BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dr. Craig Greene and his wife, Kristen, are preparing for their first holiday season with a fifth child. The journey to bringing him home has been 18 months long. Boomer Greene was in an orphanage in China with 800 other special needs children. His future parents were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with four children and three jobs.
“We had never considered adoption ever,” Kristen said.
Her husband is an orthopedic surgeon, recently joined the Navy, and serves as public service commissioner for District 2 in Baton Rouge. She’s a special needs physical therapist. Their children (ages 17, 15, 12, and 8) keep them busy at home. Still, Dr. Greene says one call from his wife meant there was room for more.
“She said, ‘We need to talk,’” Dr. Greene said. “She said, ‘God’s put it on my heart we need to adopt.’”
Kristen had been doing some research about the Bamboo Project through Bethany Christian Services.
“I came across a statistic on a blog and it said 600,000 children in China are orphans and of those 600,000, 98 percent are due to a lack of family support and a social stigma and have special needs,” Kristen said. “I couldn’t let that go.”
One of the first pictures she saw online would eventually be a photo of her son. There was a lot of paperwork to fill out and plenty of hurdles for the couple.
“Everything points to no, no, no... you’re older and now you can travel,” the two said smiling at each other.
"Every time, we felt like God and Boomer were drawing us closer and closer," Dr. Greene said.
Boomer is a family name and what a family he would come home to in the summer of 2018. “They all had signs in the airport and were cheering and clapping,” Kristen Greene said.
Friends and family met them at the Baton Rouge airport. Boomer then went home with his new parents, sister, and three brothers. They now get to see a brand new world from his eyes. “People with down syndrome, they don’t know anything about judgment or discrimination,” Dr. Greene said. “All they know is love.”
Of course, there have been and will be challenges, but Dr. Greene says faith is the backbone of his family’s story. “That’s such a great portrait of really Christianity that we’ve been adopted into God’s family. That means a lot to us too,” Dr. Greene said. “And it’s so real when you see it in his eyes.”
Kristen says she hopes more families can get help in the future with international and domestic adoptions. “I feel like we need to do a better job of fighting and fighting for families to provide a loving home, a safe home, a healthy home... not perfect,” she said. “This isn’t a perfect home.”
“If you look underneath love, there is sacrifice and commitment and other things that take hard work, but that are so worth it,” Dr. Greene said.
Boomer’s parents say he loves hand games and music. They’re looking forward to his first Christmas and then his 3rd birthday in January. “It’s pretty cool we weren’t there for the beginning of the story,” Kristen said. “We’ve changed the end of his story.”
She says that is the beauty of adoption. November is National Adoption Month.