Adoption

Fond Memories and Bright Futures for Adoption Families

by Parker Herring

Adoption Holiday Cards 2Each year A Child’s Hope and Parker Herring Law Group receive brightly colored holiday cards from families whose lives have touched ours during their adoption or surrogacy journey. Although I think about each family throughout the year, as I look at the cards and see the smiling faces of the ever-growing children, I again feel the emotions of when those families were created. What joy!

Creating Lasting Bonds

Adoption and surrogacy are emotional journeys, connecting, in a special way, the attorney and support team with the parents and children. This year, one of the cards we received was from a family that adopted triplets 18 years ago — three boys who are now coming of age. I looked at the picture and remembered the phone call from Kenny, the adoptive father, as he stood outside the nursery window as he described to me while one, then two, then three little boys were wheeled into the nursery. Back then, phones didn’t have cameras, but he created a picture for me with his words that I will never forget.

The heartwarming adoption journey of Kenny and Melinda and their three boys will always be a part of me. I am grateful that my life’s work gives me that emotional connection. I feel an extra special connection with Kenny and Melinda as my middle son, whom I adopted, turns 18 this year, too.

In the Beginning

To see how my life’s work has affected the lives of others is what I dreamed of in 1999. At that time, I adopted my oldest son. His adoption was extremely stressful and expensive, mainly because he was born out of state – cross country – and the birth mother had not received in-person counseling because the adoption agency was located in a third state. As an attorney, I wanted to make adoption more affordable and less stressful.

The solution I thought was to do adoptions in state – matching North Carolina birthmothers with North Carolina families so that in-person counseling was possible, there would not be interstate laws conflicts, and only one attorney would be needed to handle the adoption.

I also wanted to be able to have a meaningful connection with the families. Thus, I formed A Child’s Hope, now entering its 20th year of creating forever families in North Carolina. We strive to keep adoption costs below the national average by focusing solely on in-state adoptions – no out-of-state travel costs or multiple-state legal expenses.

Today — Surrogacy & Assisted Reproduction

Approximately ten years ago, the Parker Herring Law Group (then Herring & Mills) expanded into assisted reproduction and surrogacy law. While constructing the carefully worded legal agreements for the intended parents and advising surrogates on the wording of a contract, I find the same emotional connection as with adoptive families.

Future Families 

As we approach the 375th placement through A Childs Hope, we see a bright future. Racial barriers are falling by the wayside and it is easier to place a child with same-gender couples. On the law firm side, there are more stepparents seeking to make legal the family bonds they have developed with the children, as well as seniors are more frequently considering adult adoption to formalize their family-type bonds with a younger friend, neighbor or caregiver.

I so look forward to the next holiday season bringing a mailbox full of even more smiling faces of every age and walk of life.


E. Parker Herring
E. Parker Herring is a Board Certified family law specialist who has practiced in Wake County, N.C. for more than 32 years. She has three children through adoption and assisted reproduction and in 2000 started the adoption agency, A Child’s Hope. The agency focuses on North Carolina birthmothers with North Carolina newborns. The agency has placed more than 370 children since it opened. The multiple adoption journeys of her own family and her personal experiences in fertility treatments continue to be the driving force behind her working in the areas of adoption and assisted reproduction. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and received her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.

Happy Holidays – It’s Been a Banner Year

Dear Friends!

Wow, what a year! A total of 21 babies to date have been placed in forever homes! Moreover, we have three more birthmothers signed with December due dates that we hope will choose adoption! It has been a year of many firsts for the agency.

We started the year placing a set of twins marking 350 placements since we began in 2000. Now approaching 375 placements, we are so thankful.

In May, we celebrated our first graduates! Five of the placements from the year 2000 graduated from high school in 2018.

We saw placement diversity grow exponentially. For the first time at our agency, a birth mother chose to place with a same-sex couple. In addition, more families have been open to adopting racially diverse babies. Moreover, we have seen more bi-racial and tri-racial and even one quad-racial baby placed.

We take great joy in seeing each family in our offices. Each child is a wonderful blessing with bright futures in their forever homes!

Best wishes for a joy-filled 2019.

 

 

Reducing the Out-Of-Pocket Cost of Adoption

This article was originally published by Herring & Mills PLLC on www.parkerherringlawgroup.com

By taking advantage of the federal adoption tax credit, US Military benefits and employer advantages, thousands of American families are eligible and receive financial benefits each year for the cost of adoption. Here’s a quick breakdown of those three methods:

Federal Adoption Tax Credit

The federal adoption tax credit (FATC) allows a monetary boost for adopting families whose gross annual income is not over $200,000. For those families which qualify, the federal tax credit provides up to $13,460.00. You can find more information on the FATC here. We’ve written about the federal adoption tax credit on this blog before.

“My wife Priscila and I have adopted twice through A Child’s Hope. Our two boys – one adopted in 2008 and the other in 2013 –  are priceless to us, but the Federal adoption tax credit helped make the fees and expenses affordable for us. We both work in research; I am a medical writer and my wife is a research scientist.”

— Bill Siesser

Employer / employee adoption benefits

Many employers across the country also provide the benefit of financial assistance once a child is placed in the adoptive home of its new parents. Check with your Human Resource department at your company to see what benefits or advantages there might be (if any) which your company provides.

This financial assistance from employers can take the form of a lump sum, or payment of certain fees related to an adoption or partial reimbursement to employees for expenses. Each company that offers financial assistance varies in what the payment is, but the nationwide average is around $4,000, with a range generally from $3,000 to $5000. The application process with businesses and employers tends to be relatively simple and easy.

Why do companies do it? Businesses justify these benefits as an investment in retaining their employees, and that the payment towards adoption increases worker loyalty to the business. They see it as a win-win, since training new employees is almost always more expensive than retaining current staff.

Some companies are now also offering family leave for adoption, which is a benefit that can lower the cost of your adoption if the leave is paid. (Here’s a list of America’s top adoption-friendly workplaces.)

US Military adoption benefits

The United States Military Service is an employer too, and servicemen and women in the armed forces are eligible in many cases to take advantage of adoption credits while serving. The military can be quite adoption friendly.

“The military provided us with $3,000 as financial assistance for our son Joe Joe’s adoption. Overall, the military has been extremely supportive of our adoptions.”

  • Devon Donahue, wife of a U.S. Army Officer

Mommy You’re Peach and I’m Brown

One of our own adoptive parents recently shared with RaleighMomsBlog her experiences of having a family and how she has empowered her 5-yr-old daughter with the skills to be strong, proud and respond when questions and comments by the curious arise. (Original Blog Post by Cindy Stranad, November 26, 2018)

Mommy, you’re peach, and I’m brown,” she said.

I know honey, is that ok?” I asked.

Without hesitation and a smirk running toward the toy box, “Of course mommy, don’t ya know.

In 2012, I adopted my daughter as an infant. I suppose you could say my biological clock didn’t strike midnight until around the age of 40. After much research and sitting on the fence, independent adoption was the right choice to build my family.

A little older than the average mom, it wasn’t uncommon for many questions to pop up from strangers as our twosome toddled around the neighborhood or headed off to the pool or grocery store. What was evident is that I adopted as a single parent by choice and my baby was a different race than myself or that of my family.

The wish I had for my daughter had nothing to do with race. It is what we all want for our kids no matter of their ethnicity or gender – “Be strong in who you are.”

Ever-present in my mind still today – is playing out a strong sense of self for her because we are confronted with it often – I am single, she is adopted, and she looks different than me.

What I did not know in the beginning and equally as important, was the notion of letting the questions come. Not only to listen intently to the question but embrace each one with a smile. (OK, the smile may be a stretch.) Not only fielding this variety of questions from strangers but from friends, family and — between us — as mother and daughter. What I did know was questions would come surrounding our reality, and I had to prepare her to answer them with confidence.

This year, my daughter started Kindergarten. A first for both of us, I had to trust the snapshots of conversations we have had about our transracial family, and our collective response to all those questions over the last five years has prepared her to stand proud, to have the answers for the moment.

Here are three things I did to prepare for the questions:

1. Start the conversation.

Don’t wait. Ask your child a leading question, don’t wait for them to ask you. They may not want you to be uncomfortable or know exactly the question to ask. It may be something like, “Look there are another mom and daughter who looks like our familyWhat do you think about that?” or “Does anyone ever mention that you and I have different color skin?

Open the dialogue. Let them know it’s okay to talk about it.

2. Role-Play

Be careful not to create a defensive posture. Role-Play with your child on how a conversation may go with a friend if they ask about skin color or other personal questions. It’s like practicing a talk for training at work, a lesson plan at church or perhaps a job interview. It’s about anticipating the question, so you have an answer.

3. Plant another family tree

I was taken off-guard during preschool when she brought home the family tree. This child exercise scared me. Will she be compared to other families unfairly? I had to let go of my insecurity, and teach her to make room for different types of trees in the family backyard – birth parents, stepparents and single parents, as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles from each of these family connections. Moreover, there is your village of close friends and godparents. Most of us probably have something that looks more like a sprawling vineyard than a simple tree.

I say all of this because I had to trust myself. And, I am encouraging you to trust yourself. Release the adult definitions of family and wake up to the reality of what your family looks like from your child’s perspective.

As we celebrate gratefulness during November as National Adoption Awareness Month, remember that open and honest talks across the board on adoption, race and family diversity will go a long way in building your child’s self-esteem. You may even be surprised at some of the reactions and aha moments created as we all widen our thinking about the beauty of transracial families.

 

How to Talk to a Reluctant Spouse to Adopt a Child

By Parker Herring, Director

It’s not unusual for A Child’s Hope to field a call from a woman who is ready to adopt a child, but she states that her husband is “not quite there yet.” Furthermore, during many of the adoption consultations I have conducted, I have noticed that it’s commonplace for the wife to be way ahead of the husband on the adoption learning curve. This is of little surprise. As with most things in marriage, both partners are not always on the same page at the same time. The topic of adoption is no different.

So how do you open up the conversation when you want to adopt a child? Here are some options, clearly there are other considerations.

FIRST, COMMUNICATE. In the adopt-a-child conversation, don’t force your husband to give you an immediate yes or no. It may take a while for him to understand the adoption process and overcome any reservations.

Begin by listening to his concerns. Don’t argue — listen and try to understand. He may be trying to process the loss of a dream to have a son that looks like him. Other common concerns expressed have been 1) a fear that you will not find a child and 2) a fear that he may not love an adopted child the same way that he would love a biological child.

Articulate back what you hear without judgment. For example, you may wish to frame a response in the form of a question, “To make sure I am hearing what you are trying to share, do you feel that if we adopt a child …?”

Don’t push for an immediate change of position or a move forward plan. Express appreciation for what he has shared and let the conversation sit. Your husband may never have put his thought and feelings about adoption into words. Now that he has, he can chew on them a little.

SECOND, EDUCATE. Work hard to show your spouse the positive outcomes when you adopt a child. Try to address concerns by recommending reading resources and inviting him to attend information sessions that agencies offer. Here are some resources to consider:

E-zine – Adoptive Families

Articles from Adoption.com:

What if You’re Ready to Adopt but your Husband isn’t?

When You and Your Spouse are Not on the Same Page with Adoption

Books:

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae.  This guide draws on the experiences of over 100 contributors to offer advice to all different types of families, ranging from those who have just adopted to those who have been raising adopted children for years.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah D. Gray. Attaching in Adoption is a bestselling, comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment.

Show him pictures or videos that others share on social media sites of their adopted children. You may even offer to help him make a list of his concerns, and aid in bringing them up visiting with friends and family members who have adopted.

Video interviews with A Child’s Hope adoptive families

A Child’s Hope Facebook page

THIRD, MAN TALK. Some men get quiet in formal settings, such as an agency consultation, especially if they are the only man in the room. It may be easier for your husband to discuss his concerns in a social setting with another man.

Use your network of friends and family to see if any fathers in your circle would be willing to make themselves available to talk to your husband about their experiences when choosing to adopt a child. The agency may also be able to assist by arranging a meeting with some adoptive parents, as couples or just the guys.

FINALLY, TIME. Choosing to adopt a child is a big decision. Everyone involved needs to be comfortable with the process and be on board. It may take a while. Adopting is a decision that will affect every aspect of your life, for the rest of your life. Taking time is okay.

As I mentioned earlier, many of the couples I have worked with were not always in harmony on the decision to adopt a child at first. However, when they come to the office with their child to sign the adoption documents, I have noticed that the men are as extremely proud, and equally excited as the spouse.  It makes me smile sometimes thinking back to how unsure some of the fathers were at that first consultation.

Adoption Agency Director Parker Herring and the twinsA mother of three children, E. Parker Herring has a deep respect and understanding of family law and the adoption process (for which she’s adopted two children of her own). She is the founder and director of A Child’s Hope, a North Carolina licensed adoption agency located in Raleigh that focuses on helping birthmothers and families looking to adopt. A Child’s Hope has placed 332 children since 2000, and is the only North Carolina domestic adoption agency directed by an attorney. Herring is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist who has practiced family law for nearly 30 years in the Raleigh area. She’s a member of the N.C. Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, and the NC Collaborative Lawyers.

 

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – October

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan on October 25, 1988.

On that day he said:

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep – nowilaymedowntosleep.org

NILMDTS offers the gift of healing, hope and honor to parents experiencing the death of a baby through the overwhelming power of remembrance portraits.

These priceless images serve as an important step in the healing recovery for bereaved families. NILMDTS remembrance photography validates the existence and presence of these precious babies by honoring their legacy.

Through further engagement in the organization, such as the NILMDTS Remembrance Walk and online support, families become a part of a compassionate and supportive community.  Parents gain a sense of inclusiveness, alleviating the alienation and perception of being alone in their pregnancy or infant loss journey.

Additional Bereavement Resources


Starting Your Adoption Journey

If you, or someone you know, is considering adoption and would like to learn more, call A Child’s Hope at 919-839-8800, or Text PREGNANT TO 919-971-4396. You can also watch our placement day videos to hear recent adoptive parents share their stories adoption stories.

Pregnant? Not sure if you are able at this time to parent? If you are a birth mother and are looking to place your child in a loving home, contact our Birth Mother hotline to speak with an adoption counselor today at 877-890-4673 or Text PREGNANT TO 919-971-4396. To see placement day videos of A Child’s Hope families, click here. To see websites of our waiting families, click here.

For more information on the legal issues involved with adoption in North Carolina, visit parkerherringlawgroup.com.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

Going from Pregnant to Adoption Placement: Why September is a Busy Month

Pregnant - Thinking BabySeptember is always a very busy month at A Child’s Hope, with pregnant birth mothers heading to hospitals and waiting adoptive parents overjoyed to get to meet their new addition.

According to a Time Magazine article in September 2017, data compiled from U.S. births over the last 20 years prove that more babies are born in September than in any other month of the year, with September 9th being the most popular birthday, and September 19th being the second most popular.

The reason for the high number of births in September is simple. Count back nine months and you are in the Christmas to New Year’s timeframe when couples are celebrating and have time off from work and you guessed it — feeling romantic.

This September, A Child’s Hope is eagerly awaiting the birth of five babies who are already matched with adoptive families.

Pregnant to Placement: The Process

Every adoption event is unique. Late-term and at-the-hospital signings by birth mothers can be a whirlwind. Conversely, birth mothers that contact us shortly after they discover that they are pregnant can be an eight- or nine-month journey. Regardless of the advanced notice, there are several parts to the process A Child’s Hope adoption counselors follow to help make each placement a success for all involved.

  • Starting the Process – After a pregnant birth mother signs with the agency, an adoption counselor meets with her and helps her start prenatal care if she has not yet gone to a physician. She signs a HIPPA release form so that the agency can obtain her medical records. The agency works with her to offer counseling to ensure that she wants to place the child rather than parent and the agency tries to locate the birthfather to sign and provide DNA. A budget is also set up so that she can get financial support during the pregnancy.

 

  • Matching With a Family — When a birth mother is about eight weeks from delivery, home study-compatible waiting adoptive families are contacted and presented the opportunity of her child. This written “birth mother opportunity” includes gathered medical information, a physical description of the birth mother and birth father, some of the birth family’s backstory in an anonymous format and what the birth mother is looking for in an adoptive family.

 

  • Some Birthmothers Choose to Have the Agency Pick — A birth mother may also tell the agency to “pick” a family and then show her the profile or she may choose to not have a match meeting. But this is rare. Usually, birth mothers like to look at the profiles and make a decision about the family.

 

  • Choosing Whom Will Adopt the Child – In an independent adoption, generally, the pregnant birth mother, and father if he decides to engage in the adoption process, pick the adoptive parent, parents or family. This is done by looking at family profiles online and contacting the adoptive parents directly. In independent adoptions, the family and the birthparents work together directly without an adoption counselor.

 

  • Meeting of the Minds – With an initial match, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents meet, at least once, in what is known as a “match meeting.” An adoption counselor is always present to help them get to know each other.

 

  • Preparing for Baby – After all goes well, a final match is made and the legal team kicks into high gear. In an open adoption, many pregnant birth mothers and the adoptive families choose to spend additional time together, coordinated through the adoption counselor. Many adoptive parents are even included in the birthing process and have bonding time with the newborn during the hospital stay.

Starting Your Adoption Journey

If you, or someone you know, is considering adoption and would like to learn more, call A Child’s Hope at 919-839-8800, or Text PREGNANT TO 919-971-4396. You can also watch our placement day videos to hear recent adoptive parents share their stories adoption stories.

Pregnant? Not sure if you are able at this time to parent? If you are a birth mother and are looking to place your child in a loving home, contact our Birth Mother hotline to speak with an adoption counselor today at 877-890-4673 or Text PREGNANT TO 919-971-4396. To see placement day videos of A Child’s Hope families, click here. To see websites of our waiting families, click here.

For more information on the legal issues involved with adoption in North Carolina, visit parkerherringlawgroup.com.

Opioid Addiction and Adoption – What Waiting Parents Need to Know

The Opioid Addiction Crisis

Opioid Addiction babies

ACH counselor Kelly Dunbar with Jaxon

North Carolina, as is the nation, is experiencing an opioid addiction epidemic. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) one infant every 25 minutes was born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in 2012, and the numbers are continuing to rise. NAS occurs when newborn babies experience withdrawal after being exposed to drugs in the womb.

Every new parent wants a child that is happy and healthy, but opioid addiction and other drug use by a birth mother during pregnancy is something that makes many adoptive parents wary, and with good reason. However, the fact is many birth mothers choose adoption because their life situation makes parenting a child impossible or difficult. Often, the life situation can be traced back to drugs and alcohol. In the case of opioids, sometimes the usage starts innocently enough with a doctor’s prescription for medications like Vicodin, Percocet, Hydrocodone, tramadol, and Zanax, and progresses to buying these drugs on the street and using harder drugs such as Heroin.

Regardless of the circumstance leading to opioid addiction, there is currently an increase in the number of unborn babies that have exposure to drugs or alcohol. Adoption by a caring family can make all of the difference in this precious child’s life and help them to thrive as they grow.

Addressing the Opioid Addiction Issue

Jaxon on Placement Day

It’s a sign of the times that hospitals statewide have developed a drug-tittering protocol for weaning babies. In the case of a child that is going to be adopted, adoptive parents are encouraged to be in the hospital during the withdrawal period. Often a prescribed opiate such as Morphine is used to help the baby cope, with the amount prescribed being reduced over time. Adoption counselors with A Child’s Hope may also coordinate birth mother visits during the 7-day revocation period to help the baby by holding him or her.

Fortunately, the effects of opioid withdrawal pass within a matter of weeks and the babies seldom need long-term medication. At A Child’s Hope, we have had babies born testing positive for opioids who spend as little as four days in the hospital. The longest hospital stay with one of our babies has been 10 days.

Statistics indicate that it will take a total of six to eight weeks for all of the symptoms to disappear if a birth mother is on methadone for as little as one month before the delivery. Therefore, intervention as early as possible is essential to help the birth mother transition to medically prescribed opiod such as methadone, suboxone or naloxone. Then when the baby is born withdrawal will be easier and shorter.

To help identify potential drug use issues, our adoption counselors work closely with each birth mother. They ask about alcohol, drug and cigarette use in a nonjudgmental way that expresses our mutual interest in the health of her and the unborn child. In addition, criminal checks, Accurint checks and obtaining medical records can help reveal information that the birth mother may be too afraid or embarrassed to share. In short, we do a great deal to try to discover what, if any, substances a birth mother may be using during pregnancy. Then we try to help her and her baby in getting treatment.

Our policy is to do the best we can to get the birth mother into a substance abuse program. When appropriate, a regulated opioid, such as methadone, suboxone or naloxone, will be prescribed so that her cravings are controlled and the baby’s withdrawals will be more comfortable.

Managing the Opioid Addiction Fear

Jaxon age 3

We connect waiting families who have concerns about adopting a NAS baby with some of our past placed parents who adopted babies who went through opioid withdrawal.

Three-year-old Jaxon is one NAS baby that is thriving now after being born testing positive for opiods. His mom, Shannon, talks about Jaxon’s care after birth:

“It’s hard to believe that its almost three years since Jaxon was born! Jaxon spent ten days in NICU, and I spent every waking minute with him. It was important for me to bond with him and for him to feel that love.

From day one, Jaxon was a happy, healthy baby boy who just loves life. I was never fearful of his drug exposure because I knew he had me in his corner fighting for him. I would get him any help that he needed. Jaxon was on morphine and then was switched to methadone. He spent nine months on methadone. So far we haven’t seen any long-term effects, there have been no developmental delays.

Jaxon is now 3 and so full of life; he always has a smile on his face. Anyone that is thinking of adopting a child with NAS, I beg you to take the risk. The joy that our son Jaxon brings to our life far outweighs the risks.”

To read the full story of Shannon’s adoption Journey, click here. 

A Child’s Hope encourages waiting families to do their research about the effects of opioids on the unborn, speak to your adoption counselor and a healthcare professional.

Resources

She’ll Be President Someday’: Meet the Adopted Little Girl Trump Praised

Taking a Leap of Faith – Why One Family Adopted a “Drug Baby”

Out of love, opioid-addicted women letting babies be adopted

Officer honored for adopting baby from opioid addicted mom

Weaning the Youngest Opioid Patients

The Adoption Journey for Shannon and Jaxon

Adoption Journey of Shannon & Jaxon

Shannon & Jaxon

Two years was our adoption journey wait, from the time we signed with our adoption agency until our precious baby boy was placed in our arms. We knew from the beginning that we should prepare ourselves for a long wait because we already had a child in the home. So we set out for a wait, we knew that the right child at the right time would come to our family, the one that was meant to be.

We had some disappointments, and at times we were discouraged, but we always kept the faith that God knew exactly what He was doing. God was writing our adoption journey story, and that story included our sweet Jaxon. All the praying and wondering when we would get the phone call with the news that an amazing birth mother had chosen us was answered on my birthday.

Meeting the Birth Mother

We met her, “L,” two days later for lunch with our adoption counselor, and hit it off from the start. I remember being very nervous and wondering if she would like me.

Here she was meeting the family that was going to raise her son, what if we weren’t what she wanted, how devastating that would be. I imagine these same very thoughts run through every adoptive momma’s mind at one point or another. As we were getting to know one another, she asked us if we had picked out a name, the very same name that we picked out was the name she had chosen for him earlier on in her pregnancy.

Meeting Jaxon

Two weeks after that very first phone call, our son was born. The next morning which happened to be Valentine’s day we are on our way to visit with “L” and meet our little boy. I will never forget the moment when she took us to meet him — this beautiful 6lbs 8oz, blonde hair, blue eyed, precious baby boy. I remember the tears streaming down my face and the joy that I felt, she was making my heart whole. I knew what she was facing, and she was entrusting us to take care of him, love him, and to give Jaxon the best life possible.

Jaxon on Placement Day

Jaxon spent ten days in NICU to help him through opioid withdrawal. I spent every waking minute with him. It was important for me to bond with him and for him to feel that love. I was never fearful of his drug exposure because I knew he had me in his corner fighting for him. I would get him any help that he needed. Jaxon was on morphine and then was switched to methadone. He spent nine months on methadone. So far we haven’t seen any long-term effects, there have been no developmental delays.

“L” and I have a bond that’s unbreakable, and I have so much love for her. We have an open adoption with Jaxon’s birth family; he has two families that love and adore him. We see them on a regular basis, and it’s important to me that he gets to have that bond with them. We love them; they are our family too!

Overcoming Roadblocks

We hit some roadblocks during our adoption journey. I will share that as fearful as I was, I knew that A Child’s Hope would ease my mind. In addition to being a NAS baby, Jaxon’s birth father came unexpectedly late during the adoption process.

I can remember the fear and heartbreak that I was feeling wondering what was going to happen next. The staff at A Child’s Hope eased my fears and told me they would be there every step of the way. It was the reason we went with ACH to begin with; they were always in contact with us on the status.

The Best Gifts Ever

Jaxon age 3

Jaxon’s birthmother gave me the best birthday present and Valentine’s Day gift! My husband tells people all the time that he could never top that! Jaxon’s birth father gave me the best Christmas gift that year as well – he gave his consent to the adoption.

What a gift Jaxon is to our family! So yes, the wait was worth it. I tell people all the time that I would have waited forever for my sweet Jaxon. He is worth every second that we waited. He brings so much joy to our lives. I will forever be thankful to A Child’s Hope because not only were we able to grow our family through adoption but I feel like we also gained a family, from Jaxon’s birth family, and from the staff at A Child’s Hope.

To start your adoption journey, click here and complete the “Would You Like To Adopt?” form or call us at (919) 839-8800.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396