Archive for the ‘ Preconception ’ Category

I Meet a Special Needs Daughter Who’s Been Adopted

Friday, February 24th, 2012

adoption diaries with child adoptionsLast month I attended a press screening of a Disney premiere and journalists were invited plus guest so I brought my excited 5-year-old Sam. In case the kiddies got bored (which they quickly did), the publicists set up a kid’s jumper where toddlers were giggling maniacally.

Sam kept helping a little girl up off the sidelines because “Tina” was getting battered by the bigger boys. This gutsy little girl with jet-black bangs was grabbing Sam’s hand and bouncing her way back to center. She was bossy!

After 10 minutes, the Indian girl’s blond mother approached to congratulate me on having such a “little gentleman” of a son. (We do actually teach Sam to be extra-gentle because he is the size of a small dinosaur already.)

New daughter Tina was adopted 15 months ago from India after a 2-year-wait. Tina was originally listed as a Special Needs child because she was born with a “meningocele,” a type of spina bifida where the spinal cord develops normally but the thin protective covering of the chord (the meningocele itself) protrudes from an opening in the vertebrae.

While the cause is unknown, researchers claim malnutrition and environmental factors play a part. Lucky for Tina, she experiences little or no affects of the condition, and only one minor operation shortly after birth repaired the hole… she doesn’t even have a scar.

Tina’s adoptive mom thought it was a stroke of genius that her upbeat, musically inclined daughter was labeled Special Needs, which meant the usually long adoption wait proved months shorter.

“Imagine how long we’d have to wait if she was perfect,” laughs Tina’s Mom. (Meaning, of course, she is perfect—get it?)

We returned home that evening with Sam rumbling on about his new friend “Tina,” so I asked my husband if he’d consider adopting a child in need from India.

Darrin placed his hands in prayer pose as he nodded and said a whole-hearted “Namaste.” It meant yes, yes, yes!

PS: A grand welcome to mommy blogger Ellen Seidman who has joined the talented Parents.com stables. Please read her blog!

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Part 1: Infertility, a Failed Adoption, Heartbreak

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Sometimes there’s an adoption letter you’ll remember forever. This one is from Gary from Missouri who wrote to me last month:

“Your stories of adoption touch my heart in ways you may never imagine. It has taken me a long time to decide to share the story of my Wife and I, and I hope you can read it.”

Gary and wife Marie married in 1981 after falling in love in high School.  At 28 and 26, they began trying to get pregnant and after three years of trying, they sought medical help. Doctor visits led to more doctor visits, specialists were visited, all to no avail.

He wrote, “We tried every procedure available to us, a lot of which was based on financial constraints and insurance coverage. I gave her shots, she took fertility drugs, we tried sperm washing and placing, nothing worked.  Month after month, year after year, the same scenario.  Visit the specialist, perform the latest procedure, go home and wait for the results. The heartbreak month after month became almost too much to bear.

Ten years passed! We  made the decision to stop trying and started looking into adoption.  We visited and registered with three different agencies, and waited.  We went to seminars, workshops, meeting after meeting. We eagerly anticipated the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.  This went on for a couple years.

One night, we received a call from a friend of ours who knew we were in this process. She had a friend with a young daughter who was two months pregnant. We met with the young lady and her parents. They came to our house and she talked of placing her baby for adoption when the time came.

We went through home visits, background checks, court proceedings, more home visits.  Within 6 months, all was accomplished, and a judge’s advocate was assigned to help us. The court system and child welfare agencies all had given us high marks and adoption approval.

We had been in constant contact with the birth mother, and when we gave her the news, she was happy and excited.  We made plans for the birth, and she went into labor. In the waiting area,  we received word that a baby boy had been born.  The nurses brought him to me on the way to the nursery, and I got to hold my new boy.

The next few days are just a blur but we managed to get all the legalities covered, and Marie and I left the hospital , going home with our new baby, Justin Alexander.  The next few days were filled with celebration, and everyone came to meet him.”

Catch up on Friday when we realize the birth mother changes her mind and returns for Justin. They never see him again.

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Part 2: 3 Failed Adoptions, Couple Turns to Foster Care

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Here comes Part 2 of Melinda and Corey’s inspiring story. At right: Holding Logan in the hospital for the first time.

If you tuned in Monday, we found out that Melinda, 36, and Corey, 40, tried to get pregnant for four years before entering into several potential private adoptions of healthy newborns. Two years into tapping private adoption agencies, the couple signed up for foster care training with their county. Still? No baby!

Then in 2010, the courageous couple became a state-approved foster-to-adopt family.

In March of 2011, they met another couple who already had five children on their own in their state and yet the struggling family was pregnant again.

Melinda remembered, “The bio father explained that his wife, the mother,  had her tubes tied after their last baby and it didn’t work because they were pregnant again. They couldn’t provide for another child financially or emotionally.

“Two weeks later, this mother sat in our living room on our sofa, tears rolling down her cheeks. It was so hard to see the pain in her face. She talked about her unborn son as if he were already ours. She hated the situation and it was breaking her heart.

“We didn’t know what was going on because this family stopped responding and we knew to leave her alone with her thoughts and emotions. We didn’t hear from her again until a week before Logan was born. She had made her decision,” Melinda said.

Then the amazing hospital experience! Melinda and the bio-family cemented their loving relationship in the labor room. Melinda said, “One mother giving her child to another out of pure love and one experiencing this love for the first time. It was the most amazing experience of my life — I knew her heart was breaking, but her love for him was stronger.”

Today Melinda says of the bio-mom: “She is the strongest and most selfless woman that I have ever known. Our boy will always know her love just as he will know mine. My adoption story is one of a successful semi-open adoption, but more importantly… the story of how love can prevail.”

Thanks, Melinda and Corey. This is a story of how amazing adoption can be.  It’s a story about how one sweet little boy changed the lives of two families forever. Tell me yours!

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Happy 2012, a Great Year to Adopt!

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

adoption, dog adoption I know you’re out there somewhere: I’ve met you at the occasional Pilates class (you were hogging my favorite spot!) and we’ve giggled on the playground sidelines. You’re the one trailing a shopping cart at the market and using your Blackberry ferociously. You are like me, or at least I hope you are.

My husband and I have been together and in love (most of the time — you know?) for nearly seven years and we have one beautiful biological boy named Sam who is the best thing ever. In fact, Darrin (my patient husband) and I still brawl about who wakes up with him on Sunday mornings. Sam is especially cuddly during weekend cartoons, so we both beg for the early-morning lovin’.

Sam is just about to turn six and he started asking us about his little sister, who is nonexistent. “When can I have a sister like [name of school friend]?

Sam does not appreciate my answers to the adoption dilemma. “You are the best, how can I ever top you?”

Four frowning eyes (two blue and two hazel) turn to me and my tender sweet son, murmurs, “But mommy, who can I play with?” Sam asks me with a little quiver starting in his juicy bottom lip.

Sam doesn’t care if our potential adopted child is an aquamarine Martian, two-headed with a spiky dragon-like tail… he just wants her. Now. In our house. My husband twirls his thumbs innocently during the exchange.

Sam says he’ll give up his big boy bed and sleep on the floor so his new sister can take his bed. He also tells me there are sick kids in the world who don’t have a mommy to call on when their tummy hurts at night, like he does. Sam reminds me that his friend Logan, at school, is adopted.

You know, like how we adopted our dog. We all love this dog and he was ADOPTED too. Yes, yes, I’m getting it now.

Sam grills on: “Aren’t there kids who need a mommy? Because you are good and cute and beautiful.” Thank you, Sam.

Parents, has adopting ever crossed your mind? Do you feel pressure from your spouse or child? I would love to know all about your adoption dilemma for the upcming year, and don’t stop celebrating either.

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Happy Thanksgiving to Foster Kids and Adoptees

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The older I get, the more I put my heart out on my sleeve. Motherhood mellows me.

Perhaps the love of a steady and loyal husband and one very happy and healthy biological boy help me believe in the essence of goodness this year. But this is the last Thanksgiving we will sit three around my table. We will adopt a daughter this year, either internationally from India if we can save that last $15,000 in the middle of this godawful recession. Or this is the year we finish our 24 hours of advanced foster family training and begin the foster process to adopt locally from the Country of Los Angeles.

Of course, this year we are not just three at our holiday table, either. We have friends joining us too. And we are still planning on adopting a new dog because our family gets better and better when we open our hearts to others in need.

These are other things I am especially thankful for this year:

  • I am thankful to my amazing girlfriends who cannot have children around their own tables this year, and they come to mine to help my son play and cook, make puzzles and help mend their broken hearts.
  • I am thankful that my husband (who was so sick for a very long time) is feeling so much better that he has a glimmer of mischief in his pretty blue eyes this year.
  • I am thankful to meet organizations who match expectant parents (like us) with poor neglected kids who need a mom and a dad. Hurry!
  • I am thankful to dog rescue organizations who speak out for the voiceless. We are going to adopt a pretty new female dog this year too.
  • I am thankful that my mom’s cancer tests are coming back negative, one by one!
  • I am thankful that my soon-to-be six-year old son wants a little sister because he wants to share all his toys. Sam realizes just how he is blessed and he wants to share. That shows me we’re doing something fantastic when it comes to raising Sam.

Finally, I am thankful to the readers of The Adoption Diaries. You have a responsibility to shout out the benefits of adoption, so tell your story here!

 

 

 

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff