Long before The Grantham House was a wedding venue, it was a family home. When my family purchased The Grantham House in June of 2016, we were the first family to own the house that were not related to the original builder, Hiram Grantham, who built the home in 1840. The home stayed in that family for 176 years.
The last family to own the home was the Littleton family, relatives of Hiram Grantham. When David and Anne first bought the house it was in need of some updating. The home became a passion project of theirs, and was updated with love and care, inside and out.
They raised their family here, and from the stories their children have shared with us, they had years of wonderful memories associated with this home.
Last week I connected with Joanne via Instagram. Joanne’s boyfriend Scott, grew up in this home. He had shared many stories with her about growing up here, but she had not had the opportunity to visit herself.
Scott joined the Littleton family through the miracle of adoption when he was a baby. After his adoption, his parents always made a point to celebrate the day he was adopted and made it a special day for him, like a birthday. They treated it as a day to show him how much he was wanted and loved from the beginning. I can only imagine that now that his parents have passed, that his Adoption Day is a bittersweet day for him.
Scott’s Adoption Day was coming up when I spoke with Joanne. She recognized just how important this day was to him and wanted to do something really special to show him how much he is loved.
Joanne wanted to plan a surprise visit back to the house where Scott’s childhood years were spent. Scott had not been back to his family home in years. She knew that getting to come back on his Adoption Day would mean so much to him. He had told her many stories of the house, but she had never gotten to see it for herself.
We began to plan the surprise. She wanted to make it extra special, so we set up a table in front of the barn, and she brought a picnic dinner to eat outside together.
Originally, the date to the house was supposed to be a surprise, but Joanne in all her excitement, couldn’t keep it from him and decided to tell Scott about everything she had planned.
This entire event was extra special to us. When were first bought the home and learned that some of the Littleton’s children joined the family through adoption we felt an instant connection. We also have children who have joined our family through adoption, so it was like we share that special gift with the Littletons.
When I talked to Joanne and she told me how important Scott’s Adoption Day was to him, I could only hope that our children would carry that same sense of love with them when it came to their own history. Hearing the stories about how the Littleton’s made the children’s Adoption Day’s so special, has challenged me as an adoptive mama. I want my kids to look back on that day and see it as an important part of who they are, and the plan that God had for their life. I want them to see adoption as the miracle that it is, and know that they were always wanted, prayed for, and loved. Mr. and Mrs. Littleton’s children know that, and that is such a testament to who they were as parents. I am learning from them, even though I never had the opportunity to meet them.
Before they came, Scott gathered some old photos of the house to show us. In the photos we saw the house before many of the additions to the back side of the house had been made. My kids loved looking through the photos, picking out the things that were different from how the house looks now.
Because I love the history of this home, I loved hearing the stories. He told us where all the kids bedrooms were, where they put up their Christmas tree, and how excited his mama was when they converted the back porch into an extension to the living room, and how much wood paneling used to be in the house!
After Scott and Joanne showed us the old photos and shared stories and memories of years past, Scott took Joanne outside to show her the rest of the property. We set up a table for two in front of the red barn, and she brought a picnic dinner.
Before they came, I found a sign that was at the end of their driveway when Scott was growing up that said “Littleton 150”, their name, and address of the home. I cleaned that up Joanne put it on the table for Scott to take home with him.
We turned on the twinkly lights under the tree lined path leading up to the barn, and they stayed until dark, reminiscing about Scott’s childhood, and celebrating his Adoption Day.
Getting to be a part of this evening was so special to me . I love that The Grantham House has brought people into my family’s life that we might not of met otherwise. It’s the connections with people that make owning a wedding venue so amazing. We love knowing that we get to play a role in creating memories for each person that visits The Grantham House. And this night was extra special because of all of the shared connections that we have with Scott’s family through the home and through our adoption stories. It is our hope that everyone who comes to The Grantham House leaves feeling like a part of the family.