Dad refuses to give up son with Down syndrome after wife leaves him

The day I became a parent changed my life. It sounds cliche and obvious and it certainly isn’t anything you haven’t heard a thousand times before, but it’s the truth. Something shifted in me that day. Call it an evolution of my priorities, an adaption of my reality, a wake-up call that ensured my time on this Earth would never be the same again.

Which is why I can’t grasp how some people can abandon their little ones, turning their backs on them for one reason or another, or refusing to accept the responsibility that comes with raising them.

The story of Samuel Forrest and his wife Ruzan fortunately has a happy ending, but it came perilously close to serving as a tragic tale concerning the dangers of misinformation.

Back in 2015, Samuel Forrest was living in his wife’s home country of Armenia when their son Leo was born. Samuel was soon surprised with the news that Leo had Down syndrome – doctors hadn’t known prior to the birth.

As per ABC, Samuel, 37, knew from the very first time he met his son that he wanted to give him a happy, normal life.

Credit / GoFundMe – Bring Leo Home (Down Syndrome)

“They took me in to see him and I looked at this guy and I said, ‘He’s beautiful — he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him,’” Samuel explained.

Unfortunately, his wife Ruzan was of a completely different mindset. She gave Samuel an ultimatum: put baby Leo in an orphanage, or she would leave.

Shocked and confused, Samuel chose his son, and decided to return to his home nation of New Zealand so that he could benefit from the support of his loved ones.

“It was pretty clear that the main things were cultural and huge pressure,” Samuel told ABC.

“About three-and-half weeks later, Ruzan got in touch with me through a friend and we ended up having a candid conversation through Skype. I finally agreed to meet her and she held little Leo for the first time.”

He added: “Before this, she had no idea what Down syndrome really was, or that there was hope. The doctors had told her Leo would never learn to walk, or talk or feed himself.”

Samuel told his story online, and unsurprisingly garnered the support of tens of thousands of people. A GoFundMe page titled “Bring Leo Home” accumulated over $500,000!

Credit / GoFundMe – Bring Leo Home (Down Syndrome)

Soon after – and a month following Leo’s birth – Samuel and Ruzan reconnected and were ultimately able to reconcile. Ruza canceled her planned divorce and moved to New Zealand to be with her family.

“She’s adapted to Leo’s therapy programs and she’s turned out to be a wonderful mother,” Samuel said.

Explaining her initial doubts, Ruzan told ABC: “At first I was very, very scared because I didn’t know what Down syndrome was like. Doctors said he would be like a vegetable. It was very scary. I think I was also very selfish and then there was depression…[it was] all of that together.

“I love him [Leo] very much. One year ago, I couldn’t imagine life with him and now, I can’t really imagine my life without him. He’s changed me so much. I can say I’m a different person now.”

Wow! I’m so happy this family was able to pull through in the end. Thank God Samuel made the right call in the beginning.

If you found this article interesting, check out the little boy and girl who were forgotten by their parents, before a single dad showed up and changed their lives.

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