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10 Kids, 5 Countries, One Happy Family!
The Hassoldt Family
December 01,2010 / Shonni Hassoldt
Untitled Document

Shonni and Steve Hassoldt live in Colorado and are the parents of ten beautiful children (three by birth) from from China, South Korea, Vietnam, Tulsa, OK, and Liberia, West Africa. Because RainbowKids.com is focusing on the adoption of boys this year, Shonni agreed to share her family's experience in adopting their sons. Thank you, Shonni!

As I began to write this article, two of my sweet boys have walked up to me and started talking about, well, sweet boy things, like the funny song that was playing, or lunch and when's snack. One leans over to me and whispers in my ear "You're the best mommy I ever had!" Boy, that one gets to me every time!.

Another son, my sweet, wait, sweet is not always the best word to use for him, lets try adventurous and curious, two year old is in the bathroom wetting some toilet paper to "clean" his nose. At least he threw it away when he was done. Yesterday he thought it would be fun to paint with toothpaste on the carpet! There's a fourth little boy around here somewhere and I might need to find out what he is up to before I keep writing.

O.K., I'm back after blowing bubbles with some little darlin's. Steve and I knew before we were married that we wanted a large family. Our first child, a son, was born after a very difficult pregnancy. He was followed by two beautiful girls born after even more difficult pregnancies. After the third birth, we knew adoption would be our choice for growing our family in the future.

Years ago, I was driving home from town when I heard an adoption agency spot on the radio about little girls in China who needed loving families. Just eighteen months later, Steve and my mother walked off the airplane with our new daughter. Steve put this frightened baby girl into my arms as I cried with several dozen friends and strangers watching. Our little Kiana did what any normal child would do; she screamed and squirmed to get away from me and back to Steve. I didn't take it personally, though. I knew we were just beginning our relationship together.

Steve and I had no idea at the time that a seed for the orphans of the world was being planted in our hearts and would grow larger than we ever imagined. As we were considering adopting again, we heard about the waiting boys of S. Korea . At the time there was a wait for the girls, but no wait for the boys. We didn't care - boy or girl; after all, if we were adding to our family through birth, we would take what ever God gave us with joy. So we didn't feel it was any different with adoption. Not five months after sending in our paperwork, we were matched with a beautiful baby boy. Landon Craig was escorted home to us (Kiana says he came by mail-ha). He was a round and beautiful little boy who was hungry and wanted to be fed Right Now!

Our family's journey through adoption continued as a vision took shape. Again, the plight of waiting children prompted Steve and me to move forward with a long and difficult struggle to bring home our next son Garett. He was worth EVERTHING we went through (or course they ALL are!).

After this, God begin to stir in our hearts the needs of the birthmothers here in the US . We had heard of an amazing crisis pregnancy center in Tulsa , OK that was very respectful and considerate of the birthmothers. We liked this, and also knew that families were needed for bi-racial or African children. Two years later, at mid-night, we received a phone call from our birth-mother, who had just chosen us to parent her baby a few weeks before. Steve answered and said "Oh, Wowhere I'll let you tell Shonni". I heard our birthmother say "it's a boy!". Oh My Gosh, that was so amazing! Kalyn (our oldest daughter) and I flew out right away to meet our birthmother and receive our new son. She was a beautiful, sweet spirited, but unmarried 19 year old and knew that she was unable to parent this little boy. In the hospital, I experienced something new in our adoptions: a circle of love. Two mothers brought together by a beautiful baby. We have since heard that some parents will decline to adopt a birthmother's baby if it is a boy. My heart is so sad by that. I want to say "please don't be afraid".

At this point for us, adoption was not only a way to bring these little blessings home, but our hearts were also stirred by the ones that wait. We were watching a program on T.V. about some orphans in S. Africa . An older African girl described the orphans of her area as the 'forgotten, forsaken ones'. Her label for these precious children, including herself, broke our heart. Steve and I knew then that the seed God had planted was now growing into a passion to advocate for the fatherless; who ever they may be, what ever sex they are, and with what ever handicap they might have. Not long after this, we were blessed to bring home a daughter from Liberia , followed by a sweet baby boy from Liberia . When we found out that his sister had been put in the orphanage, we begged, borrowed and stole (not really stole, begged some more) money to bring her home. It would be a whole different article about how amazing it has been for us to meet the birth families of our African children; and, we have never regretted being apart of their stories!!

I would ask anyone considering adoption, to please consider the boys who wait. They are so precious and so fun!

Visit Shonni's blog at Nation's Around Our Table. The Hassoldt's are currently waiting to be matched to their 11th child, in Africa.

If you know of an inspiring blog or story, please email us! We love sharing good stories with our readers.

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Readers Comments  (24 Comments)  View All Comments
I love, love, LOVE your beautiful family. I always wanted to adopt children from other countries and races but did not have the income required. We did adopt 8 out of the foster system! You are so blessed to have such a beautiful family!- Hope
wish I had money to adopt just one- Anonymous
While I agree that this family is beautiful and special, I am not a fan of large families in general. I couldn't care less about the material aspect of having lots of children - kids have too much today anyway, and don't need half of it. But I do think it is extremely difficult to spend individual time with each child when you have so many, and this they do need. I know many large families expect the older ones to help raise the younger. In my book this is an unfair expectation.- anonymous
While I agree that this family is beautiful and special, I am not a fan of large families in general. I couldn't care less about the material aspect of having lots of children - kids have too much today anyway, and don't need half of it. But I do think it is extremely difficult to spend individual time with each child when you have so many, and this they do need. I know many large families expect the older ones to help raise the younger. In my book this is an unfair expectation.- anonymous
This must be a reprint because I read Shonni's blog and they have #11 home already and are in the process of adopting #12 and 13!! :-) It is a good one to reprint though. Neat family and so true about being open to boys! I have heard "families wait for a girl but boys wait for a family." Not always true, of course, but many people do prefer adopting girls. We have 3 boys (1 terrific girl also) and our boys are wonderful!! Please consider opening your heart to a precious son!- Carrie T
I LOVE my little guy from China. We are looking to adopt another. 3 bio blessings, 3 China blessings and 2 more on the way..thanks to special focus program!- Lauri, Oregon
Congrats that is a wonderful artical! Thanks for sharing!- Jamie Kolberg
Thank you for sharing your encouraging story! We only have one birth child right now, and it will be interesting to see if a path is made for us to adopt, as I very much hope it is. The path is completely covered at this point. :) Also, ALL your children are gorgeous! (no really, EVERY SINGLE ONE; lucky you!!)- Anonymous
Thank you! What a blessing your family is.- Karin
Hello friends, I read your interesting article. i have a couple of questions: 1. How could you afford to adopt that many when the adoption fees are so high? 2. If i wanted to adopt a boy (Asia Indian or like countries, Filipino, Chinese, etc. Latino), age 8-17, how could i do that? Thanks.- Kornel Yanku
I would love to read about how you manage to adopt out of birth order, and still manange to keep your family together. You are a great blessing to many children.- Debra C.
Two boys from S Korea and a daughter from China here. All kids are amazing, but boys have this amazing way to bless a mommy's heart!!!!- Anonymous
We are a large family that has been blessed by adoption. I wanted to encourage others to consider your local foster care system. We adopted 4 of our 6 children from foster care. They were all drug-exposed babies...and they are all doing great! I want to encourage you all to put your fears aside & let God lead you...His plans are SO much better than ours :)- Kristin Cromwell
You guys are great people. We have adopted 5 kids, and have 4 biological. To all whom ask how people afford it, You just have to trust that God will show you how to raise the money threw the process. There are many people that will do fundraisers. Just put all your trust in God and he will provide for you, everything you need!!- Leah
i have been trying to adopt thru local county at first,thta was heartbraking. now licensed thru private agency not any luck so far been year and half. how do you afford to adopt out of other countries? i so want children, i have raised 3 bio chilren and want more.- Anonymous
We would love to know how you were able to afford all of your adoptions. We have 3 wonderful children, but would like more. We would like to adopt an older waiting child from any country. We are looking at adopting a child with a portwine stain on their face. Our daughter had one on her face and we would love to help a child with the same condition as our daughter. We have a Great Dr. that took care of our daughter's birthmark and we would love to give that chance to a waiting child.- Lisa
Hubby is an adult adoptee from S.Korea, and we have adopted two wonderful little boys from Hong Kong. Both were 5 years old when they joined our family. They brighten my heart each and every day! We are so blessed with our sons.- Amy
...tears and more tears :-)- Anonymous
We have a boy and a girl adopted from Korea and are waiting to bring home our 3rd child-a boy. Yes,boys are different from girl but they are meant to be. My son tells me literally 10 times a day "mommy , you are beautiful and I love you". He is sweet and sensitive and I would not miss having a boy for the world!! I am thankful every day for both of my children and their individuality.We are sooo blessed and I can't wait to meet our youngest son!!- Anonymous
We found our son in the us foster care program. Boys will sit there. Most state will give monthly suport for them until 18. If I had the larger house I would get another tomorrow.- Anonymous
Your family reminds me of mine. My parents were unable to have children themselves, and over the years adopted six boys and three girls, several with mental and/or physical disabilities. My brother Tommy is the oldest at 29, and my brother Andrew is the youngest at 14. And while some of us are able to have children, we also intend to adopt, because to us adoption brought us a family how can we not do the same for others. As my mom says love only grows when you give it away.- Anonymous
We have been blessed with three wonderful children all through adoption. Our youngest son waited for a long time to a part of a family, in large part simply because he was a boy. We would not trade him for any "girl" in the world. I wish more families would open their hearts to the all of the precious little boys that are just waiting for their families. You will not be disappointed!!- Anonymous
Please write another article about how you afforded to adopt so many times!- Tammie Lynn
What else can be said, but WOW!- Anonymous
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