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Friday, September 3, 2010

Jamie's Story (Spirits of Cibola County)

A year ago Jamie and her husband Fred were chosen to raise a newborn baby boy through an open adoption. This loving act and the steps that made it happen have created a circle of love far greater than the baby's birth or adoptive families could have imagined. With an open mind and heart adoption can be a positive choice for everyone involved.

Somehow Jamie knew since she was a little girl that her first baby would be an adopted child. She gets very upset with people who make assumptions such as, "You couldn't have a child of your own so you had to adopt?" Just the opposite, Jamie feels humbled that she has been given this child to mother.

She said, "Adopted children are not booby prizes."

Jamie and Fred met in 1992 while attending college in Idaho. She received a teaching degree and he is a computer tech who teaches classes at NMSU. After being married for a couple of years, they really wanted to start a family, but it was not happening. Jamie went through two years of the usual procedures to find out why. Finally her doctor informed her that he believed her only option was artificial insemination. It is very expensive and usually takes about four attempts before succeeding.

When she found out it often causes so many embryos that some might need to be eliminated, she walked out of the doctor's office without saying goodbye. Jamie began looking into adoption. She and Fred did their homework, reading over 40 books on the subject. One of the most informative was The Idiots Guide to Adoption.

Believing an agency was the best choice, they contacted Adoptions Plus in Albuquerque to begin the process. Prospective adoptive parents are examined with a magnifying glass. Everything about their lives including health, finances, education, past and present relationships and living conditions are evaluated before they are presented to prospective parents.

Jamie called the agency several times a week to ask about their case. She did not feel they were showing their information to anyone. Her mother-in-law noticed an ad in an Idaho paper for an agency called Northwest Services. Idaho is among the top ten states listed as friendly adoption states.

They contacted the agency and within four months were in touch with the birth mother of their soon to be precious gift from God. The mother chose them from several couples mostly based on a letter they had written to her stating the reasons for wanting to adopt. They wanted an open adoption, which gives the biological parents the opportunity to keep in touch with the baby.

Jamie believes their experience is working because both families have an honest relationship and totally accept each other. There is no judgment on either side. The baby has gained an extended family, the young biological parents can move with their lives while watching the baby grow, knowing that they have made a mature decision that is best for their child.

Jamie and Fred saw their baby for the first time when he was a day old and transferred him to their car when he was three days old. Everyone in the parking lot including parents, grandparents and hospital staff filled it with tears that day. The baby was the only one not crying. Perhaps he knew how lucky he was.

Jamie recently told her sister Kelie, who is the biological mother of a young daughter "Adoption is not easy."

Kelie replied, "Having a baby isn't easy either."

Jamie will soon find that out for herself as she is about to give birth to her first biological child. Her children will be 14 months apart, which is causing Jamie to wonder how she will manage. Knowing she has help from God and a supportive family is all the help she needs to widen the circle of love.

(Strange, but true, Jamie and Fred's adopted son (now 8) looks like Fred and their biological son looks like Jamie.)

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