Now—four years, five dumpsters, 800 contractor bags, and countless hours of gut-wrenching work later—that horror show is a dream home to me, my wife, Katie, and our four children: Isabel, 8, Gabriel, 5, Zinash, 4, and the baby, Nathaniel, 9 months. The two older kids were around from the beginning of the project, but it wasn't until midway through the renovation that Katie and I got the call from the adoption agency that our third child, Zinash, who was then 19 months old, was waiting for us in Ethiopia. With my obsessive focus on the house, it was Katie who had worked so hard for this adoption. And though we were overjoyed with the news, the timing couldn't have been worse.
Shown: The Wallacavage clan (clockwise)—Mark, Katie, Nathaniel, Gabriel, Zinash, and Isabel