An Adoption Plan With A Happy Ending
Pediatrician and CEO, Worldwide Orphans Foundation
I am always wondering and yearning to learn more. Sometimes I get the whole story and this is what I want to share today: a very complete story which starts with a very young mother and ends with the adoption of an infant who knew all the players and who will be, in so many ways, defined by the constellation of loving characters in this dramatic narrative.
Even though the vast majority of orphans are relinquished and not abandoned, we have little information about the roots of a child’s life. The birth family is ashamed of the pregnancy and makes the decision to relinquish or abandon. There is no invitation from the community to be open and safe and secure. For those poor women who hide their pregnancy and birth, there is danger and desperation. Choosing not to parent one’s own child is something that can stalk a mother for the rest of her life. Loss and emptiness from this start of life are rarely managed with gentleness and outreach. Social workers and counselors are not part of this dark moment in the majority of births in extremely poor countries. The birth mother, the new baby and the parents who adopt grieve when there are secrets. There is rarely permission given for contemplation, resolution and healing.
Recently, I received exciting news from a family adopting from Taiwan who I have been working with for about a year. The papers were complete and the child was cleared for adoption. The family had been in Taiwan for three weeks and now they were ready to come home. The baby was referred to the family living in New York about six months ago. This sweet little girl was born to a teenage mother who was 14 during the pregnancy and was 15-year-old at the time of the birth.
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