The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Monday, March 28, 2011

The WHY'S of Shawn....

Baby Shawn......awwww!!! (you may want to grab a cup of Joe, this might be a long one...I'm feeling wordy....!)

It has taken me a while to compose this post in my head, and therefore, there has been a delay in writing it!

I guess, originally, I felt that I was to explain the WHY? of Shawn.

Why again?

Why soooo many?

Why can't enough be enough?

Why would we?

How can we?

All of these comments I expected...but didn't hear....

We did hear negative comments that were unexpected, in the form of being concerned for us...which really was a polite way of saying this person thought we were in over our heads.

Uhhh...didn't that happen like 4 kids ago???

Amazingly, as more and more people found out about us adding to our family, I realized that explanations were not really necessary.

Those that know us, and love us best...knew that there may be more! They also know and accept that we don't want the norm, we want to follow the path less travelled.

They love our big, crazy, loud family...that can be heard coming from a mile away...and can be spotted by our 12 seater van at any location in our town!

Going off the beaten path before has been nothing but blessing after blessing for us.

We are thrilled to begin this amazing journey once again, and wait with joyful anticipation of what lies ahead as we prepare to meet our fourth son! But how it happened is nothing short of miraculous.

Really....a miracle.

(ok..ask me why??)

I'll tell you.

I never asked my husband to adopt Shawn.

Never said a word.

Nope, Nada...

Now you must understand, over the course of the past two years, I asked about plenty of kids that I thought we could parent. Little lost faces that I fell for. Endless begging at times, sometimes tears.

Always met with a big fat.."No---I really do not want to adopt again. IF I ever do, I'll know, but I don't think I will."

So, after I saw Shawn's face on our agency's list, our coordinator sent me his file. American agencies often assign American names to kids they are trying to place--his happened to be "SAM"--(the name of our youngest).

I had no anticipation, only hoping to help find him a family.

Then..I opened the file.

Then, I watched the video.

AND, I fell hard.

So hard I was petrified to even ask Darrin about him, for I knew (or thought I knew) what his answer would be.

So--because the video of him is soooo darn cute, I showed the kids.

And that was the beginning of something amazing.

See, they fell hard, too.

They laughed at his dance moves, were amazed by his Bball skills, and to quote my 8 year old son,

"we just need him...he would fit in with us so perfectly--he's just like us!"

So one night, the kids had my Ipad, and said "Dad, you have to see the video of this little kid--he is so awesome!"

(I was washing dishes with my heart in my throat, as I pretended not to watch my husband watching Shawn)

He watched, and watched again, and asked about him..what was his need? I saw the spark of interest in him. And I answered his questions, but said no more.

So a few days pass, and the kids do not let up.

"Why can't we be his family?"

" I'll share my room with him!--No I will, No-I will!!"

They asked to watch the video over and over and over...

So we went to church, and then lunch on Sunday the 13th--and after lunch Hannah called us all to the family room... She said we needed to have a family meeting. She got out the Ipad.... and this was what was on it.....

Now, there were no tally marks yet..that came later. Hannah started by saying that all the kids felt that this child was meant to be in our family. She gave their reasons...

1)He plays basketball like Joseph

2)He can dance like Charlie

3)He is sweet like Caroline

4) He is smart like Hope

5) He is cuddly like Sam

6)He has a good personality like Hannah

"He has the perfect mixture of all of us!"

As you can imagine, by this point the waterworks have begun for me.....I have never in my life felt like God was more present with our little family. All of us, spread on the couch and floor...discussing the life of one of His children. It was so incredibly spiritual, it is hard to put into words.

Then the kids each said why they would want him. They all said sweet things, but when we got to Joseph....his big eyes filled up and he wouldn't talk. Finally he said...

"because he doesn't have anyone, and he needs us..." through choked up sobs...

then Caroline started crying,

then Hope..and when Hope started it was if a tiny snippet of her beginnings bubbled up. She sobbed and sobbed. I know she identified with Shawn...she WAS Shawn three short years ago. She couldn't explain it...she just cried.

So the voting began...we all made our marks, (they even voted for the dogs!)

except Daddy.

He (being the logical one in our group) needed to think about it...but said it was the most serious he felt about a child since Sam...

then I prayed...and prayed....and prayed some more...

and then 3 short days was Darrin who called the meeting.

He called us together to tell us that we were going to get Shawn!! We jumped up and down, and cried, and celebrated!!!

And on St. Patrick's Day (which has special significance for me!) we sent in out Letter of Intent to adopt him.

And on my Daddy's birthday (who passed away when I was 19) we received our Pre-approval to be his family.

And now...we wait and celebrate the 7th child in our family.

The child whose siblings faught so hard for.

The child who is so loved by so many already.

The child who is wanted and will be cherished.

So if anyone had any question in their minds of why we would do this again.....put your hearts and minds at rest....

you have your answer...

Shawn is our son, and without him our family is not complete....the answer is not why, it's why wouldn't we??

"And whoever welcomes a little child such as this, in My name, welcomes Me"


Mommy said...

SOBS OF JOY FOR YOU! I AM SO HAPPY FOR SWEET SHAWN AND THE REST OF YOUR SWEET FAMILY. You are married to a one of kind hubby. What a lucky girl you are!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Amy every big step of your life you can see how our parents have been a part of it--the St patricks day then getting the pre-approval on our dad's birthday--it is truly a confirmation from heaven!!!!!So precious Shawns face with the tally--I am in awe of how giving your whole family is!!!! Love you, Kathy

Heidi Welshans Photography said...

You live Christ's love Amy, you and your wonderful, generous family. This is so inspiring on the deepest level. Why not more when you have so much love to give? I pray for God's blessings on you and your family. By the way, I am the oldest of 7. One is adopted. We are very close, get together for our birthdays and holidays and just because, and still love each other very much. There is noting special about being the norm. Walking the road less traveled IS worth it.

Patty Ann said...

I totally love this. We have eleven children and I am not sorry a bit. I have always wanted to adopt a group of older siblings, but don't have the finances to do it yet. We have done foreign exchange students from all over the world, and it has been an amazing experience for us and our children. Most of the kids are grown, and we are down to the last three. I still hope to adopt someday. There are so many children out there who need our love. I am so happy that your family could live that dream! You are amazing.

Marsha said...

I caught your PA announcement on the BAAS site, I think. I've had your blog on my tab, checking it several times a day over the last few to hear the amazing story you promised. And wow! you didn't disappoint. God bless you and your family! Your kids are amazing! May your journey to your new son be as smooth as possible.

Jessica said...

I'm a mother of 5 (two adopted from China). This post really touched me. Bawling right now :) Congratulations to your beautiful family. Shawn is such a cutie!!

Anonymous said...

Amy, your post made me cry (happy tears)! It is just such a wonderful story about your family and your new son. I hope you will get a fast LOA and an even faster TA.
You are the person who helped us find and adopt our sweet little Tim and I will have you in my heart for ever.


Tracy said...

Omg! This blog had me in tears. As I struggle w my own 3, you two are angels! I only hope I can spend a year with him at Northwood and get to know him! He is one lucky little boy. (As are all the others)

Pam said...

What amazing parents you are to have raised such kind and thoughtful children. It is their role in the story that touched me the most. Goodness you are all such an inspiration.

Happy Mom said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

mom to 5 soon to be 6
Vienna, VA

KJ DellAntonia said...

Thank you for telling all that-- what a fantastic story! I am still barely afloat with my four, and I so admire you for knowing what is right for your family. I loom at Shawn and I know he has tears and tough tines ahead--you know it too--because even the best change doesn't come easy for our little ones. But what a wonderful family he has to help him get there.