Magrath: Christmas 2009 best ever

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 25, 2009

The best Christmas ever.

Christi Magrath knows without reservation that Christmas 2009 is her best ever. Without a single doubt.

This Christmas, Magrath was a mom for the first time.

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She welcomed her daughters, Trissy, 12, “13 in February” and Malory, 10 into her home, into her heart and for the rest of their lives.

“We are a family now,” Magrath said. “A forever family.”

Magrath has always known that she would adopt. She can’t explain how she knew, but she just knew.

“Other kids would say they were going to have this many children or that many but I always said, ‘Why not adopt when there are so many children out there who need love?’ So adoption was always something that I thought I would do one day.”

When Magrath developed uterine cancer, she wasn’t sure that day would come.

“When you’ve had cancer, well, I didn’t know if any adoption agency would consider me,” she said. “But, after seven years, when I got a clean bill of health, I knew the time was right.”

Magrath’s order was simple.

“I wanted a girl –one who needed a lot of love,” she said. “I didn’t want an infant or a young child. There are many people out there who are willing to adopt them. I wanted an older girl who wanted to start a new life with a mother who would love and care about her.”

Whether Trissy and Malory had been waiting for Magrath, they aren’t sure. They just knew that they had been waiting for a mom to come into their lives.

“I didn’t want a daddy,” Trissy said with a smile. “I just wanted a mom. I didn’t care if she was short or tall, big or small. I wanted a mom that would be a lot of fun – kind of goofy like me and one that would love me.”

Malory just wanted someone to love her and someone who would let her and Trissy be together.

Magrath hadn’t considered two girls but when the Department of Human Resources contacted her about the possibility of adopting two sisters, she was willing to give it a lot of thought.

“One or two? I thought sisters would give us a real sense of family,” Magrath said. “I wondered if I would be able to handle two girls. Like my mother said, I’d never had one before.”

But, when Magrath learned that Malory, too, was a cancer survivor she knew “this is a perfect match.”

The process of adoption had begun in February 2009. Magrath had attended GPS training for adoptive parents and she had done a lot of soul searching. She had the support of her mother and her sister and she felt she was ready to be a mom. In fact, she was looking forward to it with great excitement and joy.

“September was the first time that we met,” Magrath said. “We met at the zoo in Birmingham. We chose the zoo because people from DHR would be with us. At the zoo, they could keep and eye on us while we had a little privacy. And, too, the girls like monkeys.”

Magrath fell in love with the girls at first sight.

“They were so cute and so well behaved,” she said with a smile. “I knew right away that I wanted them to be a part of the rest of my life. When I’m taking pictures, I point the camera at myself and take a picture of me where I am. We were taking pictures and Malory took the camera and pointed it at herself. At the very second she took the picture, Trissy jumped behind her. They were both in the picture. I knew right then ‘these are my girls.’”

Magrath knew her feelings but she wasn’t sure if she was passing the test.

“I knew I could love them forever,” she said. “And, I knew, too, that my heart would be broken if they didn’t want me for their new mom.”

The girls thought “Miss Christi” was fun and a bit goofy and they liked her.

“When I heard her laugh I said to myself, ‘Oh, yeah, this is my mom,” Trissy said.

“This is an interesting lady.”

Later in the month, Trissy and Malory came for a couple of weekend visits and then for a week.

“At first, it was a little awkward,” Magrath said. “I tried to be myself but I wanted them to like me. I was nervous that maybe they wouldn’t like who I am.”

Malory said she was secretly wondering the same thing. “I liked her and I wanted her to like me.”

Magrath admits to being a kid herself and her home was filled with Barbie dolls and Tinker Bells and the girls immediately felt at home.

On a scale of one to 10, Trissy said, Magrath was gauging about the middle and moving up.

The girls had been in foster care for most of their lives and were a big guarded in their hopes of have a forever new mom.

“But now, Moma’s a 10,” Trissy said. “We know she wants us and loves us. We know that we are a forever family.”

Malory gives a “thumbs up” to her new mom and her new life. She likes doing nice things for her mom and even serves her breakfast in bed sometimes.

“We’ve got a house full of love for each other and full of respect,” Magrath said. “We know that there will be times when we don’t agree and times that might be somewhat difficult but with love we can work that out.”

And, this year, this Christmas, will be the best Christmas ever for the Christi Magrath family.

“For the rest of our lives we’ll have Christmas together,” Magrath said. “We’ll always be able to share the wonderful stuff of Christmas. We love each other and we love our lives together.”

Trissy summed her new life up in one word, “awesome.”

“No,” she said, with a smile. “Awesomeness!”