Perfect Family Fit: Blind Man Adopts Blind 2-Year-Old - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Heather Flanigan Reports

Perfect Family Fit: Blind Man Adopts Blind 2-Year-Old

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT)-- Deciding to expand your family is never an easy decision...but for one couple with ties to Region 8, they found a child's love on the other side of the globe. Lannie and Laura Cox say they weren't even trying to adopt when they were contacted about a special little boy in India...and discovered he was a perfect fit into their family.

Married for nine years, Lannie and Laura Cox just completed their family earlier this month when they brought two-year-old Mason Manish home from an orphanage in southern India.

"He had congenital cataracts and glaucoma and at birth, they thought he couldn't see at all," said Lannie Cox.     

Born with what doctor's called a "blue eye," Mason's biological parents gave him up after they learned of his condition.

"We were under the impression that he was completely blind and when we got there," said Laura, "He could see shapes, he could see facial expressions, he could see colors.  He can see better than Lannie!"

This might be true.  Mason's new father Lannie is legally blind.  He has retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic degenerative eye disease.

"It was something we defiantly considered when we filled out the paperwork and we did our home study. It's sort of a question mark you have to answer...so how will you be a parent and be visually impaired? Of course no one asked me that when I had my first child!" laughed Lannie Cox.

"Visual impairment is something that we're very comfortable with," said Laura Cox, "We understand it. We have a lot of information and we also have a lot of resources and we also felt very comfortable, in fact that was not even an issue for us."

The Cox family says the adoption process wasn't easy, but it was never because of Lannie's visual impairment, rather the mounds of judicial legal paperwork and the $25-$30,000 in adoption fees.     

Generosity of friends, family, strangers and the South Thornton Church of Christ in Piggott helped bring this family together. Connecting a new father and son a world apart...

"I've been down that road, the school of hard knocks teaches you a lot of ways to adapt and I think I can hopefully help some of those things be a little softer for him," said Lannie Cox.

Lannie is a 1994 graduate of Piggott High School and has never let his blindness stop him from anything.  He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and is now the vice president of communications for the American Heart Association in St. Louis.

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