Many (!) years ago, I read a story about Helen Doss, who had written a book called “The Family Nobody Wanted.” She was a mom of 12 kids, all adopted. I cut out that article and saved it. Eventually, I showed it to Brian. He was probably busy, because he said something like “mmmmhmmmm”. Of course, I took that to mean “hey let’s go for it.” So we adopted and had some bio kids, and when we were about to start our second round of adoption–and when we had a paltry 4 kids total–we were interviewed by a local TV station. The newsguy asked Brian something about having more kids. I stood there, Bella on my hip, my mouth agape, and heard my husband say to the greater Sacramento area, “our goal is 12.”
I wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating or I was.
Altogether we adopted 4 great kids. I had already been blessed with one amazing stepdaughter. We had some biological kids. Seven, in fact. A few years after that interview, I found myself with an even dozen children. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it (yes, even on those days that were really, really hard). If you have ever adopted a child with emotional scars, you know that some holes are impossible to fill, and you know there are days that are just really, really painful. I sometimes wondered if Helen had encountered any of those days. I wrote her a letter once, but I didn’t get up the courage to ask her about that. She wrote me back, a little postcard, and included her phone number. I called her up and thanked her for inspiring me, both in her writing because she had shared her story about her family. She was so gracious.
My Turn to Share
Today, I got in the mail, 20 copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Adoption: 101 Stories About Forever Families and Meant-to-Be Kids. I know, that sounds like I am really enthusiastic, and I am, because one of my stories is in the book!!
Also today, in a totally random coincidence, I came across this story about Bill and Sharon Edwards who now have 20 children. Twenty. Sometime after their 11th child was born with Down syndrome, the Edwards’ decided to start adopting. Now they’ve got 20 kids. They haven’t sought fame, and they haven’t gone after fortune, but they’ve certainly inspired others, and they have changed the lives of their children forever.
I am in awe.
Here is “My Really Son” now, all grown up, holding onto my youngest daughter.
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