parenting

Creating Family Through The Miracle of Adoption!

SantaWe feel like the luckiest people in the world to have created our family through the miracle of adoption! We have two children – Neva and Marco. We chose to work with A Child’s Hope because we liked the idea of having a North Carolina adoption and we felt like they could guide us through this complex process.

Six weeks after completing our adoption homestudy and paperwork, we were matched with a birth mom! Our son Marco was born on a gorgeous fall day. I remember thinking, “today would be a good day to be born,” and then we got the call from the agency. Ten fingers, ten toes, and a healthy baby boy was waiting for us!  He has been a delight.

When Marco was 18 months-old, we decided it was time to expand our family again. It was not long after completing our paperwork again that we got the call. This time, we did an independent match with a birth mom in Texas. She picked us because of Marco. She wanted a big brother for her baby!  A few weeks later, Neva was born and we were on an airplane to Texas to meet our angel!  We finalized Neva’s adoption with A Child’s Hope.

We send letters and pictures to Marco’s Birth mom twice a year. We have never met her, but we love her and know that she has given us the greatest gift possible. We have an open adoption with Neva’s Birth mom. We talk on the phone, visit her in Texas, and exchange letters and pictures. She is an important part of our lives. Adoption creates a bigger extended family. Our children are surrounded by love and we are certain that we were all meant to be together.  Adoption has made us a family.

A Big thank you to Neva and Marco’s family for sharing their adoption stories!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell? Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com. Visit us at www.achildshope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

The Journey to Becoming a Parent Through Adoption!

NewbornAs a child, I dreamed of becoming many things: a doctor, a ballerina, and a marine biologist, but, more than anything else in the world, I wanted to be a mom someday. However, as a teen, I realized that due to being born with heart defects, my dream of becoming a mom, at least biologically, may not be possible. At the time, I did not know anyone who was adopted, but, starting in college, I began to hear more and more about adoption and met both children and adults who were adopted. When I got married just after graduating, two family members and my best friend offered to be surrogates for my husband and me when we were ready to start a family, but by that time I knew that someday I was meant to become a mom through adoption!

My husband and I adopted our first child, Bella, seven and-a-half years ago through A Child’s Hope. Though the whole process took less than 6 months, it was not without its ups and downs. Just before we matched with Bella’s birth mother, we were matched with another birth mother whom we met but who ultimately chose to parent. It was hard to get past the pain of this revocation, but about a month later we became parents to our beautiful Bella, who does not look like us due to her Honduran heritage, but whose personality is a perfect combination of my husband’s and my own.

Two and-a-half years later, we adopted our son, Carter, again through A Child’s Hope. This time we knew we wanted a Hispanic child so that Bella could have a sibling that shared her wonderful heritage that we had learned so much about during the first few years of her life. Carter was born about 6 weeks early, less than a week after we matched with his birth mother. He had some health issues the few first years of his life but is now an always on the go, a super-ready for Kindergarten 5-year-old.

While Bella and Carter truly made my dream of becoming a mother come true, being one of four children, I felt that I had room for more children in my heart and we had more room in our house. Bella, while having a great bond with her brother, wished all the time for “a baby sister named Maia.” So when Carter turned 3, we decided to start the adoption process again, this time specifically with the goal of adopting a little girl. We decided to sign with an adoption referral service this time to find a birth mother in a different state with a shorter revocation period than NC and ended up matching with a birth mother in NV. Like her brother, Carter, Maia Jane could not wait to join our family and ended up being born at Thanksgiving instead of around Christmas when her birth mother was scheduled to have a C-section. We ended up spending about 2 weeks in NV with my mom, Bella, and Carter, the first week of which Maia was in the NICU. Since we had gotten to know everyone at A Child’s Hope so well, we had Bobby Mills finalize our adoption of Maia in NC.

Not a day goes by that I do not look at my kids and think how lucky I am to be their mother but also how it all really seems meant to be! There is no doubt that adoption is a roller coaster, and I am not a big fan of roller coasters, but, as I have been told about childbirth, once your child is in your arms, the joy you experience erases from your mind any pain you experienced.

Thank you to Lyla and her family for sharing their story with us!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Adoption: How Much Does It Cost?

Overwhelmed by the costs of adoption? It may not be quite what you think…

Individuals and couples wishing to have a child but unable to do so naturally typically have two options: adoption or assisted reproduction (ART).  Both options are relatively comparable in cost, with the average price of a domestic adoption in the United States ranging from $20,000-$45,000 and a donor egg pregnancy via in vitro fertilization priced between $20,000-$35,000.  If, however, you require a donor embryo, the cost could be $7,500-$20,000, and gestational carrier/surrogacy can drive the cost from $50,000 to over $100,000.

Assuming, however, you are looking simply at the comparable donor egg option, one important thing to keep in mind is that adoption, unlike assisted reproduction, offers a federal tax credit and many employers offer credits as well.  For a couple with combined annual incomes of less than $180,000, the federal adoption credit could be up to $13,190.  Employer tax credits typically range from $2,000-$5,000 and are offered by companies like SAS, CISCO, IBM, the United States Department of Defense and many others.

I encourage clients to determine first how much these credits will offset their cost of adoption to determine their ‘bottom-line’ cost.

So now that you have done your cost analysis, how do you afford your ‘bottom-line’?  Most adoptive families are middle-income and are able to work out the costs over time.  Options for financing an adoption include:

  • Borrowing against home equity, allowing a deduction while waiting for the tax credit;
  • Borrowing against a retirement or 401K plan
  • Grants and adoption assistance programs through public and private organizations;
  • Asking family members and relatives to assist with cost

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

E. Parker Herring is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and managing partner of Herring & Mills, PLLC, a Raleigh family law firm.  Herring is also director of A Child’s Hope, a North Carolina licensed adoption agency.

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Adopting and Raising a Child with Special Needs Can Be a Blessing

Adopting and raising a child with special needs is not for everyone….

There are many adoptive parents who have taken on the loving and demanding job of adopting and raising a child with special needs. These parents in my mind are as special as the children they adopt.

What I hear frequently from adoptive parents who are offered the opportunity to adopt a child  born with special needs is that  if they had given birth to the child they wouldn’t hesitate.  They think of the child as their own almost from the start and they become fierce advocates.  For many its a lifetime commitment.

One of my favorite memories as an adoption agency director is seeing a three year old named Matthew laughing at a local mall as he tried to  run away from his parents, Jack and Peggy.  His parents smiled broadly, they were so proud.  He was a beautiful toddler , with black curls and a smile that was  big and open.  And he didn’t walk, he ran…

“And this is the child that we were told might never walk, “ Peggy said “And look at him now. We have to run to keep up.“  The family added another son by adoption, Michael,  # of years later. The brothers are best friends!

Michael  was born with a life threatening physical condition called esophageal fistula. He was airlifted shortly after birth to a major medical center. Jack and Peggy were with him while he had 7  operations, first to connect his esophagus to his stomach and then later to remove a finger that didn’t function and construct a thumb from his index finger.  He still has challenges swallowing and has had four procedures in the last two years.

Jack and Peggy’s  time and heart commitment has been enormous . Michael is now thirteen years old and doing well.  “You have to take on what you feel you can handle,” Peggy said recently. “We feel blessed. “

Thank you to Director Parker Herring and parents Jack and Peggy for allowing us to share their story.

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

When a Long Adoption Wait Ends with Just a Few Days Notice!

Bill-Priscila-Baby

Bill and Priscila have been waiting for over three years to adopt a brother or sister for their son Thomas, who was placed with them five and a half years ago in the Agency’s offices.  Yesterday was the the end to their long adoption journey…

Bill and Priscila  were notified by the Agency on Tuesday and offered the opportunity to adopt a nine pound baby boy who was a last minute placement.  They got it together in two days time and came with smiles and a car seat!

Sometimes birth mothers make last minute decisions at the hospital to place their baby for adoption, and when they do, there is a lot of  hard work done by many people to make the last minute placement work. Social workers, attorneys and staff scramble to make birth mom’s situation and the baby’s transition go as smoothly as possible.

Today, this nine pound baby named Lucas was dressed for Christmas and handed over to the adoptive parents by his respite care provider. It was worth the wait his parents said. Big brother Thomas leaned down to his brother in the car seat before they left the agency and when asked what he thought about his new baby brother, Thomas grinned and  said “So far he’s been pretty good .”

A Big thank you to Bill, Priscila, Thomas and Lucas for allowing us to tell the story of their adoption journey!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call if you are a birth mother, please call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Placement Day – The Best Gift of All!!

Hunter and Laura got the best Christmas gift that anyone could ask for at Christmas – a newborn boy placed lovingly in their arms by their birth mother!! The adoptive parents and the birthmother had agreed on a name – Hezekiah – to be called “Kiah” for short.

This was not the first time that the intended parents had seen the baby – they held their heart in their hands last Sunday when they visited him in the hospital. We took photographs then and marveled at how beautiful he was. During the seven day waiting period that North Carolina law requires, the birthmother was very emotional as one could expect and was counseled.

It was a difficult week for her, but she stayed firm in her decision to place the baby for adoption. On placement day, she lovingly held the baby again for an hour in the agency’s offices while the adoptive parents executed legal documents.

She kissed him tenderly as she held him and told him how much she loved him. He was very alert and would glace up at her while she was talking to him.

She selflessly and lovingly gave her baby and the adoptive parents the Best Gift of All!

The parts we play in helping our families create forever families through adoption is a rewarding one and we love to share their stories!!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

 

The Best Gift of All…

A birth mother placing a newborn into the intended adoptive parents arms for the first time  is an emotional moment any time of year. But when a newborn is placed for adoption at Christmas, emotions run high.

Last Sunday, I watched as a young  woman with an unplanned pregnancy visited in the hospital with the adoptive parents she chose as they met their baby.  She wanted them to share in the moment.  She had delivered him three days before  cuddling the baby on her chest and then watched the emotion as she handed the baby over to the new adoptive mom to be.  She said how much she loved him.

All in the hospital room tried to hold their emotions in check.  North Carolina law allows birth parents seven (7) days to revoke her consent. Even though the birth mother in this hospital room  had signed relinquishments the day before, all were mindful that despite all her best intentions that she could change her mind and the baby they were holding would not be theirs to raise.

Birth mother admitted that she was feeling very emotional, but she knew that she was giving the best gift of all to this couple who had struggled for years with infertility and had been waiting with an adoption agency.   She smiled to see how their eyes filled with tears as they held him for the very first time!

Thank you to Director Parker Herring for sharing her experience with us!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

 

FINALLY HOME!

For those of you who have sent best wishes to Baby Boy Hudson, he is finally home from the hospital!

At nine weeks old Hudson has had a long wait in the hospital since birth before he could travel home to be with adoptive parents Marcy and Philip and 9 year old brother, Tyler.  Baby Boy Hudson was transferred shortly after birth and has been in two major medical centers since that time.  He has endured numerous tests, surgeries and the diagnosis and treatment is still continuing.  But on August 27, 2013, Hudson traveled home and neighbors, friends, and family had a celebration in mind.  And what a celebration it was!!

Babies born and placed with adoptive parents  and those who are born and live with biological parents all have in common the fact that good health should not be taken for granted.  God plans for some babies to need special care life long and some to go home shortly after birth and thrive and meet milestones. Hudson is one of those special care babies, and his adoptive family has been with him every step of the way, no day without a visit and many days with tears and coping with the medical procedures.

A Big thank you to Hudson and his family for allowing us to share their story!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

We Want to Hear Your Adoption Story!!

Whether you are a birth mother, an adoptive parent, adoptive parent or adoption professional, we want to hear your story!

Beginning September 3, 2013 A Child’s Hope will launch our Facebook Contest “A Note from the Heart”.

To enter join us on September 3, upload your photograph and a “Note From the Heart” about your adoption experience (Entry must be 500 words or less)

 

Contest Rules and Details –

RULES
Categories:
For Birth mothers and Families Adoptees
Adoptive Parents and Families
Adoption Professionals
Users will submit their photo and story into one of the four categories beginning on September 3, at 12:00AM EST (Eastern Time). Each person is allowed one submission, but multiple submissions about specific adoption stories are allowed (e.g. a birth mother and her adoption counselor can both submit an entry about their experience working together and building a lifetime bond). All submissions that include a link to a Pinterest board with more photos of their story will automatically earn 10 bonus votes!

**View Official Rules and Privacy Policy.
PRIZES
The adoption story that receives the most votes in each category will win a $150 gift card! Be sure to encourage people you know to enter the contest and share their story, and tell your friends and family to visit the page and vote for your story!

**Winners will be notified via e-mail and announced on Facebook following the conclusion of the contest.

VOTES
Your vote for your favorite adoption story will help decide our winner. Judges from an expert panel of contest sponsors will select finalists from each of the categories. Facebook fans will have an opportunity during the public voting period from September 3 at 12:00AM EST to September 30 11:59PM EST to choose their favorite adoption story from the selected finalists.

“A Note From The Heart” Contest is sponsored by Noah Z.M. Goetz Foundation, Our Chosen Child, My Adoption Advisor and A Child’s Hope.

 

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Completing Their Forever Family Through Adoption Networking!

Josh and Kelly took placement of their beautiful baby girl Ansley in late January this year.  The also took the networking challenge as waiting adoptive parents.  They signed up and participated in the online courses through My Adoption Advisor, created a profile, website, Facebook page, and YouTube video!  Not to mention getting the word out to family and  friends that they were looking to adopt!

Through a  friend of a friend who knew they were looking to adopt, they connected with their birth mother. Once they established contact with their birth mom, they found it was extremely helpful that they were able to refer her to their website, where she was able to learn more about them and their family.

Since their placement, they have learned that waiting parents are indeed putting themselves out there and networking in an effort to shorten their wait time and best of all… it really works!!!  “Networking brought us to our birth parents who gave us the gift of completing our forever family!”, said Kelly.

A big thanks to Josh, Kelly and their family  for allowing us to tell the story of their adoption journey.

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

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