Mom records what no one is supposed to see. It tells the narrative of Archie, a little kid who was born with down syndrome in Bulgaria and he’s now grown up. The unfortunate circumstance of Archie’s birth was that he was born to a mother who, upon learning that he had down syndrome, a characteristic that is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 instead of the usual two did not want to keep him as if he were just a package that could be kept or not, perhaps because she didn’t know how to treat children with these difficulties and so she abandoned him to his fate.
Because he only lived in orphanages for seven years, Archie never understood what it was like to have a home. The life of Archie, a four year old old son of Lisa and Joey Iker from Texas, was touched when they came across a photograph that was being circulated on the internet in which only the child named Archie was in a bed.
Knowing a little about his story, they were moved by the injustice that had been done to him. After realizing that they have a lot of love to give on top of the love they currently shower on their daughter and the rest of their family, the Iker couple decides to adopt Archie, who would serve as a son and brother for their daughter.
They were questioned, advised and judged by the rest of their family and friends, not because they were doing a good deed, but because they believed they already had a healthy girl. Why bring a disabled child who requires all of their attention and a variety of other opinions which made Lisa and Joey feel very dejected. However, they continued with the intention of traveling to Bulgaria in order to locate and adopt the child.
Previously, they discussed everything with their young daughter, including how Archie was, how people discriminate, and the joy it would bring to the family if he were to be accepted into their family. Well, there they met a small boy who had a contagious smile and who instantly fell in love with Ace. The two fell in love with each other and together with the two parents who were blessed by God, they were able to build a joyful family.
There are people for everything and there are also people for love, as demonstrated by the Ikea couple who followed their hearts and did what they felt was right. The same family have another heartwarming story with kids with down syndrome.
Beauty is beyond words. They’re adopted artists with down syndrome, but the Iker family is a movie set and it’s not only because they have pigs, a Bunny, a kittensized, cat, a turtle, and five dogs, four of which only have three legs. And it’s certainly not because Mum Lisa Iker has twice competed on American Ninja Warrior and is presently training it’s more.
The Iker family of Houston is a reallife Incredibles family, fighting stereotypes about the special needs community sweethearts. Joey and Lisa Iker have four children, two of whom were adopted from Bulgaria and have an extra chromosome.
Sevy Marie, one of the adoptive children with down syndrome, transformed the Iker family’s life about a year ago. Sevi Marie Iker is a disabled artist, but she wasn’t always an artist. Just two years ago, she was living in an orphanage in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she had little prospect of being adopted. Due to her condition, the Iker family had adopted Archie, a seven year old boy from Bulgaria. In 2011, Archie, now 14, was brought home by his sister Ace, aged ten.
Radco joined the Iker clan in 2014. In 2016, Lisa and Ace returned to Bulgaria to pick up SETI. Lisa Iker believes she was an elder orphan. Orphans her age are usually not adoptable and are lost in institutions, but as soon as we saw a photo of her, we knew she was ours. Savvy, unlike Archie, did not instantaneously bond with the family.
She was quite guarded and didn’t trust us when we initially brought her home, Lisa recalls. Savvy is mostly nonverbal. After twelve years in institutions, it’s impossible to trust anyone. It was difficult for me, as her primary caregiver, to bond with her since she avoided me. Savvy, a Bulgarian twelve year old, had never been to school, had never visited a doctor, and couldn’t speak English.
They saw she liked to draw early on. Savvy, like many other kids her age, enjoyed sketching with crayons and markers. We knew she liked art since she was always drawing, Lisa recalls. At the moment, we didn’t notice. I’m a writer and I like to write late at night, so Savvy would sit next to me and doodle all night around.
A year ago, I started paying more attention to her when she drew and discovered she was a great artist. We had no idea how amazing her drawings and paintings were, but we could see she had intention when she drew or painted. The family wanted to see what else Sevie could do, so they got some old board and paint from the garage and asked her to paint. She started splattering paint on the plywood and digging around in the garage for crowbars scrapers and old paintbrushes. Colors and textures abound in the finished painting.
You can see the wheels turning in Savvy’s head. When she works, she picks her tools and colors carefully to achieve her desired effect. Well SETI’s work has a similar aesthetic and method. Each piece is unique. We recognize she wasn’t just fooling around, she was a true artist, Lisa explains.
Lisa chose to share images of Savvy’s painting on social media, unsure if they were just those parents who wanted to believe their child was outstanding at anything. People were eager to share their opinions with a lifestyle blogger with over 280 Instagram followers. Luckily, many of the comments were wow, amazing work. Did she paint that? Knowing Savvy as an artistic side, the bikers set up to equip her with the necessary instruments to pursue her love.
People took notice quickly. Following Lisa’s social media post, fans began asking to purchase her artwork. We had no idea it would come to that, but why not? This may be important for her and the disability community to do this right. We didn’t sell them immediately away.
We didn’t know how to sell the works because I had no art knowledge. I asked a friend who is an artist for advice on how to price the pieces and told her what I had originally planned to charge, Lisa Iker explains. She immediately responded, claiming Savvy’s art was unique and exquisite and that I was undervaluing the pieces. We wanted to preserve her work and realized she was correct. People enjoyed Sevie’s work as shown on Lisa’s Instagram.
Why did they like it so much? Lisa thought about it a lot. At first. I didn’t want it to be only successful because she had down syndrome. She was a fantastic artist.
When I first made Savvy’s Instagram, she had over 100 followers also. Is her popularity due to her plot or her wonderful art? The tale is fine, but the art is fantastic. It’s the perfect mix. Savvy Marie has sold two collections between $302,000 per week in less than 30 minutes.
They are in high demand from locals to collectors in France, the Netherlands, and Ireland. The first collection Girl Unlocked allowed Sevi to express herself via painting. It was also how the family discovered they were all coming together to help fight misconceptions. The best part about Sevi Marie art, now a family business, is that everyone participates in some manner, big or small. Each painting contains a piece of each family member.
In it, husband Joey hand cuts and assembles the plywood on the ground. Sebi prefers to sit and work on one section at a time so the siblings will prepare the background for him. Many people want to know the story behind the painting. I think the first layer in this quarter is when Radco painted a gigantic dog. Before Sevi considers a painting finished, it has around ten layers on it.
Her process is a whirlwind of paint. She uses a crowbar and a foam roller to texture and paint at the same time. Of course, she has to reenergize her creative powers with family dance parties before returning to her canvas and painting feverishly. Someone in the family will name the item once Sevy signs it. Having the whole family involved makes it much more special, Lisa explains.
The IKERS went to Sevi’s first art show in Los Angeles last weekend. Fans drove hours to view Sevi in her work. It’s crazy because people approach severe, asking whether she’s the Savvy. Lisa chuckles. Now.
It’s extremely nice that Sevi gets it. We hand delivered her first collection of local collectors, and her face lit up with each delivery. Her art has become her voice because she’s mute and claps and cheers. She’s a different kid once she started painting. The painting has truly brought us together since we opted to home school last year to bond as a family.
She now lets us in as well as the individuals we meet. It’s changed our family dynamic. Her siblings are starting to realize how amazing this all is and are so proud of her. Her work is admired by many and she’s proud of her as an artist. In addition to empowering us, her creativity is establishing her own future and empowering herself.
It inspired a family’s future. Ace, the always ambitious and intelligent sister, has founded Sandalgap Studios, a nonprofit promoting love, compassion and exclusivity through art and sharing. Many persons with down syndrome have the Sandal Gap, Lisa explains. It’s the big toe gap. I don’t know why I adore that gap so much.