University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

The Metzler Family

Teen talking to younger brother
"We're still in touch with our son's birth parents. The more people to love him, the better."

Lisa and Dane Metzler have two adopted children both with special needs, Armando, age 16, and Tristan, age 9. Armando was premature, weighing only 1 pound, 2 ounces at birth. He has a moderate intellectual disability and was diagnosed with moderate autism four years ago.

Tristan suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was 10 weeks old, resulting in cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment, seizure disorder, and spastic quadriplegia. Both boys are on Home and Community Based Services Waivers, but the family still struggles to get all the adaptive equipment and home modifications they need.

"We are so busy with them, but we get so much out of having them in our lives," said Lisa.

Family sitting on front porchTeen boy cookingYoung man holding brother in back yard