January 19, 2012 6:56 PM
World magazine features our familyEach January, World magazine does a special issue on Roe v Wade filled with articles highlighting the pro-life movement, movers and shakers, and families. I'm very honored that they wanted to tell the story of our four sons with Down syndrome, including three by adoption:
Blessed by the dozen
For Barbara Curtis, raising 12 children--including three adopted ones with Down syndrome--was coming full circle | Alicia Constant
Patty Schuchman Photography
Would you be interested in adopting another child with Down syndrome?" Barbara Curtis immediately knew how to answer the woman from the adoption agency: "No way!" As the 52-year-old homeschool mother of 11 children--including one biological child and two adopted children with Down syndrome--she was exhausted.
But when Curtis hung up the phone, her 12-year-old daughter Sophia confronted her: "Mom, I can't believe you said no like that. That's not what you've taught us." Curtis called the agency back and told them she'd changed her mind. With the adoption of Justin Li, she became the mother of a dozen children.
"I have a very childlike and simple faith," Curtis said. "I don't worry about the future. I just do what God calls me to do now." A round-faced woman with a circa-1969 flower tattooed on her right hand and food stains on her black pants, she admits that neither she nor her family is perfect--but she says caring for children with special needs is "the best thing that ever happened to me."For Curtis, adoption was coming full circle. She grew up in a broken home, spent time in foster care, suffered sexual abuse, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol. She was a radical feminist and antiwar protestor in Washington, D.C., and eventually moved to Marin County, Calif., where only 2 percent of the population was Christian.
Curtis then was a pagan herself, so when she aborted her baby in 1977 her conscience remained unmoved: "It was just like going to the dentist.?...?When you don't have any idea that your own life is sacred, there's no way you can imagine an unborn baby's life is either."
In 1980, she turned to Alcoholics Anonymous, secular therapy, and the New Age movement. She and her husband Tripp--also a spiritual seeker--began to believe they could create their own Norman Rockwell-style dream. For a while, that dream appeared to be coming true. They started a successful business and had five healthy children. But their marriage deteriorated into constant arguments.
In 1987, Curtis wanted a divorce. In a last-ditch effort, she and Tripp attended Family Life Ministries' Christian marriage conference. A picture of Jesus with a few other gurus hung in her house, but she had never considered Him the Son of God. When she heard the gospel, she and her husband began to weep. "The moment my politics changed was the moment I accepted Christ. I couldn't write a treatise on Christianity that day, but I found out I didn't believe in reincarnation, I didn't believe in abortion anymore," she said. "God opened up that dark, musty closet of my heart and let the light shine in."Read more at World magazine
Lovely! What an honor.
Posted by: marian | January 19, 2012 10:08 PM
Congrats to you Barbara! How fun :) (Great photo!)
Posted by: Shannon | January 19, 2012 10:38 PM
Beautiful article. I have read most of these things in postings on your blog, but your story always touches my heart. So glad to see it in a magazine like World so that lots of people will be encouraged. God bless.
Posted by: TraceyK | January 20, 2012 10:06 AM
Posted by: LizinDC | January 20, 2012 10:58 AM
The boys had a basketball tournament that day - 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Tripp had rushed home with the first two to pick up the second two. I was going to have them change, but Tripp and the photographer thought it showed that they were active - which they certainly are!
Posted by: barbara | January 20, 2012 11:55 AM
What a beautiful article and photo! I am a longtime subscriber to WORLD and am not surprised that they chose to feature your awesome family. :)
Posted by: Jenn | January 20, 2012 12:49 PM
I picked up World mag two days ago and was excited to see you and part of your beautiful family. The entire issue was so uplifting to read.
Posted by: Bri | January 20, 2012 1:20 PM
Very cool! I enjoyed the article very much, even though, like a prior poster, I am familiar with your story. Your life is so inspiring!
Posted by: anne | January 20, 2012 1:51 PM
I followed your blog years ago, and so when I saw this World article about you I felt like I was reading about a family friend :)
Since the time I used to frequent your blog, we've adopted an older child (a year and a half ago) and given birth to another baby (a year ago), bringing our total up to 5 kiddos. I plan to re-read your toddler Montessori book and hope to glean some Montessori ideas for our new 8 year old son as well.
Blessings to you and yours :)
Posted by: Deborah | July 30, 2012 8:33 PM