Adoption
From Latin, adoptare, meaning to choose
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"Are these all yours?"
I hear this question all the time when people learn I have 13 children! Here are some of my favorite responses.
1. "Heavens, No. The other half couldn't be here." (works especially well when I have six or seven kids with me)
2. "Of course, they're all mine. You don't think I kidnapped them do you?"
3. "Oh, I see. You want to know if I had sex with their mothers."
Seriously, out of my 13 children, 3 are by adoption and, yes, they are all mine! They are all loved equally regardless of the circumstances in which they became members of my family.

In my case, the adoptions made official what had been unofficial for a long time. Both of the girls' fathers died when they were young, one when she was 8, the other when she was 7, and they have been members of my family ever since.

Why?
1. It's the right thing to do.
2. I can't change the world but I can change the world for one.
3. What if everyone reached out and helped just one?
4. It's a great way to start each day for the rest of your life, looking in the mirror and knowing the person you see did something to be proud of.

How much does it cost?
It all depends on the type of adoption.
1. I was adivsed by multiple adoption attornies to wait until the girls were 18 in order to bring the cost of the adoption down. It cost me about $600 each for Amanda's and Stevie's adoptions.
2. Private and international adoptions can run $5,000 to $40,000 but there are resources to help with the cost.
3. Foster care adoptions are often at no cost at all.

Would you do it over again?
In a heartbeat! In fact, even with 13 children, I've already made inquiries into adopting (or fostering) more special needs children. Stevie and Amanda are both special needs but, ever since my daughter, Emma, was born with cerebral palsy, my heart has been for the severely disabled child, partly because the cause of the disabled has become a calling for me, partly because there are so few willing to adopt these special ones, and partly because my experience with Amanda and Stevie has been so rewarding.

Where to get more information
1. Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (founder of Wendy's)
2. Adopt US Kids

Famous People who were Adopted
1. Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's Restaruants)
2. Mother Teresa (humanitarian)
3. Babe Ruth
4. John Lennon (songwriter-The Beatles)
5. Bill Clinton (president of the United States)
6. Gerald Ford (president of the United States)
7. Michael Reagan (President Reagan's son)
8. Nancy Reagan (First Lady)
9. Steve Jobs (cofounder of Apple Computers)
10. Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle)
11. Tom Monaghan (founder of Domino's Pizza, owner of Detroit Tigers)
12. Nelson Mandela
13. Marilyn Monroe
14. Priscilla Presley
15. Rev. Jesse Jackson
16. Malcolm X (human rights activist)
17. Michael Bay (movie director-Transformers)
18. Faith Hill (country music singer)
19. Melissa Gilbert (actress-Little House on the Prairie)
20. Jamie Foxx  (actor/comedian)
21. Dr. Ruth (America's favorite radio sex therapist)
22. Lynette Cole (Miss USA 2000)
23. Charlotte Lopez (actress and Miss Teen USA 1993)
24. Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady)
25. Eric Clapton (singer)
26. Michael Oher (professional football, story inspired The Blind Side)
27. Daunte Culpepper (professional football)
28. Eric Dickerson (professional football)
29. Scott Fujita (professional football)
30. Tim Green (professional football)
31. Bo Diddley (musician)
32. Tim McGraw (singer)
33. Blondie (singer, real name Debbie Harry)
34. Greg Louganis (Olympic Gold Medal Diver)
35. Scott Hamilton (Olympic gold medalist-figure skating)
36. Jack Nicholson (actor)
37. Art Linkletter (TV personality)
38. Gary Coleman (actor)
39. Richard Burton (actor)
40. Ted Danson (actor, adopted child and adoptive father)
41. Ray Liotta (actor)
42. Lee Majors (actor)
43. Ingrid Bergman (actress)
44. Truman Capote (author)
45. Nat King Cole (singer)
46. Edgar Allen Poe (author)
47. Leo Tolstoy (author)
48. Robert Byrd (United States senator)
49. Paull H. Shin (United States senator)
50. Newt Gingrich (United States House of Representatives)
51. John Hancock (U.S. Founding Father)
52. Augustus Caesar (emporer of Rome)
53. Harry Caray (baseball broadcaster)
54. Alexander the Great (king of Macedonia, 356-323 BC)
55. Aristotle (philosopher)
56. Charles Dickens (writer)
57. Crazy Horse (Lakota war chief)
58. George Washington Carver (inventor)
59. Halle Berry (actress)
60. James McArthur (actor)
61. James Michener (author)
62. Jean Jacques Rousseau (philosopher)
63. John J. Audubon (naturalist)
64. Louisa May Alcott (writer)
65. Mark Twain (writer)
66. Moses (from the Bible)
67. Jesus Christ (adopted by Joseph the Carpenter-The Bible)
My oldest photo of adopted daughters, Stevie and Amanda, together, taken  in 2005.
Stevie and Amanda are the two holding the insulin pens.
Every year we have a celebration dinner to honor when the adoptions were finalized. The girls get to pick any restaurant and they take full advantage! This photo was from 2013.
Bedtime 2006. Laundry and food everywhere. 9 years later, not much has changed.
Celebrating after a chorus concert at McLoughlin Middle School 2007
Hanukkah 2007 "Twins" (They're both wearing their sweatshirts upside down)
Family Nuturing Center family night at Kids Discovery Center
More "twins" pics at McDonalds
Hanukkah 2009
Diabetes Camp 2010
Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance 2012
Taekwondo Reunion with 6 of the 10 sisters 2013
3 of these girls hold the rank of 1st degree blackbelt or higher
Click photos to see detail
Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance 2014
Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance 2015