ABC’s Persons of the Week are only a handful in – well – 7.5 billion residents worldwide. Enter Shane Pruitt, his wife Kasi, and their daughters jubilant at the unexpected introduction to the family’s newly adopted baby girl, just one month old.
Raygen and Harper Pruitt, from left, with their baby sister in Raygen’s arms.
The Pruitts, now a family of seven with three adoptees, caught the eye of ABC Nightly News Aug. 4 after the internet video of their daughter entering the family’s home in Kasi’s arms went viral.
“Are you kidding me?” asked 6-year-old Harper. Tears flowed from her 11-year-old sister Raygen’s eyes, as she gingerly stroked the hair of the baby who was now their own sibling.
The short video has received millions of views and has been shared countless times on Facebook.
Pruitt, director of evangelism for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), has done about 30 interviews for television, radio and newspapers.
“Our story has basically been on every large media outlet across the world. With all the outlets combined, it’s been viewed millions upon millions of times,” Pruitt told Baptist Press (BP) Aug. 8, less than two weeks after he posted the July 26 video. “We literally have received emails and social media messages from all over the place. It was on Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Inside Edition, ABC Nightly News, USA Today and many, many more.”
The Pruitts are not disclosing the name of their newest daughter in interviews out of respect for the birth mother, they said, with whom they maintain a relationship. But the littlest one joins four siblings, including biological children Raygen and Harper, and adoptees Titus, 4, and Elliot, 20 months.
In response to all of the media attention drawn by the video, Pruitt used the opportunity to share about his faith in Christ.
“Everything we do in our family is in response to what our great Heavenly Father has done for us. Through the gospel of Jesus, He adopted us into His family,” Pruitt said. “Kasi and I have had adoption on our hearts from day one of our almost 13 years of marriage.”
Shane and Kasi Pruitt have enthusiastically sought to adopt children during the 13 years as husband and wife. Their children, counterclockwise, before their latest adoption are 20-month-old Elliott, 6-year-old Harper, 4-year-old Titus and 11-year-old Raygen.
Becoming an adoptive father, Pruitt told BP, joins his blessings as a husband and father and gives him “a deeper meaning and understanding of the gospel.” He also appreciates the diversity adoption has allowed the Pruitts to enjoy.
“We love that our family is diverse. Titus is from Africa. Elliot is half African American and half Caucasian. And our newest addition is African American,” Pruitt said. “We tell people that we are not ‘color-blind.’ We choose to see color and recognize the beauty in all colors, shades and hues. All races are made in the image of a wonderful God and have extreme value placed on them by that same great God.”
Pruitt and his wife, Kasi, told their children in advance of a planned adoption, but the children were not expecting the child’s arrival so soon. The Pruitts learned of their child’s availability only a day before bringing her home. After additional prayer, the parents went early the next morning to meet their new daughter, leaving the other children at home with a grandparent.
“It’s your new baby sister,” Kasi announced to Raygen and Harper as a smart phone video camera rolled. The girls shouted and jumped up and down in excitement when they heard the news.
The Pruitts hope their diverse, adopted clan will inspire others to follow their lead. Even outside of adoption, families can help children in need by supporting birth parents, fostering and prayer, Pruitt said.
“There are a lot of children out there that just need a chance and a home,” Pruitt has said in media interviews. “We want people to know that they don’t have to be a perfect family, superheroes, angels or even special to open up their homes to others. They just need to be ordinary people who have enough love to share with those in need.
“Our family is just a normal family.”
Watch the video of the Pruitts bringing their new baby home:
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. )