Monday, August 17, 2009

Basketball President Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic team stops by!

I am happy to by a part of this blog tour for Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

My Adoption Story by Vice-President NBA Orlando Magic Pat Williams

Imagine a home that spends $80,000 a year on groceries, where the breakfast table is 17 feet long, and where 16 teenagers lived under one roof? That was my home. After having four children of my own, I adopted 14 children from four foreign countries (Romania, South Korea, the Philippines and Brazil) and gained another daughter by remarriage. I am the father of 19 children.

My story is both amusing and touching. It’s wild, it’s frenetic, it’s a never-ending stream of broken hearts and proud moments. With children from all over the world and experiences from many different view points, some might say my household may be the quintessential American family—a melting pot of cultures growing together as one.

As general manager for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980s, I had the world at my fingertips. I was at the pinnacle of my career, the top of my game, and everything was great. My wife, however, was frustrated because she wanted to adopt children from a foreign country. And so finally we did—two sisters from South Korea. A few years later, I was contacted about twin boys from South Korea who needed a home. I saw how I could make a difference.

There are so many orphaned children in the world that need help. Many are caged like wild animals, rarely getting to see the light of day. Others grow up on the streets, without anything to eat or anyone to care for them. I saw this and wanted to make a difference. I adopted four boys from the Philippines, then two girls from Romania, then four more children from Brazil. After seeing their conditions, I thought to myself, “We’ve got to get them out of here.”

I wanted to save as many children as I could. It got so bad that I couldn’t travel internationally anymore; while most people come home from their travels with t-shirts and souvenirs, I would come home with new children. There were at least another eleven children I wanted to adopt, but, for one reason or another—age, amount of children already, etc—I was turned down.

Ask anyone you meet, they’ll tell you that parenting is the most important job in the world. And in the very next breath, they’ll tell you it’s the toughest job in the world. As the father of nineteen children, I have been through it all. I have raised my children as a traditional parent, a single parent and a step-parent.

I like to think that my adoption story is about how I changed fourteen lives forever. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride—from seeing children living in poverty become children that would make any parent proud. Children who probably wouldn’t even be alive today are earning master’s degrees, working as professionals and serving in the United States Armed Forces. I am often asked how many children I have. I answer, 19 and 14 are adopted, but I forget which 14.

Pat Williams is the father of 19 children, 14 adopted from four foreign countries. He currently serves as the senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Williams’ newest book EXTREME DREAMS DEPEND ON TEAMS explores and explains the art of teambuilding—at work or in the home. You can purchase Williams’ books online or in all major bookstores or visit his website at for more information.

1 comment:

Brooke Reviews said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing story! I didn't know all this about him. :)

Go Magic! Woot!