Joy and the struggle that comes from adopting severely ill children

By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: November 23, 2012
BOYERTOWN, Pa. - Karen and Adam Owens know about loss.
They also know about love.
On Thanksgiving, they're grateful for the time they had with their son, Gavin, who died at age 3 in November 2009 of a rare chronic illness. He left them more than the memory of his brilliant blue eyes.
The skills that Karen and Adam learned while caring for Gavin convinced them that they could not only handle but embrace the challenges of parenting children who have profound medical conditions. Today, they and their 7-year-old daughter, Madison, will share a first Thanksgiving with new daughter Angela, 4, and new son, Jayden, 3, both adopted from the Philadelphia foster-care system.