Family

A Mother’s Day Adoption Journey – Caitlin

WTVD – ABC 11 – Wake County couple celebrate first Mother’s Day after adopting baby boy

Caitlin and Chris are still in disbelief when they look into two-week-old Henry’s eyes.

Growing their family was all they ever wanted.

“We’ve always wanted to be parents. I’m from a large family,” said Caitlin.

The college sweethearts tried conceiving one year after marriage but had no luck. After four years of fertility treatments, they considered adoption.

“We were open to basically anything…race or gender. For us, it didn’t matter,” said Chris.

Two weeks ago, the couple brought home a special gift that weighed seven pounds and 12 ounces.

The couple is thankful adoption gave them a chance at making their family whole, and particularly this Mother’s Day.

“Just looking at him, I wouldn’t change it,” said Caitlin. “It makes him that much more special.”

See another Mother’s Day story

Start your Adoption Journey

Thank You on Birth Mother’s Day

This Birth Mother’s Day, we say THANK YOU and send our LOVE to all birth mothers. You hold a special place in our hearts ❤️ for there are two kinds of strength – the strength to make a parenting plan and the strength to give that plan to another.

Birth Mother's Day

Hear directly from a few of our birth mothers – watch the videos

Are You Pregnant or Need to Place a Child?

SPEAK TO A COUNSELOR RIGHT NOW
CALL US TOLL-FREE AT (877) 890-4673
OR TEXT “PREGNANT” TO 1-919-971-4396

Or Fill Out Our Online Information Request Form.

Adoption is About Love. It’s That Simple.

Christmas 2018 (Left to Right)
Mackenzie, Michael and Mary
All of Parker Herring’s family got the gift of 23andME DNA kits and are planning a reveal party when the results arrive.

Valentine’s Day is always special at A Child’s Hope and the Parker Herring Law Group. It’s all about love and love is what we make a reality every day. We create families through adoption of all types, as well as surrogacy and assisted reproduction.

This Valentine’s Day, we collected a few thoughts and stories from those who have directly experienced the joy of love of adoption. We hope you will enjoy them, and the stories will help encourage you to begin, reflect, or continue your adoption journey.

Parker Herring’s Family:

“I started my own adoption journey 21 years ago by signing with The Gladney Center and became an adoptive mother three months later when I was blessed with my son, Mackenzie. Three years later, I took the adoption journey a second time. This time via an independent adoption. My second son, Michael, turns 18 this year. Two years after adopting Michael, God helped me through the assisted reproduction process to give birth to my beautiful daughter Mary. My heart is always full with love for them.” – E. Parker Herring

 

Kelly and her three children

 

The Dunbar Family:

“’If you have the heart for adoption, don’t let fear stand in the way,’ is a quote I love! As an adoption counselor and as an adoptive parent it really hits home! Loving a child you did not give birth to is one of the easiest things you will ever do! As a mom of three children, two biological and one adopted, the love I have for them is equal and ever growing!” – Adoption Counselor Supervisor Kelly Dunbar

 

 

 

 

The Extended Kaufman Family
Birth mothers (far left and right) next to their respective sons. Adoptive parents, Hal and his wife (center).

The Kaufman Family:

“We’ve seen our sons’ birth mothers every few months since the kids were born (almost 12 and 14 years ago), but this 2017 photo captures the first time the 6 of us were together. We started this journey with awkward, guarded conversations, but now we are family. That can be anyone’s story and I love that I get to play a role in helping adopting parents experience the love I’ve experienced.” – Hal Kaufman, Founder, My Adoption Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birth Family and Adoptive Family Together
Adoptive mom, Jill (far left) and adoptive dad, Jimmy (far right) – Birth family (Mom, dad and brother (center) – Palmer in birth mother’s arms.

A Birth Mother’s Story:

“Having an open adoption taught me a new type of love. I never have to worry if my daughter is safe or loved because I know I handpicked the best possible parents for her. The adoptive parents of my daughter have shown me that family is not defined by blood, it’s defined by commitment and love.” – Loving Birth Mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea, 16 – Adopted in 2002

An Adopted Child’s Love:

“My name is Andrea and I’m 16 years old. Let me tell ya, my family is great. Thanks to being adopted, I can see myself having a bright future. I don’t know who I’d be or what I’d even be doing if I had grown up living with my birthmother. I don’t think I’d be getting the good education I have now. I feel like I was saved from living in poverty or being involved in some type of illegal activity. My adoption was definitely a win-win situation. My parents couldn’t get pregnant and I was able to bring them the joy of being parents.”

 

 

 

Respite Care Providers Judy and Allan

The Love In Respite Care:

“Little souls find their way to you, whether from your womb or someone else’s. Every time the phone rings asking us if we can care for a baby awaiting adoption our hearts are full of love and excitement. Nothing can compare to seeing and feeling the joy and love on the faces of adoptive parents as they see their new son or daughter for the first time. Caring for each of these precious babies throughout most of our marriage has been both a blessing and our ministry.” – Respite care Giver Judy

 

 

 

 

Birth Mother and Adoption Counselor
Laura (left) and Rebecca (right)

An Adoption Counselor’s Love:

“The thing I love most about being an adoption counselor are the bonds I form with my clients. Each birth mother and adoptive family I’ve worked with has left a lasting mark on my heart. I feel honored to be a part of their adoption journeys and enjoy staying in touch with and supporting my clients long after the adoption process is over.” – Adoption Counselor Rebecca Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan’s First Christmas
Dad Matt, mom Laura and Ryan

Adoptive Parent’s Love:

“Our experience with adoption has truly changed our lives in ways we cannot describe. Ryan has brought us such joy and love! We have gained new family members in Ryan’s birth family and love them for the wonderful gift they have given us.” – Adoptive Mom Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worth The Wait
Josh and Melissa

Waiting Parents Growing In Love:

Josh and Melissa are waiting to adopt and are happy to have the chance to share their love with a child, whenever that happens!

“Love is all about family and we can’t wait to share our love with a child through adoption!” – Waiting Adoptive Mom Melissa

 

 

Whether you are an adopted child, adoptive parent, birth parent who placed your child for adoption, or an adoption professional we know that you have done what you do because of love and your life is better for it. Share your story and share your love.

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.

 

 

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

Thank You Judy & Alan – Provided Adoption Respite Care For 200+ Babies

Adoption respite care is an important part of the adoption process in NC. Under North Adoption Respite Care Providers - Judy & AlanCarolina 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!

If you are a birth mother and are looking to place your child in a loving home, contact our Birth Mother’s hotline to speak with an adoption counselor today at 877-890-4673. To see placement day videos of A Child’s Hope families, click here.
For more information on the legalities involved with adoption in North Carolina, visit parkerherringlawgroup.com.

Adoption in North Carolina is Double the Fun with Twins

Adoption in North Carolina with KyleTypically, we talk to moms about their adoption experience. This Father’s Day, we sat down with Kyle for the dad’s perspective on adoption in North Carolina. Last year, Kyle and his wife Alyson were hoping to adopt an infant through A Child’s Hope. Instead of one child, they became the proud adoptive parents of precious TWINS! Ben and Julia turned one this June.

This is your second Father’s Day, tell me what you enjoy most about being a Dad?

I’ve only been alive 27 years, but in that time I have found nothing as rewarding or as uplifting as my kids smiling at me when I walk in the room. Every time they recognize me and burst out smiling it is like a punch to the heart. Being a child’s favorite person in the world has fundamentally changed me and inspires me to be the best version of myself. I would say that my absolute most favorite thing about being a father is how much better of a person I am because these children are in my life.

What was it like to suddenly become the father of twins right before Father’s Day last year?

When I first found out, I thought it would be somewhat overwhelming, but from the start, my heart was filled with love for these two little humans. I became the man and father they would need me to be simply because they needed me to be him. This past year has been crazy and I’ve grown a lot and I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you want people to understand about adoption in North Carolina?

Remember the role you play in this birth mother’s life. These young women are making one of the hardest choices of their lives and sometimes they’re making that choice alone. As nervous and scared as you might feel in this situation they are probably even worse off. Be a stabilizing and positive force in this process. Remember that you and the birth mother are partners in finding a stable and loving home for the child. You are not enemies, you are allies.

How do you feel about open adoption in North Carolina?

I wholeheartedly support the movement towards a more open adoption process in North Carolina that creates partnerships between adoptive couples and birth mothers. I believe that assisting the birth mother, with both physical and mental health needs, is crucial for a successful adoption.

A young woman who feels supported and confident in and by the process is more likely to see it through and maintain a healthy relationship with the adoptive family and with the child.

If you are thinking about becoming a father for the first time or again, contact one of the counselors at A Child’s Hope to discuss whether adoption is the right choice for you and your family.

If you are a birth mother and are looking to place your child in a home with a hero dad like Kyle, contact our Birth Mother’s hotline to speak with an adoption counselor today at 877-890-4673. To see placement day videos of A Child’s Hope families, click here.

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

Military Families May Qualify for Significant Benefits

Military families make excellent adoptive families. These families are accustomed to a structured lifestyle and are experienced in adjusting to new surroundings, building new connections and supporting each other. In addition, military installations have built-in support networks, including substantial health care and housing benefits, as well as “ready-made” communities.

Military Families Adopt

Patriotic Cannady Rose was Adopted by Jessica and Justin in March 2018.

For military families considering adoption, there are a variety of both support services and financial resources available before, during and after the adoption process:

  • Up to $2,000 reimbursement for qualified adoption expenses
  • Up to $13,570 in Adoption Tax Credit
  • Up to 21 days of adoption leave to bond with your new child
  • Health care benefits before the adoption is final
  • New Parent Support Programs on many installations
  • Exceptional Family Member Program for children with particular medical and/or educational needs
  • Military and Family Support Centers
  • Military-run and military-subsidized child care options
  • Affordable Child Development Programs
  • Military and Family Support Centers
  • Head Start and Sure Start
  • DoD child and youth programs, which can help your child make friends, stay active and develop new skills
  • Military Kids Connect offers engaging tools and games to help children prepare for the challenges around family transitions

Military families and their communities have many strengths including resilience, diversity, inclusiveness, social networks, and educational and health benefits which support them wherever they live.

If you, or someone you know, is in the military and is considering adoption call A Child’s Hope at 919-839-8800.

Additional information on adoption resources for military families can be found at the National Military Family Association, Military One Source and the DHSS Child Welfare Gateway.

Adoption support from the financial side include:

  • Adoption Grants: There are several grants for adoption available to waiting families who have completed the home study and meet certain Organizations like Abba Fund, National Adoption Foundationthe Goetz Foundation and many others may be able to help you fund your adoption.
  • Employer Assistance: Some employers provide financial assistance and leave from work. You should check with your employers’ Human Resource Department to see what adoption benefits exist.
  • Adoption Fundraisers: Many families turn to creative adoption fundraising ideas to help finance their adoption. Consider online adoption fundraising on websites like YouCaring, and Go Fund Me, or host a traditional event, like a yard sale, bake sale or golf tournament.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396