Adoption and Parenting: We’re Home

[Every Friday for the first two months of 2013, DWLA will feature a story from Barbara Shipka’s blog about her personal experiences with adoption and parenting.  We will sample a story from each of eight categories: 1) Before; 2) In Peru; 3) We’re Home; 4) 2 – 6 years old; 5) 6 – 12 years old; 6) 12 – 18 years old; 7) 18 + years old; 8) Musing / Thruout.  Barbara’s son Michael’s video was showcased in Gifts to the World.]

We’re Flying!

by Barbara Shipka

As I see it, in this lifetime, the best way for Michael and me to be able to together was for him to be born into a country where adoption by foreigners was an option.

He ‘called’ to me. I had gone through the process to adopt years earlier and, at that time, decided not to. This time, it was somehow certain and inevitable. A ‘knowing.’

Nonetheless, even with that ‘knowing,’ during the months of challenging experiences in Peru, it was unclear that we would reach a positive outcome. There are even more stories to be told, but enough for now.

I will never forget the sensation in my heart and body as the wheels of the airplane left the ground of the Lima airport.

Hugging this little bundle of infancy, this soul newly embodied, in my arms, I reclined the seat.
[Photo of Michael and Barbara, first days together in Lima, Peru, Winter 1991]


Barbara is a single mom and was in her mid-forties when she adopted her son, Michael.  He was 10 weeks old at the time. Together, they spent many months navigating through the rather overwhelming legal processes for adoption in Peru.  Today, as a junior at the University of Minnesota, Michael is majoring in Native American Studies.

For much of her career, Barbara has been an executive leadership coach and organization effective consultant for Fortune 500 companies.  Another part of her career has been working in education and with non-governmental organizations in Europe, The Middle East, Africa, and The Caribbean.  Over the last twenty years, in addition to becoming a mother, she has also become an author and artist.  You can learn more at

These blog posts are snapshots from Barbara’s collection of stories about her experiences of their life together from March 1991 to today.  Visit her blog, Adoption and Parenting, to read more of her stories.  When you arrive, click on “Label” under “Home” where you see the tabs Recent…Date…LABEL…Author.  This will rearrange the stories into 8 categories:

Categories via 'Label'

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