All the opinions’ reflected in the Shared Experiences is that of the author. CARA may or may not share the same opinion.
………and an angel enters flying into our lives!!
It has been a long wait and a tiresome journey for us to have a feeling and enjoyment of parenthood. Ours was not a late marriage. Moreover, it was an early marriage as both of us were just 25 years of age when we got married in February 1996. As both of us were nearly jobless, we postponed arrival of a child for next 3 years, but we never imagined that once postponed, our wait would never be lasting.
Prashant joined NABARD in February 1999 and was posted to Mumbai; immediately we started trying for conception and very soon realized that everything was not right. After consulting the Gynecologist in January 2000 and getting various tests and examinations done, we discovered that our dream to parenthood was not an easy ride. Then started the vicious cycles of fertility treatments, giving us lots of hope every time, and then getting shattered after a few days or at the most few months.
After suffering for quite long, it was a high time for us and we decided to go ahead for adoption of a baby, preferably a girl child.
We thoroughly went through the entire website of Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) and learnt that we were also eligible to apply to agencies located outside our normal place of residence i.e., Kolkata.
We identified an agency outside Kolkata and as per the advice received from agency, we submitted the required documents and the deposited the registration fees. We received a call from them in April 2014 to come over to the adoption Centre to see and select a girl child they had identified for us. Before leaving for agency on 19 April 2014, we, ourselves decided that seeing and selecting the child would be a formality and we were not going to reject the child in any situation. On our way, we had lots of doubts and confusions, but after they put her into our laps, all doubts and confusions vanished and we simply sailed into the feeling of parenthood and we gave our nod for accepting the child as our daughter.
After completing certain formalities etc., we finally brought her to Kolkata on 20 June 2014. As soon as we started to leave for Kolkata with her with us, it started raining heavily and as per the Hindu Mythology, anything beginning with the shower of rain is considered as very auspicious and lucky. Moreover, it was raining heavily on the day Lord Krishna was born and was being shifted to his foster parents in Mathura.
Recently, we celebrated her first birthday with our family and friends. She has become the centre of our small and confined world; she is our bundle of joy at present and a big hope for the future. Now that she has become part of our lives and is 14 months old and we have named her as KUHU, only regret we have is – why we were not able to decide for adoption a bit earlier? God has created issueless couple like us because there are many parentless (don’t say orphan) children in this world to be looked after. Our advice to all willing couple to go ahead for adoption of a child without any doubts; that way, we may not only be able to fulfill the gaps in our lives but shall also be providing life to a child and hence giving to this society and nation, what we are indebted for.
– Seema Prashant & Prashant Dubey
My Decision to Adopt
I am a single parent. I have been very passionate about adoption since, I was in school and made it my motto in life to promote domestic adoption in the country. I brought my little daughter home when she was 2.5 years old and now she is 8. Ever since she came to my life, my journey has been more worthy than ever. People say my daughter is very fortunate to have me as her mother and be a part of our family but I strongly disagree with this. Actually, I am extremely fortunate to have her in my life. She has made me a different person altogether and changed my perspective of life. She is a blessing in my life, perhaps for all the good deeds I have done.
“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could, Perhaps in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good…….”
I would appeal to all prospective parents to shed their fears and anxieties and go for this lovely feeling of adopting one child and sharing their love and goodness with them and be enriched by the happiness that these kids bring. I strongly believe every family should adopt one child and spread this message around them.
– Suma Ray
Ambhrini, Bharath and Mandakini
It was first week of January 2012. Baby looked at my wife with a deep sharp look without much blinking. She kept on looking. Tears of joy filled our eyes. That look changed our lives forever. She was all but four plus month’s baby, wrapped from head to toe, brought in front of us by a social worker at adoption agency. First look at the baby gave us all the happiness we ever longed for. Today she is growing with us as our proud daughter Ambhrini. We wish for nothing more in this life, from God.
With the blessings of elders we got married in June 2002. Both of us are from middle class south Indian families. As it would be, we were a happily married couple. After few years of marriage, when my wife did not conceive, we consulted few fertility experts in Bangalore. We spent a fortune on procedures, which resulted in nothing but pain, suffering, huge body changes due to artificial injections of hormones and financial loss.
Then we decided enough is enough. We thought why we don’t adopt a baby. Discussions with our elders, family and friends gave us lot of support. We registered for adoption with an agency in Bangalore. We were very anxious as there was none to match with us. However, during one of the visits to other agency, we were suggested to look for availability of baby from other agencies.
When we contacted another agency, we got positive vibes as the Authorities asked us to send a whole bunch of documents. Within next few months we got the information that legally free baby was available for adoption. Our Home Study was done by a Bangalore based agency. On completing the documentation part, we were asked to come and visit agency to look at the baby.
We reached there in first week of 2012 and the team was very supportive and helped us to go through Medical Examination, Court filings and rest of the formalities. In third week of January, we were given our dream, our baby on foster care and we travelled back to Bangalore with all the happiness in the world. In April 2012, we again traveled to complete adoption registration. On the whole our experience in adopting a baby has been extremely good.
Ambhrini is a very intelligent, emotional and wonderful baby. She is very quick to learn and very playful twenty four hours a day. Right now we are living in heaven, on this earth along with our baby.
We sincerely thank the agency and its entire team from the bottom of our hearts for giving us a purpose to live.
– Bharath C J and Mandakini S B
I brought my daughter, now 4 years old, home in June 2014. I am a single mother and I live in Delhi. I had decided quite early (maybe around the time I was 15) that I would adopt, irrespective of whether I married or not and I finally got around to acting on this decision at 38. For many Indians, who are still worried about the social acceptance of adopted children, I would like to say that my experience so far has only been positive. Not only have I been encouraged and supported by my immediate and extended families and friends, even strangers or mere acquaintances upon hearing that I have an adopted child have shown a wonderfully healthy interest in the process and the experience.
All schools that I have been to regarding my daughter’s admission have been most accommodating in not insisting on the BC for admission. Like all parents, I also have questions about what kind of a person my daughter will grow up to be. Her personality is very different from mine, and we already have our share of skirmishes but that just makes the relationship seem even more natural. The only thing common is perhaps how stubborn we both are! Having brought my daughter home at 3+ years of age, the question of not revealing that she is adopted doesn’t arise.
The teachers at the school she goes to are aware that she is adopted and they have been very supportive in working with her. Having seen disruption at an early age in life, she is very adaptive and has not taken much time to adjust to her new surroundings and the new people in her life. Being an older child – in adoption parlance, meal-times, toilet-training, etc. have not been any issues at all. And it took her all of 5 minutes to accept her new grandmother (my mother), as her best friend in life!
But some issues that I had to deal with are things like: in the initial days, she didn’t want to sleep at all and she would start saying “sona nahi hai”. But now, she willingly says, “sona hai” whenever she is tired and it is no challenge putting her to bed. Sometimes her fears of abandonment still surface, particularly in crowded areas such as airports & malls, when I cannot leave her for even a minute. But she is slowly gaining confidence and a sense of security. All she now wants to do is “plane mein jaana hai” & “gaadi mein ghoomna hai”. She now knows she belongs and I hope by the time she is ready to start asking questions about her adoption and biological parents, she will also realize that it doesn’t matter much.
My husband and I always wanted 2 children to complete our family. When our elder daughter was four we decided to try for a second baby. The pregnancy was very difficult right from the start and the biggest shock came when at 12 weeks we realised the baby I was carrying had down syndrome, followed by a miscarriage shortly after.
For a while, after we lost our baby – my husband and I grappled to come to terms with the situation and as many people who have gone through the same thing will know – that is never easy. What made it all the more difficult for us was the fact that we had a bright, healthy four year old and therefore for all practical purposes were perfectly capable of having healthy children. Why then did this happen to us. True, somewhere in our complex gene pool – there had been a similar case but that was a cousin and it just didn’t seem fair that this had to happen to us.
However, while we were healing – the thought of adoption just jumped out at us and when it did – I was surprised to see neither my husband, nor I were the least bit at odds with the thought. It was almost as if – somewhere this had always been there. Maybe it came from the fact that I worked in the field of child rights and therefore had the privilege of being in an organization where there were at least four other people who had adopted recently. Or maybe it came from the fact that we couldn’t bear to go through losing another baby the same way. But whatever those reasons – the more we talked about – the more we felt it was the right thing to do for us.
Many people were taken aback by our decision and adviced us to try once more….after all I was 29 and my husband was 30 – plenty of time to try again and have a healthy baby. And even if we failed – we had one baby already – right? So how did it matter if we didn’t have another one. We grit our teeth, ignored all those unasked for advise and went ahead and did what we felt was right for the three of us (my husband, I and our elder daughter). We did however; share our decision with our parents and immediate family. We were a very close knit family and wanted to be sure that everyone was included in our anticipation and excitement. Thankfully – our entire family and especially both sets of prospective grandparents were with us 200% of the way.
We filed our registration on 27th May, 2011 and just a year later on 22nd May, 2012 – our second angel Raina came home. She was 5 months old at that time. When we first saw her – it seemed she was just meant to be ours and surprisingly – she seemed to resemble her elder sister so much. I know a lot of sceptics will laugh at this but I have two pictures on my office wall – of my two babies both taken when they were 6 months old and no one can tell which one is Raina and which one our elder one Rija. They look like the same baby!
Even now with Rija and Raina are 8 years and 3 years respectively – when I take them down to play – I get a lot of comments about how both my daughters have inherited their big, long lashed Bengali eyes from their mother.
The grandparents are completely besotted by her and so much so – they often forget that I didn’t physically give birth to Raina. My mom found a pregnant picture of me a few months back and my dad remarked – this is the first time or the second time!
And when you see how Raina is growing up – there is no doubt that she belongs to us. She is headstrong like her Dad, has her mom’s fierce temper, is a dare devil like her granddad but musical like her grand mom. She also has her aunt’s non-existent nose and flair for drama and her elder sister’s affectionate nature and love for food.
She keeps us on our toes all the time but can’t exist without her sister. They fight twenty times a day but play for hours together lost to the rest of the world. When my husband and I see the two of them cuddled together after a long day – our life feels complete and our hearts tend to overflow.
I know different people have different experiences while adopting and we must really comment on how smooth the entire process from registration to getting the birth certificate was. Made more so by our simply awesome social worker – Lauren. Such a huge strength and so so efficient.
We tell Raina stories of how Mamma and Baba and Didi were unhappy because they couldn’t find the baby girl who will make their family complete. A baby girl with curls and a snub nose and big eyes – just like she has. And then how we looked everywhere and then GOD came and told us that we were looking in the wrong place and sent us to the agency where our baby was waiting for us. And voila! There she was. I know the questions will get complicated as she grows older but for now this is helping both Raina and Rija as well.
I know we’ll have tough times, especially during the turbulent teen years. But the four of us together – with our love and solid family unity will deal I’m sure.
– Alakananda Ghosh
My wife Sumitha and I always wanted to adopt a child but we were thinking of having a biological one first. However due to various health reasons, we were unable to conceive through normal means. Both of us were not fans of artificial methods of reproduction and personally consider our medical situation as a message from the Almighty to embrace adoption. We spoke to our individual parents to convince them of this option for 2 reasons.
One, we live in a joint family and secondly, we felt that it was important for them to be part of this journey as; we believed that our children should enjoy the love/affection of their grandparents. For somebody who have always lived overseas or in an India metro city (we are based out of Chennai), travelling into the interiors of Orissa was itself a very humbling and wonderful experience. During the entire journey, my father kept reminding me as to how my daughter, even before we adopted her was already making me worldly-wise and exposing me to an India that I could only have imagined before this journey.
We also took my wife’s parents and my father every time we went to agency, so that they were also part of this incredible journey. We also made some wonderful friends there who also honoured us by coming down to Chennai for Anwesha’s 1st year ceremony. An absolutely stunning “Jab We Meet” moment happened when my wife went to see Anwesha for the first time. As she lifted Anwesha up and smiled at her, Anwesha smiled back and my father happened to click this very moment in his camera. It was so magical and my Wife & Anwesha have been inseparable ever since. We took Anwesha into foster care when she was 6 months old. All her formalities got completed without any fuss including getting a birth certificate.
We also got her Passport done with the help of the birth certificate. She is now 3.5 years old and goes to Pre-Kg. She has been an incredible blessing and is the cynosure of all eyes in our family. We feel so blessed that more often than not, we keep reminding ourselves that about how fortunate are we to have been adopted by her. We have also been telling her stories about agency (albeit in a light vein) as we want to be absolutely honest with her about her past. We also don’t make a fuss about her being adopted nor do we deny it if somebody asks us about the same.
An interesting phenomenon that always keeps me amused. My mother initially was not too much in favour of adoption though she did not offer any major protest. However today, my mother and Anwesha are best pals (it was incredible to see how the little bundle of joy won over her grandmother within a few days) to the extent that my mother shows a photo of me in my childhood and tells folks as to how much Anwesha resembles me :). Further my mother has become a big ambassador for Adoption in our social circles. We
are looking forward to adopting our second child later this year and have been prepping Anwesha to welcome her younger sister/brother soon.
-Rammohan Thyagarajan (Ram)
Our Adoption Story:
Finding My Soul Mate For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother; my life’s path did not turn out to be a traditional one. I went to college, travelled, and got a good job; a family was not in the near future. I had a vision of my future; I knew I was destined to become his/her mother. I had no idea where to begin. I wasn’t sure if the child meant for me was a boy or a girl, and I definitely did not know what area of the world they were currently living in. When I told my agency that I wanted a Deaf child under three years old, they told me that they believed it would be difficult for me to find a match. I was determined to find this child. I have been doing sign language (ASL) since I was in middle school. I teach at a Deaf school, and I was sure I wanted to raise a Deaf child.
The Referral Arrives,
About a month later, I got an email asking if I was still looking for a Deaf child. Yes! The agency sent me the file titled, “Little Girl P.” I opened the email and scrolled quickly for her picture. Those were the eyes! I had found my child! I immediately began crying tears of joy. The next few months were a roller coaster of emotions. From the smallest note from the orphanage telling me there is a daily sign language teacher, to the sleepless nights wondering if we’d pass court, I thought it would never end. I couldn’t wait to hold her in my arms. I taped a small prayer to my bathroom mirror to help me through it all: May you be safe and sleep soundly through the night, may you be safe as you wake to the morning’s light. May you feel my love from so far away, may it comfort and protect you throughout each day. I will pray for you my little one, until our time of waiting is done. I will pray that the Lord keep you safe from harm, until the child of my heart becomes the child in my arms. I was finally informed I could travel in October. It was finally happening. I booked the travel and hotel and packed my bags for myself and my daughter. My mother accompanied me to India as she was my rock through the entire process. As we trekked through the airport with a stroller and no child; many people gave us strange looks, and some even asked where my child was. One lady recognized that we were on a journey to pick up an adopted child. As she and her two adopted daughters wished me luck, I sat in tears. I was happy. I was nervous. I was in total misbelief that it was all happening.
These feelings continued until the next day when we went to the orphanage to meet my daughter, Priyanka. The director told me she would be coming from the building on the other side of the courtyard. I dropped my bag and waited anxiously. Soon, the most gorgeous little girl walked into my life. I would love to say it was a perfect meeting and she ran to me and hugged me and called me Mommy. But that is far from reality. Priyanka clung to her teacher’s hand as I bent over to sign (do sign language) to her. All I wanted to do was hold her, but I knew she was not ready. As we spent the day coloring and looking at books in the lobby, she began to warm up to me. She even sat on my lap. After lunch, she was sleepy and let me rock her. She slept and I held her; this was the most amazing feeling I had ever felt. We left her at the orphanage that night and returned the next day to take her home. This day was the happiest and most horrible day of my life. It was the day “I” became “we;” the day I became a mother. However, it was the day my three-year-old daughter was taken from everything she knew. She screamed as I tore her away from her life. I prayed that this moment would be replaced with all the happy memories that would follow. The rest of the week in India was filled with attachment and grieving. Priyanka did not like staying in the hotel room; she wanted to be outside and walk. However, she did not walk or go in the stroller. I had to carry her…everywhere.
A Family at Home,
I was excited to get home and get our lives started! We returned to Michigan as a family in November, just in time for the holidays. I was very protective of the first few weeks and slowly started to expose her to new places and people. She took it all like a champion. She loved meeting her cousins for the first time and my parents had a party for everyone to meet her in December. Priyanka loves people and immediately knew I was safe, yet it took me a long time to leave her side. She began school in January in the same building in which I teach. This has been a blessing to both of us. Soon, life as “just the two of us” became the normal. In the past year, she has learned to communicate through ASL and has developed a personality all her own. She is growing to become a smart and opinionated little girl. I am more and more proud of her every day, and I am in awe of the person she is becoming. October 31, this past Saturday was one year since she had been with me. I cannot believe it has already been a year. I feel like I met her yesterday; I feel like we have been together forever.