Gina McConnell took a chance when she was 31 and unmarried with a great career. She fostered a little girl, Gabby, who happened to crack her heart wide open and changed the course of her life forever. Today, she and her husband Matt have 10 children, including Gabby, who teach her lessons about life and love daily, and who remind her to never say never. She joins the Inner Circle to talk with Carrie about why she decided to foster and eventually adopt in the first place, what it is like to have a household of 10 made up of her biological and adopted children, and how family is the way we define it for ourselves. Gina also talks about adopting from another country, and how she maintains her patient parenting style in such a full household.
What You’ll Hear In This Episode:
- Gina was a buyer for a men’s store, and was 31 and not married when her daughter Gabby came into her life in a very unexpected way.
- Gina’s beautiful experience of fostering Gabby, and how the two synced up and she knew she was changed forever.
- How Gina went from fostering Gabby to adopting her, and what that decision was like for herself and the close people around her.
- On their first date, Gina’s husband Matt took both Gina and Gabby out and even made it past a baby meltdown.
- It is very important for Gina that as a biracial family, her children have role models and plentiful representation of color that they can feel good about.
- Gina recognizes what she can do for her adopted children, such as deeply listen and love unconditionally. She also recognizes what she can’t do, like take away trauma or fix their hurt.
- The different origin stories and personalities of all 10 children, and what gifts and lessons they have given to Gina.
- What it was like for Gina and Matt to adopt from Ethiopia, and how they know they made the right choice.
- The beautiful way in which these brothers and sisters are bonded for life, and treat each other with mutual respect and unconditional loyalty.
- The special role that Pops has in their life as the irreplaceable beloved grandfather.
- The details on how Gina home schools her children and manages to feed such a large crew every night!
- “You don’t know the capacity of your heart has to hold until your heart holds it.”
- “You have no control over the love that your heart can fill within the blink of an eye.”
- “I live in a state of ‘never say never’.”
- “I can’t fix their hurt, but I can be there to listen.”
- “It takes honesty to look inside yourself.”
Casa de Esperanza
Junior League of Houston
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