Matilda Ann Burns | Capture What Matters

My heart simply thrives with joy to share this months #CaptureWhatMattersProject story. Mr. Burns (my 7th grade teacher) shares his adoption story to the sweetest little girl as a single father. Jeff is an inspiration showing the world that sometimes you have to follow your dreams and fill your life with happiness. Matilda is one lucky lady, and will never be short of love in her life. I can’t express the joy I’ve felt following the story of these two. I spend an hour at their house capturing pure magic and love and of course catching up with Mr. Burns. Matilda is such a joy and fills every room with happiness and beauty. Jeff shares his experience adopting this sweetie as a single father below.

“I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want children… Even in College I remember not having a clue what I was going to do with my life… BUT“I KNEW” I was going to be married and have 2 or 3 kids…. And at least one of them was going to be adopted….

As I got out of college and “still wasn’t married”…time went on and in my late 20’s I actually started thinking about adopting on my own… I did research and at that time Both China and India allowed singles to adopt…(at least on paper)… I even went so far as to contact an Adoption agency, and they told me that YES on paper they allow it. But in reality… the chances were near zero for a single man…

As life continued with its usual ups and downs… I even got married, but sometimes life is a kick in the ass, and it feel apart within 3 short years…time continued to tick by… and I found myself in my mid 40’s and without my dream becoming true… I told myself it was now or never… I re-financed my house… Met with an adoption agency, was told that she thought she could find a baby for me… BUT, she had never actually placed a baby with a single man before…. Many couples, many gay couples, and even a few single women, but never a single man….

I decided to go for it… I wrote the check and went through the application process, which includes a “home study”… then the waiting began…. In Mid January I received an email, telling me that there was a birth mother that wanted to speak to me… We talked for well over an hour… But I was told that she wanted to speak to two other couples…about a week later, I got a call the she had selected me… WHY… I really have no idea… But I was so excited…

Then about a month later I got a text asking me if I wanted to know the gender of the baby… I was at my night job… But I quickly texted back YES… About 1/2 hour later I received a text…”It’s a girl”… tears started running down my cheeks…

Fast forward to June 12th… I got the call… she had arrived 5 weeks early… The next day I flew out to Phoenix and spent 12 days in the hospital with “My Matilda Ann”... The 13th day, we flew home together, and the village that I grew up in, had my house set for the both of us… I had left my house almost 2 weeks ago with a car seat and a few outfits… We came home to a completed nursery… with a crib, changing table, basically everything I needed plus more

Matilda just turned 9 months… I simply cannot imagine my life without her… She has filled my heart with joy every single day…”

Mariah Cropley