Former Upper School English teacher Kyle Vaughn plans to adopt a child from India
Kyle Vaughn and his wife plan to adopt a child from India, adding another member to their family of four.
Some people hold the door for others to help out. Some people go out of the way to help within their community. Kyle Vaughn, former Upper School English teacher at Hockaday, is breaking down the barriers and is adopting a child overseas to help the world at large.
Vaughn and his wife Natalie, who have a passion for Indian culture, plan to adopt a child, or even siblings, (possibly a brother and sister) from India, furthering their belief on acting upon issues that the world faces.
Even though Vaughn and his wife have two biological children of their own—a 6-year-old son, Eli, and a 3-year-old daughter, Charlotte, they have long been interested in adopting an orphan. “I mainly believe in giving love to others in an unchangeable way, not just looking at the problem and turning your back on it,” Vaughn said.
In 2005, Vaughn visited Vizag, India, for two weeks working at an orphanage called the Master’s Children’s Home. In 2012, he returned to India and visited Kolkata with 10 other teachers as part of a program for American teachers to teach at St. James School for Boys. “Seeing things first hand and getting to work with Master’s Children’s Home orphanage made me realize how I didn’t just need to think about the needs of others, but it made me realize I needed to act,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn’s wife, Natalie, realized at an early age that not every child has a home or even loving parents. When she was six, her parents started caring for foster kids.
Until that point, she had only known happy families with children who were cared for and loved. When the foster kids joined her family, she learned of abuse and abandonment of children by their parents. “My perfect world, where all kids had great lives with parents that loved them and would do anything to take care of them, was shattered,” she said.
However, as an only child, she enjoyed having other brothers and sisters in her world. In college, she aided city kids by feeding and bathing them in the evenings at her own house.
During college, in 2005, Natalie Vaughn went to Kenya twice and visited multiple orphanages. Her visit lasted three months. She volunteered at Huruma Children’s Home, where she lived in a small guest house with other volunteers. Her second visit lasted for five weeks and she worked as a short term director in a new orphanage. “This is always what I wanted to do—to love a child who feels they are unloved and unlovable, to show them they are worth more than they can imagine,” Natalie Vaughn said.
In June, Kyle and Natalie Vaughn started researching adoption agencies, working with the Children of the World organization, an adoption agency based in Alabama.
According to the Vaughns, the perfect place seemed to be India because of Kyle’s strong interest in and his familiarity with the culture.
As an English teacher, Kyle Vaughn has enjoyed reading Indian literature as it helped him connect with Indian culture. In particular, he has read Chitra Divakaruni’s “Black Candle,” a collection of poems that chronicles the lives of South Asian women, which helped him open up to this “unique culture.”
Indian culture also amazed both of the Vaughns. “The culture fascinates me; it’s very beautiful in an artistic sort of way—their beautiful dress, jewelry and poetry,” Kyle Vaughn said.
Additionally, Kyle Vaughn published his own book A New Light in Kalighat, an anthology of artwork and writing of the children served by New Light, an Indian non-profit organization located in Kalighat, Kolkata’s oldest red-light district. During his trip there in 2012, Vaughn volunteered at The New Light organization, a non-profit agency, which strives to promote gender equality through “education and life skill training.”
For him and his wife, it wasn’t about adopting on an international basis, but more of helping out with a problem that humanity faces. “We think of ourselves as human beings, not Americans,” Kyle Vaughn said.
The Adoption Process
The Vaughns plan to fundraise in stages. At their most recent garage sale, the Vaughns raised $4,450, putting them a little over halfway in reaching their financial goal of $30,000.
Vaughn’s children are very excited for the adoption. To help raise money, Eli and Charlotte put money they receive from their grandparents into the “adoption jar.” When Eli first found out, he did a lemonade stand and raised $35. He produces and sell his artwork to assist in the financial process. “We’re also very excited about becoming a multicultural family, and we’ve been preparing our children for this,” Kyle Vaughn said.
Senior Emily Yeh has gone to two of his sales. Starting her freshman year, Yeh studied in Vaughn’s room during her free periods. During that time, Kyle Vaughn started talking about his adoption to Yeh.
Yeh believes her support is a celebration of how much love and commitment has been required of this process from his family. “I think this is a rare opportunity for me to be able to play such a large role in the personal life of one of our teachers,” she said.
Despite their efforts, the Vaughns still have several steps to complete, both financially and in the adoption process itself. “We are definitely getting there,” Kyle Vaughn said. They are officially registered with the Central Adoption Resource Authority that will match them with their child.
Visit the Vaughns’ blog, ourindiansparrow.blogspot. com, for updates on the progress of their fundraisers.
– Noor Adatia