Matt C. Abbott
Catholic family to adopt babies with special needs
By Matt C. Abbott
February 16, 2020

The Darnowskis, a large Catholic family I featured in a 2017 column, hope to welcome at least two more additions to their family through international adoption. "Quill" and "Carmen" – pictured side-by-side below – are babies with Down syndrome and heart conditions who currently reside in Ukraine.

A brief background on the family, courtesy of Reece's Rainbow (lightly edited):
    Doug and Adele met at and married a year later. Due to a cancer diagnosis prior to their marriage, Adele did not know if she would be able to have children. Doug and Adele looked into adoption soon after getting married. Amazingly, within the first six months, a little boy was conceived, and so the adoption went on the back-burner.

    After a second boy was born, they began the adoption process from China. Little Therese was a waiting child with 'Lobster claw' syndrome and learning issues. She came along when she was two-and-a-half-years old and joined the family. For the first six months, the Darnowskis did not realize that Therese was also hearing impaired. It was such a relief when they finally found out the diagnosis of Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) and hearing impairment. It explained a lot.

    Seven more children came along after Therese. Among these were two sets of twins (back to back), girls and then boys. God really has a sense of humor; sometimes you truly get what you pray for! The Darnowskis were extremely grateful for all the amazing blessings they knew they didn't deserve.

    After a number of early miscarriages and an empty place in their hearts, they attended the funeral of a little adopted boy with Down syndrome, who died of a severe heart defect – although his life expectancy far exceeded the doctor's expectations.

    After talking to the boy's mother and hearing that many of these children die alone in orphanages with no one to care for them, and after looking around the room at the funeral at all the love, tears, visitors and flowers offered for little Maximilian, the Darnowskis felt the tug to look into Reece's Rainbow and consider adoption again.
One of the Darnowski children, Gianna, is my godchild.

Click here to visit the Darnowskis' page and to find out more about Reece's Rainbow.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

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