Most people meet their child for the first time in a delivery room. Ours was introduced to us in the reception area of a single-story administrative building located in a business park alongside warehouses.
Nicky Stansell could have never imagined that the palpable heartbreak and grief she experienced nearly 20 years ago would ultimately lead her to the cherished child who has become the greatest blessing in her life.
By definition, the young people who come into our child welfare systems already have suffered the trauma of family disruption. Without family, children are ill equipped to beat the odds stacked against them. Every kid needs a family, and every kid deserves one.
When my children were born, I became aware of how much they needed me to be happy, healthy and present. They depended on me to meet their physical and emotional needs and without prioritizing my health, I couldn't be the mom they needed.
I almost wasn't born. I almost didn't get adopted. I almost got delivered to the wrong family at the airport. I almost didn't get to where I am today.
In the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, the adoption process begins far from the sphere of Pharaohs. Discreetly located in a Burke office park, the Catholic Charities Center for Adoption and Pregnancy Service has a staff of licensed social workers to assist birth and adoptive parents.
A pet store in Brazil, decided to perform an experiment. What would happen if they put shelter pets in place of the regular animals for sale. Would this help more shelter animals find homes, by making them seem like pets for sale?
I've seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being that it is the other way around.
A pregnancy involves conception and ultrasounds and birth plans and stretch marks. Adoption involves stacks of paperwork, no "due date" and many uncertainties. However, the end result is the same: parenthood.
This Mother's Day, I celebrated six years of motherhood and nine years with type 1 diabetes. Though my disease is expensive and exhausting, required 24/7/365 management, without it, I wouldn't be mothering my three children.
Are we perpetuating and reinforcing society's ideas around infertility? Are we asking to be visible when at the same time we are invisible to one another?
Infertility, for me, has been reabsorbed and accepted. But it took a long, largely invisible, time. I am a different woman for it.
The time is now. Not before another 23,000 or more age out. Could you look at each of those faces and tell them they are not worth your time? Your voice? A family? Because they are -- it could just as easily be you or I or our best friend.
All that I do and all that I am is wrapped up in two women. I simply would not exist without one and can't imagine life without the other. All that I know and all that I am still discovering reflect both of my families, most profoundly in my commitment to children and families.
I don't feel like the World's Best Mother. I feel like a mother who is filled with doubts right now. A mother who is asking questions for which there may not be clear answers.
I've had a conflicted relationship with Mother's Day since 1989. Before then, it was the day I made my mom a card and bought her some plants for the garden. It was a good day. Church, lunch, time with family.