Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Adoption Memories from Shanti



Have you ever woken up in the morning and wondered how you became a grown up? I think I'm a grown up now. I mean, there are 5 rug rats running around here. I cook food, wipe bums, kiss ow-ees, fasten seat belts, unfasten seat belts...fasten seat belts, unfasten seat belts...I brush hair, brush teeth, brush the toilet (with a toilet brush, of course!), and brush off minor complaints from small ones tugging on my shirt. I think that makes me a grown up. Right?


I remember one starry night when I was 6 or 7 years old, sitting on the porch of the house I grew up in. I didn't like the way my life was going...not one bit. I wanted someone to swoop down, rescue me from what I thought was a pitiful existence (and really was), and plant me in that perfect family. You know--the one that had two loving parents that would dote on me, opportunities laid out before me, hugs and kisses abounding, and more money than we would know what to do with so we could travel to exotic places walking hand-in-hand along white sandy beaches. That family. Alas, I knew it was not going to happen. So, I promised myself that I would one day rescue someone else. I don't think I planned on giving them white sandy beaches, but the love and kisses I thought I could do.

Fast forward about 20 years. My husband, my soul mate, the man I truly call my best friend, and I decide we're ready to change our lives. We have a kid...Caleb. You know, the "old fashioned" way. We're happy. We're content. We are filled with awe and wonder at this little creature the Lord has planted in our home. But soon we know we are meant for more. We know there is someone out there waiting for us to find him.


When Caleb is just 6 months old, we start the process of foster-adoption. We do classes, fill out paperwork, jump through hoops and whine about how much red tape is involved in helping a child who is waiting for a home. Right before Caleb's first birthday, we get matched with a chubby (and I mean CHUBBY) little African-American boy. He is almost 6 months old at the time. We named him Joshua. We're happy. We're content. We're done having kids (ha! so we think...) and are ready to start our life as a family of four.


A few years go by, we move a couple times, and finally settle into a cute little house in a cute little town. 1300 square feet is plenty of room for our {complete} family. We're enjoying life as our kids get a little older and more self-sufficient. But, alas, once again the Lord has other plans for us, and before we know it, we're re-doing the classes, the paperwork and all the red tape that we did before so we can add to our family yet again. After about 7 months, we're matched with a boy and a girl, Michael and Naomi, ages 3 and 1. And soon, our calm, collected lives become more chaotic and enriching. Soon after the kids are placed with us, we find out birth mom is pregnant...surprise! #5 is on the way! Seven months later, little Grace graces us with her presence at just 6 weeks old.

And now...here we are, more than a year later. Caleb and Josh are now 6, Michael is 4, Naomi is almost 3, and Grace is one. Silence is not a regular attender of our household activities. However, I wouldn't trade in the craziness of it all for anything. And so I tell people, before you step into our lives, dust off that seat, get those old french fries out of the cracks, and strap on your seat belt (if you can get it in past the sticky mess that's in the belt buckle)! You're in for a wild ride...


From Shanti of We Chose Adoption.
Adoption tee from Urban Baby.

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Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to gabrielle@designmom.com.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Laurie said...

Thank you for your inspirational writing. I would love to add to our family.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 3:24:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving story, it is very touching en caring!

xx klaartje (Netherlands)

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 3:55:00 AM EST  
Blogger Amy said...

Such a touching story and what a blessing to be adopted into such a lovely family.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 8:33:00 AM EST  
Anonymous alecia said...

Amen! I too have a family through adoption. Your story is very inspirational!

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 8:46:00 AM EST  
Anonymous AmberLee said...

Just have to pitch in and tell you that Shanti is truly an amazing mom. I am lucky enough be her friend (and run with her at 5:30 am) and I got to hear her stories as she was waiting for and adding Grace to her family and it was such an inspiration to me. Also have to say her husband has some really sweet dance moves (posted on her blog).

Thanks for this great series. I'm loving it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:51:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sara said...

Hurray for adoption! We also have 2 children by adoption (10 month old and 8 month old) and 2 children we gave birth to (ages 5 and 6). It is a strap on your seatbelt situation but I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 5:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger cherrie said...

My girlfriend insisted that I read your story. We have a lot in common. We foster adopted two baby boys that are 8 weeks apart, and found out we were preggers shortly after. Three baby boys in one year. I now have Miles and Aidan who are two years old and Luca who's 18 months. We are proof that God has a sense of humor. Loving my human leg-warmers ever whiney minute of the day! :)

Cherrie in Arizona

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger RT said...

I have a 5 year old by adoption and want more kiddos! I'm off to read Shanti's blog and, I think, but a t-shirt. Love that pic!

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 9:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Shanti said...

Thank you so much for sharing our story! Your Web site is great. I feel so honored that I got a little spot on it. =)

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 9:47:00 AM EST  
Blogger Alison said...

Incredible story of some incredible parents!

Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 6:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Martha said...

That was an awesome story!! Good for you!

Monday, January 25, 2010 at 1:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amanda said...

LOVE IT!!! Foster to adopt is one of the hardest paths to add a child to your family. I appauld everyone that takes this route! Congrats on your wonderful, big, loving family!

Monday, January 25, 2010 at 11:07:00 PM EST  

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