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Successful Families

Lessons that have enriched my life...

Shane and Stephanie R., adoptive parents in Abilene

My husband and I moved to Abilene in 1993. We had been married for over 3 years and had no plans on having any children soon. I wanted to finish school and start teaching. It was at this time that I got a job working for a local day care. There I met three very special children who were placed in a foster home. The moment I laid eyes on them I knew it was love at first sight. They had a way of getting into your heart before you knew it. There hasn't been a person yet that isn't or wasn't touched by these children in some way.

My husband and I began taking the two older kids, Robert and Richard out on weekends and evenings for fun. We had the role of big brother and big sister. During this time of about a year, their sister Brittany was moved to a new home for adoption. I still remember those long faces when the boys told us. It was really hard. They were already separated from a brother that was in his legal risk adoptive home. After about 1 year an adoptive home was found for the two boys. My husband and I spend lots of time debating the adoption of the boys. The timing in our lives just didn't seem right. We didn't know if we could handle two boys. Much less our own child we hadn't had yet.

The boys left town and we didn't even get to say good-bye. My husband and I knew within a week that we had probably made a big mistake. But, it was done now, and we had to live with our decision.

In December of 1996 I ran into the boys former foster-mom. I inquired about the boys and she shared the latest. The family, after a year, had decided they couldn't handle the boys. Therefore, the placement disrupted. One more rejection for the boys.

I immediately went home and told my husband the whole story. We knew now was our chance. We couldn't make the same mistake twice. After putting some phone calls in to Child Protective Services, we found the boys had been separated and would now be adopted separately. Word was that Richard was already with a family, so we concentrated on Robert. Robert had gone to stay with his sister's adoptive family until a placement could be found. They even had considered keeping him as well.

We started our classes in January of 1997. We drove an hour and a half to San Angelo every week because it was the closest class. Abilene didn't have one until the summer. That was too long for us to wait. We weren't even guaranteed that we could adopt Robert, but we weren't taking chances.

After 6 months of paper work and driving caseworkers crazy, Robert moved in on June 10, 1997. I can't tell you want a blessing it has been during the last 2 years. You see, we may have only gotten to adopt Robert, but we still have Richard in our lives. To make it even better, we have gained two more children. Robert's younger brother and sister, Patrick and Brittany. We have all gained from the experience and have been blessed.

I truly believe that God knew we weren't ready at the time. He had a plan, and we had to be patient ...and for that we have all been blessed. We now have an extended family that I never dreamed possible. All of the adoptive families have made our children the focus. We believe that the siblings bond is so important in the healing process. That is why today, we continue to visit. In the beginning we met once a month and on birthday's, but a recent move of Richard and distance has slowed down our visits. However, thanks to e-mail, the kids can drop a line when they want. We have a special Christmas party each year and they exchange gifts. We do week-long visits during the summer and hope to have a family picture made soon. Family is a bond that is important to children. I have learned many lessons and have been enriched in my life through this experience in ways you can only dream about. I have a new special extended family through my son and for that I have been blessed.

May God bless you in your adoption search. I hope that everyone experiences the joys that we have had as an extended family. Remember, we are making memories that last a life time. For my son Robert Anthony I love you! Thanks for being so special and making my life complete.

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