It's HERE! My big announcement! I have teamed up with my dear friends Amanda and Paul as they pursue domestic adoption! WOOHOOO! This is a wonderful journey that they are embarking on and we have the opportunity to help them. Click here to go to the #CompleteTheCalvos page to learn how we can help. Keep reading to hear from Amanda about how they ended up on this path. Love you all dearly. -Shelbie
“No, Arthur. You cannot ride your baby brother like a horse.”
Every parent has a list of weird things they never thought they’d say and I think that’s my favorite one. My name is Amanda Calvo and I have a husband named Paul, two sons, and two kitties. My firstborn, Arthur, turned two in January and Lyndon will turn one in April, so explaining to a toddler that his baby brother cannot support his weight is always a fun conversation. It’s also really hard to be a proper adult when the baby is laughing the whole time about being squished by his older brother, but I try to contain the crazy as much as I can. However, crazy does seem to accurately describe our lives. When my husband and I got unexpectedly and miraculously pregnant after six months of marriage, people thought we were manageably crazy. When we got pregnant with Lyndon just six months after Arthur’s birth, we got a lot of side eye and “You’re going to have your hands full” comments. Now that we are beginning the adoption process with two small biological children, people are either really excited or mostly silent. I suppose the silent folks have just accepted our chaos at this point or they are just dumbfounded by our rapidly growing family.
I fall into the really excited category, but I will admit that I have not fully accepted our chaos and probably lean a bit more on the dumbfounded side some days. I have wanted to adopt since childhood and have always wanted a semi-large family, but I did not anticipate this particular adventure. I was told that is would be difficult or impossible to get pregnant on my own, so although adoption was always a desire for me, Paul and I started preparing for the idea of it being our only way to grow our family. In our almost four years of marriage, we have been randomly connected with several birth mothers but none of the situations worked out. Because of the high cost of domestic infant adoption, we decided to stop pursuing it -- but here we are! God has very clearly put this on our hearts through dreams and affirmation from all sorts of people. He is asking for our obedience and we are standing with arms outstretched.
The beautiful thing is that God calls us into places that the world might see as crazy, but it’s really just a place that allows His love to be fully and unmistakably revealed. He is patient with me and he’s teaching me so much as we begin the process to adopt a baby girl domestically. He is showing me that our community loves us deeply and wants to help us bring this baby home, which is why I’m even writing this. In response to my Instagram stories about adoption and asking for fundraising ideas, Shelbie responded and offered to create prints to create and sell for donations. When I stare the $40,000 adoption fees in the face, it seems insurmountable BUT GOD (my favorite words in scripture) sends people like Shelbie to show us that he is always there. My fear is small in comparison to all that God will accomplish.
I will stop holding Shelbie's blog hostage now, but I want to end on this: My husband and I went to an adoption information class and the leader said something that resonates in my heart daily. He told us that not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to care for orphans. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” This verse in James is not speaking to a select group of people; it is speaking to all of us. We are all called to do what we can for those in need of families. I hope you will come alongside us in some way, regardless of knowing us personally. Purchase a print from Shelbie, pray for us, pray for birth parents who are trying to make impossible decisions, donate to us directly, or follow along on our website. Anything you do, big or small, to help a baby get a stable family is so important, so thank you for reading this -- it matters!