After wife dies, grieving husband decides his son needs a sibling but ends up with NINE kids
This is amazing
Content Editor / December 13 2018
When corporate attorney Larry Shine lost his wife Kate to cancer, he had a very tough time dealing with grief and raising their young son Henry on his own.
“The year after she died, I was just so immersed in the tragedy of her death,” Larry said. “Then I thought, ‘I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t have this be our life.”
Larry decided that it was time to introduce a new member into their family as he felt that Henry would benefit from having a sibling and they could move on to a new phase in their lives.
He decided that to increase his chances of adding to his family, he would apply for international adoption and surrogacy. At the time – almost two decades ago – it was almost impossible for a single male to adopt in the United States.
To his surprise and delight, his applications for both were accepted. The single Dad soon found himself raising three children, but knew that he wanted to keep adding to his family, and eventually ended up with NINE children.
“I never imagined I’d be a father”
“I never thought I’d be a father of nine,” he said. “Actually, I never imagined I’d be a father. Maybe this all happened for a purpose.
“Because if Kate hadn’t died, I never would have done what I did and these kids wouldn’t have had a home.”
Raising a large family alone has not been easy for Larry, who also works full-time as a corporate lawyer. At one point when the children were younger, he was getting up at 3am to get all the kids ready for their day.
Appearing on Oprah in 2009, Larry shared the details of his day, which started with making coffee, preparing lunches and snacks for all the children, feeding the dog, checking homework, then prepping dinner for that night.
He would then wake the kids in two shifts and help the children get ready for the day. Once the first ‘shift’ was out the door for school, he would wake the rest of the kids. The children are now all in their teens and twenties so hopefully the routine is not as intense now!
A desire to help others
His eldest son Henry says he is incredibly proud of his dad. “Just how selfless he is,” Henry said. “I don’t know if anybody else who puts people before themselves like he does.”
“I'm more comfortable doing something for somebody else than myself," he said. “Particularly with adopting the kids overseas, when I went to Paraguay for the first time to adopt Ari and saw all the kids who didn't have a home and or a place to go at night, I just thought, ‘This isn't right’”.
While being a single Dad of nine children was an unexpected life change, Larry wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love parenting,” he says. “I just felt, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.