave a warm and welcoming home to FIVE kids with Down Syndrome.

Leah and Dean

Leah, who already has a daughter with Down Syndrome, has selflessly adopted five more children with the same condition. The big-hearted couple went on to becoming parents to Axel, Abel, Audrey, Asher, and Amos, ages 18, 15, 14, 14, and 14 accordingly, between years 2010 and 2015.


We felt like we knew and understood Down syndrome and could offer these children a home. We felt for them because they were very unlikely to be adopted,” said Leah, who writes on her blog — Garden of Eagan.

The live-in-partners began their journey of espousal when Leah accompanied her friend on a trip to Serbia and Bulgaria with a mission to pick up the children she was to adopt. At first, Leah was simply there to accompany her friend but then the 51-year-old-mother witnessed how hard the living situations were over there. Instantly, she decided to adopt as well, making her daughter, Angela, her inspiration.


Down Syndrome is normal to us,” Leah told The Associated Press. “If there’s a kid out there with Down Syndrome who no one wants because they think they can’t handle Down syndrome, well, we can.

Leah is a true epitome of a strong woman, especially after being diagnosed with breast cancer and beating it in 2014. She really is a fighter— and a former armor specialist in the Army.

Life for Leah, as a mother of six teenagers with Down Syndrome, is blissfully complete. In her blog, she shared that it has been delightful watching their children grow and prosper since becoming part of their family.


She proudly said that her biological daughter Angela, who is now 22, finally graduated last May; she is now in a day training program. Angela also works with a theater organization five days a week.

Leah is also glad that her adopted children also have achievements in their own little ways; Axel is about to graduate in high school, which is such a big moment for him. He doesn’t talk much, and only knows a handful of words, but it’s amazing how far he’s come; Audrey has recently started communicating verbally.

While they were eating breakfast, when she brought her bowl to the kitchen and said: “More?” That is a huge milestone, according to Leah; Asher who was the second adopted child they brought home had no communication at all. Now, he has recently started to non-verbally express himself; and last but not the least, Amos—he has recently started singing about Christmas, the Christmas tree, and that Santa is coming soon.

‘A very rare family picture!’ — Leah

By watching their kids’ developmental light bulbs turn on, Leah and Dean feel utterly blessed. Despite the difficulties and challenges they have to face every day, for them, adopting children with special needs feels very rewarding and that it gives joy to their home.

Watch the wonderful video (via Inside Edition) below and be inspired by the story of the kids with Down Syndrome who have found love, comfort, and care from their super parents—Leah and Dean, who selflessly adopted and help them push onward with their lives!

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