Adoption respite care is an important part of the adoption process in NC. Under North Carolina law, consent may be revoked by the birth mother within 7 days of signing. Revocation seldom happens, but when it does, it can be very difficult for adoptive parents. As a protection against the added emotional impact of having bonded with the baby during this revocation period, A Child’s Hope provides respite care for the child during this first week. In addition, some infants may have short-term health issues that require special attention. Respite caregivers are trained and experienced in dealing with these issues and are invaluable in providing the child and adoptive parents the best start to a new and happy family.
Two everyday heroes of adoption respite care are Judy and Alan. They recently cared for their 200th respite baby. Judy and Alan shared with us some of their experiences as adoption respite caregivers.
“Judy and I greet them in the driveway. We are like little kids. We are just as excited about our 200th placement as our first placement,” says Judy.
Q: When did you start doing adoption respite care?
We started in 1980 in Erie, PA and cared for babies up to the time we moved to N.C. in 1995. Both our 100th and 200th placement were with A Child’s Hope. Of the 200 babies we have cared for, 83 have been with A Child’s Hope.
Q: When did you start helping A Child’s Hope?
Our first placement was Matthew who was born Oct. 30, 2000.
Q: Why did you choose to be an adoption respite caregiver?
We have always had a special love for babies, even as children, and then, Judy, as a Registered Nurse, worked in the hospital nursery. We feel this is our ministry.
Q: What is your favorite experience with respite?
Meeting the adoptive parents and sharing their joy on “Placement Day” is wonderful.
Q: What have you learned from this experience?
Each baby is unique and has his/her own special story!
Q: What are your qualifications?
Judy and I are the parents of three wonderful sons and grandparents of 6, five boys and one girl! We both have the love, time and availability to care for these babies. Also, Judy was an RN and worked with babies in the hospital.
Q: Any advice for new parents?
Relax and enjoy each stage of your child’s life. The days are long but the years are short!