The Face of Adoption: Summer’s Story
As you know, adoption is very near to our hearts here at à la mum…here’s a little of the back story…
Adoption has personally impacted my life monumentally as both my mom and my little sister are adopted. My mom had an extremely difficult pregnancy with me that ended in an emergency C-section 2 months before her scheduled due date. I was born at just around 4lbs and was almost immediately flown to a better equipped hospital where I had heart surgery. In the next few days, I dropped to 2 lbs and ended up staying in the NICU for the first 2 months of life. The doctors told my mom that she may not make it through a second pregnancy and honestly my parents weren’t sure they wanted to put another baby through what they saw me go through. But since my mom was adopted, she always had the feeling that one day she would return the favor and grow our family that way.
One afternoon, my mom was over at her friend’s house when the friend received a call from her son saying that a girl he knew was in labor and was going to give the baby up for adoption. The friend knew my parents’ situation and immediately turned to ask if my mom would be interested in adopting the child. After a quick call to my dad, they both agreed they would love to adopt the baby, which they later found out was a beautiful little girl.
The next day, when my parents dropped me off at school, they told me to not get my hopes up (we had gone through a failed adoption in the past) but if they came to pick me up early, it meant I was going to have a baby sister. You can imagine how well I kept that secret considering I was one extremely excited 9 year old girl who had always dreamt of having a baby sister. I’m pretty sure I told anyone who’d listen what may be happening that day.
I remember that day so clearly. I was sitting in PE class that afternoon when over the loud speaker I heard “Summer, please gather your things because your parents are here to pick you up.” Talk about a moment of pure joy!! I jumped up, packed up my bag, and bolted out the double doors. I was going to be a big sister!
We drove to the hospital where I met my sister’s birth mom, who ironically was staying in the same hospital room that my mom had stayed in when she had me. I remember sitting beside her on the hospital bed and her handing me my baby sister, Chelsea. I’m sure she knew how nervous I was because I remember her telling me that I was going to be a great big sister and to not worry because she would never take her away from me.
Chelsea wasn’t even 24 hours old when we brought her home, but because we didn’t go through the state to adopt her, we had to head straight from the hospital to the attorney’s office to start the adoption process. When we got to the office we realized that Chelsea needed her diaper changed so we went to the bathroom to clean her up. It was at that moment that my mom realized we had nothing. No diapers, no wipes, nothing. Everything happened so quick that no one had time to stop and think about the details. So we made Chels a makeshift diaper out of the bathroom paper towels, finished up with the attorney, and went straight to Babies R Us to buy all of the essentials.
And the rest is history. That sweet, little, curly headed, blue eyed, baby girl has brought so much happiness and spunk to our family. My parent’s and I always say how boring our lives would be if we didn’t have her. I will be eternally grateful for the gift her birth mother and adoption has given to us.
But sadly, adoption isn’t usually that “easy”. In many cases deserving parents have to pay tens of thousands of dollars just to be placed on a waiting list for a child. And once they are on the list, it could take years before a baby is placed in their arms. So as a way to give back, we thought it would be the most fulfilling opportunity to be able to return the favor for families struggling to pay for the overwhelming costs that adoption can bring. As so, we have decided that each year we will set aside 5% of our profits to aid these families in making their dreams come true.