Ambreen’s Adoption Story

Well before moving to the United States from Pakistan in 1995, Ambreen Zaveri wanted to adopt
children even if she had own in part because her older sister left her three children behind when
she remarried.
“That was pretty common back then in Pakistan. You got married again and you left your
previous life behind,” Ambreen said. “Her kids ended up scattered. One of them passed away
from separation anxiety at only 5 years old. One of them got adopted and the other stayed with
their dad. It took a toll on me that I didn’t want any children to end up feeling abandoned by their
“I wanted to take their side not having their mom around and trying to understand why they left.
Seeing that part of it always made me want to be on the other side and be the parent who receives
a child and helps them when their parents couldn’t for whatever reason without judging.”
She shared her wishes early in her relationship with Shalin Zaveri, whom she married in 2012.
Following years of trying unsuccessfully to have their own children, her adoption dreams came
true though not in the way she envisioned.
After taking 21⁄2 years to become foster certified because of lost paperwork, Kayden came into
their lives in September 2019 just weeks before his fifth birthday.
“All we were told was he was a 4-year-old child, still in diapers, just a little behind on speech but
otherwise basic with no special needs,” said Ambreen, who owns the Lewisville-based Shakar
Photography with Shalin. “We could tell right away he was a special needs child. He was
running from front door to back door and going out the door and trying to leave. But he was the
cutest child who had a three-word vocabulary – hi, bye, and no.”
The couple had endured a failed adoption of a baby, so Kayden had to sleep in a crib the first
“He crawled out of the crib in the morning, crawled on my chest, and called me ‘Mama,’ ”
Ambreen said. “Once he leaned on my chest I said, ‘If your parents don’t want you, you are
mine.’ ”
They soon learned Kayden had a chromosome deletion and would require lifetime care.
Originally considered only a foster child, they eventually convinced his birth mom to allow them
to adopt him in July 2021.
By that time, he wasn’t alone as on Halloween 2020 they received a call while photographing a
wedding. Would they foster a brother and sister – Ezekiel, 3, and Maryah, 5?

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