After almost ten years of attempting to become parents via fertility treatments, failed foster care adoption committees and even an adoption facilitator scam, we learned about a very special little two-month-old baby boy named Baby M, who had been diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, through Special Angels Adoption Agency. He had been born at Yale Hospital in Connecticut and his birth parents, who were completing their post-docs at Yale University, had decided to make an adoption plan for their baby. My husband and I virtually met with the birth parents and their adoption social worker and needless to say a few days later, my husband and I were contacted that the birth parents had selected us to be Baby M’s adoptive parents. We frantically rented an Air BnB and drove up to Connecticut from Virginia (where we were living at the time) in order to meet Baby M and his birth parents. The next day, we met with the birth parents' social worker first and then the birth parents and Baby M (and the birth grandfather Baby M was named after) came to where we were staying in order to meet in person. His birth parents let us know that he was named Michael after his birthfather’s father, who was there. His birthfather showed us how to feed Michael with his special bottle, in order to make sure that he wasn’t aspirating. They also lovingly brought us everything that they had purchased for him in regard to a nursery (clothes, bassinette, stroller, blankets, toys, etc.). At the end of the visit, his birthmother placed Michael in my arms and gave him a blessing in Greek and then kissed him on the head. She asked us to promise her that we would have an open adoption relationship and we have honored that request to this day and will continue to. After the birth parents, birth grandfather, social worker left, Michael fell asleep in my arms. My husband and I were excited to become adoptive parents to Michael (we chose to honor the name that his birth parents gave him), but also knew that this was an incredibly hard decision for his birth parents to make.
What inspired you to adopt?
Ever since my husband and I had started dating back in 2007, we had talked about wanting to have a family. We knew that there would be challenges in regard to having biological children and so we tried fertility treatments and then discovered that due to an undiagnosed genetic disorder, that I would not be able to carry a child past the first term. We then completed all of the course work in order to become certified foster parents in our home state. Our social worker went to committee on three sibling groups for us and we were selected as the alternate family in each case based on not having any other children in the home. We also were the victims of an adoption facilitator scam and it was after meeting another couple that had also been scammed by that same facilitator, that we learned about Special Angels Adoption. We completed our application with Special Angels and once selected, submitted our application on Baby M!
How did you learn about PWSA | USA and how has our family support team helped you and your family?
We learned about PWSA | USA when we were deciding whether to submit our family profile for baby M (Michael). Diane Seeley answered all of the questions that I had in regard to her personal experience of being a mother to an amazing child with Prader-Willi syndrome. We have had many times when we have reached out to gain invaluable knowledge about nutrition, medical experts, different therapies to try, as well as a listening ear when you need someone to listen to you cry during the tough times.
In addition, since I am an adoptive PWS mama, I have had the opportunity to assist PWSA | USA by talking to both biological parents deciding whether to make an adoption plan, as well as potential adoptive parents who are thinking about submitting their family profile for a baby diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. This has brought me great joy to be able to give back to the same organization that assisted us!