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7's Hero: Bringing Home Bowen

5-year-old Bowen was born with limbs. But that's not holding him back.
Bowen's favorite pastime is swimming. Eagle residents Jeremy and Devon Toomey adopted now 5-year-old Bowen when he was just a toddler. Bowen, who was born without arms or legs, is thriving despite his physical limitations.

EAGLE -- An Eagle family has a very special adoption love story to tell.

Jeremy and Devon Toomey brought home a little boy from Serbia a few years ago. 5-year-old Bowen was born without arms and legs, but he's thriving and doesn't let anything hold him back.

The Toomeys love being parents to three little boys - Bowen is the newest addition to their growing family. They say adoption was always in their hearts.

BRINGING BOWEN HOME

"We just always had thought about it," said Jeremy.

After doing some research, they found a program online that specializes in international special needs adoptions.

That was when Devon first saw a picture of a little boy who would change their lives.

"I saw his picture one day and I couldn't take my eyes off of him, I just loved him the moment I saw him," she said. "I just knew, I just knew he was our son when I saw him."

Devon started blogging about their adoption journey early on to keep family and friends updated.

It took 9 months to finally travel to Serbia to meet Bowen in the orphanage. The whole family went.

"We rented an apartment for two weeks and we were all there together," said Devon. "We really got to experience Belgrade and know our son's culture so we are able to share that with him when he gets older."

"From what we could tell, he was well taken care of. Did he get a lot of attention, no. He laid in his crib most of the time, they didn't know what to do with him. He was in the infant room, even though he was 18 months old."

"He never got out of the crib, just to get his diaper changed and to be fed and that was it," added Jeremy.

After 9 months of waiting and worrying, the Toomeys finally set eyes on Bowen.

"To just finally be able to hold him after just looking at pictures for so long and not knowing who is taking care of him, and just knowing that he's our son now and we can bring him home," said Devon.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

The pure joy of bringing Bowen to the states was met with the challenge ahead of them.

"He wasn't moving at all, he couldn't sit up, he couldn't roll over," said Devon. "He didn't know how to eat or to chew."

But Bowen quickly surprised his family and his doctors.

"Within a couple of months, he was rolling over, sitting, doing all sorts of stuff."

You can tell how proud his brothers are of him. They are his biggest fans.

"He can go up the stairs," brags big brother Heath. "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."

He also bounces on the trampoline, writes, and reads books.

"Heath has always been very protective of him, as you can imagine when we're out and about you get a lot of double takes," said Jeremy. "If they say anything mean, Heath's all over them."

Bowen's family exposes him to everything, but swimming is his favorite activity.

"I think (the pool) is the one place he doesn't feel a lot of limitations," said Devon.

CONSTANT INSPIRATION

The Toomey's are continuously amazed by Bowen's positive, joyful attitude.

"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," said Devon. "He just goes through his day, and plows through and is happy and tries anything, and he just doesn't let anything stop him."

Jeremy and Devon want more kids like Bowen to be adopted into loving homes.

"I just really wanted to help people see that special needs adoptions isn'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," said Devon.

Bowen just started kindergarten, and he's loving it. His mom says his speech is his biggest challenge now, he seems to have everything else figured out! You can check out the family blog here. And for more information on special needs adoption, click here.

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