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When a Family Adopted This Boy Without Arms or Legs, He Couldn't Even Sit Up. Now He Does That and More Because They Gave Him the Chance

"I just loved him the moment I saw him."

Bowen entered kindergarten this year. (Image source: KTVB-TV)

When Devon Toomey first saw a picture of Bowen, she fell in love with him.

"I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I just loved him the moment I saw him," she told KTVB-TV of the Serbian boy who is now 5 years old. "I just knew, I just knew he was our son when I saw him."

The Toomey's adopted Bowen from a Serbian orphanage several years ago. (Image source: KTVB-TV) The Toomey's adopted Bowen from a Serbian orphanage several years ago. (Image source: KTVB-TV)

Devon Toomey and her husband Jeremy Toomey had long been open to adoption and eventually were led to looking into adopting a child with special needs, which brought them a boy born without complete arms or legs.

The mother from Eagle, Idaho, who had two boys already at the time began blogging about the process of adopting the boy they named Bowen in 2009.

"I have honestly felt that when the time was right, our child would find us," Toomey wrote in one of her earlier blog posts. "I truly felt we would be brought together in one way or another. So for the last few years, when people would ask where we wanted to adopt, what age, etc. I would simply state 'We're not really sure. We want to leave our options open so our child can find us'. Well, on October 1, 2009 this is precisely what happened. After having an adoption conversation with two of my good friends, I came home and looked on Reece's Rainbow. Now, this was nothing new for me. I have been looking at Reece's Rainbow for years. I would always find amazing kids on there but I never felt that push to pursue a specific child because as I know now, my child had not even been born yet. On that beautiful October day however, everything changed! Our lives changed forever that day and for that we are so grateful."

That was the day Toomey first saw the boy who would become their son.

Bowen entered kindergarten this year. (Image source: KTVB-TV) Bowen entered kindergarten this year. (Image source: KTVB-TV)

After nine months, the whole Toomey family, including their two young sons, traveled to Serbia to pick up Bowen.

At the orphanage, Bowen, who was then 18 months old, was rarely taken out of his crib, though they said they felt he was well cared for otherwise.

"He wasn't moving at all, he couldn't sit up, he couldn't roll over," Toomey told the news station. "He didn't know how to eat or to chew."

When the Toomey's adopted Bowen and brought him home at 18 months old, he couldn't sit up. But after a few short months, he began doing that and more. (Image source: KTVB-TV) When the Toomey's adopted Bowen and brought him home at 18 months old, he couldn't sit up. But after a few short months, he began doing that and more. (Image source: KTVB-TV)

But now, after several years with the Toomey's the now 5-year-old can do that and more.

"He can go up the stairs," Heath, Bowen's older brother, told KTVB. "He can eat, we have this band that has hole and you can put the spoon in it and he can dip it in the bowl."

Bowen can read, bounce on the trampoline and swim as well.

Image source: KTVB-TV Image source: KTVB-TV

Image source: KTVB-TV Image source: KTVB-TV

Watch KTVB's report about the Toomey family:

"He's just such an inspiration, to see what he goes through on a regular basis, most people would struggle with and he doesn't," Toomey said. "He just goes through his day, and plows through and is happy and tries anything, and he just doesn't let anything stop him."

Devon told the news station she hopes her family's story helps others "see that special needs adoptions [aren't] something to be feared, that you can adopt kids with special needs and they thrive just like any other child."

"They just need the opportunity," she said.

One last thing…
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