Down Syndrome Day is wonderful, but one local family celebrates everyday!

You can call it divine intervention.

Kristen and David Coffee had a beautiful son, and when they wanted to expand their family, it was a moment in church that gave them the clarity, the fortitude to know what to do. It was May 15, 2011 –

“We were sitting in church and we were in the midst of the worship portion of the service and I really felt God pouring into my heart that we were to adopt a child with down syndrome,” Kristen recalled, “Without hesitation I leaned over to David and I said I think I know why we haven’t been matched yet, I think we are supposed to adopt a child with down syndrome.”

Things moved along very quickly from there, “The following evening there was a post on Facebook that a baby boy with down syndrome was born in California and needed a family. We reached out to the Agency but we’re told to not get our hopes up because birth mom was adamant that it would be a California family because she wanted an open adoption. The following day we saw on Facebook thanking everybody for submitting for the baby boy and he had found his forever family. My heart sank but I still call the agency just to thank them for presenting us even though we didn’t live in California. The worker at the agency said “oh, I’m assuming  nobody called you yet, you are the family”, I still remember the way my heart jumped when I heard those words.”



Elijah was a gift beyond measure.

But, Kristen and David weren’t quite done. They wanted to add more joy to their family, to their boys, Caleb and Eli – so, along came Gabe. Another little baby with Down Syndrome – in need of a home and family.


Kristen, David, and Caleb brought two newborn baby boys into their home and into their hearts, “The boys are both doing amazing. Elijah is actually in full inclusion in Pinehurst school in the frontier district,” Kristen shared, “He attends kindergarten with typical developing peers. He starting to talk and really able to express himself,  he is such a joy. Gabriel started out in full inclusion but this just goes to show how each individual with down syndrome or really any disability is unique from one another. Gabriel did not like all of the commotion and he really was just shutting down. We transitioned him back to a 12:1:1 in Big Tree Elementary and he is flourishing there, his smile and laugh are contagious!”

The boys are so adorable. I met them about six years ago – when I worked for Channel 2 and did a story on the family. It was one of my favorites and I kept tabs on the Coffee family all along. I’ve always been inspired by their journey.



And they always seem to be smiling and laughing.


There are tough times; medical issues, therapy, and other challenges. But – regardless of any and all of that, Kristen just can’t imagine life without her boys, “So often I look at their sweet faces, their smile and their personalities and I think wow, we could’ve missed this. Had we not listened and moved on the call that we felt we wouldn’t be experiencing the things we do with these boys today. They add so much fun and laughter to our family. They have also taught us about strength, courage and perseverance. They amaze us daily!”

By the way, they weren’t done quite yet. Kristen and David went on to adopt two other children with special needs – Iszie and Micah.




Caleb is now 14, Eli and Gabe are 6, Iszie is 5 and Micah is 3 –



And together, they are one big happy family.

Mary Friona